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iPhone App Helps To Cure Vertigo

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the stop-the-world-i-want-to-get-off dept.

Canada 57

vleky writes "This is thinking outside the box ... or head. Dr. Matthew Bromwich of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario has written an iPhone app to help doctors with the Epley maneuver to cure some forms of vertigo. The patient places the iPhone against his or her forehead and the app leads the doctor through the maneuver. Bromwich's first attempt at the app sounded even more fun. With that version, the iPhone hung from the front of a baseball cap the patient wore, and the patient tried to keep a ball centered in a twisting tube by moving their head. Winning the game meant the maneuver had been successfully completed and the vertigo cured."

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What The Hell Happened To Slashdot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32139894)

No one would have believed you if ten years ago you posted here that this site would end up becoming nothing more than an Apple fanblog/marketing site.

It seems like ages since:

"Linux Slighted Somewhere"
"KDE vs Gnome"
"Who Says Gimp Isn't As Good As Photoshop?"
"Year of the Linux Desktop?"

stories were on the front page.

Re:What The Hell Happened To Slashdot? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32139998)

Eric poured the first of his new bottle of Jägermeister into a glass tumbler, making sure not to spill any drops of the precious thick brown liqueur.

He was warm all over from drinking the last bottle and sweat formed like dew over the numerous crap lines in his forehead. He threw back the shot, slammed his glass down, and brushed a swatch of greasy orange hair out of his eyes.

"Time to get back to work," he said to no one in particular.

Eric's wife was out of town on business, something that was happening more and more often lately, and he had been left to his own devices.

After getting kicked out of Barnes & Noble by the management when they caught him wandering up to strangers and offering to sign copies of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, he attended the Chester County Library Steering Committee but had to leave early from there too after he fell asleep and began to snore loudly during new business.

It must have been that bottle of Jäger on the way there, Eric thought as he drove home. And that had been Eric's afternoon.

Back home and at a loose end with a new bottle of Jäger, Eric decided it was time to update the 'ol LARP résumé. He sat down at his new home workstation, a rare 300 MHz Pentium MMX system with 512 MiB of memory named hardball, opened a terminal and typed nano $HOME/catb.org/html/larp.html, and began.

First, he had a couple of new roles to add to his already impressive list. He focused his eyes and read the last couple of characters over.

Percy Bullock (adept of the Golden Dawn) in Golden Aeon
Egil Skallagrimsson (viking badass) in Drink Deep and Drink Deeper.
Lucien Volare (revolutionary agitator) in Torch of Freedom
Cracking his knuckles and stretching his neck, Eric turned toward his mechanical keyboard.

Eric's keyboard was something special. First, none of the keys--not a single one--had any of the characters printed on them anymore save for a few white flecks here and there. Eric had worn them away in the last thirty years of typing with unwashed, greasy fingers.

There was also a film of crumbs, dead skin, finger grease, and Jäger congealed between the keys that looked like bile and smelled like a grease-trap in a condemned Chinese restaurant that permeated the air whenever he typed. Miraculously, the thing still clacked like it was 1982, and so Eric never saw a reason to clean it.

Eric was having a hard time finding a DIN-to-USB adapter and so was stuck with PS/2, which was one reason he was loathe to ever upgrade his system. At one point he'd tried to "hack" a newer motherboard to support DIN, but ended up spilling melted flux all over it, burning his hands in the process.

Eric fingered this beast's keys and began adding his latest triumphs to the list.

Dildor Cockshadow (bisexual priest) in One if by Man
Vas Deferens (badass privateer) in Escape from Planet Prepuce
After another perilous moment of swapping, Eric's changes were saved and his hard drive quieted. Eric then scrolled down, Firefox swallowing memory like Linux developers in a men's room, until he reached the Skills and Interests Relevant to Live-Action Gaming section.

Spot-checking "I have an extensive knowledge base in the sciences and history," "I have good public-speaking skills and can hold an audience," and "I am an expert computer programmer and Internet technologist," Eric smiled. He squinted and began typing again.

I am the leader of hackers worldwide and spearhead the Open Source movement.

Eric hit ^O and leered in satisfaction as his machine once again lurched out of /swap in a heroic effort to write his changes. His LARP résumé would be better than ever.

To celebrate, Eric swung around in his chair and grabbed the fresh bottle of Jägermeister, anxious to dive deeper into 70-proof stupor.

He paused, however, and decided to add a just a little more for good measure. Eric tickled the keyboard, smiling at the joy of talking about himself.

I am a core Linux developer.

Eric rubbed his bulbous gut through his faded OSCON '01 t-shirt as he ftp'ed into catb.org and uploaded the changes. While he was waiting for the transfer to complete he stuck his hand into his pants and took a slug from his freshly-opened bottle of Jäger.

Life is good, thought Eric. Life is good.

Re:What The Hell Happened To Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140182)

is this true? I'm a little bit worried about Eric.

The Linux fans have lost their motivation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140016)

I don't think Linux really have any fight left in them. Back in the late 1990s to early 2000s there was a feeling that Linux was just about to explode and Microsoft's days were numbered. Now with "Year of Desktop Linux" having become a joke the fire really has gone out. The old zealotry and passion just isn't there anymore.

All the action on the Linux front is now off in commercial development leaving the old hardcore teenage Linux fans disillusioned and unmotivated these days.

Re:What The Hell Happened To Slashdot? (0, Offtopic)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140874)

No one would have believed you if ten years ago you posted here that this site would end up becoming nothing more than an Apple fanblog/marketing site.

What do you expect when most of these stories generate between 200 and 900 posts?

29 Posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140982)

Yeah, you were saying?

Re:29 Posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32144478)

Do you know how to read? Have you graduated High School yet?

Re:What The Hell Happened To Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140990)

Sounds like you really should call the police about that man standing behind you with the gun to your head forcing you to click and post to every apple story.

That sounds like the root of all your unhappiness in life.

iPhone cures vertigo? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32139966)

iPhone app cures certain types of vertigo?

You're pulling my leg. I'm not going to fall for that.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140298)

It's BPPV. It's actually fairly common. I've had it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benign_paroxysmal_positional_vertigo [wikipedia.org]

The treatment is also fairly simple -- it's called the Epley Maneuver. You can even do it yourself (there are versions of it that are suitable for self-administration -- you can google them). It's extremely simple... but it's surprising how many general practitioners don't know it (well, mine certainly didn't). They probably read about the procedure in a text book once and then promptly forgot. Essentially the goal is to move the patient's head in a pattern so as to use gravity to re-channel the calcium particles to a location where they don't cause problems.

It's like: (for clearing stuff up in the left inner ear)
1) sit up straight for 60 seconds.
2) quickly lie down, with head tilted 45 degrees to the right for 60 seconds.
3) tilt head 90 degrees to the left, and remain for 60 seconds.
4) tilt head another 90 degrees to the left, with face facing the floor diagonally. Stay for 60 seconds.
5) sit up with head tilted 45 degrees to the left. Remain for 60 seconds.
6) repeat.
(directions are opposite for the right inner ear).

It's all just physics.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140334)

2) head tilted 45 degrees to the right
3) tilt head 90 degrees to the left
4) tilt head another 90 degrees to the left

uh... pictures?

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (2, Interesting)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140680)

2) head tilted 45 degrees to the right 3) tilt head 90 degrees to the left 4) tilt head another 90 degrees to the left

uh... pictures?

I realized that they were relative rotations, but forgot they were in degrees and tried to do radians.

Worse still, I originally assumed that the rotation axis was about the forwards horizontal....

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140558)

but it's surprising how many general practitioners don't know it

It's a structural issue. There's a hell of a lot to know, and there's a two-sided expectation that the GP will have an authoritative opinion (even if it's to see a specialist) on your complaint on the first visit.

We've got to get past the traditional, captialized Doctor In Charge image of GPs, and treat them, and expect them to act, as health researchers.

But if you check the parking lot of any hospital to see what Doctors and Nurses drive, you'll see why there's a lot of resistance by Doctors to admitting they're a glorified Nurse today.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (1)

elbiatcho1 (1554817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140662)

Is it 60 seconds or 5 minutes?

The procedure is as follows:

      1. Sit upright.
      2. Turn your head to the symptomatic side at a 45 degree angle, and lie on your back.
      3. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
      4. Turn your head 90 degrees to the other side.
      5. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
      6. Roll your body onto your side in the direction you are facing; now you are pointing your head nose down.
      7. Remain up to 5 minutes in this position.
      8. Go back to the sitting position and remain up to 30 seconds in this position.

The entire procedure should be repeated two more times, for a total of three times.

During every step of this procedure the patient may experience some dizziness.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141018)

So, at what point do you projectile vomit on the priest?

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32144546)

Whenever the priest is inline with whatever direction your head happens to be facing, same as always...

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140360)

iPhone app cures certain types of vertigo?

You're pulling my leg. I'm not going to fall for that.

Of course it cures vertigo, Steve Jobs invented it! I'm just surprised that no one has come up with an app for walking on water or curing Cancer.

It is way better than the farting apps though.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (1)

ormondotvos (936952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32144752)

Believe it, bubba!!! I was suffering badly from BPPV when this was invented, and it flat cured me. If you haven't thrown up violently for two or three hours, every time you moved your head, you've really missed something. It's from calcium particles banging around in your delicate little sensing tips in the semicircular canals. The Epley procedure allows them to trickle into a place where they get stuck and don't annoy the balance whiskers. I might just buy an iPhone for this. I've had the YouTube for this at the top of my bookmarks for a looong time.

Re:iPhone cures vertigo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32145304)

iPhone app cures certain types of vertigo?

You're pulling my leg. I'm not going to fall for that.

Warning: The cure may cause your new girlfriend to accidentally leap from the nearest bell tower.

iPod Touch (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32139970)

Sounds like a job for an iPod touch, not an iPhone.

A great use for a 200 dollar piece of equipment that has no contract.

Hey Goole, can you give us a variety of contract-free touch-like devices?

Re:iPod Touch (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140108)

I'm assuming that the App would work on the iPod Touch since it too uses the iPhone OS. I'm guessing that the story name stems from this fact. If the device came out for the Droid or Nexus One, the story name would have probably been "Android App Helps To Cure Vertigo." I can see how the device and the operating system sharing the same name might be confusing.

Re:iPod Touch (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140458)

Yeah, it's just a pet peeve of mine. One of the reasons why the the iphone OS is making inroads into all of these niche areas is the availability of cheap contract-free iPod touch devices. As a developer this makes a lot of sense.

From a marketing perspective, however, it is much more attractive to put out devices that require phone contracts, because it's a long-term revenue stream.

If google really wants to grow android market share, they have to address this need, or force their partners to address it.

I recently worked on a project where the client company gave over 1,000 iPod touches to their salespeople loaded with info they needed. The salespeople didn't need phones. They have phones. They needed the information in a timely fashion in a tool they could easily update and manage.

Re:iPod Touch (1)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140704)

One of the reasons why the the iphone OS is making inroads into all of these niche areas is the availability of cheap contract-free iPod touch devices.

Nokia started with non-phones, the Nokia 770 and 800, resulting in all manner of apps for Maemo.

Re:iPod Touch (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32144012)

Interesting, but that's a whole different OS, not Android or iPhone.

It looks like they may have been ahead of their time in some ways, but I don't see a huge ground swell of development (400 people at the 2009 developer's conference?).

Is there a future in Maemo? Or will Nokia just switch to Android?

Re:iPod Touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32157080)

Nokia is partnering with Intel to switch to Meego... an OS that isn't out yet.
http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/maemo-moblin-meego

Re:iPod Touch (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141284)

Some of Google's partners have addressed this need by making Android phones that are cheaper than the iTouch (I'm posting this on one). Phone chips aren't expensive. Apple maintains an artificial price differential between the iTouch and the iPhone (where PAYG or unlocked units are available) for marketing reasons.

I bet that... (2, Funny)

broknstrngz (1616893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140028)

...when a perpetuum mobile is finally invented, it will run on an iPhone.

Re:I bet that... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32154168)

And you'll hear about it on slashdot first!

The Game (1)

bman (84104) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140062)

The Game [wikipedia.org]

iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140076)

What if the doc only has an iPad? Would be a sight to see!

you FAIL 1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140138)

it. Its miision is

Game machines for physical conditioning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140144)

First the Wii (Wii Remote), then the iPod/iPhone (accelerometer) ... These people are geniuses. I wonder what else will they think of?

Seems useless to me (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140226)

I suffer from BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) and I'd probably have to' win the game' about thirty times before I actually managed to get the calcium inner ear weights to get back into their proper positions.

I don't need a device to tell me my vertigo is cured, as the device can't understand what I'm feeling at the exact moment. Also, a cure implies it should never occur ever again. Guess what I have to do nearly on a weekly basis?

Re:Seems useless to me (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140790)

Cure does not imply permanence or preventative nature. That is your own misunderstanding of the word.

Re:Seems useless to me (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141002)

Cure does not imply permanence or preventative nature. That is your own misunderstanding of the word.

I strongly disagree. The word "treatment" is the one you're looking for.

Re:Seems useless to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32141178)

I cured my hiccups using a new treatment. Doesn't mean I'll never get hiccups again. If they come back I'll try a different treatment, but it will be the same cure as last time.

Re:Seems useless to me (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140836)

Maybe you have to do it 30 times because you're not doing it right? In which case $15 on this app would be the best money you ever spent.

(Assuming the app is all it's cracked up to be.)

Re:Seems useless to me (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32142436)

You can't do it right the first time, there are multiple calcium deposits in your inner ear that act as balance weights. Almost all of mine are loose and it takes about 45 minutes to get them back into the right position (outside of the semicircular canals.)

Re:Seems useless to me (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32145780)

I feel for you.
I suffer from tiredness related vertigo and BPPV by self diagnosis. and when it hits it's really annoying, and can last upto days. Sometimes going to certain positions seems to cure it however for months, and first time it started from a bad position: I was leaning forwards all the way from my chair to floor to fiddle with computer innards and a bad dizziness struck. It lasted for weeks, until i was again leaning forwards adjusting carburators on my car for idle speed. But always tiredness had a change to it even then, more tired, the worse it got. When driving a car back then it eased a lot.

Ever since the first time however, it seems to be about how tired i am. Go and figure? Doctors wouldn't diagnose it further, only told me to exercise and stretch my neck area, rest more and take it easy. I had high blood pressure at the time of first incident as well.

It still today starts always when i'm too tired (couple weeks with 6hrs or less sleep, or sleeping during the wrong hours might trigger it aswell), but the first time it seemed positional. Who knows. Once i was welding and a big ball of red hot sludge flew into my left ear, deep in there. So maybe that has caused me to have vertigo occasionally? Then again, when i goto the track and if i'm having vertigo, the first couple laps are really hard with vertigo when the g forces hit, but then it eases and i'm able to concentrate at ease even during high G-force cornering. So that sounds like positional.

Maybe i should visit doctor again and demand them to diagnose? (Good luck with that, Finnish public healthcare being what it is)

A bit misleading.. (5, Informative)

Trecares (416205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140242)

While the Epley maneuver is effective, it does not actually cure the problem. The problem is that sometimes particles form in the inner ear and can disturb the nerves that senses changes in balance. The maneuver only moves them to a different location where they don't cause problems. The particles are still there. They occasionally can get back into a place where they can cause problems. I've had it for 10 years and it comes and goes. However, it still is better than nothing.

Re:A bit misleading.. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141596)

I think I have it, mildly.

When I'm not 100% awake (ie, less than 8 hours rest) I'll feel like things are moving when they are not, and have some subtle balance problems. This comes and goes. I think I'm just good at dealing with it. That I lack the nausea component of motion sickness etc, I think lends to my supposition that I'm just good at dealing with it :). I get the sensation that I'm floating or in a state of lower gravity (like when driving over a crest of a hill, except not in the gut, and it lasts on the order of hours). Going into a wide open space (ie, parking lot) that still has fixed references seems to make it go away for a while.

It wouldn't surprise me. I had tons of problems with my ears as a child, so far that I have no bones in one ear, instead having a plastic rod replacing them. Also, one of my mastoid processes is missing now too :P

Re:A bit misleading.. (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141796)

Why would you think that the position of particles in your inner ear are somehow related to the amount of sleep you get?

Re:A bit misleading.. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32142356)

I don't. I think my ability to 'compensate' or ignore it is.

Just like I feel pain more sharply when tired, or when uncorrected my astigmatism is much more noticeable.

Re:A bit misleading.. (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32159132)

That actually makes sense. It's a shame, really...I had a snarky comment that would make me look superior all lined up. Ye /. gods, why hast thou forsaken me?!?!

:-)

Re:A bit misleading.. (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 4 years ago | (#32142056)

Actually, the Epley maneuver is about 95% effective in treating BPPV ( http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/884261-treatment [medscape.com] ) and in many patients it is a permanent cure (the recurrence rate is 10-25% - http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/884261-followup [medscape.com] ). The fact that for you it is not so, does not mean no one will benefit from it. P.S. You do not need to move the Calcium particles back to their original place for the maneuver to be considered a cure. Having them someplace "out of the way" is enough.

Re:A bit misleading.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32143818)

The Epley maneuver can indeed cure the problem, we think. The calcium crystals (otoconia), when properly repositioned out of the semi-circular canals and back into the otolith organs, tend to be reabsorbed within about 48 hours. At least this is the case with rats. As of yet we haven't cut open any humans to find out if this is true with us as well. But the evidence seems to bear this out. Recurrence of symptoms is most likely other otoconia being knocked loose in a similar fashion, not the same particles rolling out of place again.

Tagging this as "idle"? Really? (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140246)

Come on... You gotta have a bigger view of the things around you than that.

its a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32140276)

This reminds me a lot of 'The Game' [wikipedia.org] . In short, it's a mind control device.

Perhaps overkill (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140332)

I had this problem and was told by my ENT to (1) sit in the middle of my couch (2) lean to the right till my head touched the arm (3) look up to my left (4) sit up straight (5) lean to the left till my head touched the arm (6) look up to the right (7) sit up straight. Repeat several times. Worked for me.

Um... what now? (2, Funny)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32140826)

Doctors are putting a cell phone that causes nearly all my other gadgets to buzz next to the developing brain of a child?

Re:Um... what now? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141278)

Because, were it not for this app, of course children wouldn't do something as dangerous as putting mobile phones to their heads.

Still, not to worry, you could always wrap the childs head in tin foil first.

Re:Um... what now? (1)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32152184)

"children put a cell phone to their heads, themselves"

Regardless if a child does something, how does that justify what a doctor does?

If we were to apply the logic of what you just said, you are saying its OK for a doctor to put a child's hand in a light-socket because a child is likely to do it themselves. That's nonsense.

We invented the damn internet (3, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32141788)

an iPhone app to cure the most common cases of vertigo, which about 300,000 Canadians develop annually.

I DON'T WANT THIS FUCKING METRIC UNIT CRAP!

-

$200 iPhone or $0.40 Bonine tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32142172)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meclizine [wikipedia.org]

I have bad vertigo and when it starts up, one Bonine (Meclizine) will kill the symptoms in only about 5 minutes and usually lasts for the rest of the day. It is also preventative medication that lowers the chance of a bad episode if you are having symptoms recur over a few days.

If only... (1)

matunos (1587263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32142408)

... there was a cure for the brain tumors that result from strapping a cell phone to people's heads. iPod Touch anyone?

Pfft (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32144134)

Im working on an iPhone app that cures bowel cancer, just shove said iPhone up your ass while watching Oprah and the little cancer critters will run away.

Seriously? (1)

joeygirl (1809294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32173294)

Is there really any scientific proof on this? There are so many apps that don't work-not too sure about this one. http://www.joeyfortman.com/ [joeyfortman.com]
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