eNews September 27, 2022

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

Pulmonary dysfunction in kids following COVID

New research suggests kids and teens who have recovered from COVID-19 may be subject to long-term lung damage, just like adults, reports HealthImaging. An analysis published in the journal “Radiology” details signs of persistent pulmonary dysfunction in children who have recovered from a COVID infection or who are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID. Using low-field MRI, experts found reduced ventilated and perfused lung parenchyma (V/Q match) in the COVID group of patients compared to a group of healthy controls. The analysis included 54 post-COVID participants—29 recovered and 25 with Long COVID—along with nine healthy controls, each of whom underwent a low-field MRI scan.


Specialty RTs recognized

Representing the various specialties in respiratory care, eight people have been named recipients of the 2022 Specialty Practitioner of the Year award by the American Association for Respiratory Care. They are Kenneth Miller (Adult Acute Care), Becky Anderson (Ambulatory and Post-Acute Care), Heather Murgatroyd (Diagnostics), Chip Zimmerman (Education), Matthew S. Pavlichko (Leadership and Management), Amanda Nickel (Neonatal/Pediatrics), Joseph R. Huff (Sleep), and Paula Bettinger (Surface & Air Transport).


Tracking tumors real-time

Engineers have created a small device with a stretchable/flexible sensor that can be adhered to the skin to measure the changing size of tumors. The non-invasive, battery-operated device is sensitive to one-hundredth of a millimeter and can transmit results to a smartphone app in real-time. Developed by engineers at Stanford University, Georgia Tech, USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the University of Tokyo, the sensor – called FAST, for “Flexible Autonomous Sensor measuring Tumors” — is composed of a flexible and stretchable skin-like polymer that includes an embedded layer of gold circuitry. This sensor is connected to a small electronic backpack. The device measures the strain on the membrane—how much it stretches or shrinks—and transmits that data to a smartphone.


Smartphones detect blood oxygen levels

Engineers at UC San Diego and the University of Washington published a study demonstrating that a smartphone could detect blood oxygen levels almost on par with the standard medical device. In the study, the researchers used a smartphone’s camera — with the flash on — to take a video of a person’s blood flow on one finger and track it with a pulse oximeter device on their other finger. From there they used a machine learning algorithm that tracks the pattern of changes at different oxygen levels. During a 15-minute period, each participant breathed in a controlled mixture of oxygen and nitrogen to slowly reduce their oxygen levels to simulate the changes. The smartphone used in the study was able to detect a blood oxygen level as low as 70 percent, which is the lowest value that pulse oximeters should be able to measure according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Among 1,300 Medicare patients hospitalized with comorbid obstructive sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, high adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) resulted in better outcomes and reduced readmissions, reports HCPLive. There are currently nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. with obstructive sleep apnea, 40-60% of whom also are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. However, OSA is often underdiagnosed and undertreated in this patient population, even though treatment of the sleep apnea could reduce healthcare utilization.