Last week, RP-VITA (remote presence virtual independent telemedicine assistant) was announced as the first self-navigating communications robot to earn FDA approval for use in hospitals. Tele-medicine isn’t a new tool, especially in developing countries with limited access to highly skilled doctors, but this robot, created by iRobot and Intouch could mark the coming of age of robots as an integral part of hospital care.
Conditions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains are notoriously for being more harsh than ranges of similar altitude. Those conditions make the Whites a perfect training ground for world class mountaineers. NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown spent the day with Fred Wilkinson as he climbed Cathedral ledge.
This week the Granite state is playing host to an ice-fishing legend. Dave Genz is the only ice-angler to make the freshwater fishing hall of fame and many credit him with sparking a revolution in the niche sport. And according to the so-called “godfather of modern ice fishing” and learned that the emblematic bob-house may be becoming an anachronism.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen wants to lift the Congressional ban on earmarks, imposed under Republican leadership in 2010.
Shaheen says earmarks, often criticized as so-called pork spending, were a useful way for lawmakers to target money to projects in their home states.
When they were in effect, Shaheen says taxpayers could find information online about who was requesting the money and where it was going. Now, she says under the ban those decisions about spending are left to the administration.
Proponents of the bill says would also granting civil and criminal immunity to people who call 9-11 in suspected drug or alcohol-related emergencies -- and to the person who is the subject of the call -- will save lives. Jennifer Coffey, is a former GOP lawmakers and longtime EMT.
"I’ve had situations when I get there and people aren’t breathing. I’ve had situation when I get there and people are long gone because nobody wanted to call for help because they are afraid."
Advocates for the state’s mental health centers say the state hasn’t lived up to its own plan to improve services in the state. And this week, they’re calling for more than $37 million in increased funding to support a stretched system.
The state’s 10-year plan, called ‘A Strategy For Restoration,’ came out in 2008. It called for major investments in the state’s mental health system, and was hailed as a great step forward. But 5 years into the initiative, advocates say the state has actually slid backwards.
For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have gone down in New Hampshire children. The Centers for Disease Control’s first national study on childhood obesity finds that 14.2 percent of preschool-age children in the state are obese, down from 15.6 percent in 2003.
José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department Of Health and Human Services, sees the decline as modest, but encouraging.