Healthcare Technology Magazine

Siemens Healthcare Limited Expands Consolidation With New Assays

Siemens Healthcare Limited has announced the launch of a range of new assays to be used on ADVIA Centaur® and IMMULITE® XPi 2000 systems. The range includes anti-CCP used as an aid in the evaluation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and the first automated quantitative thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) assay used in the diagnosis of Graves' disease.

The ADVIA Centaur anti-CCP assay is for use in the semi-quantitative determination of the IgG class of autoantibodies specific to cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) in human serum and plasma, aiding with the diagnosis of RA. The assay provides 96% specificity for an early accurate diagnosis of RA, ensuring improved patient care by allowing timely intervention and treatment.

The Siemens IMMULITE 2000 XPi thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) assay specifically detects thyroid stimulating antibodies, which are the hallmark of Graves' disease, unlike the commonly used TRAb assay which detects both stimulating and blocking antibodies. This makes the assay highly specific, to aid in the disease's diagnosis. With a clinical sensitivity and specificity of 98.3% and 99.7% respectively, it ensures laboratories can provide a fast, easy and specific diagnosis.

Allan Thompson, Product Manager, Immunoassay at Siemens Healthcare Limited states, "The addition of the new assays to our extensive range will help laboratory staff integrate testing into routine workflow, reducing the need for send-away testing. This enables laboratories to reduce operational costs and time, as well as becoming more productive and efficient. We will continue to evolve our portfolio of assays in line with customer demands and expectations."

Healthcare Limited is also set to launch a further range of assays in the future. These will include the ADVIA Centaur holo-TC assay for improved resolution of vitamin B12 deficiency. The holo-TC assay, (also known as "Active B12"), measures the cobalamin attached to the carrier protein transcobalamin for a more accurate vitamin B12 deficiency diagnosis and better resolution of "grey zone" B12 results. In addition,an automated galectin-3 assay will be developed on the ADVIA Centaur to aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure. ADVIA Centaur PAPP-A and Free Beta hCG will be launched for early Down Syndrome screening in the first trimester, as well as Beta-trace Protein on the BN™ II or BN ProSpec® analysers a new biomarker for CSF leakage and residual renal function.

Verizon Enables Internet Of Things, Cloud And Big Data For Healthcare Providers

Verizon Enterprise Solutions recently forecasted that predictive analytics, cloud services and connected devices will be the key technology trends to watch in 2015, and one industry that stands to benefit greatly from these technologies is healthcare, especially as it relates to the evolving patient-centric care models.

In the current healthcare model, patients meet with care providers in care facilities, where doctors and technicians diagnose their illnesses and prescribe treatments using dated or aging collection tools. Patients with more severe or chronic conditions need to visit their provider more often, so their physician can track treatment progress and identify healthcare patterns.

What if care providers could collect patient health data remotely and modify treatments in real-time? How vastly would this scenario improve patient care? The good news is that the healthcare industry is quickly entering a technological era in which remote data collection and analytics are now a reality.

Connected medical devices, such as wireless glucose monitors, can regularly measure a diabetic patient’s blood-sugar levels and paired with data from insulin pumps can show the effectiveness of the insulin regimen. The care provider can modify the treatment accordingly, limiting the times the patient needs to visit the healthcare facility.

Similar connected tools can be used to diagnose diabetes, potentially reducing the need for extensive on-premises blood work. By analyzing the massive data sets produced and collected from patients outfitted with wearables or connected devices, care providers can improve the foundational research models used to identify illnesses. That additional data collected can feed predictive and analytics engines, helping pinpoint the factors that lead to certain conditions.

At the center of these new research and care models is an expandable computing core that handles the huge data and processing demands generated by predictive analytics, the transition to the cloud and the monetization of the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies continue to evolve independently, but it is the combination of all three that could revolutionize healthcare.

GE Healthcare Focuses On Improved Workflow

Long wait times, disorganized data, slow results and anxiety before a procedure. Often, these pain points muddle the healthcare process for clinicians and patients. At the Radiological Society of North America (#RSNA14) annual meeting, GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) has unveiled new technologies to address these issues – enabling more accurate patient data sharing and diagnosis; enhancing workflow and productivity for the clinician; and making the patient experience faster and more comfortable.

New cross-enterprise capabilities to improve workflow, connectivity, productivity

New imaging workflow functionality allows healthcare providers to access consolidated patient histories while sharing workloads across hospitals. Adoption of GE Healthcare's new web-based Cross-Enterprise Reporting1 capability provides clinicians with tools like voice recognition while giving them the ability to make a diagnosis anywhere with internet access. The new Cross-Enterprise Display capability gives radiologists a consolidated view of a patient's medical history – including all relevant prior images – to help make a more informed diagnosis. When combined, these new capabilities help to improve patient care by helping to reduce duplicate scans and create more collaborative care networks.

Ultrasound advancements inspired by clinicians for clinicians

GE Healthcare is showcasing clinician-inspired upgrades to its acclaimed LOGIQ E9 and LOGIQ S7 ultrasound systems that assist with everyday throughput and imaging challenges. These upgrades include improved image quality, new transducers and automated tools that help enhance exam productivity and speed with new design features that can help image efficiently and comfortably.

"We asked clinicians who use these technologies every day to tell us what they need, and we designed upgrades that are cost-effective and that give them more time, productivity and clinical confidence," said Brian McEathron, general manager of General Imaging Ultrasound for GE Healthcare. "These upgrades put GE's latest imaging technology