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Archive for the ‘HealthCare IT’ Category


Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the first-ever characterization of the meticulously timed immune system changes in women that occur during pregnancy. The findings were published in Science Immunology revealed that there is an immune clock of pregnancy and suggest it may help doctors predict preterm birth.

 

The timing of immune system changes follows a precise and predictable pattern in normal pregnancy. Although physicians have long known that the expectant mother’s immune system adjusts to prevent her body from rejecting the fetus, no one had investigated the full scope of these changes, nor asked if their timing was tightly controlled.

 

Nearly 10 percent of U.S. infants are born prematurely, arriving three or more weeks early, but physicians lack a reliable way to predict premature deliveries. Previous research at Stanford and other places suggested that inflammatory immune responses may help in triggering early labor. It suggested that if scientists identify an immune signature of impending preterm birth, they should be able to design a blood test to detect it.

 

The researchers used mass cytometry, a technique developed at Stanford, to simultaneously measure up to 50 properties of each immune cell in the blood samples. They counted the types of immune cells, assessed what signaling pathways were most active in each cell, and determined how the cells reacted to being stimulated with compounds that mimic infection with viruses and bacteria.

 

The researchers developed an algorithm that captures the immunological timeline during pregnancy that both validates previous findings and sheds new light on immune cell interaction during gestation. By defining this immunological chronology during normal term pregnancy, they can now begin to determine which alterations associate with pregnancy-related pathologies.

 

With an advanced statistical modeling technique, introduced for the first time in this study, the scientists then described in detail how the immune system changes throughout pregnancy. Instead of grouping the women’s blood samples by trimester for analysis, the model treated gestational age as a continuous variable, allowing the researchers to account for the exact time during pregnancy at which each sample was taken. The mathematical model also incorporated knowledge from the existing scientific literature of how immune cells behave in nonpregnant individuals to help determine which findings were most likely to be important.

 

The study confirmed immune features of pregnancy that were already known. Such as the scientists saw that natural killer cells and neutrophils have enhanced action during pregnancy. The researchers also uncovered several previously unappreciated features of how the immune system changes, such as the finding that activity of the STAT5 signaling pathway in CD4+T cells progressively increases throughout pregnancy on a precise schedule, ultimately reaching levels much higher than in nonpregnant individuals. The STAT5 pathway is involved in helping another group of immune cells, regulatory T cells, to differentiate. Interestingly, prior research in animals has indicated that regulatory T cells are important for maintaining pregnancy.

 

The next step will be to conduct similar research using blood samples from women who deliver their babies prematurely to see where their trajectories of immune function differ from normal.

 

This study revealed a precisely timed chronology of immune adaptations in peripheral blood over the course of a term pregnancy. This finding was enabled by high-content, single-cell mass cytometry coupled with a csEN algorithm accounting for the modular structure of the immune system and previous knowledge. The study provided the conceptual backbone and the analytical framework to examine whether disruption of this chronology is a diagnostically useful characteristic of preterm birth and other pregnancy-related pathologies.

 

References:

 

http://immunology.sciencemag.org/content/2/15/eaan2946.full

 

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/09/immune-system-changes-during-pregnancy-are-precisely-timed.html

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078586/

 

http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v19/n5/full/nm.3160.html?foxtrotcallback=true

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14758358

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The BioPharma Industry’s Unrealized Wealth of Data, by Ben Szekely, Vice President, Cambridge Semantics

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

 

The BioPharma Industry’s Unrealized Wealth of Data

by Ben Szekely, Vice President of Solutions and Pre-sales, Cambridge Semantics

 

Solving the great medical challenges of our time reside within patient data. Clinical trial data, real-world evidence, patient feedback, genetic data, wearables data and adverse event reports contain signals to target medicines at the right patient populations, improve overall safety, and uncover the next blockbuster therapy for unmet medical needs.

However, data sources are large, diverse, multi-structured, messy and highly regulated presenting numerous challenges. As result, extracting value from data are slow to come and require manual work or long-poll dependencies on IT and Data Science teams.

Fortunately, there are new ways being adopted to take better advantage of the ever-growing volumes of patient data.  Called ‘Smart’ Patient Data Lakes (SPDL), these tools create an Enterprise Knowledge Graph built upon foundational and open Semantic Web technology standards, providing rich descriptions of data and flexibility end-to-end.  With the SPDL, biopharma researchers can:

  • Quickly on-board new data without requiring up-front modeling or mapping, ingesting data from any source versus months or weeks of preparation
  • Dynamically map and prepare data at analytics time
  • Horizontally scale in cloud or on-prem infrastructure to 100’s of nodes – allowing billions of facts to be analyzed, queried and explored in real-time   

The world’s BioPharma and research institutions are sitting on a wealth of highly differentiating and life-saving data and should begin to realize its value via Smart Patient Data Lakes (SPDL).

 

 

CONTACT: Nadia Haidar

Global Results Communications ∙ 949-278-7328 ∙ nhaidar@globalresultspr.com

 

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The Future of Hospitals – How Medical Care and Technology Work Together to Advance Patient Care 

Curator: Gail S. Thornton, M.A.

Co-Editor: The VOICES of Patients, Hospital CEOs, HealthCare Providers, Caregivers and Families: Personal Experience with Critical Care and Invasive Medical Procedures

 

Gap Medics (https://www.gapmedics.com/blog/), the world’s leading provider of hospital work experience placements for high school and university students, recently released their “Futuristic Hospitals” infographic. The infographic reviews a collection of top hospitals in the world based on several key factors:

  • overall patient care,
  • innovative medical and technological excellence,
  • efforts toward sustainability,
  • environmental stewardship, and
  • social responsibility, as well as
  • other innovative health care features

to help advance the field of medicine and, ultimately, patient care.

Futuristic Hospitals Infographic

Image SOURCE: Infographic of Futuristic Hospitals courtesy of Evolved Digital and Gap Medics. Reprinted here with Permission from the Source.

 

“Many leading hospital facilities are now rolling out significant improvements and changes that couldn’t have been envisioned 10 years ago,” said Ian McIntosh, Director, Evolved Digital (http://evolveddigital.co.uk/), a U.K.-based digital marketing company specializing in search engine optimization and content marketing, whose team created the infographic for Gap Medics.

Science and innovation are working together to help convey higher expectations for quality medical and health care and advancements in the hospital experience for health care providers, patients and their families.

Particularly, the infographic analyzed prominent hospitals around the world so patients and their families can learn about the latest advances and efforts in patient care and hospital and medical technology.

In this infographic, we investigated the most cutting-edge hospital facilities in the world, where best-in-class technology and innovative medical care are making a difference in providing a quality experience all over the world.

“Gap Medics creates programs offered to thousands of students from Europe, Asia and the United States so they have the opportunity to gain insights into the work of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, midwives and dentists before the students begin their clinical training,” said Dave Brown, Director, Gap Medics, a U.K.-based company that provides hospital work experience between 1-8 weeks to students 16 years of age and older.

This one-in-a-lifetime opportunity helps students better understand their chosen career path, develop as people, and strengthen their university application process.

 

REFERENCE/SOURCE

http://evolveddigital.co.uk/

https://www.gapmedics.com/blog/2017/03/27/futuristic-hospitals/

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

 

“Sudden Cardiac Death,” SudD is in Ferrer inCode’s Suite of Cardiovascular Genetic Tests to be Commercialized in the US

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/02/10/sudden-cardiac-death-sudd-is-in-ferrer-incodes-suite-of-cardiovascular-genetic-tests-to-be-commercialized-in-the-us/

 

Hybrid Cath Lab/OR Suite’s da Vinci Surgical Robot of Intuitive Surgical gets FDA Warning Letter on Robot Track Record

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/07/19/hybrid-cath-labor-suites-da-vinci-surgical-robot-of-intuitive-surgical-gets-fda-warning-letter-on-robot-track-record/

 

3D Cardiovascular Theater – Hybrid Cath Lab/OR Suite, Hybrid Surgery, Complications Post PCI and Repeat Sternotomy

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013/07/19/3d-cardiovascular-theater-hybrid-cath-labor-suite-hybrid-surgery-complications-post-pci-and-repeat-sternotomy/

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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

Low sperm count and motility are markers for male infertility, a condition that is actually a neglected health issue worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have developed a very low cost device that can attach to a cell phone and provides a quick and easy semen analysis. The device is still under development, but a study of the machine’s capabilities concludes that it is just as accurate as the elaborate high cost computer-assisted semen analysis machines costing tens of thousands of dollars in measuring sperm concentration, sperm motility, total sperm count and total motile cells.

 

The Harvard team isn’t the first to develop an at-home fertility test for men, but they are the first to be able to determine sperm concentration as well as motility. The scientists compared the smart phone sperm tracker to current lab equipment by analyzing the same semen samples side by side. They analyzed over 350 semen samples of both infertile and fertile men. The smart phone system was able to identify abnormal sperm samples with 98 percent accuracy. The results of the study were published in the journal named Science Translational Medicine.

 

The device uses an optical attachment for magnification and a disposable microchip for handling the semen sample. With two lenses that require no manual focusing and an inexpensive battery, it slides onto the smart phone’s camera. Total cost for manufacturing the equipment: $4.45, including $3.59 for the optical attachment and 86 cents for the disposable micro-fluidic chip that contains the semen sample.

 

The software of the app is designed with a simple interface that guides the user through the test with onscreen prompts. After the sample is inserted, the app can photograph it, create a video and report the results in less than five seconds. The test results are stored on the phone so that semen quality can be monitored over time. The device is under consideration for approval from the Food and Drug Administration within the next two years.

 

With this device at home, a man can avoid the embarrassment and stress of providing a sample in a doctor’s clinic. The device could also be useful for men who get vasectomies, who are supposed to return to the urologist for semen analysis twice in the six months after the procedure. Compliance is typically poor, but with this device, a man could perform his own semen analysis at home and email the result to the urologist. This will make sperm analysis available in the privacy of our home and as easy as a home pregnancy test or blood sugar test.

 

The device costs about $5 to make in the lab and can be made available in the market at lower than $50 initially. This low cost could help provide much-needed infertility care in developing or underdeveloped nations, which often lack the resources for currently available diagnostics.

 

References:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/well/live/sperm-counts-via-your-cellphone.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20170324&nl=well&nl_art=7&nlid=65713389&ref=headline&te=1&_r=1

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/22/520837557/a-smartphone-can-accurately-test-sperm-count

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28330865

 

http://www.sciencealert.com/new-smartphone-microscope-lets-men-check-the-health-of-their-own-sperm

 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2097618-are-your-sperm-up-to-scratch-phone-microscope-lets-you-check/

 

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/01/19/yo-fertility-kit-men-test-sperm-count-smartphone-design-technology-apps/

 

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Dr. Doudna: RNA synthesis capabilities of Synthego’s team represent a significant leap forward for Synthetic Biology

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Synthego Raises $41 Million From Investors, Including a Top Biochemist

Synthego also drew in Dr. Doudna, who had crossed paths with the company’s head of synthetic biology at various industry conferences. According to Mr. Dabrowski, the money from her trust represents the single-biggest check from a non-institutional investor that the start-up has raised.

Synthego’s new funds will help the company take its products to a more global customer base, as well as broaden its offerings. The longer-term goal, Mr. Dabrowski said, is to help fully automate biotech research and take care of much of the laboratory work that scientists currently handle themselves.

The model is cloud technology, where companies rent out powerful remote server farms to handle their computing needs rather than rely on their own hardware.

“We’ll be able to do their full research workflow,” he said. “If you look at how cloud computing developed, it used to be that every company handled their server farm. Now it’s all handled in the cloud.”

SOURCE

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

UPDATED – Status “Interference — Initial memorandum” – CRISPR/Cas9 – The Biotech Patent Fight of the Century: UC, Berkeley and Broad Institute @MIT

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/01/06/status-interference-initial-memorandum-crisprcas9-the-biotech-patent-fight-of-the-century/

 

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2016 – Top 10 Most-Read Health Affairs Articles!

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Top 10 Most-Read Health Affairs Articles! This year, we are pleased to offer the #1 article on this Top 10 list for free.

If you are not a current Health Affairs subscriber, you can purchase these articles at a deeply discounted price of only $5 each at our Store

1– Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D, by Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford, July 2016
Free access through January 4, 2017. 

2– A More Detailed Understanding Of Factors Associated With Hospital Profitability, by Ge Bai and Gerard F. Anderson, May 2016

3– National Health Expenditure Projections, 2015-25: Economy, Prices, and Aging Expected To Shape Spending And Enrollment, by Sean P. Keehan, John A. Poisal, Gigi A. Cuckler, Andrea M. Sisko, Sheila D. Smith, Andrew J. Madison, Devin A. Stone, Christian J. Wolfe, and Joseph M. Lizonitz, August 2016

4– US Physician Practices Spend More Than $15.4 Billion Annually To Report Quality Measures, by Lawrence P. Casalino, David Gans, Rachel Weber, Meagan Cea, Amber Tuchovsky, Tara F. Bishop, Yesenia Miranda, Brittany A. Frankel, Kristina B. Ziehler, Meghan M. Wong, and Todd B. Evenson, March 2016

5– Variation In Health Outcomes: The Role Of Spending On Social Services, Public Health, and Health Care, 2000-09, by Elizabeth H. Bradley, Maureen Canavan, Erika Rogan, Kristina Talbert-Slagle, Chima Ndumele, Lauren Taylor, and Leslie A. Curry, May 2016

6– Return On Investment From Childhood Immunization In Low- And Middle-Income Countries, 2011-20, by Sachiko Ozawa, Samantha Clark, Allison Portnoy, Simrun Grewal, Logan Brenzel, and Damian G. Walker, February 2016

7– Mental Disorders Top The List Of The Most Costly Conditions In The United States: $201 Billion, by Charles Roehrig, June 2016

8– Modeling The Economic Burden Of Adult Vaccine-Preventable Diseases In The United States, by Sachiko Ozawa, Allison Portnoy, Hiwote Getaneh, Samantha Clark, Maria Knoll, David Bishai, H. Keri Yang, and Pallavi D. Patwardhan, November 2016

Free access courtesy of the authors.

9– Retail Clinic Visits For Low-Acuity Conditions Increase Utilization And Spending, by J. Scott Ashwood, Martin Gaynor, Claude M. Setodji, Rachel O. Reid, Ellerie Weber, and Ateev Mehrotra, March 2016

10– An Insurer’s Care Transition Program Emphasizes Medication Reconciliation, Reduces Readmissions And Costs, by Jennifer M. Polinski, Janice M. Moore, Pavlo Kyrychenko, Michael Gagnon, Olga S. Matlin, Joshua W. Fredell, Troyen A. Brennan, and William H. Shrank, July 2016

Visit our store today! 

 

SOURCE

From: Health Affairs <communications@healthaffairs.org>

Reply-To: Health Affairs <communications@healthaffairs.org>

Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 12:30 PM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Health Affairs Top 10 Most-Read List – See Inside

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Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator @Harvard Business School

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

18 NOV 2015
Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation Establish $20 Million Endowment at Harvard Business School
Gift will be dedicated to advancing the use of the human genome to develop individualized protocols for the treatment of serious diseases

MISSION

The mission of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator is to speed medical breakthroughs in precision medicine, the process by which genomic information and other unique characteristics of a person’s disease are used to predict which treatments will be most effective.

HBS KRAFT PRECISION MEDICINE ACCELERATOR DATASET LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT

http://www.hbs.edu/healthcare/Documents/HBS%20Kraft%20Data_Landscape.pdf?cid=spmailing-13604326-KPMA%20Newsletter%20fy17.october2016%20(1)-October%2014,%202016

A Key Data Sharing Partnership: The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Donates Data to the GDC

https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/organization/ccg/blog/2016/mmrf-shares-genomic-data-commons

DRIVING DATA PARTNERSHIPS ACROSS ONCOLOGY

Framing the Data/Technology Landscape

We partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an exhaustive survey of large-scale genomic data sets in the public domain. This is the most comprehensive landscape analysis to date. View landscape (pdf).

Bringing Together the Best-in-Class

We convened 40 of today’s most innovative scientific, business, and technology leaders to solve key challenges in data generation, aggregation and analytics. Outputs from the meeting are widely disseminated to maximize impact. View the list the agenda (pdf) and list of attendees (pdf).

Dr. Anthony Philippakis, Chief Data Officer, The Broad Institute

Dr. Barrett Rollins, Chief Scientific Officer, DFCI, Inc.; Margaret Anderson, Executive Director, FasterCures

Dr. Nikhil Wagle and Dr. Corrie Painter, Leaders, Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Challenging Teams to Find Solutions

HBS partnered with the Broad Institute and Crowd Innovation Lab to host a series of data challenges to accelerate precision medicine. The crowd-based challenges focus on developing optimal algorithms for faster DNA sequence alignment and optimizing inferred gene expression.View crowdsourcing challenges.

Building New Partnerships & Models

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is the first non-profit organization to share its data with the Genomic Data Commons. The addition of the MMRF CoMMpass dataset, which includes both genomic and clinical data, will help bring the GDC achieve its goal of amassing data from 30,000 patients by year-end. Read the announcement.

DRIVING DTP EFFORTS TO ENHANCE PATIENT ENGAGEMENT & DATA SHARING

DTP & DTC Landscape

We engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to survey the DTC and DTP landscape. Findings will be available in October 2016.

Exchanging Best Practices Between DTC Transformers & DTP Organizations

We’re uniting today’s most visionary business leaders and healthcare innovators at the Harvard i-Lab in October 2016. This exciting event will explore how DTP and DTC best practices can be applied to precision medicine.

SOURCE

http://www.hbs.edu/healthcare/faculty/kraft-accelerator/Pages/programs.aspx

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