U.S. judge blocks rule on financial assistance for dialysis patients

Reuters, 12 January 2017
Author: Brendan Pierson
“A U.S. judge on Thursday put on hold a new federal rule that dialysis providers have said would prevent dialysis patients from using charitable assistance to buy private health insurance. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas stopped the rule from taking effect Friday as planned. The decision is a victory for dialysis providers Fresenius Medical Care, DaVita Inc and U.S. Renal Care Inc, which filed a lawsuit to block the rule last week.”
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A thousand words in the palm of your hand: management of clinical photography on personal mobile devices

Med J Aust 2016; 205 (11): 499-500.
Authors: Kieran G Allen, Paul Eleftheriou, John Ferguson
“Opportunities to optimise patient care have been enhanced by this immediate transfer of accurate and relevant clinical images. Despite these benefits, photographic documentation of the patient’s condition on PMDs creates a sensitive personal record on inherently insecure devices when the patient is vulnerable. This exposes patients to an ongoing risk of potentially serious consequences and psychological harm in the event of illicit publication. Health care organisations must ensure that security is a paramount concern and that their clinicians obtain consent appropriately to minimise the risk of a breach of patient confidentiality.”
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Introduction to the article collection ‘Translation in healthcare: ethical, legal, and social implications’

BMC Medical Ethics 2016 17:74
Authors: Michael Morrison, Donna Dickenson, Sandra Soo-Jin Lee
“New technologies are transforming and reconfiguring the boundaries between patients, research participants and consumers, between research and clinical practice, and between public and private domains. From personalised medicine to big data and social media, these platforms facilitate new kinds of interactions, challenge longstanding understandings of privacy and consent, and raise fundamental questions about how the translational patient pathway should be organised.”
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Bill to boost medical research funding and speed drug approval passes US house

BMJ 2016; 355: i6498
Author: Michael McCarthy
“After two years of negotiations, the controversial 21st Century Cures Act was passed by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday 30 November by a vote of 392 to 26. The bill boosts funding for medical research and mental health and substance abuse care—but also contains provisions to speed up drug and medical device approval that consumer groups say will lower safety standards and put patients at risk.”
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FDA Faults Hospitals For Failing To Report Safety Problems With Medical Devices

NPR, 28 October 2016
Author: Chad Terhune
“Federal regulators said 12 U.S. hospitals, including well-known medical centers in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, failed to promptly report patient deaths or injuries linked to medical devices. The Food and Drug Administration publicly disclosed the violations in inspection reports this week amid growing scrutiny of its ability to identify device-related dangers and protect patients from harm.”
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India’s anti-sex-selection law faces new challenges

The Lancet, Volume 388 , Issue 10055 , p1971
Author: Dinesh C Sharma
“The Indian Government is facing criticism over the implementation of its 1994 law banning the use of ultrasound machines to establish the sex of fetuses—a law enacted to stop parents selectively terminating girls. While health advocates feel that government agencies have been lax in enforcing the law, some medical professionals say that legal provisions are being misused to harass doctors and that over-regulation is hampering use of ultrasound in general.”
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Second draft of medical device regulations disappointing: Industry

The Hindu, 22 October 2016
Source: The Hindu Special Correspondent
“Stating that they were ‘absolutely disappointed’ with the second draft of the medical devices regulations, notified by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday, those in the industry maintain that it will be a fatal blow to the domestic medical device industry.”
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Managing surgical conflicts of interest

CMAJ October 18, 2016 vol. 188 no. 15
Author: Roger Collier
“Two recently settled court cases in California highlight the problems that can arise when surgeons are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by companies that manufacture medical devices used in surgery. Early this summer, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) paid $8.5 million (US) to settle two lawsuits against a spine surgeon who worked for the university.”
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Why health implants should have open source code

The Conversation, 4 October 2016
Author: James H. Hamlyn-Harris
“As medical implants become more common, sophisticated and versatile, understanding the code that runs them is vital. A pacemaker or insulin-releasing implant can be lifesaving, but they are also vulnerable not just to malicious attacks, but also to faulty code. For commercial reasons, companies have been reluctant to open up their code to researchers. But with lives at stake, we need to be allowed to take a peek under the hood.”
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Public health advocacy in action: the case of unproven breast cancer screening in Australia

Public Health Res Pract. 2016;26(4):e2641648.
Authors: Johnson RS, Croager EJ, Kameron CB, Pratt IS, Vreugdenburg TD, Slevin T.
“There is a paucity of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of these devices for breast cancer screening; however, if they are promoted directly to women, they may be perceived as an alternative to mammography, and women might choose these companies and devices instead. At an individual level, women who are persuaded by misleading claims cannot give fully informed consent, are subject to ineffective tests and, if a lesion exists, risk a delayed breast cancer diagnosis. False positive and false negative results have considerable negative psychological and practical consequences for many women.”
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