Wednesday March 20, 2019

A New Tool May Aid Patients To Detect Urine Blockage

Surgeons are developing a new smartphone-based tool that can detect urethral or urine blockage, potentially making it easier for patients to test themselves for the condition from the comfort of their own homes.

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Surgeons are developing a new smartphone-based tool that can detect urethral or urine blockage, potentially making it easier for patients to test themselves for the condition from the comfort of their own homes.

The novel technique could take high-speed photography which could capture subtle differences between a normal steady stream of liquid and a stream of liquid with an obstruction.

Urethral strictures are a slowing or blocking of the natural flow of urine due to an injury or infection. It is normally diagnosed by uroflowmetry, a test administered at a physician’s office.

“The problem is that patient follow-up after we treat this condition is very poor,” said Matthew Gretzer, Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in the US.

“But we need patients to come back to our clinic for a uroflow test to determine if the obstruction is still present,” he added.

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In order to test Gretzer’s hypothesis on high-speed photography, the team created a model of a urethral structure using tubing hooked to a saline bag that could drain through.

Saline fluid was passed through the tubing with and without blockages, created using 3D printed strictures, placed within the tubing. High-speed photography captured both the regular and blocked stream of liquid exiting the tube.

Gretzer contended that photos can be a medium to diagnose blockages and he hopes that patients could send him these images to analyse and make the diagnosis. He plans to create a mobile app which can be downloaded by the patients.

“All patients would need to do is take high-speed images of their urine flow using a strobe light,” Gretzer said.

“Strobe light apps are readily available right now for people to use on their phones”.

Also Read: Astronauts from Clemson University in US Believe Human Urine Can Help Safer Space Travel

According to the researchers, as fluid exits an opening, a natural breakpoint occurs where the liquid stream forms droplets, but with obstructions in place, it changes.

The results showed that by analysing photos, they could measure the length to this point of droplet formation. This length then directly related to the presence of an obstruction in the tube. (IANS)

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Here’s How to Boost up Businesses in Times of Evolving Tech

The lab will develop science-backed hiring apps and tools that can measure diverse traits and abilities

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Focusing on the science behind what makes some start-ups thrive and others fail, Australian researchers have unveiled a new lab that will use cutting edge neuroscience to advise how businesses can thrive in a world of constant technological change.

The “Future Minds Lab”, launched at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney this week, will include a team of 20 scientists, designers and psychologists to study the fundamental brain science and psychology behind innovation.

The team will work with industry partners to produce products and services to improve the way institutions and businesses approach different forms of innovation.

“Using fundamental research and development, our team is creating products and programmes to ensure workplaces and businesses are more resilient and better equipped to adapt to constant technological change,” Joel Pearson, Professor at the varsity, said in a statement.

“By using cutting edge neuroscience, we can discover what makes successful founders, teams and companies,” Pearson explained.

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The lab, a 300-square metre custom built centre with virtual reality rooms, testing stations, brain stimulation devices, neuroimaging tech and research offices, will be used to develop products such as customised cognitive tests for start-ups and psychological interventions and online education programmes.

“Using technology such as gamified objective tests and mobile brain measurement, we will be able to develop tests that measure traits and abilities like creativity, resilience…” the Professor said.

Also Read- Tech Giant Apple Hits Back at Spotify For Antitrust Complaint: Report

The lab will develop science-backed hiring apps and tools that can measure diverse traits and abilities. These tools will leverage the latest Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to assess job candidates’ fit for specific roles and organisations.

“Workshops will be delivered to start-up founders that aim to increase their resilience and stress management techniques, decrease burnout, and help founders enhance their mental fitness,” Pearson noted. (IANS)