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Device to save hospitals billions

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posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 03:12 PM
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CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (CNN) -- Imagine a computer program so clever, it senses the level of pain a patient is in and measures the exact amount of pain relief and sedative drugs they need.

A team of New Zealand engineers and medical experts is working on a device that will be able to do just that.

They hope their development will eventually be available for commercial use, potentially saving hospitals throughout the world billions of dollars in wasted drugs. It will also help speed up patient recovery.

The project began two years ago when University of Canterbury student Andrew Rudge, 25, began searching for a subject for his PhD in mechanical engineering.

www.cnn.com...

Shaw told Case that current methods of assessing pain and agitation in patients were very subjective and often resulted in over-sedation.

The two main consequences of this were extended stays in intensive care units and increased drug use -- both of which were costly.

Rudge, along with a group of other students, set to work on seeing if automatic detection would be possible, using complex mathematic formulas.
Chase believes the invention has the potential to be used in a vast number of areas in drug administration, including managing schizophrenia, where getting drug doses correct is also difficult.

He says the research group has received a lot of positive feedback about the idea from both medical and engineering communities.



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 03:17 PM
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How about this?

Stop overpricing medicine, charging people $50.00 per aspirin, and limiting medical malpractice suits?

I was just at small claims court with a hospital, because I didn't agree with the bill. I lost. (Remember, always get a lawyer, heh).



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 04:05 PM
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sounds... nice. money saving=good. a computer telling me how much im in pain? i dunno... it says that it detects your uncomfort through a video camera, am i the only one that finds this not to be a great way to figure your pain level out? you dont have to move a lot for it to hurt like a mother, but more importantly, who says you have to be able to move it? and what happens when you toss around, as in sleep or just to get comfortable?

the idea of asking a nurse, while slower, is much more practical.



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 04:16 PM
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Yeah it sees you tossing and turning in your sleep and administers enough sedative to put you in a coma. Sounds kind of scary at the moment.

Wouldn't a neural interface be more practical, or one that monitors body chemistry?



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Sigma
Wouldn't a neural interface be more practical, or one that monitors body chemistry?


(obviously) harder, but yeah. body chemistry wud be still easy enough to monitor, im sure, but i dont quite know what to check for. pain is really just electrical signals, so unless you have super sensitive equipment searching the entire body, you have to rely on physiological changes that are hard to interpret and you dont need them to catch pain.

neural interface? yeah, but this is a few years off. we'd need to know exactly what parts of the brains are being stimulated, and while an MRI may not be bad, constant exposure to a high powered magnetic field is sure as hell neither good nor practical for a bed chamber. but, yeah, doable, we need a little more research, and even then ud need to use general anesthetics, you still wouldnt not where it was hurting.



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 06:16 PM
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Endorphins are released when in pain... atleast I think so.



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 06:20 PM
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Aren't Endorphins also released when in pleasure?



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 06:39 PM
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[edit on 20-10-2004 by antipigopolist]



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 06:58 PM
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Endorphins are released for both, sorta. they bind to opiate receptors so they help relieve pain, but everyone knows theyre also released for things like runners high. so, yeah. if anyone read the science times article from a few weeks back (expired or id link) they had a piece about experimenting with pain and pleasure with fruit flies.

the result? fruit flies are stupid. but, they also concluded that pain and pleasure are very very closesly connected (w00t go BDSM) and therein lies AN endorphin issue.

the issue with it saving money ends up when the doctors have no idea when or how the person is in pain. if you did it yourself, youd have a pretty good idea of the pain you were in. if you didnt, well, theyd have to approximate. and some is too small, and some is right on, and some is too much. the too much is a waste, and it adds up.



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 07:06 PM
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[edit on 20-10-2004 by antipigopolist]



posted on Sep, 28 2004 @ 08:29 PM
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well, its not exactly first hand, but it does answer it.


Wasted medications occur most often in cases where a physician prescribes drugs to a patient, but for some reason, a large portion of the drugs go unused while the patient is still charged in full. For example, a doctor prescribes 20 antibiotic pills to a patient suffering from a bacterial infection. The prescription is filled and charged to the party being billed. A nurse then manually administers the medication to the patient during daily rounds. The patient suffers an allergic reaction after taking just one or two pills. However, the remaining 18 unused pills originally ordered cannot be reused and must be destroyed. Wasted medications end up costing healthcare payers billions each year.


source

i was wrong, ill admit, but ill say thats cuz ive never paid a medical bill, and in that case i think i still come out on top.




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