News

  • Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology have developed a glue gun to put the human body back together when it has been seriously injured. The pins and stitches currently used to treat serious injuries come with drawbacks: They can be painful, they leave scars, they require high skill from the doctor, and they sometimes have to be removed after the tissues heal. Suture on the intestine, lungs or blood vessels often leak and therefore require a sealant. The medical glue that the researchers have developed is a “two in one,” said Prof. Boaz Mizrahi, head of the Biomaterials Laboratory of the Technion. It replaces both stitches and the sealant, and is good for both external and internal injuries, he said. All sorts of medical glues are already being used in dermatology, surgery, and other areas. Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd., for example, has developed a medical device that it says can dress burns and other wounds with nano materials that mimic human tissue and peel off once the skin below is regenerated. Still, the glues currently in use to replace sutures and staples are limited by their mechanical properties and toxicity, the researchers said. Because they are very toxic, they can be utilized only on the surface of the skin. In addition, hardening of the glue may make the organ less flexible or the adhesion may not be sufficiently strong. With these limitations in mind, researchers have been on the hunt for a glue that is suitable for different tissues, nontoxic, and flexible after hardening. Such a glue would also need to decompose in the body after the tissue is fused together. Mizrahi worked together with doctoral student Alona Shagan and came up with what they say is a “very strong, nontoxic tissue adhesive that remains flexible even after solidification.” Their study...
  • Pinnacle Ventures has launched a pharmacogenomics programme to enable genetic testing to drive personalised prescribing decisions. The innovation arm of Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, a not-for-profit primary health care management company in New Zealand, is also working on embedding biomarker information into electronic health records and linking it to a clinical-decision support prescribing tool that can help prescribers by providing direct access to international pathways and guidelines. Pharmacogenetics involves prescriptions being tailored to a person’s genetic make-up, as people metabolise drugs in different ways, which can have a significant impact on a drug’s effectiveness. Ventures plans to do about 5,000 pharmacogenetic tests over the next 12 months, says chief executive John Macaskill-Smith. Some will be self-funded because individuals are struggling with their medications and others will be fully funded by Ventures, targeting specific groups within the Midlands population. Macaskill-Smith says it is a simple test that covers 65–70 per cent of medications frequently prescribed in New Zealand. “The New Zealand health system is under strain but using testing like this you could reduce the trial and error of prescribing and prevent adverse reactions to medications,” he said. Ethnicity plays a big part in how a person metabolises drugs, but the clinical trials that prescribing information are based on very rarely involve Māori or Pasifika test subjects. Macaskill-Smith said Ventures is partnering with key kiwi groups, Auckland University and Otago University medical schools and Callaghan Innovation to support research and develop a better understanding of how unique New Zealand populations respond to different medications. People who have a pharmacogenetic test can choose to consent to contributing their non-identifiable demographic information to researchers. Embedding the biomarker information into EHRs ensures a patient’s results are used for both current and future prescribing decisions, he said. Macaskill-Smith says a lot of direct-to-consumer online genetic-testing tools involve people...
  • Surgery students spend so much time on screens that they have lost the ability to perform simple tasks such as stitching and sewing up patients, a professor has warned. Roger Kneebone, a professor of surgical education at Imperial College, London, says the focus on academic knowledge has come at the expense of craftsmanship. “It is important and an increasingly urgent issue,” Kneebone told the BBC. “It is a concern of mine and my scientific colleagues that whereas in the past you could make the assumption that students would leave school able to do certain practical things – cutting things out, making things – that is no longer the case.” The professor, who teaches surgery to medical students, believes that this is down to an increase in technology which takes away the experience of handling materials and developing skills. ”An obvious example is of a surgeon needing some dexterity and skill in sewing or stitching,” he explained. ”A lot of things are reduced to swiping on a two-dimensional flat screen” Kneebone adds that a growing number of students are becoming “less competent and less confident” in using their hands, resulting in young professionals who “have very high exam grades but lack tactile general knowledge”. The professor will be speaking on Tuesday at the V&A Museum of Childhood in east London, at the launch of a report, published by the Edge Foundation, calling for more creativity in the curriculum. The report warns that entries to creative subjects have fallen by 20 per cent since 2010, including a 57 per cent fall in design and technology GCSE. Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, who will be speaking alongside Professor Kneebone added: “Creativity is not just for artists. “Subjects like design and technology, music, art and drama are vitally important for...
  • One of lung cancer’s most lethal attributes is its ability to trick radiologists. Some nodules appear threatening but turn out to be false positives. Others escape notice entirely, and then spiral without symptoms into metastatic disease. On Monday, however, Google unveiled an artificial intelligence system that — in early testing — demonstrated a remarkable talent for seeing through lung cancer’s disguises. A study published in Nature Medicine reported that the algorithm, trained on 42,000 patient CT scans taken during a National Institutes of Health clinical trial, outperformed six radiologists in determining whether patients had cancer. It detected 5% more cancers and cut false positives — when cancer is suspected though a nodule is harmless — by 11% from reviewing a single scan. It performed on par with the radiologists when prior images of patients were also included in the evaluation. The results underscore AI’s potential to improve lung cancer screening and help radiologists diagnose malignancies earlier and with greater accuracy — though the research did not show whether the Google system would help patients live longer. Lung cancer is by far the most common killer of Americans among cancers, resulting in about 160,000 deaths in 2018. A large NIH study — the same one that supplied data for Google’s algorithm — established that screening of high-risk patients such as long-term smokers can reduce the risk of death by about 20%, but it also raised concerns about false positives leading to unnecessary testing that can harm patients. It reported that several deaths resulted from false positives that led patients to undergo invasive biopsies and other procedures. Ongoing concerns about the overall accuracy and benefit of screening have led to low rates of such testing. Meanwhile, about 50 percent of lung cancers are diagnosed after they have already spread, when the disease is harder to effectively...
  • Aidoc, the leading provider of AI solutions for radiologists, announced today that it was granted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for an additional product in its expanding suite of AI-based workflow orchestration solutions. The clearance is for Aidoc’s Pulmonary Embolism (PE) solution that works with radiologists to flag and triage PE cases in chest CTs. The approval comes just weeks after Aidoc closed a $27 million funding round, bringing its total funding to $40million. “In addition to the significant value provided to the department by Aidoc’s ICH solution, we recently added the PE module to the workflow”, says Dr. Pressman, Chair of Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “I was impressed by the fact that the coverage continuously grows, allowing us to add this product in the workflow of more radiologists, becoming part of our daily work. I was also pleased by the ability of the software to prioritize PE studies accurately.” In the United States alone, Up to 200,000 people a year die due to PE. Undetected or late-detected PE is one of the most common causes of preventable death in hospitalized patients. PE diagnosis can be highly challenging due to its variable and non-specific presentation, making AI-driven workflow triage especially beneficial. Recent research published at ECR in Vienna further shows the accuracy and value Aidoc’s solution can provide. “It is clear that AI will play a tremendous role in the future of radiology,” said Daniel J. Durand, M.D., Chair of Radiology at LifeBridge Health. “Considering the complexity of vascular diagnosis, we are eager to see how Aidoc’s solutions can benefit our pulmonary embolism patients and bring tomorrow’s technology to LifeBridge Health, today.” LifeBridge Health operates four hospitals in and around Baltimore, Maryland. The new clearance, combined with Aidoc’s other proven solutions, gives Aidoc the most clearances for deep learning solutions in radiology and positions it firmly at the forefront of making AI...
  • More than 1 in 4 doctors told Medscape Medical News in a recent survey that they have been sexually harassed by a patient within the past 3 years. The 27% of doctors reporting the harassment is nearly four times higher than the 7% of doctors who said they had been sexually harassed by colleagues or administrators in the workplace, an analysis of the survey data shows. In the Patients Sexually Harassing Physicians Report 2018, published July 11, doctors said the most common form of harassment was a patient acting in an overtly sexual manner toward them (17%), followed by patients repeatedly asking for a date (9%) and patients trying to touch, grope, or grab them (7%). In all three categories, the harassment happened more frequently to female doctors. A much smaller percentage of doctors (2%) reported that patients asked for a sexual encounter or sent sexual emails, letters, or provocative photos of themselves. Slideshow: Patients Sexually Harassing Physicians Survey 2018 Respondents gave examples of the harassment.”A patient made a comment that he was going to grab my breasts if I caused pain to him while removing his nasal packing,” one female doctor commented in the survey. Another female doctor commented, “I had a patient who continually had the need to expose his genitalia to myself and female staff members. He tried to be intimidating in that he would attempt to link the exposure to a medical problem, when there never was one.” Types of Harassment Measured Included in the survey’s definition of sexual harassment, abuse, or misconduct were unwanted sexual texts/emails, comments about body parts, propositions to engage in sexual activity, being asked repeatedly for a date, offer of a promotion in exchange for a sexual favor, threats of punishment for refusal of a sexual favor, deliberately infringing on body space, unwanted groping/hugging/physical contact, deliberate self-fondling,...
  • KCI, now a part of the Acelity Company, has announced that its PREVENA negative pressure incision management system is the first to receive FDA’s indication to help with reducing superficial surgical site infections in those at high risk of post-op infections. The approval comes under the FDA’s de novo pathway that was designed to bring forward new technologies that may help address important medical necessities. The PREVENA system is a disposable product that is used to cover and protect a wound, and it negative pressure force of -125mmHg helps to drain the wound of fluids. It was previously approved by the FDA to prevent seromas. “This indication from the FDA is further proof of our intent to bring to market technologies that accelerate healing while reducing the cost of care,” in a statement said R. Andrew Eckert, Chief Executive Officer, KCI. “PREVENA™ Incision Management System has a multitude of published studies that consistently demonstrate efficacy in lowering post-surgical wound complications, specifically SSIs. This indication from the FDA demonstrates our commitment to addressing the infection-related burdens faced by healthcare systems and the emotional toll faced by patients.” Some details on the studies that led to the approval, according to KCI: A meta-analysis including 30 studies from a systematic literature review of 540 publications from a 13 year period entitled, “Meta-Analysis of Comparative Trials Evaluating a Single-Use Closed-Incision Negative-Pressure Therapy System,” recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, demonstrated that PREVENA™ Therapy performed significantly better at reducing the incidence of SSIs in comparison to traditional and advanced wound dressings. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies were assessed across specialties, including cardiothoracic, lower extremity, colorectal/abdominal, obstetrics and vascular surgery. For Article Source Click Here
  • Despite the health sector employing five million workers in India it continues to have low density of health professionals with figures for the country being lower than those of Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, United Kingdom and Brazil, according to a World Health Organisation database. This workforce statistic has put the country into the “critical shortage of healthcare providers” category. Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the worst hit while Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Gujarat compare favourably. “Southeast Asia needs a 50% increase in healthcare manpower to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. India faces the problem of acute shortages and inequitable distributions of skilled health workers as have many other low- and middle-income countries,’’ said K. Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India. New courses needed He said that the need of the hour is to design courses for different categories of non-physician care providers. Competencies (and not qualification alone) should be valued and reform must be brought in regulatory structures to provide flexibility for innovations, he added. “Data on the prevalence of occupational vacancies in the health care system in India overall is scarce. Government statistics for 2008, based on vacancies in sanctioned posts showed 18% of primary health centres were without a doctor, about 38% were without a laboratory technician and 16% were without a pharmacist,” says a paper titled ‘Forecasting the future need and gaps in requirements for public health professionals in India upto 2026’ published in the WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health. The health workforce in India comprises broadly eight categories, namely: doctors (allopathic, alternative medicine); nursing and midwifery professionals; public health professionals (medical, non-medical); pharmacists; dentists; paramedical workers (allied health professionals); grass-root workers (frontline workers); and support staff. Click here for the article source 
  • There’s no effective treatment for dementia, which affects 50 million people worldwide, but the World Health Organization says there’s much can be done to delay or slow the onset and progression of the disease. In guidelines released Tuesday, WHO issued its first recommendations to reduce the risk of dementia globally. They include regular physical exercise, not using tobacco, drinking less alcohol, maintaining healthy blood pressure and eating a healthy diet — particularly a Mediterranean one. The international health body also warned against taking dietary supplements such as vitamins B and E in an effort to combat cognitive decline and dementia. “While some people are unlucky and inherit a combination of genes that makes it highly likely they will develop dementia, many people have the opportunity to substantially reduce their risk by living a healthy lifestyle,” professor Tara Spires-Jones, UK Dementia Research Institute program lead and deputy director of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, told the Science Media Center. Mediterranean diet: How to start (and stay on) one of the world’s healthiest diets “The WHO has looked at the available evidence and made recommendations that some lifestyle changes, in particular increasing exercise before any cognitive symptoms are present, can reduce dementia risk,” she added. “Other recommendations have a less strong evidence base but may have evidence that they do not increase risk or harm and can therefore be recommended safely, although their impact on risk is less certain.” WHO said there are 10 million new cases of dementia every year, and this figure is set to triple by 2050. The disease is a major cause of disability and dependency among older people and “can devastate the lives of affected individuals, their carers and families,” the organization said. The disease also exacts a heavy economic toll,...
  • Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it’s expanding. For centuries, lullabies have helped soothe babies to sleep. But it’s only in the last couple decades that research showed, for premature babies, these slow, simple tunes could be life-changing. Rich Moats, who manages the music therapy program at AdventHealth Orlando, said babies in the neonatal intensive care unit are unique patients. “The mom’s belly is the most protective environment for them, but when they’re born early they’re thrust into this world they’re not quite ready to handle,” she said. “So lights, sounds, being touched at different times, learning how to eat is even a thing as adults we don’t think about that, but that could also be a stressful experience for these tiny little babies.” And when a baby is stressed, that can affect its brain permanently. Treatment with roots in Florida Jayne Standley directs the music therapy program at Florida State University and is considered by many to be the pioneer of its use in NICUs. Jayne Standley, music therapy professor at FSU CREDIT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY She started experimenting with the treatment about 20 years ago after she learned kids born premature were 50 percent more likely to need special education when they got older. “For fetuses, the neurological system develops in the third trimester, the last three months, so a baby that’s born three months early is having its brain develop in the conditions of the NICU,” she explained. Those conditions can lead to unstable breathing and heart rates. Poking and prodding from medical procedures can also cause infants’ brains to associate touch with pain. And living off a feeding tube for an extended period of time can leave babies...

Recent Posts

  • Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology have developed a glue gun to put the human body back together when it has been seriously injured. The pins and stitches currently used to treat serious injuries come with drawbacks: They can be painful, they leave scars, they require high skill from the doctor, and they sometimes have to be removed after the tissues heal. Suture on the intestine, lungs or blood vessels often leak and therefore require a sealant. The medical glue that the researchers have developed is a “two in one,” said Prof. Boaz Mizrahi, head of the Biomaterials Laboratory of the Technion. It replaces both stitches and the sealant, and is good for both external and internal injuries, he said. All sorts of medical glues are already being used in dermatology, surgery, and other areas. Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd., for example, has developed a medical device that it says can dress burns and other wounds with nano materials that mimic human tissue and peel off once the skin below is regenerated. Still, the glues currently in use to replace sutures and staples are limited by their mechanical properties and toxicity, the researchers said. Because they are very toxic, they can be utilized only on the surface of the skin. In addition, hardening of the glue may make the organ less flexible or the adhesion may not be sufficiently strong. With these limitations in mind, researchers have been on the hunt for a glue that is suitable for different tissues, nontoxic, and flexible after hardening. Such a glue would also need to decompose in the body after the tissue is fused together. Mizrahi worked together with doctoral student Alona Shagan and came up with what they say is a “very strong, nontoxic tissue adhesive that remains flexible even after solidification.” Their study...
  • Pinnacle Ventures has launched a pharmacogenomics programme to enable genetic testing to drive personalised prescribing decisions. The innovation arm of Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, a not-for-profit primary health care management company in New Zealand, is also working on embedding biomarker information into electronic health records and linking it to a clinical-decision support prescribing tool that can help prescribers by providing direct access to international pathways and guidelines. Pharmacogenetics involves prescriptions being tailored to a person’s genetic make-up, as people metabolise drugs in different ways, which can have a significant impact on a drug’s effectiveness. Ventures plans to do about 5,000 pharmacogenetic tests over the next 12 months, says chief executive John Macaskill-Smith. Some will be self-funded because individuals are struggling with their medications and others will be fully funded by Ventures, targeting specific groups within the Midlands population. Macaskill-Smith says it is a simple test that covers 65–70 per cent of medications frequently prescribed in New Zealand. “The New Zealand health system is under strain but using testing like this you could reduce the trial and error of prescribing and prevent adverse reactions to medications,” he said. Ethnicity plays a big part in how a person metabolises drugs, but the clinical trials that prescribing information are based on very rarely involve Māori or Pasifika test subjects. Macaskill-Smith said Ventures is partnering with key kiwi groups, Auckland University and Otago University medical schools and Callaghan Innovation to support research and develop a better understanding of how unique New Zealand populations respond to different medications. People who have a pharmacogenetic test can choose to consent to contributing their non-identifiable demographic information to researchers. Embedding the biomarker information into EHRs ensures a patient’s results are used for both current and future prescribing decisions, he said. Macaskill-Smith says a lot of direct-to-consumer online genetic-testing tools involve people...
  • Surgery students spend so much time on screens that they have lost the ability to perform simple tasks such as stitching and sewing up patients, a professor has warned. Roger Kneebone, a professor of surgical education at Imperial College, London, says the focus on academic knowledge has come at the expense of craftsmanship. “It is important and an increasingly urgent issue,” Kneebone told the BBC. “It is a concern of mine and my scientific colleagues that whereas in the past you could make the assumption that students would leave school able to do certain practical things – cutting things out, making things – that is no longer the case.” The professor, who teaches surgery to medical students, believes that this is down to an increase in technology which takes away the experience of handling materials and developing skills. ”An obvious example is of a surgeon needing some dexterity and skill in sewing or stitching,” he explained. ”A lot of things are reduced to swiping on a two-dimensional flat screen” Kneebone adds that a growing number of students are becoming “less competent and less confident” in using their hands, resulting in young professionals who “have very high exam grades but lack tactile general knowledge”. The professor will be speaking on Tuesday at the V&A Museum of Childhood in east London, at the launch of a report, published by the Edge Foundation, calling for more creativity in the curriculum. The report warns that entries to creative subjects have fallen by 20 per cent since 2010, including a 57 per cent fall in design and technology GCSE. Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, who will be speaking alongside Professor Kneebone added: “Creativity is not just for artists. “Subjects like design and technology, music, art and drama are vitally important for...