May/June 2016

Cover Story May/June 2016
Healthcare, Hacked
It could be as simple as a hospital worker downloading an app on a personal cell phone during a lunch break. That phone—or the hundreds of other unsecured devices in a hospital—can be an entry point for hackers to wriggle... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
Finger-Pointing to Reduce Accidents
Above: Figure 1: The way of “Finger Pointing and Calling” Those who have been on a Japanese train might have observed a neatly uniformed employee, standing on the platform, making hand gestures whenever a train approaches or leaves the platform. Hand... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
A Living Lab in Florida
Above: The Lake Nona Intelligent Home Living Laboratory. Orlando, Florida, has always been known as the epicenter for simulation, with a robust ecosystem of supporting engineering and communication technology. Recently, a new model for robust simulation and testing of new technologies and... Read more
From the Editor May/June 2016
Vendor-Neutral Electronic Health Records
On 28 February 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association and IEEE Pulse hosted a one-day symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada, concurrent with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2016 annual meeting. The event, which was the first... Read more
From the Editor May/June 2016
Virtual Reality
Rehabilitation engineering refers to the development and application of techniques, devices, and protocols for restoring function following disability. Although in most cases the concept relates to motor functions (e.g., training after a stroke or the use of limb prosthetics), mental... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
The U.K. Pushes the Boundaries of Bionics
Using state-of-the-art technology, athletes at the Paralympic Games achieve great feats of physical prowess, but for most people using assistive and rehabilitative technologies (ART), even simple tasks can present huge challenges. Many do not make full use of the technology... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
A Better View
Approximately 2% of Americans have a visual disability— vision that cannot be corrected even with the strongest prescription—and in developing countries where infectious disease or untreated cataracts are more common, the percentage is often higher. Many different diseases and conditions... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
Taking on Essential Tremor
Every year, Doris’s primary care physician sends her to see a neurologist to check on her hand tremor, which has increasingly worsened over the past 20 years. Year in and year out, the neurologist asks her to draw a circle... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
The “Jaipur Foot”
It is 8 a.m. on a December morning in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. The day has just begun at Bhagawan Mahavir Vikalanga Sahayata Samithi (BMVSS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fitting the disabled with artificial limbs (Figure 1). Slowly, patients from... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
Pleasant to the Touch
Open your Internet browser and search for videos showing the most advanced humanoid robots. Look at how they move and walk. Observe their motion and their interaction with the environment (the ground, users, target objects). Now, search for a video... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
From Hospital to Home Care
For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible. Advances in medicine have led to a significant increase in human life expectancy and, therefore, to a growing number of disabled elderly people who need chronic... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
Giving Voice to Emotion
It’s tough to imagine anything more frustrating than interacting with a call center. Generally, people don’t reach out to call centers when they’re happy—they’re usually trying to get help with a problem or gearing up to do battle over a... Read more
State of the Art May/June 2016
Food for the Future
Food is national security. Food is economy. It is employment, energy, history. Food is everything. —Spanish chef José Andrés The supermarket in Tijuana had a display of fresh fruits and vegetables, but they looked nothing like those in supermarkets in the United States. The... Read more
Retrospectroscope May/June 2016
Metabolism: The Physiological Power-Generating Process
The rate of doing work, expressed as the amount of work per unit—commonly measured in units such as watt or horsepower—is power in physics. It is the work–time rate or the energy released or transferred. A previous “Retrospectroscope” note, published early in... Read more
Book Reviews May/June 2016
Health Informatics and Winning the War on Cancer
Guide to Health Informatics, 3rd ed. By Enrico Coiera, CRC Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4441-7049-8, xxvi + 683 pages, US$79.95. Comprehensive. Timely. Readable. Interesting. Useful as a textbook and/or reference. Relevant. Highly recommended. This 32-chapter, eight-section text can serve as a comprehensive introduction to... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
New Prostheses and Orthoses Step Up Their Game
Forty years ago, Les Baugh lost both of his arms in an electrical accident. With bilateral shoulder-level amputations, his options for prosthetic arms were limited. That changed two years ago, when Baugh underwent a surgical procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital... Read more
Feature May/June 2016
Staying In Touch
Hand amputation is a traumatic event that dramatically and permanently changes the life of any person who undergoes one. After surgery, the amputee requires a prosthetic device to perform activities of daily living— in particular, tasks requiring grasping and manipulation... Read more