Machines Can Be Taught Natural Language Processing To Read Radiology Reports

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eric Karl Oermann, MD Instructor Department of Neurosurgery Mount Sinai Health System New York, New York 10029 

Dr. Oermann

Eric Karl Oermann, MD
Instructor
Department of Neurosurgery
Mount Sinai Health System
New York, New York 10029 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Supervised machine learning requires data consisting of features and labels. In order to do machine learning with medical imaging, we need ways of obtaining labels, and one promising means of doing so is by utilizing natural language processing (NLP) to extract labels from physician’s descriptions of the images (typically contained in reports).

Our main finding was that (1) the language employed in Radiology reports is simpler than normal day-to-day language, and (2) that we can build NLP models that obtain excellent results at extracting labels when compared to manually extracted labels from physicians.  Continue reading

Arm Cycling Can Improve Walking After Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with

Paul Zehr PhD Professor & Director Centre for Biomedical Research, Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory, McKinnon Division of Medical Sciences Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)| Affiliate, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, UBC

Dr. Zehr

E. Paul Zehr PhD
Professor & Director
Centre for Biomedical Research,
Rehabilitation Neuroscience Laboratory, McKinnon
Division of Medical Sciences
Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education
International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)|
Affiliate, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, UBC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: For many years we explored the role of the spinal cord in regulating rhythmic arm and leg movements like we do during walking, running and swimming.  Although we humans tend to move and locomote around on our two legs as bipeds, we are basically quadrupeds in terms of how our nervous system controls our limbs during walking. We have an extensive network of brain and spinal cord connections that help coordinate our limbs while we move. A lot of our work showed that using the arms rhythmically, like during arm cycling, strongly affected the activity of the spinal cord controlling leg muscles. Getting the spinal cord for leg muscles more coordinated and activated is a major goal of rehabilitation  of walking after neurotrauma so we wanted to see if training the arms could help with this. This is particularly important because a lot of the time, the arms are not engaged at all in rehabilitation training for the legs.

We found that after only 5 weeks of arm cycling (3 x 30 minutes each week), neural excitability, strength, and leg function were increased along with enhanced clinical tests of balance and walking ability.

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‘Liver-on-a-Chip’ Technology Can Accurately Mimic Hepatitis B Infection

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Primary hepatocytes grown in 3D microfluidic “liver-on-a-chip” platform following infection with hepatitis B virus. Credit: Marcus Dorner/Imperial College London

Primary hepatocytes grown in 3D microfluidic “liver-on-a-chip” platform following infection with hepatitis B virus. Credit: Marcus Dorner/Imperial College London

Marcus Dorner, PhD
Non-Clinical Senior Lecturer in Immunology
Wellcome Trust Investigator
Imperial College London
Department of Medicine, Section of Virology
School of Medicine
London United Kingdom 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection globally affects over 250 million people and is currently not curable. This infection can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer and is among the leading causes for liver transplantation. Unfortunately, HBV is among the most difficult viruses to study in the laboratory, since model systems are not very good at recapitulating what happens in infected humans.

We have just described the first model to effectively change this. Using an artificial “Liver-on-a-Chip”, we have developed a tool, which can potentially revolutionise how we study viral infections by merging the study of viruses with tissue engineering. This model is over 10,000-fold more susceptible to HBV infection and accurately mimics, what happens in an infected patient. This can now be utilised to develop novel and potentially curative therapies, which would benefit millions of people currently living with chronic HBV infection.  Continue reading

Timicoin First Mobile Platform to Deploy Blockchain Technology to Store and Access Medical Records

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
http://www.timicoin.io/Will Lowe, Timicoin CEO

Mr. Lower discusses the first cryptocurrency blockchain mobile platform for storing medical records that can be safely accessed from anywhere.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you briefly explain what is meant by blockchain technology?  How does  it allow for more efficient storage and transmittal of encrypted medical records?

Response: We do not store the data on any cloud storage to avoid any threat to data security and server overhead for data processing as well as to avoid temporary potential data unavailability.

When a certain kind of data is queried by the consumer, our cloud engine first passes on the query to each of the providers (our gateway applications that are running on their node) and see if there are enough query results, it shows a sample to the consumer and if consumer decides to pay, it creates a Blockchain channel between the providers and the consumer that queried the data and all the provider nodes propagate the queried data onto that channel.

So a common trust is built between the nodes and the consumer on that Blockchain channel and the shared query stays there as the trust builder. Then the consumer can anytime access the data needed from that blockchain channel.  Continue reading

Deaf Children With Cochlear Implants Learn New Words Faster

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

BruceBlaus - Own work An illustration of a cochlear implant.

An illustration of a cochlear implant: Wikipedia image

Niki Katerina Vavatzanidis MSc
Department of Neuropsychology
Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Science
Leipzig, Germany
Technische Universität Dresden, Germany 

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Cochlear implants (CIs) are a way of providing hearing to sensorineural deaf individuals. The implant works by first picking up sounds from the environment and transforming them into an electric signal. Via an array of electrodes the implant then transmits the signal directly to the auditory nerve, which then leads to auditory sensations in the brain.

In our study, we were interested to see how language acquisition is affected when language immersion occurs at an untypically late age. Children with cochlear implants that grow up in exclusively or predominantly hearing environments will have their first language encounter at the time of implantation, which nowadays is roughly between the age of one and three. Besides the later starting point in language acquisition, children with CIs are facing a compromised input quality compared to typical hearing.

We know from typically hearing children that it is around the age of 14 months that their vocabulary becomes robust enough to react to name violations. That is, when a picture is labelled incorrectly, their brain waves will display with the so-called N400 effect. In our study we were interested whether children with CIs would also show the N400 effect and if so, how many months of hearing experience are necessary. We measured the brain activity of children implanted between the age of one and four at three time points: 12, 18, and 24 months after implant activation. To our surprise, congenitally deaf children whose only language input had been via the cochlear implant already displayed the N400 effect after 12 months of language immersion, i.e. earlier than seen in typically hearing children.   Continue reading

HoloLens Uses Mixed Reality To Facilitate Reconstruction in Trauma Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Dimitri Amiras, FRCR
Consultant radiologist
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Dr. Philip Pratt PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Surgery & Cancer
Imperial College London at St Mary’s Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have used the Microsoft HoloLens to assist with complex reconstructive surgery on several patients at a major trauma centre at St Marys Hospital. We believe this is the first report of such a use in reconstructive surgery.

From dedicated CT scans we have been able to construct patient specific 3D models of the vascular channels supplying the skin to help the surgeon plan their surgical approach for the harvest of these skin flaps. These 3D models are then projected onto the patient as holograms using the Microsoft HoloLens making the information available and directly relevant at the time of the procedure.

The technique helps the surgeon in planning his approach for the patient as well saving time locating the correct vessels at the time of surgery. 

The surgeon's view. Credit: Philip Pratt, et al. Eur Radiol Exp, 2018

Surgical View Using Mixed Reality Image Created By HoloLens
Credit: Philip Pratt, et al.

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New Technique Allows Mining of Specific Antibodies From B Cells

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sarav Rajan, PhD Scientist Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering MedImmune

Dr. Rajan

Dr. Sarav Rajan, PhD Scientist
Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering
MedImmune

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: During an infection, B cells (a type of white blood cell) create antibodies against antigens present on a pathogen. These cells can be extremely rare, and finding them among the millions of other cells is extremely challenging.

Existing methods to examine B cells require a trade-off: either capture the full sequence repertoire by next-generation sequencing but functionally screen just a subset, or culture a subset of B cells and fully screen them. Instead, our method captures the complete repertoire within a typical blood draw and screens all its members to identify the rare antigen-positive antibodies. Using a new microfluidic approach, we recovered the antibody genes from one million B cells encapsulated in picoliter-scale droplets, breaking through a widely-published view that amplifying from single cells in such small volumes is inefficient. The resulting library seamlessly integrates into our high-throughput screening infrastructure to enable rapid isolation of desired antibodies. Using this method, we were able to isolate a panel of rare cross-reactive antibodies targeting influenza.

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Scientists Develop Self-Healing Dental Enamel By Mimicking Epidermal Layers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“chipped tooth” by bagaball is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Ming Yang

Key Laboratory of Microsystems and Microstructures Manufacturing,
Harbin Institute of Technology,
Harbin, China 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Self-healing materials and coatings are smart solutions to environmental and energy problems. There are heavy demands for these materials in many productions such as consumer electronics, the automotive industry and healthcare.

Current coatings that can self-heal are typically soft. This means they are not as anti-scratch as rigid surfaces and the benefit of the ability to repair themselves could be overwhelmed by their limited robustness vulnerable to normal mechanical contact. It would be very useful to have a self-healing coating with a hardness that can be comparable or even outperform rigid coatings. This is normally difficult because mechanical hardness and self-healing are two conflicting properties with the opposite dependence on polymer dynamics. One good example in this context is many soft tissues can self-heal, but a notable exception is tooth enamel, which is the hardest part in our body but has no way to recover after decay. A new design will be needed to circumvent the fundamental limitation.

We find that by mimicking the structure of epidermis, it is possible to combine two contradictory properties into an artificial coating, namely, self-healing ability and high hardness. The success relies on the placement of a hard layer containing graphene oxide on top of a soft sublayer with a seamless interface for interlayer diffusion. This allows a similar healing mechanism as that in skin, but the coating is not soft and has a hardness that even approaches tooth enamel.  Continue reading

Virtual Reality Study Helps Identify How Memories Are Stored and Retrieved

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Halle Dimsdale-Zucker University of California, Davis Center for Neuroscience | Ph.D. Candidate

Halle Dimsdale-Zucker

Halle Dimsdale-Zucker
University of California, Davis
Center for Neuroscience | Ph.D. Candidate

Dynamic Memory Lab

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study sought to test competing models for how different types of retrieved contextual information (spatial, episodic – which is spatial AND temporal information) are supported by the hippocampus and its subfields. We only found differences between the subfields when people were spontaneously reactivating episodic, but not spatial information. This is surprising because a dominant view of the hippocampus is that it is specialized to represent spatial information.

What this suggests is that when there is more than just spatial information that can be remembered that the hippocampus is able to flexibly represent whatever information is most task-relevant for remembering and distinguishing items from one another.

Intriguingly, we found that different subfields represented shared episodic contextual information and item-unique contextual information. This highlights that our memories need to both link together common features of related events while retaining the event-specific details.

UC Davis neuroscientists are using virtual reality to investigate how memories are organized. Graduate student Halle Dimsdale-Zucker showed subjects movies created with virtual sketching software and asked them questions about objects inside the houses. She was able to show that different regions of a brain structure called the hippocampus play different roles in remembering items in context. Credit: Halle Dimsdale-Zucker, UC Davis

UC Davis neuroscientists are using virtual reality to investigate how memories are organized. Graduate student Halle Dimsdale-Zucker showed subjects movies created with virtual sketching software and asked them questions about objects inside the houses. She was able to show that different regions of a brain structure called the hippocampus play different roles in remembering items in context.
Credit: Halle Dimsdale-Zucker, UC Davis

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Marine Corps V-22 Osprey Used For Aerospace Medical Research at Naval Unit of Dayton Ohio

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Following the landing of a U.S. Marine Core MV-22, Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton (NAMRU-Dayton) welcomes crew members at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, December 19, 2017. NAMRU-Dayton has been tasked as the lead agency for the Navy to investigate tilt-rotor aircrafts potential effects of flight and vibration on aircrews. Pictured with the USMC Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One crew is the coordination team: Ms. Elizabeth Miller, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine; Captain Rees Lee, Commanding Officer of NAMRU-Dayton; and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Doubrava, Senior Medical Officer at NAMRU-Dayton. (U.S. Navy photo by Public Affairs, Naval Medical Research Unit - Dayton)

Following the landing of a U.S. Marine Core MV-22, Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton (NAMRU-Dayton) welcomes crew members at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, December 19, 2017. NAMRU-Dayton has been tasked as the lead agency for the Navy to investigate tilt-rotor aircrafts potential effects of flight and vibration on aircrews. Pictured with the USMC Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One crew is the coordination team: Ms. Elizabeth Miller, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine; Captain Rees Lee, Commanding Officer of NAMRU-Dayton; and Lieutenant Commander Matthew Doubrava, Senior Medical Officer at NAMRU-Dayton. (U.S. Navy photo by Public Affairs, Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton)

Lieutenant Commander Matthew Doubrava
Senior Medical Officer, Naval Medical Research Unit
Dayton, Ohio 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this research? What types of problems will be investigated using the Osprey?

Response: The U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft will be used to conduct static aerospace medical research in an effort to provide solutions toward preventing musculoskeletal injury to tilt-rotor aircraft crew and en route care training at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Naval Medical Research Unit – Dayton (NAMRU-Dayton) has been tasked as the lead agency for the Navy to investigate tilt-rotor aircrafts potential effects of flight and vibration on aircrews. NAMRU-Dayton scientists will be partnering with the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, who will be investigating en route care training to figure out the best way for the crew to use the aircraft for that purpose.

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