July/August 2015

Cover Story July/August 2015
Voices for the Voiceless: Rupal Patel is Creating Personalized Prosthetic Voices
Maeve Flack is a spunky, spirited 8-year-old. She also has cerebral palsy and communicates with a speech synthesizer, using her eye gaze to control what she says. Her mother, Kara, is thrilled her daughter can express herself. But the voice that... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
New Dental Tech Says a Mouthful
Above: Dentistry has evolved considerably, first with digital dental radiography, then cone beam computed tomography, and now intraoral scanning, which includes scans made with lasers, a series of LED lights, or high-speed video imaging, according to Jonathan Ferencz. Here, he uses... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Talking Sense
Above: Nicholas Constant wearing the Big Ears. A man with a strange contraption behind his right ear paces a hallway. Wires trail from his ear to a battery pack tucked into his waistband. A woman carefully squeezes a bag filled with... Read more
Society News July/August 2015
Open for Comments: "Rehabilitation Engineers, Technologists, and Technicians: Vital Members of the Assistive Technology Team"
RESNA’s Rehabilitation Engineer and Technologist Professional Specialty Group (PSG 4) is requesting public comments on a draft white paper that seeks to define the current roles and responsibilities of the following AT practitioners: Rehabilitation Engineers, Rehabilitation Technologists, and Rehabilitation Technicians. Rehabilitation... Read more
From the Editor July/August 2015
The Genie Is Out of the Bottle
In my July/August 2014 editorial in IEEE Pulse [1], I opined on the very real possibility of genetic editing of human embryos with the newly discovered CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. My opinion was based on reported research in the Yunnan... Read more
From the Editor July/August 2015
Biomedical Research in Italy
From the Colosseum to the Roman aqueducts, Italy has historically been admired, envied, and imitated for its feats in advanced engineering. Beginning with Leonardo da Vinci’s military tanks and extending through today in such diverse arenas as high-performance automobiles and... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Fidelity and Validity in Medical Simulation
The girl looks about 10 years old. She lies quietly on the emergency room exam bed, her eyes wide. Half an hour ago she was swinging—a little too wildly—from monkey bars in the park. Then, she fell. “Hey kiddo,” says Dr.... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Making it Real
Simulation is any artificial construct that represents a real-world process. Technology-enhanced simulation in modern health care is growing exponentially, but the basic concept of “practice” to enhance real-world performance in medicine dates back centuries. For example, in the 1600–1700s, birthing... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
A Different View
Over the years, air safety has improved greatly because the skills of pilots, and the ability of teams to work together in a crisis, are regularly reinforced through simulator-based training and assessment. In medicine, simulation methods increasingly show promise for... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
An Eye Toward Improving
In ophthalmic anesthesia administration prior to surgeries for problems such as cataracts or glaucoma, the training of new doctors, as in other surgical specialties, is based on a model in which a student trains on a patient under the expert... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
A Model of Health
Models are crucial in the biomedical sciences since they provide information that is not otherwise accessible and help in discriminating among possible schemes of interpretation of complex phenomena. Italian research teams have been very active in this field with important... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Research in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Research on biomaterials and related subjects has been active in Italy. Starting from the very first examples of biomaterials and biomedical devices, Italian researchers have always provided valuable scientific contributions. This trend has steadily increased. To provide a rough estimate... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Multidimensional Processes
Biomedical studies, both in research and in clinical applications, deal with the management of large amounts of data. Different sensors and transducers, advances in technologies, and the availability of innovative medical equipment and instrumentation all contribute to the ability to... Read more
State of the Art July/August 2015
The Raving
[In the early days of my teaching, when I taught a graduate-level instrumentation systems course in the department, I used to find means to challenge my students in unconventional ways and, at the same time, exercise my own creativity when... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
A Model Approach
Mathematical modeling of physiological systems is a fundamental milestone of biomedical engineering. Models allow for the quantitative understanding of the intimate functions of a biological system, estimating parameters that are not accessible to direct measurement and performing in silico trials... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
Moving Along
In Italy, biomechanics research and the analysis of human and animal movement have had a very long history, beginning with the exceptional pioneering work of Leonardo da Vinci. In 1489, da Vinci began investigating human anatomy, including an examination of... Read more
Feature July/August 2015
An Italian Education
From Leonardo da Vinci’s designs for ball bearings to the incredible engineering wizardry behind the Ferrari, the inventive, inquisitive, and ingenious spirit of the engineer has always lived—and thrived—in Italy. From education to research to product development, Italy has always... Read more
Retrospectroscope July/August 2015
Physiological Records Projected on a Screen
Every day, in teaching classrooms and large conference auditoriums and on operating room monitors, scientists and medical professionals make use of in vivo physiological projections that allow the audience to follow whatever event or procedure is going on. Even physicians... Read more