The Power And Perils of Telemedicine For Patients

A variety of technological solutions have completely transformed the scope of modern health care. Today’s patients can easily get in touch with doctors or other medical professionals by email or text message. This allows many to avoid time-consuming appointments altogether. Unfortunately, telemedicine isn’t exactly risk-free. Before perusing this option, it’s important to be aware of the many opportunities and hazards it poses. Exciting Opportunities At its best, telemedicine improves convenience. It’s a wonderful tool for patients who reside in rural areas or struggle to access transportation. Typically reserved for minor ailments, telemedicine solutions can deliver swift diagnoses for common problems…

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How Virtual Reality Is Already Changing Health Care

New technologies such as 3D imaging and robot-assisted surgery have dramatically altered the health care industry in the last few years. Further changes are on the horizon, with some holding the potential to completely transform every aspect of the patient experience. Virtual reality, in particular, is poised to revolutionize how we interact with health care professionals. Below, we highlight a few of the areas in which VR is already making a difference: Promoting Relaxation Patient anxiety can have a decidedly negative impact on long-term outcomes, leaving many to avoid checkups and necessary hospital visits altogether. VR can provide considerable relief…

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Safe Driving Apps: Do They Work?

Distracted driving is a huge public hazard; the National Safety Council reports that distracted drivers cause 1.6 million crashes annually. According to tech gurus, however, the very devices that distract us could also make us safer drivers. Skeptical? You’re not alone. Read on to learn about the latest safe driving apps and whether they could actually improve behavior behind the wheel. AT&T DriveMode Available on both Android and iOS devices, AT&T’s DriveMode silences incoming text messages and send calls to voicemail to reduce the urge to look at your phone while driving. The free app is activated when your vehicle…

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Opportunities and Risks of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Could robot-assisted surgery be the future of healthcare? Advocates certainly think so. According to proponents, the use of robotics in surgery would lead to greater precision than humans can demonstrate alone. Currently, robotics primarily play a role in minimally invasive procedures involving small incisions. Benefits of Robot-Assisted Surgery Currently, robotic systems allow physicians to perform complicated procedures with greater precision. In select situations, robotic systems are better capable of providing the delicate care and small incisions patients require. Additionally, the use of robotic systems can lead to fewer surgical site infections and other complications. Robot-Assisted Risks As with any surgery,…

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Autonomous Car Crashes: What Causes Them?

Some would say it was bound to happen eventually. In March, the ridesharing platform Uber made the news in spectacular fashion when one of its self-driving prototype vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. In theory, at least, autonomous cars are supposed to make us safer because human error gets removed from the equation. This accident underscores that developers may still be far from realizing that goal—and critics have already used the incident as a push to eliminate autonomous vehicles completely. So if autonomous (i.e., self-driving) vehicles are programmed properly, why would they ever be involved in an…

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Thinking of Getting a Hoverboard for Your Child? Think Again…

Since hitting the market in 2015, the self-balancing scooters commonly called hoverboards have been seeing their reputation worsen almost by the day. Most of us have heard the reports of some of these products spontaneously catching fire or exploding due to overheating lithium batteries, prompting several airlines and transit authorities to ban them completely. As recently as last November, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued yet another recall on numerous brands of hoverboards over fire dangers. However, fire isn’t actually the biggest threat a hoverboard poses to your child—at least from a statistical point of view. It’s injury due to…

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Medical Implant Devices and the FDA: User Beware? (part 2)

We previously discussed an ongoing public health concern where the FDA’s approval process for medical devices appears to be dangerously lacking—to the point that many devices get released to market without a clinical trial. What does this truth mean for you or your loved ones who might need an implanted medical device? What steps can you take to stay safe? Do Your Own Research If your doctor recommends a certain medical device, you don’t have to assume it’s safe because your doctor says so. Find out about the device—not just what it is and what it does, but who makes…

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