Monthly Archives: June 2016

Technological Innovations in the Medical Field Make Devices Smaller

tc2Significant changes are emerging in the medical imaging industry with innovations that move away from expensive, large, stationary, and complex systems to smaller, easier to use, and more accessible devices. Technological advances mean imaging capabilities will no longer be confined just to large hospitals and institutions. Rather, they will begin showing up increasingly in small hospitals, physicians’ offices, and on wheels outside medical settings.

Newer imaging technologies focus on combining ease-of-use with higher levels of accuracy, allowing information to be accessed efficiently, while providing higher throughput. These new solutions are cost effective and can be used in a variety of clinical applications.

Of the systems entering the market, many offer systems that do not require specialized training. For example, GE Healthcare’s CardIQ Function Xpress contains a fully integrated post-processing and analysis tool tailored specifically for cardiac use. Boston Scientific received 510K approval for its iLAB Ultrasound Imaging System, which has an easy-to-upgrade platform that promotes the advancement of innovative technologies.

Facilitating Information Sharing

Digital imaging has made it possible to share information with multiple team members via wireless communication. The iMRIsneuro, owned by the University of Virginia Health System, is a multifunctional, moveable, high-field MRI that allows a medical team to scan, review, and share information during a surgical procedure.

Digital imaging also allows for the integration of intraoperative procedures with imaging guided surgery to provide real-time data. This reduces surgical time, increases efficiency, and helps medical facilities recover their investments more quickly because they can schedule more patient scans per day.

Portability also is emerging as a standard component of medical imaging systems made with lighter materials to allow for transport to multiple sites. The majority of new FDA 510K approvals for imaging systems feature designs that allow for portability. For example, Digirad Corporation’s XPO System can be configured or fixed for mobile operation and services many different sites. Mobile imaging services currently comprise 70 percent of Digirad’s annual revenue.

Other companies investing in the development of mobile imaging technologies include Toshiba, GE Healthcare, Siemens, and Teratech. There is a trend emerging in Europe in which systems are using higher slice configurations. Both Toshiba and Philips market systems that use 256-slice configurations in cardiology imaging that result in a 256 mm coverage area. A 256-slice CT, for example, can perform a full bank of five key diagnostic tests on the heart or tests in the brain thereby exposing the patient to far less radiation. This equates to as little as one-eighth to one-third of the dose required in testing with the 64-slice scanner.

Innovation Trends

Medical imaging systems will continue to get smaller and more mobile, and in the foreseeable future, hand-held imaging devices are likely to become more prominent. Mobile imaging systems also will give first responders, the military, and others access to the technology, especially in remote areas where large, stationary devices are impractical. They will greatly improve survival rates in circumstances such as a stroke, when there is a small window in which to diagnose and treat a patient.

In fact, the medical imaging industry already is manufacturing smaller, portable units that are user friendly and provide highly accurate diagnosis with little patient discomfort. The newer designs are more cost effective by allowing for quicker more accurate diagnosis and allow for use over a variety of applications.

Future innovations will see the technology get increasingly smaller as hand-held devices used for screening and diagnosis become more prevalent. These small imaging devices will allow access to more people no matter where they are which will allow the medical community to quickly diagnose and treat a problem.

The University of California, Berkeley, is currently working on cell phone that could one day be used to make medical imaging accessible to billions of people around the world. The phone would be hooked up to the data acquisition device then transmit the raw data to a central server where the information would be used to create an image. The server would then relay the image back to the cell phone, where it can be viewed on the cell phone’s screen. This will significantly lower the cost of medical imaging because the apparatus is at the patient site and the technology greatly simplified. There is no need for personnel highly trained in imaging processing.

Hybrid Imaging Combines Methods

The use of hybrid imaging methods over single-method scan also will increase steadily over time, especially in the field of oncology. Image fusion in particular is increasingly useful in merging two or more different images to create one “fused” image. Studies have found that hybrid systems were able to detect the presence of cancer better than single systems allowing for early treatment.

Philips currently markets the Precedence SPECT/CT system, a hybrid system that allows physicians to perform SPECT and CT scans simultaneously. It then fuses images from the two scans, providing physicians with crucial information about metabolism and structure. Philips also developed Syntegra, a multi-modality software that automatically superimposes physiologic data (such as PET) with anatomic data (CT or MR). The real-time data aids in the identification of tumors, shortens the radiation therapy planning cycles, and results in more confident diagnoses.

The use of hybrid technology will continue to emerge as the combination of imaging methods proves to be more effective in diagnosing problems over singular imaging methods. Fusion of multiple image data from multiple systems will be used to recreate accurate anatomical structures. With the market forecast to increase by 6 percent annually through 2010, innovative designs will continue to keep competitors on their toes.

Technology Innovations in Water

In Europe, there are significant challenges with regard to water quality and quantity. As reflected by the Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources, almost half of Europe’s freshwaters are at risk of not achieving good ecological status, the main objective of the EU Water Framework Directive by 2015, with adverse effects on biodiversity and public health and hampering the provision of ecosystem services. Water is a vital resource but it faces some great challenges such as water scarcity, pollution and ecosystem degradation. These challenges become more and more pressing as the climate is continuously changing and the world population increasing.

Wastewater treatment innovations can:

  • Lower the costs of wastewater treatment through waste recovery and reuse
  • Minimize environmental pollution
  • Streamline the detection of chemical and biological contaminants at extremely low levels
  • Increase the total available water resources
  • Decrease the risks of contaminant exposure
  • Narrow the gap between water supply and demand

Significant investments and industrial technologies are needed to maintain water infrastructures inside Europe and in other developed countries. As we concluded in another article, most innovations in the area of wastewater treatment focus on the premise that water can be a valuable resource. Researchers in this industry focus on developing advanced technologies to reuse wastewater and to make these technologies more cost-effective.

Globally, we are challenged to find better ways to manage water and reduce the negative impact on the environment. Common goals of research labs and technology developers include increasing efficiency in industrial processes, minimizing environmental consequences, and enhancing the available water infrastructure. Because of the lack of appropriate methods in wastewater treatment, environmental contaminations are still frequently detected. Efficient and applicable techniques for removing pollutants remain a challenge of a high environmental and public health significance. New economically, environmentally and easy methods for water treatment are needed.

We need innovative solutions that meet both technical and economic criteria. Innovation needs to improve the way industries and municipalities manage their water resources at lower costs and higher quality. For these cost-effective and high-quality innovations to happen water providers, research scientists and technology developers need to partnership closely. The financial costs of water reuse are stringent issues for the private and public sector on which we, as technology developers must focus. Common goals of water resource professionals include increasing efficiencies in engineering processes while minimizing environmental consequences, preserving public capital investment, and enhancing the level of service of costly but necessary water infrastructure.

Technology Innovation Asus Padfone

Innovation is the name of technology and so Asus has come out with an innovative product called Asus Padfone. The Asus Padfone is speculated to be priced at $1000. This product is a Smartphone that fits into the dock of the tablet and has an Android platform.

The phone features

The ASUS Padfone is a Smartphone that runs on Android. This Smartphone fits in the specifically designed dock in the Asus tablet. The tablet is good to look at and the Smartphone fits well in the doc provided. Overall, the Padfone has metallic edges with glossy black bezel. The Padfone has a super AMOLED touch-screen that measures 4.3 inches and 960x540resolution. The buttons provided for locking the screen and power on are well designed; the left hand side of the device contains USB port to facilitate charging, it also has an HDMI port for multimedia support functionality. These ports can be used when you dock the Padfone in the station and then connect it for charging or to your TV for viewing videos.

This phone has a dual-core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB RAM, this clearly indicates that it is capable of performing heavy internet and gaming activities without any lag. It has internal memory storage of 32GB; this too is expandable with the card slot provided at the rear end.

The Padfone Station

When we look at the innovative concept of Padfone by Asus, in one glance it is easy to notice the modular design approach incorporated. As soon as you place the phone in the Padfone station, you will be able to display the contents into a tablet with 10.1 inches of screen. All you need to do is slip the phone in the Padfone station and within a few seconds of locking the phone the device is ready to use.

The memory, processor and connectivity options are already available in the phone but the tablet is facilitated with a battery power of 6600mAh. This tablet supports 900 and 2100MHz (3G) in Australia. The only drawback it seems to have is that it is relatively bulkier as compared to other products. The thickness of the station measures 13.5mm, this is why it seems thick. When the phone is in the dock the whole device weighs 853 grams, this is clearly indicative how much heavy this device becomes when compared to other Android devices.

The overall the design is attractive but then again there is a flaw when it comes to the latch of the Padfone station. When you keep the device flat on a surface you will find it rocking due to the latch door protrusion. This creates a hindrance if you are trying to type with on-screen keyboard.

Apps and the functionality

Even after bringing out an innovative product in the technology market, the reason this might not catch the fancy of a techno geek is the lack of apps. A user will be disappointed when it comes to apps; most of the apps available for Android devices are unavailable for Padfone as these are yet to be designed according to the screen size of the tablet. Nevertheless, a user will find basic apps like Twitter, Spotify and Facebook.

You need to be careful while handling Padfone, especially when you are already working on an app or constructing an e-mail. Remember not to remove it from the device, this will result in loss of work or remove the app from the tablet.

Performance

When it comes to the performance of this tablet one might find it disappointing at times. when you are swiping through the startup screen on your Padfone then you may find it working smooth; performing the same function while the phone is in the doc will somewhat lag in performance and seem sluggish. Another thing to notice is that the apps seem to work fine on the phone as compared to tablet view. The screen flickers for a split second when dislodging the phone from the station.

Software of Asus Padfone

The software used in this device is Vanilla by Google (Android). The user will find some added apps that are provided by Google. For example, MyCloud for storing 32GB data online that is available for three years, File manager for managing documents, MyNet for media and content (DLNA) and MyLibrary.

Additionally a user will also find other basic apps such as weather widgets, e-mail functionality and a utility for Padfone Station.

Camera and Multimedia

Padfone has 8mp camera, you will be able to capture decent pictures and shoot good videos. The sharpness of color and image quality is good. The functionality of autofocus is not as expected. However, the camera quality is better when plugged into the station. The device contains a front facing camera for video chat with 1080p HD recorder.

In addition to camera, you will find a speaker right next to the docket; this is capable of loud and clear voice. Another interesting thing to notice is the stylus that doubles up the duty of a Bluetooth headset. You can use it on the tablet as well as receive call while the phone is plugged in the device.

All that can be said about this product is that it does seem worth it when it comes to concept technology. Asus Padfone is scheduled to launch on 14 August, lets us hope that this device is successful in pulling majority of technology users.

The Technological Innovations

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With the passage of time, technology is getting more and more advanced. Mobile phones are one of the devices which are most impacted by the advancement in technology. Day by day handset brands are launching new devices with enhanced features. Growing competition is also one of the factors which is enforcing the mobile manufactures to release the handsets with new and innovative features.

Samsung is one of the big brands which has launched a plenty of handsets with sophisticated features. Apart from the features, this brand has always got a widespread popularity due to the stylish looks or its handsets. In the present mobile phone market stagnation leads a company to decline. So it becomes necessary for every handset brand to enhance the technology of its handsets. As a matter of the fact, the technological advancement attracts the users towards the handset. Keeping same approach, Samsung has adopted 3G technology, and is launching the gadgets with a number of features desired by the users of the present time. Moreover, Samsung manufactures the handsets for the users bearing every kind of interest. Some of the users like the gadget with a large number of sophisticated features. On the other hand, there are some other users who require handsets just for communication purpose and wants these devices with less features.

To understand the Samsung mobile phones properly, a few handsets can be taken as instance. The Samsung i8510 INNOV8 is one of the innovative devices of this mobile phone brand which comes with a number of advanced features. One of the most desirable features of this smart device is its 8 MP camera. This camera is able to capture the images in crystal clear view at the resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. Several other features are also provided in this device to add more fun in the photography. LED flash feature of this device allows the users to take the high-quality images in the dim light. Autofocus, geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection, image stabilisation and wide dynamic range, are the other camera features of the i8510. Besides camera features, this handset consists of other features which are supposed to be necessary in the sophisticated handsets. These include, Internet, high-end messaging features, entertainment, Bluetooth and many other. GPS-support is also available which is proved to be a boon the the modern technology.

Another nice handset by Samsung is the Samsung S6700 which consists of good features for a common person as well as working professionals. About the camera feature of this handset, it has 3.2 MP camera with also produces the good quality images. Other camera features are almost similar to those of i8510. For working professions, the handset consists of document viewer option which enables the users to work on Ms-office and PDF documents even on the go. Entertainment, gaming, messaging etc., are also available in this smart device. GPS is available also in the S6700 also.

One of the simple Samsung mobile phones is the Samsung S3650 Corby. It is a lightweight device with only 92 grams of weight and the dimensions of 103 x 57 x 13 mm. Some other features like, SMS. MMS and Email for messaging, Bluetooth, interesting games, media player etc., are available in this device but GPS is lacking. The S3650 has 2 MP camera which produces the images at the picture resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels.

Undoubtedly, Samsung mobile phones have every feature that are enough to win the hearts of the present day users. Many more such handsets by Samsung are in the pipeline which are expected to provide more better options to the users. It can be hoped that as the technology will be more advanced, the Samsung handsets will be launched with more and more features with a number of features which are not yet imagined

Car Accidents in Technological Innovation

Technological evolution includes both successful innovations as well as catastrophic failures. If we look at the history of technology as contingent — in other words, just one of many possible outcomes — then every event, whether intentional or accidental, affects the outcome. Instead of beginning at the global level, sometimes it benefits us to focus on one specific technological object or event and work outward from that point. The automobile has many systems that support its existence. Sometimes, a car breaks down, and sometimes aspects of the system itself break down.

With the constant movement of vehicles on the road, it is a statistical inevitability that accidents will occur. The car accident is one event in the wider technological system that can be focused on to derive insights about technological progress and technological failure. The direct followup in the sequence of events following a car accident is the need for car repair. To look at the overall system like an ecological system, we can see that the need for car repair results in the emergence of a car repair industry.

The focus on car repair is helpful because it allows us to see a relationship in which the car accident and car repair interact with each other. Automotive repair is but one component of the overall support system for the vehicle, but its emergence shows us that large technological systems form organs for repair and maintenance much like in living organisms. From the relationship between car accidents and repair, one should next move to the larger “organism”: the automobile itself.

From where does the automobile emerge? What does the car’s ubiquity tell us about ourselves? The car (and the internal combustion engine) can be said to be a combination of two of our earliest technological leaps: the wheel and fire. A car, in a sense, is also a projectile, like an arrow hurtling toward its target. The automobile is a combination of speed and vision. The car does not stand alone; it is always connected to other technologies. Entire industries are based around fueling it. Networks of roads and highways are constantly maintained and improved to support it. It presents us with a number of unsolvable problems: the accident, the traffic jam, the unexpected vehicular malfunction. The automobile has changed the way we live and view ourselves in relation to the greater global community. The changes that the car and the “car accident” have brought into the world are many, and our lives as we currently live them would not be possible without the existence of the automobile.