Tech

Electronic tools and technology applications for consumers can help improve health care processes, such as adherence to medication and clinical outcomes like smoking cessation, according to a report by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The analysis of consumer health informatics, conducted by the Bloomberg School's Evidence-based Practice Center for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), was based on an examination of 146 published research studies of patient-focused electronic tools.

At the end of a 10-year, coast-to-coast study of women with an unusual form of breast cancer, Richard J. Barth Jr., M.D., and three fellow researchers are making the case for a particular combination of treatments to stop the tumors in their tracks.

BOSTON (October 27, 2009) —An epidemiological study on pneumonia and influenza (P&I) in adults age 65 and over reports that patients with dementia are diagnosed with flu less frequently, have shorter hospital stays, and have a fifty percent higher rate of death than those without dementia. The three-pronged study, which analyzed geographic and demographic patterns of P&I and the relationship between P&I and health care accessibility, was published online in advance of print in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A road trial of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which could one day end up in every Australian driveway, is underway.

Over the next three months, staff from Victorian energy distributor SP AusNet will use the PHEVs for their daily drive to work and for leisure as part of CSIRO and SP AusNet trial.

CSIRO engineers have modified the PHEVs to carry a 30Ah NiMH battery which is capable of holding a 6kw charge, and a battery charger, to allow the cars to plug into and charge with electricity from the grid or from on-site renewable energy sources.

Vertebrates have in common a skeleton made of segments, the vertebrae. During development of the embryo, each segment is added in a time dependent manner, from the head-end to the tail-end: the first segments to be added become the vertebrae of the neck, later segments become the vertebrae with ribs and the last ones the vertebra located in the tail (in the case of a mouse, for example).

Paris—Oct. 27, 2009—Diabetic patients diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy had lower medical costs and reduced use of anticonvulsant medications when treated with a folate-enriched prescription medical food, according to data presented today at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 12th Annual European Congress.

The results of the HealthCore, Inc. study, funded by Pamlab, L.L.C., which manufactures the medical food Metanx®, showed that patients' health plan costs to treat diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy were reduced by about $400 a year.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Taking medication as the doctor prescribes is crucial to improving health. However, 26 to 59 percent of older adults do not adhere to instructions, according to a 2003 study published in Drugs and Aging. In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri found that applying behavior changing strategies, such as using pill boxes or reducing the number of daily doses, can improve patients' abilities to take their medications as required.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For women just diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the important decisions confronting them is whether to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. A diagnosis of breast cancer will affect one in every eight women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society, causing them to have to decide quickly about treatment.

It seems like a common occurrence this season that there are two tropical cyclones spinning in the Western Pacific Ocean and this week, Lupit and newly formed 23W are proof. NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the Western Pacific early today and captured both storms in one satellite image.

Tropical Storm Lupit is becoming extra-tropical and is expected to track parallel to Japan while remaining at sea, east of the island. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm 23W is approaching Saipan and Andersen Air Force Base and is moving west.

OAK BROOK, Ill. – October 26, 2009 – Researchers from Taiwan report in a new study that unsedated colonoscopy for primary colorectal cancer screening is well accepted in a majority of patients. Sedation is typically used for colonoscopy to make the patient feel comfortable during the procedure. In Taiwan, colonoscopy is performed less frequently than sigmoidoscopy for colorectal cancer screening due to concerns over cost and availability.

San Diego, CA (October 26, 2009) – A study of patients with implantable cardiac devices such as pacemakers, implantable defibrillators or left ventricular assist devices found that performing capsule endoscopy in these patients is safe and that the devices in general do not interfere with images captured by the capsule. Capsule endoscopy is a diagnostic study of the small intestine by a miniature wireless camera swallowed by the patient. As the capsule travels through the digestive tract, images are transmitted to a recorder worn by the patient around the waist.

JERSEY CITY, NJ (October 26, 2009): An experimental drug, LX211 (LUVENIQ™; oral voclosporin), may become the first approved oral treatment capable of modifying the course of uveitis, a group of serious eye conditions inevitably associated with either severe vision loss or substantial morbidity from steroid use.

Sperm, and not just the fluid it bathes in, can transmit HIV to macrophages, T cells, and dendritic cells (DCs), report a team led by Ana Ceballos at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. By infecting DCs, which carry the virus and potently pass it to T cells, sperm may play a leading role in spreading HIV. The article appears in the November 23, 2009 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine (online October 26).

PASADENA, Calif.—Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have created a nanoscale crystal device that, for the first time, allows scientists to confine both light and sound vibrations in the same tiny space.

Technology developed by the University of Warwick that can identify partial, distorted, scratched, smudged, or otherwise warped fingerprints in just a few seconds has just scored top marks in the world's two toughest technical fingerprint tests. The technology is also being rapidly taken up by the UK building trade who are delighted to have fingerprint technology which can cope with the often worn and ravaged builders' thumbprints.