The Powerful Mechanics of an Old Toy for Medical Diagnostics to Help Underdeveloped Countries

Reaching out for medical diagnostics, a group of researchers at Stanford  found a way to innovate the current medical machine called a blood centrifuge in a low-cost yet powerful hand-powered device to accurately make a diagnosis for patients. Most especially made to improve medical diagnosis in underdeveloped countries, the team focused on its ability to be cost-effective, portable, human-powered, and also high-speed spinning. In contrast to the bulky medical instruments that needs electricity to operate, the “paperfuge” weighs about 2 grams, costs 20 cents, does not need electricity, and spins up to a speed of 125,000 rounds per minute to accurately diagnose a blood test.

paperfuge

The paper centrifuge, also known as “paperfuge”, is an inspiration from an old toy called whirligig. Whirligig is a spinning toy in which strands of strings need to be expanded and contracted to enable the spinning mechanism. The user will only have to manipulate the braided strings on both ends in order for the button at the center to spin in rapid speed. The simple pull and release mechanical principle is what made the whirligig a potential alternative for a centrifuge. And this is the idea that pushed the Stanford bioengineers to develop it as a blood centrifuge. This same technology has been used widely in various projector technology by companies like Elitescreens. 

Like most researchers, at first, the proponents didn’t know how the mechanical toy works. With that, they devoted a lot of time and effort in learning the mathematical part of the whirligig. In this case, a normal whirligig runs at a speed of 10,000 – 15,000 rounds per minute. With its improved physical aspects, they had discovered that it is the fastest mechanical tool without the use of electricity or power, which can spin at 125,000 rounds per minute and has an  inertial force at the rotational axis of 30,000Gs.The said speed is exactly what they need for the development of a low-cost centrifuge, but is accurately functional for the diagnosis of blood samples.

mechanic

To conduct experiments, the researchers attach the blood samples at a sealed straw and strap them at the centrifuge or paper disk. With this, they were able to prove a complete separation of plasma from the red blood cells, which only took 1.5 minutes to complete. The reading for the red blood cells is helpful in giving hematocrit value for anemia diagnosing. Not only this, but they were able to identify disease-causing malaria and the African trypanosomiasis for just 15 minutes of using the “paperfuge”.

Following the objectives that they have to consider, the researchers made a centrifuge with the use of only paper and plastic. With the use of 2 paper discs, strong fishing lines, wood, plastic straws, and Velcro straps, the researchers were able to make a prototype for their testing phase. In addition, they also considered the wear-and–tear property of the paperdisc, which is why they placed acrylic ovals that were taped on the holes of each disc.

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However, the possibility of blood exposure is high, especially with these materials. That is why the researchers made it a point to use only a shatterproof plastic and seal the straws perfectly to avoid leakage.

This research is useful in underdeveloped countries where medical attention is hard to give. With that, the researchers included a test with health workers in Madagascar for clinical validation.

Business World: Looking Into the Role of Data in a Company

advantages of data logging

Small and big businesses are sprouting all over the nooks and corners of the world and keeping these businesses alive is a challenge that every organization struggles with. Indeed, it is not easy to maintain a business; ensuring its success also requires a lot of time, effort and strategies.

Knowing what the customers want from the companies is one of the crucial and essential needs for each business organization. Other than this, data about the business, itself, is also a big part of the challenge. Luckily, there is a way to know these things.

Importance of Data

In order to survive the competitive world of businesses, data should be the heart of everything companies do. Why is this so? The truth is that data collected are more than just numbers. These meaningless values speak volumes once they are interpreted and analyzed.

Dubbed as the “sexiest job in the 21st century”, data scientists are becoming on-demand with the rise of the business world. Data, in general, and data science are the key to a successful business life. Data helps create decisions for the company’s products, services and operations. Through data, improvements on the performance of the products and services as well the operations can be achieved.

The use of computers, data-loggers and other modern devices and tools for data collection, analysis and interpretation are now deemed as an essential part of every business.

With that, let us look into the advantages of data-logging for business. In general, the following are the advantages of collecting and using data for the company.

data driven businesses

The Advantages

  • Data can make or break the company’s profits. Depending on what data shows, companies can adjust and make necessary changes to their performances in order to bring in more profit into the business.
  • Data gives us numbers and values and since numbers are reliable, they will serve their purposes when interpreted properly. Strategic decisions and tactical plans can be made by the company with the use of the values collected.
  • Data paves the way of finding the edge of the company. Being able to find out new and more competitive advantages for the company would be beneficial in this competitive business industry.
  • Companies that are data-driven are more efficient since decisions are not instinctive but based on real numbers or evidences. In addition, decisions made may also be much more effective.

However, despite the advantages laid out above, some companies are still not leaning towards using data. Most probably because data science can be a bit costly compared to not having to employ it in the company at all.
In current studies, it has been shown that the most successful businesses and companies are also those who claim that their businesses are actually driven by data. This just goes to show that data, indeed, plays a big role in the performance of business organizations.

While it is true that, initially, collecting and analyzing data might lead to more costs in the company, the high probability of success afterwards should also be deemed as a return of investment.

How Label Printers Work and Why Your Manufacturing Business Needs One

importance of product labels

A label printer generates prints on self-adhesive label materials or card-stock that is attached to a built-in keyboard and a display for stand-alone use.  

These printers are different from standard every day printers as they operate with special feed mechanisms that are equipped to handle rolled stock or a tear sheet stock.

Label printers are available with wireless connectivity and also with RS-232 serials, USB’s and Ethernet as well. They have a variety of applications across industry including inventory management, quality control, supply chain management, retail pricing markers, packaging labeling, specimen marking at labs and clinics and a whole lot more.

TYPES OF PRINTERS

These printers use a number of labeling materials that include paper as well as synthetic polymer materials for printing.

Thermal printers are available in two types – direct thermal and thermal transfer printers.

Direct thermal printers print using heat sensitive papers similar to thermal fax paper. Direct thermal labels  tend to fade over time (6-12 months  of printing). Additionally , these prints also face a reduced shelf life when exposed to heat or direct sunlight.

Keep this in mind that direct thermals printers are recommended for short term applications such as perishable goods labeling, shipping labels, etc.

Thermal transfer printers, on the other hand, print using heat to transfer ink from the ribbon to the label making prints permanent. There are label printers available on the market that can carry out direct thermal printing as well thermal transfers.

To increase the longevity of the print, PVC vinyl’s are used that offer increased durability especially on items like pipe markers, industrial safety labels, etc. In addition,  thermal transfer printers use three types of ribbon –   wax, wax-resin and resin.

printers for product labels

WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A LABEL PRINTER

In most business, especially in manufacturing, product lines require professional commercial labels as there are several limitations with in-house printing in terms of substrates and production options. Desktop systems do not allow for cost effective printing especially when the printing needs to be fine and clearly readable often requiring colors matches, metallic or varnished surface finishes.

What’s more, well-designed commercial labeling helps facilitate your sales and branding process as it complements the overall packaging and design of the product.

There are different label printers available for use in the home, office and industrial use such as desktop label printers, industrial label printers, RFID readers, personal label printers, etc. You may check out Doranix’ products for these printers.

In manufacturing units, label printer applicators are commonly used as these systems are designed to automate the labeling process that require large numbers of cases and pallets to be managed and shipped.

Label printer applicators are essentially robots that automatically print and apply labels to various products performing a very important task in the production line. This helps in gaining a larger degree of control while managing inventory and shipping and in the process saves companies a whole lot of time besides drastically cutting down costs.