T. Rex on a Budget

MIT researchers used a $150 Microsoft Kinect to 3D scan a giant T. rex skull

The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago discovered a giant T. rex skull in 1990 and have been studying mysterious holes in its jaw that were previously thought to be either bite marks from a predator or damage caused by eating diseased prey.

In order to further their research, they needed a high resolution scan of the skull so that they could study it more closely. After trying to scan it with prototype high-end equipment, they realized the skull was too large to get a proper image. However, this task was easily achieved with Microsoft Kinect, an in-depth-sensing camera and free MeshLab software.

“A lot of people will be able to start using this,” says Anshuman Das, a research scientist at the Camera Culture group. “That’s the message I want to send out to people who would generally be cut off from using technology — for example, paleontologists or museums that are on a very tight budget. There are so many other fields that could benefit from this.”

Not only is this option a practical and accessible one, it can also be easily shared in the cloud.

Why it’s Hot:

Sometimes the most expensive option isn’t the best one. Less expensive technologies that can be used for high complexity tasks can open doors to more people and organizations and democratize the pursuit of knowledge.

I Should Have Taken the Blue Pill

Is Digital Medicine the future of medication adherence?

Until recent technological advancements, it’s been almost impossible to ensure that patients are complying with their prescription protocols. Other than self-reporting there have been few tools to assure patients are adherent.

What is medication adherence?

  1. The right drug
  2. At the right dose
  3. At the right time
  4. On the right schedule
  5. Under the right conditions
  6. With the right precautions

Advancements such as electronic pill bottles that send data to providers every time they are opened help a bit. While this is a step in the right direction, it still doesn’t prove whether the patient actually swallowed the pill.

Along comes Proteus Discover developed by Proteus Digital Health

What it includes:

  • An ingestible sensor the size of a grain of sand
  • A small, wearable sensor patch
  • The patient’s mobile device/application
  • A provider portal

How it Works.

The patient swallows the pill that contains the sensor. Once it hits the stomach it transmits a signal to the wearable patch which then sends a record to the user’s mobile device and finally, to the doctor portal, therefore closing the loop in the adherence monitoring cycle.

Additionally. The patch tracks steps, activity, rest, and heart rate and sends the data to the patient’s mobile device in a way that is familiar to apps they are already accustomed to.

Why it’s hot.

Medication non-adherence leads to uncontrolled health conditions, excess hospitalizations, emergency room visits and office visits, resulting in additional cost to the U.S. healthcare system of $290 billion annually.

By leveraging technology, both emerging and existing, not only can patients be more empowered in managing their own treatment regimens, providers will have a direct link to data that will help inform treatment decisions and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.