WUWM: Innovation Reporting

It seems like every day there are breakthroughs in science, medicine and technology. But what do those advancements mean for you? WUWM’s Innovation Reporter Chuck Quirmbach will answer your questions, and make the difficult easier to grasp.

Submit your questions to Chuck below.

_

Courtesy of Healthy Minds Innovations

Local medical experts say they're worried about the mental health of people in the Milwaukee area after dealing with months of COVID-19 and economic challenges related to the pandemic.  

Counselors are recommending various ways to positively cope with additional stress. Some Wisconsin researchers have even developed a free app, designed to help through meditation.

Rendering supplied by Independence First

Thousands of people with disabilities are hoping to vote in Wisconsin on Aug. 11, in November, and in many other elections in the years ahead. But advocates say people in wheelchairs, the visually impaired, and people with other concerns have a more difficult time exercising their right to vote. Technology is helping ease some problems, but not all.

Chuck Quirmbach

Thirty years ago this summer, the landscape slowly started to change for people with disabilities in the U.S. The change in 1990 came through the passage of major legislation known as The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in four adults in this country has some type of disability. Those include people with vision or hearing impairment, loss of movement, mental health concerns, speech and memory loss. 

Courtesy of Katarina Braun and Gage Moreno / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Many in the university research community say science will eventually help find a vaccine for the coronavirus. But across Wisconsin, it's an uncertain time for the thousands of scientists — young and older — studying and working at universities. The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought some changes, and it's expected to bring more.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Brewers start their coronavirus-shortened 60-game baseball season Friday evening in Chicago against the Cubs. For now, there won't be any fans in the stands, either at away games or July 31, when home games start at Miller Park. 

But baseball will try to make it sound like fans are at the stadiums.

The Brewers just wrapped up a few weeks of what would normally be called spring training, except this year it was summer camp. The team webcast some of its intrasquad games at Miller Park, complete with announcers describing the action.

Screenshot / UW Health

On Thursday, Milwaukee will join Shorewood and Dane County in requiring masks to be worn in some outdoor and indoor locations. It's an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But as face masks become more common, experts in speech impediments and hearing loss are asking people to be aware that mask wearing can affect communication.

Meanwhile, engineers and designers are working on potential solutions.

Courtesy of Medical College of Wisconsin

A federal program trying to recruit 1 million people for medical research is launching an effort to learn more about COVID-19. The Medical College of Wisconsin and some other health care outlets in the state are part of the program called All of Us

All of Us began during the Obama administration and could cost $1.5 billion nationally over a 10-year period.

Chuck Quirmbach

COVID-19 has triggered a sharp economic slowdown. Separately, some of the Black Lives Matter protests have focused on African Americans and other non-white groups trailing Caucasians in average household income. 

Can more business innovation be a partial solution to both issues?  Some people think so.

Ann-Elise Henzl

The state of Wisconsin says the number of active COVID-19 investigations at nursing homes continues to increase. The Department of Health Services (DHS) website indicates 58 active public health probes, up from 38 when the state first released its list two weeks ago.

There are 15 active probes at skilled care facilities in Milwaukee County. Total investigations (active and closed) at nursing homes statewide has gone from 46 to 74. An investigation gets underway when at least one home resident or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

Susan Bence

A citizens group wants Wisconsin utilities to become more innovative in reducing emissions that contribute to climate change. Group members say getting more intellectual diversity on a utility's board of directors would help.

The discussion involves Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), which primarily serves southcentral Wisconsin, but is part owner of one of the WE Energies coal-fired power plants in Oak Creek. MGE still gets half of its electricity from coal generation. 

Al Bello / Getty Images

When state officials say they want to expand coronavirus testing in Wisconsin, they mean the diagnostic test that usually involves inserting a long cotton swab through the nose. The exam detects if you currently have the coronavirus.

But some health care organizations are also offering an antibody test. That involves taking a small blood sample to see if you previously had the virus and your immune system made protective proteins called antibodies to fight off the infection. 

Jason W. Edwards / U.S. Army

A drug that could help speed the recovery of some COVID-19 patients by several days is now being given to a person in Wisconsin. The trial use of remdesivir is taking place at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

Courtesy of Lindsey Roddy

Pretty much any time can be challenging for a young business or startup. That appears to be especially true now, during the COVID-19 pandemic that's dramatically changed consumer spending and shut down many companies. 

But some early-stage firms in the medical field are staying open or expanding by adjusting to present needs. 

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin officials are trying to step up the decontamination of some key pieces of medical equipment used by health care workers treating patients who have COVID-19. The hope is to reuse more items like N95 respirators, which are tight-fitting masks that reduce the wearer's exposure to the coronavirus.

Chuck Quirmbach

People with slow or no internet at their home or workplace may be able to briefly tap into free, wireless broadband internet service just outside public buildings. 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) and Department of Public Instruction recently created an online map of about 650 emergency internet locations in Wisconsin. The PSC also set-up a help-line to answer any questions.

Pages