A Medical Device Daily Staff Report

Diametrics Medical (St. Paul, Minnesota) said last week that its wholly owned UK subsidiary, TGC Research Ltd., has acquired certain assets from the liquidator of Diametrics Medical Ltd. (DML).

DML, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Diametrics Medical, was placed into liquidation last Nov. 22.

The assets acquired by TGC included certain equipment, intellectual property and trademarks of DML. Those assets are expected to form the core of a new product research and development program that TGC will begin implementing early next month, initially focused on a line of products aimed at monitoring and controlling glucose on a continuous basis in critically ill patients at the point of care in a hospital setting.

Initial product introduction is expected within 18 to 24 months, Diametrics Medical said, followed by continued improvements, enhancements and expansion of the product line.

The company said that as a result of a significant study on controlling glucose within tight parameters published in November 2001, along with other studies, tight glycemic control protocols have changed practice patterns in virtually all intensive care unit (ICU) settings around the world. During a session at last February's Society of Critical Care Medicine annual congress, 80% of all attendees indicated that their hospitals had instituted some form of tight glycemic control.

David Kaysen, Diametrics president and CEO, said, “Published clinical evidence, we believe, has conclusively demonstrated that maintaining patients within strict glycemic limits — a clinical practice known as tight glycemic control, or TGC — can dramatically reduce mortality, risk of infection and other complications.“ He added: “The most cost-effective way to achieve optimal glycemic control is by the continuous monitoring of glucose, a measurement modality that is not currently available in intensive care units.“

Kaysen said Diametrics' “new focus as a company will be to develop a product system that will effectively and accurately measure glucose, on a continuous basis, in critically ill hospitalized patients. We believe our product offering, when introduced to the market, will allow clinicians around the world to maintain tight glycemic control in this patient population, which we believe represents a significant opportunity for our company.“

Study shows health information differences

A new study of patients with chronic conditions in Europe and the U.S. shows that when patients receive health information on how to manage their condition, nearly two-thirds make proactive changes in their behavior based on this information. Additionally, more than three-quarters of those who change their behavior in both the U.S. and in Europe perceive a positive impact on their health.

The survey also revealed that more than half the patients in Europe feel they do not know enough about their disease and its treatments to confidently manage their health. And half of the European respondents are concerned their lack of knowledge might be worsening their condition.

The research, commissioned by Pfizer (New York), was devised to explore levels of health information received by patients suffering from three chronic diseases — asthma, adult-onset (Type 2) diabetes and heart disease. The survey, conducted between June and September of last year, gathered the views and experiences of 4,500 patients from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the U.S.

Across all three disease areas, U.S. patients displayed greater knowledge of their conditions than did the European respondents. For example, just 3% of European heart disease patients displayed an “excellent“ knowledge of their condition vs. 19% of U.S. respondents.

There are significant differences in knowledge levels across countries within Europe. For example, 43% of UK diabetes patients displayed “excellent“ knowledge of their condition, which was significantly higher than Italy (23%), Germany (17%), Spain (15%) and Poland (4%). Surprisingly, high proportions of respondents from many European countries displayed “poor“ knowledge of heart disease, including Spain (92%), Italy (87%) and France (81%).

Simon O'Neill, director of care and policy for Diabetes UK, Britain's largest organization working for people with diabetes, said, “People with diabetes may only see their healthcare professional for a few hours a year, yet they have to manage their own condition every day. This survey indicates that the majority of people act on the education they receive and achieve positive health benefits, [but it] also highlights concern about the lack of information available.“

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