IEEE PULSE
Feature

Feature July/August 2021
Novel Health Risk Alert System for Occupational Safety in Hot Environments
The last century has seen a gradual increase in global average temperatures—a phenomenon that has come to be known as global warming. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has reported that 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record and that the global average temperature was ~1.2 oC above preindustrial (1850–1900) levels. Adverse effects on health resulting from global warming are important issues to consider, as health risks associated with such extreme heat are anticipated... Read more
Feature July/August 2021
Harnessing Another Tool for Treating Brain Cancer
In the United States alone, an estimated 700,000 people have been diagnosed and are living with a brain tumor, and it is estimated that approximately 84,000 people will receive a tumor diagnosis in 2021 [1]. Fortunately, the majority of these tumors will be benign; on average only 30% of all brain tumors are malignant. For patients with malignant tumors, the current five-year survival rate is 36% with an average 31% ten-year survival rate [2], but for those diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM)—one of the most deadly and treatment-resistant cancers—the patient survival rate falls to a low 7.2% and the median life-span after diagnosis is only eight months. GBM is the most common primary malignant brain tumor, even as an increasing numbers of cancer patients are diagnosed with brain metastases (secondary brain tumors), where the cancer has traveled to the brain from another part of the body... Read more
Feature July/August 2021
Bioprinting Marches Forward With New Technology
With the advent of additive manufacturing and a flurry of new-generation, three-dimensional (3D) printers that hit the market in the early 2000s, biomedical innovators began envisioning the technology as a way to replace damaged or diseased tissue and organs with on-demand, printed parts [1]–[3]. The path from vision to reality was not quite as quick or easy as many anticipated, but research groups today are making headway to keep the technology moving toward its goal... Read more
Feature July/August 2021
Probing the Future of Psychedelics for Mental Health
Mounting evidence suggests that psychedelics may be useful for treating a range of different neuropsychiatric conditions that currently have limited treatment options. On May 4–6, 2021, leaders from academia and industry discussed a variety of issues related to the development and adoption of psychedelic drugs for different conditions during the virtual Psychedelic Therapeutics and Drug Development Conference. Selected topics from the conference are presented below... Read more
Feature July/August 2021
Targeting the Gut to Treat the Brain
Only ten years ago, the idea that bacteria in your gut could affect your brain and behavior was seen as a fringe theory. But today, it is well-established that the trillions of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract—collectively known as the gut microbiome—profoundly influence the brain. Now, researchers are working to harness the power of the gut microbiome to develop new treatments for brain disorders... Read more
Feature May/June 2021
Can Coverscan Help COVID-19 Survivors?
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and hospitals were overburdened from patients suffering from the immediate, acute effects of the virus. But as time went on, it turned out that even the patients who survived—or had mild symptoms and didn’t require hospitalization—weren’t fully recovered... Read more
Feature May/June 2021
Finding New Ways To Treat Tremors
An estimated ten million people in the United States have a condition known as essential tremor (ET). Yet although it’s been recognized for over a century—it was originally known as senile tremor—there is relatively little awareness of it as a distinct medical condition. Sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, ET can lead to shaking of the arms and hands, and sometimes the head or torso. When severe, it can interfere with eating or drinking, writing, dressing, and even make some tasks impossible. Now, new approaches for treating the condition are emerging, potentially offering options to many patients whose life activities have been curtailed by ET... Read more
Feature May/June 2021
The PACE of Change
At a time when a global vaccine program is being rolled out at unprecedented speed, the world is more aware than ever before of the wonders of medical science. There are, however, many diseases that remain beyond the reach of modern medicine and the potency of some of our most widely used therapies are waning... Read more
Feature May/June 2021
Medical Care in the Digital Era
Electronic health records (EHRs), virtual office visits, and health-related apps are priming the path toward a future vision of medical care in the digital age. That future includes streamlining patient-provider interactions, making good use of the wealth of collected data, and ultimately improving all levels of care from prevention to diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes... Read more
Feature May/June 2021
The RADxSM Tech Process: Accelerating Innovation for COVID-19 Testing
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for rapid and accurate diagnostic testing across populations quickly became evident. In response, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was determined not only to invest heavily in this area but to change the process by which grant proposals were reviewed and funded in order to spur faster development of viable technologies. The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative was designed to speed innovation, commercialization, and implementation of potential COVID-19 diagnostic technology... Read more