Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pinar Karaca-Mandic, PhD Professor, Finance Department Arthur Williams Jr. Professor of Healthcare Risk Management Academic Director, Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several studies have highlighted disparities in COVID-19 infection rates and deaths. Less is known about disparities in hospitalizations. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control showed that in the nation overall, non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics and American Indian Alaska Native persons have substantially higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization. Our study extends this work by providing a state-by-state analysis of race/ethnic prevalence of cumulative COVID-19 hospitalizations and comparing this prevalence to ethnic/racial composition of each state’s population. Through our University of Minnesota Covid-19 hospitalization tracking project (https://carlsonschool.umn.edu/mili-misrc-covid19-tracking-project) we collect data every day from state department of health websites, and we started collecting information on race/ethnicity breakdown of the hospitalizations as soon as states started reporting such data. During our study period, between April 30 and June 24, 12 states reported cumulative hospitalizations by race/ethnicity. By the end of our study, our data from these 12 states represented almost 50,000 hospitalizations.(more…)
Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 12.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Morayma Reyes Gil M.D., Ph.D. Director of hematology and Coagulation Labs Associate Professor, Pathology Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein School of Medicine Bronx, NY 10467MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Antiphospholipid Syndrome is an entity caused by autoantibodies that cause arterial and venous thrombosis as well as miscarriages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we tested 187 patients for Lupus anticoagulant (LA); 68 turned out to be COVID positive. 30 of the 68 COVID-positive patients were found to be positive for LA by the DRVVT test, and 17 of them were also determined to be positive by the hexagonal phospholipid neutralization STACLOT-LA test. Importantly, of the 30 patients who were LA positive, 19 had documented thrombosis (arterial and venous), an event rate of 63%, as compared with a rate of 34% (p= .03) for LA-negative patients. We also checked CRP, an inflammatory marker known to affect the hexagonal phospholipid neutralization STACLOT-LA test. Although the mean CRP level was higher in patients testing positive for LA by DRVVT (14.4 vs 7.5 mg/dL; P < .01), patients with thrombosis did not have significantly higher CRP levels than those with no thrombosis. Hence, we adjusted for CRP, and LA was found to be independently associated with thrombosis (odds ratio, 4.39; 95% CI, 1.45-14.57; p= .01). No statistically significant difference was found by anticoagulation at the time of thrombosis, gender, race, ethnicity, ventilation, and mortality between patients who tested LA positive vs. negative.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Genetic Research, JAMA / 11.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Caspar van der Made, MD Resident in Internal Medicine, PhD-student Alexander Hoischen, PhD Geneticist, Assistant professor, Departments of Human Genetics and Internal Medicine Radboud University Medical enter Nijmegen, The NetherlandsFirst author Caspar van der Made is a resident in Internal Medicine and PhD-student on the topic of immunogenomics. Alexander Hoischen is geneticist with a special focus on the application of genomic technologies in primary immunodeficiencies and last author of this study. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was initiated to investigate the presence of monogenic factors that predispose young individuals to develop a severe form of COVID-19. It has become clear that several general risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes mellitus increase the risk of developing severe coronavirus disease. However, even though differences in interindividual genetic make-up are thought to influence the immune response to SARS-CoV-2, such specific genetic risk factors had not yet been identified. We therefore chose to study young brother pairs (sharing half of their genomes) without any general risk factors that nevertheless contracted severe COVID-19. We hypothesized these highly selected case series may offer the most optimal chance of identifying a (possible X-linked) primary immunodeficiency specific to COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 10.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MA Senior Vice President of Research, Northwell HealthDirector, Center for Personalized Health, Feinstein Institutes for Medical ResearchDean of Academic Affairs & Professor, Feinstein Institutes for Medical ResearchDonald and Barbara Zucker Professor in Health Outcomes, Department of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: New York was epicenter for COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic, and Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, did everything in its power to care for our sick community members but also care for and protect our frontline health care providers (HCPs) and 72,000 employees. We were fortunate enough to have not run out of PPE – from masks to gowns. Through our employee health team we were able to offer free antibody screenings and through the Northwell Health Research Consortium and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research we looked to use the data collected from our consented employees to determine the prevalence of antibodies. We designed the study to not only identify the presence of antibodies but also key factors like demographics, in what capacity our providers worked on the frontlines and if they suspected infection. Our data helped identify the best practices Northwell Health – from PPE to care procedures - and others nationwide would need to do to keep our frontline workers safe. Key takeaways from the research show that from April 20 to June 23, of the final consented sample of health care providers (40,329), 13 percent (5,523) tested positive for antibodies. The positive sample pool included 28.4 percent (11,468) nurses and 9.3 percent (3,746) physicians. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA / 07.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC Providence St Joseph Health Portland, Oregon MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In spite of significant decreases in the incidence of coronary artery disease, an estimated 800,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) this year. For large numbers of these patients, substantial benefit is afforded by early diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, multiple campaigns have been launched over time to increase public awareness about the symptoms and signs of AMI and the need to seek immediate medical attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed health care delivery worldwide. While early attention was disproportionately focused on efforts to “flatten the curve”, recent reports have revealed a disturbing finding—a substantial decrease in the hospitalization rate for AMI. Most worrisome among potential reasons for this has been reluctance of patients with an AMI to seek medical attention out of fear that they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. To better understand the impacts associated with this, we performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all AMI hospitalizations in a large multistate health care system (Providence St. Joseph Health). We sought to define changes in AMI case rates, patient demographics, cardiovascular comorbidities, treatment approaches and in-hospital outcomes during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Taylor Heald-Sargent, M.D., Ph.D. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the ongoing debate around the ability of children to transmit SARS-CoV-2, we noticed that our clinical data could address one of the prevalent assumptions. Some people postulated that the reason children have less severe infections with SARS-CoV-2 is because they are not able to replicate virus as much as adults and therefore may not transmit as readily.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Research Fellow Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic there were no evidence-based treatments for severely ill patients infected with this virus. We formed an interdisciplinary group of physicians from departments of adult and pediatric infectious diseases, rheumatology, and pulmonary/critical care as well as clinical pharmacy specialists. Given some promising data from China, we instituted treatment with off-label IL-6 receptor inhibitors (tocilizumab and sarilumab). The rationale was to mitigate the exuberant immune response observed in some patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (also called cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome). Quite quickly, we started noticing that giving the drug to our sickest patients wasn’t eliciting dramatic improvement. We reasoned that by the time patients were severely ill and requiring ventilators, the damage to their lungs from the cytokine storm had already taken place. It was like closing the barn door after the horse had already bolted. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 04.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, FCAP Senior Medical Director, Medical Informatics Quest DiagnosticsNeedham, MAMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routine healthcare and in particular cancer screenings. We documented the impact on patients who were newly identified by cancer in the early months of the pandemic by analysis of Quest Diagnostics data. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?Response: We saw a 46% decline in newly identified patients with six common types of cancer. In accordance to healthcare recommendations, many patients didn’t receive mammograms, colonoscopies, low-dose CT scans, and avoided physician visits for minor complaints. When these patients return, some will present with more advanced stages of cancer than they would have without the disruption of the pandemic.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA, MRI / 28.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Valentina Puntmann, MD, PhD, FRCP Deputy Head Goethe CVI Fellowship Programme Lead Consultant Physician, Cardiologist and Clinical Pharmacologist Institute for Experimental and Translational Cardiovascular Imaging DZHK Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging - Goethe CVI Department of Cardiology, Division of Internal Medicine University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patients who recently recovered from COVID19 have been identified through the testing centre and invited to be screened for cardiac involvement with MRI. Importantly, they have not come to us because of having heart problems. In fact, none of them thought that they had had anything wrong with the heart. They were mostly healthy, sporty and well prior to their illness. A considerable proportion had been infected while on skiing vacations. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 26.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Li, MD MMSc Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s HospitalMedicalResearch.com: Why did you do this study?Response: The accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 is critical for our patients in order to receive appropriate care, and for infection control and public health. In the US, the gold standard for COVID diagnosis is sampling through a nasopharyngeal swab (NP) but is that really the best way to diagnose COVID? As many of your viewers may have experienced first hand, nasopharyngeal swabs require inserting a long swab into the back of the nose, which is incredibly uncomfortable for the patient, technically-challenging for the health care worker, and requires equipment and reagents that are in short supply. There are also alternative sampling methods for COVID diagnosis. In Asia, oropharyngeal sampling(OP), or swabbing the back of the mouth, are commonly used and in my hospital, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, we frequently test sputum as well for inpatients. But there’s a lot of confusion in the field about which of these methods is the most sensitive? We undertook this study to try to bring some clarity to this question of what is the most sensitive way to diagnose COVID and detect SARS-CoV-2? (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 21.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gil Garnier PhD Director and Professor Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA) PALS ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub Department of Chemical Engineering Monash University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to develop a test that would be: 1) Reliable and fast to perform, 2) Easy and fast to manufacture, 3) Easy and fast to distribute and be adopted by the Health care community. We also wanted to capitalize on our vast expertise and experience from developing novel blood typing tests. Our strategy was to develop a serology COVID test using the current Gel card technology available in most hospital and blood laboratories throughout the world. Equipment and expertise are already available from point of care setting to high throughput/automated systems measuring 100-200 test/ h. Also, these cards are currently produced by many companies all over and these can be shipped all international. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abdi Ghaffari, Ph.D. Associate Professor (adjunct) Dept. of Pathology and Molecular Medicine Queen’s University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected millions and changed our way of life by placing nearly 3 billion people under lockdown or some form of physical isolation. In the absence of a vaccine or reliable treatment, diagnostic testing must be a pillar of public health policy to control further spread of the virus and to guide gradual removal of lockdown measures. COVID-19 antibody diagnostic tests are being increasingly used to assess the protective immunity status in the population. There are over 100 different COVID-19 antibody tests developed by companies worldwide in an effort to address this need. However, companies’ reported performance data are not always in line with the actual performance of these diagnostic tests in the real-world. In this work, we conducted a systemic review of independent studies (sponsored by academic or government institutions) that aimed to validate the performance of currently available COVID-19 antibody tests on the market.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rajan K. Chakrabarty, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering Washington University in Saint Louis MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At the onset of COVID-19, we developed a state-of-the-art epidemic progression model involving the susceptible, exposed, infected, and recovered (SEIR) dynamics, the age-stratified disease transmissibility, and the possible large-scale undocumented asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 taking place in the US states. By informing our model with using epidemiological COVID-19 data for the US between March 19 and 28 – a period corresponding to the early stage of the epidemic when the impacts of social distancing on disease progression were yet to manifest – we investigated: “What is the medical cost benefit of implementing social distancing as the “only” non-pharmaceutical intervention policy to combat COVID-19 in the US?” As part of this study, we investigated three social distancing strategies – indefinite, finite-duration, and intermittent – on age-stratified US population and benchmark its effectiveness in reducing the burden on hospital beds. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 10.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cinnamon A. Dixon, DO, MPHAssociate Professor of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Children’s Hospital ColoradoSenior Investigator | Center for Global Health Colorado School of Public Health Aurora, CO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this commentary? Response: Dog bites are a long-standing public health problem. Each year there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites across the Unites States (US),1 and global estimates suggest tens of millions of these injuries worldwide.2 Children are the most vulnerable population with nearly 1 million annual dog bites in the US and more severe injury outcomes.1 National organizations espouse consistent strategies on how to prevent dog bites to children, however studies reveal that most children have never received dog bite prevention education.3,4 Furthermore, children lack critical knowledge of how to prevent dog bites in high-risk “resource guarding” situations (such as when a dog is eating or chewing on toys).4 During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of US households are experiencing restrictions in activities. Children now spend more time in the home environment and presumably have increased exposure to their pet dogs. Parents and caregivers likely experience greater stress with more potential for competing interests and resultant decreased supervision of their children and dogs. Finally, pet dogs may be affected by the increased tension of their environment and be more likely to mirror the emotions of their human caregivers. We hypothesized that these combined elements compound the risk of dog bites to children during the COVID-19 pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections / 09.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zhifeng Ren PhD M. D. Anderson Chair Professor Department of Physics Director Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH University of Houston Texas 77204 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading in the whole world in the past a few months, has infected more than 12 million and killed more than 0.5 million people. We have to find an effective way to catch and kill the SARS-CoV-2 viruses to stop the spread before the vaccine is ready. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 09.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Syed Ali Husain, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York Presbyterian Hospital The Columbia University Renal Epidemiology Group New York, New YorkMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: One group of patients thought to be at a high risk of severe COVID-19 manifestations is kidney transplant recipients, since they take medications that suppress their immune system and they often have other medical problems that have been associated with severe infection. We wanted to understand whether it is safe to manage kidney transplant recipients who develop COVID-19 as outpatients, without admitting them to the hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 07.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH Center on Society and Health Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Richmond MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our concern since the pandemic began was that lives would be lost not only to the virus but also to the ripple effects of how society responds to the crisis, such as reduced access to health care, extreme economic hardships, and psychological stress.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 06.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samia Arshad, MPH Epidemiologist II Infectious Disease Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI I would like to start off by saying: We need to keep partisanship out of science. ​During this pandemic, we hope we can stick to science and help save lives with purposeful data driven facts. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial and immunomodulatory agent has demonstrated antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. We are in an acceleration phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 25% of the world’s cases occurring in the United States. Currently there is no known therapy or vaccine for treatment of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the urgency around identifying effective therapies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine therapy alone and in combination with azithromycin in hospitalized patients positive for COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, JAMA / 26.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Herman Anne MD Service de Dermatologie Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, several cases of acro-located lesions (on foot or hands) suggestive of chilblains have been reported and were possibly related to COVID-19. We wanted to determine if chilblains, observed in many patients recently referred to our department, are indicative of COVID-19. MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly explain what is meant by chilblains?Response: Chilblains are frequent cold induced inflammatory lesions. Chilblains are typically seen in winter and occur after repeated exposure to cold temperatures. Clinical presentation includes erythema and swelling on toes and/or digits followed by red-purple macules or patches. However, given the large number of patients affected, and the exceptionally high outdoor temperatures for the spring season over the past month and at the time of case-observation, cold-exposure seemed unlikely. These lesions were, therefore, suspected to be associated with COVID-19. However, to date, no study has proven a pathological link between these lesions and COVID-19. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease / 24.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Spyridon G. Deftereos MD PhD Prof. of Cardiology, Medical School National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Greece MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Research on COVID-19 early revealed that inflammation plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of the disease. Therefore, we designed GRECCO-19 study in order to evaluate the effect of colchicine, a relatively safe drug with known anti-inflammatory properties, in patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Sleep Disorders / 15.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Christine Blume PhD Centre for Chronobiology Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences Basel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In modern societies, human rest-activity rhythms and sleep are between the often-conflicting poles of external social time (e.g., work hours and leisure activities) and an individual’s internal biological time. This can lead to so-called “social jetlag”, which has repeatedly been associated with detrimental health effects. With the restrictions to control the pandemic, social timing relaxed as people many started working from home and public life came to a standstill. In an online survey with 435 respondents, we investigated the effects of the phase with the strictest COVID-19 restrictions on the relationship between social and biological rhythms as well as sleep during a six-week period (mid-March until end of April 2020) in three European societies (Austria, Germany, Switzerland). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 11.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robin Gelburd President, FAIR HealthMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have been under prolonged stress, including the financial stress of widespread deferral of elective procedures. To investigate the pandemic’s impact on professionals’ utilization and revenue, FAIR Health analyzed data from its database of over 31 billion private healthcare claim records, the nation’s largest such repository, which is growing by over 2 billion claim records per year.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Weight Research / 11.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Messiah, PhD, MPH Professor of epidemiology, human genetics, and environmental sciences UTHealth School of Public Health Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given that obesity is a prevalent, serious, complex, chronic, and relapsing disease, and severe obesity is a deepening crisis, it is important to pay special attention to these challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will avoid placing an even greater burden on individuals, health systems, and society in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase. Thus, it is critically important to document, in real time, how socioecological determinants of health are impacting behaviors among those with obesity. Before our study, how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting weight management, health behaviors, and psychosocial health in particular among people with obesity was unknown. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks, JAMA / 11.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohammad Sajadi, MD Associate Professor Institute of Human Virology Global Virus Network Center of Excellence University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, MD 21201MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Because of geographical proximity and significant travel connections, epidemiological modeling of the epicenter predicted that regions in Southeast Asia, and specifically Bangkok would follow Wuhan, and China in the COVID-19 epidemic. When we saw this did not happen, we suspected that SARS-CoV-2 might be acting like a seasonal respiratory virus.(more…)
Abuse and Neglect, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections / 10.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edmond A. Hooker, MD, DrPH Professor, Department of Health Services Administration MHSA Associate Director for Accreditation Xavier University Cincinnati, OhioMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Healthcare acquired infections are still a huge problem in the US. Most hospitals are not following the hospital bed manufacturers guidelines for cleaning these mattresses and bed decks (the metal bed frame). Many use only a single step, when the manufacturers recommend a 5-6 step process (pre-clean any obvious soil, clean, rinse off cleaner, disinfect, rinse off disinfectant, inspect mattress for damage). The problem is that, if done, this takes 45 minutes to 1 hours. Most hospitals turn over a hospital room in less than 30 minutes. The launderable bed cover allows the bed to be cleaned and turned over in minutes, not an hours.(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics / 04.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Terence Sanger MD Pediatric Neurology Vice president of Research and Chief Scientific Officer CHOC Children's UC Irvine School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the current pandemic, publicly available data on the prevalence of COVID-19 infection among healthcare workers has been limited. This study sought to determine the COVID-19 viral prevalence in a population of healthcare workers within a pediatric emergency department in Orange County, Calif., during a time interval that overlapped with the state’s projected peak coronavirus-related use of hospital resources. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections / 04.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joseph Roth Graduate Student Dr. Roman Engel-Herbert PhD Assoc. Prof. of Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry and Physics The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: UV disinfection is currently a hot topic as there have been many studies on its effectiveness against COVID-19. Typically, this disinfection is done with expensive, mercury containing gas discharge lamps that have major downsides including high power requirements, short lifetimes, and bulky form factors. Ideally these disinfection devices would be replaced with high performance UV LEDs that are far more energy efficient, long lasting, and compact. Currently the development of these LEDs is limited by a lack of effective UV transparent electrode materials. The introduction of an effective UV transparent electrode will greatly expedite the process of making UV disinfection devices widely available. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 02.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret A. Turk, MD Vice-Chairman, PM&R Distinguished Service Professor Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pediatrics, Public Health & Preventive Medicine SUNY Upstate Medical UniversityAll authors contributed to these responses. (Margaret A. Turk MD, Scott D. Landes PhD, Margaret K. Formica PhD, Katherine D. Goss MPH)MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Throughout this pandemic, there have been published reports related to vulnerable populations and severity of disease with COVID-19, however disability populations have not been studied. People with disabilities in fact report many of the risk factors for severe outcomes from this virus, usually at younger ages. One such population is people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), with estimates of 2.6 to 4 million people living in the US – and also with reported high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and pulmonary conditions. These comorbid health conditions are reported as common risk factors for severe outcomes with COVID-19, along with older age. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lancet / 02.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holger Schünemann, MD, PhD, FRCPC Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and of Medicine Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, Research Methods and Recommendations Director, Cochrane Canada and McMaster GRADE Centre Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact CanadaMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many countries and regions have issued conflicting advice about physical distancing to reduce transmission of COVID-19, based on limited information. In addition, the questions of whether masks and eye coverings might reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the general population, and what the optimum use of masks in healthcare settings is, have been debated during the pandemic. (more…)