Last week, we took a look at how mobile healthcare apps can personalize healthcare in our blog post. While such apps represent an innovative way of measuring data and incentivizing a healthy lifestyle, there are also many other approaches to patient-tailored medicine that are currently being explored in the clinic.
In our podcast featured in Biome magazine and accompanying forum article in BMC Medicine, Daniel Hayes discusses the development of targeted therapy in oncology, where treatments such as trastuzumab – an antibody drug against the HER2 protein – are given to those with certain cancer subtypes. Hayes emphasizes that genomic sequencing and “big data” approaches using electronic medical records will pave the …
Rare diseases are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is the very fact of their rarity. With only small patient numbers, it can be challenging to carry out research leading to new diagnostics and treatments.
Today is Rare Disease Day, a movement which aims to bring together everyone involved in trying to change this state of affairs, from practitioners to policymakers, social services to scientists, policy makers, and, crucially, patients. So it seems appropriate for us to highlight some promising new research into Apert syndrome, published today in BMC Developmental Biology.
Apert syndrome is a rare congenital disorder where the skull and …
Our readers might have gotten distracted this month by discussions on whether it is right or wrong for Illumina to limit researchers’ use of their kit, and so we are here to help you regain focus: after a deliberately thematic issue on the RBPome, we have just published an accidentally thematic issue on DNA methylation.
This month Genome Biology publishes three tools that many working on DNA methylation should find quite handy.
Mark Robinson (of edgeR, which he published together with another of this issue’s authors, Gordon Smyth) and company present a new method, BayMeth, for the effective quantification of data generated with DNA-methylation-capture-seq techniques (MBD-seq, MeDIP-seq and so on). So if you …
Mobile healthcare applications – or “apps” – are having an increasingly profound impact on medicine; it is estimated that within 5 years, 50% of mobile device users will have downloaded healthcare apps. With drastic improvements in technology in the last few years, mobile medical apps now range from drug databases to sophisticated monitors that can measure blood pressure, heart rate and asthma symptoms.
In a podcast featured in Biome magazine and a forum article in BMC Medicine, cardiologist Eric Topol discusses the huge potential of mobile healthcare apps, describing how the smartphone can function as a “lab on a chip”, and can test for kidney and thyroid function, as well as levels of potassium …
Rare Disease Day is an annual, awareness-raising event co-ordinated by the European Organization for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), national alliances and patient organisations. Rare diseases are easily neglected, and this international advocacy day is important because everyone living with a rare disease should be able to receive high-quality services, treatment and support. Although these diseases are rare individually, collectively they are not, with 1 in 17 people being affected by a rare disease at some point in their life.
The theme of Rare Disease Day 2014 is “care”, with a focus on encouraging the rare disease community to join together for better care, from practitioners to policymakers, social services to scientists, policy makers, …
One of the commitments from the recent G8 dementia summit held in London in December 2013, was to support countries to strengthen health and social care systems, with the aim to improve care and services for people with dementia.
A research article, published today in open access journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, shows that a care coordination programme for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers resulted in improvements in psychosocial function of people with dementia. The programme, a partnership between community and health organisations, also showed positive results for carers.
The programme, called Partners in Dementia Care (PDC), is a partnership between healthcare and community agencies that provides care coordination for medical and non-medical needs of both patients …
In this guest post for Rare Disease Day, Alastair Kent OBE, Director of Genetic Alliance UK and Chair of Rare Disease UK, looks at what’s been achieved for patients with rare diseases and how open access journals are playing their part.
For many years rare diseases (defined as those that affect fewer than 5 in 10,000 in the European Union) have been invisible. Patients and families affected by the 6,000 or more different rare diseases have been lost in the system, suffering the consequences of delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis (often two or three times) and fragmentary, disjointed care.
Recent advances in research have changed this situation significantly. Increasingly there is the possibility of better care and management for affected …
Posted on behalf of Lisa Hussey, Associate Publisher, BioMed Central
Food allergies affect up to 8% of children in the US, and 30% of those affected have more than one allergy. It has been estimated that food allergies cost US$25 billion each year, with approximately US$20 million borne by families of people with food allergies.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is an effective treatment for food allergies, which works by desensitizing patients to the allergen by slowly increasing the doses of modified allergen that they can tolerate. The initial and maintenance regimen for OIT is usually spread over 3-5 years and has been shown to remain effective for several years after cessation of treatment.
One of the …
‘A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own’ Latin proverb
This is especially true in evidence-based medicine. While it is often the ‘positive’ data—those that support carefully-constructed hypotheses—that get the most attention, non-confirmatory, so-called ‘negative’, data have an integral role to play in guiding future research. Indeed, even if an experiment supports a hypothesis, there is always the possibility that it may be rejected by future experiments. Conversely, a negative result may gain significance in years to come.
This idea that all data are valuable and should be published now enjoys widespread support, as evidenced by the popularity of the AllTrials campaign, with over 60,000 signatories, and initiatives such as the Restoring Invisible and …
It’s now just over ten months since the citizens of Boston – and indeed the world – were shocked witnesses to the bombing of the Boston marathon. In situations like these, we all hope that the Emergency Medical Services will have the knowledge and resources to help those in need.
Incidents like this are known as ‘major incidents,’ which is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) term for incidents that require the mobilization of extraordinary EMS resources, such as the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services, the direct or indirect involvement of large numbers of people, and possibly the mobilization of multiple government agencies.
Learning from previous major incidents is key to ensuring that the …