Public health researcher Audrey Buelo is working to identify the factors that contribute to prescription nonadherence in children with asthma, and she writes that animal research is the foundation on which all of her applied research is built. "Without animal research, asthma management would likely rely on alternative medications that offer little in the way in relief; without effective treatment, applied asthma research would focus only on prevention," she writes.
Scott Commins was part of the research team that pinpointed Lone Star tick bites as the source of sudden red-meat allergies and identified galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, antibodies as a possible culprit. Commins is testing the effects of various Lone Star tick saliva extracts on mice to identify which ones trigger the reaction, a project that may gain importance as the tick expands its range.
Researchers analyzed 72 iPhone apps with content related to dementia and found only 46% had privacy policies. The study in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found 58% of apps with privacy policies specifically mentioned the app being used and 76% had information about how patient data were managed.
Scientists report in EBioMedicine that adding sodium bicarbonate to the standard in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility test more closely mimics naturally occurring infectious conditions, potentially leading to more accurate identification of antibiotics in laboratories that are also effective in humans. Some antibiotics that failed in standard AST succeeded in the enhanced test and in mouse models, while some antibiotics that succeeded in standard AST failed in the enhanced test and mouse models, the researchers reported.
Preclinical drug research should involve male and female animals to account for sex-based variations, researcher Natasha Karp and her colleagues at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute suggested in Nature Communications. They identified sex differences in 57% of quantifiable traits and 10% of qualitative traits in lab mice and found that male and female mice had different responses to the inactivation of genes.
An IC3 report said the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 298,728 cybercrime complaints last year, 2,673 of which were ransomware complaints, amounting to more than $2.4 million in reported losses. Researchers evaluated cybercrime complaints across various industries in the US, including health care, and found that ransomware was ranked 22nd in terms of cybercrime by victim count and 25th by victim loss.
A total of 1,708 Aetna members in Ohio and approximately 522 in Texas had their protected health information exposed online for several months, Aetna officials said. The privacy breach, which compromised members' names, provider information, Aetna member identification numbers, claim payment amounts, and procedure/service codes and dates of service in some cases, involved "two computer services that display documents to members and other intended recipients," the company said.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association and Navigant surveyed 125 hospital and health system financial executives and found that while 79% intend to focus on technology for revenue cycle management improvement over the next year, 51% reported having difficulty implementing EHR upgrades and maximizing the technology's workflow and reporting upgrades, and 41% do not have a method to monitor the efficacy of their technology improvements. Ninety-three of respondents do offer an online payment portal, and 63% provide cost-of-care estimation tools for patients.
Baxter International's DoseEdge Pharmacy Workflow Manager will be integrated with Epic's Willow Inpatient Pharmacy System to improve pharmacy efficiency and safety. According to the agreement reached by the companies, clinicians will submit medication dose orders from the Epic EMR system to the DoseEdge System, which will then return medication data to the patient's medical record to enable appropriate billing processes.
The FDA announced the creation of a new centralized Digital Health Unit within its Center for Devices and Radiological Health, which, along with the publication of a draft guidance on software as a medical device last fall, is designed to support the advancement of digital health and technological innovation. The Digital Health Unit seeks to develop and implement policies and regulatory strategies for digital health technologies and to create collaborations and boost outreach to customers.
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