Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer / 17.12.2020 Interview with: Robert Van Haren, MD, MSPH College of Medicine University of Cincinnati What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all areas of society including the field of oncology. This study evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on lung cancer screening. Screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans are important because they reduce lung cancer mortality by at least 20%. Our lung cancer screening program was closed in March 2020 due to COVID 19 and reopened again in June 2020. We cancelled over 800 LDCTs during that time period. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.12.2020 Interview with: Xiaolei Yang The State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics, Institute of Mechanics School of Engineering Sciences University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China hallway-air-flow.jpeg What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The most important finding of this study is that the transmission of COVID-19 is highly influenced by the airflow and that a slight difference in the airflow can significantly alter the virus spreading pattern in the air. In this study, the change of airflow is caused by a minor difference in the corridor width and the walking speed. However, such a change can also come from other factors, such as the indoor architectural structure, the temperature, the humidity, etc. In many of these cases, the common guideline of 6-feet may not be enough when the influence of airflow is taken into account. Due to this complexity, there is still a gap of knowledge to fill before a safety guideline for different indoor environments can be provided to the public, many research efforts are needed from the fluid mechanics’ aspect. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, OBGYNE / 13.12.2020 Interview with: Sheela Maru, MD, MPH Department of Health System Design and Global Health and Arnhold Institute for Global Health and Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai What is the background for this study? Response: Universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection on Labor and Delivery (L&D) units is a critical strategy to manage patient and health worker safety, especially in a vulnerable high-prevalence community. We describe the results of a SARS-CoV-2 universal screening program at the L&D Unit at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, NY, a 545-bed public hospital serving a diverse, largely immigrant and low-income patient population and an epicenter of the global pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Flu - Influenza, JAMA / 19.08.2020 Interview with: Jeremy Samuel Faust, M.D., M.S., M.A., FACEP Brigham & Women's Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Health Policy and Public Health Instructor, Harvard Medical School President, Roomful of Teeth Vocal Arts Project ( What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We sought to compare the initial covid-19 outbreak in NYC to the peak of the 1918 H1N1 pandemic in that same city. We found that the covid-19 pandemic was associated with more than 70% as many deaths per capita (monthly) as 1918 H1N1 was. But because baseline mortality rates are about 1/2 of what they were a century ago, death rates were over 400% of usual rates in March and April of this year compared to recent years, while 1918 was "merely" over 280% of usual death rates from prior years leading up to it. (more…)
Author Interviews / 22.05.2020 Interview with: Marco Piccininni Research Associate, CONVERGE Universitätsmedizin Institute of Public Health Berlin, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: The Lombardy region of northern Italy was severely hit by the covid-19 pandemic. However, despite the very high number of confirmed covid-19 deaths in this region, some local investigations suggested that there was a mismatch between the confirmed covid-19 death count and the increase in all-cause deaths. In our study, we decided to further investigate this aspect in the city of Nembro (province of Bergamo), which was one of the first cities to report covid-19 cases, and one of the cities most affected by the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pharmaceutical Companies / 02.04.2020 Interview with: Dr. Larry Schlesinger MD Professor, President and CEO Texas Biomed What is the background and mission of Texas Biomed? Response: Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) is a not-for-profit, independent research institute with a strong history of pioneering, biomedical breakthroughs that have contributed to the world of science and human health for nearly 80 years. The Texas Biomed mission is to pioneer and share scientific breakthroughs that protect you, your families and our global community from the threat of infectious diseases. Texas Biomed is capitalizing on its strengths – outstanding collaborative scientists and unique assets and resources. Texas Biomed is home to the nation’s only privately-owned BSL4 facility, five fully outfitted BSL3 facilities with the latest technologies and the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC). The Institute focuses on a core understanding of the basic biology of infectious diseases, animal model development, and studies to move therapies and vaccines to human clinical trials. The Institute’s independent, nonprofit business model moves science from the bench to clinical trials faster and with less bureaucracy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU, Technology / 02.04.2020 Interview with: Professor Anasse Bari PhD Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science Department, New York University, New York, and Megan Coffee MD PhD Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Medicine New York University, Department of Population and Family Health Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York What is the background for this study? Coffee and Bari: This work is led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with Wenzhou Central Hospital and Cangnan People's Hospital, both in Wenzhou, China. This is a multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in clinical infectious disease as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science. There is a critical need to better understand COVID-19. Doctors learn from collective and individual clinical experiences. Here, no clinician has years of experience. All are learning as they go, having to make important decisions about clinical management with stretched resources. The goal here is to augment clinical learning with machine learning. In particular, the goal is to allow clinicians to identify early who from the many infected will need close medical attention. Most patients will first develop mild symptoms, yet some 5-8 days later will develop critical illness. It is hard to know who these people are who will need to be admitted and may need to be intubated until they become ill. Knowing this earlier would allow more attention and resources to be spent on those patients with worse prognoses. If there were ever treatments in the future that could be used early in the course of illness, it would be important to identify who would most benefit We present in this study a first step in building an artificial intelligence (AI) framework, with predictive analytics (PA) capabilities applied to real patient data, to provide rapid clinical decision-making support. It is at this point a proof of concept that it could be possible to identify future severity based on initial presentation in COVID-19. (more…)