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Mar 27, 2023

Delivering more compassionate care in intensive care medicine

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, ethics, health

In the intensive care unit (ICU), critically ill patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary care team. Compassionate and caring behaviors on the part of the care team result in better outcomes for patients and their families, and care providers entering the demanding field of medicine because they wish to help people and relieve suffering. However, studies have demonstrated deficiencies in delivering compassionate health care. Evidence suggests that physicians may miss up to 90% of opportunities to respond to patients with compassion.

To determine what factors drive and enhance compassionate care behaviors in the ICU setting and which factors drain and negate caring attitudes and behaviors, Shahla Siddiqui, MD, MSc, FCCM, and a colleague conducted an observational, qualitative study of an international panel of intensive and critical . The researcher-clinicians report in PLOS ONE that while ICU physicians and nurses feel a deep moral imperative to deliver the highest level of compassionate care, pressures of capacity strain, lack of staff, lack of compassionate skills training and a heavy emphasis on electronic health record maintenance present significant hurdles to achieving that goal.

“Studies done on physician compassion from a patient perspective emphasize listening and awareness of the patient’s , which not only builds trust within the patient-physician relationship but also enhances resilience amongst the care team and prevents burnout,” said Siddiqui, an anesthesiologist at BIDMC. “Our aim was to describe compassionate behaviors in the ICU, study the factors that enhance and those that drain such behaviors with an aim to enable recommendations for practice and training.”

Mar 27, 2023

How can Europe tackle its unfinished tuberculosis business?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics

In 2015, European countries formulated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aimed to end TB by 2030. However, in September 2018, global leaders at the first United Nations (UN) General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against TB agreed on an ambitious target of eradicating TB by 2022. They strategized that increased access to TB treatment and preventive measures would help achieve their goal quickly. Another measure adopted to progress the TB eradication goal was increasing the funds related to TB research and services.

An uneven progress regarding TB eradication by 2030 was observed in some European regions by the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the majority of Western European countries were on track for TB elimination, Eastern European and Central Asian countries reported a high number of incidences of drug-resistant (DR) TB.

In the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA), TB prevalence is low. Based on the TB surveillance conducted in Europe, out of 30 countries, 24 reported less than 10 TB cases per 100,000 population in 2021. These countries have been encouraged to maintain this low rate and attain the pre-elimination phase of less than 10 TB cases per million population per year. A recent Eurosurveillance journal editorial discussed the progress in the EU/EEA, between 2018 and 2021, towards achieving the 2030 targets for TB elimination.

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Mar 27, 2023

Shh! Intensive care incubators resonate sounds and risk damage to premature babies’ hearing, scientists say

Posted by in category: futurism

For vulnerable premature babies, an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a lifesaver, but the consequences can last a lifetime. Many studies have shown that the NICU is a noisy environment and that babies who spend time there have higher rates of hearing impairment, which can lead to delays in language acquisition. Scientists from Vienna, Hamburg, Munich, and Osnabruck set out to investigate the role of the incubator, an underestimated element in the soundscape that surrounds babies during their time in the NICU.

“The motivation of our multidisciplinary research team concerns the question: why many more premature babies suffer hearing impairments,” said Dr. Christoph Reuter from the University of Vienna, corresponding author of the study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics. “We believe that what we have measured in our studies could be a leading cause. However, to understand how to protect from such levels, precise environment information is needed.”

Premature babies experience noise in incubators very differently to the uterus environment. Amniotic fluid muffles from outside the uterus, and most sounds heard in utero will be , with almost no abrupt noises. By contrast, sounds in incubators are much less muffled with many high-frequency components and abrupt noises. Although recommended noise limits have been established, these are often exceeded, especially when incubators are handled or opened.

Mar 27, 2023

A New Field of Computing Powered by Human Brain Cells: “Organoid Intelligence”

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience

Johns Hopkins researchers break ground on new field of ‘organoid intelligence’.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, a “biocomputer” powered by human brain cells could be developed within our lifetime. This technology is expected to exponentially expand the capabilities of modern computing and open up new areas of research.

The team’s plan for “organoid intelligence” was outlined in a recent article published in the journal Frontiers in Science.

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Mar 27, 2023

Digital Twin Approaches Enabled by Cutting-Edge Brain Modelling Advances

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Using a new technology called The Virtual Brain, researchers are able to create personalized computerized brain models of individual patients based on their anatomy, structural connectivity, and brain dynamics.

Source: Human Brain Project.

In the current edition of The Lancet Neurology, researchers of the Human Brain Project (HBP) present the novel clinical uses of advanced brain modeling methods.

Mar 27, 2023

This is what the universe might have looked like after the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology

Researchers have created a computer simulation of early universe in the epoch after the Big Bang. It’s designed to help them interpret real data in future.

Mar 27, 2023

Scientists figured out how to manipulate ‘quantum light’ for the first time in history

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

Manipulating anything in the world of quantum physics is tricky, but now, scientists have managed to manipulate quantum light particles that have a strong relationship with each other. The breakthrough sounds a bit obscure, especially if you aren’t studying quantum mechanics yourself, but it’s a huge success that will be fundamental in how scientists study the quantum realm from here forward.

Mar 27, 2023

The Intersection Of AI And Human Creativity: Can Machines Really Be Creative?

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The ability to be creative has always been a big part of what separates human beings from machines. But today, a new generation of “generative” artificial intelligence (AI) applications is casting doubt on how wide that divide really is!

Tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E give the appearance of being able to carry out creative tasks — such as writing a poem or painting a picture — in a way that’s often indistinguishable from what we can do ourselves.

Does this mean that computers are truly being creative? Or are they simply giving the impression of creativity while, in reality, simply following a set of pre-programmed or probabilistic rules provided by us?

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Mar 27, 2023

Humans In The GenAI Loop

Posted by in categories: cosmology, robotics/AI

Generative AI, the technology behind ChatGPT, is going supernova, as astronomers say, outshining other innovations for the moment. But despite alarmist predictions of AI overlords enslaving mankind, the technology still requires human handlers and will for some time to come.

While AI can generate content and code at a blinding pace, it still requires humans to oversee the output, which can be low quality or simply wrong. Whether it be writing a report or writing a computer program, the technology cannot be trusted to deliver accuracy that humans can rely on. It’s getting better, but even that process of improvement depends on an army of humans painstakingly correcting the AI model’s mistakes in an effort to teach it to ‘behave.’

Humans in the loop is an old concept in AI. It refers to the practice of involving human experts in the process of training and refining AI systems to ensure that they perform correctly and meet the desired objectives.

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Mar 27, 2023

The new Microsoft Teams is here with big performance improvements and UI changes

Posted by in categories: business, engineering

Microsoft Teams has been totally overhauled to run faster and have a more simplified interface.

Microsoft is overhauling its Teams app today to make it faster and easier to use. Microsoft Teams has been rebuilt from the ground up, with a new preview available today for businesses to try out this radical rework that has been years in the making.

“The new Teams is faster, simpler, and more flexible than ever before,” says Sumi Singh, CVP of engineering for Microsoft Teams, in an interview with The Verge. “We’ve made tremendous strides in performance and usability. The new Teams is 2x faster while using 50 percent fewer resources.”

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