MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Brain injury treatments under spotlight after Giffords shooting. Decompressive craniectomy, which doctors used to treat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), is now common practice for gunshot wounds to the head because several recent studies have shown that it improves clinical outcomes like cognitive function, recovery time, and overall survival. The risks involved in the procedure, which involves removing a section of the victims skull, are very high, however, reports The Boston Globe’s Daily dose blog.
Macular degeneration on decline. The rate of age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss in the U.S., decreased in the last 15 years, according to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey, reports HealthDay.
Autism risk may rise with close pregnancies. Babies born within a year of a sibling were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those born after three years or more, and those born less than two years after an older sibling had nearly twice the risk, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics, reports U.S. News and World Report‘s Health blog.
Maryland to save $829 million through healthcare reform. Although the savings will last only until the end of the decade, when the federal law shifts a greater share of financial responsibility for Medicaid expansion to the states, according to BusinessWeek. Former Food & Drug Administration deputy commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, stepped down from the regulatory post to take over Maryland’s public health department last week.
Those caring for aging relatives, it turns out, are as excited about some technologies more than others. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog noted a report that said caregivers we’re not so excited about items such as a symptom monitor and transmitter or a video-phone system. However, the Health Blog did point out three innovations most caregivers would buy no matter what the cost.
Personal health record tracking: A full 77% of respondents said they’d find a web- or software-based personal health record very or somewhat helpful to track medications, test results and other data.
Caregiving coordination system: This kind of system, which 70% said they’d find helpful, would log a care recipient’s medical appointments and also coordinate the scheduling of help from family members or other volunteers.
Medication support system: Devices that remind patients to take their meds and give them info on side effects, plus alert a caregiver when the dose isn’t taken, would be useful to 70% of respondents.
Additional details of the report are available.
Accountable care tug of war. The federal government is weeks away from issuing rules for accountable care organizations. The Washington Post says doctors and hospitals groups are still intensely lobbying for changes in those rules that could “undermine the overall goal” by “seeking limits on how the quality of their care will be judged, along with bonus rules that would make it easier for them to be paid extra for their work and to be paid quickly.”
Glaxo development deal. Epizyme and GlaxoSmithKline’s collaboration deal is worth $650 million.
The return of orthopedics? The formerly high-growth market for orthopedic implants won’t bounce back without job growth, industry executives said.
Health threat: The worried well. A rush on flu shots by healthy Britons has exacerbated a shortage and some in the United Kingdom say the “worried well” should be banned from buying flu shots as private patients.
Dealflow and more. Cardiology drugmaker Civitas Therapeutics raised $20 million; Dekkun, a life science startup in stealth mode, has raised $9.9 million; Alzheimer’s test company Neuroptix raised $4 million; central nervous system drugmaker ACADIA Pharmaceuticals has raised $15 million; macular degeneration company VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies raised $31 million; biomedical polymer company Interface Biologics raised $7 million; and lung- and cancer-treatment company Polyplus-transfection raised $3.2 million;
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.