Taking the Fight to Concussions

MM_SyncThinkThe concussion problem in sports has only grown in recent years. There have been movies, documentaries and articles on the topic, but one-minute infrared eye-test could take concussions head-on.

EYE-SYNC (left), a medical device from SyncThink, uses infrared cameras to analyze eye movement and can determine in 60 seconds if someone has sustained a concussion, according to a MedCity News report. The handheld, virtual reality, eye-tracking technology is being used by Stanford University Sports Medicine to screen athletes for concussions and received FDA approval in March.

Players too often get around sideline concussion testing, but this may provide the hard evidence necessary to keep injured athletes on the sidelines until they recover.

In Living Color — of DNA

A new method to track and label DNA has been found by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School — the colorfully named CRISPRainbow method. The method allows tracking and tagging of seven different genomic locations in live cells, according to a Tech Times report.

You can read about the complexities of the new technique yourself, but current techniques only allow for tagging a total of three genomic locations. The Rainbow technique provides a better understanding of chromosomes and will allow scientists to study gene structures in real time, an important tool in looking at diseases and genetic response, said Job Dekker, professor and co-director at the Center for 3-D Structure and Physics of the Genome, in the Times article.

Smart Pill Cap Keeps Your Meds in Order

MM_medisafeDid I take my medication this morning, or was that yesterday? It’s easy to forget your pill schedule, especially for seniors or those with multiple prescriptions.

Medisafe iConnect (left), a smart pill management system, gives users the option to use a Bluetooth-equipped iCap that fits onto a regular Rx bottle or the iSort weekly pill organizer — both connect to a smartphone or tablet using a Bluetooth wireless connection, according to a MedGadget article. Each device shares info with family members and physicians using the cloud and each can create a schedule on a user's phone as a reminder to take medications.

This could be incredibly useful to senior citizens and geriatricians, but may require some tech training for those unfamiliar with Bluetooth.

Brushing Your Teeth — and Allergies Away

MM_IntrommuneYou brush your teeth at least once a day — I hope. Why not use that time to help get rid of allergies?

That’s what biotech company Intrommune has in mind with its allergy immunotherapy toothpaste (initial batch of INT-301 OMIT [oral mucosal immunotherapy] toothpaste containing peanut allergens at right). The idea is to introduce a person to what he or she is allergic to in small doses, which is found in the OMIT toothpaste containing peanut allergens, according to a report in Business Insider. Treatment for allergy immunotherapy usually takes three to five years — so adding the technique to a patient’s daily routine would help them stick with it.

The main target is currently peanut allergies, which affect nearly 1.5 million children; and a study published in Allergy & Rhinology showed the toothpaste method to be safe and effective compared with current methods of food allergy treatment. The most important task is still underway — finding a toothpaste flavor children will like.