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Health News Results - 117

Norman Mayer, 86, walks around with a computer chip in his chest and doesn't think a thing about it.

Doctors implanted a tiny heart monitor chip in Mayer's chest after he suffered a mini-stroke in late 2015, to track his heartbeat and potentially detect an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (a-fib).

"You don't even know it's there," said Mayer, the sitting mayor of th...

Patients facing relatively simple outpatient surgeries are nonetheless being told to undergo a number of preoperative tests that just aren't necessary, a new study reports.

More than half of a group of patients facing low-risk outpatient surgery received one or more tests -- blood work, urinalysis, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a chest X-ray -- prior to their operation.

One-third of p...

When someone comes in for a new heart stent, it's critical that the medical team doing the procedure knows several key facts about previous stents the patient has had.

But fewer than half of patients receiving a stent were still carrying the stent card that has those details with them, a new study finds.

Most of them — about 88% — do carry their phones, according to study auth...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that strong magnets in some cellphones and smartwatches can interfere with pacemakers and other implanted medical devices.

Studies have shown that these high-strength magnets may cause some implants to switch to "magnet mode," stopping normal functioning until the magnet is moved away from the device.

Many implants have a "magnet mode...

A microchip implanted in the brain has allowed a paralyzed man to communicate by text -- at speeds that approach the typical smartphone user.

The achievement is the latest advance in "brain-computer interface" (BCI) systems.

Scientists have been studying BCI technology for years, with the aim of one day giving people with paralysis or limb amputations greater independence in their ...

Two widely used COVID-19 vaccines -- Pfizer and Moderna -- will likely remain powerfully protective against developing serious illness even if coronavirus variants somehow manage to infect vaccinated patients, new research suggests.

Both vaccines are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. And investigators say that, at least in theory, such technology can deploy multiple levels of defe...

A few days after his 74th birthday, Don Stivers received his dream gift -- a new heart.

"I was born with a very lousy heart," he explained. "Growing up, I decided I was going to overcome it and go to the Olympics and be a strong boy. And so everything I did was against doctors' orders. They said don't run, don't do this, but I did anyway, and I would turn blue and pass out, and my mother...

For those who suffer painful arthritis in their aging knees, new research suggests a noninvasive treatment might deliver lasting relief.

Called genicular artery embolization, the roughly two-hour catheter treatment involves a once-and-done injection of tiny hydrogel particles into arterial pathways in the knee joint. The goal: To decrease overall blood flow in the joint, and thereby marke...

Looking to shed some of those pandemic pounds? A new analysis says wearables like Fitbit and Apple Watch can help people slim down.

The researchers examined studies involving commercial health wearables and adults who were overweight/obese or had a chronic health condition.

After daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for a period between a month and a year, participants lost ...

One in four U.S. households use smart speakers to check the weather, play music and query search engines. But a new technology may soon have folks asking, "Hey Google, how's my heart?"

Researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, have developed a skill for Amazon Alexa and Google Home that allows the devices to check heart rhythms.

Like a bat using echolocation to hunt fo...

A new type of surgery offers amputees better control of muscles that remain after surgery, and of their prosthetic limbs, its inventors say.

The standard surgical approach to amputation has changed little since the American Civil War, according to developers of the new approach. In their small study, the new procedure also helped curb pain and sensations like the troubling "phantom limb" ...

Access to potentially lifesaving 3D mammography isn't equal, new research shows.

"This study was about whether adoption of this technology is equitable. We're showing that it has not been, even though it has been [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved for a decade now," said Dr. Christoph Lee. He is professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattl...

A steady sleep routine may do more than keep you well-rested: New research suggests that the more swings in your slumber schedule, the worse your mood and depression symptoms are likely to be.

Researchers from Michigan Medicine followed the sleep patterns of interns in their first year of residency after medical school. That irregular sleep schedule can increase a person's risk of depress...

As the new coronavirus vaccine rollout gathers speed, elevators will likely become a flash point for businesses hoping to reopen offices while sticking to social distancing.

And a new computer simulation suggests that the usual "first-come, first-served" elevator routine is neither safe nor practical.

"Now that vaccines are within reach, many buildings are slated for phased re-openi...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the marketing of a new "tongue strengthening" device to cut down on snoring in patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea.

Unlike devices used during sleep, this prescription device is used while awake, and is designed to stimulate and strengthen the tongue so that it doesn't collapse backward and obstruct the breathing airway durin...

Stroke survivor Ken Allsford focused intensely on how he wanted to bend his elbow.

And then the robot exoskeleton attached to his left arm obeyed his unspoken command, moving his crippled limb.

"It was a combination of exciting and trepidation, because sometimes nothing would happen," Allsford, 61, of Katy, Texas, recalled. "But when you actually see it move without actually making ...

Telemedicine rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic as people turned to their phones and computers rather than leave their homes for health care.

But some groups of people were left behind in the telemedicine boom, a new study reports.

Middle-aged and older folks are much less likely to complete their scheduled telemedicine visits, as well as Medicaid recipients and those who...

In late December, Dr. Ada Stewart asked her staff to check on a patient who had missed an appointment.

She soon learned that the patient had no transportation for the 45-minute drive, so Stewart offered to conduct the appointment by phone instead.

"It still accomplished so much. I was able to see how their diabetes was doing, how they were preparing for the holiday seaso...

Adults living with kidney failure are receptive to using mobile devices to help with their care, according to a new study.

Mobile health can provide many benefits for patients, especially for those whose care is complicated and who have dietary restrictions, researchers said. Whether people on dialysis are ready to incorporate mobile technology in their care would be a limiting factor.

For years, people with implanted heart devices have been told they can't undergo MRI scans. But a new study adds to evidence that, with certain measures in place, the procedure is safe.

The study focused on patients with older pacemakers and implantable defibrillators that were not designed to be more compatible with MRI scanners. The researchers found that when a particular protocol ...

Wide variation exists in the accuracy of commercial testing kits that check for antibodies against the new coronavirus, researchers say.

Antibody tests can determine whether someone has had the virus in the past. For diagnosis at a later stage of illness or in cases of delayed-onset, antibody tests could also be an important part of hospital diagnosis, the study authors said in the ne...

An artificial pancreas system is safe and effective at managing blood sugar levels in kids as young as age 6 with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.

The system uses a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to track blood sugar levels and automatically delivers insulin when needed using an insulin pump. It replaces reliance on fingerstick or CGM with delivery of insulin by injection ...

Kids suffering from nearsightedness can slow the progression of their myopia by using soft bifocal contact lenses, a new trial shows.

Bifocal contacts with a powerful corrective prescription slowed the progression of nearsightedness in youngsters by 43% compared to single-vision contacts, the results showed.

"The higher the reading portion of the contact lens, the better...

Virtual medical visits have been invaluable for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, but older adults may still need help managing them -- especially if they are hard of hearing.

That's according to doctors at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Writing in the Aug. 11 Annals of Internal Medicine, they offer some practical advice on navigating "telemedicine."

First a...

The coronavirus pandemic has fueled big increases in video visits between patients and doctors, but older Americans haven't easily taken to the trend, a new study finds.

More than one-third of those over 65 face difficulties seeing their doctor via telemedicine -- especially older men in remote or rural areas who are poor, have disabilities or are in poor health.

"Telemedi...

If you ever had a sex-ed class in school, you have probably seen a visual of sperm swimming with a wagging tail. Now, high-tech tools have shattered that view of how sperm move.

More than 300 years ago, a Dutch scientist used an early microscope to observe human sperm in motion. He saw that they appeared to swim using a tail that moved from one side to the other.

But scient...

Stroke patients in rural areas of the United States are less likely to get cutting-edge treatments and more likely to die than those in cities.

That's the takeaway from a new analysis of nationwide data on more than 790,000 adults who were hospitalized with stroke between 2012 and 2017. Most were 64 or older.

Compared to patients in cities, those treated at rural hospitals w...

Technology often makes life easier to manage, and new research confirms that's definitely the case for people with type 1 diabetes.

Continuous glucose monitors -- devices that approximate blood sugar levels every few minutes -- can help teens and young adults better manage their diabetes. They can also help older adults prevent dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), accor...

The first video game to help treat kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

EndeavorRx is a prescription-only game designed to help improve attention in 8- to 12-year-olds with ADHD who have confirmed attention problems.

It is the first game-based treatment authorized by the FDA for any condition.

Streaks of color swirl through a pulsing, black-and-white image of a patient's heart. They represent blood, and they're color-coded based on speed: turquoise and green for the fastest flow, yellow and red for the slowest.

This real-time video, which can be rotated and viewed from any angle, allows doctors to spot problems like a leaky heart valve or a failing surgical repair with unpr...

Bright yellow and looking like a headless deer, Spot can travel across ground too risky for humans. "Built for dirt and danger," in the words of its maker Boston Dynamics, this robot is now helping humans battle a different threat: the spread of coronavirus.

Equipped with an iPad and two-way radio, Spot has been making the rounds at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston since April. ...

Back before coronavirus took over the headlines, every week seemed to bring another report about artificial intelligence besting human doctors at everything from diagnosing skin cancer to spotting pneumonia on chest X-rays.

But these artificial intelligence (AI) tools -- computer programs that get better at performing a task by being "trained" on the right kind of data -- are years aw...

An injectable electrode could prove a better way to ease chronic nerve pain than opioid painkillers or bulky and expensive implants, animal research suggests.

It's called an "injectrode." It appears easier and cheaper than spinal implants for debilitating back pain, and safer than long-term use of opioids like OxyContin (oxycodone), a recent paper suggests.

A liquid silicone...

The latest addition to medical haute couture may be a necklace outfitted with a pendant that people can use to screen themselves for signs of an abnormal heart rhythm condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Fashioned by a team of Finnish researchers, the pendant houses a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) designed to transmit heart readings to a cellphone app and ultimately to a cloud-b...

Love to cuddle up? It might bring a 'mind meld,' too, new research shows.

People in close physical contact appear to have synchronized brain patterns, a revolutionary new MRI technique has revealed.

A functional MRI scan of two people cuddling under a blanket showed that their brains appeared to be falling into similar patterns of action and response, as they took turns gent...

For many COVID-19 patients battling for their lives in the ICU, a runaway immune system response -- known as a "cytokine storm" -- is their primary foe.

Doctors have few tools to help tame this hyperinflammatory condition, but early research is suggesting that nanotechnology might safely deliver drugs to affected tissues, quieting the storm.

It's so far only been tested in m...

Supplies of personal protective equipment remain scarce across the United States, especially the N95 respirator masks that health care workers use to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.

To help extend the useful life of available equipment, researchers and hospitals are turning to a long-known, if little-used, means of disinfection -- ultraviolet radiation.

"It's ge...

Testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus can be an unpleasant affair, with a doctor or nurse shoving a cotton swab deep into your nasal cavity to get a good sample.

But results that are just as accurate can be obtained from a more easily acquired saliva sample, a new Yale study reports.

Saliva samples taken from just inside the mouth were more accurate and consistent than deep n...

Contact lenses may someday do more than correct poor vision, with new, preliminary research in animals suggesting they could also monitor your diabetes and deliver medications.

The new lenses were designed to check blood sugar levels and to deliver drugs to the eye, possibly for the eye disease related to diabetes called diabetic retinopathy. After trying them out on rabbits, scienti...

Artificial intelligence may reduce the need for glioma brain cancer patients to have biopsies to determine the best treatment for their tumors, researchers report.

Currently, it's common to remove glioma samples from patients and analyze them to select appropriate therapy.

But scientists have been testing imaging techniques that might be used instead of biopsies to assess gl...

Next time you inspect your salad greens to make sure they look clean, consider this: Researchers are trying to determine if drying leafy greens using the spin cycle of a retrofitted washing machine is safe.

Some farmers use the method instead of expensive, commercial-grade spinners to dry leafy greens after they're washed. But it's not clear using a converted washing machine is safe.<...

Few think of the toilet as a font of valuable information, outside what you might read while you're sitting on the throne.

But a "smart toilet" is being developed that will help track your health by analyzing your excretions, researchers say.

The toilet would be fitted with technology that can detect a range of disease markers in stool and urine, said Seung-min Park, a senio...

Today's youngsters are as socially skilled as previous generations, despite concerns about their heavy use of technology, like smartphones and social media, new research shows.

The researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of more than 19,000 U.S. children who started kindergarten in 1998 -- six years before Facebook appeared -- with more than 13,000 who began school in 2010...

Researchers have come up with a new twist on antibacterial technology.

By giving a metal surface a different texture, the team at Purdue University in Indiana said it may be possible to turn that surface into an immediate bacteria killer.

The technique won't kill viruses like the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are much smaller than bacteria, the res...

THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With protective gear in short supply, Duke University researchers say they've designed a much-needed respirator for health care workers battling COVID-19.

The respirator was created by a medical and engineering team at the university and is being used by Duke Health doctors treating patients with suspected cases of COVID-19.

The ...

Long periods of time in space may cause brain volume increases in astronauts, new research shows.

Extended periods in space have long been known to cause vision problems. And more than half of International Space Station crew members have reported vision changes.

Increased pressure inside the head might contribute to vision problems, scientists have suggested.

To l...

Your smartphone could help stem the spread of coronavirus, British researchers claim.

How? Their proposal for an app would record other app users who had recently been in close proximity. If a user became infected, he or she would update their status on their smartphone app, which would instantly and anonymously contact those app users who had been near the infected person.

...

In the best of times, it can be hard to get mental health treatment. But these definitely aren't the best of times, and even for people who have established relationships with mental health professionals, the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder to find the right care.

The good news is that insurance companies are often reimbursing for telehealth behavioral health services now (e...

Researchers are gathering data from thousands of Americans to create an "early warning system" that can identify people in the early stages of COVID-19.

More than 12,000 people -- including thousands of health care workers in California and West Virginia -- are already wearing specially designed Oura rings that track their temperature, breathing, heart and activity.

"Our fi...

Yet another potential vaccine against the new coronavirus is in early development -- one that researchers say could be rapidly made and distributed if it proves effective.

The vaccine has only been tested in lab mice, but it's able to spur the animals' immune systems to produce antibodies against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Pittsbur...