Treatment

Medical innovations are rapidly expanding therapy options for many diseases. Keep reading to find more information on new therapies, surgical techniques, effective medication and patient care.

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Airborne emergency support

Drone delivers defibrillator

Thanks to extended permissions obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Sweden, autonomous drone company Everdrone will soon provide 200,000 people in Sweden with access to emergency…

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Surgical robotics

Elevating outcomes of surgery

What’s in a name? In the case of Asensus Surgical, Inc., previously known as TransEnterix, Inc., the recent rebranding doubles as a mission statement for the manufacturer of surgical robotics systems: The initial ‘A’ stands for artificial intelligence and augmented surgery, reflecting the company’s emphasis on new technologies designed to enhance the operator’s cognition (‘sensus’…

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Gender and medical career

Neurosurgeon, wife and mother of three: breaking social bias against women

Running a neurosurgery department when you’re a woman is rare enough, but if on top of that you’re a mother of three, you’re an exception. You’re also living proof that it is possible to combine a demanding profession with the challenging task of bearing and raising children. Because there are still too little incentives that facilitate women’s professional development, a leading Spanish neurosurgeon shared her experience to raise awareness in a course on diversity during the recent EANS meeting.

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Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

A new approach for treating bile duct cancer

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) develops within the liver. With one to two cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, ICC is one of the rare diseases overall, but it is the second most common…

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Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

AI to help fight asbestos-related cancer

International genomics research led by the University of Leicester has used artificial intelligence (AI) to study an aggressive form of cancer, which could improve patient outcomes. Mesothelioma is…

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Malignant brain tumor

Successful test for mutation-specific vaccine against diffuse gliomas

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated…

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Role of end-of-life support

Covid-19: a 'stress-test' for palliative care

A new report shows how palliative and end of life care in the UK was compromised by shortages of PPE, essential medicines, and equipment, because these services were not seen as ‘frontline NHS’…

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Reparative hydrogel

Fixing traumatic head injury with 'brain glue'

At a cost of $38 billion a year, an estimated 5.3 million people are living with a permanent disability related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States today, according to the Centers…

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Interventional Radiology

Endovascular simulator – your coach for complex interventions

With interventional procedures becoming more and more complex the demands on the interventionalists are also increasing. Endovascular simulators allow practical angiography training. In December…

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A change of heart

New study sees huge turnaround in Covid-19 vaccine sceptics

More than four in five (86%) people who were unsure or said no to a Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020 would now take one, or have already been vaccinated, finds the latest research by the Virus Watch study conducted by University College London (UCL). The new findings, part of UCL Virus Watch’s longitudinal study of over 46,000 people in England and Wales, show the fall in vaccine hesitancy was…

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Asymptomatic disease spread

Why vaccines alone may not be enough to end the Covid-19 pandemic

Even as vaccines are becoming more readily available, protecting against the asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Covid-19 is key to ending the pandemic, say two infectious disease experts at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In their Perspective, “SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Without Symptoms,” published in the journal Science, they make the case…

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Shaping daily activities for elderly fragile people

Meet 'Tessa' the little robot helper

‘Hello Tessa. Do you know what I’m doing today?’ a fragile, elderly woman asks tentatively. The small robot she’s addressing has a decorative plant on its head and is wearing a jacket. This is not a funny fantasy. Tessa has proved ‘her’ usefulness and acceptability. The little robot results from a year-long pilot project recently completed in the Netherlands by the Groene Kruis…

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Nueva sigla para crear más conciencia acerca de los ataques cerebrales

¿Sospecha de accidente cerebrovascular? actua 'RÁPIDO'

Los investigadores acaban de establecer un nuevo acrónimo en español con el objetivo de crear un mayor nivel de conciencia en la comunidad hispana acerca de los síntomas de los ataques cerebrales. Conocido como RÁPIDO, la intención de este nuevo acrónimo es replicar el equivalente popular que existe en inglés de FAST. En los estudios se ha mostrado que hoy en día los adultos hispanos…

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Venous cannula system

New circulation implant to bridge the waiting time for donor heart

With the first-in-man implantation of the Berlin Heart Venous Cannula at the LMU University Hospital Munich, Germany, Berlin Heart offers patients with a failing Fontan circulation a unique chance to survive the waiting time for a donor heart. These patients are in a life-threatening condition: their health has deteriorated so much that they desperately need a new heart, but because of their poor…

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Gender bias in cardiovascular health

Heart attack: chest pain misdiagnosed more often in women

Chest pain is misdiagnosed in women more frequently than in men, according to research presented at ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The study also found that women with chest pain were more likely than men to wait over 12 hours before seeking medical help. “Our findings suggest a gender gap in the first evaluation of…

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Gastroenterology

Capsule cameras to test for cancer and diseases

Miniature cameras which patients can swallow to get checked for cancer are being trialled across the NHS. The imaging technology, in a capsule no bigger than a pill, can provide a diagnosis within hours. Known as a colon capsule endoscopy, the cameras are the latest NHS innovation to help patients access cancer checks at home. Traditional endoscopies mean patients need to attend hospital and have…

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Covid-19 collaterals

Coronavirus impacts heart surgery across Europe

Cardiac surgery across Europe is being set back as a result of the ongoing coronavirus. Operations are being postponed, treatment delayed, and critical care staff have been redeployed to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on health services. However, gaining a clear picture of the Europe-wide situation, and the long-term effects coronavirus will have on heart surgery, is a challenge…

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Covid-19 impact on vaccination

Antibiotic resistance could make diphtheria ‘major global threat’ again

Diphtheria – a relatively easily-preventable infection – is evolving to become resistant to a number of classes of antibiotics and in future could lead to vaccine escape, warn an international team of researchers from the UK and India. The researchers, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, say that the impact of Covid-19 on diphtheria vaccination schedules, coupled with a rise in…

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Delay in treatment for serious illness

Digital Covid-19 'symptom checkers' may do more harm than good

Digital Covid-19 ‘symptom checkers’ may stop some patients from getting prompt treatment for serious illness, suggests an international case simulation study. Both the US and UK symptom checkers consistently failed to identify the symptoms of severe Covid-19, bacterial pneumonia, and sepsis, frequently advising these cases to stay home, the findings indicate. The availability and use of…

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Evaluation of contact-free interaction model

Talking to a 'robotic doc'? Most patients wouldn't mind

In the era of social distancing, using robots for some health care interactions is a promising way to reduce in-person contact between health care workers and sick patients. However, a key question that needs to be answered is how patients will react to a robot entering the exam room. Researchers from MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently set out to answer that question. In a study…

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Alarm system 'ELISE'

A digital 'co-pilot' for paediatric intensive care

Working in intensive care units poses special challenges for healthcare workers. They have to safely and reliably detect whether the condition of their seriously ill patients is deteriorating in a life-threatening way, and they have to do so under great time pressure because every minute counts. The stress level increases even more when the patients are children and adolescents. In paediatric…

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Immersion is key

Hemodialysis: Virtual reality lessens side effects

Hemodialysis patients routinely experience side effects such as fatigue, lightheadedness and nausea during their treatment sessions. But patients in a study who used a virtual reality program to engage in a mindfulness/meditation exercise reported that these treatment-related symptoms were greatly reduced. Patients in the study wore a head-mounted virtual reality display to participate in a…

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Curbing collaterals

High energy radiotherapy ‘paints’ tumours, avoids healthy tissue

A radiotherapy technique which ‘paints’ tumours by targeting them precisely, and avoiding healthy tissue, has been devised in research led by the University of Strathclyde. Researchers used a magnetic lens to focus a Very High Electron Energy (VHEE) beam to a zone of a few millimetres. Concentrating the radiation into a small volume of high dose will enable it to be rapidly scanned across a…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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Immune response or breast cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes after Covid-19 vaccination: what women should know

For many women, swollen lymph nodes are a red flag pointing to breast cancer – but may also be a normal immune reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. So, to avoid anxiety or downright refusal of the vaccine, the Society of Breast Imaging Patient Care and Delivery Committee has developed a comprehensive resource to help patients understand the most important facts and guide them in making the most…

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Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made over the past 40 years. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU and UK for 2021, published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor…

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After the coma

Prolonged anesthesia 'rewires' the brain

Prolonged anesthesia, also known as medically induced coma, is a life-saving procedure carried out across the globe on millions of patients in intensive medical care units every year. But following prolonged anesthesia--which takes the brain to a state of deep unconsciousness beyond short-term anesthesia for surgical procedures--it is common for family members to report that after hospital…

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Wearable for blood pressure, heart rate, glucose and more

New patch monitors multiple markers at once

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a soft, stretchy skin patch that can be worn on the neck to continuously track blood pressure and heart rate while measuring the wearer’s levels of glucose as well as lactate, alcohol or caffeine. It is the first wearable device that monitors cardiovascular signals and multiple biochemical levels in the human body at the same…

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Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

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Experimental therapy

CRP apheresis: First successful treatment of Covid-19 patient

Apheresis, a procedure that separates removes particular blood constituents, has so far been primarily used with myocardial infarction patients. Now, however, it seems to be a promising approach for Covid-19 cases: the first patient successfully underwent so-called CRP apheresis. The treatment does not target the virus but can prevent potentially fatal consequences of the infection.

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Survival prediction

Deep learning may lead to better lung cancer treatments

Doctors and healthcare workers may one day use a machine learning model, called deep learning, to guide their treatment decisions for lung cancer patients, according to a team of Penn State Great Valley researchers. In a study, the researchers report that they developed a deep learning model that, in certain conditions, was more than 71% accurate in predicting survival expectancy of lung cancer…

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at least a month after discharge, according to new findings published in the European Heart Journal. Damage includes inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), scarring or…

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