Vascular brain injury can result from conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, have found out that there is an inverse correlation between vascular brain injury and memory and the ability to problem-solve. This means that these types of injury have a greater influence on cognitive impairment of the elderly than the level of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain.

For this study, 61 people from Northern California, aged 65 to 90 years old, were recruited between 2007 and 2012. For more details, please refer to the full article: JAMA Neurology, February 11, 2013

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The journal of Oncology has recently launched its App for the Cancer Management Handbook. The Cancer Management Handbook has been for years an essential resource for physicians, with up-to-date information about treatments and the latest updates in the oncology field. Now, this journal goes a step forward offering an application for tablets, interactive and very easy-to-use.

Almost everywhere in the world, the effects of the economic crisis are clearly visible in reduced budgets for healthcare expenditure. Many clinical centers are, therefore, choosing for refurbished or used equipment. There is a difference, though, between refurbished and used. If we consider the example of CT or MRI scans, the vendors dismantle the used equipment, bring it to their facilities and old pieces are replaced, software updated and a fully quality check is done. In addition, these devices have a warranty. Used equipment, however, is normally sold by a retailer and it does not have anything done to it. Choosing one or another will depend a lot on the clinic’s requirements and budget.

Refurbished equipment can be a very good option, when you need to add capacity to your existing facilities, or if you are doing routine scans, which do not require the latest technology. One way or another, the choice is out there, but the decision is up to the buyers.

Lugnegård, director of product management at Sectra has written an interesting article about the role of Radiology in the future of Healthcare. Radiology, according to him, is a “natural hub and is in an excellent position to help coordinate the best care”. Through better integration of the clinical process and implementing smart workflows that help save time and money, he believes Radiology can play a key role in making Healthcare more efficient and improving care quality.

For more information, click here.

The use of mobile medical apps on tablets and smartphones is becoming more and more common in healthcare. Therefore the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has included medical imaging applications in a new draft guidance document. It is not yet final. Comments and suggestions may be submitted to the FDA until October.

Microsoft Research has come up with a virtual tool for physiotherapy. The idea behind it is to motivate people recovering from injuries to do their exercises. AnatOnMe is a device that projects images of the bones muscles and ligaments inside the body onto the patient’s own skin. This is a novel implementation of augmented reality as the augmented world is projected on the patient. An image of the underlying bone structure, muscle tissue, tendons, or nerves is projected onto the skin, giving patients a better understanding of the injury, and of what they need to do to help the healing process.
The device consists of two parts: the first one contains a projector, an ordinary digital camera, and an infrared camera. The second contains a laser pointer and the control buttons. The system is not meant to be very accurate, and the image of the internal injury is not precisely map onto the patient’s exterior, the therapist simply points the projector and lines it up by eye. The images displayed are not actually taken from scans of the patients but come from stock graphical images used to show one of six different types of injury. However, it works pretty well to educate patients and help them better understand their injuries.

Open or Wide Bore MR?

May 25, 2011

That’s the question researchers from Germany try to answer in the CLAUSTRO trial (start Feb 2011). According to the authors: “The goal is to analyze the rate of claustrophobic reactions and clinical utility of an open MR scanner in a randomized comparison with a recently designed short-bore but closed scanner with 97% noise reduction. This trial will be the first to appraise the potential for claustrophobia reduction and clinical relevance of open MR scanners in claustrophobic patients with a clinical indication for MR imaging. Furthermore, this trial will analyze and compare the cost-effectiveness of the two MR scanners, which is important in view of the enormous annual loss of healthcare productivity due to claustrophobia during MR imaging. Also, patient preferences and image quality will be analyzed. Thus, this randomized trial may have the potential to influence both the clinical and economical utilization of MR imaging.”
This is a very interesting trial that will yield a comparison between the two systems from a patient point of view, which is very important. The success of a good MR scan depends a lot on how comfortable the patient feels, given the fact that he/she has to lie still for quite some time.
For more information, please refer to: Reduction of claustrophobia during magnetic resonance imaging: methods and design of the “CLAUSTRO” randomized controlled trial