Tag Archives: healthcare

Enable Talk Gloves

Reading Time: 2 minutes

There are currently about 40 million deaf, mute and deaf-mute people and many of them use sign language to communicate, but there are very few people who actually understand sign language. Even though enable talk gloves aren’t a relatively new invention (they were first introduced in 2012), they are able to change the world for these people if they gain world popularity. Using gloves fitted with flex sensors, touch sensors, gyroscopes, and accelerometers (as well as some solar cells to increase battery life) the EnableTalk team has built a system that can translate sign language into text. The whole system then connects to a smartphone over Bluetooth.

These gloves were created by four Ukrainian students. The sensors recognize sign language and translate it into text on a smartphone, which then converts the text to spoken words.

The team has built a number of prototypes and tested them with sign language users in Ukraine. The idea for the project, said team member Osika Maxim, came from interacting with hearing-impaired athletes at the groups’ school.

The few existing projects that come close to what EnableTalk is proposing generally cost around $1,200 and usually have fewer sensors, use wired connections, and don’t come with an integrated software solution. EnableTalk, on the other hand, says that the hardware for its prototypes costs somewhere around $75 per device.

Students create smart gloves for hearing impaired people | Patient  Innovation

Besides the cost, though, another feature that makes this project so interesting is that users can teach the system new gestures and modify those that the team plans to ship in a library of standard gestures. Given the high degree of variation among sign languages, which also has regional dialects just like spoken language, this will be a welcome feature for users.

They started building the prototype for the gloves in January 2012 and worked through weekends and nights to finish in time for the Microsoft 2012 Imagine Cup in Sydney, Australia, in July. Enable Talk won first place in the innovation category, beating 350 students from 75 countries.

Enable Talk - Talking Gloves | Susan Wheeler-Hall




Saventic – the future of healthcare

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How many of us have heard or experienced waiting in lines to see a doctor, receiving a misdiagnosis, months of searching for the right specialist, and feeling powerless about it? In the case of rare diseases or neoplasms, the diagnostic process takes up to 7 years from the first symptoms to appear. Sometimes it is too late for a sick patient because only 1 in 8 patients is properly diagnosed and treated because from 7000 rare diseases only 10% of them have a treatment. Now the diagnostics process of rare diseases is complex, far from optimal and the problem has been neglected for many years even in developed countries.

Fortunately, the development of medicine and science allows for the improvement and cooperation of these two sectors. Even from an epidemiological point of view, a Google search engine that was not designed for it was able to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 before its infection surged and was recognized by doctors. According to Dr Elena Ivanina, a gastroenterologist at Lenox Hill Hospital:

“This is not the first time Google searches have been used to predict epidemics”

If a device not intended for the diagnosis of diseases can work wonders, you can only imagine what effects we will get with Saventic.

Saventic is a company dealing in the diagnosis of rare diseases based on artificial intelligence, it creates comprehensive solutions to support healthcare systems. Saventic offers two platforms based on SARAH  which uses AI algorithms with different diagnostic approaches on two levels of use: first – Saventic Medical API for clinics, hospitals or professional medical units and second – Saventic Foundation which is a new idea, a platform for patients that offers the possibility of a private diagnosis of rare diseases.

Saventic Medical API is a B2B opportunity for healthcare providers  to make correct diagnoses in a faster and easier way. Also improvement not only in the diagnosis but also in the treatment of less common diseases and in area of knowledge about their symptoms or course of illness based on the collected data. The Foundation is a B2C application for patients seeking diagnosis. This is the second way to reach patients with rare diseases, not only to analyze databases in hospitals, but also directly to patients. The Foundation is currently supporting patients with metabolic and blood diseases, solutions for other diseases are under development. Algorithms for Gaucher’s disease, Fabry’s disease and blood cancer are currently being commercialized.

To sum up everything that has been stated so far from year to year, organizations such as Saventic will improve the work of doctors and disease diagnosis, as well as improve treatment methods and knowledge of their symptoms. Such a modern medical solution is a novelty on the Polish and global market.

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Reading Time: 3 minutesHumans are thinking about immortality since the dawn of time. Thanks to the current progress in technology we are witnessing a discovery that potentially could rewrite our lives. Senolytics are new class of drugs which may provide us with a better, healthier lives.

Judith Campisi is a professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, and cofounder of a company called Unity Biotechnology in 2011. She is known as a leading figure in the biology of ageing since the early 1990s, when her research revealed that cells enter a phase known as senescence that prevents them from becoming cancerous.

Her research is currently focused on the role of cellular senescence in cancer and other age-related diseases. So, what cellular senescence basically means? According to Wikipedia, it is „one phenomenon by which normal cells cease to divide”. In 1960’s, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead found out that normal human fetal fibroblasts in culture reach a maximum of approximately 50 cell population doublings before becoming senescent. This phenomenon was called Hayflick limit and is known or overturning a 60-year-old dogma which maintained that all cultured cells are immortal.

It is worth noting that senescent cells in some point come to the kind of twilight state where they are still active but no longer dividing. Campisi’s and other scientists’ researches showed that this was a ‘strategy’ of the evolution process to derail incipient cancer cells, which are known to spread thanks to the cells division.

(PRNewsFoto/UNITY Biotechnology)

Now, Campisi is conducting researches on new class of drugs called senolytics, which eliminate senescent cells and restore more youthful characteristics (in animal experiments). The company called Unity Biotechnology, which she cofounded in 2011, launched a human trial of its first senolytic drug last July.

This actions can cause a moral dilemma whether we should live longer than we already do. Campisi points out that we should not confuse aging and death. She expects that, thanks to senolytics, we will be able to extend our “health span”, which basically means that there is a possibility that we will extend the duration of good health condition of our bodies while living the same amount of time as we currently do.

Today we can observe a debate about the limit to the human life span. Some say it can be 110 years, others claims it to be 150 years. Speaking of this case, Campisi provides us with examples such as world record for extending the life span of a little worm called C. elegans, which is 10-fold. On the other hand, most of the really intensive experiences extend mouse life span (which is about 97% genetically identical to human being) by 20-30%. In the end we just simply do not know what the maximum life span of human being, but there is a possibility that we can extend it even more than we already did, for example thanks to the discovery of vaccines.


So, what are your expressions on this topic? Would you like to live longer? Why? Or why not? Would you like to extend your “health span” or you believe that ageing is a necessary part of our lives? Let me know in the comment section!





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No More Privacy. Thank you.

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Healthcare, like so many other sectors of the economy, is being transformed by technology. 



All eyes on the transformation of healthcare to one of the most personalized products we are able to purchase. No questions asked, eHealth, along other similar term creations are among the top buzzwords this year and in the near future. Finally, Startups and VC firms seem to realize the huge potentially big data, mobile and other technologies can have on our health. Consumers realize that, there are vast possibilities to track your own health and life a healthier lifestyle. While customers, producers and investors seem to feel the changes in technology based healthcare solutions knocking on our door, it is often an outdated and inflexible legal system that prevents the revolution in healthcare to finally gain momentum. In many cases, governments do not seem to be ready for this change to happen. Furthermore, often the basic data infrastructure required for these technologies are not developed enough.

Data privacy is a big issue in healthcare, as data about our health is probably one of the most private and sensitive pieces of data each and every one of us has to offer. Nevertheless, applications like SkinAnalytics, which helps in early Melanoma detection, points out how valuable large amount of data can be in order to early detect and prevent diseases from spreading. Clinical research would be one of the first to benefit from a lift in healthcare data protection and thus everyone could be benefiting from better-adjusted healthcare solutions.

From a business point of view, companies that are early able to position themselves on the market, despite the strict regulatory framework, will have a good competitive advantage toward the new entrants, that join the industry as a result of lifts in the law. Cracking the legal code is key to success here, as the technology is already available and well used in all kinds of different sectors.

An eCommerce example of an organization struggling with a tight regulatory framework and constant pressure from organizations that rather hold on to what exist now, instead of aiming for a better development, is 1001Pharmacies.com. The French startup set out to revolutionize the French Online-pharmacy landscape had his fair share of battling with the legal environment and parties that would rather keep everything as it is, instead of working towards better and more efficient solutions.

What is the point of all of this? A call to the liberation of data privacy and legal aspects of pharmaceutical and medical laws. The creation of an environment that triggers creative solutions in this sector. Solutions that we all would be benefiting of one day.

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