Shorts: Band-Aid-like patches with "microneedles"

By Brian Dolan
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Band-Aid-like painless patch with "microneedles": Researchers have designed Band-Aid-like "painless" patches that they hope will one day replace the procedure for getting a shot. The patches are lined with tiny "microneedles" that the researchers believe could change how we manage diabetes as well as a number of other diseases. The patches are supposedly "safer, more effective and less painful," according to the developers. More

Health care and wireless can drive broadband adoption: During an FCC hearing on broadband adoption, Susannah Fox, associate director for digital strategy at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said 63 percent of Americans have home broadband service, which is a significant increase over 2008. Pew's data shows that one key point broadband users value most is the ability to share information with health care providers. About 80 percent of users have used broadband to find health care information online, Fox said. Making it "the de facto second opinion," she explained. More

Designers have created a concept called The Universal Phone, which is created for both blind and sighted people. The phone is conceptualized to make us of thousands of micro pins that raise and lower to form a tactile surface. According to the designers: "Sighted people get the elusive tactile feedback they're missing with ordinary touch-screens and blind people get a whole new interface made of braille." The designers were inspired by that little raised dot on the number 5 on most phones' keypads. This is just a concept phone kicking around design blogs, not a product or even prototype yet. More

The Artificial Retina: Developers have created a retinal prosthesis that is intended for use in treating age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal disorders, like retinitis pigmentosa. "The device uses application-specific integrated circuits to transform digital images from a camera into electrical signals in the eye that the brain uses to create a visual image. The system features a video camera and transmitter mounted in sunglasses, a visual processing unit, and a battery pack to power the device that is worn on the belt. The retinal implant receives a signal via wireless transmission, encodes it into specific patterns of stimulation pulses that are conducted through a cable to the electrode array that stimulates the retina." More