Thursday, April 15, 2021

NASA-Based ActivePure Technology® Working Well in our Office Environment

 



We've been using the Vollara Air & Surface Pro+ in the office for about a month now.  We have the device running 24/7 in the 4th treatment area of our 7 treatment area office.  This pretty much places it at the center of our clinical area.

The device has a 5 speed fan which we keep on high during our workdays.  It also has a special "Depart Room Function" that we activate at the end of the day.  That way when we come back in the morning we know that the air in our clinic has been purified over the hours that we've been out of the office.

One of the best things I like is the "clean" smell the device provides.  The clinic just seems more fresh since using the device.

We've had quite a few patients comment on it and ask questions about what the device is.  Many have commented on how much they appreciate all we are doing to help keep everyone safe.  It's things like this where I feel that technology is a great tool for marketing.  By "doing the right thing" and improving air quality through the use of technologies such as this, people notice and react positively.  It's truly a win-win.

After a month of using the device I give it my *Highly Recommended" rating.  

Features

  • Positive and Negative Multipoint and RF Ion Generation
  • Five-speed fan
  • Adjustable Purifier Control (A-PURE+ only)
  • LCD Display
  • HEPA and Activated Carbon filters
  • Depart Room Function w/ adjustable Digital Timer
  • Maintenance reminders
  • Replaceable ActivePure® Cell
  • Removable Rear Grill
  • Universal Power Supply with cords

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Dentulu Closes $2.5 Million Seed Fund Round for Aggressive Development of Its Global Teledentistry Platform

 




Acquires Robohealer AI, Adding Artificial Intelligence Capabilities to Its Software Platform and Announces Expansion of the Dentulu Strategic Partner Network



 Dentulu announces the closing of an initial seed round investment of $2.5M as well as the acquisition of Robohealer AI. Robohealer, is a dynamic interactive symptom screener which uses artificial intelligence to make teleconsultations and care recommendations easy for patients and efficient for dentists. “Dentulu’s mission is to increase direct access to dental care for billions of people worldwide,” said Dentulu Founder and CEO Dr. Arash Hakhamian. “With our seed round complete, we have accelerated development of our core SaaS platform, the addition of industry partners to offer services through Dentulu, and the search for more strategic technology acquisitions like Robohealer.”

Dentulu is a seamless, multi-platform service that solves solutions for two distinct and connected markets: 1) Dentists and 2) Dental Consumers. The Dentulu platform facilitates HIPPA compliant 24/7 connections and collaboration between patients and dentists. Features include instant messaging, file sharing, one-touch phone connections, emergency advice, appointment requests, personalized treatment history logs, and video conferencing. Patients can also purchase products and receive numerous dental services that can be provided onsite or delivered to the patient’s home often at a fraction of the cost.

Dentulu was awarded the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award in 2020. “It was only fitting that the 2020 Best of Class Panel selected Dentulu for their innovative approach to teledentistry,” said Dr. Lou Shuman, CEO of Cellerant Consulting group. Also, in 2020 Dr. Arash Hakhamian, was named one of the top 100 dentists in the world by the Global Summits Institute offering further evidence of the industry’s recognition of Dentulu’s innovative approach and ambitious plans. Based on this significant industry recognition and elevated institutional interest the company will follow its seed fund round with a significant series A raise later this year.

Dentulu provides the majority of their teledentistry software suite free to dental offices.  The primary goal is to reduce operational costs and improve adoption of teledentistry and mobile dental services, ultimately increasing global access to care. “Our vision is as bold as it is simple — to create one platform that is affordable and available to all dental professionals and patients allowing access to the latest technologies, services, and products available on the dental market from anywhere in the world and on any device,” explains Hakhamian. 

Dentulu’s aspirations to grow its all-inclusive platform have been well received by the dental industry while garnering a series of important partnerships. Dentulu’s marketplace, which continues to grow rapidly, includes a wide range of offerings from patient financing, to health plans, to dental supplies and much more. Dentulu has now partnered with or has established professional relationships with insurance carriers, hospitals, DSO’s and strategic dental organizations such as Alpheon Credit, Denmat Holdings, OralDNA, Arfona, DNTLworks, Jet Dental, Floss Bar, Academy of Oral Surgery, ICOI, GDIA, AMTA, Global Summits Institute, Denefits, Dosespot, Holland Healthcare, Avadent, Dental Cast Productions, Simply mobile, Global Dental Science LLC, Smiles at Sea, Fitsmiles, Symphony MedDent Solutions, and vVardis among others.

Dental professionals can register and participate on Dentulu’s robust open platform immediately. Many features are free, while low-cost upgrades are also available to access advanced software capabilities.  Dentists are encouraged to sign up at www.dentulu.com and or download the Dentulu mobile app which is available for both Android and IOS phones.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021



 Enhanced Visualization of Dental Caries is the First Commercial Application of Startup Venture’s Nanotechnology Platform 

East Lansing & Ann Arbor, MI – GreenMark Biomedical Inc. announced that the company has secured regulatory clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to market its LumiCareTM Caries Detection Rinse as a 510(k) Class II Medical Device. “Gaining FDA clearance for our LumiCareTM device at this particular time is especially gratifying given the significant pandemic challenges of the last year. I need to acknowledge the efforts of the entire GreenMark team and our regulatory partners”, stated Dr. Steven Bloembergen, Ph.D., GreenMark’s founder, Chairman and CEO. GreenMark plans to commence sales of the product in the fall of this year. 

Caries, the world’s most prevalent chronic disease, affects more than 95% of Americans over their lifetimes and when left untreated, can lead to dental cavities. GreenMark’s LumiCareTM rinse enhances visualization of carious lesions (cavities & pre-cavities) by targeting and illuminating sub-surface porosities in enamel, thereby aiding in the detection of caries. The technology utilizes bioresorbable starch-based nanoparticles which degrade due to enzymes in saliva by the time the patient is ready to leave the dental office. 

Validation studies have been performed on a range of caries severity, including cavitated as well as early, non-cavitated lesions. “Since 2015, we’ve worked alongside our research partners at the University of Michigan, to realize our vision of detecting the early stages of caries and repairing teeth non-invasively”, said Dr. Nathan Jones, M.Sc., Ph.D., co-inventor and GreenMark Vice President Technology. Identifying lesions early creates an opportunity to avoid invasive treatment options required once a cavity has formed. 

“While detecting and treating caries non-invasively with this breakthrough nanotechnology sounds like science fiction, the reality is that integration into dental practices is just around the corner”, said Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, dental technology thought leader, CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. LumiCareTM rinse was recognized as a 2020 Best of Class winner in the Emerging Technology category. 

Prior to launch, GreenMark will scale its manufacturing and solidify its distribution channels. “Our company’s passion for creating new products that benefit dental professionals and their patients takes another step forward as we approach commercial availability of our LumiCareTM product”, noted Adam Laird, J.D., Director of Business Development. 

GreenMark will continue to sponsor research studies with leading clinicians and academicians on the LumiCareTM device, as well as other applications of its nanotechnology platform for non- invasive and preventative dental treatment. “Our company aims to help advance the standard of care in the management of dental caries through contemporary scientific understanding of this disease”, said Dr. Wendy Bloembergen, MD, GreenMark Vice President Clinical Affairs. “We recognize the impact that early-stage caries detection combined with minimally invasive preventative treatment can have for dental practices and their patients.” 

  

 


About GreenMark Biomedical Inc. 

GreenMark develops products that involve small sub-micron particles produced from food grade starch. These particles make an ideal carrier for medical and dental applications, given that enzymes in our body and saliva degrade starch. Dental caries is the most prevalent chronic disease in the world, and GreenMark is developing ways to identify and better assess the disease in its early stages, monitor progression and to treat it noninvasively or non-surgically. The Company’s LumiCareTM Caries Detection Rinse, to be used by dental professionals as part of the routine dental exam, contains fluorescently labeled starch particles that target the subsurface of carious lesions in enamel and illuminates them using a blue curing light. Identification at stages before cavitation will allow the use of non-surgical management options, resulting in less discomfort and improved long-term oral health outcomes for patients. GreenMark’s team has also demonstrated the ability to load the essential minerals, depleted as a result of tooth decay, directly inside the small starch particles. Unlike most fluoride products, which seal the tooth’s enamel surface, GreenMark’s products are designed to target and restore the enamel subsurface by regenerating tooth structure. 

GreenMark Biomedical Inc. has an office located at 325 E. Grand River Avenue, Suite 314, East Lansing, MI 48823 and offices & lab facilities at 1600 Huron Parkway, Building 520, 2nd Floor, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Contact: info@greenmark.bio or (517) 896-3665. For more information, visit www.greenmark.bio. 



Monday, April 12, 2021

Umbrella Retractor from Ultradent

 



In the world of clinical dentistry, sometimes there are products that flat out make your job easier, just by being there.  These are what I call "better mousetrap" products and I classify those as the kind that when you use them you smack yourself in the forehead and say, "Why didn't *I* think of this?"

The Umbrella Retractor from Ultradent is one of those products.  While I think the name is pretty goofy, the product itself is something I'm crazy about.  I've done some consulting on different products for Ultradent over the years and I've seen the Umbrella grow from an idea in an engineer's mind to a full  fledged workable product over the last 3-4 years.  That design time may seem to be excessive, but that is one of the great things about Ultradent.  They work diligently on a product and do not bring something to market until they feel it is ready.  I've seen this with other products as well.  They truly believe in getting it *right* before it is sold to dentists.

I watched this product good through many design changes before they finally developed a design that the engineers thought was *spot on*.  I was lucky enough to receive some of the prototypes and I am truly happy with what they came up with for the final design.

The Umbrella is handy because it can be used for a variety of applications.  In the clinical photo above it is being used as a lip retractor for a cosmetic shade matching, but it can also be used to provide isolation for placement of composite restorations, to perform crown preparations, even to provide good and adequate retraction of the buccal mucosa to perform scaling and root planing.

The product is disposable, but can also be given to the patient.  For patients that we see on a regular basis, we put theirs in a Zip Lock baggie and let them take it home.  They can bring it back for other appointments which obviously lets them use the same one which is better for the environment helps us save money.

The Umbrella has small pillows that cushion and keep the device from putting too much pressure on the alveolar ridges.  It does an incredible job of keeping the tongue, cheeks, and lips out of the field for almost any procedure.  These little retractors are *highly recommended*!!!  They are also very affordable.

If you would like to learn more about them or to place an order, this link will take you to the company web page.  If you are already a user, I'd love to have you place some feedback in the comments section of the blog.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Anatomy of a Third-Party Data Breach eBook

 

One of the sites I go to on a regular basis is Health IT Security.

The site always contains tons of good info on the security side of things and often tells amazing stories of breaches and other events from the dark side of the Internet.  As a practitioner AND a practice owner, I find these things both enlightening as well as terrifying... often at the same time.  Of course it probably doesn't help that I am a dyed in the wool geek at heart, either.

I think sometimes that small practice owners like myself see websites like this and think they are not for us.  It seems that a lot of the stories are base on things that happen in hospitals and larger health care organizations.  However, the stories told and the lessons learned can be frequently applied to smaller offices as well.  It's just seeing the story from a bit of a different angle.

The thing is, security applies to every business and every practice in today's environment.  That's why today's post is about an eBook that is being featured on their website.  It deals with breaches that come about because of third-parties.  This is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.   If you have been following or reading the new lately, you've probably heard of the Solar Wind breach.  This was a problem that occurred because a lot of companies, both large and small, depended on the company Solar Wind.  Someone hacked them and their update process.  That meant that when Solar Wind's software automatically updated itself, that update brought data breach software with it.  This meant that the hackers, through the update process of Solar Wind, were now breaching the Solar Wind customers.

This is a third party attack or more commonly referred to as a "supply chain" attack.  Cyber criminals are becoming more and more daring in their exploits and that means companies will see more and more of these  kinds of attacks and breaches.  To learn more about them, check out the eBook at Health IT Security.

It will teach you:

Data breaches that stem from third-parties are rising. Without proper controls in place for vendor management and remote access, you’re setting yourself up for a data breach. Our eBook covers the ins and outs of third-party data breaches including the attack methods, the most common phases, and the importance of a vendor access management platform.

Download our eBook to learn:

The most common ways hackers use third-party access

The top breaches that stemmed from a third-party

About the top 5 phases of a data breach

How to lower the risk from cyberattacks

Strategies to reduce impacts from those attacks

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Advantages of the LightWalker Laser from Fotona

 


Over the past weekend I was reading about the Mars Rover Perseverance and some of the experiments the NASA robotic rover will be performing.  I was surprised and more than bit excited to learn that the rover has two lasers on board and one of them is 1064 nanometers.  My excitement was because I happen to have a 1064 nanometer laser in my office!    However, mine is not part of a robotic NASA experiment, but is part of my LightWalker laser system.  My laser has an Er:YAG wavelength which we use for prepping teeth and a Nd:YAG which is the 1064 nanometer that we use for some of our soft tissue procedures.

The 1064 is great for all sorts of soft tissue procedures and surgeries, one of which is the subject of this post.

Recently we had a patient who, without the use of the laser, would have faced some difficult treatment options.  The patient has some health challenges that affect their ability to fight infection as well as to heal from injuries and disease.  They are also dealing with periodontal disease and the problems that come along with that difficult diagnosis.

Basically in this particular situation, the patient presented with generalized periodontal disease throughout the mouth as well as a couple of areas where the disease was more progressed.  This lead to the patient facing extraction of some anterior teeth and the resultant cosmetic challenges that would present.  

When the patient came to me, they had been told that there really weren't any better options.  However, upon examination, I discussed periodontal therapy that included using the Nd:YAG laser; especially in the compromised cosmetic area.  The patient was not willing to give up on their body's best option (natural teeth) and opted to try laser therapy. 

Our hygiene team performed careful periodontal scaling and thoroughly cleaned the root surfaces with both piezo electric and hand scaling.  Then I went in with the Nd:YAG laser and performed sulcular debridement.  This was done utilizing a 300 micron fiber and carefully ablating the diseased epithelium that lined the pockets.  We then changed laser settings and utilized the laser to create a stable fibrin clot in the affected areas.

There's a bit more to it than that, but if you are in dentistry, you get the idea.  Today the patient came in for a full recare and evaluation and we were pleased to see 3-4mm resolution of the severe pocket depths.  The patient was thrilled as we now feel that extraction is a "worst case scenario" and that instead, the patient can keep their own teeth.

These types of things are an example of incredible results that one can attain through the use of lasers.  I have been using lasers in my practice since the late 1990s and they have truly changed the way I provide certain treatments.

Monday, April 5, 2021

File Transfer Service at Stanford Exposes Millions of User's Data

 

For years Stanford University has been known as one of the very best tech colleges in the United States.  Their reputation in technology is well known, but it's not only known for tech as in the latest silicon valley startup, it's also know for high tech medicine.  The Stanford Medical School is one of the most cutting edge medical schools on the planet.

However, last week it was discovered that a system the medical school and its related entities used to transfer information electronically was compromised.  And it looks like it was not just Stanford that was compromised.  Apparently the hack also included Shell, the University of Miami, the University of Colorado, and the University of California Berkley, Los Angles, Davis.

Some of the affected entities admitted to receiving ransom demands from the hackers to keep them from posting the stolen information online.  "Stanford Medicine used the Accellion platform for its MedSecureSend system, which was used to transfer data including credit, debit or prepaid card data and protected health data that are classified as “high risk” by the University." according to The Stanford Daily.

The problem was the company that owned Accellion was due to shut it down later this spring and replace it with a more securely robust system.  Unfortunately hackers found out and got there first.

For the whole story, check out The Stanford Daily.  

Thursday, April 1, 2021

According to Whistleblower Who has gone Public, Ubiquiti Networks Breach was "Catastrophic"

 



As a guy who spends a fair amount of his time exploring the security side of technology, I *love* the website run by Brian Krebs.  Brian worked for the Washington Post for 14 years before striking out on his own path as a security reporter.  Since then he has broken some amazing stories and is always on the leading edge of stories that impact our technologies.  Basically when Brian speaks (or writes) I listen simply because he has an amazing Rolodex full of the best security experts in the business.  I don't refer to him here frequently, but I am reading his website on a regular basis.

The Ubiquiti Networks story was a fairly big deal around the late 2020 to early 2021 timeframe, but then sort of faded from the public conscience.  That's one of the problems with this whole subject of digital security.  Our society has gotten so used to poor operational security, that we hardly even register a blip when there is a data security incident.

Yet, occasionally a company will have a breach and the details continue to get worse.  This is one of those occasions.  It seems that someone behind the scenes of this particular incident became discouraged with the way it was handled and ended up going to Brian Krebs in an effort to get the facts of the story out.

I'm not going to repeat Brian's story here, but I highly advise you head over to this website to learn all of the things Brian learned.  It's a fascinating read!