Archive for June, 2012



Ingredients of an Effective Antibiotic Stewardship Program: Be Sure to Add Health IT and Medical Device Innovation

June 14th, 2012
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It is common knowledge that antibiotic resistance is on the rise. For example, infection with resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC), once found only in North Carolina, now plagues 37 states. While antibiotics are important tools, their overuse results in more antibiotic resistance cases such as KPC. In fact, suboptimal use of antibiotics may be as high as 68% of all applications in healthcare. Some researchers even suggest that overuse may force bacteria to mutate faster, creating an evolutionary trend of ever-increasing rates of antibiotic resistance.
 
Reducing antibiotic use can, in turn, reduce antibiotic resistance rates. Most overuse of antibiotics stems from inadequate instruction about bacterial resistance, improper use of broad-spectrum antibiotics when narrow-spectrum drugs are available, and unnecessarily long durations of treatment.
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Four Health Innovation Drivers

June 12th, 2012
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In a previous blog post reporting in after the 2012 AusMedTech (Australia Medical Technology) conference, we discussed the need for healthcare technology companies to quickly demonstrate how their innovations add value.
 
My presentation at AusMedTech stressed four important elements that are driving the industry now, and that will continue to do so over the next decade. We believe that addressing each of these areas – as outlined below by me and my colleague Ken Walz – will be vitally important as healthcare innovators seek to demonstrate the value of their technologies.
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On “Empowering Patients in the Age of Genomic Medicine”

June 4th, 2012
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The concept of the citizen scientist is new to healthcare, since medicine has historically been physician-driven. But the citizen scientist has long been an important part of many other areas of science.  With access to the Internet and social networking, the contributions of citizen scientists (and the body of knowledge they both access and create) are more profound than ever. In healthcare, the capability for genome testing takes this citizenship to a new level, opening the gates to truly personal medicine.
 
At the same time, as medicine moves away from reaction to prevention, we are seeing more attention paid to mitigating disease, improving quality of care, and reducing costs. Genetic testing can provide an early indication of disease that, in turn, provides an opportunity for early intervention or prevention, and helps target the right treatment.
 
Thus armed with information and the power of the genome, “citizen patients” can then turn healthcare into a less passive and more participatory enterprise, says Jill Hagenkord, Chief Medical Officer of Complete Genomics. These citizens may also usher in new philanthropic avenues, she suggests. Following is a recent post by Dr. Hagenkord, reprinted with permission of Complete Genomics.*
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