MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Brain stimulation using electrical currents is a safe and effective depression therapy and may even have other surprise perks for the body, according to research conducted at the University of New South Wales.
More than half of all patients in what researchers called the largest and most definitive study of transcranial direct current stimulation experienced "substantial improvements" after getting the therapy, according to a press release.
The research comes as a panel of agency experts recommended that the FDA require cranial electrostimulator therapy devices to submit pre-market approval applications in order to reach the U.S. market.
The devices, heretofore cleared for the U.S. market via the 510(k) process, apply electrical currents to the brain through the skin for the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia and pain.
Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen urged the federal watch dog agency agency to finalize a rule, proposed last August, that would require the devices to submit PMA applications, a measure staunchly opposed by CES device maker Alpha-Stim.
2nd House panels clears repeal of Medicare payment board
A 2nd U.S. House of Representatives panel voted to repeal Medicare’s independent payment advisory board, saying it grants too much authority to un-elected experts and could lead to rationing, Healthwatch reported.
Medical schools make progress in conflict-of-interest awareness
A majority of medical schools polled got a B or higher on a scorecard gauging their conflict-of-interest policies, the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog reported.
Medicare recipients decry hurdles to access, blame competitive bidding program
The American Assn. for Homecare found substantial criticism from Medicare beneficiaries who said that the program’s competitive bidding system had created hurdles and delays in access to durable medical equipment and services, according to a press release.
Judges lash out against "tortuous" Medicare laws
Judges complaints about the convoluted language in health care laws underscores concerns about clarity in the face of complexity, the Wall Street Journal reports.