MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The vast majority of U.S. companies consider rising healthcare costs a "top concern" moving forward, and more than half are under-prepared to implement programs required by new laws.
More than 80% of the companies surveyed named healthcare among the top budgetary concerns, up from the 74% in the last iteration of the study.
Political confidence played a big part in the survey, with positive business outlook projections up to 72.3% as opposed to the 51.8% projection during the throes of the fiscal cliff discussions in Washington, The Hill reported.
Sleep study links severe apnea to sudden cardiac death
A sleep study of 10,000 people over the age of 60 showed those with severe sleep apnea were nearly twice as likely to suffer sudden cardiac death. For people who stop breathing more than 20 times an hour during the night, a very treatable condition, blood oxygen levels drop dangerously and may explain the link, researchers said.
E-cigarettes now classified as medicine in the U.K.
Regulators across the pond made a move to define e-cigarettes as medicine, along with all other products that contain nicotine, after noting that existing electronic smoking systems aren’t living up to their potential to reduce some of the harms of traditional smoking.
U.K. healthcare regulators hope the beefed-up oversight may spur manufacturers to improve their devices.
"Reducing the harms of smoking to smokers and those around them is a key government health priority," Medicines & Health Regulatory Agency group manager Jeremy Mean said. "Our research has shown that existing electronic cigarettes and other nicotine containing products on the market are not good enough to meet this public health priority."
New depression treatment with brain stimulation shows promise
Neuronetics released new clinical data showing that patients with major depressive disorder who have already tried traditional medication, the answer might be in a treatment that uses MRI-strength magnetic field pulses to stimulate the nerve cells in the brain.
Neuronetics’ NeuroStar TMS therapy system, cleared by the FDA in 2008 to treat depression, has demonstrated clinically meaningful remission, the company noted.
Do robots need checklists, too?
Hospital checklists have been made famous for their potential to reduce errors and enhance patients safety, and they may have much to offer for doctors performing robot-assisted surgeries.
During lengthy surgical procedures that involve robotic assistance, problems might be alleviated thorough checklists and more frequent "time-outs" for surgeons. Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine found that surgical outcomes improved when surgeons were reminded periodically to check things like press points and patient position.