What’s New?

Amazon.com reached an agreement with the State of California legislature, so the Silver Buzz Cafe Store is back. :-)


“Green” Blogging


We believe in protecting our environment, so the Silver Buzz Cafe web site is hosted on a server in a "green", energy conserving data center. 100% of the power for the datacenter is bought from suppliers that use renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, windmill and solar plants.


People With Late Life Depression May Be Helped By Telemedicine

It’s a sad fact that depression can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life, happiness and productivity. Declining health and functioning, multiple life changes and diminished personal resources can often result in an elderly person developing geriatric depression. A new study suggests that telemedicine can be successfully used to address the mental health needs of the elderly in community settings. [...]

$8M Grant Will Fund Senior Care Telemedicine Study

An $8m rural health initiative grant from the Leona and Harry B. Helmsley Trust in New York will fund a three year test of telemedicine and sensor technology to help frail seniors stay healthier and delay institutional care. It will involve about 1,600 clients in 40 rural cities. [...]

Proposed Device Could Reduce Deaths On Rural Roads

There were over 2300 road traffic accidents that resulted in fatalities in the United Kingdom in 2008 and 60% of them occurred on rural roads. The proportion is approximately the same in the United States, where 57% of road fatalities occur in rural areas, even though only 27% of the overall population live there. The first people to arrive at the accident scene will probably not be trained in triage, so a team of clinicians, computing scientists and physiologists from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, is developing a device that would provide medical advice and support for injured persons. [...]

Cutting Medicare Overheads The Painless Way

The General Accounting Office lists Medicare as a “high-risk” government program in need of reform, in part because of its vulnerability to fraud and partly because of its long-term financial problems. Some estimates of the scale of Medicare fraud range as high as $60 billion a year, one seventh of the 2009 federal budget for Medicare! Now there are encouraging signs that new provisions in the health care reform bills could be paying off. [...]

Major Players Announce Year-Long Telehealth Study

Telehealth, the delivery of health-related services and information over telecommunications lines or networks, will become increasingly important as our population ages, particularly in rural areas. The prime goals of telehealth systems are to improve access to quality care while helping lower health costs. Now GE Healthcare®, Intel Corporation® and Mayo Clinic® have announced that they will conduct a yearlong research study to determine whether or not home monitoring of patients with chronic diseases will reduce hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits. [...]

Everyone's Guide to Medical Equipment - Part 14 - Advanced Surgical Instruments

If you ask a layman which instrument they associate with surgery they will most likely think of the scalpel, a sharp bladed instrument used for cutting tissue. There is a surprisingly wide variety of scalpels, so we’ll look at conventional ones before covering more advanced instruments that use heat, lasers or particle beams. Some of these instruments are computer controlled and a whole new field of robotic surgery has opened up in the past twenty five years, starting with very simple procedures and leading to recently successful kidney transplant operations. [...]

Alphadaughters May Help Resolve the Looming Senior Care Problem

Politicians in most developed countries are wrestling with the problems of escalating health care costs, exacerbated by a rapidly aging population as the baby boomers retire and age. It is estimated that there are over 30 million people in the US who care for elderly parents and this number is projected to grow rapidly during the next two decades. A report published in the United Kingdom suggests that more of the government’s focus should be on family carers, rather than the elderly themselves. [...]

Everyone’s Guide to Medical Equipment – Part 7 – Laboratory Equipment

In articles 1 through 6 of this series we looked at the equipment that you could expect to find in your physician’s bag and office and the medical monitors that you’re most likely to encounter in clinics and hospitals. Have you ever wondered what happens after you hand over those samples for analysis, or have blood drawn? Find out in this article on medical laboratory equipment. [...]

A New Tool for Maintaining a Family Health History

The Department of Health & Human Services has just released an updated and improved version of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Internet-based family health history tool. It makes it easier for people to assemble and share family health history information. The data can also be used to help caregivers provide better care. The tool is significantly different from the approach adopted by some other organizations, such as Google Health. [...]

New Technology May Reduce Risks for Fall Prone Seniors

We’ve written about the dangers that falls pose to seniors in many articles in the past, including one on “Avoiding and Dealing With Falls” and others on the dangerous side effects of some medications in this respect. People with poor eyesight and dementia are also more prone to falls, especially when they are moved from home, or a nursing home, to hospital. Ninety percent of hip fractures occur in people over fifty and eighty percent of them are women. A European project has developed a wearable, wireless device equipped with motion sensors to monitor people who are susceptible to falls. It can also help people decrease their risk of a fall. [...]

Everyone's Guide to Medical Equipment - Part 5 - Medical Monitors

In this four articles of this series we looked at the various types of medical equipment and then covered the items that you will find in every physician’s bag or office. Some of it could be used (not for diagnosis, of course) by anyone, but many items, such as stethoscopes, require special training. Just about every kind of equipment covered so far could now be hooked up to a network to provide data for telehealth purposes. In this article we’ll look at medical monitors, electronic devices that measure a patient’s vital signs and display the data, often transmitting it over a monitoring network. They generally display physiological data continuously on a computer screen, usually with data channels shown along a time axis. [...]

Everyone's Guide to Medical Equipment - Part 4 - Starter Kit C

So far in this series of articles on medical equipment we’ve been looking at the basic equipment that your physician uses. We’ve covered some of them in more detail, specifically: the blood glucose sensor; clinical thermometer; injection syringes; ophthalmoscope; otoscope; reflex hammer set and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure meter). Some of them, such as the clinical thermometer, can be used by anyone, connected to a network and used in a telehealth system. Others, such as the reflex hammers and sphygmomanometer, require special training. That’s also true of the remaining three pieces of equipment that we’ll cover today: the stethoscope; tourniquet and tuning forks. [...]

Everyone's Guide to Medical Equipment - Part 3 - Starter Kit B

Yesterday, in the second article of this series on the equipment that we encounter at medical facilities, we looked at the basic instruments that physicians use. We took a more detailed look at four of them: the blood glucose sensor; the clinical thermometer; the opthalmoscope and the otoscope.

We noted that all of [...]

Everyone's Guide to Medical Equipment - Part 2 - Starter Kit

In the first article in this series we looked at the various kind of medical equipment that medical personnel use to help diagnose, monitor, support and treat us. In this one we’ll look at the instruments that every physician relies on and take a look at the ancestors of some of them. [...]

Silver Buzz Cafe's 2009

We started this blog on April 9, 2009, not knowing where it would lead us. The goal was to provide a place where seniors, their families and caregivers could find relevant articles and information. Many blogs consist of very short posts, sometimes posted several times a day, rather like an extended form of Twitter. Once we started researching articles we decided to go for more substantive ones and that seems to have paid off. [...]

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