MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Medical device makers celebrated the FDA’s decision to, for the 1st time, adopt industry-driven interoperability standards, which may help ease the regulatory pathway to 510(k) clearance for data-sharing products, including smartphone accessories.
These standards recognize the increasing number of medical devices that exchange data. The FDA updated its documentation to include details about risk levels for wifi-connected devices, ISO and IEEE specifications and compliant personal medical information exchange, according to MobiHealthNews.
Young winners land big prizes in the NIH’s biomedical engineering contest
Undergraduate teams from 3 different schools landed grand prizes in a NIH-sponsored biomedical engineering contest, each team taking home $10,000 and earning a place at the meeting of Biomedical Engineering Society in Seattle next month. The contest required that all projects address a medical need in under-served populations.
A team from UCLA won for a diagnostic device to create more personalized chemotherapy for cancer patients; students from Dartmouth brought home a prize for their device that preps donor feces for patients infected with the bacterial infection C. diff.; and students from Rice University won for their low-cost, mechanical device to regulate an IV drip.
Primary care docs get gypped in Medicare reimbursements
Cognitive care, the typical daily activity for primary care doctors, is reimbursed by Medicare at a rate 3-to-5 times less than procedural care, such as screening colonoscopy or cataract extraction, according to a study. Published in JAMA, the research found that, when compared to reimbursement for typical cognitive services, colonoscopy screening brought in 368% more revenue and cataract extraction brought in 486% more revenue. The study concluded that this "discrepancy is a major contributor to the decline in the number of physicians choosing primary care careers."
Can’t recognize a picture of Oprah? Might be an early sign of dementia
A new, simple diagnostic that asks patients to identify famous faces, from Einstein to Oprah, may help doctors detect early warning signs for dementia, according to a study published in Neurology. Of test subjects 40-65 years old, those with early-onset dementia had the hardest time naming these iconic characters. The test can also give clues to the specific type of brain impairment based on whether a person recognizes a famous face but can’t assign a name, or does not recognize the face at all.
Canadian doctor lost control of 1,500 patient records
A doctor in Alberta, Canada, was found guilty of violating the Health Information Act when she lost control of 1,500 patient records. Dr. Dianne Smith lost access to the electronic medical records of her patients when she left Didsbury Medical Clinic to start her own private practice. According to the law, a "custodian" doctor with the College of Physicians & Surgeons must have direct access to all patient health records at all times. The assigned custodian of these records initially refused to clear them for the transfer, leading to the violation and loss of control.