CVD innovation watch
Sensor in artery measures blood pressure
No more 24-hour blood pressure readings with electrodes attached all over your torso. The German applied research company Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft announced an innovative technique of monitoring blood pressure. A microimplant with a diameter of 1mm is inserted into the femoral artery. The microsensor “measures the patient’s blood pressure 30 times per second. It is connected via a flexible micro-cable to a transponder unit, which is likewise implanted in the groin under the skin. This unit digitizes and encodes the data coming from the micro-sensor and transmits them to an external reading device that patients can wear like a cell phone on their belt. From there, the readings can be forwarded to a monitoring station and analyzed by the doctor.”
Obesity tax proposal gets mixed reaction
New York State Health Commissioner Richard Daines makes his own YouTube video to campaign for the obesity tax which would place an 18% sales tax on top of prices of fattening drinks such as non-diet cola and sweetened drinks with <70% fruit juice content. The tax will supposedly help curb obesity and raise $400 million that can help out the state deficit. Another supporter is New York Governor Paterson himself. Other leglislators, however, are not as keen.
CVD employment watch
Health care among few bright spots in us employment picture
Unemployment is up, very high up, in fact. But where can we find jobs these days? The health care industry is the way to go, according to the Wall Street Journal. It seems there is a constant shortage of medical professionals especially nurses.
New tool could prevent needless stents and save money
We haven’t heard the end of the stents controversy. This study published in the15 January issue of the New England Journal of Medicine says that doctors may be using too many unnecessary stents to open arteries. By using new diagnostic tool called ‘fractional flow reserve,’ or FFR, “which involves inserting a coronary pressure guidewire into the artery, doctors can measure whether blood flow is actually reduced to a dangerous level beyond any apparent narrowing.” In many cases, medication may actually be a better option than the rather invasive stent.
CVD regulatory watch
FDA issues update to safety review on cholesterol-lowering drugs
The US FDA reaffirms its recommendation of cholesterol-lowering drugs and “its position that elevated amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,” are a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke and sudden death and that lowering LDL cholesterol reduces the risk of these diseases.” This comes after the regulatory body’s evaluation of the results of the ENHANCE trial.
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