Disgusting...but the police department bought him a new unit and they got his medical records too....BD
There's depressing gaming stories, and then there are outright travesties. Unfortunately, this case falls squarely into the latter category, as a 7-year old cancer patient had his beloved PlayStation Portable swiped -- right along with his medical records, a backpack full of medication, his games and even his homework -- while en route to a chemotherapy treatment for a tumor in his brain.
But they would only have enough staff to care for 77 patients...BD
LOS ANGELES—County officials are negotiating with a small hospital to take over and reopen troubled Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Medical Center.
The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that Pacific Hospital of Long Beach is considered the leading candidate. County Supervisor Yvonne Burke said negotiations could take about two months and the Willowbrook hospital could reopen by next February.
Each week I am trying to focus and bring attention to the resources on this page in the right hand column. Another resource listed on this page is the Blog Talk Radio connection for Dr. Anonymous...April 3rd is the next broadcast...I have not made it yet to a full hour, but will get there and plan on being there on April 3rd...he has had some great guests....
Click on the profile link in to visit the page...if the broadcast is not live, you can watch and listen to prior broadcasts...link is also listed below...BD
As the article states, it is more of an understanding now instead of hit and miss diagnosis based on genetics....both better diagnostic and treatment procedures are in high demand today..with the help of biometrics some of the clinical trials could be eliminated or the time of study reduced...and then enter our current reimbursement system...which doesn't make it easy at all...try to get something experimental covered...although the insurance companies state they are working to make a better medium here...claim denial still exist today for experimental procedures and drugs...comes back to a better infrastructure all the way around that is needed...BD
The overall environment of healthcare's move toward a more individualized approach has begun to help, but more investment in biotechnology would create a more competitive arena and complement the rapid advances in technology, Pollard noted. A burgeoning number of new products is expected to enter the market over the next few years, due in part to important strategic alliances within the industry that have allowed for their development, he added.
As an example of the changing healthcare environment affecting biotech companies, Pollard cited his company's paradoxical achievement last year: It had its fewest number of product approvals in the last 24 years while reaching far greater levels of understanding about the diseases they aim to treat.
"If we understand diseases at the molecular level, then we should be able to do better, and that's really where personalized medicine comes in," Popovits said. "What's exciting right now are all of these targets that are sitting there and all the new technologies" available to help better understand them.
Companies like Genentech are already working in this direction, especially with genetic research related to cancer...will the big blockbuster promotions soon be a thing of of the past since the best medication for our ills will be determined by our genes? Big Pharma has some new potential business models to explore in the near future...and on the other hand there may be some new life to failed drugs of the past....With personalized medicine, a visit to the doctor's office could reveal much more than a mere diagnosis.....BD
“One of the biggest challenges for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the 21st century will be to develop and deliver drugs that fit the individual patient’s biology and pathophysiology,” Jan Trost Jorgensen, principal scientist at Dako, wrote in the January issue of Personalized Medicine. “These changes could mean an end to the blockbuster philosophy in ‘big pharma’ and thereby impose major changes in company structures.” In fact, Robert Schmouder, executive director of translational medicine at Novartis, has put a similar 10-year life expectancy on the blockbuster model
Many industry observers have pointed out that perhaps big pharma needs to rethink its business model since innovation has been drying up, as seen in the dwindling number of new treatments approved by the US Food and Drug Administration last year. In 2007, the FDA approved 17 new molecular entities and two biologic license applications, the lowest number recorded since 1983.
“It was a parallel development. Genentech very early on realized that it was important to have an assay to select the patients that would respond to” Herceptin, Jorgensen said. “They developed [internally] from Phase II – which is the way that drug-diagnostic co-development should be done – a clinical trial assay.”
One woman's story on sinus surgery...how a new procedure has changed much of the methodology...painless....compared to routine sinus procedures...BD
I was swayed by technology, in particular a new image guidance system that, because of the complexity of my case, would be available to me. The key is an infrared camera system through which a sensor on an instrument placed inside the nose creates an image on a video screen in the operating room.
"This technology has revolutionized surgery," Dr. Metson told me. "The infrared camera tracks the movement of the surgical instruments."
So I went for it. As in most cases, my operation took about an hour and half. It went well, and I had surprisingly little pain afterward. There was also almost no bleeding. As promised, the post-op fatigue was considerable.
New software to allow the legal profession to review and share medical records relative to a trial or court appearance...software as as a service requires no software installation and available with a web connection....BD
Attendees at each conference will learn how SmartCase.com provides law firms, corporate legal departments, paralegals and legal nurse consultants with a manageable platform for case-specific medical records. "In short, SmartCase.com allows users to input, store, sort and organize medical records by subject, case or client, share data with team members, and create professional work products in preparation for deposition or trial," says Marousek.
Users also have the ability to monitor multiple cases in a single view, as well as quickly retrieve other active cases and link electronic document images to each case, or submit documents to SmartCase to scan and post to the case file.
Israel is also a world leader in many types of technology and medical technology is no different...thus far though there are not many websites that feature Israel for medical tourism and perhaps that will change in short time....BD
Jerusalem is one of the world's great destinations - for generations people have traveled to the city to see the religious sites. Now the government of Israel is hoping that visitors of a different kind will go to the country. At the moment, few medical tourism websites feature Israel.
"The treatments that we can provide are much cheaper than the ones that you are going to receive in Europe." In this country with many immigrants, medical staff are often multilingual. His hope, as well as that of the Israeli government, is that this combination of facilities and expertise will persuade people to travel here for treatment, whatever the security situation.
In southern California Hoag Hospital in Orange county was rated the highest and Kaiser at the other end of the spectrum....2500 hospitals participated in the survey...BD
ARLINGTON, VA. -- -- Patients treated at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California were less satisfied than many of those at other hospitals in the region and across the country, according to data released Friday from the first nationwide satisfaction survey.
None of the 10 Kaiser hospitals in Southern California that participated in the survey exceeded the regional average when patients were asked if they would "definitely recommend" the hospital to friends and family. Kaiser runs the largest hospital system in the region.
Among the 94 hospitals in Southern California that participated in the survey, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach ranked highest, with 87% of patients saying they would definitely recommend the hospital. At the bottom was Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, where 42% of patients gave that positive endorsement.
Finally decided to have a civil service exam for the 6 candidates...basically a charity position that nobody seems to want...BD
Southern California, breeding ground of cults and quacks, of nudists, sun- worshipers, gland doctors and colonic irrigators, is also the home of some 7,000 harassed, exasperated physicians, and the second largest general hospital in the U. S.: 23-story Los Angeles County. Built in 1933, the gleaming white skyscraper houses 3,154 beds, serves 50,000 patients a year. Doctors and osteopaths work in separate wings, seldom speak to each other. For nearly six months it has had no director, and many of its prominent staff members have marched out in a huff.
Last September the County Board of Supervisors began sending out confidential letters to prominent hospital directors from Maine to California asking them if they would like to run the world's largest hospital for $9,000 a year. All said no. He further advised: "A minimum of $12,000 salary should be offered to the new incumbent, rather than $9,000."
Find your local hospital in the data base...Site is located here..."
This tool provides you with information on how well the hospitals care for all their adult patients with certain conditions or procedures. This information will help you compare the quality of care hospitals provide. Talk to your doctor about this information to help you, your family and your friends make your best hospital care decisions."...BD
WASHINGTON - What do former patients think about the care they received at your local hospitals? The government wants to make it easier for you to find out.
Federal health officials in recent years have made strides to improve transparency in health care. But measuring how well hospitals do their job can be technical. New patient satisfaction scores, which went online Friday, cover basic premises that just about every hospital patient and their family members can understand.
_Did doctors treat patients with courtesy and respect? _How often were the room and bathroom cleaned? _Was the area around the room quiet? _Did the patient get immediate help after pressing a call button?
Will be interesting to follow this story and see where it goes...BD
Gov. David Paterson announced Friday $105 million in grants to help develop a unified system of electronic medical records for New Yorkers he said would reduce errors and duplicative testing.
The governor said the electronic system will not only improve care, but avoid cases like when he fainted on a flight to Buffalo last year and kept having to explain to medical personnel at two hospitals that he was not diabetic.
The federal and state grants for 19 projects around the state include $5.2 million for the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange with 16 hospitals, four health plans and one long-term care provider. Another $12.7 million in grants go to the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange with seven hospitals, five health plans and 17 long-term care facilities.
Not good press for Pfizer...more work for the forensics it sounds like with checking some audit trails and other data areas if he signed on at work...do some folks just not get it? BD
A Pfizer vice president has been arrested on charges of receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography. Alan Hesketh, 61, was arrested at JFK airport by federal agents Wednesday and is being held without bond, reports the newspaper The Day.
Hesketh, who works on patent issues in the firm’s offices in New London, Conn., is currently on leave from the company, a Pfizer spokesman told the WSJ . The company is “cooperating fully with authorities,” the spokesman added. He signed on as “Suzybibaby” from his home, as well as from an Internet address registered to Pfizer in New York.
Sure I think so, we become a product of the environment and the company we keep...there's still much about our emotional make up that we don't know and maybe will never know all..comes back around to balance...in my own occupation of IT consulting I make a cognizant effort to determine which item or part of my work to focus on for the client...i.e. am I the networking tech today, software installer, trainer, or sales person? Depending on client needs, and sometimes I am providing more than one service...as an example, I do not focus on sales at the same time I am doing a software installation, or try to train while doing the same, that is done on another day when I put on my "training" hat...so I can not only keep myself focused, but also not to confuse issues with clients as these items to have a tendency to cross at times...and then there' the end of the day where you dump all of this to go see a movie and take a break! It's a challenge we all fact today with multi- tasking...having to switch gears on the run and sometimes depending on the situation it's better to switch days as well as gears...address the other scenario when you can focus and give full attention to the matter at hand and provide a better consulting solution if it is not an emergency situation...there's probably a bit of "bi-polar" lurking in all of us somewhere..now just think about the physician and the number of gears he deal with every day...with healthcare decisions they may not always have this luxury at all times to put issue off to another time and day...
But....is there a pill for uncontrollable crying when the pressures mount? According to this article there is work in this area of "involuntary emotional expression"...I had no idea what it was until I read the post....will it make us happier folks and will the FDA be able to substantiate it's value...I guess time will tell....BD
Ron and Carol Rossetti had a storybook romance. The two were high school sweethearts, went to prom together and married after college. "He was like the fun in my life," Carol Rossetti recalled. "But had I known the ride I was going to be in for, I'm not sure I would have signed up for it."
Spouses are at high risk for depression when one party has a clinical disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, because they spend a large amount of time with them and are emotionally invested in their well-being. "I was so blocked up, I couldn't respond to her overtures," Lappen said. "Outside of the marriage, she wasn't depressed. She was able to tap into her vitality and vibrancy."
He's right, there's no "take 2" in healthcare...and wants to go to court...the article states the hospital is considering a bar code system or another similar alternative to avoid the same in the future...BD
Dennis Quaid is smiling now. But the actor, whose newborn twins were almost killed by massive overdoses of blood thinner last year, has become a sober advocate for changes in health care to reduce medical errors.
“In my line of work if I make a mistake, we have take two,” Quaid told reporters, including the Health Blog, at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists outside Washington, D.C., yesterday. “If you’re a health-care professional and make a mistake you could kill somebody.”
The "Michael Jackson" disease...more information on the unusual skin disease...perhaps some new genetics studies will shed more light in time...BD
A medical mystery doctors still don't fully understand made her skin color different from that of her brother and her parents. When people see them together, many assume the 14-year-old was adopted. With vitiligo, pigment cells that provide skin color are suddenly attacked by the body's immune system and destroyed one cell at a time. The disease affects people of both sexes and all races equally, but is much more noticeable in those with darker complexions. "We have patients who say, I got mono and then a month later I had white spots," said Dr. Nanette Silverberg, a vitiligo specialist at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center. "I've had a patient say, 'I got divorced, within a few weeks I had white spots on my skin.' There is no one universal factor."
This could stand to represent a real change to the blogging world if it takes off...complete with the capability to create an instant video with an RSS feed reader....BD
Japanese bloggers have a new tool with which to update their sites with the launch of a new Sharp phone that packs a small QWERTY keyboard. The phone has an RSS reader and a PC-style Web browser in addition to one more adapted to mobile use.
The 922SH went on sale Friday through Softbank Mobile, Japan's number three cellular provider, and has a 3.5-inch display that folds out to the side so the phone can be used more like a miniature laptop than a traditional clamshell phone. The widescreen VGA display has a resolution of 854 pixel by 480 pixels.
Bob Popplewell, who runs "Bayou Bob's Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch" tourist attraction west of Fort Worth, was believed to be selling the vodka in the Asian community, where snakes are seen having aphrodisiac properties, state authorities said. In some of East Asia, parts of snakes and other animals are thought to have medicinal qualities and are used to make soups, powders and other preparations. In Vietnam, for example, the serpents are added to bottles of rice whisky and wine. A Texas man is facing charges for selling liquor without a license after he was found peddling bottles of vodka containing dead baby rattlesnakes.
Breathing mannequins with heart tones, palpable pulses, etc. with software that tests decision making skills for medical students...cost of the center is 5 million....BD
A medical student places a chest tube in a patient lying on an operating table, while another student conducts a colonoscopy. Everything is just as it would be in a real OR or treatment room, except that the patients won't be harmed or complain if mistakes are made - they're robots.
These high-tech, electronically outfitted mannequins are equipment in the new $5 million medical and surgical simulation training center at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center in East Baltimore that opened in March.
Debit card from Social Security...article discusses the pros and cons...Social Security recipients participating in the Direct Express program are allowed one free ATM cash withdrawal per month from a designated ATM...you pay for additional withdrawals...savings generated by not having to cut paper checks...BD
Starting next month Social Security Disability Insurance recipients in some states will have the option of receiving their benefit payments electronically on a debit card, rather than via a paper check. However, eligible individuals - many of whom are "unbanked" - should have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of opting for the debit card, particularly the financial ramifications, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year. It also offers services that support the financial and health well-being of individuals with disabilities.
The debit card program, called Direct Express, is run by the U.S. Treasury Department through Comerica Bank with the intent to encourage Social Security recipients who do not have a bank account to elect to have their benefits loaded electronically onto a debit card. The Direct Express program will be introduced this spring in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas before being phased in across the nation during the summer.
Great interview...I didn't even know this existed until last evening;....transparency...accountability....interview from Holland...very informative...BD
"Paul Levy talked at the interimic healthcare event about running a hospital, transparency, using webblogs and innovation."
New presentation relating directly to health care...bring everything under one roof...works well with Office as it was designed that way...here are a few screenshots...built in workflow...great for managing HR departments...runs an audit trail and reports are just a few clicks...here in Southern California, a large medical Group, Talbert Medical is a current client and has added information to the site from a customer stand point....set the reports to run on schedule via email....this is the first video I have seen with direction specifically at health care and hospitals...helps explain the process of CRM....and it integrates with current systems already in use...can't lose on that portion with licenses...BD
Hand held device for nurses to enter short and quick patient documentation at the bedside...runs for 14 hours before a battery change is needed...connected to the pharmacy and admissions departments...and information can also be accessed via a PC as well...nursing workflow tool...community hospitals, listen up, there's grant money available.
IntelliDOT, which provides of handheld, bedside point-of-care (BPOC) solutions to hospitals, have announced that it has secured a key patent covering the use of intelligent handheld terminals for medical care administration. On March 18, 2008, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 7,344,079 to IntelliDOT for its innovative, wireless terminal known as the CAREt Handheld
Interested hospitals must directly apply for available grants because the majority of available grants require applicants to be non-profit organizations.
The world's first REAL-Time insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system...no more blood and having to prick your finger...information can be sent directly to your physician as well....the monitor can with or without the pump to deliver insulin....BD
Medtronic says that it has reached the milestone of more than one million sensors for its continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) products manufactured and sold. The recipient of the milestone one millionth sensor was Tim Parker of San Jose, Calif. Parker, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 11 years ago, has used CGM therapy for two years to help him manage his diabetes.
The Paradigm REAL-Time System relays glucose readings every five minutes from a glucose sensor to the insulin pump, which displays up to 288 readings a day – nearly 100 times more information than three daily fingersticks. Glucose measurements obtained by the sensor are relayed every five minutes and displayed in three-hour and 24-hour trend graphs, as well as arrows to indicate how quickly glucose is moving up or down.
Emergency services can now connect with the Philips HeartStart MRx using standard blue tooth technology...so if you have one, your information can be accessed by an emergency response team that has the wireless gateway...BD
In Motion Technology, a specialist in vehicle area networks for public safety organizations, has announced that its onBoard Mobile Gateway is now Bluetooth compatible with the Philips HeartStart MRx monitor/defibrillator, allowing paramedics in the field to wirelessly send patient data to hospitals and caregivers without the use of cell phones, modems or expensive wireless adaptors.
“In Motion’s Bluetooth-enabled onBoard Mobile Gateway is a simple, cost-effective and seamless way for first responders to send ECG data while in transit to hospitals,” said In Motion’s CEO Kirk Moir. “It is an effective hands-free, highly reliable solution for situations where seconds count.”In Motion’s onBoard Mobile Gateway handles not only ECG information but also data from a full range of first responder devices, including laptops running electronic patient care reporting, computer aided dispatch and automatic vehicle location, surveillance cameras, RFID devices and emergency vehicle diagnostic tools.
The article mentions a book called "The Viagra Myth"...interesting report on how half never returned for a refill....did it promise more than the pill could deliver? BD
Ten years ago today, the FDA approved Viagra. The drug became an instant cultural icon, and sales took off immediately, prompting some optimistic analysts to predict that annual sales could reach $20 billion some day, the WSJ reported at the time.
Viagr a turned into a world-famous brand, a legend that shifted the notion of what the pharmaceutical industry can do and defined a new category of lifestyle medicines. But sales of the Viagra, though solid, haven’t lived up to the early hype — under $2 billion a year world-wide for the last several years, less than sales of humbler Pfizer drugs like the painkiller Celebrex, not to mention Lipitor.
Many of his patients realized that only after trying the drug. Apparently, other patients realized it too — about half of patients nationwide who have gotten Viagra prescriptions have never gone back for a refill, Morgentaler says. In some cases, he suggests, nature may be best left to its own devices.
One additional resource listed on the site is the section for FDA Press releases...just like the rest of the link sections on the page, the latest 5 items are listed for quick link information. By clicking on the picture, the link will take you directly to the official FDA page for additional information. Scroll down the right hand side until you see the picture...
This is my continued effort to mention some of the resources on the site that could be an easy link to find references from the site, hopefully to save some time in having to navigate the web and locate otherwise....BD
We haven't heard much from him lately...now the Reverend is in healthcare research too...BD
KENNEWICK -- He's walked with Martin Luther King Junior, ran for the White House, and now he's an advocate for medical research.
Reverend Jesse Jackson was in the Tri Cities, Wednesday, trumpeting technology that some promise could help win a fight against cancer and HIV.
Jackson celebrated with the first company in the nation to produce medical isotopes, the Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (AMIC).
Wednesday was the ribbon cutting for the building scientists will use.
"Insurance will not save your life, research will save your life," Reverend Jesse Jackson said.
A hip replacement in Mexico costs $12,000, compared with $43,000 to $63,000 in the U.S., thus it appears Mexico has a huge interest in the tourism business and insurers are promoting...will Medicare be next? BD
March 27 (Bloomberg) -- The only way Bridget Flanagan, a 21-year-old college student from Olympia, Washington, could afford the obesity surgery she needed was to go to Mexico. Her health insurance didn't cover the treatment.
Traveling 2,000 miles for gastric banding surgery at Hospital San Jose in Monterrey, Mexico, saved her $6,600, making it affordable. The procedure was a success, allowing five-foot- tall Bridget to drop 45 pounds so far off her peak weight of 275.
Grupo Angeles has a marketing campaign targeting Americans. The goal is for foreigners to make up 20 percent of patients within two years, up from 5 percent now, Ramirez said. At the company's hospital in Tijuana, Americans accounted for 40 percent of the 100,000 patients the facility admitted in 2007, he said.
All eyes are watching the efforts in California...how effective will or is the department in governing the activities of the HMO business...BD
State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, plans to hold a hearing today before the Senate committee on health to look into how the department has handled several issues, including health insurers' practice of retroactively canceling individual policies after a member gets sick.
And you can find the doctor on Facebook....BD
Join us tomorrow night for the triumphant return of The Doctor Anonymous Show on Blog Talk Radio! Yes, I've had enough of Talkshoe. I have so much to talk about that I didn't even schedule a guest for the show. I hope that doesn't prevent you from tuning in. Check out the preview here.
Using Microsoft Ad Center....moving right along with the new technology..healthcare is no exception with creating new interfaces for web based applications...wonder how many we could possibly see here as a simple demonstration....BD
This spring we'll be launching a pilot program to offer turnkey advertising with the Silverlight Streaming video service.
This pilot program will allow a control group of Silverlight Streaming account holders to take Silverlight videos and automatically insert contextual advertisements into the end-user video playback experience.
This is a real program, with revenues paid in US dollars, and it will include revenue sharing for the accounts participating in the trial.
Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), announced that it has completed the acquisition of VersaMed Corporation, a provider of portable critical care ventilators for respiratory care. VersaMed's innovative product offering will expand GE Healthcare's capabilities in respiratory care management, offering healthcare professionals a wide choice of unique advanced life support ventilators to meet a variety of patient needs and care settings. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Web Site: http://www.versamed.com/
In California...one way to get attention...and we are all wondering how the budget cuts will fare once they go in to place...California stands to be hit big time...BD
Local Pharmacist Ira Freeman, RPh, of Key Pharmacy, is in his 11th day of a 15 day fast. He's fasting to protest the Governor's proposed 10% Medi-Cal providers cuts, which will negatively affect all Medi-Cal beneficiaries and the pharmacies that serve them.
"There's been very little press about how the cuts will really impact patients and the care they receive," said Ira Freeman. "Sadly, our most chronically ill patients will become sicker and end up in emergency rooms, which in turn will actually cost the state more."
Will your cell phone be the next item to diagnose illness? One more chip in the old cell phone...BD
We like to think that NTT, Japan's dominant telephone company, is a serious corporation. So when NTT DoCoMo issues a press release claiming to have successfully demonstrated the world's first "molecular delivery system for molecular communication," we figure this must be significant. The technology and biochemistry at the foundation sure seems to be. In an experiment, NTT DoCoMo confirmed the use of synthesized DNA to transport specific molecules through the body. The process converts chemical energy into mechanical work so there's no need for an external power supply or control mechanism. The hope then is to one day plant a "biochip" in a cellphone which can read "excitement, emotion, stress or disease" from the simmering juices (blood, sweat and tears) pooled inside the meatsicles of "living organisms."
The envisioned molecular delivery system could have many applications in medicine and healthcare. For instance, it may be possible to diagnose diseases or stress by directly analyzing biomolecules in a drop of sweat or blood using a mobile phone equipped with a biochip.
Medications and other procedures are taking main stage as statistics begin to roll in...but the debate is still open...BD
But for the first time, independent analyses performed at the request of USA TODAY suggest the meteoric rise of angioplasty during the past three decades has ended.
The research suggests angioplasty is used too often, and in many cases, the modest benefits don't justify the procedure's cost, which ranges from $10,000 to $12,000. The topic will be debated at the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology starting this weekend in Chicago. "Angioplasty isn't going to make you live any longer. It won't decrease the risk of a heart attack. But it will decrease the likelihood of your having symptoms," Rich says.
Health Care causing a stir with Labor Union in California...BD
The labor leaders have clashed in recent months over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's failed health care plan (Stern backed it, Rosselli opposed it); over the union's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama; over Stern's efforts to reorganize SEIU's California unions; and over bargaining tactics with hospitals, nursing homes and other employers. The president of one of the nation's largest labor unions moved this week toward ousting the leaders of its West Coast affiliate, in a power struggle that could affect hundreds of thousands of California workers and the state's strained health care industry.
The American College of Physicians says "medical weed" is ok...BD
One of America's largest and most important groups of physicians has moved to cut through the clutter of political controversies over medical use of marijuana. Lawmakers and the public alike would do well to pay attention.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group in the United States. Its 124,000 members are doctors specializing in internal medicine and related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary disease, oncology and infectious diseases. The College publishes Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world.
In a landmark position paper released in February, these distinguished physicians are saying what many of us have been arguing for years: Most of our laws have gotten it wrong when it comes to medical marijuana, and it's time for public policy to get in step with science.Former Surgeon General: Mainstream Medicine Has Endorsed Medical Marijuana | DrugReporter | AlterNet
Do deadlines have any affect on how the FDA approves drugs...Harvard study says it can, FDA says not...but think...what happens when you are in a hurry to finish a project...do you rush through things that normally you might dedicate a little more time for? Yes? No? Will be interesting to see some additional trending and statistics...BD
WASHINGTON - Vioxx, Bextra, Rezulin, Baycol. Looking at drugs yanked off the market, Harvard researchers found a disturbing pattern: Medicines approved right on deadline by the Food and Drug Administration are more likely to cause safety problems later than those cleared with more time to spare.The FDA challenged the findings with its own statistics. Still, the study sparked calls to re-examine the balance between speed and safety.
Congress set strict deadlines for FDA to speed the arrival of new medications, but critics have long complained that the ticking clock spurred a dangerous rush to judgment. The Harvard analysis of decades of drug approvals, published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, provides the first scientific evidence supporting some of those complaints.
Belly size linked to Alzheimer's and dementia? Is the bigger the belly the more you might forget? Interesting article and also discusses the potential heart disease link...BD
Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests.
It's not just about your weight. While previous research has found evidence that obesity in middle age raises the chances of developing dementia later, the new work found a separate risk from storing a lot of fat in the abdomen. Even people who weren't overweight were susceptible.
It's not clear why abdominal fat would promote dementia, but it may pump out substances that harm the brain, she said. Dr. Jose Luchsinger of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who studies the connection between obesity and Alzheimer's disease but didn't participate in the new work, cautioned that such a study cannot prove abdominal fat promotes dementia.
A good reason to look in to a hosted service that can do this for you if you have limited resources in IT to constantly monitor...the experts seem to be doing a better job as you have the resources of many versus one individual to monitor...and internally this can grow to just more than one individual too...BD
San Francisco - Significant debate has recently been given over to the topic of whether or not younger workers will eschew jobs at companies that attempt to limit their access to popular Web sites and online applications, but some companies are already responding to rising security threats by blocking their employees from using work machines to move about the Internet freely.
Large financial services companies have been known to enforce strict controls over the range of sites that their workers are allowed to visit for years, banning everything from Web mail sites and file-sharing systems that could be used to steal data, to sports and entertainment sites that are viewed as potential drains on user productivity.
"Our biggest problem was that people were going to sites and downloading all sorts of?? shareware and spyware that was effectively killing our machines, which is a big deal because the computers in our store offices are connected to our point-of-sale systems, so these attacks were actually effecting our registers, which was obviously a huge operational issue," Stamp said
Another story about a happy marriage promoting a better heart...and I think I can somewhat agree with this study, being a single person myself now, and having been on both sides of the fence here....you don't find the same emotional support from a text box on a computer or a text message sent to your phone...it just doesn't work that way...and in actuality I feel it tends to create another area of anxiety as you are missing something we all need....sound and voice tone...without the emotional support of a partner....also it tends to potentially create a sense of unknown urgency...thus up goes the blood pressure with increased potential anxiety with having to respond or react to a text box versus talking...we all feel more comfortable when dealing with a known versus an unknown...thus I think this study just may be on to something good....what worries me though is the younger generation who has been brought up with technology and what is their ability to create balance within themselves with all of the new social networks that have recently become available, and hopefully in time the "text box" will not become the norm......something to think about and ponder...and perhaps only your cardiologist knows for sure....BD
Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Husbands and wives: listen up! Being happily married is good for the heart. A new study from Brigham Young University finds men and women who are happily married have lower blood pressure than singles with supportive social networks. Researchers found unhappily married adults have higher blood pressure than both happily married and single adults. And they were surprised to find a network of supportive friends did not translate into better blood pressure for single adults or those who were unhappily married.
“There seem to be some unique health benefits from marriage,” lead researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., from the department of psychology at Brigham Young University, was quoted as saying. “It’s not just being married that benefits health -- what’s really the most protective of health is having a happy marriage.” The report notes being married helps people give each other emotional support in good and bad times. Dr. Holt-Lundstad also says spouses can promote healthy habits by encouraging each other to see a doctor and to eat a healthy diet.
The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall being used for weight loss...so I guess if you are diagnosed with ADHD, you might get some weight loss benefits...will this increase the desire for those to be diagnosed with ADHD or increase the awareness that they could be getting a potential double deal? BD
But a relative newcomer to the celebrity weight loss buzz — the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall — has a number of nutrition experts worried that those hoping to emulate their favorite celebrities could be putting their health at grave risk.
According to a report in the New York Daily News on Monday, a number of female celebrities have used prescription Adderall, even if they have not been diagnosed with ADHD. And reports also suggest that some of these starlets have resorted to crushing and snorting these pills as a way to deliver a quicker effect.
Not good....just when there is a move to get more folks insured...is this a double standard..BD
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a legal challenge brought by AARP concerning an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling that employers can reduce benefits for retirees who reach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/25).
The EEOC ruling, published in the Federal Register, allows employers to create two classes of retirees -- those younger than age 65 and those older than 65 -- and offer different benefits to each group. In addition, the ruling allows employers to eliminate or reduce benefits provided to spouses or dependents of retirees older than 65 (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 1/2). David Certner, AARP's legislative policy director, said, "This double standard -- one tier of coverage for those under 65, and another, lower tier for those 65 and over -- is especially troubling because it comes from the EEOC, the federal government agency created to enforce anti-discrimination policies." Certner added, "The timing of this new rule couldn't be worse. Due to rising costs and fixed incomes, many retirees are already forgoing needed services that have simply become unaffordable" (Cox/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/25).
Profiles of the "hoarder"...more and more of these types of stories are appearing today...and it appears to be a growing concern....a disorder of it's own...BD
We are all pack rats to some degree. We hoard, collect and buy more stuff than we have room to store.
But what if something in our brains made us incapable of throwing things out? Janie Allocca and Lorraine Brennan both live with a psychological disorder called compulsive hoarding -- an urge to hold on to even the most mundane objects, even when they take over their lives. Hoarding is considered a subset of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but that may soon change. New research is finding that hoarding may be a special disorder completely separate from OCD.
At the Institute of Living, Tolin recently completed an Internet-based study on the harmful impact of hoarding. They were surprised to find the results were worse than other forms of anxiety and depressive disorders. In the most severe hoarding cases, there is a substantial economic burden, where those hoarders actually take themselves out of the work force.
Tolin said additional research on compulsive hoarding may show the disorder is more widespread than originally thought, "possibly as much as five percent of the population or 15 million people."
From a layman's standpoint, having everything in one location to be analyzed at once seems to be something that would perhaps cut down the time factor and be able to see all aspects at once....and perhaps only one procedure for the patient...BD
Two kinds of body imaging -- positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) -- have been combined for the first time in a single scanner.
MRI scans provide exquisite structural detail but little functional information, while PET scans -- which follow a radioactive tracer in the body -- can show body processes but not structures, said Simon Cherry, professor and chair of biomedical engineering at UC Davis. Cherry's lab built the scanner for studies with laboratory mice, for example in cancer research.
Hat Tip: Medgadget
After reporting last week on the $8.00 scanner purchased from EBay to be able to scan identities , this looks to be somewhat promising...and I would guess the proof would be in the pudding...the information on the portable computer, unless of course someone figures a way to send it remotely to a server...so send in the forensics in this case....but according to this article, what would stop a retailer from doing the same, collecting information on every consumer in the establishment that day...again not using the information for theft purposes, but for use in their own data bases? BD
When did the practice of lawmaking require an accompanying press release issued by a professional PR firm? An embedded photo of the sponsoring state official, too? Shameless. Nevertheless, it did bring our attention to a new law in the state of Washington which prohibits "malicious" RFID spying. When the new law (said to be a first of its kind in the US) goes into effect in July, anyone caught scanning a person remotely "without his or her knowledge and consent, for the purpose of fraud, identity theft, or some other illegal purpose" will be charged with a Class C felony. Great, so that covers the obvious criminal abuse of the technology. However, the original bill also included an opt-in measure that would require your approval before retailers and others could track your activity via that handy, store-issued discount card you carry, the implant you received during that stint in the joint, new credit card, or personal ID card you're required to carry.
Could this be the key to the future for controlling weight loss....cutting the Vagus nerve to depress the desire to consume food? It stands to be a lot less expensive than current procedures with full on gastric bypass surgery...BD
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 177,000 Americans had weight loss surgery in 2006. This can mean massive weight loss, but the surgery doesn't come without risks. Now, an investigational approach is helping patients shed pounds a whole lot safer. Dr. Lustig says the vagus nerve, which tells the brain when the body's full, plays a big part in obesity. He's testing an easy-on-the patient surgery called a laparoscopic vagotomy where he actually cuts the vagus nerve.
An early study shows the 20 minute procedure led to an average 18 percent excess weight lost. Not only does the procedure have fewer side effects than gastric bypass, but it's cheaper, too! Bypass surgery costs between $25,000 and $50,000, while this new procedure would cost between $5,000 and $10,000. The procedure does not cause the massive weight loss patients report after gastric bypass, but Dr. Lustig says it typically does cause more weight loss than weight-loss drugs. This technique is still being studied and not yet widely available.
Closed door session and meeting...will have to wait for the outcome...BD
California's largest health insurers, facing possible fines and other penalties for the way they sometimes cancel policies after patients pile up medical bills, meet today with regulators to discuss ongoing state enforcement efforts.
The meeting was called by the Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees health maintenance organizations and other types of health plans, because it was nearing completion of investigations into the cancellation practices of Health Net Inc., Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California, said spokeswoman Lynne Randolph.
Consumer advocates said they were concerned that today's meeting would stray into the industry's proposal for rescission. That proposal, among other things, would insulate insurers from the biggest threat currently posed by rescissions: punitive damages.
Your HMO plan could now include visits to physicians over the border...there's also plans with other insurance companies, such as Blue Cross with Access Baja....members get service in the US in emergencies or when a service in not available in Mexico...BD
LOS ANGELES, Mar 15, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Health Net of California, in collaboration with the Consul General of Mexico, today introduced new and innovative products and services specifically addressing the Latino health care gap in California.
The Mexi-Plan program and the Health Net Cross-Border Individual and Family Plans are the first-ever cross-border health care plans available to individual consumers who purchase benefits directly from insurers. Both are part of Salud con Health Net, Health Net's groundbreaking initiative providing health care coverage and financial security to the Latino community. As California's largest bank, Bank of America recognizes the importance of addressing the financial, as well as the physical, health of Latino families.
The plans work nearly the same as U.S. health insurance. Members select a provider from a network, get care and make copayments. Members get care in the United States in emergencies or when a service is unavailable in Mexico. California law does not hold Mexican health care providers to the same standards as California providers. The plans require that physicians be licensed in Mexico and meet any specialty board requirements. The companies regularly audit the services, and patients can make complaints through California regulators.
Due to the fact that someone allegedly discovered biomedical waste, aborted fetuses and patient records in trash bins. BD
LATRHUP VILLAGE, Mich. (AP) — An abortion clinic has been asked to retrain its workers about proper waste disposal after state investigators found it broke medical waste rules. The Detroit News reports three violations were outlined, but no fines were levied against the Lathrup Village clinic.
Possis is a provider of mechanical thrombectomy devices used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries and veins....puts Bayer in the medical device business....BD
FRANKFURT, March 26 (Reuters) - More than 90 percent of Possis Medical's (POSS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders have accepted Bayer's (BAYG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) $361 million cash offer to buy the U.S. company, the German drugs and chemicals group said on Wednesday. The planned acquisition, which Bayer hopes will boost its diagnostic imaging business and which was backed by Possis' management, was announced in February.
Bayer said about 92 percent of Possis' shareholders had tendered their shares as the initial offer period ended Tuesday. The offer is now due to expire on April 1.
Hard hat area....Healthcare jumping out with Server 2008 and all the updated components for the application to track Sepsis, a systemic inflammatory response to infection which can progress to circulatory system dysfunction, multiple organ failure, and eventually death. Severe sepsis is common, with over 750,000 cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide, killing approximately one person every minute....enable Windows Activation Services when installing Server 2008 on a 64 bit machine...good case study....BD
Hospitals will have the added flexibility of installing a subpart of the software onsite and then running the actual business intelligence, as well as the configuration of forms and services, through off-site data centers.
Developers used the enhanced Web technologies of the Windows Server® 2008 operating system, the Microsoft Visual Studio® Team System 2008 development tools, and Microsoft SQL Server® 2005 database software (with plans to upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as quickly as possible once the product is available). The interface technology stack also included the Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and the Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2007 information-gathering program.
AOI also used the Microsoft Silverlight™ browser plug-in development tool to create the main launch page and primary navigation home page for the solution. “We used Silverlight to develop a visual style for this application that’s quite unique when compared to traditional Web applications,” McGeath says. “We modeled it after the Windows Media Center navigation metaphor, so some of the menu and command navigation scroll vertically as well as horizontally. It’s very dynamic.”
“Traditionally, developers had to use the HTTP protocol to host a service in IIS, but with Windows Server 2008 we can use Windows Activation Service to host our Windows Communication Foundation services. We’re no longer bound to just HTTP protocol so we can run our services over TCP/IP and other protocols that are much quicker than HTTP. We also have centralized management for all of our services in IIS 7.0, which means we can do single-point deployment and we don’t have to spend time coding services that IIS 7.0 gives us right out of the box.” To increase development speed, AOI used the new Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) features in the .NET Framework 3.5 to extend query capabilities into the SQL database programming language. “We used LINQ to do a lot of our SQL interaction,” says McGeath......Using Windows Activation Service to host the Windows Communication Foundation services, AOI simplified server management by having one centralized hosting environment......This means we’re able to deliver our solution as a SharePoint Web site with the added functionality of Office InfoPath 2007 without having to install InfoPath clients on all of the hospital’s machines.”
Hoag Hospital announced today that it will no longer accept pediatric patients, instead sending them to Children's Hospital of Orange County.
The change takes places April 1 and is a result of the low number of pediatric patients and the quality of services at CHOC, said Hoag spokeswoman Rachel Quizon.She said the hospital averages fewer than two pediatric patients per day. The hospital will continue to operate its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for newborns.
In the fall, a CHOC subspecialty clinic will open at Hoag Health Center-Newport Beach to offer specialists in diabetes, asthma, cardiology, and neurology, among other areas.
3rd time is the trick...BD
Memorial Health Services, which owns Anaheim Memorial Medical Center and other nonprofit hospitals, said Tuesday it selected Pacific Health Corp. to buy its 224-bed Anaheim Memorial Medical Center.
Pacific Health is a for-profit company in Tustin that owns six hospitals, including Tustin Hospital and Medical Center, Anaheim General Hospital and Buena Park Medical Center.Pacific Health bid $57.1 million for Anaheim Memorial and committed to invest at least $18 million in the hospital over a three-year period, Memorial Health said.
This was right in my back yard today...protesters also wanted Pacific Care to give the ruling in writing and continued with the demonstration as planned....BD
Health insurer PacifiCare reversed its denial of advanced radiation treatment for a Placentia teenager, but the youth's supporters went ahead with a scheduled demonstration while waiting to see the company's decision in writing.
The family of 17-year-old Nick Colombo was notified last night that PacifiCare would pay the estimated $100,000 bill for radiation treatment at the Mid America Sarcoma Institute in Kansas City. The family is hoping treatment can begin by next week.
Another article addressing Business Intelligence for HealthCare...financial analysis, claims, educational trends, supply chain efficiency, research and clinical trial information are some of the items that can be traced and evaluated through software to enable real time tracking of all areas of operation.....it is just way too time consuming to manually create and analyze information that is needed quickly....."As the industry continues to move toward contracted services, the competition will heat up and this capability will become not only the way to succeed, but also the way to survive."...BD
The trend over the last few decades has been toward specialization in healthcare services, and business intelligence can be a powerful tool for achieving the business goals for specialty healthcare organizations.
Once upon a time, there was a chain of department stores that was losing money. The CEO wanted to know if any department was making a profit. No, every department was losing money. So, the CEO wanted to know which department was losing the least amount of money. It was toys. The company changed its name and poured all of its money into that one department. Toys"R"Us was born. And, with it, the category killer business model was born.
Healthcare organizations are moving in much the same direction – that is, toward specialization along service lines. This specialization makes business sense in many situations. There are constraints on healthcare organizations that don’t exist for other types of businesses. Hospitals and other providers, for instance, have a public service aspect to them that prevents them from dropping business segments just because they are unprofitable; whereas retailers can target new customer segments, close locations and open new ones, and sell off product lines if the money is not there. Business intelligence can be a powerful tool in achieving all of these business goals. The key is to define and prioritize the right business intelligence applications for the size, structure and types of products and services provided by the specialty organization.
Strong approach, but not allowed...maybe not a done deal yet...there's always an appeal..BD
The editor of JAMA sounded off today on Pfizer’s unusual and unsuccessful attempt to get behind the curtain on the medical journal’s secretive processes for vetting medical studies for publication.
In short, JAMA said in an an editorial published online today that Pfizer’s subpoenas seeking the inside dope “significantly threatened the integrity” of the journal’s decision-making system. “We firmly believe that ensured confidentiality of reviews allows reviewers to provide professional critiques of manuscripts without fearing potential repercussions from authors.”Pfizer also wanted to get deep in the editorial weeds by seeking comments by and among peer reviewers and editors about manuscripts, revisions and publication decisions. (Pfizer also targeted the New England Journal of Medicine.) But a court recently sided with JAMA and the Archives on keeping the information private.
Yes you can do this at home now too, but not for use in a legal situation...New York requires a prescription though...results are stated to be 99.9%....BD
Through the miracle of DNA technology, a trip to the drugstore can sort out those nagging paternity questions that bubble up at the family picnic. A company called Identigene said today that its paternity test is now available over the counter at Rite Aid and Meijer drugstores around the country.
The test, which costs $29.99 at the store plus another $119 for lab fees, is the similar to tests widely available online. The kit includes Q-tip-like swabs for the mother, child and alleged father. Rub the swab on the cheek, send it to Salt Lake City in a postage paid envelope, and a few days later get your results by mail, phone or Internet.
But this man used to be a woman...BD
BEND, Ore. AP -- An Oregon man is five months pregnant, according to a national magazine. Thomas Beatie, who used to be a woman, appeared in the most recent issue of The Advocate, a magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender readers.
Beatie wrote the article and it included a picture of him while he was 22 weeks pregnant. According to the story, he went through a sex change, but decided only to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy. Beatie was able to keep the reproductive organs he was born with. The article said he stopped getting the injections and was able to get pregnant.
This gift of plastic surgery was not a gift...but so many are giving the gift for birthdays and graduation presents...even with "safe" type surgeries, there's always a risk...BD
Florida high school senior Stephanie Kuleba had everything going for her -- she was the well-liked captain of her varsity cheerleading team at West Boca High School, and she had been accepted to the University of Florida, where she hoped to study medicine.Doctors believe the cause of death was malignant hyperthermia, a relatively rare metabolic condition that can be triggered by certain anesthesia. A patient's heart rate and metabolism rises, causing the body temperature to rise as high as 112 degrees.
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Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street Video Documentary - Why It Needs to Matter What Companies Do and Not Focus Only On the Price of Stock With So Called Value - Attack of the Killer Algorithms Chapter 44
This video digs in a bit further with how fictitious business models are used by banks and companies do this too. The models are so complex that CEOs don’t even understand them. “Quants, The Alchemists of Wall Street.
This is a video from PBS Frontline where Kathy O’Brien, a former Quant who worked for a Hedge Fund on Wall Street will tell you what is done with your 401k money and more.
The banks and companies use technology to take advantage because they can.
“Of course we are going to take advantage because our tools are our brains…if they could figure out a way to take advantage of pension funds they would, a very good interview with explaining smart money and dumb money.
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It’s a very good presentation about how some of the algorithms work and kind of finishes up with “if you’re an algorithm, life is looking pretty good, but can’t say the same for the human side”.
He gives you some every day examples of how we encounter algorithms every where we go.