Database Analyses May Find Supplemental Uses For Established Drugs In Cost-Effective Manner

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Fralick, MD FRCPC Research Fellow at the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Harvard University and General Internist at the University of Toronto

Dr. Fralick

Michael Fralick, MD FRCPC
Research Fellow at the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
Harvard University and
General Internist at the University of Toronto

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Manufacturers of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription drugs often apply for additional indications based on randomized trials. “Real-world” data based on a medication’s actual use and outcomes in routine settings of care might help to inform decision-making regarding such supplemental indications.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response:  In this non-randomized study we were able to replicate the results of the randomized trial that established the supplemental indication for telmisartan using data from a US healthcare database (insurance claims data) available at the time the randomized trial was completed.

We were also able to confirm the known decreased risk of angioedema with telmisartan compared to ramipril.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: If done selectively and with principled methodologies, it might be feasible to use non-randomized real-world data to provide supportive evidence in establishing supplemental drug indications. To improve the validity of the studies, they should ideally be registered prior to them starting.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We used real-world data to recreate both the benefits and the harms found in a randomized controlled trial. The randomized trial costed 10s of millions of dollars and took over 7 years to complete. By contrast, our study took a few months to complete and was a small fraction of the cost of the randomized trial.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Michael Fralick, Aaron S. Kesselheim, Jerry Avorn, Sebastian Schneeweiss. Use of Health Care Databases to Support Supplemental Indications of Approved Medications. JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 20, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.3919

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

miLOOP Uses Minimal Energy To Encapsulate and Remove Cataracts

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sean Ianchulev, MD MPH Chief Medical Officer VP of Medical Affairs and Business Development Transcend Medical 

Dr. Ianchulev

Sean Ianchulev, MD MPH
Chief Medical Officer
VP of Medical Affairs and Business Development
Transcend Medical 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Similar to MIGS stent technology for glaucoma, MiLOOP is a an application of micro-interventional technology for cataract surgery – allows the fragmentation of the lens with simple micro-interventional pen-like device which does not require complex, capital-intense phaco-emulsification…also it does not require vibrational energy

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

 Iantech introduces a micro-­interventional devices designed to deliver energy-­free endocapsular lens fragmentationResponse: That after 50 years of conventional phacoemulsification cataract technology, new breakthrough micro-interventional approaches are on the horizon.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies will evaluate whether micro-interventional approaches for cataract surgery can replace phacoemulsification equipment altogether.

Any disclosures?

I am the founder and Chairman of the company.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: Ianchulev S. Microinterventional cataract surgery. Presented at American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting; Nov. 11-14, 2017; New Orleans. 

 

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

TESLA Car May Not Trip Your Defibrillator

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Abdul Wase MD FACC FACP FHRS Clinical Professor of Medicine & Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Director, Electrophysiology Laboratories Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton, OH 

Dr. Wase

Abdul Wase MD FACC FACP FHRS
Clinical Professor of Medicine &
Director, Cardiology Fellowship Program,
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine,
Director, Electrophysiology Laboratories
Good Samaritan Hospital,
Dayton, OH

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD) patients are subject to electromagnetic interferences (EMI) from outside electrical sources.

TESLA electric vehicle has a large battery underneath the surface of vehicles, which may potentially interfere with the functioning of these devices. In the owner’s manual, TESLA warns that using mobile connector may impair the functioning of implantable pacemaker or a defibrillator.

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Machine Learning Applied To Predicting High-Risk Breast Lesions May Reduce Unnecessary Surgeries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Manisha Bahl, MD, MPH Director, Breast Imaging Fellowship Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bahl

Manisha Bahl, MD, MPH
Director, Breast Imaging Fellowship Program,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Assistant Professor of Radiology,
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Image-guided biopsies that we perform based on suspicious findings on mammography can yield one of three pathology results: cancer, high-risk, or benign. Most high-risk breast lesions are noncancerous, but surgical excision is typically recommended because some high-risk lesions can be upgraded to cancer at surgery. Currently, there are no imaging or other features that reliably allow us to distinguish between high-risk lesions that warrant surgery from those that can be safely followed, which has led to unnecessary surgery of high-risk lesions that are not associated with cancer.

We decided to apply machine learning algorithms to help us with this challenging clinical scenario: to distinguish between high-risk lesions that warrant surgery from those that can be safely followed. Machine learning allows us to incorporate the full spectrum of diverse and complex data that we have available, such as patient risk factors and imaging features, in order to predict which high-risk lesions are likely to be upgraded to cancer and, ultimately, to help our patients make more informed decisions about surgery versus surveillance.

We developed the machine learning model with almost 700 high-risk lesions, then tested it with more than 300 high-risk lesions. Instead of surgical excision of all high-risk lesions, if those categorized with the model to be at low risk for upgrade were surveilled and the remainder were excised, then 97.4% malignancies would have been diagnosed at surgery, and 30.6% of surgeries of benign lesions could have been avoided.

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Unique Heart Scan May Make Passwords Obsolete

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Wenyao Xu, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Computer Science & Engineering University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (SUNY)

Dr. Wenyao Xu

Dr. Wenyao Xu, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (SUNY) 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We try to resolve the challenge of Logging-in and logging-out tedious routine. We find it is possible to remotely “listen” to the heartbeat and recognize the user’s identity by using a novel doppler radar sensor.

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Virtual Cartoon Technology Can Ease Pediatric Anxiety in OR Before Anesthesia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Sunghee Han
Professor
Seoul National Unversity College of Medicine
Seoul National University Hospital
Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicin

What is the background for this new technology and study? What are the main findings?

Response: The time from patient arrival in the operating theatre to induction of general anesthesia is one of the most stressful moments for children undergoing surgery. Various strategies such as ‘pre-operative guided operating room tour’ or ‘therapeutic play intervention’ have been developed in order to reduce children’s pre-operative anxiety. Although these existing simulation-based approaches may be effective, they have not been widely used in real clinical settings with limited budget and resources such as manpower and space.

Virtual Reality(VR), a relatively new technology in the field of healthcare, can allow the user to experience an immersive environment. In this study, using VR technology, we provided the children with a realistic trip to the operating theatre accompanied by ‘My best friend’ Pororo. “Pororo, The Little Penguin” is a very famous cartoon character in Korea and Asia. Most children in Korea watch Pororo in TV, play with Pororo toys since early yeas and perceive Pororo as a ‘close friend’. In the VR content used in this study, Pororo acts as a patient and is subjected to anesthesia and surgery himself. Pororo kindly brings his friend(the viewer; paediatric patient) to the theatre and shows all that is going on in there.

Intervention with the VR content was able to reduce the level of anxiety in paediatric patients and promote collaborative behavior and acceptance of the invasive procedures, especially general anesthesia. Parental satisfaction level was also relatively higher in the VR group.

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Virtual Human Interviewers May Help Armed Services Members Open Up About PTSD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Gale Lucas, PhD Director of Research USC Institute for Creative Technologies Playa Vista, CA 

Dr. Lucas

Dr. Gale Lucas, PhD
Director of Research
USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Playa Vista, CA

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A common barrier to healthcare for psychiatric conditions is the stigma associated with these disorders. Perceived stigma prevents many from reporting their symptoms. Stigma is a particularly pervasive problem among military service members, preventing them from reporting symptoms of combat-related conditions like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This put them at risk for having their symptoms go untreated, with possible disastrous outcomes including suicide attempts. We envisioned a technology system – a virtual human interviewer – whereby military service members can get feedback about their risk for PTSD in a safe place without stigma. Indeed, our prior research has shown that, because its “just a computer” (therefore safe and anonymous), this virtual human interviewer helps people to feel safe discussing sensitive issues like mental health symptoms. In this follow-up research project (published in Frontiers), we sought to demonstrate the value of this kind of virtual human interviewer specifically for encouraging reporting of PTSD symptoms among service members.

Specifically, we were interested in comparing the willingness of service members to report symptoms of PTSD to our virtual human interviewer, compared to the gold standard of the Post Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA). We wanted to isolate the effect of anonymity, separating it from “relational factors” that the virtual human interviewer uses to encourage service members to open up. Indeed, before asking these same questions as on the PDHA to capture PTSD symptoms, the system engages in social dialogue, which build rapport with users. The system asks “get to know you questions,” and throughout the interview, engage in active listening with responses such as nods, smiles, saying “uh huh,” and other encouraging phrases like “that’s great.”

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Interactive Digital Tool Lungprint Aims To Help Asthma Sufferers Take Control Of Their Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Frank Trudo, MD, MBA Brand Medical Lead US Respiratory AstraZeneca

Dr. Trudo

Frank Trudo, MD, MBA
Brand Medical Lead US Respiratory
AstraZeneca

MedicalResearch.com: Would you tell us about Lungprint?  How will Lungprint help asthma patients take better control of their disease?

Response: Lungprint is an interactive digital tool that creates a dynamic visual representation of a person’s lungs based on their unique experiences with asthma. It is meant to provide people with asthma a better understanding of the role of asthma in their life and motivate them to have a more personalized conversation with their healthcare provider about the severity of their symptoms, a more individualized treatment plan and a blood test that measures eosinophil levels.

Each person’s Lungprint, which is generated as they respond to a digital questionnaire about their experience with asthma, will help reveal information about their individual experience with asthma. You can visit www.lungprint.com to learn more about the tool and create your own Lungprint.  Continue reading

Low Adverse Event Rates Related to the CardioMEMS Heart Failure System

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart &  Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Vaduganathan

Muthiah Vaduganathan, MD, MPH
Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart &
Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The CardioMEMS™ HF System (Abbott, Sylmar, CA) is a commercially-available, wireless hemodynamic monitor that can be permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) to permit real-time, remote monitoring of PA pressures to enhance clinical decision-making in patients with heart failure (HF). Based on a favorable safety profile and the results of the CHAMPION trial, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the device in May 2014. Since FDA approval, the device is being implanted in older patients with greater comorbidities compared with those enrolled in CHAMPION. Limited safety data are available after market introduction in this higher-risk pool.

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New Assay Can Distinguish Between Viral and Bacterial Infections in Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Alain Gervaix
Head of the Emergency Division
Department of Children and Adolescents
University Hospitals of Geneva
Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Many are familiar with the following ‘seemingly’ simple clinical dilemma that occurs on a daily basis across the world. A patient visits the doctor with a fever. Commonly, assigning a diagnosis comes down to deciding whether the infection is bacterial or viral. Accordingly, the doctor decides if to treat or not to treat with antibiotics. The problem is that bacterial and viral infections often present with very similar symptoms, causing uncertainty that leads to antibiotics being used, in many instances, when they are not needed. This antibiotic misuse contributes to the rise of antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest health threats of the 21st century.

Host biomarkers hold great promise as routine diagnostic tools that can assist doctors in making correct antibiotic treatment decisions, as they overcome key limitations of currently applied pathogen-based tests. Recently, a novel host-assay (ImmunoXpert™) for differentiating bacterial from viral infections was developed and validated to yield high sensitivity and specificity. The three-protein host-assay comprises tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), Interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (IP-10) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

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New Rapid Flu Tests Are Simple, Fast and Accurate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jesse Papenburg, MD MSc FRCPC FRQS Clinical Research Scholar Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, McGill University Div. of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Dept. of Microbiology Montreal Children’s Hospital Montreal, QC

Dr. Papenburg

Jesse Papenburg, MD MSc FRCPC
FRQS Clinical Research Scholar
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, McGill University
Div. of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Dept. of Microbiology
Montreal Children’s Hospital
Montreal, QC 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Influenza viruses cause yearly epidemics of acute respiratory illness affecting 5 to 30 percent of the population. Diagnosing influenza on the basis of only clinical symptoms is difficult because its manifestations vary and are nonspecific. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the gold standard for flu diagnosis, but these tests must be sent to a laboratory and have turnaround times that extend beyond the clinical encounter. Rapid and accurate diagnosis of influenza has the potential to improve patient outcomes and decrease health care costs.

Since 2011, two novel classes of rapid influenza diagnostic assays i.e., with results available in <30 minutes, have been commercialized with claims of improved sensitivities based on technological improvements: 1) automated immunochromatographic antigen detection tests (digital immunoassays, DIAs) and 2) rapid nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs).

Our systematic review and meta-analysis synthesized the available evidence and compared the diagnostic accuracy of commercially available rapid tests for the detection of influenza A and B infection:

  • Overall, the rapid tests displayed very high specificities (≥98%). Physicians can therefore diagnose influenza with confidence on the basis of a positive RIDT, DIA, or rapid NAAT result.
  • The pooled sensitivities for DIAs (80.0% for influenza A and 76.8% for influenza B) and rapid NAATs (91.6% for influenza A and 95.4% for influenza B) are markedly higher than those for RIDTs (54.4% for influenza A and 53.2% for influenza B).

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Small Kit Can Easily Detect Food Allergens On-Site

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lee, Hakho, PhD Department of Systems Biology Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Lee

Lee, Hakho, PhD
Department of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The incidence of food allergy is increasing worldwide, particularly among children, and yet no handy test is available for general public. We wanted to solve this issue. Our pilot test showed wide variation in allergen contents in packaged food products and restaurant meals. Hidden allergens (like gluten in salad dressing, likely from additives) were also found.

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American CryoStem – CRYO – Allows Individuals to Collect, Freeze and Store Their Stem Cells

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John Arnone, Chairman and CEO American CryoStem Corporation

John Arnone

John Arnone
Chairman and CEO

American CryoStem Corporation

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this your company American CryoStem?

Response: American CryoStem Corporation (CRYO) was founded in 2008, to allow individuals, researchers and physicians to collect-process-store stem cells derived from adipose tissue (fat) to prepare for their current or future use. Over the years the Company has become a biotechnology pioneer, standardizing adipose tissue derived technologies (Adult Stem Cells) for the fields of Regenerative and Personalized Medicine.

The Company operates a state-of-art, FDA-registered, clinical laboratory in New Jersey and licensed laboratories in Hong Kong, China and Tokyo, Japan, which operate on our proprietary platform, dedicated to the collection, processing, bio-banking, culturing and differentiation of adipose tissue (fat) and adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs)

CRYO maintains a strategic portfolio of intellectual property, 18 patents that surround the Companies proprietary technology which supports a growing pipeline of stem cell applications and biologic products. We are leveraging our proprietary platform and our developed product portfolio to create a domestic and global footprint of licensed laboratory affiliates, physicians networks and research organizations who purchase tissue collection, processing and storage services and consumables from the Company.

CRYO’s laboratory stem cell bank/line products are characterized adult human Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC’s) derived from adipose tissue that work in conjunction with our 13 patented (non-animal) medium lines.

The Company’s R&D efforts are focused on university and private collaborations to discover, develop and commercialize ADSC therapies by utilizing our standardized collection-processing-storage methodology and laboratory products combined with synergistic technologies to create jointly developed regenerative medicine applications and intellectual property.

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CALM Study Launches Trial of MobiusHD Carotid Implant For Resistant Hypertension

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gregg W. Stone MD Professor of Medicine Columbia University Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center Co-Director of Medical Research and Education The Cardiovascular Research Foundation New York, NY

Dr. Stone

Gregg W. Stone MD
Professor of Medicine
Columbia University
Director of Cardiovascular Research and Education
Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy
New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center
Co-Director of Medical Research and Education
The Cardiovascular Research Foundation
New York, NY


MedicalResearch.com:
How does the MobiusHD system work?

Response: The MobiusHD System is a thin stent-like device which is implanted during a minimally invasive procedure into the carotid artery. The MobiusHD modifies the activity of baroreceptors located in the carotid artery, increasing arterial vasodilation to reduce blood pressure.

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Using a Smartphone As a Portable Laboratory Is Closer Than We Think

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ken Long, MD/PhD student Department of Bioengineering Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois

Ken Long

Ken Long, MD/PhD student
Department of Bioengineering
Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Traditional laboratory-based spectrometers are a mainstay of clinical diagnostics.  In our recent Lab on a Chip article we sought to produce a handheld device that would be able to perform three broad classes of spectrometric tests that one might normally do in a laboratory (Transmission-based, Reflection-based, and Intensity-based) on a smartphone-based handheld device that could be used at the point-of-care.

Using high-resolution 3D printing, a custom optical fiber, and some off-the-shelf lenses, we were able to design, assemble, and demonstrate a device capable of reproducing results of traditional benchtop equipment when measuring results from commercially-available tests.  The device is small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, cost less than $550 to build the prototype, and has the ability to read multiple tests using the video-capture capabilities of the smartphone and a swiping motion with liquid test cartridges, much like swiping a credit card through a reader.  The two tests demonstrated in the paper were for a biomarker associated with pre-term birth in pregnant women, and a PKU test for newborns that can defect a critical nutritional enzyme deficiency.

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People Prefer Their Robots To Be Less Than Perfect

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mag. Nicole Mirnig PhD Research Fellow Center for Human-Computer Interaction University of Salzburg Salzburg, Austria

Nicole Mirnig 

Mag. Nicole Mirnig 
Research Fellow
Center for Human-Computer Interaction
University of Salzburg
Salzburg, Austria 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: From our previous research on social robots, we know that humans show observable reactions when a robot makes an error. These findings result from a video analysis we performed over a large data corpus from different human-robot interaction studies. With the study at hand, we wanted to replicate this effect in the lab in order to explore into more detail how humans react and what they think about a robot that makes a mistake.

Our main findings made us quite excited. First of all, we could show that humans respond to faulty robot behavior with social signals. Second, we found that the error-prone robot was perceived as significantly more likeable than the flawless robot.

One possible explanation for this finding would be the following. Research has shown that people form their opinions and expectations about robots to a substantial proportion on what they learn from the media. Those media entail movies in which robots are often portrayed as perfectly functioning entities (good or evil). Upon interacting with a social robot themselves, people adjust their opinions and expectations based on their interaction experience. We assume that interacting with a robot that makes mistakes, makes us feel closer and less inferior to technology.

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ASTER Study Opens Door To New Tool To Remove Clot in Ischemic Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bertrand LAPERGUE, MD, PhD
Hôpital Foch, University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelynes
Department of Stroke Center, Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
Suresnes, France.
Michel PIOTIN, MD
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
Fondation Rothschild, Paris, France.
on behalf of the ASTER Trial Investigators.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) with a stent retriever (SR), in association with intravenous (IV) rtPA, is now the standard of care in anterior circulation ischemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusion (LVO).

Favorable outcome is strongly associated with the successful reperfusion status (TICI 2b/3= 71% with SR, Hermes Study group).
New techniques for MT such as ADAPT (A Direct first pass Aspiration Technique) seem promising to increase reperfusion status and clinical outcome in retrospective studies.

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Cochlear Bridges the Technology Gap with First Made for iPhone Cochlear Implant Sound Processor

MedicalResearch.com Interview Provided on behalf of:
Jan Janssen, Senior Vice President Research and Development Cochlear LimitedJan Janssen, Senior Vice President

Research and Development
Cochlear Limited

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this device?

Response: Cochlear implants treat hearing loss by electrical stimulation of the hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged parts of the hearing pathway. Cochlear implants system consist out of an external sound processor that detects and processes the sounds and then sends them to the implant. The implant receives this information and turns it into electrical signals that are delivered to the hearing nerve and from there to the brain.

The Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor is the world’s first and only Made for iPhone cochlear implant sound processor, allowing users to stream sound from their iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® directly to their cochlear implant sound processor. It not only enhances the experience of talking on the phone, it also makes features like enjoying music or watching videos, as well as audio apps such as Maps or FaceTime, more easily accessible.

The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is also the smallest and lightest behind-the-ear sound processor on the market.

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Paper and Digital SAGE Brain Tests Equally Identify Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Douglas W. Scharre MD Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry Director Division of Cognitive Neurology, Department of Neurology  Director, Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders Director, Memory Disorders Research Center Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center  Columbus, OH

Dr. Douglas Scharre

Douglas W. Scharre MD
Professor of Clinical Neurology and Psychiatry Director, Division of Cognitive Neurology
Department of Neurology
Director, Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders
Director, Memory Disorders Research Center
Co-Director, Neuroscience Research Institute
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Columbus, OH

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) is a pen-and paper, valid and reliable cognitive assessment tool for identifying individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia. We published age and education normative data on SAGE and determined that one point be added to the scores when age over 79 and one point be added when education level is 12 years or less. We evaluated the identical test questions in digital format (eSAGE) made for tablet use, adjusted with previously published age and education norms, and determined eSAGE’s association with gold standard clinical assessments. eSAGE is commercially known as BrainTest.

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Mixed and Augmented Reality Can Facilitate Seamless Medical Communication

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Ian Williams PhD Associate Professor, DMT Lab Birmingham City University Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment Centre for Digital Media Technology Millennium Point Birmingham UK

Dr. Williams

Dr Ian Williams PhD
Associate Professor, DMT Lab
Birmingham City University
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Centre for Digital Media Technology
Millennium Point
Birmingham UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for your work?

Response: Our work at the DMT Lab (dmtlab.bcu.ac.uk) focuses on developing a novel Mixed Reality (MR) medical presentation platform which allows practitioners to interact with patient data and virtual anatomical models in real time. The system enables the presentation of medical data, models and procedures to patients with the aim of educating them on pending procedures or the effects of lifestyle choices (for example the effects of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption).

The system employs an exocentric mixed reality environment which can be deployed in any room. It integrates a medical practitioner in real time with multimodal patient data and the corresponding result is a real time co-located visualisation of both the practitioner and the data, which they can interact with in real time.  We implement a natural interaction method into the system which improves a user’s level of direct interaction with the virtual models and provides a more realistic control of the data.

The system can also be used in a fun educational setting where patients, students, children or any naive user, can learn about medical anatomical information via a real-time interactive mixed reality “body scanner”. This fun system overlays the MR information onto their own body in real-time and shows them scaled and interactive virtual organs, anatomy and corresponding medical information. We are aiming for this system to be used not only in patient education but also in engaging and informing people on lifestyle choices.

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Novo Nordisk and Glooko Launch Cornerstones4Care® App To Help Manage Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Moore MBA Senior Vice President of Marketing Novo Nordisk 

David Moore

David Moore MBA
Senior Vice President of Marketing
Novo Nordisk 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the Cornerstones4Care Powered by Glooko (C4C) App?

Response: The Cornerstones4Care® Powered by Glooko® App marries Novo Nordisk’s extensive knowledge of diabetes and personalized patient support with Glooko’s digital platform and data analytics expertise. The App is comprehensive tool that helps patients track meals, activity, medicine and blood sugar – in one convenient place – and is intended to help people learn how to better manage diabetes through their mobile devices.

MedicalResearch.com: What functions will people with diabetes have access to? How can the app help people living with diabetes control their disease?   

Response: The Cornerstones4Care® Powered by Glooko® App marries Novo Nordisk’s extensive knowledge of diabetes and personalized patient support with Glooko’s digital platform and data analytics expertise. The App is comprehensive tool that helps patients track meals, activity, medicine and blood sugar – in one convenient place – and is intended to help people learn how to better manage diabetes through their mobile devices.

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Pokémon Go! Promotes Walking and Decreases Sitting Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., College of Education, Health and Human Services Kent State

Dr. Barkley

Jacob Barkley, Ph.D.,
College of Education, Health and Human Services
Kent State 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Our group has demonstrated that cellular telephone (cell phone) use is positively associated with sedentary behavior (i.e., sitting). To that end, high cell phone users sit for 80 to 100 minutes longer than their lower-use peers. We have also shown that cell phone use during exercise decreases exercise intensity and slows free-living walking speed. In other words, cell use may be comparable to traditional sedentary screen use in that it promotes sitting and may interfere with physical activity. However, some cell phone functions may actually promote positive health behaviors.

Fitness apps, connecting with active peers and administering health recommendations via the cell phone all may have utility in promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior. While not well studied, novel physically-interactive cell phone games may also promote physical activity. One such game, Pokémon Go! requires users to walk through real environments and locate avatars in the game using GPS. The purpose of the game is to find these avatars. In order to find more avatars, the player will need to walk to more areas. Therefore, playing Pokémon Go! may promote walking.

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Self Driving Cars Can Be Programmed To Make Moral Decisions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leon Sütfeld
The Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Osnabrück 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Self-driving cars, and especially future fully autonomous cars, pose a number of ethical challenges. One of these challenges is making the “right” decision when it comes to a so-called dilemma situation, in which a collision is unavoidable (or highly probable), but a decision can be made as to which of multiple different collisions to choose. Our study assesses the behavior of human participants in such dilemma situations and evaluates algorithmic models that are trained on this data to make predictions.

Our main findings are that in a controlled virtual reality environment, the decisions of humans are fairly consistent and can be well described by simple value-of-life models.

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Refined Deep Brain Stimulation Turns On ‘As Needed’ To Treat Tremors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Howard Jay Chizeck ScD Professor, Electrical Engineering Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering Co-Director UW Biorobotics Laboratory Graduate Program in Neuroscience UW CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow Research Thrust Testbed Co-Leader

Prof. Chizeck

Howard Jay Chizeck ScD
Professor, Electrical Engineering
Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering
Co-Director UW Biorobotics Laboratory
Graduate Program in Neuroscience
UW CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow
Research Thrust Testbed Co-Leader

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Essential Tremor is treated using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in some patients. Current clinical practice involves Deep Brain Stimulation with an “always on” stimulation. This causes extra battery drain, because stimulation is applied when not needed. Also excessive stimulation is not necessarily a good thing,

Our work is aimed at adjusting the stimulation, so that it comes on and turns off only when needed to suppress tremor symptoms.

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Dissolvable Microneedle Patches Can Be Vaccination Game Changer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Nadine G Rouphael MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University
Director of the VTEU and HIPC networks at the
Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center
Decatur GA 30030, USA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this new technology and study? What are the main findings?

Response: Different groups including a group of researchers at Georgia Tech have been working on the microneedle technology for more than 20 years. The dissolvable microneedle patches are already used in several cosmetic products and drugs. However, vaccination with microneedle patches has been studied mostly in animals.

Our phase 1 trial published this week in The Lancet showed that vaccination with the microneedle patches was safe, with no related serious adverse events reported. Local skin reactions to the patches were mostly mild itching and faint redness that lasted two to three days. No new chronic medical illnesses or influenza-like illnesses were reported with either the patch or the injection groups. Antibody responses generated by the vaccine, as measured through analysis of blood samples, were similar in the groups vaccinated using patches and those receiving intramuscular injection, and these immune responses were still present after six months. When asked after immunization, more than 70 percent of patch recipients reported they would prefer patch vaccination over injection or intranasal vaccination for future vaccinations.

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Lost Your Connection? Internet Withdrawal Can Mirror Addiction Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Phil Reed,  D.Phil. Professor Psychology Swansea University

Dr. Reed

Dr. Phil Reed,  D.Phil.
Professor Psychology
Swansea University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Problematic internet use has been a growing concern for many people and bodies over the last decade, and more study has been requested into various aspects of this possible disorder.  One of the key questions is whether people overuse the internet, due to an addiction.  If it is an addiction, then there should be signs of withdrawal when people, who report having this problem, stop using the internet.  In this study, 144 participants, aged 18 to 33, had their heart rate and blood pressure measured before and after a brief internet session.  Their anxiety and self-reported internet addiction were also assessed.

The results showed increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure on terminating the internet session for those with problematically-high internet usage.  These increases in physiological arousal were mirrored by increased feelings of anxiety.  However, there were no such changes for those participants who reported no internet-usage problems.

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Engineering New Vasculature Could Revolutionize Root Canal Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Avathamsa Athirasala, MSE and
Luiz E. Bertassoni, DDS PhD

Biomaterials and Biomechanics, School of Dentistry
Center for Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine
Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine
Portland OR 97201 USA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Current clinical practices for root canal treatment involve replacing the damaged tissue with inert, synthetic materials. While these procedures are able to arrest infection and decay in the tooth, they do not restore its biological function causing it to become weaker and more prone to fractures.

We are focused on the regeneration of pulp tissue instead and in this study, we have developed a strategy to apply tissue-engineering concepts to engineer dental pulp-like tissue constructs, complete with blood vessels, which can, in principle, integrate with existing vasculature when introduced at the site of injury and form healthy pulp tissue. Continue reading

AEDs Delivered By Drones May Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“drones” by Andrew Turner is licensed under CC BY 2.0Andreas Claesson, RN, Paramedic

PhD Centre for resuscitation science
Karolinska institute
Stockholm, Sweden.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is low, the technology is existing. When implementing this kind of system with a drone equipped with an AED, defibrillation may occur at an early stage and before EMS arrival mainly in rural areas.

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VR/AR May Help Physicians Overcome Cognitive Biases To Admitting Errors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jason Han, MD Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Han

Jason Han, MD
Resident, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The inspiration for this study comes from my personal experience as a medical student on clinical rotations. Despite having been a victim of a medical error while growing up myself, I found it extraordinarily difficult to admit to even some of my smallest errors to my patients and team. Perplexed by the psychological barriers that impeded error disclosure, I began to discuss this subject with my advisory Dean and mentor, Dr. Neha Vapiwala. We wanted to analyze the topic more robustly through an academic lens and researched cognitive biases that must be overcome in order to facilitate effective disclosure of error, and began to think about potential ways to implement these strategies into the medical school curriculum with the help of the director of the Standardized Patient program at the Perelman School of Medicine, Denise LaMarra.

We ultimately contend that any educational strategy that aims to truly address and improve error disclosure must target the cognitive roots of this paradigm. And at this point in time, simulation-based learning seems to be the most direct way to do so, but also remain hopeful that emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality may offer ways for students as well as staff to rehearse difficult patient encounters and improve.

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New Technology May Allow Topical Delivery of Anti-VEGF Drugs For Macular Degeneration

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Felicity de Cogan PhD</strong> Institute of Inflammation and Ageing University of Birmingham

Dr Felicity de Cogan

Dr Felicity de Cogan PhD
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
University of Birmingham

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The University of Birmingham has a unique approach to developing technologies. By locating chemists, engineers, biologists and clinicians in the same department it revolutionised the way research problems are solved.

Initially, Felicity de Cogan was researching cell penetrating peptides (CPP) and their uses in microbiology. However, after joining forces with Neuroscientists, Dr Lisa Hill and Professor Ann Logan at the National Institute for Health Research Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (NIHR SRMRC) together with the clinicians and Vision Scientists, Dr Mei Chen and Professor Heping Xu at the Queen’s University Belfast it became evident that there was huge potential to deliver drugs in the eye. This was the start of the project and it developed rapidly from there.

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Virtual Reality Environments Can Advance Psychiatric Treatment and Research

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jessica Maples-Keller Emory University School of Medicine.

Jessica Maples-Keller

Jessica Maples-Keller
Emory University School of Medicine.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  This manuscript is a review of the use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology within psychiatric treatment. VR refers to an advanced technological communication interface in which the user is actively participated in a computer generated 3-d virtual world that includes sensory input devices used to simulate real-world interactive experiences. VR is a powerful tool for the psychiatric community, as it allows providers to create computer-generated environments in a controlled setting, which can be used to create a sense of presence and immersion in the feared environment for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders.
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Do Our Genes Influence Our Attraction to Social Media?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chance York, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Kent State University

Dr. Chance York

Chance York, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
Kent State University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This research used twin study survey data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) to investigate the relative influence of genetics and environment on social media use.

While the research cannot directly examine the gene-level influence on social media behavior, I was able to leverage known levels of genetic relatedness between identical and fraternal twins to suss out how much genetic traits and environmental factors impact frequency of using social media.

The results showed that between one- and two-thirds of variance in social media use is explained by genes, while environmental factors (parental socialization, peers, work, school, individual characteristics, etc.) explained the rest. In other words, this very specific communication behavior—social media use—is partially guided by our genetic makeup.

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Using Virtual Reality To Teach Medical Student Empathetic Communication Skills

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Frederick W. Kron, MD

President and Founder of Medical Cyberworlds, Inc
Department of Family Medicine,Ann Arbor, MI and
Michael D. Fetters, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.
Professor of Family Medicine
University of Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this technology and study?

Dr. Kron: Communication is the most important component of the doctor-patient relationship. I know that through research, but also through personal experience. As a cancer survivor, I’ve seen first-hand the difference that outstanding communication skill can make to a vulnerable patient.

At the beginning of the project, we asked medical educators about the challenges they had in assessing and training communication competency. They told us that technical skills are easy to teach and assess, but communication skills are mainly behavioral skills that involve verbal and nonverbal behaviors, facial expressions, and many other cues that pass between patient and provider. That’s hard to teach and assess. Activities like role play with standardized patients (SPs) have been widely used, but it’s impossible for SPs to accurately portray these behaviors, or for faculty to fully assess the nuanced behaviors of both learner and patient. Supporting this idea is a lack of evidence proving that SP encounters translate in behavioral changes or transfer into clinical settings.

Developments in virtual reality provided us with a great opportunity for assessing and teaching of communication behaviors. Working with a national group of experts, we created computer-based Virtual Humans that interact with learners using the full range of behaviors you’d expect from two people talking together. They are so behaviorally realistic and compelling, that they trigger emotional responses in learners, and make learners want to learn so they can do their best.

Dr. Fetters: Our team has particular interest in doctor-patient communication in the context of cancer. There are many critical aspects of cancer communication: breaking the bad news to the patient, negotiating sometimes conflicting family opinions about treatment, and communication among team members about the patient’s care, just to name a few. We’ve begun building out those scenarios in the technological platform we developed, Mpathic-VR.

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Noninvasive Patch Test Can Improve Clinical Diagnosis of Melanoma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD</strong> Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute Director of Clinical Trials, Department of Dermatology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Laura K. Ferris

Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Director of Clinical Trials
Department of Dermatology
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We found that a non-invasive adhesive patch applied to the skin over a pigmented skin lesion allowed us to capture enough genetic material from the lesion to analyze and predict if that lesion is likely to be melanoma, meaning a biopsy is warranted, or if it is likely benign, meaning the patient would not need a skin biopsy.

In this study, we asked dermatologists to use their clinical judgement to decide if they would recommend biopsying a skin lesion based on photos and information about the lesion and the patients, such as the patient’s age, personal and family history of skin cancer, and if the lesion was new or changing. We then provided them the read out of the gene test and asked them how this influence their decision. We found that with this test result, dermatologists were more accurate in their decision making, meaning they were more likely to recommend biopsy of melanomas and less likely to biopsy harmless moles than they were without the test. This is important as it means this test has the potential to reduce the number of unnecessary skin biopsies performed, saving patients from undergoing a procedure and having a scar as a result, without increasing the risk of missing a melanoma.

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Human Stem Cells Can Be Used For 3-D Printing of Tissue Stuctures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sang Jin Lee, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Wake Forest School of Medicine Wake Forest University

Dr. Sang Jin Lee

Sang Jin Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Wake Forest University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: I received my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea in 2003 and took a postdoctoral fellowship in the Laboratories for Tissue Engineering and Cellular Therapeutics at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine where I am currently a faculty member. My research works have focused on development of smart biomaterial systems that support the regenerative medicine strategies and approaches. These biomaterial systems combined with drug/protein delivery system, nano/micro-scaled topographical feature, or hybrid materials that could actively participate in functional tissue regeneration. Recently my research works utilize 3D bioprinting strategy to manufacture complex, multi-cellular living tissue constructs that mimic the structure of native tissues. This can be accomplished by optimizing the formulation of biomaterials to serve as the scaffolding for 3D bioprinting, and by providing the biological environment needed for the successful delivery of cells and biomaterials to discrete locations within the 3D structure.

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AI Can Be Embedded With Universally Accepted Human Biases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Aylin Caliskan PhD Center for Information Technology Policy Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Dr. Caliskan

Aylin Caliskan PhD
Center for Information Technology Policy
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Researchers have been suggesting that artificial intelligence (AI) learns stereotypes, contrary to the common belief that AI is neutral and objective. We present the first systematic study that quantifies cultural bias embedded in AI models, namely word embeddings.

Word embeddings are dictionaries for machines to understand language where each word in a language is represented by a 300 dimensional numeric vector. The geometric relations of words in this 300 dimensional space make it possible to reason about the semantics and grammatical properties of words. Word embeddings represent the semantic space by analyzing the co-occurrences and frequencies of words from billions of sentences collected from the Web. By investigating the associations of words in this semantic space, we are able to quantify how language reflects cultural bias and also facts about the world.

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Sonoillumination May Expand Skin Types That Can Be Treated With Laser Therapy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Paul J.D. Whiteside, doctoral candidate and Dr. Heather Hunt, assistant professor of bioengineering University of Missouri

Dr. Heather Hunt and Paul Whiteside

Paul J.D. Whiteside, doctoral candidate and
Dr. Heather Hunt, assistant professor of bioengineering
University of Missouri

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this technology? What are the barriers to the use of conventional laser treatment of tattoos?

Response: Traditional laser treatments rely on the concept of selective photothermolysis (laser-induced heating) to specifically target certain structures for treatment, while leaving other parts of the skin unaffected. The problem with traditional laser treatments is that the laser needs to transmit through the epidermis, which acts as a barrier to laser transmission both due to its reflective properties and because it is filled with light-absorbing melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its color. Sonoillumination acts to change the properties of the epidermis temporarily using painless ultrasound technology, thereby allowing more laser light to penetrate deeper into the skin to impact desired targets, such as hair follicles, tattoos, and blood vessels. Funding for clinical trials is currently being sought to provide evidence for what we surmise may be benefits of this technology relative to traditional laser treatments. These benefits may include being able to treat darker-skinned people more effectively, being able to provide laser therapy with less risk of scarring or pigment changes, and being able to do treatments with less discomfort, fewer treatments, and lower laser energy settings.

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One Drop | Mobile APP Leads To Improved A1c in Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chandra Y. Osborn, PhD, MPH
VP, Health & Behavioral Informatics
One Drop
Informed Data Systems, Inc.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There are over 1,500 mobile apps for people with diabetes, but minimal evidence on their benefit. The One Drop | Mobile app launched in April 2015. Users manually and automatically track their blood glucose and self-care activities via One Drop’s | Chrome glucose meter, other Bluetooth-enabled meters, CGMs or other health apps. Users leverage One Drop’s food library, medication scheduler, automatic activity tracking, educational content, recipes, health tips, user polls, and peer support (‘likes’, stickers, and data sharing), and can set blood glucose, medication, carbohydrate intake, and activity goals, receive data-driven insights to draw connections between their behaviors, goals, and blood glucose readings. They can also self-report and track their hemoglobin A1c (A1c) and weight.

In July 2016, we queried data on ~50,000 people using One Drop | Mobile. In March 2017, we queried data on >160,000 users. Only users who had entered an A1c value when they started using the app, and entered a second A1c at least 60 days apart, but no more than 365 days apart, were included. In July 2016, people with diabetes using One Drop | Mobile reported a nearly 0.7% reduction in A1c during 2-12 months of using One Drop. In March 2017, users reported a 1.0% reduction in A1c for the same timeframe. A more recent diabetes diagnosis and using One Drop to track self-care activities was associated with more A1c improvement.

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Diabetic Retinopathy: OCTA May Improve Staging, Diagnosis and Monitoring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology University of Coimbra, Portugal President of AIBILI Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Research Coordinator, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases, European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net)

Dr. Cunha-Vaz

José Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology
University of Coimbra, Portugal
President of AIBILI
Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image
Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmic Research
Coordinator, Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinal Vascular Diseases,
European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR.net) 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In this study, we evaluated the clinical utility of quantitative measures of microvasculature in optical coherence tomographic angiography (OCTA). Although several studies have demonstrated the potential value of measures of microvasculature in the management of diabetic retinopathy (DR), our study uses the ROC curve to compare the overall value of different approaches. In this age matched population with a range of disease, the mean vessel density measured in the SRL had the highest AUC, indicating that it is best among the methods tested at differentiating normal eyes from eyes with diabetic retinopathy.

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Virtual Realty Clarifies Location of Empathy in the Brain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Indrajeet Patil PhD

former PhD student at SISSA, Trieste and
currently a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Human societies are built on mutually beneficial cooperation, which relies on our prosocial and altruistic impulses to help each other out. Psychologists have been trying to understand the psychological basis of altruistic behavior for a while now, but studying costly altruism – a kind of helping behavior in which the altruist pays a heavy price to help others – has been difficult to study in lab settings given the ethical problems associated with creating any paradigm where participants stand to get hurt. Thus, the question is how do you study the motivation behind acts that involve a very high risk of physical injury to the self while helping others? Such situations are common in emergency contexts where people can be faced with the choice of either saving their own life or risking it to save someone else’s life.

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New Recording System Enables Identification of Complex Cardiac Arrhythmias

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jay Millerhagen

Jay Millerhagen

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC): Clinical Electrophysiology (JACC CEP) publication entitled, “Novel Electrophysiology Recording System Enables Specific Visualization of the Purkinje Network and Other High-Frequency Signals” reports important findings obtained using BioSig Technologies’ PURE EP System during a series of pre-clinical studies conducted at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. These studies are part of a company-funded Advanced Research Program announced on March 28, 2016. The JACC CEP manuscript provides an excellent example of the PURE EP System’s ability to record challenging high frequency signals known as Purkinje potentials. These signals are of great interest to electrophysiologists when assessing arrhythmia syndromes dependent on the Purkinje network.

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ASTER Trial Supports Aspiration Of Clots in Acute Ischemis Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michel Piotin, MD PhD Principal investigator and interventional neuroradiologis Rothschild Fondation Hospital Paris

Dr. Michel Piotin

Michel Piotin, MD PhD
Principal investigator and Interventional Neuroradiologist
Rothschild Fondation Hospital, Paris 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) with a stent retriever (SR), in association with intravenous rtPA, is now the standard of care in anterior circulation ischemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusion

Thrombectomy (MT) with a stent retriever (SR), in association with intravenous (IV) rtPA, is now the standard of care in anterior circulation ischemic stroke caused by large vessel occlusion. Favorable outcome is strongly associated with the successful reperfusion status. New techniques for MT such as ADAPT (A Direct first pass Aspiration Technique) is promising to increase reperfusion status and clinical outcome in retrospective studies. Our study objective was to determine which technique should be used in frontline strategy (ADAPT or Stent Retriever) to achieve maximum reperfusion. The ASTER study is the first independent large randomized controlled trial focusing on ADAPT technique with blinded assessment data.

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Medtronic Pipeline Embolization Device Found Safe For Smaller Aneurysms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ricardo A Hanel, MD PhD Endovascular and Skull Base Neurosurgery Director, Baptist Neurological Institute Endowed Chair, Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery Jacksonville, FL

Dr. Hanel

Ricardo A Hanel, MD PhD
Endovascular and Skull Base Neurosurgery
Director, Baptist Neurological Institute
Endowed Chair, Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery
Jacksonville, FL

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Medtronic Pipeline Embolization Device has been approved for carotid artery aneurysms over 10mm in size, from the petrous to clinoid segment but given the efficacy of results on these larger lesions, it has been widely utilized for treatment of smaller lesions. PREMIER came from the need of assessing the results , safety and efficacy, of pipeline for use of aneurysms under 12mm, located on the carotid artery, all segments, and V3 segment of the vertebral artery.
PREMIER enrolled 141 patients treated at 22 centers (21 US, 1 Canada). Primary Safety effectiveness defined as total aneurysm occlusion, core lab adjudicated , at 1 year was 83.5%; with safety endpoint of major stroke/death at 30 days of 1.4% (2 patients), with 1-year major stroke and death rate of 2.1%.

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Radiofrequency Therapy For The Treatment Of Vaginal Laxity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Michael Krychman

Dr. Michael Krychman

Dr. Krychman is Executive Director, President, and CEO of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a Member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and a Certified Sexual Counselor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). He served as a member of the Standards Committee for the International Society for Sexual Medicine during their 2016 International Consensus Meeting.  

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this technology and study? What are the main findings?

Response: Viveve Medical, Inc. is a women’s health and wellness company committed to advancing new solutions to improve women’s overall well-being and quality of life.  The internationally patented Viveve® technology and the GENEVEVE™ treatment, incorporates clinically-proven, cryogen-cooled monopolar radiofrequency (CMRF) energy to uniformly deliver non-ablative, deep penetrating volumetric heat into the submucosal layer of the vaginal introitus (opening) while gently cooling surface tissue to generate robust neocollagenesis.  One 30-minute in-office session tightens and restores the tissue around the vaginal introitus addressing the common medical condition of vaginal laxity and can improve a woman’s sexual function.

VIVEVE I is a landmark study.  Results of the VIVEVE I clinical study, “Effect of Single-Treatment, Surface-Cooled Radiofrequency Therapy on Vaginal Laxity and Female Sexual Function: The VIVEVE I Randomized Controlled Trial,” were recently published in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine (JSM) under the Female Sexual Function category.   Some of my high-level thoughts to reiterate from this study are:

It is the first-ever large, randomized, sham-controlled study to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of energy-based procedures in gynecological applications, including vaginal laxity, which is a significant medical condition affecting millions of women worldwide that may lead to a reduction in sexual function.

The primary endpoint of the VIVEVE I study was a comparison of the proportion of women reporting no vaginal laxity in the treatment group versus the sham group at 6 months post-treatment.

Subjects receiving the active treatment were three times more likely to report no vaginal laxity at six months versus the sham group (p-value = 0.006).

Statistically significant and sustained improvement in sexual function (baseline FSFI total score ≤26.5) after a single treatment, with an adjusted mean difference in the active group vs sham group of 3.2 at 6 months (p-value = 0.009). “Placebo Effect” in the sham group did not rise above dysfunctional (FSFI ≤26.5) and diminished at 6 months.

Statistically significant improvement in sexual function was achieved in 93% of subjects in the active group vs the sham group in two individual key domains of FSFI (p-value = 0.007).

Bottom line: Geneveve is a safe effective treatment that can be performed as an outpatient in one 30-minute visit to improve sexual function as it has been affected by vaginal laxity.

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Brain–Computer Interface Allows Communication With Locked-In Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ujwal Chaudhary, PhD Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany

Dr. Ujwal Chaudhary

Dr. Ujwal Chaudhary, PhD
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology
University of Tübingen
Tübingen, Germany

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which causes an Individual to be in Locked-in state (LIS), i.e. the patients have control of their vertical eye movement and blinking, and ultimately in Completely Locked-in state (CLIS), i.e, no control over their eye muscle. There are several assistive and augmentative (AAC) technology along with EEG based BCI which can be used be by the patients in LIS for communication but once they are in CLIS they do not have any means of communication.  Hence, there was a need to find an alternative learning paradigm and probably another neuroimaging technique to design a more effective BCI to help ALS patient in CLIS with communication.

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We Spend More Time on Facebook Than We Think

Dr-Lazaros-Gonidis.jpg

Dr Dinkar Sharma and Dr. Lazaros Gonidis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lazaros Gonidis PhD candidate
Postgraduate Researcher
University of Kent

MedicalResearch.com: In general, why do we tend to underestimate time when we are distracted versus when we are doing something boring? Is the adage that “time flies when you’re having fun” true?

Response:  In order to be accurate at time “keeping” we need to attend to it. Anything that distracts us makes us less accurate, and to be more specific, it makes us underestimate the duration of events. In simple terms when we experience an event that last 10 minutes a distraction could make it feel like 5 minutes. On the other hand when we are bored, let’s say during a non-interesting event, we tend to focus more on time keeping looking forward for the event to finish. In this case we would overestimate the event and 10 minutes could feel like 15 minutes.

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Moderate Screen Time Didn’t Increase Behavioral Problems in Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson PhD Professor of Psychology Stetson University

Dr. Christopher Ferguson

Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson PhD
Professor of Psychology
Stetson University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The degree to which screen time influences youth across a variety of behavioral outcomes has been a source of debate and contention for decades. For many years the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended to parents that they allow older children no more than 2 hours of screen time per day. However, this number was never clearly based on good data. And in 2014 one study (Przybylski, 2014 in Pediatrics) suggested that ties between screen time and behavioral outcomes were very weak, and only seen for the most extreme screen users. So I was curious to see if these results would replicate for a large sample of US youth.

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Simulating Tumour Growth and Angiogenic Response Towards Improving Delivery of Cancer Therapies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Vasileios Vavourakis Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow Centre for Medical Image Computing Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering Front Engineering Building, Malet Place University College London WC1E 6BT, London, UK

Vasileios Vavourakis

Vasileios Vavourakis
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
Centre for Medical Image Computing
Department of Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering
Front Engineering Building, Malet Place
University College London
WC1E 6BT, London, UK 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is already known that chemical factors play an important role in pathological angiogenesis, the process whereby cancer induces the formation of new blood vessels to provide it with nutrients. However, there is little knowledge about how mechanical forces induced by tumour growth affect the development and functionality of this pathological vasculature. By developing a mathematical & computational model – also referred in the research community as in-silico model – of the physical and chemical interactions occurring during angiogenic cancerous growth, we aimed to provide insights about how mechanical forces influence cancer-induced angiogenesis. The most important finding of our study is that mechanical forces play a key role in solid tumour-induced angiogenesis.

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Racial Disparities in Use of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy With ICD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lucas Marzec MD Instructor of Medicine Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology Division of Cardiology University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045

Dr. Lucas Marzec

Lucas Marzec MD
Instructor of Medicine
Section of Cardiac Electrophysiology
Division of Cardiology
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, CO 80045

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The addition of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) to an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) reduces the risk of mortality and heart failure events in select patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Given these benefits, it is important to ensure patients who have a guideline recommendation for CRT are considered for this therapy at the time of ICD implantation. Previously, little data were available on the contemporary use of CRT among guideline eligible patients undergoing ICD implantation.
Although ICDs alone reduce the risk of mortality in patients with heart failure and reduced systolic function, prior work shows these devices are not uniformly provided to eligible patients and that rates of ICD implantation vary widely by hospital. Prior to our study, it was unknown whether similar variation in the use of the combination of ICD and CRT (CRT-D) exists.

We analyzed data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) ICD Registry to identify patient, provider, and hospital characteristics associated with CRT-D use and to determine the extent of hospital level variation in the use of CRT-D among patients eligible for CRT undergoing implantation of an ICD.

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Continuous Glucose Monitoring System Improves Blood Sugar Control in Type 1 Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Marcus Lind

Associate Professor of Diabetology at the University of Gothenburg
Gothenburg, Sweden
Chief Physician of Diabetology, Uddevalla Hospital
Uddevalla, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This was a randomized trial over 16 months (cross-over study with 26 weeks of each treatment and a between wash-out period of 17 weeks) of 161 persons with type 1 diabetes. The main purpose was to evaluate whether a “diabetes tool”, denoted continuous glucose monitoring improves the glycaemic control, known to be essential to lower risks for diabetic complications such as injuries on eyes, kidneys, nerves and the cardiovascular system. The study also evaluated whether the glucose could be stabalised, i.e. having less fluctutations (beside the average level per se) and whether well-being, treatment satisfaction and feeling more confident in the daily living to avoid low glucose values which lead influence the cognitive function and can lead to unconciousness. Earlier trials exist of this therapy in connection to insulin pumps. But it has not been tested in randomized trials with persons only using multiple daily insulin injections to administer insulin which is the most common therapy among adults with type 1 diabetes.

Another novelty is that the current CGM-system (DexCom G4) has earlier shown a high accuracy and positive treatment experience among persons with type 1 diabetes, but it has not been tested in long-term randomized trials. Of note this trial was performed among adults with type 1 diabetes.

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a system where the patient has a sensor subcutaneously that he/she easily can change every week. It estimates the glucose level every minute and shows values on a hand-held small monitor (size of a small cell-phone) and whether the glucose levels are rising or declining. The hypothesis with the study is that if the patient has continuous information of the glucose level and trends it will improve treatment variables. The comparison group was that patients got information of their glucose control via capillary finger sticks which has been the general treatment for a long time period but can only be made at certain occasions since a procedure where blood must be taken from the finger tips.

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