“Smart Needle,” the Width of a Human Hair Set to Revolutionize Brain Surgery

The computer it’s attached to can “see” potential hazards and alert the surgeon to them.

 

A medical team prepares a patient for brain surgery.

With some serious conditions, brain surgery remains the only option. With a brain glioma for instance, or cancer, surgery is the go-to treatment. But the brain is a complex organ that’s difficult to navigate. As a result, there is a high risk of after effects, what are known as “late effects.” These include difficulties with balance, vision, coordination, memory, and speech, among others. More serious effects include having a stroke, bleeding or infection inside the brain, swelling, and even going into a coma.

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Surprising Science

How One Sentence Can Make or Break an Entrepreneur

A “needs statement” is the core element and guiding force for such an innovative endeavor, says Stanford Professor Paul Yock. 

 

Japanese woman introduces a new robot.

Even in the 21st century, where advanced technology is commonplace and breakthroughs appear on an almost daily basis, fulfilling healthcare and other needs remains difficult. In the United States alone, 75,000 deaths occur each year due to the ineffective or inefficient delivery of healthcare. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, just meeting the basics of healthcare like prenatal care or vaccination, seems nearly impossible.

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Technology & Innovation