#VirtualReality; #OculusGodevice; #VRHealth; #Oculus
San Jose (Cal), Sep 28 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made yesterday by the the two Virtual reality (VR) companies RHealth and Oculus at the Oculus Connect event in San Jose, California, that they have partnered on a range of healthcare-focused virtual reality applications, which would be delivered via Oculus' hardware, media reports said.
These two VR companies are planning to offer pain management designed for mothers experiencing pain in labor and for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“Virtual reality has the power to ease the pain of chemotherapy treatment, create a seamless environment for physical therapy exercises, and train children with ADHD to focus their attention,” VRHealth CEO Eran Orr said in a statement. “It used to be that when people thought of virtual reality entertainment and games were the first application that came to mind, but we see that applying the effects of VR to the healthcare industry has the potential to improve many lives and aid doctors in providing personalized and comfortable experiences for their patients.”
Besides, these companies would also offer general anxiety management before and after surgeries.
These two offerings would be built for the full-size Oculus Rift headset, as well as the company’s scaled down and portable Oculus Go device.
Oculus, is one of the leaders in consumer-grade VR devices with established hardware maker and software publisher provides a useful substantial platform for VRHealth in its healthcare-targeted offerings.
VR-based distraction therapies offering published evidence of efficacy across certain patient groups and yesterday’s deal could play a role in their wider adoption.
VRHealth has deployed its products to a number of hospitals and sports medicine centers, and previously partnered with AARP on an application that allows seniors to receive therapist-guided physical therapy without needing to leave their home.
Beyond VRHealth, a number of tech companies, hospitals, and healthcare systems have joined efforts to investigate the efficacy of VR-based pain management. Other researchers are also looking to the ways clinical VR can move beyond distraction therapy.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TheLancetGlobalHealth; #WorldHealthOrganization; #GlobalActionPlanonPhysicalActivity
Geneva, WHO, 5 Sep (Canadian-Media): More than one in four adults globally (28 percent or 1.4 billion people), sometimes as high as one in three adults, are inactive in some counties, according to new data published today in The Lancet Global Health, media reports said.
The report also pointed out that women were less active than men, with an over 8 percent difference at the global level (32 percent men vs 23 percent women).
Inactivity rises with high income countries (37 percenrt) compared with middle income (26 percemt) and low income countries (16 percent).
Four World Health Organization (WHO) experts who are the authors of this reports, updated 2008 estimates on levels of activity.
It was found, for the first time, that overall global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001.
These data support physical activity and increase the opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, to be active every day.
Courtesy of WHO
The target to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2025 and 15 percent by 2030 was set by the new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.
Regular physical inactivity increases risk of poor health, including cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and diabetes, falls, as well as mental health conditions.
Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#EpiPen; #DrStacyDorris; #Patientadvocacygroup#; FoodAllergyResearch&Education; #WellsFargo; #DavidMaris
Ottawa, Aug 17 (Canadian-Media): Manufacturing disruptions of EpiPen, a lifesaving allergy medicine, since May, there is a great shortage of it in and allergy sufferers and caregivers find it especially at the present time now, as parents try to stock up to send their kids back to school, media reports said.
EpiPen prescriptions rise in August, when parents buy multiple packs for their kids.
"In my busy pediatric clinic, we've noticed there are a number of patients calling in wondering where they can procure their EpiPens, since most pharmacies are having trouble keeping them in stock," said Dr. Stacy Dorris, of the department of pediatric allergy and immunology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
It's a problem across the country and the pharmacies said they were unsure of its availability.
The survey conducted by Patient advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) from 600 people in 43 states about EpiPen availability, revealed more than 80 percent of pharmacies said they either couldn't fill or could only partially fill their prescriptions.
Food Allergy Research & Education/Facebook
"We've heard there are widespread shortages of EpiPen," said Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, who estimates the product drew $1 billion in revenue in 2016 for drugmaker Mylan.
"It's clearly a headwind," Maris said. "And no one's talking about how soon it will be cleared up."
While EpiPen is marketed by Mylan, it's manufactured by a subsidiary of Pfizer.
There is an identical authorized generic version of EpiPen, also sold by Mylan sold at half the price, but it too was facing manufacturing issues.
Spokesman Mark Donohue of New Jerseay based Amneal Pharmaceuticals,which makes the Adrenaclick, a similar epinephrine auto-injector, made by Pfizer, said epinephrine auto-injectors are available
"While we experienced intermittent supply of products from our third-party manufacturer throughout the second quarter and during the month of July, we are receiving shipments," Donohue said.
Mylan supplies EpiPens to schools through its EpiPen4Schools program. But even that system may face delays in supply, Mylan spokeswoman Lauren Kashtan said.
Offficial reports also said that recently expired EpiPens can be used in an emergency situation.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 04 Aug 2018
London, Aug 4 (IBNS): A new study published in Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, conducted by a Liverpool based research collaboration involving the University of Liverpool, has identified the drug that treats the extremely rare genetic disease alkaptonuria (AKU).
An observational study at the NHS-funded Robert Gregory National Alkaptonuria Centre (NAC), based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and Cambridge charity the AKU Society, has shown that a drug called nitisinone stops the progress of AKU also known as black bone disease.
AKU is an iconic genetic disorder characterised by deficiency of the enzyme homogentisate dioxygenase, resulting in accumulation of homogentisic acid (HGA). HGA deposits as black pigment in tissues, in a process called ochronosis, leading to progressive damage when untreated.
The severe damage includes spine and joints, leading to repeat joint surgeries, with one patient attending the NAC having undergone nine joint replacements. Patients also develop stones (kidney, prostate, gall bladder, salivary), fractures due to osteoporosis, ruptures (tendons, ligament, muscle) as well as heart valve damage (aortic, mitral).
In the study, 39 people with AKU were given 2 mg of nitisinone each day for three years. Newly published results show that the drug stops the disease, by decreasing HGA. Further, nitisinone therapy not only arrested but also partially reversed ochronosis.
Results also show that it significantly reduces the damage caused by ochronosis, especially in joints. Patients who took nitisinone showed major health benefits. Osteoarthritis in the spine, knees and elbows was much less severe and the risk of heart disease was reduced.
Professor Lakshminarayan Ranganath, the NAC director, said: “These results bring hope to the more than 30,000 people who suffer from this disease worldwide. We knew already from earlier research that nitisinone substantially reduces HGA. We also knew that nitisinone prevented joint disease in AKU mice through research at the University of Liverpool. However, to show the benefit of nitisinone in people with AKU, for the very first time, the NAC team had to come up with innovative and pioneering approaches to study outcomes.
“I am very proud of everyone who helped us to get here.”
AKU patient Duncan Batty, said: “As a patient who has suffered from the degenerative effects of AKU for nearly 30 years it is fantastic news that an effective treatment has been identified. I am at the age when heart complications should start, but thanks to nitisinone there is no evidence of any issues.”
#WorldHealthOrganization; #MSDforMothers; #FerringPharmaceuticals, #DrTedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus;
Ottawa, Jun 29 (Canadian-Media): According to a study led by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with MSD for Mothers and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a new formulation of a drug can prevent excessive bleeding following childbirth and could save thousands of women’s lives in low- and lower-middle-income countries, media reports said.
Oxytocin as the first-choice drug has been recommended by WHO recently for preventing excessive bleeding after childbirth.
But Oxytocin must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius, which is hard to do, in many countries, depriving many women of access to this lifesaving drug.
The drug, when available to these countries, loses its efficacy due to heat exposure.
The study, published June 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine, has shown an alternative drug to be as safe and effective as oxytocin in preventing postpartum haemorrhage.
This new formulation of carbetocin is heat-stable and does not require refrigeration and retains its efficacy for at least 3 years stored even at high temperatures of 30 degrees celsius and 75 percent relative humidity.
“This is a truly encouraging new development that can revolutionize our ability to keep mothers and babies alive,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus/Wikipedia
Approximately 70 000 women die every year because of post-partum haemorrhage – increasing the risk that their babies also die within one month.
The clinical trial, the largest of its kind, studied close to 30 000 women who gave birth vaginally in 10 countries: Argentina, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and the United Kingdom.
Each woman was randomly given a single injection of either heat-stable carbetocin or oxytocin immediately following the birth of her baby. The study found that both drugs were equally effective at preventing excessive bleeding after birth.
Since both drugs in the study were kept in at the temperatures required to ensure maximum efficacy of oxytocin, the trial may underestimate the benefit expected with heat-stable carbetocin use in real-life settings where oxytocin may have degraded due to exposure to higher temperatures.
“The development of a drug to prevent postpartum haemorrhage that continues to remain effective in hot and humid conditions is very good news for the millions of women who give birth in parts of the world without access to reliable refrigeration,” says Dr Metin Gülmezoglu, from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO.
The next step is regulatory review and approval by countries.
WHO will ask its Guideline Development Group to consider whether heat-stable carbetocin should be a recommended drug for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#InternationalClassificationofDiseases; #WorldHealthOrganisation; #mappinghumancondition; #traditionalmedicine, #sexualhealth; #gamingdisorder
Ottawa, Jun 22 (Canadian-Media): A new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) has been released this week by World Health Organisation (WHO), media reports said.
The ICD maps the human condition from birth to death and codes any injury or disease we encounter in life including anything we might die of.
The ICD is made up of thousands of codes that are used around the world to classify diseases and conditions, and generate statistics.
These statistics are used to monitor health trends, plan how services are delivered and make financing decisions about health systems.
The importance of ICD for global health can be clearly demonstrated from the following video:
It had taken over a decade for this electronic version of the ICD to be completed and this version of the ICD reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding.
New chapters on traditional medicine and sexual health has been added to this electronic version of the ICD and “gaming disorder” has been added to the section on addictive disorders.
The ICD provides a common vocabulary for recording, reporting and monitoring health problems in a world of 7.4 billion people speaking nearly 7000 languages.
Fifty years ago, it would be reportedly unlikely that a disease such as schizophrenia would be diagnosed similarly in Japan, Kenya and Brazil.
Now, however, if a doctor in another country cannot read a person’s medical records, they will know what the ICD code means.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Toronto, Jun 19 (Canadian-Media): Vedanda Cultural Foundation Canada in association with the Consulate General of India, Toronto, is organizing a Yoga session in Oakville, Ontario on June 23 to celebrate International Day of Yoga 2018, media reports said.
Reporting by Asha Bajaj
#DigitalHealthCoalition; #HallofFemme; #digitalandelectronicmarketing; #healthcareproductsandservices; #MM&M'sHallofFemme; #WendyBlackburn; #NadineLeonard; #MeghanRivera; #LindaRuschau; #AnneBentley, #CSweetener.org
Ottawa, June 11, (Canadian-Media): Four women leaders of The Digital Health Coalition (DHC) were inducted to the Hall of Femme last week for their hard work, leadership, and dedication to DHC, media reports said.
DHC, reportedly, a nonprofit organization was created to serve as the collective public voice and national public forum for the discussion of the current and future issues relevant to digital and electronic marketing of healthcare products and services.
The vision of DHC is reportedly to identify and then recommend specific actions that will inform digital healthcare communication and engagement for the benefit of the public at large.
MM&M's Hall of Femme reportedly honors outstanding United States (US) healthcare commercial executives at either a biopharma company, medical device or diagnostics firm, or healthcare marketing or media firm.
The four women who were inducted to the Hall of Femme last week are: Wendy Blackburn, Executive Vice President, Intouch Solutions; Nadine Leonard, Managing Director & Executive Planning Director, Heartbeat; Meghan Rivera, Vice President, Digital Engagement and Women's Health Marketing, AMAG Pharmaceuticals; and Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer, PatientPoint.
DHC asked Wendy about the most important aspects within a team to continue the positive path forward.
Wendy's reply was,
"To continue the positive path forward, we must own what we’ve earned -- and pay it forward. We must see each other, support each other, and set a strong example for future women leaders to follow. Reach out to the rising stars -- mentor and coach them. We should consider it our responsibility to help future women leaders shine, whether they are on our team, within our company, across the industry, or anywhere else. We can help them recognize and embrace their natural strengths as women. Just as others helped us."
When Nadine Leonard was asked by DHC about which transformative elements would encourage continued growth she replied,
"Healthcare is experiencing significant macro-changes as it struggles to meet the needs of bigger patient populations...So, I’d love to see pharma champion more solutions that bring physicians, patients, AND payers together to actually deliver better outcomes and added that it meant forging new ground with courage and broader skill sets and said "But we are on the cusp of making a paradigm shift from talking about efficacy to actually delivering it. That’s exciting stuff. And I’d like to see more folks up for – and honestly, EXCITED by – the challenge!"
Meghan Rivera was asked by DHC how the female leadership has facilitated pharma's mission to improve patient health outcomes.
Rivera replied that diversity in leadership, beyond gender allows for different minds, cultures and ideals to come together to achieve better solutions and added,
"At AMAG Pharmaceuticals, we’re working hard to cultivate empathy around women’s sexual health and recognize unconscious bias, to not only improve how we work together, but to also gain a greater appreciation for the barriers the patients we serve face, especially in women’s health."
DHC asked Linda Ruschau which part of her legacy she was most passionate about continuing to create.
Ruschau replied that any legacy which she may leave "comes out of my passion to make a difference in people’s lives—one at a time. Internally, that may be mentoring an entry-level Client Services young woman, or supporting a senior-level colleague making a difficult decision."
She aeeded that industry wide, she had cultivated love for her clients and felt fortunate to be in a role "that allows me to help them engage patients and physicians every day. Working with our patient advocacy partners like Imerman Angels and the Arthritis Foundation is validation that the education we provide really does make a difference in patients’ lives. Creating more innovative touchpoints to truly make doctors’ jobs easier and patients’ experience better is what excites me the most...there’s no channel more powerful than point of care to meaningfully connect with patients and providers."
Anne Bentley of the non-profit CSweetener.org -- a not-for profit organization dedicated to helping women benefit from mentorship to become the best leaders they can be -- congragulated these four woman and said, "I’m so pleased to see the Healthcare industry acknowledging these female leaders...have put in, in order to reach the top.... But I believe it’s not just about the hard work...It’s critical to have outside perspective and guidance...a key agent for advancing women forward is mentorship and added that "today, more than ever, women need mentors ...who have the experience and knowhow...and wish to give back to the help the next generation of leaders succeed.
She then said that her organization CSweetener plays a powerful role in connecting female healthcare leaders with mentors who are experienced and committed and added, "I believe it’s essential to tap into your network and to lean on your mentors for their guidance and support."
#mHealth, #PsychiatricServices, #FOCUSgroup, #WellnessRecoveryActionPlan, #WRAP, #PearTherapeutics; #Novartis, #JorisVanDam, #Woebot, #DrAlisonDarcy, #GoogleHangouts, #Apple'siMessage
Ottawa, June 5 (Canadian-Media): According to a recent study by mHealth published by Psychiatric Services it was revealed that compared to an in-person group therapy, mobile health interventions were as effective in treating patients with serious mental illness, media reports said.
“The mHealth intervention showed superior patient engagement and produced patient satisfaction and clinical and recovery outcomes that were comparable to those from a widely used clinic-based group intervention for illness management,” the authors of the study wrote.
The study included 163 patients, most of which were from a racial minority group, with serious long-term mental illnesses, including schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depressive disorder.
Participants were randomly assigned to the mobile health intervention group, called FOCUS or to the traditional clinic-based group intervention, called the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP),
Patients in the FOCUS group reportedly received a smartphone-delivered intervention that was designed for people with serious mental illnesses.
The technology is made up of an app, a clinician dashboard, and support from an mobile health specialist, which allows patients to access videos, audio clips, or written materials at any time of the day.
The users are prompted by the system to take daily assessments, which are relayed to the specialist.
Researchers found only 58 percent of patients in the traditional clinic-based intervention group stayed with the program, compared to 90 percent of participants that received their care through smartphones.
With the emerging world of apps, ranging from screening tools to coaching platforms, mental health platforms have become increasingly popular.
Pear Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company with several platforms dedicated to treating mental illnesses is another notable company.
In March, Pear inked a deal with Novartis, a pharma company, to collaborate together to develop two digital therapeutics, including one for schizophrenia.
The company also has a platform for treating addiction.
“We’ve had a lot of experience and a lot of engagement with MS patients and clinicians treating MS patients,” Joris Van Dam, head of digital therapeutics at Novartis, told MobiHealthNews. “And what we’ve heard from them is over and above the symptoms they experience from MS itself, they’re really suffering from a mental health burden...We’re very excited about exploring a future where we can treat our patients with the best of drugs and the best of digital and we think that Pear Therapeutics is certainly among the best of digital today.”
Joris Van Dam/Courtesy of Novartis.com
Recently a mental health AI platform, Woebot was launched in February.
The app is designed to help users talk about their anxiety or depression and give them ways of coping.
“We have a huge issue of access [to mental health specialists], particularly globally,” Dr. Alison Darcy, CEO and founder of Woebot, told MobiHealthNews. “Woebot was created to be a fun and engaging way to talk about your mental health and look after mental health. It is drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy.”
Dr Alison Darcy/Courtesy of Longevity Network.org
“It can talk them through their thinking and helping them rewrite those thoughts,” Darcy said. “Up until now that practice hasn’t been available outside the [therapists’ office].”
Users can access the messaging function on the app — just like using Google Hangouts or Apple's iMessage, but instead of a person at the other end of the messages,
it's an artificial intelligence programmed to help users talk through their mental health using cognitive behavioral therapy principles.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)