Could a simple swab at birth reduce health risks for C-section babies?

first_img Megan Thielking @meggophone That’s an exciting prospect for doctors and parents who’ve worried about the impact of a C-section on a child’s health.Researchers swabbed four babies born by scheduled C-section all over with gauze that had been exposed to a mother’s vaginal fluids for about an hour. The swabbing took place within two minutes of the babies’ births. The study compared those infants with 11 babies who were born by scheduled C-section but not swabbed and with seven babies born vaginally.advertisement Neu said he’s aware of new parents who have asked obstetricians to swab babies with vaginal microbes because they’ve heard about research in the field. But Neu said the lack of robust evidence on the true benefits and risks of the procedure should give doctors and parents pause.“I’m concerned that this will take off and parents are going to be asking their obstetricians or midwives to do this,” Neu said, “and we’re going to start seeing some babies with disastrous results because of this.”Neu said he’s nervous that doctors will take vaginal microbes from mothers who have conditions they’re not aware of, like herpes, and then swab a newborn’s mouth with that virus, potentially spreading it. Babies born vaginally to moms with the virus face the same risk, but C-sections are normally performed in a way that minimizes the chances of that happening.“There are a lot of issues that need to be dissected before we can say that this is a technique that should be used routinely,” Neu said. Tags C-sectionmicrobiomeobesity Watch: Episode 2: Peek inside a lab trying to create living medicine — from bugs in your gut But the research suggests that swabbing babies born by Cesarean section with microbes collected from their mothers could help them develop healthy microbiomes — the colonies of trillions of microorganisms that thrive in the human gut and mouth, and also on our skin.advertisement By Megan Thielking Feb. 1, 2016 Reprints Increased breastfeeding could save lives — if governments step up their game Related:center_img Babies born by C-section miss out on healthy bacteria in the birth canal — but a simple swab could help restore missing microbes and possibly improve health. Waltraud Grubitzsch/Getty [email protected] Related: About the Author Reprints News Editor HealthCould a simple swab at birth reduce health risks for C-section babies? Babies born by C-section miss out on all the healthy bacteria in the birth canal — but a simple swab could one day help restore those missing microbes, possibly reducing the infants’ risks of developing asthma, allergies, and other conditions.The new study, published Monday in Nature Medicine, used a very small sample, so experts caution that the results are preliminary. They also caution new parents not to try the procedure on their own, as it could be dangerous for the newborn if their mothers carry certain viruses. Thirty days after they were born, the babies that were swabbed with their mothers’ microbes had skin and oral microbiomes similar to those born vaginally. By contrast, vaginal bacteria were much less present in the babies born by C-section who didn’t get swabbed.The finding is a step forward in understanding how the early microbiome can affect a child’s health. Previous studies have suggested a correlation between delivery by C-section and an increased risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and other immune conditions and metabolic disorders, though the reason for that association is not clear. The C-section rate has risen rapidly in the United States; one in three babies is now delivered surgically.The new study is “very nice, beautiful, preliminary research,” said Dr. Josef Neu, a neonatologist and gastric health expert at the University of Florida who was not affiliated with the study.But the results are just that — a proof of concept, not a prescription to start swabbing babies.“These are preliminary results of a few infants to show the principle,” said study author and microbiome researcher Maria Dominguez-Bello of New York University. The next study is expected to take place in about 70 infants and will follow up with those infants after one year.last_img read more

Colombian government recommendation puts Novartis cancer drug patent at jeopardy

first_imgPharmalotColombian government recommendation puts Novartis cancer drug patent at jeopardy The annual cost of Gleevec is roughly $15,000, which patient advocacy groups say is excessive in a country where the nation’s per capita gross national income is about $8,000. “The public interest is obviously affected when a patient or family is obligated to pay these prices, which constitutes a violation of (a) fundamental right to health,” the groups wrote in November 2014 petition to the government.The dispute is the latest example of rising tension between the pharmaceutical industry and some governments over the prices for prescription medicines. In response, a growing number of countries have been pressing drug makers for discounts or, in some cases, issuing compulsory licenses.advertisement Privacy Policy The Colombian government wants generic drug firms to be able to make versions of Novartis’s cancer treatment Gleevec without the firm’s consent. Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. Related: Ed Silverman The tense battle between drug makers and patient advocates over patents and access to medicines is moving to a new venue. The latest clash is taking place in Colombia, where a government committee late last month recommended that a compulsory license should be issued for the Gleevec cancer treatment sold by Novartis.A compulsory license allows a company to make a patent-protected product without the consent of the patent holder.In announcing its decision, the committee explained that doing so would be in the public interest by widening access and saving health care dollars. It added that the purpose in issuing a compulsory license would “restore competition for this product in the Colombian market.” The health ministry, however, must still make a final decision.advertisement India boosts pharma by rejecting license for generic diabetes drug Countries may grant such licenses to a generic drug maker, a right that was memorialized in a World Trade Organization agreement known as Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS. According to WTO rules, a country may cite a health emergency as a reason for issuing a license.A few countries have issued compulsory licenses for patented medicines over the past decade, although Colombia is not one of them. Consequently, the licenses are a sore point for the pharmaceutical industry, which has argued that governments may issue licenses inappropriately and, in the process, violate intellectual property rights. This was one of the arguments Novartis made in response to the recommendation by the Colombian committee.“Novartis is concerned about the implications that disregarding intellectual property rights might have for foreign investment. Furthermore, the company believes that it damages industries like pharmaceuticals that spend significant resources on research and innovation, and negatively impacts the patients who benefit from their innovative efforts,” a company spokeswoman wrote us.She added that patients in Colombia are able to obtain Gleevec — which is often called Glivec outside the United States – thanks to price regulations. “Although Novartis respects and abides by the Colombian regulatory framework, the company is concerned that the technical and factual arguments presented before the authorities have not been taken into account during the process,” she added.Patient advocacy groups, however, argue that some efforts to enforce intellectual property rights may come at the expense of patients who cannot afford medicines.“You don’t have ‘access to medicine for all’ unless the budget has enough money to buy all the medicines that everyone needs. And when resources are limited, prices can’t be unlimited. Providing universal access is, indeed, in the public interest,” wrote Jamie Love of Knowledge Ecology International, which focuses on access and patent issues, in an email.In recent years, Thailand pursued compulsory licensing in order to lower costs for different medicines and, more recently, India issued a license as well. But the issue has become especially heated there since so many large generic drug makers are based in the country, and global drug makers are concerned the country has favored its domestic industry at their expense.Two months ago, the Indian Patent Office rejected an application from a domestic generic drug maker that sought a compulsory license to make a generic version of the Onglyza a diabetes pill sold by AstraZeneca. The decision was seen by some as a sign that the Indian government may alter its approach toward protecting patent rights. About the Author Reprints Please enter a valid email address. @Pharmalot Leave this field empty if you’re human: Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Georgios Kefalas/Keystone/AP By Ed Silverman March 7, 2016 Reprints [email protected] Tags cancerGleevecNovartislast_img read more

How much Nutella do you eat? The FDA wants to know

first_imgBut the Italian company said the classification is based on an outdated survey of 157 “primarily female” shoppers who said they largely used the product on ice cream. The survey was conducted in 1991.Ferrero’s lawyers cite data in the citizen petition sent to the FDA to rethink Nutella’s serving size. Hogan LovellsNow, Ferrero said 60 percent of Nutella consumers are slathering the product on toast. The company wants that serving size changed to 1 tablespoon, as is the case with jams and jellies (though similar products like peanut butter have 2-tablespoon servings).advertisement By Megan Thielking Nov. 1, 2016 Reprints HealthHow much Nutella do you eat? The FDA wants to know The Food and Drug Administration is asking the public to reflect on an important health question: How much Nutella do you actually eat?The agency is gathering information on the amount of Nutella that constitutes a reasonable serving size at the behest of Ferrero, the maker of the spread. Ferrero has been petitioning the FDA for the past two years to put Nutella in the same regulatory class as jam or to establish an entirely new category for “nut cocoa-based spreads.”Currently, Nutella is classified as a dessert topping, like chocolate syrup. That means its labels get slapped with a serving size of 2 tablespoons. Each serving totals 200 calories — half of which are from fat — and packs 21 grams of sugar.advertisement Megan Thielking About the Author Reprints That change would come with the added benefit of making Nutella look as though it has fewer calories, as well as less sugar and fat, when customers take a quick glance at the nutrition label.“Consumers may falsely believe they should be applying two tablespoons of Nutella on their bread rather than the one tablespoon that is more customarily consumed,” Ferrero warned in its petition.The FDA said it recognizes the need for a sweet new category and is taking the first step by inviting public comment.Respondents have 60 days to count their spoonfuls.center_img @meggophone News Editor Tags FDAnutrition tof2006 via Flickr [email protected] last_img read more

Women’s health services face cuts in Republican bill

first_img Trump praises health care bill, but conservatives skeptical About the Author Reprints Tags Congressinsurancewomen’s health Related: By Associated Press March 10, 2017 Reprints GOP bill would allow states to defund Planned Parenthood Related: WASHINGTON — Women seeking abortions and some basic health services, including prenatal care, contraception, and cancer screenings, would face restrictions and struggle to pay for some of that medical care under the House Republicans’ proposed bill.The legislation, which would replace much of former President Barack Obama’s health law, was approved by two House committees on Thursday. Republicans are hoping to move quickly to pass it, despite unified opposition from Democrats, criticism from some conservatives who don’t think it goes far enough, and several health groups who fear millions of Americans would lose coverage and benefits.The bill would prohibit for a year any funding to Planned Parenthood, a major provider of women’s health services, restrict abortion access in covered plans on the health exchange, and scale back Medicaid services used by many low-income women, among other changes.advertisement Associated Press Related: Most GOP lawmakers have long opposed Planned Parenthood because many of its clinics provide abortions. Their antagonism intensified after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded videos in 2015 showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they sometimes provide fetal tissue to researchers, which is legal if no profit is made.Federal dollars comprise nearly half of the group’s annual billion-dollar budget. Government dollars don’t pay for abortions, but the organization is reimbursed by Medicaid for other services, including birth control, cancer screenings and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. The group has said the vast majority of women seek out those non-abortion services.Ryan boasted this week that the bill is a “conservative wish list,” as it “ends funding to Planned Parenthood and sends money to community centers.” Democrats argue that many of the other clinics are already overloaded and would not be able to meet the increased demand for screenings and other services.Abortion coverageUnder Obama’s health law, health plans on the exchange can cover elective abortions, but they must collect a separate premium to pay for them so it’s clear that no federal funds are used. The GOP bill would go further, prohibiting the use of new federal tax credits to purchase any plan that covers abortions.That could make it more difficult for women covered under the federal exchange to find a plan that covers abortions at all, because many companies may just drop the abortion coverage if it disqualifies the entire plan from the tax credits.Massachusetts Representative Joe Kennedy, a Democrat, said during the Energy and Commerce Committee’s debate on the bill Thursday that he is concerned those prohibitions will extend to hospitals that do abortions, as well. Three paragraphs in the GOP’s Medicaid plan that could raise costs for the poor House Republican leaders said the bill, which is backed by President Donald Trump, will prevent higher premiums some have seen under the current law and give patients more control over their care.“Lower costs, more choices not less, patients in control, universal access to care,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday.The abortion restrictions and cuts to women’s health care could draw opposition from some Republican women.Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have both said that a prohibition on Planned Parenthood funding shouldn’t be part of the bill. Last month, before the legislation was released, Murkowski told the Alaska state legislature that she doesn’t believe that taxpayer money should go toward abortions but added, “I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides.”Support from Collins and Murkowski will be crucial once the bill moves to the Senate, since there are 52 Republicans and the GOP will need 50 votes to pass it.A look at how the bill would affect women’s health care:Planned ParenthoodRepublicans have tried for years to block federal payments to the group, but weren’t able to do so with Democrat Barack Obama in the White House. Now that Republican Donald Trump is president, they are adding the one-year freeze in funding to their bill. Medicaid and ‘essential health benefits’The bill would phase out the current law’s expanded Medicaid coverage for more low-income people that 31 states accepted, which is almost completely financed by federal funds. That could affect women’s health care services, including mammograms and prenatal care, for those who would lose that coverage. The legislation also repeals the requirement that state Medicaid plans must provide “essential health benefits” that are currently required, including pregnancy, maternity and newborn care for women.The legislation will still require that private health plans fund the essential health benefits, but those insurers will have more leeway as to how much is covered.Representative John Shimkus (R-Ill.) complained during the committee debate about the current law’s requirements that certain services be covered.“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus said in response to a question from a Democrat who asked him what mandates he was concerned about. “Is that not correct? And should they?”— Mary Clare Jalonick Washington Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee, said the legislation is a “slap in the face” to women. She said it would shift more decisions to insurance companies.“You buy it thinking you will be covered, but there is no guarantee,” Murray said.advertisement HealthWomen’s health services face cuts in Republican bill Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) says the health care bill put forth by the House GOP is a “slap in the face” to women. Elaine Thompson/APlast_img read more

We’ve updated STAT’s guidelines for op-ed submissions

first_img Co-founder & Executive Editor Rick Berke Beyond those steps, here’s what we want you to know about our opinion section:We believe it’s important to air a wide range of perspectives. That means sometimes hearing from writers who may have ties to industry or consumer advocacy groups or to individual companies. It’s absolutely crucial to us that such ties be disclosed fully and transparently to readers. But such ties do not necessarily disqualify writers from contributing to First Opinion.We do not accept opinion pieces written by advocacy groups, public relations firms, or companies when they hide their role behind the byline of a figurehead author. We have amended our author agreement to be more aggressive about ferreting out such deception. When PR firms, advocacy groups, or companies ask individuals to submit an opinion piece to STAT, we expect that relationship to be disclosed and we will evaluate the merits of the piece with that in mind. That can be a tough call; these issues are not black and white.We understand that many of the physicians, patients, scientists, executives, and politicians who contribute to First Opinion are not professional writers and may rely on friends, colleagues, or communications experts to help them shape their thoughts. Seeking such assistance does not disqualify writers from contributing to STAT. But we ask writers to disclose any help they received as we evaluate the merits of their submission. And we absolutely insist that any first-person piece reflect the authentic experiences and views of the author, and the author alone.We are rigorous in our selection of opinion pieces. We commission many of them ourselves and accept about a quarter of the unsolicited submissions we receive. Always, our overriding goal is to share insights and views from across the spectrum – and to be transparent about any conflicts the authors may have.STAT is nearly two years old now. We have published hard-hitting investigations of companies and institutions including (among many others) Google’s Verily, IBM Watson, Roche, NantHealth, and the Food and Drug Administration. We have gone to court to try to force Purdue Pharma to disclose documents about its marketing of OxyContin. We have published hundreds of First Opinions that have by turns enlightened, infuriated, awakened, and deeply moved our readers.We have never allowed, and will never allow, business considerations to influence our journalism.Every day, in stories large and small, we have sought to uphold our mission statement:STAT delivers fast, deep, and tough-minded journalism. We take you inside science labs and hospitals, biotech boardrooms, and political backrooms. We dissect crucial discoveries. We examine controversies and puncture hype. We hold individuals and institutions accountable. We introduce you to the power brokers and personalities who are driving a revolution in human health. These are the stories that matter to us all.We welcome scrutiny that can help us improve. Please continue to reach out to us when you have questions or concerns about any article or opinion piece. My email is [email protected] thank you for reading STAT.Rick Berke is the executive editor of STAT. [email protected] About the Author Reprints By Rick Berke Sept. 13, 2017 Reprintscenter_img At STAT, we are supremely proud of our journalism and our staff. We also value the trust of our readers.So we have been distressed to learn in recent days that some outside contributors to our opinion section failed to disclose conflicts of interest or misled us about the true authorship and origins of their op-eds.We have retracted one piece, as explained in this editor’s note. This experience prompted us to tighten our standards for opinion pieces and our practices for vetting writers. We are also reviewing past op-eds and will add previously undisclosed conflicts of interest where appropriate.advertisement First OpinionWe’ve updated STAT’s guidelines for op-ed submissions We have always asked contributors to disclose any conflicts of interest, and believe the vast majority of the opinion pieces we have published — reflecting a wide range of viewpoints across a wide range of subjects — included relevant disclosures.But in hindsight, we realize that we should have been more explicit in defining exactly what constitutes a conflict — so we will now require writers to answer a series of direct questions about those issues. We are also requiring contributors to disclose any assistance they received in writing their piece. You can view our revised author agreement here.advertisement @rickberkelast_img read more

Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

first_imgPharmalot Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Hired someone new and exciting? Promoting a rising star? Finally solved that hard-to-fill spot? Share the news with us, and we’ll share it with others. That’s right. Send us your changes, and we’ll find a home for them. Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to know who is coming and going.And here is our regular feature in which we highlight a different person each week. This time around, we note that Ideaya Biosciences hired Dr. Julie Hambleton as senior vice president and chief medical officer, head of development. Previously, she was vice president, head of U.S. medical at Bristol-Myers Squibb and, before that, she was executive vice president and chief medical officer at Five Prime Therapeutics. About the Author Reprints Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings By Ed Silverman March 16, 2018 Reprints Log In | Learn More What is it? GET STARTED Ed Silvermancenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What’s included? Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Alex Hogan/STAT [email protected] @Pharmalot Tags jobspharmaceuticalsSTAT+last_img read more

Pharmalittle: States try to prevent hoarding of drug used for Covid-19; is BARDA ready for the coronavirus?

first_img Tags pharmalittleSTAT+ Pharmalittle: States try to prevent hoarding of drug used for Covid-19; is BARDA ready for the coronavirus? What is it? Log In | Learn More Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was … well, a weekend respite, and that you had a chance to indulge in a few distractions from the sobering events occurring outside your window. In any event, the time has come to resume something that resembles the usual routine — deadlines, phone calls, and meetings, on your laptop, that is. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest to get you going. We hope your day is, nonetheless, productive and manageable. Meanwhile, be safe and be in touch.States across the U.S. are taking steps to prevent hoarding of decades-old antimalarial drugs being used to combat Covid-19, an effort to preserve supplies for other patients who rely on the tablets to treat lupus and arthritis, The Wall Street Journal says. At least 20 states are implementing emergency restrictions or guidelines to ease pressure on supplies of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the autoimmune disease patients. Some states are limiting prescription sizes or asking pharmacists to make sure a patient tested positive for the coronavirus. Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. What’s included? Pharmalot [email protected] center_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. GET STARTED About the Author Reprints Alex Hogan/STAT By Ed Silverman April 6, 2020 Reprints @Pharmalot Ed Silvermanlast_img read more

Two ways Fitbit could boost Google’s health ambitions

first_img @mariojoze Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. By Erin Brodwin and Mario Aguilar Jan. 15, 2021 Reprints What’s included? Google’s newly-finalized purchase of Fitbit is poised to provide the tech giant with a potentially lucrative toehold into two competitive markets: clinical trials and employer benefits.The $2.1 billion buy-out could give Google an edge in the race to court employers and health plans as companies seek to boost staff benefits amid the pandemic, industry observers told STAT. The acquisition also sets Google up to more closely compete with Apple in the clinical trial space using Fitbit’s devices, enabling the combined company to expand its existing research on cardiovascular, sleep, and respiratory health into new areas. Two ways Fitbit could boost Google’s health ambitions [email protected] What is it? Log In | Learn More Mario Aguilar GET STARTED About the Authors Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.center_img Erin Brodwin @erbrod Google said it has finalized its $2.1 billion deal with Fitbit. Richard Drew/AP Health Tech Unlock this article — and get additional analysis of the technologies disrupting health care — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Health Tech Correspondent Mario covers health technology, with a focus on mental health care, investment, and big tech players. Health Tech Correspondent, San Francisco Erin is a California-based health tech reporter and the co-author of the STAT Health Tech newsletter. [email protected] Tags clinical trialsmedical technologylast_img read more

The pandemic slingshot: propelling from national crisis to a resilient health care system

first_img @MelindaBBuntin During this health crisis, we have the opportunity to ask: How can the U.S. emerge from it stronger? Kristine Martin Anderson Please enter a valid email address. The future of health care starts nowAs the country rebounds from Covid-19 and focuses on other complex health issues — lowering drug-discovery costs, preparing for the next public health crisis, revitalizing our health care workforce, and more — it cannot afford to simply drift back to “normal.” This national crisis exposed fissures, but it also produced collaborative disruptions that transformed and strengthened U.S. health care systems.From quickly adopting a telemedicine-first posture to ensure that patients had access to care to demonstrating the need for flexible bed and staffing capacities to meet the rising patient demand and to proving the ability to conduct real-time dynamic surveillance, the combined resources and ingenuity of public and private entities at all levels generated groundbreaking innovations that might not have occurred without the pandemic.When faced with crises, our nation has openly reflected on the causes and consequences and come together to foster change. This pandemic should be no different. Once cases subside and the nation begins to recover, the Biden administration and Congress should empanel a national commission to capture, institutionalize, invest in, and accelerate continued adoption of these innovations. This commission should have three chief tenets:First, it should have the power to make tough calls without political interference or lobbying, similar to how the Base Realignment and Closure Commission has operated, ensuring autonomy in making the necessary choices to efficiently and effectively support U.S. troops.Second, it should be given sufficient resources to formulate a national road map for closing gaps and building capacity, much like the 9/11 Commission accomplished through development of a thorough and actionable report.Third, and most importantly, it must look beyond this crisis and define how future national investments can build on these innovations to strengthen our health care system and produce additive effects.We believe that the development of the U.S. Global Positioning System offers an intriguing model. This revolution in positioning, navigation, and timing technologies, initially developed to support a military mission, was scaled to create new businesses and services that have transformed the lives of all Americans and is now ubiquitous in technologies we use daily.Catalyzed by a crisis like no other and working together under a common vision and an established commission, the U.S. can realize a new future for health care that’s far better than business as usual.Melinda B. Buntin is a professor of health economics and the chair of the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Kristine Martin Anderson is an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and leads the firm’s civil business supporting our nation’s federal civilian agencies. 9 ways Covid-19 may forever upend the U.S. health care industry A year into the Covid-19 pandemic and the U.S. is still battling this crisis. As the country enters its second and third waves of cases, we know it won’t be back to “business as usual” soon. But was “business as usual” in our health care system really working?The two of us have devoted our lives to health care and to thinking about its future. We’ve watched the pandemic expose critical fissures in the country’s infrastructure, like supply chain challenges that left health care workers without essential protective gear, tragically unequal access to care, too many Americans dying from treatable diseases, and public health capacity constricted by underfunding.We’ve also observed with awe as care teams — grappling with workforce shortages and other long-standing problems — have continuously risen to the challenge with formidable innovation, decisiveness, and collaboration.advertisement A physician slips through a makeshift door to an area for pregnant women and new moms with Covid-19 at DHR Health in McAllen, Texas. Eric Gay/AP Tags CoronavirusHealth IThospitals Health care is innovating right nowTo keep patients, staff, and communities safe, frontline health care workers have battled urgent and enormous challenges like understaffing, space shortages, and supply issues.Through swift, centralized decision-making within organizations, we’ve seen anesthesiologists who were no longer assisting with elective surgeries step in to help with intubations, cardiologists volunteering as “super residents” on Covid-19 wards, medical assistants reallocated from specialty practices to primary care to support chronic disease, and local staff figuring out for themselves what safe health care looks like in their hospitals.Care teams modified facilities to accommodate pop-up intensive care units, created ad hoc cooling systems to support more ventilators, and more. These efforts saved time for overworked staff and helped reduce exposure, maximize available personal protective equipment, and facilitate patient treatment and safety.“How can I help?” has become the mantra in health systems nationwide. Even after the pandemic subsides, this resourcefulness, resilience, and real-time problem-solving will be essential for hospitals and other care facilities to harness the full potential and talent of their staff to drive the future of health care.It’s faster than we thoughtSlow adoption of technology, such as telemedicine and the glacial shift to electronic health records, has been a long-cited obstacle to getting innovation into the hands of care providers and patients. Covid-19 has kicked technology adoption into overdrive. Along with businesses and schools, health care became remote at an unprecedented rate in March 2020. Areas not previously associated with telemedicine, like post-surgery follow-ups, physical therapy, and rehab, pivoted to remote delivery made possible by technology like smartphones and high-capacity networks. By Melinda B. Buntin and Kristine Martin Anderson Feb. 22, 2021 Reprints Privacy Policycenter_img First OpinionThe pandemic slingshot: propelling from national crisis to a resilient health care system Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. With our collective perspectives from government, academia, the private sector, and federal contracting, we recently considered where the system is strong, where it is weak, and where it can go from here. To our surprise, we came away with a sense of optimism — and urgency.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: This momentum can be harnessed to accelerate innovation in other areas of the health system. Progress needs to continue in the stubborn area of electronic health record interoperability and in speeding the process of credentialing and onboarding care providers. Systems must take advantage of technological innovations like real-time data analytics and AI-powered tools. Consumers should also have improved access to telehealth in addition to easily accessible follow-ups on appointments, lab results, billing and pricing information, and care options to help make more informed health care decisions and attain better care outcomes.And it can be quite agileAs care teams rallied to respond to Covid-19, we saw bureaucracy decrease, hierarchical structures flatten, siloes shatter and talent unleashed.Necessity fueled new practices like hospitals and government agencies coordinating large-scale emergency response plans and directing patients to the most appropriate digital or physical care channels. It also loosened regulations and facilitated new practices. For example, 24 states relaxed or suspended laws to allow the real-time expansion of ICU and acute care beds to make them available in emergencies.Restrictive state-by-state licensing for doctors, nurses, and other clinicians continues to hinder access to care. It prevents health practitioners from practicing to the full extent of their training at a time when the medical community faces a shortage of health care workers and makes reimbursement for telehealth care provided to patients out of state incredibly complicated. Making Covid-19 telehealth and telemedicine solutions permanent can expand the reach of care teams and health care professionals’ scopes of practice.The cross-departmental and cross-organizational problem-solving of the past year achieved remarkable results. Emergency load balancing across health systems meant more people could have access to lifesaving care. Innovative workflows contributed to the fastest vaccines that have ever been created. Health systems need to apply such agility and collaboration to long-standing community health needs, such as unequal access to preventive care in low-income communities and the creation of much-needed drugs. Melinda B. Buntin Related: Related: About the Authors Reprints Extending health care to all ethically and practically: lessons from Covid-19 last_img read more

Charles Darwin notebooks worth millions probably stolen, experts fear

first_imgAdvertisementAfter an “exhaustive” search for the items, which, according to the university, are likely worth “millions of pounds,” the books are considered missing and likely to have been stolen.The missing items have been reported to Cambridgeshire police, and have been recorded on the national Art Loss Register for missing artifacts, as well as Interpol’s Psyche database for stolen artworks.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentsDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments RELATEDTOPICS Erosion topples “Darwin’s Arch” in Galapagos May 20, 2021center_img AdvertisementTags: Cambridge UniversityCharles Darwin CAMBRIDGE, England / CNN — Two notebooks that once belonged to Charles Darwin have “likely been stolen” after being missing for two decades, Cambridge University Library said Tuesday.The notebooks — believed to be worth millions — had been removed from the university’s special collections strong rooms, where rare and valuable items are kept, to be photographed in September 2000, library officials said in a statement. One of the notebooks contains Darwin’s 1837 “Tree of Life” sketch.Darwin sketched his ideas around an evolutionary tree in the summer of 1837 after returning from his round-the-world trip aboard the HMS Beagle — decades before he published more developed ideas around the tree of life in “On the Origin of Species.”last_img read more