Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Medical Monitoring Quick Takes

This month, we found not one, not two, but three medical monitoring stories that are perfect to share with you. There’s a little bit of cute, a little bit of serious, and BigFoot (you’ll have to read on to find out). Equipment like our alarms have ties to the medical industry, and it’s important to us that we can play some role, however comparatively minor, in affecting people’s lives.

Without further ado, we’ll get that BigFoot story out of the way. No hairy apes here, but rather a catchy name for innovative software that can play a huge role for people with chronic foot pain. All that’s needed is the downloadable program, and a regular flatbed scanner. Through scanning the foot, the software can detect any visual anomalies on the bottom of the foot that may signal complications from, especially, diabetes. Problems with the feet can often lead to problems elsewhere in the body, so this program is an important first step.

Researchers have developed a medical monitoring chip that’s disposable and can fit on a bandage, allowing for easier long-term monitoring of things like pulse, heart rate, perspiration, and temperature. Imagine wearing something the size of a postage stamp for a month, and ending up with unprecedented data about how your body operates. The health implications are quite major, for everyone from dementia patients to those trying to lose weight. Aside from that, however, perhaps the best part is how it’s powered: via the tiny amounts of RF frequency emitted by your cell phone.

We’ve saved “cute” for last. Very few adults like wearing medical monitors or electrodes for tests or other monitoring, especially for any long period of time. For kids, it’s just about unimaginable. One person hopes to change that with this smiley-face sensor/monitor that’s actually applied like a temporary tattoo, albeit one with electrodes in it. Beyond just a fun appearance, the tiny size and strong adhesion from the design keep the monitors in place – a breakthrough on its own, and relevant to all patients, not just kids.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Curiosity and Telemetry

Here at Devar our remote monitoring and communication devices are usually short-range and fast-responding, as with our medical telemetry products. The recent Mars landing of the Curiosity rover also made use of telemetry, as all NASA expeditions do. Those readings, however, take 13.8 minutes to travel from the rover to mission control in Houston (and “Mohawk Guy”). That might sound like a long time – but not when you consider the 154 million miles that the data needs to travel. Pretty amazing, considering the difficulty we sometimes have getting a cell phone signal.

You probably remember the excitement a few weeks ago when news of Curiosity’s successful touchdown arrived. You might also remember several years ago, the disappointment of the failure of the British Beagle 2 rover, which lost radio contact prior to landing. This explains some of the anticipation and anxiety during the landing period. Some creative telemetry came into play to speed up the delivery of landing data. Making use of NASA’s Mars Odyssey satellite, in orbit since 2003, NASA mission controllers will create a relay of sorts to be able to have near real-time monitoring – rather than a delay as the Odyssey travels through its orbit to sync up with the Curiosity. After all, 13.8 minutes is enough time to wait to learn the results of years of hard work!

Devar might not be sending monitors into space yet, but for all your earthbound monitoring needs, visit our site:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monitoring Drinking Water pH Levels For Health

There’s no easy way to say it: even the most purified, filtered, treated drinking water is still going to have bacteria and microbes in it. Not just a few. Millions, or hundreds of millions. But don’t get grossed out quite yet. As anyone who enjoys a cup of yogurt for breakfast probably knows, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Researchers at the University of Michigan have been working on a way to make sure that we get more of the good and less of the bad the next time we hydrate. Part of the proposed solution? Monitoring and modifying water’s pH level to one more favorable for the good types of bacteria to propagate, which in turn severely reduces the “resources” in the water that the bad bacteria can feed on.

The benefits don’t stop there. Good types of bacteria can actually do some of the work for us. For instance, some microorganisms can convert the contaminant nitrate into harmless nitrogen gas. Temperature adjustments and filter cleaning methods have also been tinkered with to continue fighting the war on water contaminants not with brute force, but with ingenuity and careful analysis. OK, you still might not feel 100% comfortable with this much knowledge. Luckily, out of sight can still be out of mind. And you can rest easy knowing that somewhere, someone continues to work toward the cleanest water possible.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Remote Monitoring and Control 2012 – A Preview

Coming this September 18th and 19th in Denver, CO, a major event in the world of monitoring and alarm equipment – TheRemote Monitoring and Control 2012 conference. As mentioned here, data collection, storage, and analysis methods are at an all-time high and only continuing to increase. One topic of discussion, among many, will be how to make sense of all these readings and other information collected through monitoring. At Devar, as we continue to offer the most effective monitoring and control equipment, we believe that this is one of the most important issues facing our industry and our end users.

Covering all industries where monitoring equipment is used, including municipal water, oil and gas companies, municipal power, manufacturing and industrial firms, and many other with whom Devar works, the conference promises to cover something for everyone. Of course, as you might guess, the wireless, remote aspect of monitoring will also be a focus, so topics like network security, network setup and maintenance, wireless options, and telemetry will be covered as well.

From general seminars like “SCADA 101,” to more industry-specific and advanced presentations like “Managing Remote Pumping Facilities” for the gas industry, and “Simple Ways that Smart Grids Make Power Quality Worse,” all attendees will be sure to learn something. We welcome comments below from anyone who does make it to the conference – which presentations will you attend? What did you learn? Please share!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Versatility of Water Temperature Monitors

Summer is in full swing, a time to visit our favorite beach to picnic and enjoy a day of fun in the sun.  No trip to the beach is complete without a swim, and this year, the folks taking advantage of Chicago’s lakeside beaches will certainly have more time in the water. According to a recent article,  Chicago beach managers have instituted a predicative analysis method to make more accurate assessments of water quality and reduce the incidence of beach closures.

Previously, officials closed beaches to swimmers when bacteria counts were above a certain threshold. But since testing took 18 hours, they were faced with a predicament one public health researcher compared to flipping a coin – do you issue a swim advisory today that actually applied to those who swam yesterday?  Not having complete, real-time information was a source of frustration to both beach managers and swimmers alike.

This year, the Park District will employ a new high-tech system that uses statistical models, along with water temperature monitors and other equipment such as wave action buoys and sunlight monitors, to give real-time predictions of bacteria counts. Officials will post the data for would-be swimmers, allowing them the make the decision on whether to enter the water.

Water temperature is a key factor to bacterial growth rates, and monitoring it in conjunction with other factors has made it much easier for officials to issue accurate assessments of water conditions. Devar, a leading supplier of water temperature monitoring equipment, understands how important the quality and reliability of these instruments are to the public health, and we are proud to be a manufacturer of the most precise, dependable instruments available today.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Future of Medical Monitoring is Here

At Devar, we’re always interested in the latest developments in our field, and it seems that almost every day something new and exciting is happening.  As technology advances at lightning speed, so too does the field of monitoring instruments.
CNN recently reported that the FCC has announced plans to allocate spectrum bandwidth for wireless medical devices, monitoring patients’ vitals and other functions.  Within this new system, sensors on (or in) a patient’s body will act as a wireless network that transmits information to computer systems, allowing doctors to remotely monitor their patients post-op – all using dedicated medical bandwidth, ever-important in keeping networks up to speed and reliable.  With the passing of this plan, the U.S. is to become the first country allocating spectrum for wireless medical devices.  

Looking to the future, researchers at the RensselaerPolytechnic Institute have just developed a tiny implantable sensor that wirelessly transmits real-time data from an orthopedic surgery site to doctors, allowing for remote monitoring, cost savings, and quicker recovery times.  

It seems the future of medicine lies in wireless monitoring, and as industry leaders in monitoring, telemetry, control, and data acquisition, we are excited to see the strides they are making in this field..  Who knows what breakthroughs are just around the corner? We stand ready and eager!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monitoring for Survival

The right monitoring is crucial for the maintenance and development of a company’s data system.  The data center is the heart of the technology, and we all know that a body cannot survive without a healthy heart.  There are many important monitoring features within data centers and IT management, and none can be ignored.  

In a recent article detailing the importance of these monitors, these data centers were cleverly compared to a fish tank.  In a simple goldfish bowl, keeping the water clean and the fish fed is enough.  When you upgrade to a more complicated freshwater fish tank, more work is required to maintain the more complex environment.  And when you have an even more sophisticated saltwater tank, greater attention is necessary, including observation of PH levels, salinity, etc.  

If the data center is the complex saltwater tank, then the proper care and monitoring can lead to increased productivity, improved IT functions, and economic development, among other advantages.  If the “tank” is not properly cared for, the system will not function.  

At Devar, we are well aware of this.  As the leading suppliers of these types of monitors, we are in the business of keeping our customers’ tanks running smoothly and living a long, healthy life.  When you realize the value of this monitoring equipment, and the need for the best equipment available, you can take comfort in the fact that our products can help you—and your “fish tank”— stay on level. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Waking Up to “Alarm Fatigue”

It’s a problem so prevalent yet so subtle that it’s taken FDA involvement to bring it to the attention of the medical profession. They’re calling it “alarm fatigue,” and it refers to that endless beeping, buzzing, and blaring that patients, visitors, and medical staff are subject to throughout the day in hospitals. As detailed in this article, too many alarms going off can be the same as none going off – it’s impossible to decipher which ones are critically important, and which ones aren’t. Nurses and doctors alike are becoming desensitized to those very noises that are supposed to signal emergencies, as they all fade into background noise.

The FDA’s proposed solution is to enact a review process to ensure that new products do not beep or make other noises needlessly, hopefully clearing the airwaves a bit to return sounds that are actually important to their proper significance. They’re also looking into smarter ways of monitoring physiological signs, to use a combination of factors and readings to provide more accurate alarm events. Here at Devar, we’re dedicated to accurate and customizable alarms and monitors as well, for the medical industry and for others like wastewater and humidity. The ability to calibrate and set readings and critical events means that alarms will only go off when they need to, letting you know when your attention is really needed. For more information, contact us today!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Next Generation of Baby Monitors

Remember the days of a walkie-talkie next to the crib to make sure the baby wasn’t awake and hungry? One of the latest monitors to hit U.S. shores is quite a far cry from that. The Smart Baby Monitor has the classic audio capability – and adds to that a 3 megapixel camera with night vision, a motion and sound detector, and (what grabbed our interest here at Devar) temperature and humidity monitors. We know that monitors are used in all types of industrial applications, but this is perhaps the closest use to home that we’ve seen yet.

The monitor doesn’t come cheaply, but can you really put a price tag on the peace of mind in knowing that your loved one is safe and soundly asleep? For the ultimate in convenience, everything can be linked to your iPhone – fully integrated monitoring in the palm of your hand. Feeds can also be checked over the internet, but we like idea of being able to simply reach over to the nightstand and look at your phone, to provide all you need to know for a good night’s rest for your baby – and you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Humidity and Temperature Monitoring at the 2012 Olympics

Inside the London Velodrome
What’s not to love about the Olympics? Athletes performing at peak level, people and countries united in the spirit of competition, and, of course, lots of good television to watch around the clock for two weeks. Countries and cities interested in hosting the summer or winter games typically invest incredible amounts of money into infrastructure, planning, and new, state-of-the-art venues. As this BBC article discusses, London was no exception to this for 2012, and temperature and humidity monitoring play a big part in arenas like the bicycle Velodrome.

Amazingly, as the article mentions, outdoor weather factors play a huge role in the indoor environment of the Velodrome. Moreso than standard temperature and humidity, air pressure and air density of the outside air can make huge differences in the indoor air characteristics – and so can affect cyclist performances and outcomes. Things like weather systems and outside temperature affect those readings, as well as the temperature and humidity inside the dome, which is where monitoring systems come into play. Keeping an eye on those two readings will give trainers and competitors a good idea of what kind of air density they’re dealing with. What’s more, detailed recording of different training and competition environments can help with future training as well.

Here at Devar, we offer just that type of world-class quality monitoring equipment as well. Be sure to visit our site to learn more.