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.

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.

Reebok

Waste from the coffee you drank this morning at McDonald's may soon end up in a brand new Lincoln Continental. Reebok's new shoe offering next year is made from plants. These are just two examples of an increasing number of eco-friendly products by companies working toward a circular economy.

Ford

Electric vehicles, equipped with a special manufactured sound at low speeds, are already hitting the car lots. The U.S. government will require the otherwise quiet vehicles to make noise by September 2020, to alert blind, visually impaired and distracted pedestrians.

University of Dayton

The University of Dayton School of Engineering lab may be instrumental in helping airlines reduce their huge carbon footprint - an estimated 43 gigatons of pollution through 2050. That's nearly 5% of the world's remaining carbon budget.

Courtesy of Cincinnati Children's

A serious lung complication for a small group of juvenile arthritis patients is causing concern for both Cincinnati Children's Hospital researchers and the families of patients.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A University of Dayton student and Cincinnati Country Day graduate has come up with a way to make cerebral palsy patients comfortable and safe while they sleep.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Psilocybin, a key ingredient in hallucinogenic magic mushrooms, is time consuming and expensive to make. That could be a problem when producing it as a drug to treat depression and addiction. Miami University researchers have apparently figured out a way to make psychedelic drugs faster and cheaper.

Courtesy of Ohio Department of Transportation

Ohio continues to give the green light to businesses that want to help pioneer the development of self-driving vehicles. Just last week at a COSI conference, Lt. Governor Jon Husted was wooing Toyota, Waymo, Ford, the American Trucking Associations, AAA and others.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

More than a year ago, Shepherd Chemical, a fourth-generation family-owned manufacturer of specialty chemicals, started feeling the heat from China. But after making a few changes that didn't cost anything, it cut its production time by more than half. Now it's selling its products in Asia.

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