All articles by ky nikitha

ky nikitha

The ultimate puzzle

Traditional methods of diagnosing patients with neurological diseases have a number of issues for healthcare professionals and patients. Over recent decades, there has been an increase in the use of blood tests, which can measure important biomarkers in a non-invasive and cost-effective way. Emma Green speaks with Niklas Mattsson, associate senior lecturer at Lund University and physician at Skåne University Hospital in Sweden, about the potential of these newer methods to improve our understanding of neurological diseases, as well as informing diagnosis and treatment.

Ideas on paper

Paper-based diagnostics at point-of-care are commonplace in today’s healthcare. However, they do have their limitations, something scientists are working to address. Andrew Tunnicliffe speaks with Professor Eden Morales-Narváez of the Center for Optics Research, Mexico, to find out how a variant of quantum physics could help.

Deep dive into data

There is a lot of discussion about machine learning, AI and automation within healthcare, but implementation remains at an early stage. Nevertheless, these tools provide huge opportunities to a number of different areas. Nikolay Oskolkov, research scientist from Lund University, speaks to Emma Green about the potential of deep learning to transform diagnostics.

Nowhere to hide

Ovarian cancer is hard to spot in the body and difficult to operate upon, with surgeons often failing to extract the minuscule tumours from patients the first time around. Now, a new optical imaging method promises to reduce the disease’s grim mortality rate. Greg Noone talks to Dr Neelkanth Bardhan from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about how his laboratory’s scanning technique improves the accuracy of not only the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, but also its treatment.

It’s in the genome

Current testing of patients with neurodevelopmental and congenital anomalies leaves a number of cases undiagnosed or unexplained. A new sophisticated computational model, developed by scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute, is bringing an innovative method of diagnosing rare genetic conditions. Emma Green speaks to Bekim Sadikovic, associate scientist at Lawson and head of the molecular genetics division in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, London Health Sciences Centre about the implications of these findings.

Comic relief

Before undergoing surgery, patients must be fully informed about what the procedure entails, yet the complex nature of the content provided means they often feel overwhelmed. New research shows that comic-style information can be helpful. Emma Green speaks to Anna Brand, lead investigator and cardiologist at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, about the implications of these findings.

The triangular treatment

Globally, the demand for healthcare resources continues to grow as the demographics of the population change, long-term conditions become more prevalent, patient expectations rise and medical technology advances. Associated with this is a projected rise in the number of people with chronic wounds. The impact of a wound on the patient is significant, with patients reporting pain, a reduced quality of life and social isolation. The World Union of Wound Healing Societies outlines how the triangle of wound assessment can help ensure comprehensive and evidence-based wound management.

Skin in the game

Affecting millions in the US, chronic, large or non-healing wounds, such as diabetic pressure ulcers, are especially costly as they often require multiple treatments. Scientists have created a new mobile skin-bioprinting system, which allows bilayered skin to be printed directly onto a wound. Sean Murphy, assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, speaks to Kerry Taylor-Smith about the implications for wound care.

Future shock

Electrotherapy units have been a part of doctors’ arsenals for decades, yet their use has long been hampered by technical drawbacks and dangerous side effects. But with the rise of nanotechnology, scientists finally have the chance to bring electrotherapy into our century. Andrea Valentino talks to Dr Xudong Wang, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about how the humble bandage is now at the forefront of medical life.

Nudge in the right direction

Hand hygiene is, of course, paramount to prevent infections but boosting compliance remains challenging. Nudging, a gentle push to encourage a desirable behaviour, could provide an easily implemented, inexpensive measure to address the issue. Emma Green speaks to Martine Caris, resident in internal medicine from the Department of Internal Medicine at OLVG Hospital, Amsterdam, about the potential of this novel approach.