Spectrum: Can Smarter Phones and Nanosized Tech Improve Telemedicine?

Plus, scientists in Texas are using technology to track bat colonies.

by / May 3, 2013

Chip Detects Heart Attacks: Swiss scientists created a chip roughly two times the size of a rice grain that could help detect heart attacks before they happen. The tiny device, implanted below the skin, can detect up to five proteins and organic acids simultaneously and alert doctors of problems before symptoms emerge. The chip includes five sensors, a radio transmitter and a power delivery system. It emits radio waves over a safe frequency. The patch collects the data and transmits it via Bluetooth to a mobile phone, which then sends the information to a doctor over the cellular network. The prototype is still being tested, but researchers hope the device will be commercially available in four years.

Self-Healing Roads: State transportation departments spend millions of dollars each year patching potholes. But a new solution already being tested in the Netherlands might one day help roads fix themselves. Civil engineer Erik Schlangen has created self-healing asphalt using a low-tech ingredient: steel wool fibers. The self-healing asphalt is twice as strong as porous solutions and hardens by induction heating. Image at left courtesy of selfhealingasphalt.blogspot.com.


High-Tech Bat Tracker: Millions of bats in north Texas are dying, and it’s posing a potential agricultural crisis as the number of crop-eating insects rises. Scientists are using high-speed cameras to track bat colonies in Texas to get a current population count.   

Earthquakes Produce Gold: Scientists have determined that earthquakes create gold. How? Through a process called flash vaporization, where fluid-filled minerals near fault lines rapidly expand. A geological study shows that earthquakes produce 80 percent of the world’s gold, but it takes roughly 100,000 years for it to happen.  Source: Wired


What is the most difficult skill set or position to fill today?

1 / Java developer
2 / Mobile developer
3 / .NET developer
4 / Software developer
5 / Security
6 / SAP
7 / SharePoint
8 / Web developer
9 / Active federal security clearance
10 / Network engineer

Source: Dice.com Hiring Survey, with 866 technology-focused hiring managers and recruiters responding.

Karen Stewartson

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.