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Smartphone, AI may help detect diabetic retinopathy

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New York, April 30: Equipping a smartphone to capture retinal images and using artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret those may help overcome barriers to ophthalmic screening for people with diabetes, says a study.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not detected early.

At the 2019 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, researchers from Kellogg Eye Center revealed that combining a smartphone-mounted device that takes high-quality retinal pictures with AI software might offer a solution for better screening of diabetic retinopathy.

“The key to preventing DR-related vision loss is early detection through regular screening,” said Yannis Paulus, lead researcher and Assistant Professor from University of Michigan.

According to Paulus, also a vitreoretinal surgeon at Kellogg Eye Center, “the key is to bring portable, easy-to-administer, reliable retinal screening to primary care doctors’ offices and health clinics”.

Paulus was part of a Kellogg team that developed a device that turns a smartphone into a functioning retinal camera. The team used the latest generation of the smartphone-based platform called RetinaScope.

“This is the first time that AI used on a smartphone-based platform has been shown to be effective compared with the gold standard of clinical evaluation,” said Paulus.

IANS

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Cities

Rare tumour removed from woman’s heart at AMU medical college

The surgery intervention was planned by former AMU Pro Vice Chancellor and cardiothoracic surgeon, Prof M H Beg.

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Aligarh, Sep 20 : Specialists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of Aligarh Muslim University successfully removed a rare tumour from the heart of a 60-year-old female patient. In the past two years the JNMC has successfully conducted 200 cardiac surgeries.

Harpyari, a resident of Mendu, Hathras, experienced chest pain and breathing difficulty during exertion. She consulted several doctors before reaching the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC) of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where she was advised immediate surgery after the diagnosis showed a rare tumour pressing her heart on the left-side chambers.

Harpyari underwent the surgery with a 30-minute stoppage of heartbeats while a cardiopulmonary bypass machine kept her alive, said Dr Mohd Azam Haseen, Chairman, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, who performed the surgery with a team comprising of Dr Sumit Pratap Singh and Dr M Ghazanfar.

“The tumour was removed successfully and the patient’s heart was reconstructed,” said Dr Sumit Singh adding that Harpyari has been discharged and asked to meet the doctors for follow up.

“We knew from the planning and diagnosis stage that the life-threatening tumour could significantly reduce blood flow through the heart,” said Haseen and his team members.

The surgery intervention was planned by former AMU Pro Vice Chancellor and cardiothoracic surgeon, Prof M H Beg.

Dr Nadeem Raza provided anaesthesia to the patient before the surgery; while Dr Sabir Ali Khan, Dr Shekhar, Dr Shabbah, Dr Noha and Dr Ahmad Ammar were the clinical perfusionists.

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Health

Here comes a device to regrow hair on bald head

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New York, Sep 20 : There is good news for people experiencing hair loss as researchers have developed a wearable device that harnesses energy from the wearer and delivers gentle electric pulses to stimulate dormant hair follicles and regrow hair.

Because the devices are powered by the movement of the wearer, they do not require a bulky battery pack or complicated electronics.

In fact, they are so low-profile that they could be discreetly worn underneath the crown of an everyday baseball cap.

“I think this will be a very practical solution to hair regeneration,” said one of the researchers Xudong Wang, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

In side-by-side tests on hairless mice, the devices stimulated hair growth just as effectively as two different compounds found in baldness medicines, said the study published in the journal ACS Nano.

Based on devices that gather energy from a body’s day-to-day motion, the hair growth technology stimulates the skin with gentle, low-frequency electric pulses, which coax dormant follicles to reactivate hair production.

The devices do not cause hair follicles to sprout anew in smooth skin. Instead they reactivate hair-producing structures that have gone dormant.

That means they could be used as an intervention for people in the early stages of pattern baldness, but they would not bestow cascading tresses to someone who has been as bald as a billiard ball for several years.

Explaining the hair-growth technology, the researchers said that small devices called nanogenerators passively gather energy from day-to-day movements and then transmit low-frequency pulses of electricity to the skin. That gentle electric stimulation causes dormant follicles to “wake up.”

“Electric stimulations can help many different body functions,” Wang said.

“But before our work there was no really good solution for low-profile devices that provide gentle but effective stimulations,” Wang said.

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Entertainment

Rahul Bose to pledge for organ donation after death

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New Delhi, Sep 20 : Actor-director and sportsperson Rahul Bose will soon be signing up for “deceased organ donation” and would be pledging “every square inch” of his body for donation after death.

Bose, in a conversation with IANS, made the announcement and said that he is happy to “pledge everything” from bone, tissue, cornea, and every single part human beings can benefit from.

“I’ll pledge every square inch of my body,” said the 52-year-old actor.

“The Japanese Wife” actor is a panelist at an upcoming discussion organised by CII’s Indian Women Network and Yi (Young Indians) Delhi Chapters on September 24 in New Delhi. According to Bose, he will be formally signing up for donation of his organs on the date.

He already supports the causes of equalizing development through children’s education and preventing child sexual abuse through his foundations.

“It’s very simple for me, I take any way by which I can help human beings lead a better life… I’ve dedicated the last 14 years of my life to these causes, and supporting many other causes in a smaller way. So, if I can help other human beings (by donating organs), why wouldn’t I?”

“If you’re going to die, (and post that) if your body can be used to benefit 8-9 other human beings in terms of organs, what would be greater good karma.”

The event, happening in partnership with MOHAN (Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network) Foundation is backed by industry and commerce body CII, which gives the actor some hope about the mainstreaming of organ donation in India.

“It’s so unpopular right now… In India, there’s one organ donor per 1 million people, whereas in Spain, there are 49 per 10 lakh people.”

Does he encourage more and more people to donate their organs?

“I would encourage other people to find out more about it, allay their fears, superstitions and irrational beliefs. Only when you’re satisfied, they definitely should.”

Bose was recently in news for a Rs 442 bill he was given at a Chandigarh hotel for just two bananas.

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