Gore signs on to embryonic stem cell alternative

USA Today reports:
Former vice president Al Gore is entering the stem cell arena with an announcement today of a $20 million biotech venture in the hot area of "induced pluripotent" stem cells. Induced cells are attracting interest from researchers and biotech firms as an alternative to embryonic stem cells. Induced cells are made by inserting four genes into ordinary skin cells, and they offer a new path for "regenerative" medical treatments. "I just think it's a very important breakthrough that is filled with promise and hope," says Gore, a partner with the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, which is backing the research. "I think this is one of those good news stories that comes along every once in a while."
Apr 14, 2009 7:31 AM

Yeah, what they said!

Locally-based cost management outfit MedSolutions backs up the Journal of the American Medical Association, which recently featured an item from a Johns Hopkins research team which called for an increased focus on reducing diagnostic errors.
Often unrecognized or unreported, diagnostic errors receive little attention despite the fact that they cause up to 80,000 hospital deaths a year and result in twice as many tort claims as medication errors. In addition, roughly 5 percent of autopsies reveal diagnostic errors for which correct diagnosis and treatment could have averted death. No statistics exist for misdiagnosis-related deaths in outpatients.
And then, seizing the opportunity, the company pitches you their product...
In addition to improving diagnostic accuracy, Premerus is proven to reduce costs associated with misdiagnosis, such as unnecessary therapies, unwarranted tests and additional treatment required to reverse the effects of wrong therapies. An independently validated study conducted by the actuarial firm Thomson Reuters shows that healthcare payors utilizing Premerus can expect near-term savings of $4.45 per member, per month when utilized in a commercial insured population.
Apr 8, 2009 3:47 PM

Getting gas prices right

That's what the more than 100 Daily's locations in this region hope to do with the help of software from New Jersey-based KSS.
Apr 7, 2009 11:29 AM

IMI Health gets HEDIS-certified

IMI Health announced that it has earned National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Healthcare. From a press release:
HEDIS software calculates standard measures to support annual audit and reporting requirements for health plans, and IMI Health’s NCQA-Certified software helps health plans measure quality and lower audit requirements. HEDIS specifications are updated annually and software vendors must make changes to comply with the measures and gain certification each year. All U.S. health plans seeking NCQA Accreditation must comply annually with the calculation of standard measures and completion of an audit. Health plans that select a certified software vendor are exempt from source code review. Health, plans even without the mandate for review and audit, can benefit by proactively using HEDIS measures to demonstrate their effectiveness.
Apr 7, 2009 9:33 AM

Dell expands Ideastorm concept

Chris Brogan explains:
Their original Ideastorm project was about giving voice to a community to better improve Dell products and services. Ideastorm for Healthcare gives a specific community a place to come and talk about things from their perspective. Take note of this idea. They’ve given voice to a segment of their community that matters to them. It’s obviously the sign of things to come, and not a bad way to show that you’re listening. It’s also great for your product marketing teams as well as better customer service.
Apr 6, 2009 1:16 PM

A step closer to an AT&T strike

The company and the union representing some 100,000 workers can't find middle ground.
CWA has made it clear to AT&T that it is ready to bargain at any time to resolve the issues and negotiate quality contracts. Unfortunately, AT&T has shown little willingness to move forward and reach settlements. There has been little progress in the areas of health care, retirement security and employment security, among others.
Here's AT&T's statement about its Southeast operations.
Apr 6, 2009 12:11 AM

Reviewing Nissan's electric car

The folks at Greentech Media took the EV-02 for a spin and liked most of what they saw.
Still, the acceleration was somewhat consistent and I could have kept picking up speed if I hadn't had to brake to stop from running into a cement wall. Exciting, no, but it was more like a Honda Civic than a golf cart.
Apr 2, 2009 3:02 PM

Dell hits up bond market

The computer manufacturer has sold $500 million of debt due in 2014 and filed to raise an unspecified amount in the near future.
Apr 1, 2009 11:31 PM

Vandy researchers study effect of lithium on brain cells

From US News:
Lithium may help protect brain cells when people with brain cancer undergo radiation therapy, a new study suggests. Cranial radiation therapy can cause long-term neurological effects, particularly in children, according to researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. But they explain that lithium has brain-protective properties that might reduce these side effects.
Apr 1, 2009 5:26 PM

eDoc4u and Saint Thomas partner up

From a press release:
Thanks to a new partnership with eDoc4u, all eligible members and employees of Saint Thomas Health Services (STHS) will now have access to the tools and resources they need to manage and improve their health, with a focus on preventive care. Nashville-based eDoc4u private labels and integrates its health preventive care web services with providers, health plans and employers. Currently, the company supports hundreds of client sites, reaching millions of members... ...The multi-year agreement, effective Jan. 19, 2009, provides STHS employer group members and employees with access to eDoc4u's full suite of web-based services: health risk assessments, disease risk indices, preventive care plans, personal health records and online health coaching. eDoc4u's easy-to-use medical web service presents members with personalized scores for disease risk, specific prevention recommendations and culturally competent "trusted physician" video counseling.
Apr 1, 2009 10:19 AM