33 Days Remain to Help Hot New App for Diabetes on MEDSTARTR

33 Days left to help Jennifer assist diabetic patients with her new App.

Donate on MedStartr:  http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser

 MEDSTARTR is the new crowdfunding source for hot Health products. YOU get to donate to the best ones.
    

The EndoGoddess App is terrific for diabetics. It’s created by someone who knows what her patients need.

Today, I’m talking to Jennifer Shine Dyer,MD, MPH, a stylish pediatric endocrinologist and tech entrepreneur with Duet Health Eproximiti.  This former Texan now living in Ohio, loves NYC, fashion, politics, and food is also the founder of EndoGoddess, LLC.

Jennifer is a dynamo who created an App called, The EndoGoddess App to help diabetes patients track their glucoselevels. No more self-entry journaling.  Patients use the App upon checking of glucoses with each meal and bedtime or just once daily to enter all of the glucoses for the day. But she makes it fun. It’s a 21st Century Glucose Journal that rewards you with  free iTunes and a whole lot more.

The EndoGoddess App utilizes a unique social business model for iTunes downloads. The revenue for the iTunes downloads comes from the user’s family and friends who sponsor the user which is a social business model unique to the EndoGoddess App.  That’s right.  Your friends and family reward you when you follow doctor’s orders.

Here’s how it works:  The user enters the sponsor’s email address, and a link to the user’s iTunes account is sent to the sponsor who then submits their desired payment into the user’s account. The feature will be live in coming months.

The main behavior focus of the EndoGoddess App: self-entry glucose. But it also has unique personal, social media, and patient community features. Within the app, users can submit daily diabetes-specific motivational quotes which are screened by Jennifer and then featured on the home page of the app.

The EndoGoddess App also allows the user to customize glucose-check reminder alarms so that adherence triggers are personalized, an additional unique feature. Finally, the EndoGoddess App makes sharing glucose results with doctors and family easy by just touching the share button.

Another cool feature is that information about how to get involved in the diabetes online community (moderated twitter chats, blogs, diabetes camp links, charity links) is provided in addition to original multimedia basic diabetes education content.

Anyone with diabetes who is instructed by their doctor to check their blood sugars 4 times per day can use the EndoGoddess App. It’s also for patients who are checking their blood sugars 4 times per day; typically anyone with insulin-dependent type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Moms who are pregnant, checking their blood sugars frequently due to gestational diabetes can also use the EndoGoddess App.

It provides a more modern form of journal for your glucoses than an old-fashioned paper journal, which also has corresponding carb intake and insulin dosing. The journal has a rewards and points feature.

No more paper journals that look like the one pictured here.

In the next month or so, you will be able to download an iTunes song weekly if your points are high enough. You can keep track of your points on the home page currently upon entering glucoses into the app.

The EndoGoddess App got it’s name from a nickname a patient gave her. ‘Endo’ because she’s an endocrinologist and ‘goddess’ because she likes to wear a little bling everyday.

She was inspired to create the App when she started texting teen patients. She then created a texting app, studied the results in a small pilot study (http://mobihealthnews.com/8599/texting-imrpoves-type-1-diabetes-adherence/) amongst her teen patients which proved that mobile phones make life with diabetes healthier.

Jennifer says, “I then developed The EndoGoddess App to improve upon the initial texting app that I first studied. My patients were the ones that really inspired me to take the plunge into medical technology entrepreneurship full-time so as to get the product in their hands faster.”

Diabetes is hard, and often, patients lose motivation to keep up with it. Diabetes is a unique chronic disease in which the decisions most affecting the health and well-being of patients are made by the patients themselves.

This is the critical reason that the EndoGoddess App targets patient/consumer empowerment primarily rather than just the physician’s efforts to make the largest impact on diabetes-related health outcomes, quality, and costs. In other words, making diabetes easier is a big deal and is the primary focus of the EndoGoddess App.

I asked Jennifer how she thought the EndoGoddess App would change healthcare for the better. She said that in order for doctors to prescribe the EndoGoddess App and for health insurance companies to perhaps even pay people with diabetes to use the app, a clinical trial must prove that apps make people with diabetes healthier.

So Jennifer is pursuing funding in a creative way using new healthcare crowdfunding site, MedStartr. Traditional funding for clinical trials typically comes from federal sources such as NIH which requires that researchers be either part of a university or a non-profit organization. Most funding mechanisms exclude small businesses like startups.

Medstartr allows the public to be involved in funding projects that they think are important and in new technology that they would like to see in healthcare. I think that this mechanism for funding will confirm to investors that the EndoGoddess App is a product that patients want and will hopefully result in new ventures to allow further growth and development of new products.

As the future, Jennifer is super excited to announce that work on the EndoGoddess Kids App started on June 25th through the 10x accelator program, a mentorship-driven investment program designed for energetic and game-changing entrepreneurs. 10x has partnered with Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs (ONE) Fund, an innovative business accelerator designed to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Ohio.

Teams such as the EndoGoddess Team are awarded $20,000 to bring a project to life over a 10-week period culminating in a pitch day presentation to interested investors within the community.

The EndoGoddess Team will be creating the new EndoGoddess Kids App built for young children with type 1 diabetes and their families. The app will include a new rewards and gaming feature similar in concept to the classic Tamagotchi virtual pet (pictured attached above). The virtual pet, which will need to be ‘fed’ by recording glucoses within the app, is expected to encourage engagement in daily diabetes glucose checking by the child based on appointment dynamic game mechanics theory. It should be available for download at the end of September or early October 2012.


The EndoGoddess Kids App virtual pet will include a reincarnation of her sweet golden retriever, Cooper Dyer, who passed away last year due to cancer (picture with me and Cooper dressed up in our Golden Globes watching attire is attached). So, needless to say, the EndoGoddess Kids App is a labor of love for me.

You’re going to be seeing or hearing about a lot of new Apps in Health, but the problem is the best ones are not necessarily the ones getting funded.

Some get promoted by people who have a vested interest in it or they have a personal relationship with the person, so a lot of crap gets a green light. The person who ends up suffering is the health consumer.  I love products that are actually developed by people who are passionate about helping people and have found a need through their own work and personal experience.  I like to feature people and products or services that end up helping you and deserve funding.  Fortunately, there is now a crowdfunding source for health.  Medstartr.  It allows the community to pick the Best in Class helping it come to market. EndoGodess App is on it. 

So, let’s  help Jennifer Shine Dyer SHINE: People can now donate to the EndoGoddess App here:  http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser

 
 

You can follow Jennifer on the following:

Jennifer’s Blog/website: http://endogoddess.blogspot.com/

Jennifer’s Website: http://www.duethealth.com/

Jennifer on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifershinedyer drjenshinedyer@gmail.com

Jennifer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/EndoGoddess

Here is a video of Jennifer explaining the name of EndoGoddess at an international conference in Paris last month:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4GMjwIZPEg

 

 

Diabetes facts

The prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions

WHO predicts that developing countries will bear the brunt of this epidemic in the 21st century. Currently, more than 70% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle income countries.

  • An estimated 285 million people, corresponding to 6.4% of the world’s adult population, will live with diabetes in 2010. The number is expected to grow to 438 million by 2030, corresponding to 7.8% of the adult population.
  • While the global prevalence of diabetes is 6.4%, the prevalence varies from 10.2% in the Western Pacific to 3.8% in the African region. However, the African region is expected to experience the highest increase.
  • 70% of the current cases of diabetes occur in low- and middle income countries. With an estimated 50.8 million people living with diabetes, India has the world’s largest diabetes population, followed by China with 43.2 million.
  • The largest age group currently affected by diabetes is between 40-59 years. By 2030 this “record” is expected to move to the 60-79 age group with some 196 million cases.
  • Diabetes is one of the major causes of premature illness and death worldwide. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes account for 60% of all deaths worldwide.

Lack of sufficient diagnosis and treatment

  • In developing countries, less than half of people with diabetes are diagnosed. Without timely diagnoses and adequate treatment, complications and morbidity from diabetes rise exponentially.
  • Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for many years and the diagnosis is often made from associated complications or incidentally through an abnormal blood or urine glucose test.
  • Undiagnosed diabetes accounted for 85% of those with diabetes in studies from South Africa, 80% in Cameroon, 70% in Ghana and over 80% in Tanzania.
  • The number of deaths attributable to diabetes in 2010 shows a 5.5% increase over the estimates for the year 2007. This increase is largely due to a 29% increase in the number of deaths due to diabetes in the North America & Caribbean Region, a 12% increase in the South East Asia Region and an 11% increase in the Western Pacific Region.
  • Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 85-95% of all diabetes in high-income countries and may account for an even higher percentage in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 80% of type 2 diabetes is preventable by changing diet, increasing physical activity and improving the living environment. Yet, without effective prevention and control programmes, the incidence of diabetes is likely to continue rising globally.
  • Insulin is vital for the survival of people with type 1 diabetes and often ultimately required by people with type 2 diabetes. Even though insulin’s indispensible nature is recognised by its inclusion in the WHO’s Essential Medicines List, insulin is still not available on an uninterrupted basis in many parts of the developing world.

Diabetes costs – a burden for families and society

  • The financial burden borne by people with diabetes and their families as a result of their disease depends on their economic status and the social insurance policies of their countries. In the poorest countries, people with diabetes and their families bear almost the whole cost of the medical care they can afford.
  • In Latin America, families pay 40-60% of medical care expenditures from their own pockets. In Mozambique, diabetes care for one person requires 75% of the per capita income; in Mali it amounts to 61%; Vietnam is 51% and Zambia 21%.
  • Expressed in International Dollars (ID), which correct for differences in purchasing power, estimated global expenditures on diabetes will be at least ID 418 billion in 2010, and at least ID 561 billion in 2030. An estimated average of ID 878 per person will be spent on diabetes in 2010 globally.
  • Besides excess healthcare expenditure, diabetes also imposes large economic burdens in the form of lost productivity and foregone economic growth. The largest economic burden is the monetary value associated with disability and loss of life as a result of the disease itself and its related complications.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) predicted net losses in national income from diabetes and cardiovascular disease of ID 557.7 billion in China, ID 303.2 billion in the Russian Federation, ID 336.6 billion in India, ID 49.2 billion in Brazil and ID 2.5 billion in Tanzania (2005 ID), between 2005 and 2015.
  • Unless addressed, the mortality and disease burden from diabetes and other NCDs will continue to increase. WHO projects that globally, deaths caused by these health problems will increase by 17% over the next decade, with the greatest increase in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in the African (27%) and Eastern Mediterranean (25%) regions.

Source: IDF, Diabetes Atlas, 4th edition

 

In 2009, Manny Hernadez published a two-part series on HealthCentral.com reviewed all services that offer online blood glucose tracking tools that he was aware of. He reviewed 7 options. They’re worth a look to see how Glucose Tracking has progressed.
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Again, let’s help Jennifer Shine Dyer SHINE & help diabetic patients by donating to the EndoGoddess App here: http://beta.medstartr.com/projects/19-endogoddess-diabetes-app-clinical-trial-fundraiser 
 
 

All About Sleep Apnea

SLEEP APNEA IS A COMMON SLEEP PROBLEM THAT CAN BEGIN AT ANY AGE. BREATHING IS REPEATEDLY INTERRUPTED DURING SLEEP. 

THE TIME PERIOD FOR WHICH THE BREATHING STOPS OR DECREASES IS USUALLY BETWEEN 10 AND 30 SECONDS.  WHEN THESE EPISODES OCCUR REPEATEDLY, SLEEP APNEA CAN SERIOUSLY DISRUPT THE QUALITY OF SLEEP.

 IT AFFECTS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND HAS BEEN LINKED TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART ATTACK, AND STROKE, and JUST LAST WEEK, CANCER (SEE ARTICLE LINK BELOW).

DR. CHARLES BAE TREATS SLEEP APNEA PATIENTS AT CLEVELAND CLINIC’S SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER .

HE SAYS MANY PEOPLE WITH SLEEP APNEA DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY HAVE IT.

“There is, throughout the night, a collapse of the upper airway. So, essentially you stop breathing multiple times, while you’re sleeping, even if you’re not aware of it.”

DR. BAE SAYS PEOPLE WHO HAVE SLEEP APNEA DON’T ALWAYS WAKE UP WHEN THEY STOP BREATHING.

HE SAYS OFTENTIMES, PEOPLE MAY NOT EVEN KNOW THEY HAVE IT, AND THAT THEY’RE USUALLY TOLD BY THEIR SLEEP PARTNER THAT THEY EITHER STOP BREATHING OR SNORE LOUDLY.

DR. BAE SAYS ONCE SLEEP APNEA IS DIAGNOSED, TREATMENT USUALLY INVOLVES A CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE, OR CPAP MACHINE.

Dr. Charles Bae says, “Depending on how serious the sleep apnea is that would determine when you need the machine, but it really, oftentimes, doesn’t matter. Someone with severe sleep apnea may not be sleepy, but they definitely need the machine. Someone with mild sleep apnea may be super sleepy, so certainly, that would be the time to consider it.”

DR. BAE ALSO SAYS IF YOU’RE GETTING 8 HOURS OF SLEEP, BUT STILL FEEL TIRED, OR ARE WAKING UP FOR UNKNOWN REASONS, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.  For more information, visit: www.clevelandclinic.org

English: The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea ...
English: The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW TREATMENTS FOR SLEEP APNEA

The Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center—a pioneer in robotic surgery—now offers a procedure to patients with sleep apnea, whose obstructive breathing prevents them from sleeping normally.

Mount Sinai is one of only a few programs in the world to use transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to remove excess tissue or fix a collapsed airway that causes sleep apnea.

Through the robotic procedure, a laser removes the extra tissue in the throat that contributes to the airway obstruction in sleep apnea patients.

Patients typically return home the next day, and are back to work in 10 days, sleeping and breathing normally.

During sleep apnea, a person’s breathing is blocked and then restored when the brain sends a signal that awakens the patient to a lighter level of sleep.

This process can happen hundreds of times each night, leaving the patient exhausted during the day and at risk for many health complications, including cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

Many patients opt for a treatment called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), delivered through a mask that the patient wears at night to force his or her airway open for the duration of sleep.

However, some feel the mask hinders their quality of life, and look for better options.

“Over time many patients grow frustrated with CPAP or stop using the device, causing their sleep apnea to return and leaving them anxious for a better solution,” said Fred Lin, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Director of the Mount Sinai Sleep Surgery Center.

 “In the past, surgery had been a last resort. Now, using robotic surgery, we can remove the tissue that contributes to the airway blockage in a brief procedure with no external incisions and have patients home the next day, sleeping healthfully.”

During the robotic procedure, a surgeon sits at a console directly controlling a robotic arm that extends a small surgical instrument through the patient’s mouth. Using a high-powered 3-D camera, he or she has a clear view of the surgical field.

The previous surgical technique was less precise and potentially less effective because the surgeon was only able to use one hand, and had limited maneuverability.

“Mount Sinai is one of the original adopters of robotic surgery and we have seen first-hand the dramatic quality of life improvements it provides our head and neck cancer patients,” said Eric Genden, MD, Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Causes

There are three types of respiratory events:

  • Obstructive apnea—caused by a temporary, partial, or complete blockage of the airway
  • Central apnea—caused by a temporary failure to make an effort to breathe
  • Mixed apnea—combination of the first two types

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing sleep apnea. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:

  • Sex: male
  • Overweight
  • Large neck circumference
  • Age: middle to older age
  • Family history of apnea
  • Structural abnormalities of the nose, throat, or other part of the respiratory tract. Examples include:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Medicines: sedatives and sleeping aids
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and sleepiness during waking hours
  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing that stops during the night (noticed by the partner)
  • Repeated waking at night
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Poor concentration or problems with memory
  • Irritability or short temper

People with chronic untreated sleep apnea may be at risk for:

Diagnosis

An overnight sleep study is used to help diagnose sleep apnea.

Overnight Sleep Study (Polysomnography)

This testhelps detect the presence and severity of sleep apnea. During sleep, it measures your:

  • Eye and muscle movements
  • Brain activity ( electroencephalogram)
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing (pattern and depth)
  • Percent saturation of your red blood cells with oxygen

Other Studies

In addition to sleep studies, your doctor may order:

Treatment

There are a number of treatment options for sleep apnea, including:

Behavioral Therapy

  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Avoid using sedatives, sleeping pills, alcohol, and nicotine, which tend to make the condition worse.
  • Try sleeping on your side instead of your back.
  • Place pillows strategically so you are as comfortable as possible.
  • For daytime sleepiness, practice safety measures, such as avoiding driving or operating potentially hazardous equipment.

Mechanical Therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) entails wearing a mask over your nose and/or mouth during sleep. An air blower forces enough constant and continuous air through your air passages to prevent the tissues from collapsing and blocking the airway. In some cases, dental appliances that help keep the tongue or jaw in a more forward position may help.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be recommended. It is most often beneficial in pediatric patients.

Types of surgery that may be done to treat severe cases of sleep apnea include:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty—The doctor removes excess soft tissue from the nose and/or throat.
  • Maxillomandibular advancement—The jawbone is repositioned forward.
  • Tracheotomy—For life-threatening cases of sleep apnea, an opening is made in the windpipe to allow for normal breathing.

Bariatric surgery may help with weight loss in some people who are obese. This surgery may reduce many of the complications that are related to obesity, including sleep apnea.

Medications

Only used in central apnea, acetazolamide (Diamox) may help improve the ability to regulate breathing. Overall, there is not a lot of evidence to support the use of medicines to treat sleep apnea.

Supplemental oxygen may be given if blood levels of oxygen fall too low during sleep, even after opening the airway.

Prevention

You may be able to prevent the onset of sleep apnea by maintaining a healthy weight . Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and sedatives, which may contribute to airway obstruction.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

http://www.sleepeducation.com/

American Sleep Apnea Association

http://www.sleepapnea.org/

National Sleep Foundation

http://www.sleepfoundation.org/

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Lung Association

http://www.lung.ca/home-accueil_e.php

Canadian Sleep Society

http://www.css.to/

References:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders. 2nd ed. Westchester, IL; American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2005.

American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org. Accessed July 9, 2009.

Smith I, Lasserson TJ, Wright J. Drug therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006;19:CD003002.

Obstructive sleep apnea. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Accessed October 22, 2007.

Kushida CA, Littner MR, Hirshkowitz M, et al. Practice parameters for the use of continuous and bilevel positive airway pressure devices to treat adults with sleep-related breathing disorders. Sleep. 2006;29:375-380.

Littner MR, Kushida C, Wise M, et al. Practice parameters for clinical use of the multiple sleep latency test and the maintenance of wakefulness test. Sleep. 2005;28:113-121.

Morgenthaler TI, Kapen S, Lee-Chiong T, et al. Practice parameters for the medical therapy of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep. 2006;29:1031-1035.

Pack AI, Maislin G. Who should get treated for sleep apnea? Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:1065-1067.

Sleep apnea: treatment and drugs. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep-apnea/DS00148/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs. Updated June 29, 2010. Accessed April 4, 2011.

Last reviewed September 2011 by Marjorie Bunch, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

 “This minimally invasive procedure has the potential to fundamentally change the treatment paradigm for people battling sleep apnea.”

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/.

Find Mount Sinai on:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mountsinainyc
Twitter: @mountsinainyc
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/mountsinainy

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NYC Hot Hub for Health IT Jobs

New York initiative aims to create hub for health IT jobs

April 26, 2012 | Bernie Monegain, Editor

NEW YORK – The New York eHealth Collaborative, the New York City Investment Fund and the New York State Department of Health have launched a $4.2 million program to foster health IT innovation and create 1,500 new jobs in the state.

Called the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA), the program’s goal is to make New York a hub for the emerging digital health technology industry.

In upcoming months, the program will choose 12 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers.

Each company will be awarded up to $300,000 along with mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York. The focus areas of innovation will support the development of products that help the state’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its new “Health Homes” program, an initiative intended to make the state’s treatment of Medicaid patients more coordinated and efficient, officials say.

“Health information technology is helping us transform our healthcare system to provide high-quality, cost-efficient, and patient-centered care for the 21st century,” said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, MD. “The Digital Health Accelerator program will further advance New York’s national leadership in health IT as it will attract leading-edge companies at the forefront of developing the technology necessary for robust electronic health recordsand digital care coordination systems.”

“When the government and the private sector work hand-in-hand to encourage business growth in our state we see results,” added Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of the New York City Investment Fund (NYCIF). “This Accelerator will help New York keep and attract businesses that grow our state’s economy and create jobs in our communities. Our initial investment will go a long way towards attracting additional investment into New York.”

“The economy and healthcare are the two most important issues facing the state, and the New York Digital Health Accelerator will allow us to tackle them both at once,” said David Whitlinger, executive director of NYeC. “This initiative represents the best kind of marriage between the public and private sectors. We are leveraging New York’s investment in our statewide health information exchange network and empowering it with the free market.”

The NYDHA’s unique feature is that it offers participants the opportunity to engage directly with a broad network of providers in New York State, officials say, including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centersm and primary care providers. Tech companies accepted into the program will receive direct mentorship and feedback from senior-level executives with the participating providers. In addition, companies will have priority access to the technology platform that is connecting electronic health records across New York State, the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

More information, including an application for the program, is available atdigitalhealthaccelerator.com. An informational session for companies interested in participating will be held on May 10, 2012 in New York City. Applications for the NYDHA program are due June 1, 2012.

The program aims to create 1,500 jobs over five years. In addition, it is expected that the companies will attract upwards of $150 million to $200 million in investment from the venture capital community post-program. The NYDHA is designed to stimulate a new marketplace, creating the next generation of healthcare tools while positioning New York as the capitol of the health IT entrepreneurial sector, officials said.

The investment capital will be provided by a syndicate of investors, including Aetna, Milestone Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, New York City Investment Fund, Quaker Partners, Safeguard Scientifics and UnitedHealth Group. The Empire State Development Corporation, Health Research Inc. and NYeC will provide additional funds and/or services to operate the NYDHA.

18 leading healthcare providers have agreed to participate in the program:

  • Albany Medical Center
  • Catholic Health System
  • Community Healthcare Network
  • Continuum Health Partners
  • Ellis Medicine
  • FEGS Health and Human Services System
  • Finger Lakes Community Health
  • Hometown Health Centers
  • Hudson Valley Initiative
  • Institute for Family Health
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • North Shore LIJ Health System
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Stony Brook University Medical Center
  • Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties
  • Winthrop University Hospital

Investors, providers weigh in:

“Aetna is strongly committed to advancing healthcare information technology that will connect the healthcare system to help improve quality and outcomes,” said Lonny Reisman, MD, Aetna’s chief medical officer and a member of board of the NYeC. “The convergence of health IT and healthcare expertise will be extremely critical and powerful in making healthcare more effective, convenient and affordable for everyone. Aetna has been actively involved in NYeC since its inception, and we are pleased to support this important initiative.”

“Albany Medical Center welcomes this important initiative that will help develop innovative approaches to improving patient outcomes at lower costs while helping to attract healthcare entrepreneurs to New York State,” said James J. Barba, president and CEO. “Albany Med has long recognized that the type of collaboration this project is building between healthcare providers, government and the private sector will be the key to reforming our healthcare system.”

“Entrepreneurs require access to potential customers as much as they require access to capital,” said Todd Pietri, co-founder and general partner of Milestone Venture Partners. “The New York Digital Health Accelerator is the first accelerator program we have seen which provides direct access to key decision makers at potential customers.”

“New York City is the place for the creation of next generation digital health companies,” said Philippe Chambon, managing director of New Leaf Venture Partners. “The combination of the digital alley talent, the deep healthcare infrastructure of the state and the availability of venture funding is truly unique.”

“New York is leading the way in healthcare innovation by bringing together hospitals, medical providers, payers, and investors with its rapidly growing Silicon Alley,” said Adele C. Oliva, partner at Quaker Partners. “Quaker believes that this integrated approach will catalyze entrepreneurship and deliver the revolutionary technology the healthcare system requires to improve care and reduce costs.”

“We are looking forward to becoming a part of the New York Digital Health Accelerator,” said Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, managing director at Safeguard Scientifics. “New York is forging an unprecedented path by pulling together investors, hospitals, and other healthcare advisers to collaborate and offer healthcare IT start-ups access to capital, mentorship and expert insights to help them effectively grow their business.”

“Innovation is a key driver in helping make the health system work better for everyone,” said Tom Vanderheyden, vice president, emerging businesses group at UnitedHealth Group. “We believe the New York Digital Health Accelerator model will help bring practical solutions to market in a significantly shorter timeframe.”

“New health information technologies will help people get better care,” said Joseph Twardy, president and CEO, Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties. “Here in the capital region, the Visiting Nurse Service of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties, Ellis Medicine and Hometown Health Center are already working with other healthcare and social service organizations and physicians to ensure that we provide each person with the right care at the right time-and having the right information will help us do that.”

Hot Healthy Recipe: Panini!

When I was in Paris years ago,  I couldn’t help notice people eating panini’s.

Panini is plural for panino, which means sandwich in Italian.

After trying one, I recall exclaiming I want to open Panini carts in NYC!

Delicious. Like a grilled cheese sandwich all grown up.
The only place I’ve had one since then is in Union Square in New York City. A place called Bite.
Grab a hot healthy panini to go for $7.50.  Location in SoHo too.  http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/bite/menu
 Back to making a Healthy Panini at home.  Use a Panini Press (link below).

Use natural ingredients, like fresh garden vegetables.

Ingredients:

Sweet Red Pepper

Eggplant

Beefsteak Tomato

Vidalia Onion

Portobello Mushroom

Fresh Spinach Leaves

Your Favorites Cheese

Your Favorite Lean Meat

A Firm Whole Wheat Bread

  • Start by scraping off the black area of the Portobello mushroom. Then, sauté in imported Italian Virgin Olive Oil and Thyme.
  • Next, you slice open a sweet red pepper horizontal wise, take out seeds and core. Once your onion is sliced into large rounds, it too should be roasted. Slice a firm tomato in a semi-thick round.   Set aside.
  • The eggplant should be skinned, seeded and sliced lengthwise. Each slice should be dipped in flour, and sautéed in olive oil until soft.
  • As for the spinach leaves, lightly blanch them in water until it turns a darker green.

Add a thick slice of cheese and your choice of lean meat. The final step is to layer the sandwich with the meat first, cheese and the vegetables in any order you like.

Panini Press and Grill until the cheese and meat are well done.

Panini grills range in price from $25. to over $500.  You can check them out or order on-line here:

1a. George Forman Panini Grill | Amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen

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2012 BEST RATED PANINI GRILLS:

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Happy & Healthy Weekend!  I just learned it is the Thai New Year. Happy Thai New Year!

Hot Program for Women Living with Cancer: It’s Free!

Here’s a hot health organization helping women with cancer look good, feel better.

In 1987, a physician asked former Personal Care Products Council President Ed Kavanaugh how he could organize a “makeover” for a woman in cancer treatment who was experiencing dramatic appearance side effects.  The woman was so depressed and self-conscious she would not venture outside her hospital room.

Kavanaugh made some calls and was able to provide cosmetics and a cosmetologist – and the makeover transformed not only the woman’s look, but also her outlook.

She felt happier, less burdened and laughed for the first time in weeks.

With such a profound result, the Personal Care Products Council recognized the opportunity for its industry to help more women maintain their confidence and self-esteem.

Kavanaugh presented the idea to the Personal Care Products Council membership – the nation’s cosmetic industry leaders – who immediately offered funding and cosmetics.

The American Cancer Society enthusiastically joined the effort, providing a vital national network to assist women seeking information and access to the program.

Finally, the Professional Beauty Association | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA) signed on as the third collaborator, encouraging its member cosmetologists to volunteer their services.

The program – dubbed Look Good…Feel Better – launched with two groups workshops at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., in 1989.

Today, Look Good…Feel Better group programs are held in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico using products donated by Personal Care Products Council member companies.

 

Teen and Spanish programs, self-help mailer kits, online support, and a 24-hour hotline are also offered – as well as numerous independent licensed international Look Good…Feel Better affiliate programs across the globe.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

How can I find out where Look Good…Feel Better workshops are located near me?

Click the following link and enter your zip code to find a program near you.  Or call 1-800-385-LOOK (5665).

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs

Are Look Good…Feel Better services really free? How can you do that?

Yes, Look Good…Feel Better is a free public service program. It’s made possible by our generous Personal Care Products Council member- company donors who raise more than $2 million and donate more than one million individual cosmetic products, with a value of more than $10 million. The American Cancer Society administers the program nationally, including our toll-free number (1-800-395-LOOK [5665]) and volunteer trainings. And the Professional Beauty Association│National Cosmetology Association helps us recruit caring, qualified cosmetology volunteers. (Find out moreabout our sponsors.)

What will I learn by going to a group program that I can’t learn at home?

Group programs are step-by-step makeover learning sessions led by trained cosmetology professionals. Any questions you may have – such as how to fill in or draw in your eyebrows or how to camouflage particular types of pigmentation – will be answered firsthand. You’ll receive a free makeup kit with brand-name cosmetics to use during the session and to take home, helping minimize shopping time and expense. You will have the opportunity to experiment with various wigs, hats, and turbans in a comfortable, supportive atmosphere. And, perhaps most valuable of all, you will receive the support of other women coping with cancer treatment – those about to go through it, those experiencing it, and those who’ve been there. Put all these factors together and you’ve got a pretty powerful reason to sign up for a group program. Time after time, women who considered staying home tell us how glad they are to have made the effort to come. They say that the impact on their looks and outlooks is immeasurable. And those who care about them say so, too.

Where are group programs available?

Look Good…Feel Better group programs are offered nationwide in hospitals and community centers. Call us at 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) or contact your local American Cancer Society office to help locate a program near you. For those living outside the United States, please refer to our International Look Good…Feel Better programs to connect with us.

Does Look Good…Feel Better distribute wigs?

The Look Good…Feel Better program does not distribute wigs to participants. We do offer information about proper wig selection, fitting and care for alternative head coverings such as turbans, scarves, hats, etc. Some local American Cancer Society offices have wigs banks and may be able to offer assistance to women who need, but may not be able to afford, a wig. In addition, some insurance companies cover the cost of a wig when prescribed by a doctor as a “cranial prosthesis.”

Does Look Good…Feel Better accept hair donations? If not, who does?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept hair donations for wigs. We know of four organizations that accept hair donations and make wigs for those who need them. They are:

locksoflove.org
wigsforkids.org
pantene.com
pinkbarrette.org (This organization also accepts donations of gray hair. The others do not.)

Hopefully, one of these organizations will be able to use your hair donation.

May I donate gently-used wigs to Look Good…Feel Better?

Look Good…Feel Better does not accept donations of gently used wigs.

How can I get Look Good…Feel Better brochures to distribute at my office/salon, etc?

The American Cancer Society supplies all printed materials at the local level. For physician’s offices, clinics, salons, or other community locations, we suggest the Look Good…Feel Better general informational brochure. To request free Look Good…Feel Better brochures, please contact your localAmerican Cancer Society, or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665).

Does Look Good…Feel Better have a program for men undergoing cancer treatment?

We offer Look Good…Feel Better teen programs, as well as the comprehensive 2bMe Web site. Though we do not offer group programs for men over 18, we have explored how the side effects of cancer treatment affect men, resulting in an informational brochure. Email us or call 1-800-395-LOOK (5665) to order it.

Organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute offer numerous resources, publications and support programs for men, women, teens and children.

Do you recommend any particular cosmetic or skin care brands to use during cancer treatment?

We do not recommend products by brand, but we do believe that mild products are best. Before adopting any skin care regimen, be sure to have your physician’s OK. (See special requirements for radiation and chemotherapy.)

How can an individual support Look Good…Feel Better?

There are several ways you can support Look Good…Feel Better. You can donate online by visiting the donation page; or you can send a monetary donation to: Personal Care Products Council Foundation, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. You can also purchase the Look Good…Feel Better scarf by Oscar de la Renta (please contact us to learn more); or you canvolunteer in your community.

Losing your hair during treatment for cancer can be one of the most difficult side effects – many women lose all or some of their hair, while others don’t lose any.

Ask your doctor what to anticipate and find out if there is anything you can do to help retain your hair. Then, speak with a hairstylist you trust to find out what to do if your hair thins, and what you can expect when it grows back.

Whether your hair thins or you lose all of it, please know that you can anticipate it growing back once your treatment is over. In the meantime, the Look Good…Feel Better community is here to offer courage, strength, support and peace of mind.

Click on a topic below to get started

Tibi Creates Silk Scarves to Benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Tibi Head Scarves to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care Research

Tibi created silk head wraps to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Pediatric Cancer Care and Research. 100% of the proceeds are donated and the scarves are a non-refundable charitable purchase. The scarves cost $75 each. They can be found here.

Photo: Tibi

http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/programs 

Links

http://www.georgetown.edu/content/1242662797532.html

Experimental Drug for Type 2 Diabetes

 

 

Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong metabolic disorder characterized by high levels of glucose or sugar in the blood.

Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not generate sufficient insulin

Type 2 diabetes is when the cells do not respond to insulin.

Diabetes type 2 is the most common type of diabetes and affects 90-95% of diabetics. It is characterized by insulin resistance or a defective response by the cells to insulin. In some cases, production of insulin by the pancreas may be reduced.

Glucose or blood sugar provides fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. When insulin cannot move the glucose into the cells, glucose accumulates in the blood and can cause diabetes complications such as damage to the nerves, kidneys, cardiovascular system and vision.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by lifestyle factors and genetics. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and a diet high in carbohydrates and sweets are the most common causes of diabetes 2.

Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The usual symptoms of diabetes are increased frequency of urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger. People who have diabetes may also lose weight for no apparent reason.

When left untreated, diabetes can result in vision damage. Prolonged high levels of glucose in the blood can cause glucose absorption in the lens of the eye, resulting in changes in its shape leading to blurred vision.

Other symptom of diabetes are skin rashes and wounds that heal very slowly.

Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease with no known cure. As such, “treatment” may be a misnomer. A better term might be “management” of the disease. Management focuses on keeping blood glucose levels as close as possible to normal. If you are diagnosed with diabetes type 2, your doctor may prescribe some form of medication. Diet and exercise are also important in controlling type 2 diabetes.

Recent studies show that type 2 diabetes can be successfully managed without the need for medications. A healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, protein, wholegrain cereals, dairy products, fruits and vegetables can keep blood sugar at normal or near-normal levels. The right diet and exercise help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels and prevent or reduce complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage, and heart disease.

 
HealthDay
 
An experimental drug improves patients’ blood sugar control without increasing the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a phase 2 clinical trial.
 

Type 2 diabetes is the more prevalent form of the disease, accounting for about 90 percent of cases. Often tied to obesity, type 2 diabetes involves a gradual decline in how insulin responds to changes in blood sugar (glucose).

The new drug, called TAK-875, is a pill designed to enhance the secretion of insulin in response to such changes, which means that it has no effect on insulin secretion when blood sugar levels are normal — potentially reducing the risk for hypoglycemia.

The trial, led by Dr. Charles Burant of the University of Michigan Medical School, included 426 patients with type 2 diabetes who were not getting adequate blood sugar control through diet, exercise or treatment with the first-line diabetes drug metformin.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive either TAK-875 (303 patients), placebo (61 patients), or another diabetes drug called glimepiride (brand named Amaryl).

The study was funded by Takeda Pharmaceutical (which is developing the drug), and appears online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

After 12 weeks, all the patients taking the different doses of TAK-875 had significant drops in their blood sugar levels, the researchers said. A similar reduction occurred in patients taking glimepiride.

However, the incidence of episodes of hypoglycemia was much lower among patients taking TAK-875 (2 percent) than among those taking glimepiride (19 percent) and the same as those taking the placebo (2 percent).

The incidence of treatment-related side effects was 49 percent among patients taking TAK-875, 48 percent among those in the placebo group, and 61 percent among those in the glimepiride group, according to the researchers. They write that they are “excited about the potential of TAK-875 and are eager to conduct larger trials to find out how well this drug works, how safe it is and what its place is in the treatment of diabetes.”

In a journal commentary, Clifford Bailey of Aston University in Birmingham, England, cautioned that, “on the journey to approval of a new class of treatment for type 2 diabetes, many questions will be asked of [drugs such as TAK-875],” including questions of how long they might remain effective, as well as safety issues.

Other diabetes experts had mixed views on the new findings.

Dr. Loren Wissner Greene is clinical associate professor of endocrinology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She noted that glitazones — a separate class of newer drugs such as Rezulin, Avandia and Actos that also target insulin resistance — have all shown initial promise in clinical trials before worrisome side effects began to surface in users (Avandia was recently withdrawn from the U.S. market due to heart risks).

As for TAK-875, it targets a separate mechanism “but again, until more is known about short-term and long-term cardiovascular effects, we need to proceed with moderated enthusiasm for each new drug and drug mechanism,” Wissner Greene said.

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Dr. Minisha Sood, endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City stressed that, “given the rising global incidence of type 2 diabetes, the medical community is eagerly awaiting the development of novel agents to add to our existing armamentarium of anti-diabetic agents.”

She said that, “though this study includes a small sample size followed for a short period of time, the results are promising in that TAK-875 appears to be effective for glycemic [blood sugar] control without significant risk for hypoglycemia or weight gain. However, like Wissner-Greene, Sood said that “further investigation is warranted, especially including [heart disease] patients.”

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes medicines.

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Bydureon Is the First Once-Weekly Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes
 

 person injecting diabetes medication

Jan. 27, 2012 — The FDA has given its nod to Bydureon, making it the first weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes, according to drug’s manufacturer.

Given as a shot, Bydureon (pronounced by-DUR-ee-on) is the long-acting form of Byetta, a twice-daily injection. It works by stimulating pancreas cells to produce insulin when blood sugar is too high. It is used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control among people with type 2 diabetes, the form of the disease most commonly linked to obesity.

The approval marks the third time the FDA has considered Bydureon, which is manufactured by Alkermes PLC and Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. Previously the FDA had expressed concerns that it may increase the risk of heart problems. As part of the new approval, Bydureon manufacturers must now conduct a study to determine whether the drug does increase these risks.

The approval is based on results from a 24-week study that showed people who used the new drug had greater improvements in their blood sugar with just one dose per week, compared with people treated with Byetta injection. The most common side effects were nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, constipation, itching at the injection site, a small bump at the injection site, and indigestion.

“With Bydureon, U.S. physicians and patients can now choose a therapy that offers continuous blood sugar control in just one dose per week,” says John Buse, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, director of the Diabetes Care Center, and chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, in a news release. “New treatment options are essential for the millions of adults with type 2 diabetes who continue to struggle to achieve optimal blood sugar control.”