Tech Talk

• It could be the “Baywatch” of the future.

A cutting-edge lifesaving initiative — the rescue drone — is taking flight again this summer off France’s popular Atlantic beaches.

Following a successful launch in 2016, three airborne life-saver drones are being operated in the southwestern Nouvelle-Aquitaine region until September to come to the aid of swimmers struggling in choppy water.

At 80 kilometres an hour, the 3.9 kilogramme drone buzzes to the danger spot four minutes faster than a lifeguard and is programmed to neatly drop a life buoy to the water.

Anthony Gavend, from drone manufacturing company HELPER, says Tuesday the time gained “means the difference between life and death.”

Gavend said it was the first such initiative in the world and helped some 50 swimmers in difficulty last year.

• Britain plans to strengthen the online “right to be forgotten” with a law making social media companies delete personal information on request.

The government on Monday published details of a Data Protection Bill , including a provision allowing people to ask for personal data held by companies to be erased.

The changes also would make it easier for people to find out what data companies or organisations hold on them, and would ban firms from collecting personal information without explicit consent.

The proposed law gives a regulator power to levy fines of up to 17 million pounds ($22 million) on firms that fail to comply.

The bill is intended to replace European Union privacy protections when Britain leaves the bloc in 2019. It must be approved by Parliament to become law.

• Jackson Clinic cardiologist Dr. John Baker will perform a new robotic procedure used to improve safety and precision of coronary endovascular procedures.

The procedure Baker will perform Thursday at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, a robotic endovascular intervention with placement of a stent, will be the first in the state of Tennessee.

“When you’re doing coronary endovascular work, you want to be very precise and very delicate because you’re manipulating devices within a coronary artery,” Baker said. “This robotic device enables us to make very fine, precise movements.”

Jackson General is the 11th centre in the country to install the second generation Cordinus vascular robotics GRX device. The device cost $600,000, with Friends of Heart donating a portion of the money.

“The robot system also will warn me if I’m encountering resistance to any of these movements, which can avert some complications for the procedure,” Baker said.

Baker compared the introduction of the robotic procedure to the introduction of stents in 1995 as another leap forward in technology.


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