Medical Tech

35 stories

In November, with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa showing no signs of slowing, the list of people climbing aboard planes to Liberia and Sierra Leone was not terribly long. Deborah Theobald, the co-founder of healthcare company Vecna Technologies, was one of them. Accompanying her were two new tools that, it was hoped, could aid health workers trying to care for stricken patients.More →

The heart attack started abruptly, a quiver in the left ventricle that starved a section of muscle of vital oxygen. Paralyzed and damaged tissue threw off the heart’s natural pumping rhythm and stretched the valves and cords that keep blood flowing through its chambers. The organ sprang a leak.

The fix was simple: a ring-shaped band that was clipped into an opening between the chambers, with a small hook supporting the stretched cords, helping the mechanism along and reversing the damage that the attack had caused.

The virtual patient, a 39-year-old male, lived. Both he and this heart attack were a simulation, visualized in exacting detail by a team of researchers at Waltham-based Dassault Systèmes who are trying to recreate a biologically accurate model of the heart. Their goal is to enable surgeons and device makers to take a virtual tour through the human body as they experiment and design fixes for it.More →

A new service launching in the United States this week wants to be the Uber for doctors, making medical practitioners available for consultation by text message, video chat, or even a house visit — for a fee, of course.

The company, FirstLine, which has offices in Boston and San Francisco, launched its app nationally this week. Two dozen California-based doctors have been contracted to be on-call and the team is already hiring and training local medics with a goal of launching in Boston this summer.More →

An ultra-thin Macbook laptop and the Apple Watch were the stars of Apple’s Monday media event in San Francisco. But the company also introduced a new suite of apps for the iPhone that could turn the device into a research tool and transform the way researchers study disease.

Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute were among the partners who worked with Apple on the five inaugural research apps. They will track asthma, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, and were built with Apple’s new tool, ResearchKit.More →