Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘diagnose’

Rapid test to diagnose asthma

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 5 dicembre 2019

Asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases worldwide, affecting more than 235 million patients. It is often more difficult to diagnose in children than in adults. An early diagnosis is especially important for children as to prevent severe attacks of the disease. A team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology EMB has joined forces with some high-tech companies to develop a rapid test that requires only a drop of blood to diagnose asthma. To do this, the partners use machine learning.The transition to a new energy economy is imminent. However, representatives of small communities are often unable to envision exactly what is the best solution for them due to missing resources and know-how. Solar power, photovoltaics or geothermal? What is suitable for a community and to which percentage could each technology contribute to the community’s energy needs? Are there any funding opportunities available? Researchers of the Advanced System Technology Branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB-AST have developed a software tool which analyzes the needs and opportunities for a special community. The optimization tool is one of the major outcomes of the project “Technological and Economic Energy Modeling – modTRAIL”. “With our project, mayors of smaller communities can learn about technical possibilities available for the transition into a new energy economy and corresponding opportunities for funding – and the information they receive is tailored specifically to their community,” says Liane Rublack, scientist at Fraunhofer IOBS-AST. “The tool uses a mixture of conventional and renewable energy sources to calculate the optimized solution for the heat and electricity generation of the community.” In four model municipalities located in the German federal state of Thuringia with fewer than ten thousand inhabitants – namely, Kahla, Werther, Neumark and Großobringen – the researchers are already testing the tool. The procedure for decision-makers in the communities is the following: At first they have to insert the name of their municipality, whereupon they receive details about the electricity and heating demand in their locality. Afterwards, they specify their preferences for future power and heating supply. What technologies would they like to use, and which ones would they prefer to rule out? There are numerous options to choose from, including solar and wind power, battery and thermal storage units, condensing oil and gas boilers, air heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. The tool also elicits the decision-makers’ preferences regarding other factors. Is minimizing CO2 the top priority? Or are the costs of purchasing the energy more important? Based on this priorization, the software tool determines the mixture of energy and power plants. For example, this might be a combination of photovoltaic plants, battery and thermal storage systems, and combined heat and power plants. The output also includes the costs for installation and operation, the energy procurement costs, the amount of CO2 emissions, and the funding possibilities available.“With our optimization tool, we want to start the process and show the mayors of small communities the potential offered by renewable energy sources for their municipalities,” explains Rublack. The researchers from Fraunhofer IOSB-AST used standard load profiles for households as well as the time series for renewable energy sources recorded by the German Meteorological Service – in this case, by the Thuringia weather station at Erfurt-Weimar for their software tool. For communities in Thuringia with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants, the necessary data is already stored in the system. Nevertheless, the tool can also be used in other German states with the corresponding data.The developed optimization model is an integral part of the online software of the “Transformation in Rural Areas” (TRAIL) joint research project. The specific goal of the project is to motivate a large number of smaller communities to engage fully with the questions of efficient energy supply by the help of the easy-to-use optimization tool. In particular, it lowers the barriers for the communities to start, which are due to limited human and financial resources. An online software tool was developed which generates initial statements about electricity and heating consumption of the community chiefly based on publicly available GIS data and census data and further existing data-bases. Furthermore, the optimization part generates recommendations for the energy transistion procedure of the specific community.

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Simple CEUS Scan Helps Diagnose Liver Cancer When MRI is Uncertain

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 settembre 2019

A new study shows that a simple, non-invasive “contrast enhanced ultrasound” (CEUS) scan can be more accurate and reliable than a more expensive MRI procedure for diagnosis of liver tumors and determining whether they are cancerous.The prospective study evaluated 42 patients at high risk for HCC, who were referred for CEUS imaging when their MRI scans over a six-month period, with 24-month follow-ups, were considered indeterminate.“These results significantly impact patients’ treatment and prognosis and reduce time to diagnosis,” Dr. Wilson said.
CEUS can be performed at a fraction of the cost of MRI or CT, and has an excellent, well-established safety profile, according to Dr. Ed Grant, Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Southern California Keck Hospital and Treasurer of ICUS.Ultrasound contrast agents are safely and routinely used throughout Canada, Europe, South America and Asia to image organs and tumors throughout the body, as well as to monitor chronic diseases and therapy. Today in the USA, they are FDA-approved for enhancing ultrasound images of the heart and liver in adults and children, but even without FDA approval physicians are permitted to use ultrasound contrast agents for “off-label” imaging when medically indicated. Further, organ-agnostic physician payment codes are now available as of January 1, 2019, Dr. Grant noted. An increasing body of studies now shows that “CEUS is often equivalent or superior to more expensive imaging tools like MR or CT, it allows for dynamic and repeat examinations, and unlike MRI and CT, it can be used in patients with kidney failure or allergy to iodinated contrast agents,” Dr. Wilson said.

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