Tag: COVID19

US-Based Medical Expert, Dr Samson Arigbamu, Invents Equipment For Detecting COVID-19-Infected Lungs

Ibadan – A Nigerian US-based medical expert, Dr Samson Arigbamu, has invented a stethoscope equipped with components capable of immediately identify adventitious lung such as COVID-19-infected lungs that will immediately announce its findings.

Arigbamu disclosed on Sunday in a mail to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, that the stethoscope is in production at prototype and optimization stage, which the final product would commence by December, noting that however, the process could be expedited with resources from individuals, organizations or even the Nigerian government.

Dr Arigbamu have been living in the USA for about 22 years and currently the Director of Nursing at Future Care Lochearn, a 200-bed capacity health rehabilitation center in Baltimore Maryland.

He has been on employment of the company for 10 years, prior to that, he was a director of nursing at Manor Care Woodbridge in Baltimore Maryland for over three years.

Also, currently own and operate a private clinic called Upsurge Health Associate in Freeland, Maryland.

Dr Arigbamu maintained that the eventual production of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria government for a simple fact that a citizen of the country invented such critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent, hence, soliciting support from Nigeria government.

Arigbamu explained that having worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years, he had seen healthcare providers including nurses, mid level providers and physicians struggle with identifying lung and heart sounds.

As a result, chest x-rays, EKGs and other cardiac interrogative tests are often ordered to identify adventitious lung and heart conditions.

He noted that clinical issue with these expensive tests and devices is that, they are incapable of identify adventitious sounds and providing immediate and accurate feedback, consequently, utilization of such devices often result in significant clinical and health issues for the patients as well as a waste of valuable resource.

He said, “As a result of these challenges, in 2018 I started working on inventing a digital stethoscope that could identify lung and heart sounds, interpret the sounds and immediately announce its findings to the users. The stethoscope is also capable of integrating its data into electronic medical record.

“With such capabilities, it will enhance physical assessment vital to health care providers and novice users. It will also ensure opportunities for timely intervention and prevention of further health decline in patients.

“The stethoscope is also equipped with electronic medical record (EMR) integration capabilities (essential to telemedicine) in order improve care coordination and patient information portability.

“The project received a USA patent on June 2nd 2020 and is currently in prototype phase of production in the USA and Ukraine.

“The eventual production of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria for a simple fact that a citizen of the country invented such critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent.”

sourcelink: http://www.emrindustry.com/us-based-medical-expert-dr-samson-arigbamu-invents-equipment-for-detecting-covid-19-infected-lungs/

Americans are Moving at ‘Pre-Pandemic Levels’

Data from people’s personal cell phones shows that Americans are moving around at almost the same levels as before the pandemic, according to researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The data, which is anonymized, is collected as part of the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network. The network is run by infectious disease epidemiologists at universities across the world who work with technology companies to aggregate mobility data.

“Mobility data suggest people are moving around in nearly normal ways,” though it varies by region, Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at Harvard, told The Harvard Gazette.

“That started several weeks ago,” she said. “It foreshadows the uptick in cases that we’re seeing in many parts of the country, for sure.”

Although the data gives a real-time view about movement, it can’t show behavior such as social distancing, handwashing practices or mask wearing, she added. The data also can’t show virus transmission.

At the same time, researchers have been intrigued by the differences in data according to region. In the Northeast, for instance, movement has been slower since the states imposed stringent shelter-in-place orders and eased restrictions slowly. Other states reopened quickly, which showed a quicker uptick in movement.

In states that have reported record numbers of new coronavirus cases in the past week, such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas, the increase still seems to be part of the first wave, Buckee said.

“As a nation, we’re still very much in the first surge of this outbreak,” she said. “Are we winning the fight against COVID in this country? I think that’s demonstrably false. We’re really struggling.”

The network will continue to track movement data to see how it correlates with cases. Buckee is also looking at other data sources to understand how reopening schools and universities in the fall could influence the spread of the coronavirus. College dorms, in particular, could be an important area to monitor.

“It’s something we will want to watch very carefully because we know it will lead to transmission if a virus gets into a dorm setting,” she said.


CDC Updates COVID-19 Risk Factors

With COVID-19 cases rising in younger Americans, the CDC had a clear message for all adults Thursday: When it comes to age, there’s no bright line for risk.

“There’s not an exact cutoff of age at which people should or should not be concerned,” Jay Butler, MD, said at a news briefing. Butler is the CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases.

After analyzing cases across the U.S., the CDC announced updates to the characteristics that seem to leave people vulnerable to the worst COVID-19 outcomes: hospital stays, intensive care, and death.

For starters, it got rid of the age category “65 and older.” Instead, under the tab “People Who Need Extra Precautions,” there’s a category called “Older Adults.”

The page now explains that risk from a COVID-19 infection increases with advancing age. In general, people in their 50s are at a higher risk than people in their 40s. Likewise, people in their 60s and 70s are at a higher risk than those who are in their 50s.

“We know that risk is a continuum. It’s not just risk to those ages 65 and older,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD.

The CDC has also updated the list of health conditions that make a person more likely to have severe outcomes from COVID-19.

Conditions in which there’s strong evidence of increased risk include:

Conditions that might place a person at a greater risk for a severe outcome from COVID-19 are:

The revisions call into question the role of high blood pressure (hypertension), which was flagged early on as a risk factor among severe cases in China. About 50% of American adults live with high blood pressure.

Butler said hypertension had been moved to the list of conditions that could place a person at increased risk because they had learned more about the role of hypertension, on its own, and some of the things that hypertension can lead to, like kidney damage and heart disease.

“We’ve been able to tease apart a little more how much just having hypertension alone, as opposed to having some of those end-organ manifestations of hypertension, might be driving the increased risk,” he said.

Obesity, in contrast, seemed to be its own, independent risk, even apart from other health conditions that may also happen in people who are obese, like diabetes.

Finally, a new study by the CDC showed that pregnancy can make the course of COVID-19 more severe for women, though it doesn’t seem to increase their risk of death.

In a study that compared COVID-19 outcomes among women between the ages of 18 and 44 by pregnancy status, nearly one-third of the pregnant women were hospitalized for their infections, while only about 6% of the non-pregnant women had to be admitted to the hospital. Pregnant women were also more likely to need ICU care and to receive breathing support from a ventilator, but they were not more likely to die. About 0.2% of both pregnant and non-pregnant women died of COVID-19 during the study period.

Study authors stress that women who are pregnant during the pandemic should take extra care by staying at home whenever possible, wearing a mask in public, standing or sitting at least 6 feet away from others when they do have to go out, and washing their hands often.


Blood types and COVID-19 risk confirmed

Blood type may play a pivotal role in driving disease severity among coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients. Genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients has shown that people with blood type O seemed to be protected against severe disease. In contrast, those with blood type A may experience complications tied to the viral infection.

A team of European scientists has found that two genetic variations may show who is more likely to get very sick and even die from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Further, they found a link to blood type, suggesting that some people are predisposed to COVID-19 severe disease.

The study findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicineshed light on why some people have a higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus and developing worse symptoms.

In three completely separate studies, researchers from Columbia UniversityIran’s Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, and various Chinese institutions all arrived at similar findings.

Respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients

The pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and the associated respiratory failure is still unclear, but the higher mortality is consistently tied to older age and being male. Further, people with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop severe COVID-19, including hypertension, diabetes, being obese, and cardiovascular disease.

The relative role of clinical risk factors in determining the severity of COVID-19 has not been clarified. Now, the new study underscores other predisposing factors that may make some people vulnerable to the infection.

Genetic analysis

The team studied more than 1,900 severely ill coronavirus patients in Spain and Italy, two of the hardest-hit countries at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. They compared the patients from seven hospitals to 2,300 people who were not sick. Overall, they analyzed more than 8 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms and conducted a meta-analysis of the two case-control panels.

The team has found that a cluster of variants in genes that are involved with immune responses was more common in people with severe COVID-19. The genes are also associated with a cell-surface protein known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which the coronavirus uses to enter and infect cells in the body.

One of the gene clusters increased the risk of getting severe COVID-19 by 77 percent. The researchers believe that discovering these gene clusters may ramp up the development of new vaccines and therapeutics for the coronavirus disease.

Blood type

The researchers also found that people with blood type A had a 45 percent increased risk of contracting the coronavirus and developing respiratory failure compared to people with other blood types. On the other hand, people with blood type O had a 35 percent lower risk of developing severe COVID-19 illness.

However, it is not clear why blood type might influence susceptibility to severe disease. Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted that the genes controlling blood type might play a role in the makeup of cell surfaces. The changes in cell-surface structures might influence the susceptibility of the cell to be infected by the novel coronavirus.

“We also know from previous research that blood type affects clotting risk, and it’s now quite evident that critically ill patients with coronavirus demonstrate significant clotting,” Dr. Glatter explained.

The team emphasized that their findings may need further validation and investigation. This way, more information can be gathered on the link between blood type and coronavirus disease severity.

“Further exploration of current findings, both as to their usefulness in clinical risk profiling of patients with Covid-19 and toward a mechanistic understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, is warranted,” they wrote on the paper.

Global toll

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged across the globe, actively spreading in many countries. The United States remains the country with the highest number of cases. The country’s case toll has surpassed 2.189 million infections, and its death toll topped 118,000.

Brazil trails behind the U.S., with over staggering 978,000 infections in since April. The death toll in the country has topped 47,000. Russia, India, and the United Kingdom have reported an increasing number of infections, with more than 560,000, 366,000, and 301,000, respectively.


E-health is increasingly attracting the investor community

The economic meltdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many startups to shut businesses and lay off people left, right and centre. But in a seemingly different universe, health tech start-ups are witnessing an upswing in business transactions. DocsApp is one such company. It has attained an average of 60 per cent increase in online consultations across various departments and is expecting higher returns in the coming days. In May, the company raised a series B funding of $9.5 million (Rs 72.5 cr) from Bessemer Venture Partners India, Fusian Capital, Rebright Partners and Milliways Fund LLC, and recently had a merger with MediBuddy. Moreover, during COVID-19, DocsApp has partnered with PhonePe, Shemaroo Entertainment, Lokal Hypermarket, Seniority and many others to provide a free consultation. Satish Kannan, Co-Founder and CEO, MediBuddy DocsApp seems greatly encouraged by his company’s progress.

How has your business faring during these COVID times?

Although there were supply chain issues initially with regards to the delivery of medicine and in terms of collection of lab test samples, etc., we have always maintained a strong vendor connection to help deal with such challenging times.

We have seen an increase in people opting for online doctor consultations, with an average of 60 per cent increase in consultations across various departments. At this point, MediBuddy DocsApp caters to the healthcare needs of three crore Indians, attending to the needs of over 25,000 Indians daily across the length and breadth of the country.

How have you kept your employee motivated in these times? Any workforce crunching done so far?

Considering the current situation, where everyone, from CEOs to managers are working from home, our team members have adapted themselves to these challenging times really well. Pets and kids walking by and waving at the camera help us in embracing our human side in these desperate times, coupled with an obsession to help more and more individuals with online consultations, medicine delivery and lab tests that are critical; especially now more than ever.

You seem to have had a number of collaborations in the recent past, how will these strategic partnerships boost your business, especially in this economic downtime?

MediBuddy DocsApp’s vision is to provide high-quality healthcare to all. In the fight against this pandemic, it is extremely important to be able to connect with medical experts and get credible information. At MediBuddy DocsApp, we are focusing our efforts on raising awareness and ensuring the availability of trusted medical advice to help control the spread of the disease and panic.

We have also extended our medical assistance to MyGate, CRED, Zee Digital, PhonePe, Shemaroo Entertainment, Lokal, Seniority etc., and will be working with more partners to reach out to communities, increase awareness and provide only doctor consultation support to their customers.

Moving forward, in times to come, what are the changes that DocsApp will incorporate for better customer services and business viability?

At MediBuddy DocsApp, we worry about customers, their experience and needs. We will continue to focus on the customer. With a customer-first attitude, we will improve our range and quality of service to ensure a great experience for the user.

With a partner network of over 90,000 doctors, 7,000 hospitals, 3,000 diagnostic centres and 2,500 pharmacies covering over 95 per cent of all pin codes, MediBuddy DocsApp will continue to focus on enabling healthcare services like online specialist doctor consultations, lab tests, preventive health checks, delivery of medicines, etc. to customers across India. Our focus is to provide best-in-class, end to-end-services in digital healthcare.

How will you strategically utilise the funds you have recently raised?

We will utilise the funding in further strengthening our doctor base, patient reach and develop our product to move a step closer to its mission of providing high-quality healthcare to billions.

Do you personally feel, this could be a good time to invest in healthcare? What would be the investment scenario in the coming future?

Yes, with tailwinds supporting the industry and e-health becoming the new normal, there is a lot of interest in the investor community. However, at the end of the day, business, health and growth of right metrics will only help onboard investors.

For now, we are well capitalised, our plan is to make it grow and ensure access to high-quality healthcare to all.

What are the new business opportunities that you think can bring a complete transformation to  the healthcare sector here on?

People always resist change. COVID has been a tailwind situation. Like demonetisation was to digital payments, COVID is making an adaption of online health exponentially faster. More people will be open to talking to a doctor online. Entry to healthcare for an individual will start with teleconsultation and then move to physical consultation, labs and others, as required.

How will the coming times encourage or discourage the start-up community within healthcare?

Times are changing rapidly, and we should change accordingly. Start-ups who adapt to it and take decisions/actions faster will grow faster and survive.