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Online education gaining pace for easy and flexible learning in India

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With better Internet bandwidths, the distribution of education would ease out and would change traditional modes of education by providing virtual academia well within the reach of isolated students.

Remotely situated students will not be obstructed by their geographical inaccessibility. There are no restrictions on options for the academic courses and an online educational service would help provide new interactive courses wherever the student is.

WizIQ, a provider of this facility, in a recent gathering at Delhi, discussed the opportunities of online education service providers and the challenges faced by them.

“The whole purpose of creating a premier conclave in the form of EdTech, was to bring together thinkers, innovators, industry experts, educators and content providers on a common platform. We are providing ‘do-it-yourself’ platforms to online education service providers across the globe,” said Harman Singh, Founder and CEO, WizIQ.

According to Aakash Chaudhary, Director, Aakash Education, “technology can enhance the abilities of teachers and make them more accountable. He said that technology can help teachers become better teachers.”

Focusing on some limitations of the technology, Vikalp Jain from Acadgild, an online-service provider, said, “Online courses don’t solve problems for majority of people. We have to bring a human element in online courses. Along with this, the duration of the online course plays an important role in retention of the student.”

These discussions took place to deliberate upon the view that “interaction is the way-forward” for enhancing the teaching culture in India.

Online courses are cheaper and more flexible as compared to offline courses, and are thus gradually gaining ground. The feature providers online are allowing students to access courses without the aid of any teachers. Though their doubts will be cleared once they submit their queries. Several start-ups are joining in and focusing on specific subject tutorials. Students are preparing for engineering and medical exams, completely on online mode.

“We try to provide private virtual teachers to every student through data sense driven engine. Our goal is to help students learn and score higher by identifying their weaknesses which could be related to time management, while appearing for exams, overcoming careless mistakes or gaining better clarity over concepts,” said Aditi Avasthi, CEO, Embibe.

Students are expected to be vastly benefited from this flexible and easily available mode of education.

(By-Newsgram Desk)

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Tiny Pacemakers Could Be Game Changers for Heart Patients

A pacemaker is a medical device which uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contracting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart

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The tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure.
The tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure. Wikimedia Commons

Tiny, new pacemakers are making headway around the world. One type, the Micra, is keeping 15,000 people’s hearts beating in 40 countries, according to manufacturer Medtronic. One of those people is Mary Lou Trejo, a senior citizen who lives in Ohio.

A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device.

Trejo comes from a family with a history of heart disease. Her heart skipped beats, and she could feel it going out of rhythm. Trejo wanted to do something to advance heart health, so in 2014, she volunteered to participate in a clinical trial for the Micra pacemaker. The device is 24 millimetres long implanted, one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers.

Traditional pacemakers

Most pacemakers rely on batteries placed under the skin, usually just below the collarbone. Sometimes patients get infections after the surgery or have difficulty healing from the incision.

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Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. There can be problems with the leads as well.

A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device.
A healthy heart has its own pacemaker that establishes its rhythm, but people like Trejo need the help of an artificial device. Wikimedia Commons

Dr Ralph Augostini at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says a tiny pacemaker like the Micra avoids all of these problems.

“The electrodes are part of the can, and therefore it eliminates the lead,” he said. There’s no incision in the chest to become infected and no chance of complications with the leads.

Small and self-contained

Augostini implanted Trejo’s pacemaker in 2014. He threaded the entire device through an artery in her leg up to her heart. The pacemaker has small, flexible tines that anchor it into the folds of the heart muscle. Once it’s in place, the doctor gives it a tug to make sure the pacemaker is stable before removing the catheter used to place it in the heart.

The Wexner Medical Center was one of the sites that participated in the Micra clinical trial. Since the Micra received FDA approval in 2016, Medtronic has been training more physicians on the procedure. A company spokesman told VOA that this device is becoming available at other centres across the U.S. and countries throughout the world.

Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart.
Traditional pacemakers use leads with electrodes on one end that are threaded through blood vessels to connect to the heart. Wikimedia Commons

Dr John Hummell, a cardiologist at the Wexner Medical Center, has studied the effectiveness of this new generation of pacemakers.

“We don’t leave any wires behind and the pacemaker, the battery, the wire is all just a tiny little piece of metal sitting down in the heart,” he said. Medtronic said the results of the clinical trial showed a success rate of 99.6 percent.

Dr Richard Weachter, with the University of Missouri Health Care, says the leadless pacemakers’ complication rates are about half the rate of traditional pacemakers.

The battery lasts for 14 years and after that, Weachter said, doctors, can implant another one in the same chamber of the heart. They can repeat the procedure a third time if needed.

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The pacemaker activates only when necessary to keep the heart beating normally. Studies show that the Micra and other leadless pacemakers are safe and effective.

These tiny pacemakers are not right for all patients, but as the technology develops, more people will be able to benefit from the procedure. Four years after her implant, Trejo’s doctors say she is doing fine. (VOA)