Could 'Star Trek'-Like Health Device Be Near?


Experimental wearable patch monitors biochemical, electrical signals to gauge heart, other functions

chemphys"Beam us up, Scotty!"

U.S. researchers say they've developed a small, wearable health monitor they're likening to the "Star Trek" tricorder.

The flexible Chem-Phys patch can be worn on the chest and tracks biochemical and electrical signals in the human body. It then communicates all that wirelessly to a laptop, smartphone or smartwatch, said a team of engineers from the University of California, San Diego.

The device also provides real-time data on electrocardiogram (EKG) heart signals, plus levels of lactate, a biochemical that helps chart physical effort, the team said.

Read more...

The Health Benefits of Meditation

meditationresearchMeditation has long been used to induce calm and physical relaxation. But research on its potential uses for treating medical problems “is still in its very early stages,” and designing trials can be challenging, said Richard J. Davidson, a neuroscientist who founded the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “So it’s not surprising the scientific literature is filled with mixed findings at this point in time.”

Read more...

The Life-Expectancy Gap

olderamericansAnd now comes the life-expectancy gap. It may change the national conversation over Social Security and an aging society — for the worse.

We all know that the United States is aging, but probably few of us know how skewed the process is in favor of the middle and upper-middle classes. Among men, life expectancy has improved substantially for the richest 60 percent. But for the poorest 40 percent, gains are tiny or nonexistent. Changes for women reflect similar trends, though less sharp.

Read more...

Why Older People Should Take Up the Search for Meaning

existentialism2Exploring aging as a spiritual pilgrimage

Looking at aging as a spiritual journey opens a window to positives — to thinking in a new way about wisdom, joy and wonder throughout the lifespan.

Recently, the Sixth International Conference on Aging and Spirituality took place in Los Angeles. Its host, Nancy Gordon, holds a Master’s of Divinity degree and is the Director of California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging. She’s spent her career focusing on healthy aging.

Here, she answers questions about the conference’s main theme on pilgrimage and aging, drawing particularly from conference presenter Elizabeth MacKinlay’s ideas on the search for meaning.

Next Avenue: Why do you say the search for meaning is more prominent for people as they grow older? How do you know?

Read more...