1.) First the iPhone, now the iKnife, a new knife that sniffs out cancer. Bloomberg is reporting the “intelligent knife,” was 100% accuracy in 91 cases in its first major test. When a surgeon cuts into a patient's tissue, the heat sends up smoke. The iKnife collects the smoke and analyzes it to determine whether the tissue is cancerous. Currently doctors typically wait a half-hour to get such results. This new knife provides it instantly. With the iKnife, when surgeons open up a patient to remove a tumor, the device gives them a much better chance of snipping out all the cancerous tissue and leaving behind all the healthy stuff. But the iKnife isn’t cheap, costing $380,000, but the price should drop if and when if and goes commercial.
2.) On another health note, our overweight issues are affecting other aspects of health care. This spring, a 446-pound patient in New Mexico was having a heart attack, but that wasn’t the worst part of the episode. The man was turned down by the air ambulance that came to the rescue -- because the victim was too big to get off the ground. A V.P. at one of the nation’s biggest air medical transport providers, says patient weight has become an issue for air ambulances. An estimated 5,000 super-sized patients a year are denied transport because they exceed weight and size limits or because they can’t fit through the aircraft doors. Because at least two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, emergency medical providers are beginning to bolster their fleets, buying bigger helicopters and fixed-wing planes.
3.) Chalk up another case of no common sense by the U.S. Government. The Washington Post reports that under a rule from the Department of Agriculture that took effect earlier this year, all animal exhibitors, even magicians with one rabbit, must submit a plan on how they would save their animals in the event of disasters including floods, tornadoes, and chemical leaks. The plan isn’t required for cold-blooded animals — or if a magician planned to kill the rabbit for food. Since the story was published, the USDA issued a statement saying Secretary Tom Vilsack has asked for the disaster-plan rule to "be reviewed immediately and common sense be applied."