The Health News Australia March 12 2018

  • The potential for a simple blood test to detect patients with lung cancer has been boosted following an “exciting” discovery made by Australian researchers. Australian researchers have identified unique molecular characteristics of an aggressive, hard-to-treat type of lung cancer known as adenocarcinoma that could help identify patients most likely to respond to immunotherapies. The researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne also identified a possible blood biomarker produced by the deadly disease, raising hope of an early detection test.
  • US researchers have developed a smartphone-based blood pressure monitoring prototype that could one day make measuring the major risk factor for heart attack and stroke more accessible for Australians. The special phone case uses high-tech 3D printing technology that is embedded with an optical sensor, which measures blood pressure through force applied to an artery in a finger. Last year the Heart Foundation warned millions of Australians were “ticking time-bombs”, unaware they’re at risk of a stroke or heart attack because of their dangerously high blood pressure.
  • A Perth after-hours medical clinic says the number of patients using its service has reduced by almost a third since a government crackdown but concedes the system was being abused, including by doctors writing opioid scripts. The Federal Government crackdown on false claims for urgent after hours care only began on March 1. The Government blames ads promoting the convenience of free after-hours services for a 157 per cent increase in their use between 2010 and 2016. In dollar terms, it represents an increased cost to the taxpayer of $155 million a year in five years.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/oncology/4/news/aap/australian-researchers-discovered-an-early-detection-test-for-lung-cancer/3220/

The potential for a simple blood test to detect patients with lung cancer has been boosted following an “exciting” discovery made by Australian researchers. Australian researchers have identified unique molecular characteristics of an aggressive, hard-to-treat type of lung cancer known as adenocarcinoma that could help identify patients most likely to respond to immunotherapies. The researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne also identified a possible blood biomarker produced by the deadly disease, raising hope of an early detection test.

Adenocarcinoma accounts for around forty percent of lung cancers and is often associated with a history of smoking, but is also the most commonly diagnosed lung cancer in non-smokers. It occurs more frequently in females and in young people than other types of lung cancer. Doctor Sarah Best at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said: “These cancers are very aggressive, are resistant to standard therapies and have a poor prognosis, so new therapies are urgently needed.”
….
The next step is to analyse human samples to prove the same is true in lung adenocarcinoma patients. Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia Aranda praised the research and said it could “absolutely” be life-saving in the future.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/03/08/11/13/smartphone-device-measures-blood-pressure

US researchers have developed a smartphone-based blood pressure monitoring prototype that could one day make measuring the major risk factor for heart attack and stroke more accessible for Australians. The special phone case uses high-tech threeD printing technology that is embedded with an optical sensor, which measures blood pressure through force applied to an artery in a finger.

It provides a blood pressure reading in the finger in the same way that a blood pressure cuff squeezes an artery in the arm, according to researchers at Michigan State University. Early trial results, published in journal Science Translational Medicine, showed blood pressure readings were similar using their smartphone device, a standard arm cuff device, and a finger-cuff device used on a group of thirty participants.

According to the paper, about ninety percent of participants were able to position their finger correctly and get consistent readings after one or two attempts. Last year the Heart Foundation warned millions of Australians were “ticking time-bombs”, unaware they’re at risk of a stroke or heart attack because of their dangerously high blood pressure. Heart Foundation analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a quarter of adults have high blood pressure that is either untreated or treated inadequately. This equates to four million people at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-10/perth-after-hours-medical-clinic-numbers-drop-after-opioid-crac/9534248

A Perth after-hours medical clinic says the number of patients using its service has reduced by almost a third since a government crackdown but concedes the system was being abused, including by doctors writing opioid scripts. The Federal Government crackdown on false claims for urgent after hours care only began on March one. But Asim Shehzad, the operations director for the Perth After Hours Medical Service, said it had already affected business.
….
He said he was confident his doctors had been doing the right thing but confirmed he was aware of doctors who had been writing out opioid scripts if asked.
….

The Government blames ads promoting the convenience of free after-hours services for a one hundred fifty seven percent increase in their use between two thousand ten and two thousand sixteen. In dollar terms, it represents an increased cost to the taxpayer of one hundred fifty five million dollars a year in five years.

Mister Shehzad said some doctors in the industry had attended non-urgent calls and billed Medicare for them at the higher urgent rate. But again he said he was confident it didn’t happen in his clinic. He also said patients would abuse the system by calling a doctor to their house after-hours simply to get a prescription.

….
A review of the system led to the current crackdown. It found sixty three per cent of the doctors providing after-hours services were not vocationally registered GPs, meaning they were either still in training or not members of the college of GPs.
….
From now on, fully qualified GPs will get just under one hundred thirty dollars from the Government for a genuine urgent after-hours call, but non-vocationally registered doctors will only get one hundred dollars. Australian Medical Association President Michael Gannon said free systems were always open to abuse.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.