The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (Jacksonville, Florida) has applauded the FDA's efforts to protect the safety of children and adolescents who are using insulin pumps, said Richard Hellman, MD, association president.

In the May edition of Pediatrics, Judith Cope, MD, a physician at the FDA, provided new data that shows there is a serious problem regarding patient safety in insulin pump use. She reported data on 1594 injuries and 13 deaths in children and adolescents collected over 10 years; 82% of the cases resulted in hospitalization.

The most common single issue was lack of education, and neither the patient nor the responsible adult knew enough about how the pump worked to avoid the injury or death that resulted. Although there were some cases due to mechanical malfunction of the pump, most problems were the result of human factors involved in the use of the pumps.

The association said the agency has not yet provided similar data regarding the numbers of serious injuries in the larger group of pump users, adults who are using insulin pumps.

Hellman said that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has an annual program, now in its third year, to teach and provide hands-on experience to all physicians completing specialized training in endocrinology. They are taught how to care for patients on insulin pumps, how to protect them from harm due to pump malfunction, and how to improve their patient's skills in using an insulin pump safely and well.

The physicians find the program most valuable, but more such programs are needed. "This past year we appointed a task force of pump experts to develop guidelines and standards for initiating pump use and what we consider essential to provide for the safe and effective medical care of those on insulin pumps," he said.

DiabetesAmerica partners with Group 1 Automotive

DiabetesAmerica (DA; Houston), a network of diabetes care and management centers across Texas, said it has partnered with Group 1 Automotive (also Houston), a automotive retailer, to provide employees with a unique approach to diabetes management.

Under the DA program, patients will work with a whole team of professionals who specialize in diabetes. Each new patient will have a minimum of five physician visits for the first year of the program and will begin a personalized treatment plan developed for them by DA's team of physicians, registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators.

Patients also will have access to online appointment scheduling, personalized health records and prescription refills and a retail pharmacy with free overnight delivery. Patients or dependents over the age of 18 enrolled in the Group 1 medical plan that are currently living with diabetes are eligible for the program.

"Our goal is to provide patients with the most comprehensive care available for all types of diabetes," said Frank Basile, president/CEO for DA. "When Group 1 Automotive employees sign on to manage their diabetes with [us], they have full access to physicians, registered nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators who are dedicated to providing each patient with the personalized care and support they need to successfully manage their diabetes."

Intermedix new name for MCI Acquisiton

Intermedix (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is the new corporate name for MCI Acquisition Corp. MCI Acquisition was formed in 2005 as a holding company in connection with Parthenon Capital's investment in Medical Consultants. In 2006, MCI acquired Advanced Data Processing, a provider of technology-based business services to emergency ambulance providers.

The change was motivated by a desire to better reflect Intermedix's position as a technology and business services firm. The new name also leverages the company's technology platform, Intermedix Technologies, also acquired in 2006.

"This change allows us to present a unified, cohesive brand to the marketplace. We as a company are more than the sum of our parts and we expect our technology to continue to increasingly differentiate our capabilities in the marketplace. We wanted that to be reflected in our corporate identity," said CEO Doug Shamon.

Intermedix helps support emergency physicians, hospital emergency departments, and 911-emergency responders.

Guided Therapeutics ticker symbol GTHP

Guided Therapeutics (GT; Norcross, Georgia) reported being issued stock ticker symbol GTHP. Guided Therapeutics, formerly known as SpectRx, was previously traded under the stock symbol SPRX.

"The company name and stock ticker change reflect the company's focus on developing our non-invasive cancer detection technology," said Mark Faupel, PhD, president/CEO. "We plan to complete the corporate changeover in the coming days with an updated web site."

GT says it is developing a rapid and painless test for the early detection of disease that leads to cervical cancer.