The US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to a $100 million contract with Philips for creation of what would be the world's largest electronic ICU system, allowing centralized remote monitoring of patients throughout the VA's 1,800 ICU beds. The VA has been investing in telehealth with the goal of reducing geographic barriers to care.
An executive order signed by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requires the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to develop rules that will mandate implicit bias training for all health care professionals in the state before they can receive, renew or register their license. State officials will consult stakeholders and work with professional boards and task forces to develop the new rules.
A policy paper released by former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats' presumptive nominee for president, outlines his plans for creating a public option in health care but does not include a Medicare-for-All model. The plan, developed by a task force that includes allies and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., calls for lowering the eligibility age for Medicare to 60.
A Premier survey of almost 90 health systems showed 88% are stockpiling COVID-19 drugs, with 51% working toward at least a one-month supply and 25% toward a two-month supply. Seventy-two percent plan to pay for the extra drugs using existing pharmacy budgets while 28% will allocate additional funds.
The FDA has granted orphan drug designation and priority review status to Astex Pharmaceuticals' Inqovi, or decitabine and cedazuridine, for treating individuals with myelodysplastic syndromes or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, after a trial showed that Inqovi had a similar safety profile and drug concentration as intravenous decitabine.
A study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology found that six academic medical systems experienced a 40% to 70% decline in imaging volume amid the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the same period last year, and significant imaging volume started decreasing in the 11th week and recovery began in the 17th week. Researchers also found that screening mammography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans were the modalities with the steepest drops in volume, while PET/CT, interventional radiology and X-ray saw the smallest declines.
Researchers found that children who underwent single body part MRI exams had shorter scan times and lower propofol exposure, compared with those who had multiple body part exams. The findings, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, also showed that elevated American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, magnet strength, intravenous contrast administration and oncologic diagnosis correlated with prolonged scan times and increased anesthesia exposure among those in the single-part group.
The World Health Organization issued a scientific brief Thursday saying the possibility that the novel coronavirus is airborne cannot be ruled out, and acknowledging that it might be transmitted through aerosols or tiny air droplets in closed indoor spaces such as restaurants and gyms. The WHO said more research is needed, but respiratory droplets are still thought to be the primary route of transmission.
Researchers who examined patients' CT pulmonary angiographs found that 40.6% of those with confirmed COVID-19 had pulmonary thromboembolism, most of whom had bilateral or right PTE, and those with PTE had significantly elevated CT lesion scores and C-reactive protein, D-dimer and lactate dehydrogenase levels, compared with those who didn't have PTE. The findings indicate that thrombosis may be the cause of filling defects in pulmonary artery branches and that proactive anticoagulant treatment may benefit patients with COVID-19, but more studies are needed, according to researchers.
A study in JAMA Network Open found that 78.9% of people with recurrent rectal cancer who underwent image-guided resection had complete R0 resections, compared with a historical rate of 48.8%, but image-guided resection didn't significantly affect outcomes among those with locally advanced rectal cancer. The findings suggest the benefits of image guidance in recurrent rectal cancer, but more studies are needed to determine the approach's learning curve, cost and time spent in the operating room, according to an accompanying editorial.