Article: Bio-hackers sidestep Big Pharma with new open-source insulin

Cures, Drugs, Open Health

Bio-hackers sidestep Big Pharma with new open-source insulin

Estimates find that some 10 percent of all Americans have diabetes, but just three companies manufacture the life-saving medicine needed to treat it. That’s believed to explain why diabetes has become the most expensive chronic condition in the United States, with prices doubling between 2012 and 2016.

An organization called Open Insulin hopes to change the calculus by creating open-source alternatives to the insulin made by the Big Three. The non-profit group is producing not only the compositions for insulin, but also hardware equivalents to the production equipment used by major pharmaceutical companies. The idea is that any community around the world could use the instructions to spin up their own small-scale manufacturing and meet local needs.

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Article: Use single-cell biology to shed light on pediatric diseases currently in the dark

Cures, Document, Open Decision-Support, Open Health, Research

Use single-cell biology to shed light on pediatric diseases currently in the dark

There are few things harder for a physician to say to a patient than “I don’t know what’s wrong.” Saying that is even harder when you’re sitting across from the parent of a child with an undiagnosed condition.

And as I learned from experience, it is harder still when you work at a national referral center for rare pediatric diseases, since you are a family’s last hope: the physician they’re seeing after they’ve spent months — even years — searching for help and exhausting every other option. My heart broke every time I had to say, “I’m so sorry, but I don’t know what’s wrong.”

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Article: Amazon Web Services exec talks interoperability lessons from the past year

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Amazon Web Services exec talks interoperability lessons from the past year

The biggest barrier to physicians having the most complete medical history for their patients at every point of patient care is the lack of interoperability among information systems. This prevents electronic health records and data from other systems from following a patient.

A manual, time-consuming process is required to bring this information together. However, this is one of those pivotal moments when the healthcare industry has an opportunity to take what has been learned over the last year and identify and fix the underlying problems that plague the healthcare and life sciences community, said Pat Combes, worldwide technical leader, healthcare and life sciences, at Amazon Web Services.

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Article: Open-source platform using gene therapy to find a cure for kids with rare diseases

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Open-source platform using gene therapy to find a cure for kids with rare diseases

The genetic condition that affects Raghav is called Sedaghatian type Spondylometaphyseal Dysplasia (SSMD). SSMD causes cardiac arrhythmia and abnormalities in the skeletal and central nervous system. Doctors said Raghav would be a wheelchair user, non-verbal and likely to die prematurely. A diagnosis that Ramesh, a software engineer with Amazon, and his wife were unwilling to accept.

Along with his work at Amazon, Ramesh started Googling for information regarding the genetic condition that was affecting his son and read up all the relevant literature regarding gene therapy and other treatments that were available on this rare disease.

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Article: How Data Analytics Software is Helping Fight COVID-19

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

How Data Analytics Software is Helping Fight COVID-19

As we grapple with all of the issues surrounding COVID-19, society has been faced with a number of unprecedented challenges in the public health sector as well as the economy. Businesses are rushing to re-align themselves with this new reality, and business intelligence technology has been a great help.

In particular, data analytics are proving to be indispensable, as they have helped data scientists surmount the sheer scale of the pandemic. The desire of the public for more information has led to the need for the creation of open-source data sets and visualizations. This, in turn, led to the conception of what has come to be known as pandemic analytics.

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Article: Open Source Joins Efforts to Create Gene Therapies for Rare Diseases

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Open Source Joins Efforts to Create Gene Therapies for Rare Diseases

Some 400 million patients worldwide are affected by more than 7,000 rare diseases; yet treatments for rare genetic diseases remain an underserved area. More than 95 percent of rare diseases do not have an approved treatment, and new treatments are estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

Sanath Ramesh created the RareCamp project and the OpenTreatments Foundation to enable patients to create gene therapies for rare genetic diseases and then work with their doctors and nonprofit organizations to develop drugs. The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, is helping those efforts succeed.

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Article: Why The 21st Century Cures Act is an Innovators Dream

API, Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Open Infrastructure, Procedures (Medical)

Why The 21st Century Cures Act is an Innovators Dream

Designed largely to accelerate medical product development and get new medications and treatments through the development process faster, the 21st Century Cures Act is a significant piece of legislation that  passed in 2016.

Some of its provisions are also meant to empower patients with more information about their own . The ONC Cures Act Final Rule in particular — which will go into effect in April of this year — says that providers must make patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) available to them. This means that data is unequivocally going to be in the hands of patients. It means better care for patients, but it also means that a whole new set of services and innovations will be possible.

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Article: Houston researchers tap into tech to provide new brain-related health care solutions

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Houston researchers tap into tech to provide new brain-related health care solutions

A University of Houston researcher is tapping into technology to better treat brain injuries and conditions that scientists have not yet figured out treatment for. Badri Roysam, the current chair of electrical and computer engineering at UH and a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor, and his team have created a new computational image analysis methods based on deep neural networks.

“We are interested in mapping and profiling unhealthy and drug-treated brain tissue in unprecedented detail to reveal multiple biological processes at once – in context,” Roysam says in a UH press release about his latest paper published in Nature Communications. “This requires the ability to record high-resolution images of brain tissue covering a comprehensive panel of molecular biomarkers, over a large spatial extent, e.g., whole-brain slices, and automated ability to generate quantitative readouts of biomarker expression for all cells.”

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Article: AI Predicts Effective Drug Combinations to Fight Complex Diseases Faster

Cures, Drugs, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

AI Predicts Effective Drug Combinations to Fight Complex Diseases Faster

Finding new ways to repurpose or combine existing drugs has proved to be a powerful tool to treat complex diseases. Drugs used to treat one type of cancer, for instance, have effectively strengthened treatments for other cancer cells. Complex malignant tumors often require a combination of drugs or “drug cocktails,” to formulate a concerted attack on multiple cell types. Drug cocktails can not only help stave off drug resistance but also minimize harmful side effects.

But finding an effective combination of existing drugs at the right dose is extremely challenging, partly because there are near-infinite possibilities.

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Article: Free mental health toolkit released by event industry associations

Cures, Open Health, Procedures (Medical)

Free mental health toolkit released by event industry associations

The Association of Event Venues (AEV), Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) have announced that their members’ “heads up” well-being toolkit has been made available to the public as a free resource.

This mental health toolkit, a regularly updated library of resources, advice and further help, was released in February 2020, but was only available to members of the three associations. In light of the pandemic, and the pressure on the country’s mental health, the associations have jointly agreed to make the resource freely accessible to the public.

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