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Health Studies

Amazon Echo & Google Home Programmable For Use in Hospital Operating Rooms

Smart-speakers can now recommend medical devices to use to doctors in theaters



smart-speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo for medical procedures in hospitals
Google Home and Amazon Echo can help doctors during surgeries. Photo Credit: deborabalves/Pixabay

A new study reveals that Amazon Echo and Google Home among other smart-speakers can be programmed to assist doctors in hospital operating rooms. These home and electronic appliances can now be applied to use during medical procedures in theaters.

The ability of these appliances to be used for medical support was demonstrated at the 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Amazon Echo and Google Home among other related smart-speakers provide audio responses when interventional radiology (IR) doctors demand answers to certain procedures when they are garbed in sterile scrub and treating patients.

Using Voice Commands, the Smart-Speakers Can Provide Instant Information for Medical Decisions

Lead author of the study, Kevin Seals, a fellow in interventional radiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said you are not able to use the computer when you are in the middle of a medical procedure since you need to remain sterile. In that case, this latest smart-speaker technology enables physicians to decide on crucial steps to follow based on information delivered by the smart appliances.

The UCSF research team created an application that can determine the appropriate size for any device to be used in the theater room. With the digital application, physicians can ask the Google Home smart-speaker any questions and the appliance can reply with recommendations of accurate device sizes to be used during procedures.

For instance, an IR may want to know the size of sheath to use for implanting a stent inside the blood vessel of a patient. With a voice command from the IR, the appliance will instantly communicate the accurate size of sheath to be used based on the patient’s situation, helping the physician reach a conclusion instantly.

Smart-Speakers to Be Applied To Other Medical Fields in the Coming Years

Considering that hundreds of devices are manufactured into the medical industry every day, physicians have a difficult time choosing the correct devices or size of materials to use in given procedural situations.

“This technology allows physicians to concentrate more closely on the care of their patients, devoting less time and mental energy to device technicalities,” Seals said.

In the process of creating the application for the smart-speakers, the research team developed size specs for catheters, sheaths, stents, vascular plugs and others using literature reviews for 475 IR devices.

The developers used Dialogflow to implement natural human language understandable by the smart-speakers and relayable by the appliances following an input query. Python script saved in the cloud was used to develop logic and other data processing operations.

The team looks forward to improving their technology to include information on material costs and inventory databases among other applicable areas of interests. With the instant information provided by the smart-speakers to physicians, treatments will become more efficient, cost-effective and more beneficial to patients.

Researchers also plan to expand the applicability of the appliances to doctors in other areas of specialization so that they can easily access electronic health records and patient clinical data such as previous surgeries and allergies.

Charles has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches.

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Health Studies

Diet May Have A Bigger Influence On Mood Than We Thought



An interesting new study published in the PLOS ONE journal has revealed some interesting insights about how a healthy diet can help to combat depression. While it has been known for a significant amount of time that diet influences moods, this new study shows some previously-unknown facts and data that is difficult to argue with. In this study, the authors studied and monitored a group of young adults: one group followed a healthy diet for three weeks, while the others didn’t change their diets. The first group showed significantly lower levels of anxiety and stress. Meanwhile, those in the second group – who had a much higher intake of carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar – tended to do far worse.

According to a researcher in the study, Heather Francis, the results were actually somewhat surprising. “I think the next step is to demonstrate the physiological mechanism underlying how diet can improve depression symptoms,” Francis said.

In the study, people in the first group are far more fruit and vegetables per week, which seemed to make the biggest difference.

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Health Studies

Studies of Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke and Drug Testing



The known health risks of secondhand cigarette smoke to the lungs and heart raise questions about whether the similar secondhand marijuana smoke exposure poses same health risks. Not only adults, but also children, and even pets may suffer from accidental ingestion of secondhand marijuana.

Since cannabis has gotten more potent, it has been legalized in many states across the U.S. This puts nonsmokers at the increasing risk of inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke, which can ultimately influence their drug testing. This is why they frequently ask about the potential psychoactive result of such exposure and whether an individual who has been exposed to it could fail a drug test.

Recent studies show that while secondhand marijuana smoke can negatively affect the health of the exposed individuals, it will unlikely make them fail their drug test.

In one study, researchers measured THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content in the blood samples of people who did not use marijuana, but had spent more than three hours in a well-ventilated space with individuals smoking it. It was found that the blood samples of non-smoking participants tested positive with THC, however the levels were below the 50 ng/ml required to fail regular drug testing.

Another study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology has something else to say. This research suggests that inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke in some cases can lead to a failed drug test. In this study nonsmokers were exposed to extreme marijuana smoke in poorly ventilated rooms with smokers. After that, the scientists tested the urine samples of the nonsmokers for 9-carboxy-THC, and only one sample out of 12 surpassed typically detectable levels (50 ng/ml). This happened after the nonsmoking participant was exposed to 4-6 hours of marijuana smoke.  

The THC levels in urine of nonsmokers were rapidly decreasing with time, which shows that drug tests can be passed in a matter of hours or even minutes depending on the exposure.

Although most of the samples were tested negative during the urine test, this study shows that positive result is possible, but only in the extreme conditions.

Researchers also said that THC in urine of secondhand smokers could be detected using a more sensitive tests with cutoff levels less than 50 ng/ml. Fortunately, organizations and workplaces don’t employ such drug tests.  

So, this is a bit of a relief for people who do not smoke themselves, but have weed-using friends.

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Health Studies

An interview with Dr. Dushyant Singh (founder of Medical Cannabis Clinic Australia, an online clinic)



Medical cannabis clinic Australia is an online clinic founded by Dr Dushyant Singh to help Australians start on medical cannabis for their chronic medical conditions. We interviewed Dr Dushyant Singh to learn more about his Online clinic.

What inspired you to start up Medical Cannabis clinic?

I have a vast experience in Chronic disease management, and Very often, I come across medical conditions where conventional treatments have failed or causing significant side effects. Being from India, where there is evidence of the use of medical cannabis as one of the 1st medications in the world, I firmly believe this to be a great medication. And after the legalization of medical marijuana in Australia, every patient I have prescribed Medical cannabis the result has been better than my expectation each time.

We need to change the way we think about marijuana – not as a drug of addiction but as an outstanding therapeutic agent. Used judicially and responsibly under the guidance of doctors, the benefits for managing chronic medical conditions with our patients, are clear.

For me, being a medical cannabis prescriber has provided some of my most satisfying experiences as a doctor. The feedback from patients has been impressive:

I still have pain, but it doesn’t bother me now.”

I feel more motivated.”

I feel clearer in my head.”

I got my life back.”

Seeing medical cannabis alleviate the physical pain and mental suffering of patients is incredibly rewarding. Feedback like this is why we become healthcare providers.

What services do you offer?

Through my online medical cannabis clinic I offer eligibility assessment for medical cannabis, then help the patient select the type of product which can be dried flower, CBD oil, THC oil, CBD buccal spray and CBD crystal.  Once the treatment plan is decided, I offer patient education and they need to sign a written consent form. As a part of 1st appointment, I apply for government approval for medical cannabis.

After starting medical cannabis, then next is monthly follow up, its essential part of treatment.

What fees you charge and what is the cost of medical cannabis?

For the 1st consultation, my fees is $199 and monthly follow up cost is $89, the cost of medical cannabis can be up to $10/day. DVA and private health insurance are paying for medical cannabis.

Where do you get the medical cannabis from?

I only do consultation and its similar to any other medical consultation and I write scripts and send to the pharmacy who has the licence for dispensing, they can even post it to your address. The pharmacy order the medical cannabis from the local importers.

What medical conditions Medical cannabis are used for?

There are many medical conditions where medical cannabis has been successfully used and has shown to be effective.  Some of the medical conditions I have prescribed medical cannabis are

Chronic Pain Conditions

Chronic non-cancer pain

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Headache

Fibromyalgia pain

Arthritis Pain

Chronic Hip pain

Chronic Back pain

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Pain


Chronic pelvic pain


Neuropathic Pain

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Peripheral Neuropathy


Palliative Care

Palliative Pain


Neurological Conditions

Multiple Sclerosis Pain

Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity




Sleep Disorders

Chronic Insomnia

Sleep Apnea



Cancer pain

Chemo-induced Nausea

Anorexia and wasting associated with cancer or chronic illness


Paediatric Conditions

Paediatric epilepsy



Tourette’s Syndrome


Psychiatric Conditions



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder




Has lasted three months or longer

also, has not responded to conventional medical treatment, or has side effects


How does your online clinic work?

Patients can go to my  website  and on the appointment page they can select 1st consultation, pay the fee online, then it will give them the option to choose a date and time of consultation with me and a form to fill medical details. The patient gets confirmation details with a link for teleconsultation in their e-mail.

They get reminders before the appointment time.

During the consultation, I take further details needed for assessment for medical cannabis. Once prescribed, we have our team will contact each patient at a time interval of 1 week, three weeks and monthly after that for follow up.

I help patients with dose titration and once good results are achived I help them slowly wean off other medications.

Thank you Dushyant for sharing your thoughts with us!
If you have more questions, you can follow up with Dr Dushyant Singh for Medical cannabis  at:

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