Contact lenses as sight-saving drug delivery system

A drug-dispensing contact lens has shown success in effectively lowering eye pressure in monkeys with induced glaucoma. In what is termed a ‘pre-clinical model’, the study found that the medication, latanoprost, usually administered by the patient in conventional eye drops, in the contact lens form had equal or better intraocular pressure reduction. To quote the study’s first author, “We found that a lower-dose contact lens delivered the same amount of pressure reduction as the latanoprost drops, and a higher-dose lens, interestingly enough, had better pressure reduction than the drops in our small study,” said Joseph B. Ciolino, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. The design of the lens does double duty: the periphery contains the thin film of drug-encapsulated polymers that slowly releases the drug; the center of the lens is clear and breathable, thus usable for standard vision correction.

Contact lenses for drug delivery have been for decades intriguing to researchers, but the embedded drug delivery has been too rapid to be effective in most cases; thus the polymers and the design are critical in slowing delivery. (more…)

IBM Watson Health adds 5 partners, 2 solutions

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/pillar.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Breaking News  IBM Watson Health not only cut the ribbon on their new global HQ on Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts (and on their new General Manager Deborah DeSanzo), they also announced two more data crunching power platforms and five new partners.

  • The IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences is designed to help life science companies fast track the deployment of a GxP compliant infrastructure and applications while adhering to stringent requirements for hosting, accessing and sharing regulated data.
  • The IBM Watson Care Manager is a population health solution that integrates Watson Health, Apple ResearchKit and Apple HealthKit into a personalized patient engagement program to improve individual health outcomes.

The five new partners are Boston Children’s Hospital (pediatrics), Columbia University (Pathology & Cell Biology and Systems Biology), ICON plc (pharma clinical trial matching–Ireland), Sage Bionetworks (Open Biomedical Research Platform) and Teva Pharmaceuticals (treatments for chronic conditions–Israel). They join CVS Health, Medtronic and Yale University. On opening day, the new headquarters also hosted demonstrations by health ecosystem partners Best Doctors, Modernizing Medicine, Pathway Genomics, Socrates and Welltok. Release (PDF)

Previously in TTA on IBM Watson Health: their big announcement at HIMSS 15 and we do wonder about their work with the VA on clinical reasoning and mental health.

A ‘before the alarm’ approach to the soundtrack of ICU data

ICUs–and indeed, any acute care setting–have a soundtrack of boops and beeps that accompany regular telemetry of data from multiple devices. Alarms which indicate emergencies shatter the rhythm, eventually inducing ‘alarm fatigue’. What if ICUs could get a step or two ahead and use the torrent of data to predict a downturn in a patient’s condition and warn clinicians before that alarm goes off? That is the idea behind the system being developed at Boston Children’s Hospital with a local data analytics startup, Etiometry.  The latter’s Risk Analytics model is designed to transform data into clinically actionable information and to predict decompensation–a worsening or emergency status for the patient. For the cardiac intensive unit at BCH, the Stability Index pops up on the vital signs screen. “Doctors choose different parameters to measure, then the Etiometry system renders its risk assessment on a simple numerical scale, with 0 being most stable and 4 the least.” Not the first innovation for Boston Children’s either; with another software provider, they developed a single view of vital signs interface dubbed T3.  Boston Globe, FierceMobileHealthcare