Tech

A one-year evaluation at Group Health Cooperative is the first to demonstrate the measurable benefit to both patients and staff when a primary care practice adopts a "patient-centered medical home" model. This model gives patients more time with doctors, more preventive care, and improved collaboration among caregivers. The September 2009 American Journal of Managed Care will publish the results—which include significantly fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Barcelona, Spain, 1 September: Despite the promising findings of the PROTECT Pilot study, the larger PROTECT trial found no difference with rolofylline versus placebo with respect of the primary and main secondary end-points of the study. Although more rolofylline patients than placebo patients experienced moderate or marked dyspnea improvement at 24 and 48 hours from randomization, this was counterbalanced by a lack of effect on persistent renal impairment. Lastly, the risk of important neurological events was increased in patients on rolofylline.

Barcelona, Spain, 1 September: The European cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) Survey is a joint initiative taken by the Heart Failure Association (HFA) and European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) of the European Society of Cardiology. Its primary objective is to describe current European practice and routines associated with the implantation of a CRT device with or without an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) capability in patients with heart failure.

Barcelona, Spain, 1 September: More widespread availability of defibrillators and education of the general public could boost survival rates fourfold amongst athletes suffering cardiac arrest, a study has found. In less than half of cases, a bystander initiated cardiopulmonary reanimation. This is crucial as survival at hospital admission is 4 times higher when CPR is attempted and 10 times greater when an electric shock is delivered.

Barcelona, Spain, 1 September: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) remains one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, with prevalence predicted to increase dramatically in developing countries, especially India and China. Around 40-50% of AMIs are the result of a persistent, complete thrombotic occlusion of a coronary artery. In such cases fast reopening of the infarct vessel is the primary goal of treatment.

Barcelona, Spain, 1 September: An increasing number of heart failure patients are treated with a number of complex devices, i.e. cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Recently completed and ongoing clinical trials such as MADIT-CRT and EchoCRT provide evidence of a growing number of CRT patients, in need of individualised treatment. Rising demand for implantable cardiac devices and the simultaneous need for increased efficiency as well as enhanced patient comfort and safety significantly increase the need for remote monitoring technology.

Alexandria, Va. - The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) will issue the first--and only--national clinical practice guideline to help healthcare practitioners identify and manage patients with hoarseness, also known as dysphonia. The guideline emphasizes evidence-based management of hoarseness by clinicians, and educates patients on the prevalence of this common vocal health issue.

In an article in Advanced Materials, researchers at Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated a new method for fabricating silk-based optical waveguides that are biocompatible, biodegradable and can be readily functionalized with active molecules. The Tufts-UIUC team successfully demonstrated light guiding through this new class of waveguides created by direct ink writing using Bombyx mori silk fibroin inks.

Anchorage/Leipzig. Contaminants from natural coal deposits in the Gulf of Alaska are not easily bioavailable, unlike the crude oil from the Exxon Valdez tanker catastrophe. This clearly disproves the theory that natural coal deposits were the cause of observed environmental damage. PAH pollutants were blamed for the continuing degradation of the ecosystem off the coast of Alaska. Then a dispute erupted over the origins of these pollutants in science.

Barcelona, Spain, 30 August: Coffee is routinely consumed in countries within the Mediterranean basin. Coffee, an infusion of ground, roasted coffee beans, is the most widely consumed behaviourally active substance in the world. It contains several hundred different substances including, antioxidants, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, phenolic compounds and alkaloids. Nevertheless, the effects of coffee on the cardiovascular system have been mainly related to caffeine. Acute and chronic caffeine intake appears to have only minor negative consequence on health.