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MedTech Roundup

August 25, 2006

Highway surveillance cameras are not just for giving tickets anymore. Now they’re helping car accident victims.


Keeping an eye on accidents. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Video cameras have become ubitquitous, providing surveillance in stores and banks, and even on roads. Upstate Medical University in Syracuse is using highway surveillance cameras to get information about traffic accidents, before the patients arrive at the Emergency Room. Hospital personnel will be able to control the cameras remotely, zooming in to get a view of the accident. Seeing its severity, and monitoring the activities of the emergency medical teams could help the staff to be better prepared for the incoming patients.

In other medical technology news, Stanford surgeons are testing new surgical sponges that have theft prevention devices sewn into them. Sponges occasionally get left inside patients, causing infections. With the new technology, doctors can wave a wand over the patient; the wand emits a tone if it passes over a forgotten sponge.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.