UCSF Launches Open Oximetry Project
The UCSF Hypoxia Laboratory and UCSF Center for Health Equity in Surgery and Anesthesia launched a multi-year initiative designed to improve access to safe pulse oximeters in all populations.
The Open Oximetry Project will look at the extent and root cause of oximeter inaccuracy in people with darker skin pigment, with the overriding objective being to share data and create new standards and technologies for oximeter validation that take skin pigment into account.
The investigators will conduct laboratory and real-world studies to explore the topic.
“It is long overdue to see growing interest in this neglected topic,” said Michael Lipnick, MD, UCSF associate professor of clinical anesthesia. “We are excited to leverage some of the relatively unique resources we have here at UCSF at the intersection of health equity, pulse oximetry research, and clinical studies, and share these not only with researchers and developers to accelerate their work, but also find ways to effectively share data with the public.”
The Open Oximetry Project has received catalytic funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The clinical trial component has received monetary support from the FDA through the UCSF-Stanford Center of Excellence in Regulatory Sciences and Innovation. Read More
Lifetime Trajectories May Point to People in Need of Early Interventions for COPD
Australian investigators publishing in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine have found an increased risk for COPD in people with a low FEV1/FVC ratio plus low FVC lifetime trajectories.
This “mixed” phenotype was also strongly associated with childhood risk factors like asthma and mental health disorders in adulthood.
The study was conducted among 2,422 people who had spirometry measured at several points from age seven to age 53. Six FEV1/FVC ratio trajectories and five FVC trajectories were found, which the researchers categorized into four patterns of lifetime spirometry: obstructive-only (low FEV1/FVC ratio), restrictive-only (low FVC), mixed (low FEV1/FVC ratio and low FVC), and reference (no low FEV1/FVC ratio or low FVC).
The obstructive-only trajectory was seen in 25.8% of the subjects, the restrictive-only trajectory in 10.5%, and the mixed trajectory in 3.5%. The reference category accounted for 60.2%.
Combined with people in the obstructive-only group, individuals in the mixed category had the highest incidence of COPD at the age of 53. The authors believe these individuals may significantly benefit from early interventions. Read More
Text Messages Keep People at Home
Most people these days are used to checking their phones regularly to find out if they have any new text messages. However, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine believe health care providers can harness that behavior to check in with patients recently discharged from the hospital.
The goal: reduce readmissions.
The investigators tested the concept in patients set up to receive a phone call two days after an emergency care visit. Patients were invited to enroll in an automated text message program, and those who agreed received regular check-in texts that slowly tapered off in frequency over a month.
More than 400 people enrolled in the program, and they were compared to more than 1,000 who did not participate. Results showed patients who received the messages were 55% less likely to require a readmission and 33% less likely to visit the emergency department over the month-long study.
“This study adds to a growing body of evidence that connecting with patients through text messaging can help patients achieve better health outcomes and even save lives,” said study author Anna U. Morgan, MD.
The research appeared in JAMA Network Open. Read More
COPD Patients Share Their Concerns
A recent survey conducted by Wellinks in collaboration with the COPD Foundation highlighted patient perspectives on COPD care in the U.S. The survey, which was conducted among people taking part in the COPD Foundation’s COPD360Social platform, found —
- 59% of respondents were interested in using technology to receive care and manage their COPD. Unfortunately, of that group, only half are using such solutions.
- 74% were interested in accessing pulmonary rehabilitation at home, and 72% agreed that it is very important to have the ability for access to devices to check lung function and oxygen at home.
- 59% reported that it is very important to have a solution providing educational resources about COPD.
- 88% would like a better way to manage their condition.
- 32% reported being admitted to the hospital at least once over the last two years, and 41% visited the emergency room at least once.
- 35% claimed that pulmonary rehabilitation was not easy for them to access.
“Fragmented care has let too many people with COPD fall through the cracks with inadequate access to treatment resources and tools to support self-efficacy,” said Dr. Abi Sundaramoorthy, chief medical officer at Wellinks, which makes a personalized, virtual-first COPD management system. “By integrating virtual care pathways into the COPD care model, we can empower patients with the solutions they need to manage their conditions to reduce hospitalizations and lower costs.” Read More
One Reason Why the Flu Hits Older People Harder
It’s no secret that older people are more likely to develop severe influenza-related diseases. But why? University of Michigan researchers believe they have found a possible answer to that question.
They decided to examine why alveolar macrophages, the first line of defense in the lungs, don’t work as well in older people. Building on previous research in mice showing when macrophages from an old mouse were implanted into a young mouse, they regained their youth, the investigators zeroed in on a lipid immune modulator known as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) that has wide-ranging effects on the body, including the lungs.
They found older people have more PGE2, which acts on the macrophages in their lungs and limits their health and ability to generate. The researchers believe this is another marker of senescence, the biological process that keeps damaged cells from replicating.
Cells that become senescent secrete a lot of inflammatory factors, leading to increased production of PGE2.
They tested their theory in older mice by giving them a drug that blocks a PGE2 receptor. These mice ended up with more alveolar macrophages and better survival from the flu than older mice who did not receive the drug.
The team plans more study to investigate the roles PGE2 plays in the lungs and other parts of the body as well.
The study was published by Nature Communications. Read More
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