Hacking CGM’s to smartphones

October 31, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Type 1 diabetes patients using continuous glucose monitors have been creating their own software, or hacking, to allow their CGM to send the data to a more manageable smartphone. This allows parents and other parties to monitor the health of loved ones, as well as makes the data more easily available to see on smart-watches.

Dexcom recently received the first FDA approval for this type of smartphone system, called the G4 SHARE. The CEO, Terry Gregg, discusses this concept, with diabetes expert Jay Skyler, MD, from Miami.

Disclaimer: Dr. Skyler has various relationships with Dexcom.

What you need to know about ISIS

isis-mass-killing-apOctober 29, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD

I saw the most recent episode of the PBS show Frontline that explained how ISIS rose to power. I was alarmed to learn that this is a very real and local threat, more so than I had thought.

To summarize the Frontline story, the horribly Read more »

The NEJM editorial board blew it on anti-quarantine Ebola essay

DrazenOctober 28, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD

Jeffrey Drazen and the other editors of the New England Journal of Medicine rushed out an opinion essay to criticize the decisions made by state governors to mandate a 21-day quarantine of healthcare providers returning to the United States from African Ebola hotspots. Their logic was Read more »

Has the ACA law begun to reduce the uninsured, and at what cost?

July 27, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Ben Sommers, MD PhD, from the Harvard School of Public Health has a new article in the NEJM that attempts to quantify the total number of uninsured people in the country, and map it out temporally to show whether the newly implemented Obamacare law is working as intended.

Senator Angus King discusses the slowdown in healthcare costs

July 9, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Senator Angus King from Maine discusses the various forces that are working to keep healthcare cost growth the slowest in decades.

Quarantining Ebola caregivers arriving from Africa is the right thing to do

Ebola hits US copyOctober 26, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD

Ebola just became political. On Friday, governors from the largest states (New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois) essentially staged a mutiny and defied President Obama by instituting mandatory quarantine policies for any healthcare worker returning from the African hot spots of the Ebola epidemic. Read more »

Cutting through the hype surrounding gluten

October 19, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Did you know that one out of three Americans think that they are “gluten intolerant”. Of those 100 Million people, only 13 Million really have a medical problem caused by gluten.

Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, is the man who started all of the gluten hype back in 2003 with a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Hoping to reduce some of the current “gluten hysteria,” he has written a book explaining what gluten is, who can and can’t eat it, and why. We interviewed him.

New therapies for hepatitis C

Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

In Part 1, Sammy Saab, MD, MPH, liver disease and GI doctor from UCLA, discusses the standard of care for hepatitis C, which is 48-weeks of interferon with ribavirin. He then discusses the new protease inhibitor drugs, Incivek and Victrelis, and why their bad side effect profile limited usage despite higher cure rates.

In Part 2, Dr. Saab discusses the data on the new all-oral therapies that do not require the toxic interferon injections, are only 12-weeks of therapy, and have much higher cure rates approaching 100% SVR. He mentions Gilead’s sofosbuvir, the Abbvie cocktail of drugs, and others.

 

The Weekly Summary

ebola-doctorOctober 20th – October 26th

In the general news, Syria ISIS terrorists inspired homeland attacks in Ottawa, Canada, and also in New York City. However, those events were overshadowed in the news by the case of Ebola in New York, in a doctor traveling from Africa who is now being treated at Bellevue. State governors then defied the federal government and imposed their own plans to quarantine travelers flying in from Africa.

In healthcare news, earnings season continued with Edwards (EW) turning the corner and showing huge growth in Sapien TAVR numbers. Boston Scientific’s (BSX) S-ICD was approved by Aetna. In biotech, activist Dan Loeb wants to break up Amgen (AMGN) into legacy and new drug divisions. Celgene (CELG) partnered with Sutro Biopharma with an option to buy. Lastly, TesoRX licensed away it’s Low-T drug to Aspen as the FDA tighten the prescribing label indications.

From the FDA, Dexcom’s (DXCM) received approval for its SHARE smartphone app. Baxter (BAX) won approval for hemophilia drug Obizur. Lastly, a panel backed Novartis’ (NVS) psoriasis drug secukinumab.

Surgical masks do work to prevent the spread of flu

Cardinal-Health-surgical-maskOctober 1, 2009- By Steven E. Greer, MD

Are billions of people around the globe foolish for wearing facemasks to protect against the flu? A portion of the mainstream media seems to believe so. They report that wearing a protective facemask is ineffective because the virus particle is so small that it passes right through. Read more »

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