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Bandu: Can Monitoring Your Stress Levels Help Lower Them?

The older I get the more stress I seem to have in my life.  Between work, education, family, and hobbies there is always something else I should be doing, but simply don’t have the time for.  The world we live in is increasingly filled with more demands than we could ever possibly meet.

We have amazing new technologies that help make our lives better, but there is little that can be done for how overwhelmed our society has become.  With all of the added stress that our lives bring, maybe the only way to really reduce our stress is to realize where it is occurring and then look to reduce it.

Neumitra is a company that is working to do just that.  They have developed a new wearable device that can monitor your stress levels in order to help you lower that stress and improve your life.

The Bandu looks similar to a wristwatch and tracks your stress levels tying them to specific locations so that you can physically see where your highest stress levels are.  Once you realize where those locations are you can take steps to lower your stress there.  In tandem with tracking your stress the Bandu can also alert you to when your stress level is rising and provide suggestions for ways to lower that stress.

This seems to be the next step in these types of devices.  We have been able to monitor various health indicators for quite awhile, but now these devices are also providing solutions to those problems.

For more information about the Bandu, including screenshots and a demo video, you can visit their indiegogo site.

You can also read an interview with the company’s founder, Robert Goldberg, at MedGadget.com.

October 30, 2012 I Written By

Detecting Parkinson’s with a Phone Call

Smartphones can do just about anything these days.  I will not be at all surprised when they develop a smartphone to clean your house, and I will also be the first one in line to buy it.  One of the new amazing technologies that is being developed by Max Little, Ph.D. at MIT.

The Parkinson’s Voice Initiative is developing a voice based diagnostic to aid in the detection of Parkinson’s Disease.  Dr. Little is also a TEDGlobal 2012 fellow and you can find his TED Talk on the subject on this page.

You can also find a great interview with Dr. Little by the people at MedGadget on their website.

According to MedGadget at least 5% of Americans over 80 have Parkinson’s in some form.  Obviously the first step in helping these people is detection.  This new technology has a detection accuracy of 98.6 overall accuracy.  That is pretty incredible when you consider the relatively simple concept.

Like so many of these technologies, the smartphone can bring these benefits to people who never could have used them before.  A patient wouldn’t even have to visit a lab to make the recordings, they could simply call in on their phone.

Technology like this can’t help but make me wonder what other diseases we could be detecting and curing that we haven’t even thought of yet.  What diseases do you think could be aided by smartphones?

August 21, 2012 I Written By

iPhone Plugin Device for Measuring Body Temp

As I browse through websites looking for stuff to write about I can’t help but see some little gadgets and apps that appear to be purely for the sake of creating a gadget.  Don’t get me wrong, any little gadget is fun for the nerdy side of me, but some devices are a little more practical than others.

MedGadget.com, which is full of all kinds of gadgets and devices big and small, has a short article about a device that attaches to your iPhone and can be used to measure temperatures of all kinds.  The ThermoDock is a small device that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone.  You then point the device at what you want measured, push a button, an infrared sensor detects the temperature, and it is logged for future reference.

Obviously there is some value in such a device, like when your kid suddenly comes down with a fever.  What I don’t see though is how you would have this little attachment, but not a regular thermometer?  A lot would depend on the accuracy of the device too.

Like I said before, I love little gadgets that do just about anything.  At my old job at the airport, we measured the temperature of the ground just for fun, and to justify our whining (the sensor read 125 degrees).  So I do see some fun in this product.

However, I don’t really see this as a ground breaking technology, but maybe I am wrong.  Please leave me a comment and let me know how wrong I am, and how wonderful and useful this device could be.

April 4, 2012 I Written By

Tattoos that Vibrate Could Have Numerous Applications

Tattoos are a pretty polarizing subject.  Most people either think they are awesome, or think they are disgusting and/or desecrate the body.  Personally, I have always thought small simple ones can be very cool but have never gotten one because of the whole permanent nature of the process.

Scientists are now working on a way to make tattoos that can vibrate much like your cellphone.  In fact, that is one of the applications that they are hoping to make work.  According to an article in the Toronto Star, you wouldn’t have to be right next to your phone if you were waiting for an important call.  You could be out swimming or otherwise exercising and when you felt the tattoo vibrate you could retrieve your phone and not miss the call.

There is a whole slew of ideas for applying tattoos in healthcare, many of which have been covered by MedGadget, and like many other ideas this one may still be years away from becoming a reality, but it does get you thinking about the things that have seemed impossible becoming a reality in the not so distant future.

What kind of technology would you like to see become a reality?

March 26, 2012 I Written By