Diabetic patients who use newer technologies such as insulin pumps and blood glucose monitoring devices are better able to manage their disease and adhere to treatment regimens, with less daily pain, than with conventional treatments, according to Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) researchers.

However, the Duke researchers say they have found that the newer methods to manage diabetes are not being widely used because physicians may be reluctant to prescribe them, and even patients who are using them may not be deriving their full benefits. They said that the lack of strong scientific evidence on the efficacy of newer devices, combined with insufficient patient education resources for physicians and their patients, hinders the diffusion of new devices and contributes to their incorrect use.

They also pointed to the higher costs of newer medical technologies and the demographics of diabetes as probable causes of low usage — that is, its disproportionate prevalence among racial and ethnic minorities, persons of lower socioeconomic status, and the elderly.

The findings emerged from a literature review conducted by the Medical Technology Assessment Working Group at Duke University, focusing on technologies used to monitor glucose and deliver insulin outside of conventional methods, such as daily injections and finger stick tests.

Florida Proton Therapy Institute opens

The only proton therapy treatment facility in the Southeast, the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (Jacksonville, Florida) marked its official opening with a dedication of the 98,000-square foot, $125 million building.

The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute opening comes eight years since developing the initial proposal for the project and just three years since its groundbreaking. Florida Proton is one of only five proton therapy centers in the country and is affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center , national leaders in cancer treatment and research. Proton therapy is a precise radiation treatment that destroys cancer cells and minimizes damage to healthy tissue.

That results in higher cure rates, a low incidence of side effects and fewer long-term effects. Proton therapy is especially beneficial for treating cancer in children and in adult cancers located in sensitive areas like the head, neck, lung, brain, breast and prostate.

“We are proud to celebrate this milestone for cancer treatment in Jacksonville and beyond,” said Stuart Klein, executive director, UF Proton Therapy Institute. “It has taken a collaboration of many public and private sector partners, along with a dedicated team of radiation oncologists, physicists, engineers, computer scientists and community leaders to make this facility happen.”

The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and when it is at capacity is expected to deliver proton therapy to 150 to 200 patients a day.

Product Briefs

• FzioMed (San Luis Obispo, California) said European surgeons using FzioMed’s adhesion barrier gel to prevent postoperative adhesions from forming after back surgery have reported positive clinical experiences. A presentation will be made at the European Spine Society’s annual meeting Oct. 25-28 in Istanbul, Turkey. FzioMed’s adhesion barrier is an injectable, absorbable gel, in a 3mL syringe, used to reduce the extent and severity of postsurgical adhesions following lumbar spine surgery. The gel is placed in the epidural space during laminectomy, laminotomy, and discectomy procedures to separate tissues and act as a temporary, protective barrier against adhesion formation. FzioMed develops absorbable, surgical biomaterials based on the company’s Oxiplex science, a medical polymer technology used in a variety of specialties including orthopedics, spine, gynecology, general surgery and aesthetic surgery.

• Misys Healthcare Systems (Raleigh, North Carolina) said it will present its new version of Misys Homecare at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice annual meeting in Baltimore, Oct. 15-18. A home care IT solution, Misys Homecare contains content specific to home health, hospice and private duty organizations. The new version focuses on clinical and business workflow enhancements including such features as clinical monitoring, online eligibility and a provider sanction list. Misys develops and supports software and services intended to manage the complexities of healthcare.

• ONI Medical Systems (Wilmington, Massachusetts) reported the addition of Versatile, Spectrometer and Protocol Engineered Coils to its MSK Extreme dedicated MRI device. The MSK Extreme with V-Spec uses a set of six specialized removable transmit/receive coils designed to optimize system performance for peripheral scans. With six coils, the device optimizes image contrast and resolution while boosting signal-to-noise ratios by up to 80% for the best image quality in the shortest scan time. The device will be presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1 in Chicago. ONI develops and markets extremity MRI systems.

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