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Blockchain Makes Strides in Ensuring Data Validity

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Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have made a proof-of-concept technique to ensure the integrity of data in different clinical trials utilizing blockchain. Currently, this system creates the immutable audit trial, which makes it easier to find out whether or not the data was tampered with or if the data excluded information about diminishing side effects.

Blockchain technology utilizes the old computer science method called hashing. Hashing creates a rare digital signature for particular blocks of data. These hashes accumulate as new data is changed or entered, and as a result,  information blocks build on top of one another sequentially. The resulting “blockchain” makes one audit trail for the regulators, which is easy to validate and decipher, without even looking at the data.

For example, Daniel Wong is a Ph.D. student in Biological & Medical Informatics at the University of California, San Francisco. He has built this type of system to operate through the web portal. As data is changed or entered within the given trial, the information about the participants, timestamp, receiver, the sender, and file attachments with data accumulate together with the hash from the last data block. While most blockchain applications are decentralized, this new clinical trial prototype relies on containing the regulator along with centralized authority. This technique is used by organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Moreover, data that includes adverse events will be reported to a regulatory agency, which will cause an increase in the efficiency and safety of the clinical trials. While the older version of blockchain created allowances for the data entry or some other mistakes to be error-free, new data will be appended to an existing chain in this decentralized form of blockchain, without having to remove existing information. Now more than ever, it will be extremely clear if data has been corrupted or altered to affect the results of the trial.

In conclusion, blockchain technology might enable trials to be examined under some challenging conditions and will open doors to data exchanges which are secure, efficient, and transparent for the researchers as well as the public. Ultimately, a decentralized version of blockchain has the ability to impact not just researchers but also the public as a whole.

Source

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190222084244.htm

Covid-19

Portable X-Ray Receives FDA Clearance for COVID Testing

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New forms of COVID-19 testing continue to emerge as companies use innovative techniques to determine if an individual could have the virus. From CRISPR testing approval from the FDA to an automated robot conducting COVID-19 testing, a new method from Aspenstate has just been announced.

A lightweight, portable X-ray system from Aspenstate known as the AiRTouch has received FDA clearance. This form of testing could be beneficial for quickly obtaining chest X-rays from potential COVID-19 patients. The AiRTouch weighs 5.5 pounds (2.5 Kg) and looks like a large touchscreen digital camera. The device takes a picture with a push of a button and can wirelessly transfer the images to a clinical image storage system or PACS without a computer. The battery from AiRTouch can charge within two hours and can obtain up to 300 exposures per charge. 

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This portable X-ray system could be useful for quickly obtaining chest X-rays of COVID-19 patients.  According to the company, its portability has already made it useful in drive-through screening centers in South Korea

“Our clients have noticed a dramatic increase in capacity and the ability to move patients through quickly and efficiently,” David Lee, Vice President and COO of Aspenstate, stated. 

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Lee went on to say that the device is very simple to use with the integrated software, and portable features allow the use of the device outside of conventional X-ray resources. The company believes the AiRTouch for chest X-rays for COVID-19 could also be used in urgent care facilities, ambulances, sports medicine, extremities, dental, and veterinary settings

Check out this video on the AiRTouch:

Sources: 

  1. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/05/07/new-crispr-test-for-covid-19-could-be-a-simple-at-home-diagnostic-test-according-to-scientists/
  2. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/06/05/safe-covid-19-testing-performed-by-automated-rob
  3. https://www.medgadget.com/2020/05/airtouch-portable-x-ray-receives-fda-clearance.htmlot/

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Covid-19

Safe COVID-19 Testing Performed by Automated Robot

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Medical professionals testing people for COVID-19 usually involves performing a throat swab to collect a sample for processing. Clinicians that are collecting COVID-19 samples from individuals must wear an entire package of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can be quite uncomfortable when worn for long periods. Since the expansion of test sampling is now being conducted outside of clinical facilities and with temperatures rising, wearing protective gear can become difficult for clinicians.

In Denmark, a team of robotic engineers at the University of Southern Denmark have designed a machine that can conduct throat swabs automatically without a human clinician present in the facility. The robot reaches into the throat and moves a swab against the selected tissue within. After the sample is collected, it stores the swab into a glass jar and seals the top shut.  

The robot was trained to be gentle, and volunteers who have already been swabbed by the device have reported no discomfort. Further trials are needed to confirm the efficiency of the new machine and to ensure that no malfunction can occur. To help market and manufacture the new robot, the engineers that developed it have started up a company called Lifeline Robotics. The engineers hope to have devices testing people for COVID-19 as early as late June, but the advanced technology is sure to be useful when the pandemic is over. 

Here are some videos to demonstrate how the machine works:

Sources: 

  1. https://www.medgadget.com/2020/06/automated-robot-takes-swabs-for-safe-covid-19-testing.html
  2. https://www.lifelinerobotics.com/

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Digital Health

5 Apps For a Good Night’s Sleep

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Getting quality sleep will play a vital role in how you feel when you are awake throughout the day. Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function, including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. Here are five apps that can help you get a good night’s sleep and track your sleeping schedule. 

Noisli

With Noisli, you can choose from different sounds like thunder, wind, and white noise to create a personal sleep soundtrack to help you fall asleep. You can create a combo of sounds you love and can save in the app for future use. Make sure to keep your phone plugged-in if you keep your phone on overnight to hear your soothing sleep soundtrack.

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Pzizz

The Pzizz app can set a timer for a sleep session, and the app plays soothing dreamscape, including a combo of music, voiceovers, and sound effects. The app also has an option to set up a built-in alarm to wake up. For more advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to choose different sounds. 


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Slumber 

Slumber offers a mixture of experiences to help you fall asleep, whether it’s meditation focused, bedtime story series, or sounds of a warm jacuzzi. There are background noises to choose from like rain or the ocean and can play for up to 10 hours after the track finishes. Each week there are new sleep-inducing stories and meditations you can choose from. You can listen to them all if you upgrade to the premium version.

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Sleep Cycle

If you want to understand how you slept, the Sleep Cycle app can help you achieve your sleep goals. It tracks your sleep patterns and offers tips to improve your sleep. The app also has an alarm clock that kindly wakes you up when you’re in your lightest sleep phase, waking you up feeling rejuvenated. It’s important to remember that no sleep tracker is 100% accurate. If you are still struggling to sleep you should consult with your primary care physician or dedicated sleep specialist.

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10% Happier

10% Happier offers a wide range of meditations, including ones for sleep that span from three minutes to 45 minutes to ease your mind and fall right to sleep. There are also meditation exercises with a variety of genres and the option to message a coach for additional support.

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Mobile and web applications are making it accessible for people to help support their mental health, finding a healthcare physician, prescription delivery, and much more. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#3.-Good-sleep-can-improve-concentration-and-productivity
  2. https://www.noisli.com/apps
  3. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/g26963663/best-sleep-apps/
  4. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pzizz-sleep-nap-focus/id915664862
  5. https://slumber.fm/about
  6. https://www.sleepcycle.com/
  7. https://www.tenpercent.com/
  8. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/11/5-apps-to-help-support-your-mental-health-during-an-epidemic/
  9. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/03/25/finding-accessible-healthcare-during-a-pandemic/
  10. https://wordofhealth.com/2020/04/18/5-apps-for-prescription-delivery/

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