MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Doctors and researchers reaffirmed the important role that colonoscopies play in saving lives as studies show that even insured patients are skipping the procedure amid increasing co-pays and a lingering recession.
A new study of more than 2,600 patients found a 53% reduction in risk of death from colon cancer among patients undergoing colonoscopy and excise of intestinal polyps.
While other studies had established that the procedure lessens cancer risk, this was the first to establish a link between missing colonoscopies and risk of death, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance called on Medicare to provide reimbursement for virtual colonoscopy to reduce barriers to screening, citing data that showed that the procedure is comparable to the standard procedure, in which a physician threads a camera through the intestine.
Virtual colonoscopy uses low-dose X-rays to produce 3D, moving images of the colon, providing a far less invasive option than the direct visual exam, according to a press release.
A study released earlier this month warned that even insured patients have cut back on colonoscopies, citing high co-pays and the economic recession as driving down demand for the procedures.
House bill to limit device company inspections
U.S. House Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) introduced a bill aimed at limiting state inspections of device makers and drug companies, Law360.com (paid) reported.
Are docs at risk of brain cancer from working in cath labs?
Researchers found 9 cases of left-side brain cancer among people working in catheterization laboratories for an extended period of time, TheHeart.org reported.
Daily home hemodialysis beats 3 in-office sessions, study shows
Patients who underwent daily home hemodialysis experienced "modest improvements in survival" when compared to patients who underwent hemodialysis 3 times weekly in a clinical setting, according to a new study that may prove to be a windfall for home dialysis system provider NxStage Medical (NSDQ:NXTM).
New iPad, iPhone apps monitor critical patient data and grant access to patient records
GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) partnered with AirStrip Technologies to launch AirStrip Patient Monitoring, an app for iPads and iPhones that will allow doctors to interact with, manipulate and zoom in on more than 100 clinical measurements anytime and from anywhere, according to a press release.