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A new gene-editing technique called CRISPR/Cas9 improved muscle function in live mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, establishing its potential as a therapy for humans.
Study links high sugar intake to increased risk of breast cancer – suggesting a causal effect not just an association
When it comes to the rising rates of obesity, sugar is deemed a key culprit. But high sugar intake may not only lead to weight gain; a new study claims it can increase the risk of breast cancer and hasten spread of the disease to the lungs … According to the team, previous research has identified a link between dietary sugar intake and risk of breast cancer, with some studies suggesting inflammation may play an important role.
the team set out to assess how sugar intake influenced breast cancer development in mice that were randomized to various diets, including a sucrose-enriched diet, a fructose-enriched diet and a starch-control diet.
Mice fed a diet enriched with sucrose or fructose were more likely to develop breast cancer and have the disease spread to the lungs, according to the results of a new study.
The final quarter of 2015 brought eight more digital health acquisitions, plus some larger scale acquisitions that could have reverberations throughout the world of digital health. The list below includes exits for a number of longtime and well-known players like Misfit, Lively, and Zamzee, though some of those acquisitions were under better circumstances than others.
A few buyers stand out with multiple acquisitions throughout the year.
Indian practice management company Practo topped the list with four acquisitions: Insta Health, Qikwell, Fitho, and Genii.
Welltok picked up Zamzee, Silverlink, and Predilytics.
Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal, Endomondo, and Gritness. And finally,
IBM bought Explorys, Phytel, and Merge. And, still worth mentioning with just two 2015 acqusitions, Weight Watchers picked up Weilo and Hot5, both presumably to build out its mobile offering.
Fossil Group will buy wearables company Misfit for $260 million, the companies announced in November.
In October, San Diego, California-based PatientSafe Solutions bought the assets of Merck subsidiary Vree Health for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help the care coordination and provider workflow company expand its offerings to the home care market in addition to the hospital.
With mHealth on tap at CES 2016, healthcare just might pay attention
Blood test could detect Alzheimer’s years before a patient starts showing symptoms | Daily Mail Online
From their website;
Autoantibodies in blood could show if person will develop dementia
The biomarkers show risk of suffering Alzheimer’s and the stage it is at
It could lead to earlier treatment to slow progression of devastating illness
Scientists say patients could change lifestyle factors linked to the disease
Scientists are a step closer to developing a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease
From their website;
Having a big brain doesn’t guarantee you’ll have an outsized IQ, a new analysis indicates.
Researchers who examined 148 studies that included more than 8,000 people found only a weak association between brain size and IQ.
From their website;
A new study finds no evidence that men’s health supplements help prostate cancer patients.
Although popular, such supplements do not appear to lower the risk for experiencing radiation treatment side effects; the risk that localized cancer will spread; or the risk that prostate cancer patients will die from their disease, researchers found.
The study focused on supplement use among more than 2,200 men newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.
“We suspected that these pills were junk. Our study confirmed our suspicion,” said study lead author Dr. Nicholas Zaorsky, resident physician in radiation oncology at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
From their website
Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Ovarian Cancer in Exhaled Breath
OCTOBER 6TH, 2015 EDITORS NANOMEDICINE, ONCOLOGY
We know that exhaled breath contains biomarkers that point to presence of existing disease, including cancer, but their detection is challenging without bulky and expensive equipment. Building specialized devices that detect volatile organic compounds linked to disease requires large sensor arrays, a limitation that has made them currently impractical. Now researchers at Technion−Israel Institute of Technology and Carmel Medical Center in Haifa, Israel have developed tiny flexible sensors that are each able to replicate the work of many. In a study testing the breath of 43 volunteers that included 17 ovarian cancer patients, their sensors achieved an 82% accuracy of detection.
The sensors are flexible and are made of gold nanoparticles that have molecules onto which volatile organic compounds (VOCs) attach to. When captured, the different VOCs bend the sensors at different angles depending on their nature and provide more information than simply whether they’re there or not.
The researchers believe this technology can be applied to other cancers and different diseases, leading to cheap and easy to use diagnostic devices that require only a patient breath to work.
Study in NANO Letters: Dynamic Nanoparticle-Based Flexible Sensors: Diagnosis of Ovarian Carcinoma from Exhaled Breath…
Via: American Chemical Society…
Gold Nanoparticle Sensor Proving Effective in Lung Cancer Detection in Early Trial
Breathalyzer for Lung Cancer Screening Shows Promise
“Electronic Nose” to Aid Asthma Diagnosis
Gold Particles for Lung CA Diagnosis from Breath
Diagnosis of lung cancer by the analysis of exhaled breath with a colorimetric sensor array.
Peter J Mazzone et al., Thorax, 2007
Compounds in exhaled breath could improve high-risk lung cancer screening
The Oncology Practice
Advances in electronic-nose technologies for the detection of volatile biomarker metabolites in the human breath.
Alphus D Wilson, Metabolites, 2015
Biomarkers May Improve Lung Cancer Screening
The Oncology Practice
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Announcement/ Alert the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).
For the purposes of this study of more than 5,000 encounters, eConsults were text based messages (presumably email). Just over 500 (10%) needed a face to face appointment. The reason given for those appointments was enlightening – 75% were because of diagnostic uncertainty and only 1% were because of urgency or physical examination.
It would be interesting to analyse the specialties that were included and some of the detailed characteristics might shed even more light; for example age, sex, ethnicity/ language, educational attainment, severity of illness, underlying co-morbidity/ long term condition and the previous clinical history between doctor-patient.
From their website:
J Telemed Telecare. 2015 Sep 22. pii: 1357633X15602634. [Epub ahead of print]
· 1Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, USA firstname.lastname@example.org.
· 2Department of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, USA.
E-consultations are asynchronous, text-based consultations. The specialist e-consultant answers clinical questions in a similar way to a standard consultation but the questions and answers are sent electronically. The e-consultant has access to some or all of the medical record but does not have contact with the patient. Although e-consultations are meant to substitute for face-to-face (F2F) consultations, a significant proportion of e-consultations are converted to F2F consultations.
We examined e-consultation content from a sample of e-consultations that had subsequent F2F visits in the same specialty as the e-consultation within 28 days of the e-consultation.
Out of 5115 e-consultations, there were a total of 547 (10.7%) early F2F conversions. One hundred and fifty-one e-consultations with subsequent early F2F conversions were reviewed in eight specialties. In 64% of the F2F conversions, specialists recommended the F2F consultations. In 75% there were complex diagnostic or treatment considerations. In only 1% was there a sense of medical urgency or a stated need for physical examination.
E-consultations convert to F2F consultations primarily at the request of the specialist. Diagnostic and treatment complexity appear to be the main reasons. We found little evidence that patients decided independently to get a F2F visit or that specialists needed a F2F visit to perform a physical examination. Although e-consultations might not be a complete substitute for F2F consultations, they may serve as an entry level consultation that could be supplemented by a video consultation as needed for cases with more diagnostic and treatment complexity.
© The Author(s) 2015.
PMID: 26395892 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Very early finding shows that amongst patients who have an implanted cardiac defibrillator there are two genes are more common in those who go on to have a potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmia. This genetic distribution appears to be seen in the general population too and this raisers the prospect of identifying some high/ higher risk individuals.
UK’s Biggest GP clinical information system, Emis widens data sharing ambitions
ColdBox Application Template
Infants’ ability to relate words to objects at 12 months linked to language skills at 18 months — ScienceDaily
Cognitive development is broadly defined as the process by which babies and young children learn about the world around them, and includes the acquisition of problem solving, memory, perception and, of course, language.
At 12 months old, your infant’s ability to group objects according to the names associated with them — as opposed to their appearance alone — offers a glimpse into how his or her vocabulary will develop by the time they are 18 months, Northwestern University researchers have found.
significant differences in both vocabulary and real-time language processing efficiency were already evident at age 18 months
By age 24 months, there was a six-month gap … in processing skills critical to language development.
Infants who heard more child-directed speech developed greater efficiency in language processing and learned new words more quickly. The results indicate that exposure to child-directed speech — as opposed to overheard speech — sharpens infants’ language processing skills, with cascading benefits for vocabulary learning.
The genetic association that has been discovered is for a tendency to develop shortsightedness in the teenage years if the individual spends significant amounts of time reading.
From Science Daily
Young black women are more likely to have aggressive types of breast cancer compared to non-Hispanic white women, … Women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes are more likely to develop breast cancer or ovarian cancer, especially at a younger age. Approximately 5 percent of women with breast cancer in the United States have mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 based on estimates in non-Hispanic white women. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers … discovered that 12.4 percent of the participants (young black women diagnosed with breast cancer at or below age 50) had mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2.
From a recently published analysis of Telehealth;
(Telehealth can be defined as) connected devices, services, and applications used by a consumer outside of a clinical setting for medical, health, or wellness purposes
… home health technology is becoming increasingly recognized by the healthcare industry as an effective means of curbing healthcare costs and producing better patient outcomes.
According to a recent report from Tractica, the global market for home health technologies will grow from $3.4 billion in 2014 to more than $13.7 billion by 2020.
“We found the cognitive benefits of bilingualism come much earlier than reported in previous studies.”
This is a report about an interesting study but ultimately it may not have a strong relevance or applicability in most situations. The research was conducted in Mauritius and they swabbed the outside of 145 womens’ handbags and mens’ wallets. The primary finding was that 95% carried bacteria. However as they point out themselves;
From their website;
In about three-quarters (73%) this was scanty growth; 13% showed moderate growth and 14% showed heavy growth. … and … In fact, all of the things we use in the environment around us, like mobile phones, computers, keyboards and other equipment are all likely to carry some bacteria.
Otherwise there were interesting if unsurprising secondary findings;
From their website;
11% often placed them on kitchen tables
18% placed them on dining tables
18% allowed their children to handle them
82% never emptied them
Most women kept purses in handbags, most men in trouser pockets
In conclusion it might be fair to say that in day-to-day life this study does not have a notable impact. However in settings where individuals are particularly susceptible to infections then this study does back up and re-inforce the current practice of making every effort to reduce their exposure to risk.
Care.data: How did it go so wrong? – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26259101
Health insurer Vitality attacked over Facebook app push – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33315569
From thier website;
Health concerns have, arguably, been the major force driving the recent explosion of wearable tech. Over the past couple of years, simple fitness trackers like the Jawbone Up and Fitbit’s various iterations have seemingly become nearly as ubiquitous as the smartphones they tether to, while their basic step counting and calorie monitoring has become baseline functionality in the smartwatch space.
Heck, even our headphones are starting to get their own built-in heart monitoring. It’s a net positive, of course. After decades of technology being held at least partially responsible for the growing obesity epidemic, it’s great to see technology makers taking both figurative and literal steps to help us help ourselves to get in shape.
And while exercising more certainly has long-term health benefits, manufacturers are also looking to wearables to help tackle more serious health concerns. Below are some new types of wearables emerging.
- Diabetes Wearables
- Intel Parkinson’s Wearable
- CarePredict Tempo
- Wearables for the Hearing Impaired
- Wearables for the Visually Impaired
Details regarding doctor’s using anonymity online
2014 Summary and Opinion by Craig MacLean, Deputy Chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) Scottish Medical Students’ Committee.