MASSDEVICE ON CALL — If you can’t bring the village to the lab, you must bring the lab to the village.
Such was the inspiration for the tiny mChip mobile blood testing lab that fits on a credit card and detects HIV and other diseases in minutes.
"The idea is to make a large class of diagnostic tests accessible to patients in any setting in the world, rather than forcing them to go to a clinic to draw blood and then wait days for their results," inventor Samuel Sia, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering who has been at Columbia for five years said in a university report.
Sia’s time spent a remote village in Togo convinced him that developing countries needed simpler, mobile means of health care and diagnostic services. The mChip lab needs one drop of blood to diagnose a patient and results come back in 12 to 15 minutes. It has been in testing in Rwanda for the past four years.
And it only costs $100.
A version of the mChip that diagnoses prostate cancer was developed through Sia’s lab and Claros Diagnostics Inc., which he co-founded in 2004. That device won CE Mark approval in the European Union.
Indian man gets hysterectomy
An Indian man known only as Ryalu received surgery to remove an intact and complete female reproductive system from his lower abdomen after he was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains, the Telegraph U.K. reported.
While doctors expected to treat a normal hernia, an exploratory operation revealed a female uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, a cervix and underdeveloped vaginal tissue.
The patient was reportedly "stunned" by the discovery.
Massachusetts sues Johnson & Johnson over anti-psychotic drug marketing
Massachusetts’ attorney general sued Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) on allegations of off-label marketing of Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug that has gotten that has gotten the New Brunswick, N.J.-based medical goliath a fair amount of ink lately.
"[I]llegal marketing and sales tactics helped the company generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales in the Commonwealth," the complaint states, accusing JNJ’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen unit of marketing the drug to the elderly and to younger people when such uses haven’t been FDA-reviewed.
The drug is cleared primarily for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder, Bloomberg reported.
Japanese researchers unveil elderly care robot
Japanese researchers unveiled their latest iteration of the elderly care patient-lifting robot, nicknamed Riba 2. The robot is soft to the touch, moves around on wheel and can respond to voice commands, Reuters reported.
The robot boasts rubber sensors and improved joints that allow it to crouch and lift a patient weighing up to 176 pounds off of the floor.
Health Net Inc. breaks free of Medicare sanctions
Health Net Inc. got the go-ahead from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to continue enrollment of its Medicare programs.
The company was slammed with marketing and enrollment sanctions in November on charges against its compliance with certain rules and regulations, Reuters reported.
Health Net plans to resume marketing and enrollment immediately.