Focus On Technology

Mondays at 6:44 a.m.; 8:44 a.m. during Morning Edition and 4:44 p.m. during All Things Considered

Ann Thompson reports on the latest trends in technology and their effects on medicine, safety, the environment or entertainment.

Courtesy of EagleHawk

Sanitizing large public spaces in the age of the coronavirus is coming down to drones. It may be a way to get fans in the stands sooner. It also could be an effective way to transport a vaccine to the masses once one becomes available. These and other applications have researchers scrambling to find pandemic-era drone applications.

University of Dayton

Possibly one of the first things to go when companies have money problems is the information technology department. Cybersecurity experts don't want that to happen, especially during a pandemic when the practice of employees working from home puts online information at risk.

uc coronavirus testing
Courtesy of Jason Whitman

How do we navigate the unknown as safely as possible? And how do we engage with each other again in public in a way that's safe and science-based? A health metrics expert answered those questions and more in an April discussion sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Courtesy of the Freestore Foodbank

Food for the hungry is now within walking distance for hundreds more Cincinnatians after a team of problem solvers used data analytics to strategically place food distribution centers closer to them.

As millions of Americans get ready to return to work the subject of "healthy buildings" has come up, and Cincinnati facility engineers are explaining what's involved.

coronavirus
Kin Cheung / AP

There are two to five new diseases a year that pass from insects and animals to humans, and researchers worry any one of them could become the next pandemic. In a conference call sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, a few of the nation's top scientists expressed concern.

kroger
Al Behrman / AP

Unlike the old fashioned head count some stores are using to keep customers socially distanced, Kroger is using camera sensors and predictive analytics, freeing up more employees to work inside the store.

Photo/Andrew Higley / UC Creative Services

How do you know what colors a fiddler crab can see if they can't answer you? You show them a "movie" that would scare them and cause a reaction if they did see all the colors. A University of Cincinnati professor did just that and the crabs were running scared.

Cincinnati VA

COVID-19 has kicked the use of telehealth into high gear. Kaiser Health News reports the Cleveland Clinic logged 60,000 such visits in March, up from an average of 3,400. For some hospital systems, like the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, telehealth success is the result of years of planning and use.

coronavirus vaccine
Jessica Hill / AP

Pharmaceutical companies are working around the clock to repurpose current medications and develop new therapies and vaccines to treat and prevent COVID-19. During a on-the-record discussion with reporters March 18, the life sciences industry detailed some of their most promising efforts.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Mary Bradburn's class at Batavia Middle School is getting pretty good at building future cities. For the third time since her class first entered the Future City Competition, it won Ohio and moved on to nationals. This year the class focused on making sure people have clean drinking water when faced with a hurricane.

Steven Senne/AP

Health officials say figuring out the path of the coronavirus is key to controlling it. They have employed the help of spies, data scientists, epidemiologists and others to study who is likely to get COVID-19 and where it will travel next.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

You're right to be cautious about the sun. It can cause skin cancer, damage your eyes and make you look older. But with the right protection, getting at least 30 minutes of it a day may prevent Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome - which increases the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, according to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center researchers.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Research shows South Asians are four times more likely to develop heart disease than the rest of the population. One University of Cincinnati scientist is moving beyond genetics to talk about risk and prevention.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cosmetic procedures are becoming more mainstream thanks in part to the increasing urge to take "digitally enhanced" selfies. In 2018, Americans spent $16.5 billion on such procedures, out of pocket, with no insurance.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A new assisted living facility in Blue Ash is helping people better understand memory loss with a simple simulation open to the community.

Courtesy of Procter & Gamble

Visitors to this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were wowed by Procter & Gamble's beauty and bathroom technology.

Courtesy of Washington State University

It's no secret that road salt is not very sustainable. So, states like Ohio are looking for greener alternatives. It is using so-called "BEET HEET," a de-icer made with the vegetable.  A Washington State University professor is proving grape extract and other agricultural waste can be used. Research shows it melts ice faster and causes significantly less damage to concrete and asphalt than traditional methods.

Courtesy of Patriot One Technolgies

At Great American Ball Park, technology inside a couple of unobtrusive planters use artificial intelligence and magnets to make sure people coming inside don't have weapons or explosive devices. Ginter Electric, a Patriot One Technologies dealer, installed the system and is partnering with the Cincinnati Reds.  Ginter's T. J. Dooley is looking to sign up businesses, governments and schools.

Ann Thompson

Robots may be helping to grow your salad greens. WVXU first told you about 80 Acres Farms when it had a single location in Spring Grove Village. Now it's expanded to Hamilton and is intent on helping others recreate its indoor robotic farming.

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