February is National Heart Month!
Heart disease – often referred to as cardiovascular disease – includes a number of conditions that affect your heart. One of the most common conditions is coronary artery disease (CAD). Others include heart or heart valve defects, narrowed or blocked blood vessels, and problems with heart rhythm.
Know Your Risks, Know Your Numbers…and Talk to Your Doctor
It is easier to treat heart disease when detected early, so discuss any concerns you may have about your heart health with your physician. There are also a number of actions you can take to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (see Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease, below). (more…)
Diagnostic Testing at the Point-of-Care: Improving Patient Outcomes While Reducing Practice Costs
Whether it’s diagnosing vitamin D deficiencies, managing thyroid disorders or monitoring prostate cancer, one clear motivation for performing diagnostic testing in-house is the ability to minimize return patient visits for medical decision-making, thereby enhancing patient care.
The average physician’s office sends out a range of samples for testing by hospital, central or reference labs. However, the expanding presence of on-site POLs [ demonstrates that diagnostic testing at the point-of-care (POC) can improve patient outcomes while reducing practice costs and creating additional revenue opportunities. These are several key reasons for starting up a POL. Some other reasons include: (more…)
Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) offer an important range of benefits – for patients, caregivers, healthcare systems as well as overall global health. These include:
- Reducing time to diagnosis
- Fewer patient visits
- More accurate prescribing of medications
- Potential for improved medical outcomes
- Helping detect and control the spread of disease
Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance
A globally significant benefit of increased RDT use is the potential reduction of antimicrobial resistance (AMR, check here for more info). AMR is a critical global health issue, and by helping reduce the overuse of antibiotics the global health community can delay the onset of antimicrobial resistance. (more…)
The History of Diabetes Testing
Can you imagine diagnosing Diabetes by tasting urine? It’s hard to imagine, especially considering today’s diagnostic tools and techniques.
Early Days: The Urine Taste Test
Diabetes was first identified as early as 1500 BC, and in 600 BC physicians recorded that ants were attracted to sugar in patients’ urine. During the Middle Ages doctors used uroscopy – a practice where they studied urine to diagnose medical conditions. They consulted intricately designed urine flavor charts that described the sight, smell and taste of urine. The one disease that they diagnosed correctly was diabetes because of the sweet taste of a patient’s urine. (more…)
Discontinuation of Abbott’s MTX Assay Creates Urgent Need in Labs
Due to the importance of measuring Methotrexate (MTX) in patient healthcare, Abbott’s recent discontinuation of the TDx and TDxFLx FPIA Methotrexate assay has left many laboratories actively – and urgently – seeking an alternate testing option.
Why Run Methotrexate Tests in Your Laboratory?
While MTX is used to treat a wide range of conditions – from psoriasis to rheumatoid arthritis to a number of different forms of leukemia and cancer – it also possesses high toxicity. Because of this, patients undergoing MTX therapy for cancer must be closely monitored for early detection of any toxic effects. (more…)
What’s happening in Australia could spell bad news for Europe and the United States (U.S). This year’s winter in Australia and New Zealand found hospitals struggling with demand in the face of a heavy flu season. Australia saw nearly 2½ times more infections than in the same period last year. As of September 2017, there are a reported 121 deaths in Australia. The dominant circulating strain is influenza A, H3N2 (H3). H3N2 is more resistant to flu vaccinations than most, and often affects children and the elderly.
So what does this mean for Europe and the United States? Public health experts have expressed concerns about the upcoming flu season in Europe and the United States. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the United States, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “In general, we get in our season what the Southern Hemisphere got in the season immediately preceding us,” Which means the Northern Hemisphere will probably have a bad flu season. (more…)
What is Trichomonas?
Trichomoniasis is a common, curable, non-viral sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a motile protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomonas (sometimes referred to as “Trich”) infects the vagina and sometimes urethra and is transmitted during unprotected sex. It is roughly as big as a white blood cell, and thought to be responsible for approximately 15-20% of symptomatic vaginitis infections.
Watch the Health Briefs segment featuring Dr. Charlotte Gaydos, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Formerly considered merely a nuisance infection, it is now recognized as a cause of serious health problems – but it continues to be highly underdiagnosed and under-treated. (more…)
Did you know you have the ability to unlock your instruments potential and add assays that are not offered by your instrument manufacturer? This open channel capability allows you to expand your test menu beyond your instrument manufacturers menu. This added benefit allows laboratories to enhance their test menu offerings by bringing in higher volume send out and niche testing. (more…)