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TED Talk: Surgery’s past, present and robotic future

Catherine Mohr is quite an incredible women. She is both an engineer and a medical doctor. She combines these two fields with her great inventions which help advance surgery. Take a look at her TED Talk in which she presents the newest robotic tools for surgery, but also remembers the beginnings of this art/craft/science.

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Doylestown Hospital uses iPhones

Apple has published a profile of the Doylestown Hospital which relies on a mobile workforce of 360 independent physicians using iPhones.

Dr. Scott Levy, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Doylestown Hospital said that with iPhone use, they’ve seen clear, noticeable improvements in patient care.

Here is what physicians can do with their iPhones in this hospital:

  • use push email to receive the hospital’s time-sensitive email alerts, as well as have access to calendars and contacts
  • have cellular service anywhere in the hospital, including ICU, so they can be on call and available around the clock
  • secure mobile access to the hospital’s electronic medical records system
  • can see everything needed for patient care, including vital signs, medications, lab results, allergies, nurses’ notes, therapy results, and even information about patient diet
  • use medical reference applications such as Epocrates Essentials to help explain diseases, interpret lab results, and provide drug information right at the patient’s bedside

Take a look at the following video to learn more.

Don’t despare if you are not working in a similar hospital. There are still a lot of useful things you can do with your iPhone. Read my “Why is iPhone perfect for doctors” article to get you started.

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Health Blogs Observatory

Health Blogs Observatory
You should know by now that every time my posts are slower, I am creating something in the dark corner of my room :-). This was the case when I introduced the OpenECGproject, and it is the case now, when I am introducing the Health Blogs Observatory.

Health Blogs Observatory is an online research lab devoted to examination of the health blogosphere. It was created by the health bloggers and for the health bloggers.

Main goals of the project are:

Two major characteristics of the Health Blogs Observatory are collaboration and openness. This is why I would like to invite all health/medical bloggers to join the community and start contributing to it by adding their blogs to the web directory and participating in the design of the health bloggers survey.

To always stay informed about new developments at the Health Blogs Observatory, subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on Twitter.

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DIY navigation system for surgeons

Maki Sugimoto
Apple brings a story of professor Maki Sugimoto of Teikyo University Chiba Medical Center, a gastrointestinal surgeon, who wanted a better approach to navigation for planning and performing both aggressive and minimally invasive surgeries. He uses Apple computers with OsiriX imaging software to project 3D images onto a patient’s abdomen for both laparoscopic and midline open surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery

For patients with early-stage gastric or colonic cancer, the surgical team typically opts for minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. With the patient anesthetized, Sugimoto projects OsiriX-generated 3D images onto the body surface of the patient with an Epson EMP-1715 projector. Using a motion-sensing wireless remote, Sugimoto uses physiological markers (such as the navel) to register the image to the patient’s body. Then using a Color Look Up Table (CLUT) feature in OsiriX, he makes the skin of the image transparent. The display now shows the patient’s internal body parts and the area that he will need to operate on.

Open surgery

“The 3D visualization shows us relationships between the cancer and the arterial vessels and other surrounding organs,” says Sugimoto. “It also allows us to see the extent of the spread of cancer. When a patient has upper biliary (bile duct) cancer, we have to cut the liver. If the patient has lower bile duct cancer we have to remove the pancreatic head and duodenum. The HBP system is very complex; that’s why 3D visualization in the OR is so crucial. When doing a midline open surgery, the surgeon can only see the organs from the top. With OsiriX on the Mac, surgeons can rotate and see the surrounding organs in 3D to guide them during surgery.

Visit Apple to learn more and see more pictures and videos.

Image credits – Apple Inc.

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To Blog or Practice Medicine

I been working 48 hours shifts in the Emergency Department this whole month and I am starting to feel just a little bit tired. I completely neglected my blog cause I just could not find the time and energy to post new stories.

Well it seams Dr. Arnold Kim has resolved his dilemma regarding medicine and blogging. This month he stopped practicing medicine and started blogging full time on his highly popular technology blog called MacRumors.

Read his story in The New York Times – My Son, the Blogger: An M.D. Trades Medicine for Apple Rumors

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