Science Fiction – a Sign of Coming Progress

The future of science and technology has always been dreamed of and mused about in science fiction entertainment. Everyone loves to remember that the Jetsons had televisions strapped onto their wristwatches. Strangely enough, we are not so far behind – we carry around the equivalent in our pockets.

Although science has yet to provide us with much more than a parody version of Marty McFly’s hover board, there is no doubt that science fiction media has led to some amazing innovations in modern day technology.

The Cell Phone
Created by science fiction writer Gene Rodenberry, a fictional piece of tech known as “the communicator” was introduced on the television series Star Trek. The intrepid Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise carried it on his hip at all times. It flipped open, could call anyone on the ship, and had perfect service connection.

Future developers – including cell phone inventor, Martin Cooper – were inspired by the ideas expressed by Roddenberry in this universe of space exploration and instant communication. Now, our comparable devices can call, text, surf the web, take photos and video, play games, write documents, send documents, store music, navigate, and work as a flashlight.

Huge Flat Screen TVs
In the classic novel Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury, the newest trend in home entertainment was something called “parlor walls.” These could best be described as television screens that took up the entire wall of a room, sometimes even every wall. Characters would gather around to participate in programs, to live chat and interact with people they had never met before. Some programs allowed for the participants to be part of a storyline and people were encouraged to share the experience with their closest friends.

Today, we watch vloggers on Youtube, we Skype with our loved ones, we lose ourselves in huge sandbox videogames that give us sprawling landscapes to escape into, and we can link all of it to our absurdly huge LED/Plasma screen HD TVs.

Pretty Much Everything in Medicine
Robocop is the heartwarming story of a man who was murdered and his body transformed into a cyborg police unit.

While the particulars of this situation might be a long way down the line, medical technology and corresponding lab equipment have taken some amazing strides in the medical application of robotics.

For example, Brain implants have been developed to allow paraplegics to use their thoughts to manipulate robotic arms. Beyond this, ocular and cochlear implants that restore functioning-to-almost-perfect vision and hearing are improving at a rapid pace.  We live in a world where a double amputee – a man with no legs – has participated in the Olympics.Cen_Med_shutterstock_2314192

In 1886, Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous character Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print, heralding a new vision of investigation. Though not, strictly speaking science fiction, Doyle’s work anticipated the future of forensics. Holmes was utilizing early forms of ballistics, toxicology, gait analysis, and fingerprinting before there were even terms for them. He had a special lab, which he used to test and examine evidence, something that no one had yet thought of – the first forensics lab would be opened by Edmond Locard in 1910, possibly using Doyle’s work as inspiration (he had apparently read the stories). These labs are now capable of so much more than the author probably ever dreamed, and it’s only going to get better.

At Cen-Med Enterprises, part of our commitment is to move with the times, providing the best, most advanced medical equipment in the industry. We pride ourselves on our selection and our ability to assist those who are moving the field forward. Check out our stock of lab equipment and supplies today to ensure the smoothest operations and the most accurate results. Maybe the next breakthrough could be yours!

 

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Changes in Medical Technology and your Health

Modern medicineThere have been many advances in medical technology in recent years. These advances and changes in technology are sure to be of great benefit to your health, regardless of what health problems you may be facing right now. Whether it’s changes in medical laboratory equipment, or offering new medications to treat conditions that did not always have a cure, science has come a long way, even in the last decade.

New Medication Approvals

During the past year, the FDA has approved many new medications for various conditions. These medications have improved the quality of life for many patients. One example would be the drug Varithena, which is injectable foam that has been approved to treat varicose veins. In the past, patients would need to undergo extensive surgeries in order to rid themselves of varicose veins. However,  Varithena is a much simpler process.

Another example of a medication that was approved this past year is Brisdelle. Each year, countless women suffer with the symptoms of menopause. Brisdelle was formulated to specifically treat some of those symptoms, making it much easier for women to undergo their “change of life”.

Electronic Medical Records

Although EMR has been in the works for quite some time, current EMR vendors have provided a way for patients to access their own medical records through the EMR system. This is a great advancement, because now, patients can be more involved in their medical care than they ever have been before. The emphasis has been on giving incentives for patients to log in to their patient portal, where they can immediately find their own test results, and communicate much more efficiently with the medical team. EMR makes the patient encounter much faster as well, while providing the physician with all of the information he or she needs to give excellent, well-rounded patient care. EMR has streamlined every aspect of the patient’s treatment, which means that doctors are able to see more patients, and the care they provide is always top-notch.

Medical Equipment

Along with other advances in medical technology, the equipment that’s available to medical professionals has also seen some great changes in the past year. Medical laboratory equipment functions have become more fine-tuned, and patients no longer have to wait for days to find out the results of various tests. There continues to be technological advances in ultrasound, which is excellent  news for new moms expecting a baby. Even taking a patient’s vital signs has gotten much faster, through the use of computers and machines that do most of the work for the staff. The incorporation of new equipment into the medical setting is a great way to easily improve the care patients receive, while it improves the efficiency of the medical staff.

What are some of the advances we can look forward to in the coming years? It seems that science is always changing, and they’re always discovering new ways to provide excellent treatment. Whether scientists discover a way to check a patient’s blood sugar without the use of needles, or patients can visit with their doctor without ever leaving their homes, there are many changes to look forward to in the years to come. Technology has come this far, why stop now?

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As a Medical Supply Company, What Should You Know about the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act?

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Now that the Affordable Care Act is in full swing, media outlets across the country are reporting on the many changes that are meant to provide better affordable care to Americans. One of the things that is not being reported on as much is how the Affordable Care Act affects medical device and drug manufacturers. One of the key laws now mandated through the Affordable Care Act is the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act, affecting all medical supply companies, pharmaceutical drug makers and group purchasing organizations.

The act is rather straightforward. It states: “Applicable Manufacturers” of “Covered Products” are required to disclose certain “payments and other transfers of value (TOV)” made to “Covered Recipients” to CMS, who will make the information publicly available.

For those unsure of the wording, applicable manufacturers of covered products means basically any US medical supply or drug company that manufactures a product pre-approved by the FDA that is reimbursable by Medicaid, Medicare, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Covered recipients refers to physicians and teaching hospitals, and payments and other TOV include charitable contributions, food/drink, speaking fees, gifts, lodging and more.

Starting this past August 1st, medical supply companies must collect data on all contributions greater than $10 from non-existing personal relationships to physicians and other covered recipients. This information will eventually be available to the public on September 30, 2014.

In the meantime to stay in compliance with the law and avoid confusion, any medical supply company or drug manufacturer should make it a point to revise their current policies to make the transition easier, have training set up for all employees and salesmen, and coordinate with other business partners. The information required for collection includes the physician details, the TOV details and the product details.

By staying on top of the Sunshine provisions, you can make the new changes with the Affordable Care Act much more palpable. And as a trusted medical supply company, Cen-Med Enterprises will be in compliance with these changes to help serve the healthcare community in providing the best care possible to all of its patients.

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How Does One Find Quality Medical Laboratory Supplies?

shutterstock_55634536There’s no doubt that discoveries are made and lives saved through the hard work and brilliance of the medical lab workers who work in medical facilities across the country. However, these researchers who do this important work need quality medical laboratory supplies to facilitate their research. This means finding the right supplier for your lab. Here are some things to keep in mind as you search:

  • Does the medical lab supplier offer an online store? E-commerce has made its way to the medical laboratory supplies industry as customers search for the added convenience and a wide variety of products. In addition, customers are better able to browse and compare different features to ensure they purchase the right product for their lab.
  • Get a number of quotes: What medical laboratory isn’t looking to save money when they can? The Sequester, in combination with diminished funding from private sources, has forced lab facilities to cut back when they can. Therefore, it makes sense to get a number of different quotes to find the best price for your needs.
  • Does the supplier offer equipment repair and calibration? In addition to quality supplies at affordable prices, a reputable medical laboratory supplier will also offer calibration and repair services as they come up. Routine maintenance and calibration can prolong the lifespan of your equipment and reduce the risk of complete equipment malfunction.
  • Reputation: Always remember to ask around and do research on a prospective supplier before you purchase something from them. Have others in the industry enjoyed their service? Do they offer a favorable return policy? Did the order arrive as promised and on time? By doing your research beforehand on a supplier, you should be able find the right equipment to facilitate the hard work being done in your lab.
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Is Clinical Laboratory Science a Good Major?

keep-calm-and-attend-the-first-day-of-collegeAre you getting a little worried right now about your first day of college? It’s understandable. You’ll probably be away from your family and friends for the very first time, and you might not have gained a full understanding of how you go about doing laundry just yet. Luckily, even if you haven’t mastered all of the ins and outs of collegiate social engagement and dorm room domestic chores, that’s unimportant when looking at the big picture. When it comes down to it, the most important thing you’ll need to consider as you go on-campus for the first time to start your college career is what you’ll major in.

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Simple Solutions for Laboratory Safety

One of the first things most people learn about when they get into a field requiring lab work is how to keep themselves safe. Whether you’re a medical student or work in a chemistry laboratory, potential hazards are always present. While being aware of dangers in the lab might seem like preparation enough, there truly is no such thing as being “too safe”. Likewise, no amount of acting safely can discount the need for the proper safety equipment while handling dangerous materials. If a member of your team refuses to protect themselves they are doing more than putting their own well-being at risk – they are also diminishing the productivity of the entire group. Not everyone is going to be equally educated in lab safety, but the following information can be understood and helpful to anyone.

Use Appropriate Equipment

Your body is more fragile than you would initially think. Thousands of laboratory accidents are reported annually, some of which involving severe bodily harm. It’s for this reason that trained professionals work tirelessly to create and test the best lab safety gear. Safety Goggles, for example, should be located in every lab you find yourself in. The plastic, wide frame design is perfectly suited for keeping hazardous materials from entering your eyes, while still providing the ability to see. Safety goggles should be worn whenever you’re handling liquid, vapors, smoke, or materials that may produce sparks.

Thick plastic gloves are often found in labs, as it is difficult to avoid working with your hands. Ensure that you wash your hands before and after putting the gloves on, and that you have the appropriate gloves for what you will be doing. There are many differences between heat resistant gloves and powdered gloves; know which job calls for each kind of hand gear! Also, do not forget your protective apron or lab jacket! Spilling chemicals or blood on one’s person is a very common accident, and can happen to anybody. Tying a single knot or snapping a few buttons could save not only your clothing, but your life.

Work as a Group

If you are working in a laboratory there’s a strong chance that you’re doing so with others. Research and practice should be a group experience whenever possible. Not only does it help produce clearer, more accurate results, but working alone can be dangerous. If something happens to you while in the lab alone, the chances that you will receive the help you need are drastically reduced. Having a partner means having someone else to gauge your own safety. Also, ensure that your coworkers understand that looking and listening to what others are doing is just as integral to safety and paying attention to their own work. Bumping into another person could lead to dropped glass, spilled liquids, or falling hazards. Remember, communication is one of the best tools in any work environment!

We would appreciate to hear any feedback that you have after reading this blog post about lab safety. Leave a comment below or feel free to drop up a line with any questions. Find our contact information here or email: customer.service@cenmed.com.

We’re always looking to discuss laboratory topics with lab professionals. Feel free to join our Google Plus community. We’d love to see you there: Lab Professionals on Google Plus.

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Infographic: Proper Lab Safety

Enjoy our lab safety infographic on how you can prevent lab accidents.infographic for lab safetyLearn more about lab safety supplies on our website. Or call 800-470-3570.

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