Star Trek-inspired personalized medicine is on the horizon | Opinion

This article is part of an op-ed series on engineering fields that will change the world by Rutgers School of Engineering faculty.

By Umer Hassan

Real-world innovations – from submarines to self-driving cars – come straight from imaginary worlds of science fiction. Think Star Trek’s handheld tricorder, a medical diagnostic device that made its first appearance in the original TV series. This sci-fi precursor is now changing the face of personalized medicine by taking the tricorder concept to the next level.

Today, diabetics can anticipate a biosensor able to monitor their glucose levels through perspiration. A biosensor implant could detect genetic mutations as they happen, while British researchers are developing a wearable biosensor that will collect data and assess the efficacy of rehabilitation equipment and exercise.

Other biosensors will be able to quickly and inexpensively detect costly and potentially fatal medical conditions such as sepsis and AIDS. Together with Rutgers University colleagues, clinical and industry partners, my lab has been working to solve these global health challenges with new tools that focus on a highly personalized approach to medicine. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we are also hoping to apply this technology to fight the coronavirus.

Sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to infection – is not only deadly, it is the most expensive inpatient medical condition in the United States, with patients who develop sepsis often spending days in intensive care units at a cost of $10,000 a day – or more. Recognizing that sepsis is responsible for as many as 6 million largely preventable deaths a year, the World Health Organization has identified the prevention, diagnosis and management of sepsis as a pressing global health priority.

By applying electrical and computer engineering skills to identify new biomarkers and devise machine-learning algorithms, or artificial intelligence systems, we hope to dramatically improve clinicians’ abilities to diagnose, predict – and ultimately manage – sepsis. Simply reacting to diseases is no longer enough – we need to predict them in order to treat patients in a much smarter way.

To this end, we are building an inexpensive medical device that even minimally trained health care providers can use to accurately diagnosis sepsis. This automated device would cost less than $10 a test and be simple to operate not only in resource-limited settings but anywhere where a rapidly confirmed diagnosis of sepsis is needed.

In sub-Saharan Africa, where only one person in eight is even tested for HIV, many of those infected go undetected until they develop severe complications from the disease. In the near future, cheap, disposable biosensors that are as easy and convenient to use as a home pregnancy test, will detect infections with people living with HIV/AIDS in underdeveloped sub-Saharan African nations. A secondary goal is to develop sensors able to monitor a patient’s response to the antiretroviral therapy they receive.

The positive health and economic impact of such sensors would be felt not only in underdeveloped nations, but also in the United States by reducing the cost of a

Read more

Inovalon Clients Outperform Market for CMS Star Ratings for the Seventh Year in a Row

The Inovalon ONE® Platform Supports Meaningful Quality Outcomes Improvements and Value Delivery

BOWIE, Md., Nov. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Inovalon (Nasdaq: INOV), a leading provider of cloud-based platforms empowering data-driven healthcare, today announced that clients utilizing Inovalon’s quality improvement solution suite outperformed the entire Medicare Advantage market for the seventh year in a row, realizing a positive increase of nearly 4% on a year-over-year basis in their Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2021 Star Ratings.

Inovalon’s clinical quality data aggregation, advanced analytics, integrated outreach, and data visualization toolsets provide health plans with targeted patient-level insights to improve quality of care and member health outcomes. Able to integrate, aggregate, and analyze the growing volume of healthcare datasets at high speed to support improvements in clinical quality outcomes measures, the Inovalon ONE® Platform delivers the nation’s most widely used healthcare quality data analysis and improvement platform, with more than 76% of U.S. reported lives running through the Inovalon Platform in 2020.

These results reflect data released by CMS on October 9, 2020, pertaining to all Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans, which revealed that on a year-over-year basis, Star Rating scores decreased by 2.17% for the average Medicare Advantage health plan on an enrollment-weighted basis. These results also reflect adjustments CMS made to minimize the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, allowing plans to use the higher of their 2020 or 2021 CMS Star Ratings for approximately 50% of the measures. Despite the overall market decreasing by 2.17%, clients leveraging Inovalon’s quality improvement suite realized an average increase of 3.72% in their 2021 Star Ratings. The achievement of higher Star Ratings reflects the great work of Inovalon’s health plan clients and the ability of the Inovalon ONE® Platform to rapidly deliver actionable analytical insights, empowering superior care delivery by health plans to their millions of members, and create positive, measurable economic performance impact.

“Over the past year, the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the rapid changes to how and where care is delivered have accelerated the need to rely upon a technology platform capable of addressing patient-specific gaps in care within the Medicare Advantage population,” said Kris Volrath, Vice President at Inovalon. “We are pleased to support and empower the continued strong performance of our clients, reflecting their adoption of industry-leading technologies and data-driven insights to achieve meaningful impact during an unprecedented year.”

About the CMS Star Ratings Program

The national Star Ratings performance program, instituted by CMS, measures and reports on a wide range of clinical and quality outcomes pertaining to members and health plans across the United States. The quality measures addressed are utilized by federal and state programs to determine quality scoring and associated incentives and penalties for such programs as CMS’ Medicare Advantage Five-Star Quality Rating System, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Quality Ratings System (QRS) for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, and state-based Managed Medicaid measurement programs. Inovalon’s solutions support these programs, as

Read more

Simeone gives update on Atletico star Suarez’s fitness ahead of Champions League clash with RB Salzburg

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Luis Suarez could still start the club’s Champions League fixture against Salzburg, despite training away from the squad.

Suarez trained individually ahead of Tuesday’s Group A showdown with Austrian visitors Salzburg in Madrid.

Simeone – whose Atletico were routed 4-0 by defending champions Bayern Munich on matchday one – provided a fitness update on Suarez, telling reporters on Monday: “He’ll be in the squad.

“We agreed with the doctor that it was best for him to work away from the group [on Monday] and then, according to what we see tomorrow, he’ll [either] start or be on the bench.”

Suarez has been in red-hot form since swapping embattled La Liga giants Barcelona for Spanish rivals Atletico at the start of the season.

The 33-year-old has scored four goals in five league games, including the second goal in last week’s 2-0 victory at home to Real Betis.

Suarez also scored his 150th La Liga goal earlier this month, becoming the second fastest player to reach that milestone in the competition this century – quicker than Lionel Messi and only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Asked if he was surprised by Suarez’s impact, Simeone replied: “Surprised, no.  I’ve found a player who I listened to on the phone when we first made contact in that first chat to see if there was a chance he could join us.

“He wanted to be here and he’s proving it. Let’s hope we can help him.”

Simeone also hailed Atletico attacker Joao Felix, who has impressed during the early stages of 2020-21.

Joao Felix arrived from Benfica for a club-record €126 million fee last season but injuries hampered the Portuguese after a solid start.

He has a goal and one assist through five La Liga appearances and Simeone added: “It’s always the same. For me, he’s had some very good games since the start of the season. Granada, Huesca, Villarreal despite being tired, the whole game in Munich…

“He’s looked dangerous on a number of occasions. The other day [against Real Betis], when he came on in the 25th minute, the team had a good fluidity.

“I’m happy with his work, except for a few minutes against Celta [Vigo], which weren’t the best. We’re always looking for a situation to find him [on the pitch]. He’s a boy who’s in good form, like many of his team-mates.”

Source Article

Read more

Simeone provides fitness update on Suarez after Atletico star misses training

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone said Luis Suarez could still start the club’s Champions League fixture against Salzburg, despite training away from the squad.



Luis Suarez standing on a court: Luis Suarez (L) and Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone (R)


© Getty Images
Luis Suarez (L) and Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone (R)

Suarez trained individually ahead of Tuesday’s Group A showdown with Austrian visitors Salzburg in Madrid.

Simeone – whose Atletico were routed 4-0 by defending champions Bayern Munich on matchday one – provided a fitness update on Suarez, telling reporters on Monday: “He’ll be in the squad.

“We agreed with the doctor that it was best for him to work away from the group [on Monday] and then, according to what we see tomorrow, he’ll [either] start or be on the bench.”

Suarez has been in red-hot form since swapping embattled LaLiga giants Barcelona for Spanish rivals Atletico at the start of the season.

The 33-year-old has scored four goals in five league games, including the second goal in last week’s 2-0 victory at home to Real Betis.

Video: The 21-man squad for Borussia Mönchengladbach clash (Real Madrid)

The 21-man squad for Borussia Mönchengladbach clash

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Suarez also scored his 150th LaLiga goal earlier this month, becoming the second fastest player to reach that milestone in the competition this century – quicker than Lionel Messi and only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Asked if he was surprised by Suarez’s impact, Simeone replied: “Surprised, no. 

“I’ve found a player who I listened to on the phone when we first made contact in that first chat to see if there was a chance he could join us.

“He wanted to be here and he’s proving it. Let’s hope we can help him.”

Simeone also hailed Atletico attacker Joao Felix, who has impressed during the early stages of 2020-21.

Joao Felix arrived from Benfica for a club-record €126million fee last season but injuries hampered the Portuguese after a solid start.

He has a goal and one assist through five LaLiga appearances and Simeone added: “It’s always the same. For me, he’s had some very good games since the start of the season. Granada, Huesca, Villarreal despite being tired, the whole game in Munich…

“He’s looked dangerous on a number of occasions. The other day [against Real Betis], when he came on in the 25th minute, the team had a good fluidity.

“I’m happy with his work, except for a few minutes against Celta [Vigo], which weren’t the best. We’re always looking for a situation to find him [on the pitch]. He’s a boy who’s in good form, like many of his team-mates.”

Source Article

Read more

Chelsea star Ziyech provides fitness update & urges bench-warming Van de Beek to be patient at Man Utd

Hakim Ziyech has spoken of where he sees himself fitting into Chelsea’s attacking plans as he continues to work towards full fitness, while also urging former Ajax team-mate Donny van de Beek to remain calm at Manchester United despite a lack of playing time.

Having established himself as one of Europe’s top attackers during his time in the Netherlands, Ziyech saw the Blues swoop to secure his services in a £33 million ($43m) deal following a transfer ban.

The Morocco international was subsequently joined by other high-profile signings such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner at Stamford Bridge, although the latter pair have seen far more game time due to Ziyech having been contending with injuries.

Asked to comment on when he will be back to full fitness, the 27-year-old told the press: “For me it can’t come soon enough, but if you think realistically I’ve been out for a while, the season stopped early for me last year, so I didn’t play for a while as well.

“The injury came at an unlucky time, so for me it’s now important just to get rhythm back and build up everything again. I know it will take some time, but for me it couldn’t be soon enough.

“It is what it is right now, it’s most important for me to build and get to 100 per cent fitness, and that’s what we’re working to do.”

Asked what position he is likely to take up, the versatile attacker added: “Two different options, maybe three, depending on where the coach needs me. For me it doesn’t matter where I am playing, I just love to play the game, and it doesn’t matter where.”

Another former Ajax man has also found playing time hard to come by in the Premier League, with Manchester United’s summer signing Van de Beek having spent most of his time warming the bench at Old Trafford despite a big-money move.

Ziyech is unconcerned, however, and feels it will take time for the Netherlands international to fully adjust to his new surroundings before showing fans what he is truly capable of.

“We spoke in the beginning when he moved to Man United, but we didn’t speak about his situation,” Ziyech said. “I think he will need time as well, he’s come from a different country, a different style of play.

“And I know for sure it will take some time for him as well to get used to everything and then I know for sure he will bring quality to the squad over there.

“For him the most important thing now is to stay calm.”

Source Article

Read more

Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean opens up on his addiction: ‘I wasn’t me anymore’

McLean has sought professional help on his road to sobriety.

AJ McLean is opening up about his 20-year battle with addiction.

The 42-year-old Backstreet Boys star and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant revealed to “Good Morning America” what happened when he first did drugs.

“The first time I tried drugs was literally an hour before my call time to ‘The Call’ video shoot,” McLean recently told “GMA’s” Will Reeve. “I was off the walls.”

The singer also said he kept his addiction a secret until his behavior began affecting his band.

“When the boys kind of caught on, I missed out on rehearsal,” McLean said. “They basically broke into my house, and they dumped ice water on me while I was passed out in my bed.”

“Everybody started to catch on,” he added. “I wasn’t me anymore, you know, I was just living a lie.”

Eleven months ago, it appeared McLean’s addiction was in the forefront of his life after a trip to Las Vegas.

“I was never sober. Not for a second,” McLean said. “And the turning point for me was when I came back home, my wife could smell it on my breath and my youngest of my two daughters would not sit with me.”

McLean said he’s been sober since that day and he’s working with a program and a sponsor.

“There’s too much to live for today — my beautiful children, my amazing wife, my career, my brothers,” McLean said. “I’ve never felt more grounded than I do today.”

ABC News’ chief medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton said a person can become addicted to drugs after trying them for the first time.

“In speaking with addiction experts, it absolutely does happen,” she said, adding that addiction can be associated with a genetic predisposition or could be situational.

“We’ve heard those stories as well — people who have surgery or are in an accident and that’s what starts their addiction,” Ashton noted.

Addiction warning signs according to Ashton, can include the following:

If you’re of thinking of holding an intervention for a loved one, Ashton’s advice is to “plan, plan, plan,” and seek professional help.

Ashton said when a person agrees to go for treatment, they often will need a transporter to accompany them to the facility.

“This requires daily work,” Ashton added. “This is a lifelong battle like any other chronic illness. If you can’t see it, sometimes people take it less seriously. I encourage people to look at this no differently than heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure. It’s a disease, period.”

Source Article

Read more