Friday, November 21, 2014

Microcontroller (Arduino) controlled Placebo Medical Device? Mobile Phone App?

Is anyone experimenting with a Medical Device that enhances the Placebo Effect?

Perhaps with a Micro-Controller, such as Arduino? 

Or...with a cell phone app?... 


Or....both??????


Or what????


I tried these search strings and found little, (so far) - 

(device OR machine OR apparatus) (placebo OR quack OR quackery OR fake) (microcontroller OR arduino)

 (placebo OR quack OR quackery) app (phone OR mobile OR cellular)


I see great potential in enhancing the Placebo Effect in healing. - What do you think?

Are you interested?  - Stay tuned!

References, particularly of interest - 


*  Do medical devices have enhanced placebo effects? - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10942860


*Testing Medical Devices, Placebo Surgery and Ethics - http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303775504579396954056675022


*  A Placebo Mobile App that Changes Your Life - from Placebo Effect - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-placebo-mobile-app-that-changes-your-life-from-placebo-effect

*  Enhancing placebo effects: insights from social psychology. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23488251


*  Enhancing the Placebo - http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/enhancing-the-placebo/?_r=0


......More to come, I predict....


Placebo references....





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo-controlled_study


"Patients frequently show improvement even when given a sham or "fake" treatment. Such intentionally inert placebo treatments can take many forms, such as a pill containing only sugar, a surgery where nothing efficacious is actually done (just an incision and sometimes some minor touching or handling of the underlying structures), or a medical device (such as an ultrasound machine) that is not actually turned on. Also, due to the body's natural healing ability and statistical effects such as regression to the mean, many patients will get better even when given no treatment at all. Thus, the relevant question when assessing a treatment is not "does the treatment work?" but "does the treatment work better than a placebo treatment, or no treatment at all?" As one early clinical trial researcher wrote, "the first object of a therapeutic trial is to discover whether the patients who receive the treatment under investigation are cured more rapidly, more completely or more frequently, than they would have been without it."[1]p.195 More broadly, the aim of a clinical trial is to determine what treatments, delivered in what circumstances, to which patients, in what conditions, are the most effective."

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo


"A placebo has been defined as "a substance or procedure… that is objectively without specific activity for the condition being treated".[16] Under this definition, a wide variety of things can be placebos and exhibit a placebo effect. Pharmacological substances administered through any means can act as placebos, including pills, creams, inhalants, and injections. Medical devices such as ultrasound can act as placebos.[18][19] Sham surgery,[20][21][22] sham electrodes implanted in the brain,[1] and sham acupuncture, either with sham needles or on fake acupuncture points, have all exhibited placebo effects.[23] Bedding not treated to reduce allergies has been used as a placebo to control for treated bedding.[24] The physician has even been called a placebo;[25] a study found that patient recovery can be increased by words that suggest the patient "would be better in a few days", and if the patient is given treatment, that "the treatment would certainly make him better" rather than negative words such as "I am not sure that the treatment I am going to give you will have an effect".[26] The placebo effect may be a component of pharmacological therapies: Pain killing and anxiety reducing drugs that are infused secretly without an individual's knowledge are less effective than when a patient knows they are receiving them. Likewise, the effects of stimulation from implanted electrodes in the brains of those with advanced Parkinson's disease are greater when they are aware they are receiving this stimulation.[27] Sometimes administering or prescribing a placebo merges into fake medicine."

Hypnosis References - 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis

Combining Hypnosis with the Placebo Effect!!!!!

*  Hypnobo: perspectives on hypnosis and placebo. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17685242

Technical Stuff...

Microcontroller - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller

Arduino - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino

Some resources on Inventing Your own App's....


*  "App Inventor" - by Hal Abelson, Ellen Spertus, Liz Looney - "O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Apr 20, 2011

*  MIT App Inventor - http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/


Looking for examples or ideas on how this all might work....?

*  The "Virtual Healing Machine" - combining hypnosis and activating the Placebo Effect - https://sites.google.com/site/thevirtualhealingmachine/


*  Make your own Virtual Healing Machine with "Virtual Hypnotist"- http://thevirtualhealingmachine.blogspot.com/2011/06/make-your-own-virtual-healing-machine.html


How to Make Your Own Healing Machine - Little Known Techniques to Help You Heal- http://interesting-health-information.blogspot.com/2014/08/how-to-make-your-own-healing-machine.html



Have fun!  :-)

Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not advice of any kind.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

3-D Printing Information, especially for Public Libraries

This is a brief collection of what I think would be helpful for those starting in 3-D Printing, especially Public Libraries: 


General Information -

3D printing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

3-D Printing and the Future of Stuff - WIPO

3-D printing : NPR

Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014 | MAKE


 Open Source -

RepRap - RepRapWiki



Collaboration, Groups, etc. - 

 3ders.org - 3D printer and 3D printing news, trends and

 Information Hubs -

3D Printing Resources » MakeIt Labs

 Public Libraries -  

 Need to use a 3-D printer? Try your local library. - The ...

Makerspaces in Libraries - Libraries & Maker Culture: A

Public Libraries, 3D Printing, FabLabs and Hackerspaces

High-tech tool adds dimensions to Sauk City Library : S

How are 3D printers being used in libraries? What a

Makerspaces 3D Printing & Libraries on Pinterest | 234

Partnering for Possibilities - The Unquiet Librarian

3D Printers & Maker Spaces - Public Libraries News

3D Printers and Maker Spaces in Libraries

All-in-One Guide to Maker Culture and 3D Printing - OEDB.org

Listing of libraries with 3d printers, makerspaces, etc. -Makerspaces in Libraries - Libraries & Maker Culture: A ...



For more information try this Internet Search String - 

(library OR libraries) (3d printing OR fablabs OR hackerspaces)

Add your location to the above string to find other libraries near you, that you could collaborate with.  Example for Wisconsin - (library OR libraries) (3d printing OR fablabs OR hackerspaces) wisconsin

Good Luck!

Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not advice of any kind.





Monday, October 13, 2014

Inventing and Patenting Information Resources

FYI - Here are some resources you might find helpful....

Inventor Information - 

Patent Searching -
 Patenting - 
Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not advice of any kind.

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Make a Bicycle Helmet Reminder - YOU Can Do Something to Save Your Child from Bicycle Injuries!



How to Make a Bicycle Helmet Reminder, Similar to a Vehicle Seat Belt Reminder


YOU Can Do Something to Save Your Child from Bicycle Injuries!

How many articles have you seen written on the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet, especially for children? Most of these articles offer few successful solutions. Usually, the solutions offered consist of parents reminding their children to wear helmets. 

How about having a "Bicycle Helmet Reminder", similar to the "Seatbelt Reminder" in an automobile?
 
I was surprised when I looked on the Internet. There does not seem to be such a device on the market. Therefore, I wrote this article to stimulate innovation and/or discussion to make such a device. 

Will you be the first to invent this? Consider all the lives or injuries you could save with your new device. 

It seems to me certain key elements would be necessary in such a system:
  • Something would sense when the bicycle is being ridden, in motion, or someone is on the bicycle seat.
  • Something would sense whether the rider is wearing a helmet or not.
  • Something like a buzzer would alert when the bicycle is being ridden without a helmet.
I thought of various scenarios and came up with the combination below:
  • A Pressure Sensor could be inside the helmet to detect when the helmet is being worn.
  • A Pressure Sensor could be on the bicycle seat to detect when someone is on the bicycle.
These Pressure Sensors could be "Wireless", maybe RFID, and could communicate to a Central Control Module on the bike or helmet. An inexpensive open-source microprocessor, like Arduino, could be used in the Central Module. This module would make a sound, like a Seatbelt Buzzer, when the bike was being ridden without the rider wearing a helmet. The module could be solar powered to eliminate batteries. Of course, all the components would need to be weatherproof. 

There could be multiple pressure sensors within the helmet to detect proper positioning of the helmet on the rider's head. Maybe there could be one buzzer tone for "riding without a helmet" and another buzzer tone for "helmet improperly positioned". 

This cannot be so far-fetched since I did find some articles and/or patents that describe "helmet reminders". 

What I found were pieces of the above concept. Perhaps you could use the above concept, previous concepts, or devise a much better way of doing this. 

Here are some possible Action Steps, if you think this is a good idea:
  • If you are handy, make such a device. Previous designs are listed below, from which you could derive some ideas. If you are not handy, find someone to make this, e.g. engineering student, free lance inventor, etc. Maybe they have some better ideas on how to do this.
  • If you are a parent, you can "lobby" to have this device made. Some places to "lobby" would be local bike shops, manufacturers, government officials, etc.
  • Children's hospitals can also "lobby" to have such a device made.
  • If you are a student, consider this as a Science Fair Project.
  • If you are an engineering student, wouldn't this be a good project to put on your future employment resume?
  • As a manufacturer, you could make a new and improved Bicycle Helmet Reminder.
Takeaways:
  • A "Bicycle Helmet Reminder" could save lives and injuries.
  • If such a device is not available, YOU can take action steps to "make it happen".
For more information:
Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not medical or legal advice.

There Are Not Enough Medications or Treatments for Pediatric Cancer. Here is What You Can Do About It



What Would You Do If Your Child Had Cancer and There was No Treatment?


There Are Not Enough Medications or Treatments for Pediatric Cancer. Here is What You Can Do About It


From the recent article "Cancer drugs for children remain scarce in U.S.", I was shocked to learn that only one new drug for pediatric cancer has been available in the U.S. over the last 20 years. In addition, only 4 percent of research dollars goes for pediatric cancers. 

From what I have read so far, the problem is that drug companies do not want to make new pediatric cancer drugs because the drugs are not profitable. Other than leukemia, other childhood cancers are relatively rare. 

To encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop new pediatric cancer drugs, new U.S. laws were made, but these new laws do not seem to be very effective.
 
I did not like to hear that, so I am writing this article on what can be done to improve this situation. 

Here is what you can do to help develop new cancer treatments for children: 

1. Express your concerns to your local Congress Person.
2. Tell the U.S. President more needs to be done.
3. Contact your local Children's Hospital and ask what can be done on a local level.
4. Check out the Organizations listed below. Ask how you can help, then follow through and implement their advice.
5. Promote this cause on Social Media, e.g. Facebook.
6. Pass this article around and ask others to become involved. Some examples might be your doctor, place of worship, friends, family, work, etc. The more people asking for change, the more likely change will occur.
7. Where possible and practical, use photos and true-life stories for emphasis. It is harder to say no to a person, especially a sick child, than a statistic.
8. Keep at it. Be persistent. Do not give up. Sick kids are depending on you. 

Takeaways:
  • Pediatric cancer drugs are not developed in the U.S. due to lack of profit.
  • Drug makers might be encouraged to develop new drugs or treatments.
  • You can help effect positive change by taking action steps. Start today.
For More Information:
The Problem:
Potential Solutions:
Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not medical advice.

Consider Recycling Medical Devices as “Alternative or Complementary” Therapy Tools



A New and Unique Way to Recycle Broken or Obsolete Medical Devices


Consider Recycling Medical Devices as “Alternative or Complementary” Therapy Tools

Medical devices and equipment become obsolete too. Sometimes, these devices are recycled for use in poverty areas, which is very good. 

Some equipment cannot be refurbished for further use, however. What happens to those devices? 
 
Usually, medical devices that cannot be refurbished are destroyed. This seems like a waste to me.
Could these devices be converted to placebo healing devices? The devices would not have to work; they just have to look like they work.
 
The Placebo Effect is well known. Whether anyone likes it or not, the placebo response is a part of any medicine or medical treatment. Much of alternative, complementary, and/or integrative medicine seems to be the placebo effect. 

A device does not have to be in working condition for the placebo effect to work. The patient just has to believe, even a little, that it is working for the placebo effect to start. 

Therefore, please consider recycling unusable medical devices into "healing machines", instead of destroying them

Below are some thoughts on how to implement such a plan, if so desired. 

1. First, check around and see if the above is legal in your locality. In addition, check if you are legally able to heal in your locality. Many areas of the world require a license to "practice medicine". Also, see if there is a demand for placebo powered healing machines, before you go to too much trouble. With legal clearance, go ahead with below.
2. Thoroughly clean and disinfect the device.
3. Disable the devices electrically and mechanically. Remove any spring tensions, etc. You do not want to hurt someone while trying to heal them.
4. Remove manufacturer labels or anything to show that made the device initially.
5. Now, that you have a "dead" device comes the fun part.
6. Augment the device with battery powered lights, sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Really make it look like it is doing something. Make it impressive. Have others review the emotional impact. See if they are "wowed". Again, it should not do anything, but just look good.
7. A big part of the placebo response is the healing ritual. Develop a performance surrounding the healing machine. Involve the patient in the healing procedure, if possible. Make it believable.
8. At the end of the performance, reassure them of the healing process. Give them a small token as a remembrance of this healing process. If symptoms recur, ask them to rub the object to remind them of the ongoing healing. 

Since this a new concept, it might take a while to catch on, if at all. This might be a new and exciting field for biomedical engineers. Most medical designs do not consider the Placebo Effect at all, yet about 30% of healing is attributed to the Placebo Effect, the "Will to Live", and so on. 

Takeaways:
  • Broken or obsolete medical devices could be recycled into Alternative or Complementary Healing Devices.
  • Biomedical engineers could design to maximize the Placebo Effect, and therefore maximize overall healing efficiency.
  • A completely new medical industry lies in wait.
For more information:
Disclaimer - Article is for informational use only and is not medical and/or legal advice. Seek professional help, as needed or wanted.