Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Disruptive technology


: This technology uses remote monitoring, videoconferencing, and much more to extend the reach of nurses and improve care.

Concepts: Case study, Innovation, Assistive technology, Disruptive technology


Starfield and colleagues have suggested four overarching attributes of good primary care: “first-contact access for each need; long-term person- (not disease) focused care; comprehensive care for most health needs; and coordinated care when it must be sought elsewhere.” As this series on reinventing primary care highlights, there is a compelling need for new care delivery models that would advance these objectives. This need is particularly urgent for high-needs, high-cost (HNHC) populations. By definition, HNHC patients require extensive attention and consume a disproportionate share of resources, and as a result they strain traditional office-based primary care practices. In this essay, we offer a clinical vignette highlighting the challenges of caring for HNHC populations. We then describe two categories of primary care-based approaches for managing HNHC populations: complex case management, and specialized clinics focused on HNHC patients. Although complex case management programs can be incorporated into or superimposed on the traditional primary care system, such efforts often fail to engage primary care clinicians and HNHC patients, and proven benefits have been modest to date. In contrast, specialized clinics for HNHC populations are more disruptive, as care for HNHC patients must be transferred to a multidisciplinary team that can offer enhanced care coordination and other support. Such specialized clinics may produce more substantial benefits, though rigorous evaluation of these programs is needed. We conclude by suggesting policy reforms to improve care for HNHC populations.

Concepts: Hospital, Motor coordination, Management, Clinic, Need, Disruptive technology


Disruptive technologies are revolutionising continuing professional development in emergency medicine and critical care (EMCC). Data on EMCC blogs and podcasts were gathered prospectively from 2002 through November 2013. During this time there was a rapid expansion of EMCC websites, from two blogs and one podcast in 2002 to 141 blogs and 42 podcasts in 2013. This paper illustrates the explosive growth of EMCC websites and provides a foundation that will anchor future research in this burgeoning field.

Concepts: Internet, Innovation, Open source, 1999 albums, Podcast, Disruptive technology, Technology in society


Biofabrication of tissue analogues is aspiring to become a disruptive technology capable to solve standing biomedical problems, from generation of improved tissue models for drug testing to alleviation of the shortage of organs for transplantation. Arguably, the most powerful tool of this revolution is bioprinting, understood as the assembling of cells with biomaterials in three-dimensional structures. It is less appreciated, however, that bioprinting is not a uniform methodology, but comprises a variety of approaches. These can be broadly classified in two categories, based on the use or not of supporting biomaterials (known as “scaffolds,” usually printable hydrogels also called “bioinks”). Importantly, several limitations of scaffold-dependent bioprinting can be avoided by the “scaffold-free” methods. In this overview, we comparatively present these approaches and highlight the rapidly evolving scaffold-free bioprinting, as applied to cardiovascular tissue engineering.

Concepts: Medicine, Organ, Biomaterial, Tissue engineering, Knowledge, Problem solving, Biomedical engineering, Disruptive technology


As we have witnessed in other arenas of catheter-based therapeutics, ventricular tachycardia (VT) ablation has become increasingly anatomical in its execution. Multi-modality imaging provides anatomical detail in substrate characterization, which is often complex in nonischemic cardiomyopathy patients. Patients with intramural, intraseptal, and epicardial substrates provide challenges in delivering effective ablation to the critical arrhythmia substrate due to the depth of origin or the presence of adjacent critical structures. Novel ablation techniques such as simultaneous unipolar or bipolar ablation can be useful to achieve greater lesion depth, though at the expense of increasing collateral damage. Disruptive technologies like stereotactic radioablation may provide a tailored approach to these complex patients while minimizing procedural risk. Substrate ablation is a cornerstone of the contemporary VT ablation procedure, and recent data suggest that it is as effective and more efficient that conventional activation guided ablation. A number of specific targets and techniques for substrate ablation have been described, and all have shown a fairly high success in achieving their acute procedural endpoint. Substrate ablation also provides a novel and reproducible procedural endpoint, which may add predictive value for VT recurrence beyond conventional programmed stimulation. Extrapolation of outcome data to nonischemic phenotypes requires caution given both the variability in substrate nonischemic distribution and the underrepresentation of these patients in previous trials.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cardiology, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Collateral damage, Disruptive technology


The development of multi-element arrays for better control of the shape of ultrasonic beams has opened the way for focusing through highly aberrating media, such as the human skull. As a result, the use of brain therapy with transcranial-focused ultrasound has rapidly grown. Although effective, such technology is expensive. We propose a disruptive, low-cost approach that consists of focusing a 1-MHz ultrasound beam through a human skull with a single-element transducer coupled with a tailored silicone acoustic lens cast in a 3D-printed mold and designed using computed tomography-based numerical acoustic simulation. We demonstrate on N=3 human skulls that adding lens-based aberration correction to a single-element transducer increases the deposited energy on the target 10 fold.

Concepts: Brain, Skull, Ultrasound, The Target, Meninges, Human skull, Disruptive technology, Aberration of light


Executive nursing practice is experiencing “head-snapping change.” Health care has transitioned from the managed care era to the disruptive innovation era. As chief nurse executives (CNEs) navigate evolving care delivery models, they must consider retooling their roles and responsibilities related to emergent models. This integrative review’s purpose was to examine evidence for the roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies of CNEs and system CNEs to better guide future generations of nurse executives. Ganong and Cooper’s integrative review methodology was chosen to guide the evidence synthesis. Seventeen articles were identified that pertained to the clinical inquiry. The evidence is inconsistent for specific CNE roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies due to many areas of overlap and an absence of definitions. The evidence does describe who CNEs are, what they do, and how they articulate executive practice. Embedding evidence regarding emerging roles, responsibilities, characteristics, and competencies into the personal journeys of nurse executives helps articulate shifting paradigms and the CNE’s role in transforming health care. Review results have the potential to create a blueprint for the recruitment, development, and retention of the next generation of nurse executives. New knowledge for the ever-changing worlds of CNEs is needed by robust research studies and other evidence.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Nursing, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Next Generation, Managed care, Generation, Disruptive technology


Human perinatal tissues have been used for over a century as allogeneic biomaterials. Due to their advantageous properties including angiogenecity, anti-inflammation, anti-microbial, and immune privilege, these tissues are being utilized for novel applications across wide-ranging medical disciplines. Given continued clinical success, increased adoption of perinatal tissues as a disruptive technology platform has allowed for significant penetration into the multi-billion dollar biologics market. Here, we review current progress and future applications of perinatal biomaterials, as well as associated regulatory issues.

Concepts: Disruptive technology


Based upon an analysis of 6 major historical technological advances over the last 150 years, a new syndrome, disruptive technology disorder (DTD), is introduced. DTD describes the human health ailments that accompany the implementation of disruptive technologies. Elevator sickness, railway spine, and bicycle face are representative examples. Though the underlying causative disruptive technologies may differ, many neurologic symptoms (headache, dizziness, weakness) are common to multiple DTDs. Born of technology-driven societal change, DTDs manifest as a complex interplay between biological and psychological symptoms.

Concepts: Medicine, Science, Technology, Past, Innovation, Society, Appropriate technology, Disruptive technology


Medicine gets personal and tailor-made treatments are underway. Hospitals have started to advertise their advanced genomic testing capabilities and even their disruptive technologies to help foster a culture of innovation. The prediction in the lay press is that in decades from now we may look back and see 2017 as the year precision medicine blossomed. It is all part of the Precision Medicine Initiative that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.

Concepts: Genetics, Genome, Person, Anthropology, Innovation, Disruptive technology