November/December 2021

State of the Art November/December 2021
Alone With My Thoughts
They call them earworms, those songs and ditties that roll around in your head whenever there is nothing else going on. Even when you want to be alone, they are always there, whether one wants them or not. And they resist being forgotten. Some are simple little things, jingles that keep ringing in my ears all day and all night long. They can be triggered by some simple reminder, like catching a television or radio ad, hearing children singing familiar songs, or listening to a choir sing a catchy gospel melody. “It’s A Small World” is particularly deadly... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
A Life Well Lived: In Memory of Máximo E. Valentinuzzi
This article is dedicated to the memory of Max E. Valentinuzzi, an IEEE EMBS Life Fellow and Argentinian biomedical engineer of unparalleled achievements and special contributions to this magazine. Dr. Valentinuzzi passed away on 3 January 2021... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Biomedical Innovation for Everyone, Bias-Free
When undergraduate student Arnelle Etienne (Figure 1) joined a research group at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, to help with the development of electroencephalograph (EEG) electrodes, her first task was to do some background work and learn about them. What she found was both surprising and dismaying: EEG electrodes had never worked—and still did not work on—a large segment of the population; and clinicians and researchers knew about the oversight... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Easing Burnout in Health Care
As the pandemic continues to overwhelm hospitals and staff, mobile strategies to address mental health strain among health care workers are becoming more readily available... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Looking Disease in the Eye
From eye disease to neurological conditions, new technologies are making earlier diagnosis and better patient outcomes a reality by investigating the eye... Read more
Book Reviews November/December 2021
Electronic Devices, Circuits, and Systems for Biomedical Applications: Challenges and Intelligent Approach, 1st ed.
This 25-chapter text is the product of some 73 contributors, as edited by five editors. Publicity for the text suggests the book “explains the latest information on the design of new technological solutions for low-power, high-speed efficient biomedical devices, circuits and systems” and is “is ideal for graduate students in biomedical engineering and medical informatics, biomedical engineers, medical device designers, and researchers in signal processing.” After reading the first nine chapters of this text (plus a tenth), this review suggests that this text falls short of the above aspirations. The reasons why will become evident in the chapter reviews below... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
Innovative Vaccines to Fight COVID-19, Other Viruses
COVID-19 added urgency to the quest for the development of new vaccines, and academic researchers and biotechnology companies responded by capitalizing on already-in-the-pipeline advances and swiftly transitioning products from the lab to the clinic. Their efforts reaped rewards. According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services analysis, the COVID vaccines delivered in the USA from January to May 2021 resulted in 39,000 fewer deaths and 107,000 fewer hospitalizations, and prevented another 265,000 cases among Medicare recipients alone... Read more
Feature November/December 2021
The mRNA Revolution is Coming
A bright spot during this COVID-19 pandemic has been the rapid development of effective vaccines that work by harnessing the power of messenger RNA, or mRNA. mRNA vaccines might seem like a relatively new idea, but researchers have been working on the technology behind them for decades. Now, the success of Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines are highlighting the immense potential for mRNA therapies—not just for infectious diseases, but also to treat cancer and genetic disorders... Read more