An analysis of data from Medicare, the CDC and local health agencies found 79.5% of 3,142 US counties lacked an infectious disease doctor, and 9.9% had an infectious disease physician density lower than the national average. The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, showed 66% of 785 counties with the highest number of COVID-19 cases didn't have a single infectious disease physician.
CDC Director Robert Redfield said protests happening across the country following the death of George Floyd could contribute to the spread of COVID-19, and he urged protesters to get tested for the disease.
A study in the European Journal of Radiology found that a deep learning algorithm was able to automatically exclude 86% of all CT scans that didn't contain coronary artery calcium scoring information. "The results show that our pipeline in a screening population might be used to exclude scans with no CAC without the risk of false negatives, and thus might be used to reduce the workload for radiologists in CAC screening," researchers wrote.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for ICU clinicians to prevent, detect or treat neurological problems, such as delirium and stroke, in patients with COVID-19. Delirium is a common side effect of being in an ICU and on a ventilator, and COVID-19 is believed to increase the risk of stroke.
The FDA has given emergency use authorization to Clew Medical for its ClewICU System to be used in intensive care units to help identify patients who are at risk of hemodynamic instability or respiratory failure. The company's ClewICUnitor and ClewICUServer are also covered by the EUA.
Researchers found that the Multimer Detection System-Oligomeric amyloid-beta blood test, which measures amyloid-beta oligomerization, yielded 100% sensitivity and 92% specificity in identifying people at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. The findings in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggest that amyloid-beta oligomerization "is expected to be of great help in treating dementia," said researcher Youn Young-chul.
AstraZeneca and Accent Therapeutics have entered a deal to develop and commercialize cancer treatments using RNA-modifying proteins. The deal states that Accent will be eligible for an upfront payment of $55 million and option fees, milestones and tiered royalties on net sales while being responsible for research and development activities for an unspecified preclinical program, while AstraZeneca will handle subsequent development and commercialization after regulatory approvals.
The race to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 continues with the candidates numbering at least 28. Two of the vaccines have reached Phase II/III trials, one is in a Phase II trial, and two others are being assessed in Phase I/II studies.
The loss of smell and taste could be a common symptom of COVID-19 infection, and there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 affects the olfactory nerve area. One study based on objective tests of smell dysfunction found 98% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had some loss of smell.
Emerging technologies such as telehealth and wearable devices can help with remote monitoring when deferring in-person treatment may be beneficial. For specialty disease monitoring, care teams can see newly reported symptoms that may indicate adverse effects of specialty medications and enable quicker interventions.