eNews June 18, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Respiratory care in the digital age

“While most of the attention and use of digital health for chronic care management has gone to players in diabetes, hypertension and related spaces … there is a growing interest in respiratory conditions, asthma and COPD,” Grace Colon, president and CEO of InCarda Therapeutics, said during a panel at BIO Digital, as reported in mobihealthnews.com. While there may be opportunities in the respiratory space, caring for these types of conditions have their own unique obstacles – including being hard to measure, said Raolat Abdulai, clinical director of research at Sanofi, during the panel. “These exacerbations are patient-reported.” However, Abdulai sees telemedical and digital as ways to help manage these conditions in the future — but providers and patients need to be on board.


Ventilator sharing

Ventilators could be safely shared by two COVID-19 patients for up to two days, a small U.S. study found, validating an experimental method followed by hospitals struggling to handle the onslaught of lung failure cases with limited equipment, reports Reuters. At the peak of the outbreak, the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan began having selected pairs of surgery patients with healthy lungs share a ventilator. This approach freed up as many machines as possible for COVID-19 patients, but some medical experts criticized it, saying it could worsen outcomes. The few existing studies of so-called ventilator-splitting did not test it in patients with the type of lung injuries seen with COVID-19.


Home use of positive pressure ventilation

On July 22, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will conduct a virtual Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) meeting to review the evidence on the home use of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation by patients with chronic respiratory failure consequent to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Devices to be considered are home mechanical ventilators, bi-level positive airway pressure devices and continuous positive airway pressure devices.


Game-based device by prescription only

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the first game-based digital therapeutic device to improve attention function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The prescription-only device from Akili Interactive, called EndeavorRx, is indicated for pediatric patients ages 8 to12 years old with primarily inattentive or combined-type ADHD who have demonstrated an attention issue. The FDA reviewed the EndeavorRx through the De Novo premarket review pathway, a regulatory pathway for low- to moderate-risk devices of a new type.