Category: Technology

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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An iPhone rests on the center console of a car while the rest of the car's interior is out of focus

Keeping your focus behind the wheel

Categories: Blog  /  Children's Health  /  Emergency care  /  Surgery  /  Technology

As someone who takes care of children and adults who are seriously injured in car crashes, I was happy to see the city of San Antonio pass an ordinance banning the use of hand-held phones while driving. I believe it will save lives if people follow the law. Unfortunately, cell phones aren’t the only cause of distracted driving — although they are a major cause. Across the nation on average, distracted driving kills more than nine people each day and injures more than 1,153. To put it plainly, distracted driving increases the chances you will be in a motor vehicle …Read More >

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People race through a busy airport with yellow signs

Let’s loop San Antonio

Categories: Blog  /  Technology

An estimated 36 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Even when using the best hearing aids, some people with hearing loss continue to experience difficulty understanding in noisy or group situations. Imagine the frustration of a person who has been waiting at the gate for the airplane to board, only to learn that she missed the flight because she did not hear the overhead announcement that the gate was changed. Fortunately, technology exists to help people hear better in situations like these. Induction loop systems use a …Read More >

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An up close view of a little boy's ear and cheekbone

A helping hand for your hearing

Categories: rehabilitation  /  Technology

“Can you hear me now? Good!” No, this isn’t an ad for a cell phone company.  It’s a glimpse into the life of an audiologist. October is Audiology Awareness Month, and lots of people don’t know all the ways we can help. As an introduction, audiologists are medical professionals who specialize in evaluating people with hearing loss, as well as various vestibular — or balance — disorders. Audiologists also provide non-medical treatment options through hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored-hearing-aids and other assistive devices.  Audiologists help promote hearing conservation, and can make custom hearing protection and other recreational devices. Audiologists hold …Read More >

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A newborn baby girl is wrapped in a striped blanket and wears a pink hat as she lays down

Saving precious sight

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

It’s among the happiest moments for new parents, when their baby makes eye contact and smiles in recognition. But for very premature babies, a common and potentially blinding eye disease can rob families of that moment. More than half of all infants born 10 or more weeks prematurely have some level of retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP — a disease in which blood vessels in the back of the eye grow abnormally. That can lead to scarring and detachment of the retina. About 5 to 8 percent require treatment, which involves destroying the abnormal blood vessels with lasers or a …Read More >

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A person holds a syringe as they prepare to inject themselves with insulin

Stable blood sugar? There’s almost an app for that

Categories: Children's Health  /  Diabetes  /  News  /  Research  /  Technology

Technology moved a little closer to the long-sought goal of helping diabetics maintain something close to normal blood sugar levels, around the clock, without the ordeal of endless finger sticks and insulin injections. And yes, it involves an iPhone app. Although not yet available, researchers at Boston University reported in the New England Journal of Medicine this week they had achieved much more stable blood sugar levels with a “bionic pancreas” in two small studies of type 1 diabetics — one involving 20 adults, and the other 32 adolescents attending a diabetes camp, over the course of five days. In type …Read More >

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A doctor uses AccuVein on a patient to locate their veins accurately

A viewfinder for veins

Categories: News  /  Surgery  /  Technology

It’s an unavoidable part of almost any hospital stay — having blood drawn or an IV line inserted. The process becomes a little more complicated when the nurse has trouble locating a vein. But a handheld device is making that search a little easier, allowing nurses and phlebotomists to view the blood vessels deep beneath the patient’s skin. The AccuVein device shines a small, square patch of crimson light on the skin. The technology takes advantage of the fact that the hemoglobin in the blood absorbs infrared light. Within the red square, a highway map of veins appears almost black and …Read More >

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

Up on two feet again

Categories: News  /  Technology

It looks like something out of science fiction. But a new bionic suit being used at University Health System is helping patients with paralysis or lower extremity weakness regain strength and movement. The Ekso exoskeleton — a kind of wearable robot — allows these patients to stand and walk under medical supervision. In the process many relearn how to move and step. Sensors in the suit signal the device to walk as the users shift their weight. This gait training can help those with stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injuries, multiple sclerosis and other conditions. Pedro Lozano …Read More >

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A man wearing a Fitbit bends down to tie his running shoes

A personal trainer for your wrist

Categories: News  /  Technology  /  Wellness

It’s like they suddenly blossomed on wrists across America — those little rubbery bracelets with names like Fitbit and Jawbone. They’re digital fitness trackers — high-tech descendents of those little step-counting pedometers that were popular a few years back. But these devices contain sophisticated tools that measure a lot more than steps. While features between devices and brands vary, most measure the intensity of your workouts. Some monitor your heart rate and estimate your calorie needs — even the quality of your sleep. But mainly they take your own personal goals for weight loss and fitness, and help you track …Read More >

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An adult female nurse receiving an intramuscular immunization from female doctor

Sounding the alarm on flu

When the flu virus tried to sneak into San Antonio a couple of flu seasons ago, it was Kathleen Lawless who sounded the alarm. Lawless, manager of Microbiology Services at University Health System, oversees a staff of 45 medical laboratory scientists and some impressive technology occupying a maze of labs on University Hospital’s third floor. She and her team hunts down and identifies the viruses and bacteria that make people sick. They have plenty of business, in a sprawling healthcare system that handles 830,000 outpatient visits and 22,000 hospital admissions each year. With such a large volume, the lab often …Read More >

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