Breakthrough Gene Therapy Approach Shows Promise for Treating Familial Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis

Researchers from the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) have developed a groundbreaking gene therapy approach that could provide hope for patients with familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL), an inherited immune deficiency characterized by severe systemic hyperinflammation.

The study, titled “Precise CRISPR-Cas9 gene repair in autologous memory T cells to treat familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis,” focuses on repairing mutations in T cells from a mouse model of FHL and two pediatric patients with the condition. The researchers utilized a CRISPR-Cas9 system based on adeno-associated virus (AAV), demonstrating successful repair and paving the way for potential clinical applications in FHL patients and other primary immunodeficiencies with monogenic T cells.

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Revolutionizing Pediatric Dental Care: Silver Diamine Fluoride Emerges as a Powerful Cavity Preventive

Cavities may soon become a relic of the past, thanks to a recent breakthrough in pediatric dental care. A pioneering study by experts at the NYU College of Dentistry has unveiled a highly effective and more accessible method for preventing cavities in children: silver diamine fluoride (SDF).

This groundbreaking research demonstrates that SDF can reduce the risk of cavities by an impressive 80%, with a remarkable 50% success rate in halting the progression of existing cavities. Unlike traditional dental sealants, which typically require a dentist or dental hygienist, SDF can be conveniently applied by a dental nurse, potentially transforming the landscape of cavity prevention and increasing accessibility.

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Revolutionizing Elderly Care: The Role of AI in Independent Living

As nations across the globe brace for an impending surge in their aging populations, a profound shift in elderly care approaches is underway. From Japan to the United States, the challenge of supporting an ever-increasing number of seniors looms large. Overcrowded nursing homes and staffing shortages underscore the urgency to seek alternative solutions for aging with dignity. Amid this landscape, a promising contender emerges: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

David Moss, CEO and co-founder of Care Daily, envisions a future where healthcare is personalized and centered within the home. Care Daily, a pioneering B2B AI SaaS (Software as a Service) company, stands at the forefront of this revolution. Their creation, the AI Caregiver, serves as a sophisticated software that orchestrates a symphony of devices and products. It gathers a wealth of behavioral and biometric data, seamlessly transmitting insights to both family caregivers and professional healthcare providers.

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GigXR Revolutionizes Medical Education with Hyper-Immersive Imaging Integration

GigXR, a pioneering company, has unveiled an innovative approach to integrating medical imaging into healthcare education. This cutting-edge technology, referred to as ‘hyper-immersive,’ is designed to empower nursing and medical students by enhancing their ability to visualize and interpret medical imaging scans with remarkable accuracy.

Unlike other scientific fields that have benefited from technological advancements, conventional medical imaging in healthcare institutions has lagged behind. GigXR’s breakthrough technology harnesses the power of eXtended Reality (XR), a high-fidelity immersive technology encompassing virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. By deepening anatomy and pathophysiology knowledge, GigXR has created immersive digital experiences that enable learners to connect key concepts across various courses and disciplines.

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Breakthrough in Remote-Controlled Ingestible Video Capsule Technology Expands Diagnostic Possibilities

Ingestible video capsule endoscopes have been revolutionizing medical diagnostics, but their limitations in control and movement have hindered their full potential. However, researchers at the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences have recently unveiled a groundbreaking solution: a pill-shaped capsule named NaviCam, which can be remotely controlled throughout the digestive system, offering a promising alternative to traditional endoscopy.

The NaviCam employs an external magnet and video game-style joysticks, allowing physicians to steer the miniature video capsule with precision. By visualizing and capturing images of potential problem areas, this technology presents an innovative approach to screening for health issues such as ulcers or stomach cancer in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Andrew Meltzer, a professor of Emergency Medicine at the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences, highlighted the advantages of magnetically controlled capsules over invasive procedures, stating, “A traditional endoscopy is an invasive procedure for patients, not to mention it is costly due to the need for anesthesia and time off work.” The introduction of magnetically controlled capsules could provide a quick and non-invasive method for health problem screening.

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Stanford Engineers Develop Soft Electronic Skin for Direct Brain Communication”

A team of engineers from Stanford University has achieved a significant breakthrough in the field of wearable technology with their creation of a soft electronic skin that directly communicates sensory information to the wearable tech, surpassing previous iterations that relied on external devices. The Stanford experts have also showcased a spray-on skin capable of understanding hand gestures and a smart bandage that transmits wound-healing progress to a CPU.

While previous electronic skins transferred data to chips or external devices, the soft e-skin developed by the Stanford team converts temperature and pressure sensations into electrical signals suitable for direct communication with the brain. This innovation mirrors the nerve impulses generated when the skin’s nerve endings perceive sensations.

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Unveiling a Genetic Breakthrough: Enhancing Cancer-Killing Cells and Extending Lifespan

In the pursuit of extending healthy human lifespans, scientists have achieved a remarkable breakthrough that marks a significant milestone in the field. Researchers from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan have uncovered a genetic modification in mice that can empower cancer-killing cells, increasing their effectiveness by two to seven times while extending their lifespan by up to 20 percent.

Building upon last year’s groundbreaking study, the scientists have now successfully replicated these extraordinary outcomes in ordinary mice through a single transplant of blood stem cells. The findings, published in the scientific journal Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, hold immense importance, according to Che-Kun James Shen, the lead researcher of the study. He believes that these findings could have profound implications for human health and anticipates that clinical trials could commence as early as the end of this year or next year.

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A wearable ultrasound sensor provides real-time cardiac imaging

The wearable ultrasound sensor is roughly the size of a postage stamp, can be worn for up to 24 hours, and works even during strenuous exercise.

By Dr. Chinta Sidharthan

In a recent article published in the journal Nature, a team of researchers described a wearable ultrasonic device that allows cardiac function to be assessed directly in real-time, with improved coupling between human skin and the device, making the examination of the left ventricle during motion possible from different views.

The continuous monitoring of cardiac function is essential for detecting cardiac dysfunction and managing cardiovascular disease in surgical and critically affected patients. However, the real-time measurement of cardiovascular health is difficult with existing non-invasive methods, either due to the bulkiness of the devices or because wearable devices can only detect the signals on the skin.

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Virtual nurses, bots, AI: Digital health predictions for ’23

By Giles Bruce

A “headline-grabbing” health system/digital health company merger? Less digital health investment from hospitals? More virtual healthcare workers to meet staffing shortages?

These are some of the predictions health system chief digital officers made for the industry in 2023. Here are those digital health forecasts for the new year, as told to Becker’s by nine executives:

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Introducing Dentaverse, a virtual reality platform that is changing the future of dentistry

Dentaverse is a virtual environment where users can interact with one another, attend and host events and even present and learn about dental treatments and products.

By Jeremy Booth

BRUSSELS, Belgium: On 1 December, dental professionals from around the world gathered for the launch of a new, virtual reality (VR) environment called Dentaverse. Based on Web3 technologies, Dentaverse aims to create a meeting point for the global community of dentists, dental students and dental industry professionals. According to its founder and CEO, Martin Ravets, the platform has the potential to bridge the gap between physical and virtual oral care and to overcome the barriers of time and distance in order to create a truly inclusive international dental community.

Dental Tribune International (DTI) spoke with Ravets just hours before the launch using video call technology that connected DTI’s editorial office in Leipzig in Germany with Dentaverse’s headquarters in Brussels. Popularised during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, streaming and video call platforms can only take connectivity to a certain point. Commenting on the immersive experience that Dentaverse offers—including through the use of VR headsets—Ravets said: “If we were meeting there, we would have eye contact and you could see and follow my gestures and body language, and I yours. It would be a completely different type of interaction.”

Let us take a step back and explain exactly what Dentaverse is. Popular community-based web tools—such as Instagram and LinkedIn—underpin the platform, and these are mixed with new Web3 technologies, like blockchain, metaverse and cryptocurrency payment, in order to create a virtual environment where users can interact with one another, attend and host events, and even present and learn about dental treatments and products.

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Study: Medical debt threatens people’s health, housing

Soaring medical debt is setting U.S. adults up for higher risks of eviction, food insecurity and bad health outcomes regardless of insurance or income, a new study found.

By Sabrina Moreno

Why it matters: Uninsured or middle-to-low-income patients are more likely to get stuck with medical debt while the rich are largely spared. But even private insurance offers little protection against unaffordable bills, according to the study published in JAMA Open Network on Friday.

  • “Private insurance is a defective product. You pay for it and then when you get sick, there’s co-payments, there’s deductibles, there’s out-of-network fees, there’s things that aren’t covered at all,” said Steffie Woolhandler, a physician and public health professor at Hunter College who co-authored the study. 

The big picture: More than 100 million Americans live with medical debt, per an investigation by Kaiser Health News and NPR.

  • Mounting costs coupled with stagnant wages can force people into delaying necessary care, taking on multiple jobs, sacrificing essentials like groceries and depleting savings to the point of financial ruin.

Yes, but: People in states that expanded Medicaid reported an average of $3,000 less in medical debt than those in states who hadn’t, signaling a link between comprehensive coverage and lower bills.

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Mawi launches a patch to track your heart health faster and in real time

By Haje Jan Kamps

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of needing continuous EKG monitoring, you’ve probably used a Holter monitor. It’s like carrying a 1980s walkman made of metal with a bunch of wires going from it to your chest. If that sounds uncomfortable, and as if you won’t sleep or enjoy showers much for the two weeks you need to carry it around, you’ve neatly stumbled across the use case for the Mawi Heart Patch. The company just released its product, a two-lead cardiac monitor that can be read in real time.

There are consumer-grade products that can do EKG readings, including the Withings ScanWatch (and its fancier-looking sibling, the ScanWatch Horizon), and there are other patches on the market, such as the Zio patch, but Mawi claims to have done something unique, and suggests that its Heart Patch is the first ever single-use, two-lead cardiac monitor to reach the market.

The company describes it as “a stick-and-go, wireless solution” and further suggests that the disposable nature of the device is a benefit; it means that cardiologists can run tests on as many patients as they need to without having to wait for reusable Holter monitors to come back from other patients and get sanitized and maintained between uses.

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