Mixed and Augmented Reality Can Facilitate Seamless Medical Communication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Ian Williams PhD Associate Professor, DMT Lab Birmingham City University Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment Centre for Digital Media Technology Millennium Point Birmingham UK

Dr. Williams

Dr Ian Williams PhD
Associate Professor, DMT Lab
Birmingham City University
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Centre for Digital Media Technology
Millennium Point
Birmingham UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for your work?

Response: Our work at the DMT Lab (dmtlab.bcu.ac.uk) focuses on developing a novel Mixed Reality (MR) medical presentation platform which allows practitioners to interact with patient data and virtual anatomical models in real time. The system enables the presentation of medical data, models and procedures to patients with the aim of educating them on pending procedures or the effects of lifestyle choices (for example the effects of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption).

The system employs an exocentric mixed reality environment which can be deployed in any room. It integrates a medical practitioner in real time with multimodal patient data and the corresponding result is a real time co-located visualisation of both the practitioner and the data, which they can interact with in real time.  We implement a natural interaction method into the system which improves a user’s level of direct interaction with the virtual models and provides a more realistic control of the data.

The system can also be used in a fun educational setting where patients, students, children or any naive user, can learn about medical anatomical information via a real-time interactive mixed reality “body scanner”. This fun system overlays the MR information onto their own body in real-time and shows them scaled and interactive virtual organs, anatomy and corresponding medical information. We are aiming for this system to be used not only in patient education but also in engaging and informing people on lifestyle choices.

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Pokémon Go! Promotes Walking and Decreases Sitting Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., College of Education, Health and Human Services Kent State

Dr. Barkley

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D.,
College of Education, Health and Human Services
Kent State 

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

Response: Our group has demonstrated that cellular telephone (cell phone) use is positively associated with sedentary behavior (i.e., sitting). To that end, high cell phone users sit for 80 to 100 minutes longer than their lower-use peers. We have also shown that cell phone use during exercise decreases exercise intensity and slows free-living walking speed. In other words, cell use may be comparable to traditional sedentary screen use in that it promotes sitting and may interfere with physical activity. However, some cell phone functions may actually promote positive health behaviors.

Fitness apps, connecting with active peers and administering health recommendations via the cell phone all may have utility in promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior. While not well studied, novel physically-interactive cell phone games may also promote physical activity. One such game, Pokémon Go! requires users to walk through real environments and locate avatars in the game using GPS. The purpose of the game is to find these avatars. In order to find more avatars, the player will need to walk to more areas. Therefore, playing Pokémon Go! may promote walking.

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Self Driving Cars Can Be Programmed To Make Moral Decisions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leon Sütfeld
The Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Osnabrück 

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

Response: Self-driving cars, and especially future fully autonomous cars, pose a number of ethical challenges. One of these challenges is making the “right” decision when it comes to a so-called dilemma situation, in which a collision is unavoidable (or highly probable), but a decision can be made as to which of multiple different collisions to choose. Our study assesses the behavior of human participants in such dilemma situations and evaluates algorithmic models that are trained on this data to make predictions.

Our main findings are that in a controlled virtual reality environment, the decisions of humans are fairly consistent and can be well described by simple value-of-life models.

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Google Searches Valuable Source of Cancer Incidence and Mortality Data

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mackenzie R. Wehner, MD, MPhil Department of Dermatology University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Weher

Mackenzie R. Wehner, MD, MPhil
Department of Dermatology
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

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

Response: For some diseases, we have national registries, in which information about every person with that disease is entered for research purposes. For other diseases, unfortunately, we do not have such registries. There are growing opportunities to use information like internet searches to better understand behaviors and diseases, however. Our study was a proof-of-concept: we aimed to find out whether internet searches for diseases correlated with known incidence (how many people are diagnosed with the disease) and mortality (how many people die of the disease) rates. E.g. does the number of people who searched ‘lung cancer’ online correlate with the number of people who we know were diagnosed with or who died of lung cancer during that same time period? This is important to know if researchers in the future want to use internet search data for diseases where we lack registry information.

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Refined Deep Brain Stimulation Turns On ‘As Needed’ To Treat Tremors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Howard Jay Chizeck ScD Professor, Electrical Engineering Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering Co-Director UW Biorobotics Laboratory Graduate Program in Neuroscience UW CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow Research Thrust Testbed Co-Leader

Prof. Chizeck

Howard Jay Chizeck ScD
Professor, Electrical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering
Co-Director UW Biorobotics Laboratory
Graduate Program in Neuroscience
UW CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow
Research Thrust Testbed Co-Leader

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

Response: Essential Tremor is treated using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in some patients. Current clinical practice involves Deep Brain Stimulation with an “always on” stimulation. This causes extra battery drain, because stimulation is applied when not needed. Also excessive stimulation is not necessarily a good thing,

Our work is aimed at adjusting the stimulation, so that it comes on and turns off only when needed to suppress tremor symptoms.

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Lost Your Connection? Internet Withdrawal Can Mirror Addiction Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Phil Reed,  D.Phil. Professor Psychology Swansea University

Dr. Reed

Dr. Phil Reed,  D.Phil.
Professor Psychology
Swansea University

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

Response: Problematic internet use has been a growing concern for many people and bodies over the last decade, and more study has been requested into various aspects of this possible disorder.  One of the key questions is whether people overuse the internet, due to an addiction.  If it is an addiction, then there should be signs of withdrawal when people, who report having this problem, stop using the internet.  In this study, 144 participants, aged 18 to 33, had their heart rate and blood pressure measured before and after a brief internet session.  Their anxiety and self-reported internet addiction were also assessed.

The results showed increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure on terminating the internet session for those with problematically-high internet usage.  These increases in physiological arousal were mirrored by increased feelings of anxiety.  However, there were no such changes for those participants who reported no internet-usage problems.

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AEDs Delivered By Drones May Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“drones” by Andrew Turner is licensed under CC BY 2.0Andreas Claesson, RN, Paramedic

PhD Centre for resuscitation science
Karolinska institute
Stockholm, Sweden.

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

Response: Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is low, the technology is existing. When implementing this kind of system with a drone equipped with an AED, defibrillation may occur at an early stage and before EMS arrival mainly in rural areas.

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Wireless Monitoring Feasible Both Before and After Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Virginia Sun, RN, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Nursing Research and Education Department of Population Sciences Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program City of Hope Duarte, CA 91010

Dr. Sun

Virginia Sun, RN, PhD
Assistant Professor
Division of Nursing Research and Education
Department of Population Sciences
Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program
City of Hope Duarte, CA 91010 

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

Response: Surgery is one of the most effective and important treatment strategies for cancer. Surgical procedures are by definition invasive, and patients are at risk for unpleasant symptoms, impaired functional status, and poor quality of life. Traditionally, mortality has been the sole measure to assess the risk of most surgical procedures. However, as surgical mortality has sharply declined, focus has shifted toward other endpoints, including patient-centered outcomes. There are critical gaps to assessing and integrating patient-centered outcomes into the surgical oncology workflow.

We conducted this proof-of-concept study to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a wireless monitoring approach for patient-centered outcomes before and after a major abdominal cancer surgery.

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Home Finger Stick Testing Provided No Health Advantage in Study of Type 2 Diabetics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Katrina Donahue MD, MPH Professor, Director of Research, UNC Family Medicine. Co-Director,  North Carolina Newtork Consortium (NCNC). Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Donahue

Katrina Donahue MD, MPH
Professor, Director of Research, UNC Family Medicine. Co-Director,
North Carolina Newtork Consortium (NCNC).
Chapel Hill, NC

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

Response: Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic affecting one in 11 people in the United States. For those treated with insulin, checking blood sugar with a finger stick at home is an accepted practice for monitoring the effects of insulin therapy.

However, the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes are not treated with insulin. These patients, too, are often recommended glucose monitoring, despite an ongoing debate about its effectiveness in controlling diabetes or improving how patients feel. Currently, 75 percent of non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes patients perform regular blood glucose testing at home, generally at the recommendation of a provider.

“The MONITOR Trial” is the first large pragmatic study examining glucose monitoring in the United States.

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VR/AR May Help Physicians Overcome Cognitive Biases To Admitting Errors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jason Han, MD Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Han

Jason Han, MD
Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania

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

Response: The inspiration for this study comes from my personal experience as a medical student on clinical rotations. Despite having been a victim of a medical error while growing up myself, I found it extraordinarily difficult to admit to even some of my smallest errors to my patients and team. Perplexed by the psychological barriers that impeded error disclosure, I began to discuss this subject with my advisory Dean and mentor, Dr. Neha Vapiwala. We wanted to analyze the topic more robustly through an academic lens and researched cognitive biases that must be overcome in order to facilitate effective disclosure of error, and began to think about potential ways to implement these strategies into the medical school curriculum with the help of the director of the Standardized Patient program at the Perelman School of Medicine, Denise LaMarra.

We ultimately contend that any educational strategy that aims to truly address and improve error disclosure must target the cognitive roots of this paradigm. And at this point in time, simulation-based learning seems to be the most direct way to do so, but also remain hopeful that emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality may offer ways for students as well as staff to rehearse difficult patient encounters and improve.

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