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Dogs and Coved-19

Can Dogs be used to Detect COVID-19?

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Can Dogs be used to Detect COVID-19? Sense of smell is often unappreciated but in reality it is a very vital sense as it allows us to perform various things without even physically touching or seeing them. The ability to smell is a part of the chemosensory system. That has special sensory cells. They are located in the nasal cavity, they have nerve cells called olfactory cells which send information to your brain. Then the brain processes it and identifies what the specific smell of.
The sense of smell has been used for ages to know specific places or to remember things. It allows you to bring back memories. Study says it has smell has 65% accuracy as compared to that of vision which is 50%. Sometimes you enter the house and without even looking you can guess what’s for dinner because it has that familiar smell to it. It can stimulate emotions e.g. how you feel good after smelling the petrichor. It doesn’t stop their danger and the bad smells alert your brain to be attentive, so we can avoid the situation. So this gives us an overview how important the sense of smell.

Animals have a great sense of smell. They perform very important tasks thanks to their sense of smell. The prime examples are Elephants are aided by their trunks and it helps them in surviving the difficulties of the jungle, they can locate water up to 20 km away. Bears that use their sense of smell to hunt for food, danger, and their young ones. Their sense of smell is 2,100 times better than humans.
Now come the most common animal that is found among the humans are dogs. They also possess a heightened sense of smell because they have 300 million olfactory receptors which is almost twice as much as humans, they are often relied on their nose to perform lifesaving tasks. They also alert the owners about dangers e.g. trained dogs can locate a bomb. Not only that they can pick up human emotions as well so whenever you are sad or anxious it’s likely that your dogs are aware of it.

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This strong sense of smell is being used by doctors for a greater purpose. Dogs have been trained to detect different types of diseases in humans. Some dogs are being trained to detect Parkinson’s disease. During a test a dog selects 1 out of 4 shirts, one of which was worn by a Parkinson’s affected patient, and three of them were worn by a healthy person. The dogs also help the scientists in developing some early detection techniques, because they can expose the cancer cells through saliva and even breath. They even help you by telling you about the low blood sugar levels. They alert you about low or high blood sugar levels. These are obviously heightened through training.

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Now given the global scale of the COVID-19 everyone is trying to help however they can. Some scientists in the U.S are training dogs to detect COVID-19. They are using a technique known as Odor imprinting. Through this they can detect COVID-19 in people through their saliva and urine, they detect low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Scientists are claiming that with training of 6 weeks dogs will be able to detect these VOCs. Once dogs get familiar and trained they will be able detect COVID-19 in patients, each individual dog can screen up to 250 people per hour. These are still early stages the scientist are even unsure if it has a specific odor or not, but dogs are known for detecting even the small changes in human physiology such as fever etc. If there is a specific odor this could help in prevention of the spread of disease. Trained dogs could be deployed at public areas such as airports so they can look for persons that might be positive with this disease. This would be fast, non-invasive and a cheap way to detect COVID-19 as most of the world economy is being affected by the pandemic. Dogs can help us in containing Do you have any suggestions that can provide such a simple and inexpensive solution? Do you think scientists will be able to perform this feat by training the dogs to detect COVID-19? Because in these stressful time by we can prevail only by standing together and helping each other out.

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M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.

Technology against covid-19

COVID-19 and Role of Technology

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2020 opened with a disaster of Australian bushfires but it didn’t stop there it had something else in the bag for the world. COVID-19 has shadowed the world right now, no place on earth is safe such is the spread of this dreadful disease is. During these trying times any help that people can gather comes as a spring of life for people. All the professions and fields of work are trying their level best to introduce new technology against COVID-19 to counter this situation. Similarly, tech isn’t lagging, in these contemporary times when most of our lifestyles revolve around tech related goods and equipment tech must keep up the pace with a pandemic of such scale.

A lot of app developers are partnering up with pharmaceutical companies and doctors to provide patients the ease of consultation and tele-medicine at their homes. They can log in to these apps by downloading them from either Playstore or Appstore depending on what OS you are using. These apps are really helpful as they help with any minor inconveniences you might face during the lockdown. People can access them and ask for consultations on diabetes, hypertension, etc. by adding in technology against COVID-19, the developers said this can help millions of people stay safe as they would not leave the security of their houses and get the opinion of world-class doctors and pharmaceutical experts.

COVID-19 came in hard and swift and as it was a first of its kind pandemic medical experts and healthcare workers didn’t have much time to prepare. To counter this a free online resource has been launched. This assure that every healthcare professional receives the essential knowledge about how to keep themselves and their patients safe. They also provide access to any updates and new guidelines regarding the research taking place all over the world. It is a very critical step because in all the rush of COVID-19 it is critical that we keep our front line defenders i.e. healthcare workers ready and prepared.

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Facebook is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. They also own Instagram and WhatsApp, so the reach they possess is enormous. The owner of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated $13.6 million to research that is dedicated to COVID-19. This research is being conducted in collaboration with some of the biggest in institutes in the world. This research aims to find out how exactly COVID-19 spreads and what areas are being affected the most and the reasons for it. They are planning on compiling this data and handing it over to the concerned parties so they can be more effective in their fight against COVID-19.

Another great initiative being taken by medical companies is designing a test that is easy to use. Tech has allowed us to develop safety measures and methods that may be impossible to produce in the past. These test kits allow the patients to perform a test by themselves. Cotton swabs in the shape of Q tips are being used to collect samples from the nose and saliva. These are then put into an airtight sealed bag that comes included with a test and sent to a lab for molecular testing. This is a safe way to get yourself tested in a time where lockdown is being observed, this will allow you to get tested without even stepping outside your home.

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Wearables are playing a vital role in containing COVID-19. Countries have introduced bracelets that keep track of the patients that were tested positive for COVID-19. They allow the doctors and healthcare workers to closely track their patients without being physically there all the time. They also double as a strict tracking and tracking device, allowing governments to keep track of people who are infected so they can observe if the patients are observing the rules of their isolation or not. The authorities are notified if the patients breach the guidelines of their isolation or if the bracelet gets powered out. This is a great way to keep the spread of COVID-19 under check as the number of cases is increasing day by day.

All of these examples show us how in contemporary world tech can help us in fighting COVID-19 to the fullest. Which of these technologies you think is groundbreaking? The world is going through a tough phase right now but with all of the big tech companies pitching in we can fight this together and move towards the containment and eventually the elimination of COVID-19.

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M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.

Hospital Architecture Design

Hospital Architecture Design Trends and Modern Technology

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Technology is being considered as the gateway to new possibilities. Many of the hospitals are installing technological advancements in their facilities. If you lack the proper knowledge about these or you think that your facility lacks all the modernity and attractiveness, this is the right time to educate yourself about technology trends being used in hospital architecture design.

It’s only right that day by day advancements in technology should also be bought in the healthcare department. E.g. the procedures involving checking in are made swift with the help of digital kiosks & the level of healthcare patients receive is improved with the introduction of tele-medicine. If you want to give your hospital a chance to reach its maximum potential you’ll need to concentrate on these healthcare / hospital architecture design trends.

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Digital Kiosks:

Hospitals can greatly benefit from the installation of digital kiosks, as they are easy to operate and the facilities don’t have to store large bundles of paper, the data is online and can be looked at in an instant. Using digital kiosks also reduces the chances of mistakes made by the administration staff. Here the two-fold usages of digital kiosks come to play, before an appointment patients are presented with wait-time information and all the digital paperwork. They serve a lot of purposes like they help people who might be stressed or have hearing problems it also eliminates the need of having a physical receptionist. It also makes the process of payment easier for the patient as all they have to do is swipe their credit card into these kiosks and the payment will be made to the bank.

Tele-medicine:

More than 50% of hospitals are using tele-medicine. They connect through video calls and provide consultations. This is not limited to doctors and patients only, doctors are using it to get a second review from other qualified doctors present in other places. They keep the patients in the loop and they don’t have to come in for minor inconveniences. There are cardiac monitors and bottles which remind patients that it is time for their medication. Patients can get consultations from the doctors wherever they are with the help of big halls and rooms which are fitted with computers consisting of large video cameras and screens.

Virtual Reality:

Technology can be the guiding hand during the design process. How we do business with our clients can be greatly impacted and enhanced by the use of Virtual Reality (VR). VR lets you do things that might be surreal in real life, e.g. feeling a 3D design of the hospital. This then leads to aid our clients in making decisions that are more suited to the building’s layout. E.g. a 3D model can help if the equipment being installed comfortable for patients or not? They can also keep the patients by showing them different calming landscapes or maybe by experiencing their favorite video on YouTube.

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Mobile Computer Workstations:

The hospital staff can view the information and other critical data as they move from one to another via wheeled workstations. This is critical as doctors work in shifts and this will help them to bridge the gap that change in shifts might create. Doctors can come in and monitor their patients on the go and not waiting for someone to fill them in on their situation.

Sensors and wearable technology:

Wearable technology can help the staff of hospitals to keep a closer eye on the patients. They convey real-time data to the staff, so they have the patients under observation 24/7. They can continuously look for infected cells in your body and may alert the user about it. They also keep track of your vitals and will know if you are suffering from a stroke. This kind of personalized care to all which would otherwise take a lot of manpower and time to accomplish. Wearables are proving to be an increasingly popular way to diagnose chronic health conditions. The faster a patient is diagnosed the faster the treatment gets underway.

Healthcare staffing management technology:

50% of expenses procured at a hospital are of staffing and labor. Staffing management technology can keep those costs to the minimum without foregoing patient care. Implementing this into your hospital will make it more reliable and efficient that too at a reasonable cost.

Robotics:

Contemporaryhospitals are equipped with robotics which aid them in different surgeries. They help the surgeons by making small incisions instead of making large ones. Their small size allows them to reach those nooks and corners which might be impossible for a human hand to reach. Other useful healthcare technologies consisting of robotics are exoskeletons which can help the paralyzed patients walk. Foreign objects in the body can be manually removed from the aid of Nanobots.

There are a number of technologies like these, that if used correctly can be a big step forward in the right direction. Do any other similar technology related to hospital architecture design comes into your mind that can revolutionize the way we treat our patients and run our facilities? Write in the comment section to add that in the list as well. You can’t even imagine how much it can help the healthcare communities and save how lives.

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M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.

Eye Surgery

Rise of Robots in Eye Surgery

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Robots are taking over the world of surgery day by day. Alone in the U.S 570,000 surgeries through robots were performed in the year 2014. All of the departments are getting their specific technology made so they can benefit from it. Eye surgery is also leaping forward and they are developing robots that are revolutionizing how we go about eye surgeries.
Surgeons all over the world are always looking forward to innovations. When da Vinci robotic surgeries first came to the scene it blew everything away. Robots are now entering the world of eye surgery. They are presented with a 3D view of the eye via a microscope. An extremely trained surgeon who is extensively trained in the ways of this machine is required. Because the slightest of mistakes can result in vision loss. Robots allow them to do access to the places which are difficult to reach and provide the much needed stability that a human hand simply cannot fathom.

Past of Robotic Eye Surgery:
In the past robots were used to carry out a single task or play a second fiddle to the surgeons they were not as advanced as they are now in the present age. The earliest attempt was made in France dating back to the 1980s that aided in the surgery by allowing 3D movement and the hand could rotate up to 4 degrees to avoid any tissue damage. The scientists developed a steady hand manipulator that was pressure sensitive. There was a tool that allowed for better hand eye coordination and there were 52% fewer errors, because it removed uncontrolled tremors. All of these aid in the process of surgery but they made the duration of surgery longer.

Present of Robots in Eye Surgery:
The research has not come to an impasse still a lot of new technology is being introduced. Over the years the process has become faster and a little cumbersome. A 70 year old man in the UK was treated with the help of robots, this could have been done through the hand too but the precision required was immense. So, as we know the eye consists of membranes, the doctors made a small and precise incision was made in the eye with the help of a thin needle and removing a membrane that was microscopic. This was the first of its kind operation which relied on the robots. The doctors said I was relaxed during the surgery I could even let go and the robot would hold its position. A device like da Vinci is under testing stages that will allow the surgeons to perform lens capsulorhexis in cataract surgery and retinal vein microcannulation. All this can be done remotely after it passes the initial tests.

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Future of Robots in Eye Surgery:
A lot of new techniques are being tested and tried and the future of robotic surgeries looks solid. When paired up with laser surgery the robotic surgeries could prove a useful combination. The aim is to make the process faster without losing any precision and credibility. LASIK surgery is becoming fully automated and require little to no human help. All these procedures can help greatly in preserving the most precious gift of the human body the ability of sight.

Advantages of Robotic Eye Surgery:

  • Robotic surgery gives you far greater precision and accuracy as compared to conventional methods.
  • It allows a greater area to work for surgeons due to its design. They can easily work around difficult areas and can operate on areas that were hard to reach before.
  • Humans can make mistakes as sometimes the hand is not stable enough, but it doesn’t happen with robots as it holds its place.
  • As it involves computers, it can be accessed remotely giving rise to the option of teleoperation.

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Disadvantages of Robotic Eye Surgery:

  • As the equipment is not very common so it costs a lot to buy this equipment and it doesn’t stop there the maintenance of these machines is also very costly.
  • A lot of man-hours go into learning these machines, only the people who are trained extensively can be allowed to use these machines.
  • They can malfunction at any given point as they are only a mechanical component.
  • As the technology is relatively new the data collected from them can be shady and it can lead to poor decision making during a critical situation.

All these advancements in robotics are revolutionizing the way we deal with eye surgeries. Are you excited about what the future holds? The sense of vision is one of the most important senses and if these processes can help in preserving it we should be more open towards them.

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M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.

robot-assisted-surgery

Robot Assisted Surgery with Modern Robots

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Surgical procedures that are performed via robotic systems are known as robot assisted surgeries. There are certain boundaries to what a conventional surgery can do, to overcome them robot assisted surgery is used. It aids the surgeons during an open surgery by increasing their capabilities.

A surgeon has access to the controls to the robots during a surgery. He uses them to move robots that are fitted with the tools required to perform the operation. These controls aid the surgeons operate accurately and can perform surgeries that are accurate. First time a robot was used it was for a surgery on a leg in Vancouver circa 1985, voice command was used to control the robot. Since then a lot of progress has been made, robotic surgeries have become more common over time. Studies show us after becoming approved in the 2000s it has been on the rise. When we look at the numbers from previous decade in 2014 only an excess of 570,000 surgeries involving robots took place. Big hospitals are opting more and more for surgeries that use robotics. It has been used in every department since its inception. Thoracic, heart, gastrointestinal, gynecology, spine, urology are the few departments that are befitting from robotic surgeries. Especially urology and gynecology are the biggest users of it.

The most common type of robot assisted surgery is called da Vinci. It consists of robotic arms, surgeons use these robotic arms to create the incisions. Camera and robotic arms, 4 in total are used which make incisions which are 1 to 2 centimeters long. A console consisting of hand and foot controls are used in this surgery. A 3D image is created with the help of lenses. Hand controls assist with the movements and the foot controls help with how much energy you want to perform the motion with. The advantages of this are a very minute amount of pain, size of scars are small & little blood loss because of the small size of incisions made.

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Pros of Robotic Assisted Surgery:

When we look at the advantages that surround surgeries done by robots they are quite a few. Surgeons can now be more precise with the help of 3D imaging, they feel more comfortable controlling the arms eliminating the hand tremors, and can focus more and maybe able to perform techniques not possible with the conventional surgery. The edges that of robot provide are simple yet effective, for the patient they include small size of cuts made and reduced blood loss which leads to faster recovery, hence a faster return to their normal life.
Many studies indicate that the advantages provided by surgeries through robots are short termed and there are no hard facts that support its role in the long run over the conventional way of performing surgery. We will take a short example here of laparoscopic prostatectomy that is performed by robots, it has all those things which we talked about before lower blood loss and shorter hospital stays. Some studies concluded that robotic assisted surgeries are more efficient at removing the cancerous tissue. U.S is performing well over 85% prostatectomies with the help of robots. Some report the added benefits of robotic surgeries to include fewer complications and with little or no wound infections as compared to the traditional method of surgery. Another study shows that people undergone robotic assisted surgery have less control over their urine and have an increased chance of erectile dysfunction as compared to those who go under the knife the more traditional way. But again there are no hard facts to support this claim.

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Cons of Robotic Assisted Surgery:

The obvious danger a mechanical thing can pose is that it can break down at any time and if it does that during surgery it will pose a larger threat instead of helping the cause. It costs a lot when patients opt for robotic surgery as the machinery used is expensive and requires to be maintained regularly. It is also tiresome for the surgeons as it requires a lot of time to learn. They have put in hundreds of hours before they can perform robotic surgeries. Finally they have a large footprint and they can congest the already tightly packed operating rooms.

The hospitals need to use robotics in this new technological era but they have to make sure they are hiring the right people for the job and create room for innovation so that the risk can be minimized and more complex and diverse surgeries can be done. Proper steps should be implemented so the patients receive what they are paying for. Do any other similar technology for Robot Assisted Surgery comes into your mind that can revolutionize the way we treat our patients and run our facilities? Write in the comment section to add that in the list as well. You can’t even imagine how much it can help the healthcare communities and save how lives.

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M. Ahmad Zia

M. Ahmad Zia is a technology entrepreneur and a researcher in healthcare technology. Click the link below to get in touch with him.