Category: Technology

Physicians wearing blue scrubs helping a patient walk with a walker and a brace in a medical facility

Learning to walk again

Categories: News  /  rehabilitation  /  Technology  /  trauma

For those who’ve found it hard to walk after an injury or a stroke, technology can help them relearn how to walk. The Ekso exoskeleton is a kind of wearable robot that allows patients to stand and walk. Sensors in the device control its movements as the patient shifts weight. “It’s kind of a training tool to help the patient figure out how to weight shift so that they can get back to the normal pattern of walking,” said Gabrielle Canales, a physical therapist at University Health System’s Reeves Rehabilitation Center, where the device is used. Ms. Canales has been …Read More >

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A little boy sits on the stairs and looks at his iPhone in distress from cyber bullying

Helping your kids make safe and healthy decisions online

Categories: Blog  /  Children's Health  /  Technology

It seems like almost every week brings a scary new online threat to the safety and well-being of our kids.  Recently, a troubling story made the news regarding an online “game” of increasingly intense and cruel challenges — one that ended tragically for a local teenager. It might feel overwhelming as a parent, helping your child navigate the ever-changing world of apps, games and websites. But the best way to keep your kids safe is to keep open the lines of communication. And if you have a teenager, you know that can be easier said than done. Make a point …Read More >

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Up close view of the optic nerve

Saving eyesight from a distance

Categories: Diabetes  /  News  /  Technology

Of all the potential complications of diabetes, blindness is certainly among the most devastating for patients. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults. The tiny blood vessels in the retina — the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye — become weakened by high blood sugar and leaky over time. The good news is, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. However, that requires regular eye exams — a simple and painless screening that many people with diabetes neglect. To make it easier, University Health System …Read More >

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Four doctors operate on a patient in a medical facility

A safer way to repair hearts and reduce the risk of kidney damage

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology

The ability of doctors to thread catheters and stents through blood vessels has transformed medicine — often providing an alternative to big incisions and long recovery times. More than a million catheterizations to repair the heart and its vessels are performed in the United States each year. But for some patients with kidney disease, those catheter procedures come with a big asterisk. Contrast dye, used to allow doctors to see blockages and other problems, can be toxic. Healthy kidneys can flush the dye out of the body quickly after a procedure. But for patients with poorly functioning kidneys, the dye …Read More >

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A Melody TPV valve with leaflets closed

Replacing a leaky valve without surgery

Categories: Children's Health  /  Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology

Like a lot of children with congenital heart defects, Christian Encizo faced the prospect of multiple open heart surgeries throughout his life. He was born with pulmonary stenosis, a faulty valve linking the right ventricle of the heart and the lungs. At age 6, he had his first major operation to replace the bad valve with an artificial one. Earlier this year, Christian, now 11, began getting tired and short of breath. The old valve was beginning to leak and needed to be replaced. But rather than undergo another open heart surgery, Christian now had an alternative, his doctors at …Read More >

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A young baby in yellow lies on a bed smiling with a tube in its nose

A video chat with baby

Categories: Children's Health  /  News  /  NICU  /  Pregnancy  /  Technology

It’s one of the most joyous times in life — the birth of a baby. But sometimes medical reasons can keep mom and baby apart for hours, days or even weeks. That the time when physical and emotional bonds are formed. And while separation can’t always be avoided, University Health System’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is using some popular technology to make it easier on both mother and child. Baby Chat uses iPads and Apple’s FaceTime application to allow the newborns to hear the sound of their mother’s voice, and for moms to see and hear the movement, breathing and …Read More >

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A hand holds a small hearing aid against a lime green background

High-tech help for hearing

Categories: Blog  /  Technology

What do cell phones, TV’s, and hearing aids have in common? They are all getting smaller and smarter with new advances every year. Gone are the days of oversized hearing aids. Say hello to small, sleek devices that are often virtually unnoticeable. Not only have hearings aids taken a giant leap in appearance, but they have also made major progress on the inside as well. Think back at how different your cell phone is today compared to the cell phone in your pocket 10 years ago. Hearing aids have made the same progress into today’s wireless world of endless possibilities. …Read More >

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A lit up piece of lab equipment in a medical facility

A promising new treatment for cancer

Categories: Cancer  /  News  /  Research  /  Surgery  /  Technology

A new treatment for cancer using minuscule radioactive fat particles injected directly into the tumor holds promise as a powerful, highly targeted therapy with minimal side effects. The treatment, developed by researchers at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center, is undergoing clinical trials. The first patient, identified as David Williams, 54, was treated for brain cancer at University Hospital last week.  But the researchers believe the concept will be useful for other types of solid tumors as well. Dr. Andrew Brenner, a neuro-oncologist, is the principle investigator of the study. Other centers have been …Read More >

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A hand in a white gloves holds up a medical instrument

Tiny heart pump keeps transplant patient alive

Categories: Heart Health  /  News  /  Surgery  /  Technology  /  Transplants

Mark Kennedy had finally gotten the call from University Transplant Center that a new liver was available. The 59-year-old and his wife made the hourlong drive from their home in Austin to University Hospital for the transplant. The transplant appeared to be going well. But as the surgeons were nearly finished, Mr. Kennedy’s condition began to change. Perhaps from the stress of the surgery, he went into cardiac arrest and showed clear signs of a major heart attack. He went into shock. Complicating the treatment options was the fact he was bleeding, and his new liver had not yet taken …Read More >

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A layered and iridescent shell swirls into itself

Hearing the sound of birds again

Categories: Blog  /  Technology

Few medical advances are important enough to get their own day. But International Cochlear Implant Day is celebrated Feb. 25, and it’s worth taking a minute to understand why many people feel this technology is worthy of all the attention. A cochlear implant is a surgical device that provides babies and adults who are deaf or no longer benefit from hearing aids the ability to hear sounds and, over time, the possibility to understand speech.  Everyone has a different experience with cochlear implants.  Some won’t benefit at all, some will only hear environmental sounds and for many others it’s a …Read More >

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