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Spectrum: Safer Subways, Real-Life X-Ray Vision

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing technology designed to alert subway drivers of people on the tracks; medical personnel can see through patients' skin to the veins underneath.

by / February 10, 2014
Shutterstock/Government Technology

Safer Subways

Last year, 53 people died on New York City subway tracks from suicides, homicides or accidents. To curb the deaths, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing technology designed to alert subway drivers to apply the brakes when someone jumps, falls or is pushed onto the tracks. Four “intrusion alert” systems will be tested: closed-circuit TV cameras connected to software that detects large moving objects; lasers spanning the tracks, triggering an alarm if broken; thermal-image cameras watching the tracks; and radio frequencies transmitted under platform edges. Source: NY Daily News

Real-Life X-Ray Vision

Medical personnel now have the ability to literally see through patients’ skin to the veins underneath. The Eyes-On Glasses system from Evena Medical offers real-time 3-D imaging and anatomically correct visualization, clear enough to locate even the faintest veins. The system also connects wirelessly to a hospital’s electronic records system, and includes digital storage and remote image-sharing capabilities. Source: Infection Control Today

Digital Doctor Visits

A pilot of a device called Teki from Accenture recently saved Basque Country, Spain, more than $55 million U.S. by eliminating the need for about 52,000 visits to the doctor. The tech uses an Internet-connected Microsoft Kinect to link patients with chronic conditions to their doctors via video conferencing, voice communications or text messaging. Besides the Kinect, which hooks up to the TV, Teki includes a wireless heart rate monitor and a spirometer to track respiratory health. The system helps doctors identify issues early, often preventing hospitalization, and lets patients do rehabilitative exercises. Source: Gizmag

Measuring Rainfall with Windshield Wipers

Weather stations in various locations offer a reasonably accurate account of an area’s rainfall. But researchers at the University of Hanover in Germany think those samples might not tell the whole story. The RainCars project is based on the idea that the harder it’s raining, the faster the speed of a vehicle’s wipers. Gathering this data using GPS and wiper speed-monitoring sensors can help provide more precise information on where rain is falling most heavily. Even with variables like personal wiper speed preference, and car and wind speed, researchers believe a multitude of approximate data from cars can offer a better picture of overall rainfall than sparsely located weather gauges. Source: Gizmodo 

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Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

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