The Early Days of Ebola vs. HIV: Similarities and Differences

In the early 1980’s a new disease entered the U.S. that had doctors scrambling to find answers. A number of gay men in both New York and California were experiencing treatment resistant diseases and cancers that were extremely uncommon. Luckily, doctors were able to relate the diverse presentations of the new disease fairly quickly. In the early days, this disease didn’t have a name. Today, we know it as Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. To put U.S. cases of HIV in perspective, currently the CDC

“estimates that 1,144,500 persons aged 13 years and older are living with HIV infection, including 180,900 (15.8%) who are unaware of their infection1.”

ebola vs. hiv: similarities and differencesWith new cases of Ebola presenting in the U.S., it is important to compare our handling of patients to that of the early days of the HIV outbreak. When we look at Ebola vs. HIV: similarities and differences, we can find ways to improve our initial response thereby gaining better control of the spread of diseases with no currently known cure and high death rates.

Misinformation in the early days of HIV caused many to believe that only gay men need fear the infection. Since then, we have learned differently. Many of the early cases of HIV could have been prevented had we known about the danger to our blood supply and had a more complete understanding of how HIV spreads. Currently Ebola is on the tipping point between those who want to believe it is “someone else’s disease” and those who fear contracting it from any stranger they meet. This combination of fear and denial is the perfect atmosphere to create larger spread of the infection. Although Ebola does not hide in a person’s system creating the risk of invisible carriers, its early symptoms are flu-like. We live in a country that is very used to going to work when they are ill. Ebola becomes contagious once symptoms present so denial is a dangerous attitude. Until real, truthful information on prevention is widely understood, diseases are far harder to contain.

Early treatment is also very important. Luckily, we have known options for the treatment of Ebola. We have been developing medications to battle the outbreak in Africa for some time and feel that we understand how to fight the illness. Advances in these treatments are already in development. This differs greatly from early treatment of HIV where doctors were forced to try options based on best guesses pulled from incomplete evidence. Had we been studying the HIV virus for as long as we have been studying Ebola, we would have had much better chances to minimize its effects on our population.

Avidity Medical Design currently has a comprehensive course under development to explore this topic in more detail. Be one of the first 100 students to enroll and get a 50% discount. Contact us for more details. Early knowledge and understanding is the key to treating illness before it can become an epidemic.

Star Trek Comes to Your Classroom: How to Use the Screenless Display to Train Your Students

screenless displaysScreenless display technology has been used in science fiction for decades, but this advanced display system has also been worked into a usable format over the last few years.The development of Google Glass in 2012 brought this technology to the forefront. It also created a wide range of possibilities in terms of how this technology could be used.

So how can you use the screenless display to train your students? From the standpoint of healthcare, how can you use screenless displays to train medical personnel and safeguard patient information? A few benefits to the healthcare field have already been realized, but many more may still be on the horizon.

How Screenless Displays Work

There are three main categories of screenless displays that come in the form of a wearable device. The first is the light guide optical element (LOE) device. This looks like a pair of glasses that enables users to view a see-through display imported from their phones or other digital device. The image is projected onto the thin glass of the device.

The retinal scanning device (RSD) and the virtual retinal display (VRD) work in almost the same way as each other, but using different equipment. In these cases, an image is projected directly onto the retina. VRD has been developing for over two decades, but more compact and easily accessible forms with better quality display are now being developed.

There is another type of screenless display that does not require a wearable device to view the object—hologram technology. The way this works is through a precise setup of lasers, mirrors and film. The laser light is guided by mirrors, going through a beam splitter, and each branch of the split beam goes through a diverging lens, which widens the beams. One beam goes straight to a photographic emulsion, while the other hits the object then is guided to the emulsion. The disruption caused by the difference in the two beams creates a viewable hologram.

How to Use Screenless Displays for Healthcare Training

All forms of screenless displays can be used for healthcare training. Each one can provide a large display of germs, cells, anatomy, or anything else that’s not easily seen with the naked eye. The case of holograms is especially helpful over screen displays because students and instructors can view a 3D image together and address any questions by interacting with the display.

How Screenless Display Improve Security

Wearable screenless devices may be best for protecting patients’ privacy. Healthcare information needs to be safeguarded and there are HIPPA rules that employees should follow, but mistakes do happen. Wearable screenless displays would cut down on the risk because the information would only be seen by the person wearing the device. No one could look over their should at their screen, they wouldn’t have to remember to lock their computer while stepping away. Patient information would only be available to the people meant to see it.

To learn more about advances in healthcare training or how Avidity Medical Design is striving to innovate healthcare education platforms, feel free to contact us.