» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched a technical assistance program, called the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program, in July. The goal is to help with payment and delivery system reform. It was created through a collaboration with the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, along with the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and other centers. 

» Novartis announced in July that its eye care division, Alcon, entered into an agreement with a division of Google Inc. to license its “smart lens” technology for all ocular medical uses. The goal is for Google and Alcon to create a smart lens that can address ocular conditions, and may include non-invasive sensors or microchips. Management of diabetes, through a lens that would measure tear fluid in the eye and connect wirelessly to a mobile device, is one goal.

» Robots can be taught to understand instructions in natural language from various speakers, according to new findings presented at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference in July. Researchers at Cornell said their robot’s brain can associate entire commands with “flexibly defined actions.” 

» The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation is asking the U.S. government to recognize healthcare technology management as a professional field in its official occupational classifications. In comments submitted to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget for its standard occupational classification, AAMI says that the names and titles have changed amid “explosive growth of technology used in healthcare.” Federal recognition of the terms would clarify roles, AAMI said.

» A new display technology could automatically correct for vision defects, scientists at MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley announced. The solution would mean, for example, that electronic readers could eliminate the need for reading glasses. Results of the researchers’ work was presented at Siggraph, a graphics conference.