Category: Devices

ICE is cool but primitive

published date
October 19th, 2006 by

ICE is cool but primitive

When rescuers or emergency room personnel want to contact next of kin, they have a tool that wasn’t there in the past: cell phones. Many patients have cell phones, and those phones often contain directories of phone numbers. However it’s often hard to figure out who to call. Spouses are often listed by name instead of relationship, “Mom” might have Alzheimer’s of be a code name for someone’s drug dealer, and so on.

ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency.” The idea, which seems to have gained popularity from last year’s London bombings, is to put ICE in front of emergency contact names. For example, “Mom” becomes “ICE Mom,” making it easy to figure out whom to call. It sounds like a good idea, and a simple one.

It would also be nice to have one’s full or partial medical record on the phone. Maybe it would be a good idea to include a listing that says ICE Medical Records and then have an entry with important info (like allergies or chronic conditions if the phone allows text fields) or an 800 number that has access to the patient’s personal health record. It could also be a number that returns the patient’s PHR info in response to a text message. Handset makers could even include an ICE button.

There is a bit of a problem for people like me who use voice dialing. If I add ICE in front of frequently called names I’ll have to say “ICE Mom” or “ICE John” instead of just Mom or John. However a way around that could be to make duplicate entries, one with ICE in front and other not. They can have the same phone numbers associated with them.

I think I’ll give it a try. Now, we just need to make sure people know to check for it.

Male birth control device could make a ‘vast difference’

published date
October 10th, 2006 by

Male birth control device could make a ‘vast difference’

A lot of men with kids, and even some without, have chosen to have vasectomies. Vasectomy, which involves cutting the vas deferens, can sometimes be reversed but it is usually permanent.
An experimental Intra Vas Device (IVD) made by Shepherd Medical Company is designed as a more easily reversible take on the same theme.

Apparently men have been rushing to get in on the clinical trial. But, based on what I read in the Times of London I think I will wait!

Surgeons testing the IVD injected a silicone gel through the skin of the scrotum directly into the vas deferens, where it will block the sperm. The main concern is the build- up of pressure behind the silicone plug, which could damage the sperm production glands in the testes.


Elaine Lissner, of the non-profit Male Contraceptive Information Project in San Francisco, said: “It is a lot easier to pull the plugs out than to find the best, most expensive microsurgeon to sew a vas deferens back together. But even if you can get sperm flowing again, the chances of pregnancy go down by about 10 per cent for each year the man had the vasectomy. Only time will tell if it’Â’s the same for IVD.””