Eyetracking device to keep drivers awake: While some car manufacturers already offer systems which can alert drivers who are dozing off, the feature is rare, and tends to be quite expensive when offered. Now, researchers at the Ilmenau, Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed the Eyetracker, which provides this functionality at a lower cost and can be installed in any car. The Eyetracker’s cameras track the driver’s eyes, and the system will sound an alert if it determines that the driver is falling asleep. According to Fraunhofer, there is also another benefit: The system does not require a PC or a laptop. “What we have developed is a small modular system with its own hardware and programs on board, so that the line of vision is computed directly within the camera itself. Since the Eyetracker is fitted with at least two cameras that record images stereoscopically — meaning in three dimensions — the system can easily identify the spatial position of the pupil and the line of vision,” according to Husar. The information is fed out through a standard interface. This way, the Eyetracker can be connected directly to the car’s trip computer.
Nikon’s Small World micro-photography contest winners: Nikon Small World, a contest of the finest micro-photography being made in research labs around the world, has announced this year’s winners. Above is the 1st place winning image of a mosquito heart taken using fluorescence microscopy by Jonas King of Vanderbilt University. Below is the runner up image from Hideo Otsuna of University of Utah Medical Center showing a 5-day old zebrafish head taken using a confocal microscope.
Real-time intraoperative visualization of cancerous tissue: When performing surgery to remove a malignant tumor, a surgeon’s biggest concern is ensuring that the margin is clean, that is to say, no cancerous tissue is left behind. This task is particularly difficult because current methods of staining tumors are crude and unreliable, therefore it is difficult to visualize tumor margins intraop with a 100 percent certainty. To solve this problem, a team of researchers is now working on the SpectroPen, a device which they hope will improve survival rates among cancer patients by allowing surgeons to effectively locate and remove cancerous tissue in real time.
Robot dancing is Intuitive, so to speak: Henderson, Ky.-based Methodist Hospital made a music video promoting their Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NSDQ:ISRG) da Vinci robot suite. This is really as cool as medical devices can get.
A weekly roundup of new developments in medical technology, by MedGadget.com.