Health is an important matter for all but it also can become a repetitive and redundant issue for those uninformed about the new technologies and methodologies popping up daily. The important thing to keep in mind in this sense is that one needs to pay attention to specific fields of health to be able to develop a personal schedule and reservoir for further learning. As more technologies are developed, the methodologies involved in diagnosis and treatment get more sophisticated and target more complex issues, making it a quite likable and constructive habit to follow the news and developments in the field of modern day health and medicine. While the natural healers continue to boil up their turmeric roots to cleanse human skin and circulate healthy blood, the advancing medical technologies of the world will never cease to amaze one, as long as one is ready to accept challenges and learn.
Ashley Welch for CBS New reports on a strikingly interesting and promising development in the field of implants, namely the Braeburn Pharmaceuticals’ buprenorphine pills and strips, which are used to “treat withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings for opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers.” The problem with the given current day methodologies is that users are prone to forget about taking their daily dosages which has dire adverse effects on their battle with addiction to make implants a highly preferable option to such traditional methods. Braeburn officials also point out that children’s access to the medicine might create serious health and safety hazards and therefore a six-months-lasting implant would easily eliminate such problems to “improve adherence to medication”. While the drug has significantly beneficial effects for stabilizing brain chemistry and reducing the mentioned cravings for substance, it still awaits FDA approval with the organization being seriously concerned about the rising numbers of drug overdose deaths in the United States, the majority of which involved opioid painkillers in the year 2013.
Angelica Laveto for CNBC News takes a similar path to examine the glucose monitoring market where the company Abbott with its revolutionary device, FreeStyle Libre, has managed to dominate the market after receiving Medicare coverage “9 to 12 months ahead of Wall Street’s expectations”. The device, which does not require its patients to draw blood to operate, is being currently priced and marketed with new technologies and features embedded in itto increase its market share, targeting sales numbers close to $100 million with the addition of the mentioned Medicare reimbursement. As the company battles its main rival Dexcom in this field, its product’s ease of use and simplicity are drawing increasing attention from related patients. As the battle rages on, Abbott will utilize its competitive advantage and financial head start to further dominate the market and provide patients in need of reliable, functional and cheap glucose monitoring devices with state-of-the-art technology to reduce their concerns and struggles with their glucose related concerns.
In a very similar field of healthcare and medicine, the company Nima’s gluten sensor is also breaking ground according to a report by Ashlee Clark Thompson for C-Net. Thompson mentions Theresa Ehlers and her family who have done everything at their disposal to keep gluten out of their household after Theresa was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2013. The disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes significant damages to the individual’s small intestine to create digestive issues if the person consumes gluten, even in its slightest amount. Such a condition has led the family to research into gluten-free products and eventually introduced them to Nima, which is a handheld Bluetooth connected device that functions by analyzing small samples of food to detect the amount of gluten in them. Released in 2015 at a relatively high price of $275, the device mixes the food sample with a solution present in its capsule to create a reaction with a test strip to provide results on the device’s screen. Results of less than twenty parts per one million of gluten produce a smile, notifying the user that the product is completely gluten-free. Similarly, one wheat stalk appearing on the screen refers to low levels of gluten while two stalks translate into high levels of the substance. Thanks to Nima, millions of concerned patients are enjoying their food with safety and confidence every day.
Skin care is also a developing sector in the modern day world of medicine and Mary Elizabeth Dallas takes notice of a very potent invention by researchers at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the guidance of Professor Daniel Anderson in 2016. This new material, which can be labelled as a fountain of youth of sorts, is used as a second skin to “smooth wrinkles, protect skin from damage, or administer medications to treat skin conditions, such as eczema.” Being an invisible layer above the patient’s original skin, the material blocks out foreign substances, improves the patient’s skin shine and administers drugs to the area under treatment. Utilizing more than a hundred silicone-based polymers for research, the team managed to produce a cross-linked polymer layer (XPL) which is applied either as a cream or as an ointment, remaining on top of the skin for up to a day. Mimicking the properties of healthy and young human skin, the layer can act as a flexible, comfortable and non-irritating segment having visible beneficial effects, such as reshaping of eye bags underneath the lower eyelids and improving the hydration of human skin. As the research continues to increase the lifespan and possible benefits of the material, patients in need of such benefits will find it a pleasure to apply it on the problematic areas of their skin with confidence and trust.
Reporting for Forbes Magazine, Arlene Weintraub also raises attention to a very promising development in cancer treatment, namely Imlygic, which has so far been used in the treatment of melanoma. Imlygic is actually an oncolytic virus which has been engineered to shrink tumors and stimulate a patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. As the virus is injected into melanoma tumors, it “destroys cancer cells at the primary site” while also “prompting the immune system to hunt down and kill metastatic cells.” The virus was specifically designed to include the granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor protein (GM-CSF),which helps draw immunity-boosting cells to the problematic area to increase the patient’s chances of eliminating the cancerous tumor. The legal aspect of the project is also quite promising as the FDA in America approved Imlygic, while the European Medicines Agency also issued an approval to lead the subject to the European Commission to take the issue into consideration. Scoring average in the business aspect of things, with forecasts depicting a relatively low annual revenue of $200 million for the manufacturing firm Amgen, Imlygic will have to face significant competition in the GM-CSF markets. Melanoma is considered to be one of the least likely types of cancer to yield progress in recovery with significant research and development existing in the field to increase competition by a number of different firms. For the consumers however, such high competition is good news because not only will it increase the quality of the products but also will decrease the prices to make more room for Imlygic, which holds a rather lonely leadership position as of today in the market.