The challenge of integrating monoclonal antibodies into the current healthcare system.
Although there are few monoclonal antibody (MoAb) products on the market, the biotechnology industry has made considerable progress over the last decade. The industry has developed new technology to address the primary hurdles facing the development of MoAbs--including the immune response to murine-derived antibodies as well as lack of tumor specificity. As the techniques for development become more refined, more products will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Integrating these products into the existing healthcare system will be a challenge, given their high acquisition costs. Recent pharmacoeconomic examples outlined in this paper confirm that MoAb products will need to be supported with proven clinical and economic profiles. As long as a global clinical and economic perspective is taken and patient care benefits can be demonstrated, the place of MoAbs in the future of healthcare will be assured. (+info)
Computer-based teaching of pathology at the Zagreb University School of Medicine.
AIM: To review the experience gained in transferring USA computer-based teaching system of medical school pathology to Croatia. METHODS: Computer-based teaching program of pathology developed at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, USA, was transferred to the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia. The experimental group of 49 students was enrolled into this computer-based program. Their performance was compared with that of 195 classmates enrolled in the standard course. Objective (performance on the examinations) and subjective data (students' interviews and written evaluations of the course) were analyzed. RESULTS: The computer program was operational 5 months from the inception of the transfer. It was well received by the students, even though many initially complained that it required more effort and a continuous commitment. The major problems concerned scheduling, reflecting various requirements i mposed on students by other departments teaching in parallel with the Pathology course. Objective data gathered so far indicate that the students enrolled in the computer-based program took the first midterm examination at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the class (p<0.001), and passed the examination with significantly better grades (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Computer-based teaching programs can be readily transferred to other countries. Full implementation of the program, however, may require significant changes in the existing curriculum in the medical school to which such a program has been transferred or considerable modifications in the program adopted for transfer. It appears that the students enrolled in the computer-based program perform better than students in the standard pathology course. (+info)
Clinical care and the factory floor.
The purpose of this article is to provide the author's perspective on whether it is likely or feasible that those working in the health care domain will adapt and use lessons learned by those in the industrial domain. This article provides some historical perspective on the changes brought about in the industrial domain through the introduction of new technologies, including information technologies. The author discusses how industrialization catalyzed changes in health care delivery that paralleled but lagged behind those of the broader U.S. economy. The article concludes that there is ample reason for those interested in improving the quality and effectiveness of health informatics to systematically evaluate information technology strategies used in the industrial domain. Finally, it outlines some challenges for health informaticians and a number of factors that should be considered in adapting lessons from industry to the health care domain. (+info)
Auto-disable syringes for immunization: issues in technology transfer.
WHO and its partners recommend the use of auto-disable syringes, "bundled" with the supply of vaccines when donor dollars are used, in all mass immunization campaigns, and also strongly advocate their use in routine immunization programmes. Because of the relatively high price of auto-disable syringes, WHO's Technical Network for Logistics in Health recommends that activities be initiated to encourage the transfer of production technology for these syringes as a means of promoting their use and enhancing access to the technology. The present article examines factors influencing technology transfer, including feasibility, corporate interest, cost, quality assurance, intellectual property considerations, and probable time frames for implementation. Technology transfer activities are likely to be complex and difficult, and may not result in lower prices for syringes. Guidelines are offered on technology transfer initiatives for auto-disable syringes to ensure the quality of the product, the reliability of the supply, and the feasibility of the technology transfer activity itself. (+info)
Osteoporosis services in secondary care: a UK survey.
A 1994 survey indicated that only 13 health authorities in the UK were purchasing access to dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), the most accurate measure of osteoporosis risk. By 1998 the number of centres (including private facilities providing DXA) was 161. All these were sent a questionnaire concerning their activities. 124 (77%) responded, and the survey found that DXA machines operate, on average, for only 3.6 days a week. Funding of and access to diagnostic services for osteoporosis varies greatly. There is clear scope for greater efficiency in the use of existing DXA machines and more equitable access to diagnostic services is required for effective management of osteoporosis. (+info)
Research challenges arising from changes in worklife.
Great challenges for occupational health research are set by the rapid changes in the world of work as a consequence of globalization, new technologies, demographic workforce changes, fragmentation of enterprises and work contracts, high time pressures, high demands for learning new skills, and growing worker mobility. The occupational health problems are of 2 types, the persistent and reemerging old problems of occupational injuries and diseases and new challenges from psychological stress, musculoskeletal disorders caused by computerized work, cognitive ergonomics in information-intensive work, the work ability of aging workers, and new trends in occupational allergies. The 3 roles of research, improvement of knowledge, improvement of understanding, and support of the development of work conditions in practice, all call for new initiatives in occupational health research. The new comprehensive strategy for the development and promotion of work ability has been found to respond effectively to these new needs. (+info)
The interactions between clinical informatics and bioinformatics: a case study.
For the past decade, Stanford Medical Informatics has combined clinical informatics and bioinformatics research and training in an explicit way. The interest in applying informatics techniques to both clinical problems and problems in basic science can be traced to the Dendral project in the 1960s. Having bioinformatics and clinical informatics in the same academic unit is still somewhat unusual and can lead to clashes of clinical and basic science cultures. Nevertheless, the benefits of this organization have recently become clear, as the landscape of academic medicine in the next decades has begun to emerge. The author provides examples of technology transfer between clinical informatics and bioinformatics that illustrate how they complement each other. (+info)
Exploring information technology adoption by family physicians: survey instrument valuation.
As the information needs of family physicians become more complex, there will be a greater need to successfully implement the technologies needed to manage that information. The ability to stratify primary care physicians can enable the implementation process to be more efficient. This research tested a new instrument on 101 family physicians, and was able to stratify physicians into high, intermediate, and low information technology (IT) usage groups. It is expected that this stratification would allow managers of IT implementation to target specific adoption strategies for each group. The instrument is available from [email protected] (+info)