‘Better preventative care for older people’ promised
A PACKAGE OF MEASURES TO EMPOWER OLDER PEOPLE to live healthier and more independent lives has been presented by Health Secretary Alan Johnson. Health and social care providers need to work together to make local services more effective and easier to access and use, Johnson said. “Over the coming months, I will be talking to local health and care providers about ways to provide more and better preventative care for older people.” The measures announced include: a national learning network to promote the use of innovative healthcare systems such as telecare; an expert group to help the NHS provide better services for falls, fractures and osteoporosis; a review of footcare services for older people to ensure that these are delivered by all providers in an integrated way; and ongoing commitment to reducing waits for hearing tests and hearing aids. Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern England, said: “We strongly welcome the intention to focus on preventative health. Shifting the focus to prevent health problems rather than just responding to crises makes good sense for everyone.” Along with the new measures, the prevention package will bring together existing core prevention services – including cancer screening and eye checks – and services that are currently being rolled out, including vascular checks and AAA screening.
News in brief
The global burden of disease is shifting from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and stroke, according to a new WHO report. Data from its 193 member states show that long-term conditions are now the chief causes of death worldwide.
Allergy UK has launched an allergy screening service available through local pharmacies. The service will offer a consultation with the pharmacist, followed up by support and information from Allergy UK. Initially at least one pharmacist will deliver the service in 51 of England’s 152 PCTs.
Cardinal Health has purchased Enturia, a supplier of infection prevention products, for £250m. Enturia’s products, sold under the ChloraPrep brand name, are used for the skin preparation of patients prior to operations. Cardinal Health aims to speed up sales of these products.
ABHI Chairman Peter Ellingworth has called on the DH to lead the battle against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). He voiced industry frustrations at the slow adoption of infection control technologies, and emphasised the role of industry in educating health professionals about the use of new technologies.
Sandvik Materials Technology has acquired Sheffield-based medical equipment company Eurocut Ltd, which manufactures medical instruments and implants for the orthopaedic sector. Its customers include major medtech companies that sell directly to hospitals and clinics.
Heinz and FLE reduce team’s carbon footprint
THE INFANT NUTRITION DIVISION AT HEINZ has created a new Medical Detailing Team in advance of new product developments due this summer.
The new team, which was contracted by the FLE Group, is the first complete Heinz team to be provided with Toyota Prius cars, which use the new low-emission Hybrid engine technology.
John Brooks, FLE Group’s Managing Director, said: “Heinz and FLE are both committed to reducing the environmental impact of their personnel and this move towards low-emission vehicles, coupled with FLE’s paperless reporting system for their Contract Sales teams, is a major step forward.”
Michelle Mooney, Healthcare Professional Strategy Manager with Heinz, commented: “This decision to move the whole team to the Toyota Prius benefits both our company and our FLE team by reducing our fuel costs and their tax liabilities.”
The Hybrid system uses an electric motor to augment the petrol engine, and to replace it when conditions are favourable. It offers lower emissions (being totally emissions-free in many high-density traffic situations) and strong fuel economy performance.
‘A step forward’ for ultrasound
A NEW ULTRASOUND SYSTEM launched in the UK by Siemens draws together digital imaging innovations to optimise workflow and simplify examinations.
The Acuson S2000 is suitable for general imaging, including obstetrics and gynaecology as well as vascular and cardiac imaging. It is one of the products marketed by Siemens’ new Diagnostic Ultrasound & Women’s Health team.
The new system is the first of Siemens’ new generation of premier ultrasound products. It offers ‘Virtual Touch’ imaging and quantification capabilities, based on the first medical implementation of Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI). It is also compatible with the new silicon transducer ultrasound technology.
The Acuson 2000 features knowledge-based workflow applications to improve the efficiency of ultrasound exams. It uses Advances Four-sight software to provide improved functionality for volume acquisition, data rendering and post processing. This software includes amnioscopic rendering, which provides a detailed view of the foetus.
“The S2000 is a step forward for ultrasound imaging, as it offers next-generation functionality for all disciplines,” said Andrew Pattison, Director of Diagnostic Ultrasound & Women’s Health at Siemens. “It is a future-proof solution offering silicon transducer compatibility, and provides ARFI to broaden the scope of deep tissue examinations. These technical innovations will expand the range of techniques offered to patients.”
Vascuseal™ joins European marketplace
A NEW VASCULAR SEALANT SYSTEM that offers surgeons an immediate, blood-tight seal for use in vascular bypass procedures has been launched in Europe.
Covidien’s VascuSeal™ uses a new hydrogel technology to reduce bleeding from the suture line during vascular procedures. It is intended for use as a surgical sealant during arterial and venous reconstructions.
Unlike a haemostatic agent, a vascular sealant can seal blood leaks and does not depend on rapid blood clotting. The VascuSeal Sealant System offers a way to reduce post-operative complications due to suture line bleeding.
“The VascuSeal Vascular Sealant System represents another innovative product in the biosurgery marketplace,” said Scott Flora, President, Surgical Devices, Covidien. “We expect VascuSeal to be well received by surgeons looking to improve patient outcomes, save time and reduce blood loss during surgical procedures.”
The VascuSeal sealant technology is a patented synthetic, absorbable hydrogel delivered by a dual syringe applicator. The sealant polymerises within seconds when sprayed on the suture line and can be seen clearly, being blue in colour. It continues to seal the suture line postoperatively as healing progresses, then breaks down into water-soluble molecules after several days.
For more details, visit www.covidien.com.
Healing wounds with LifeWave BST
THE WOUND MANAGEMENT DIVISION OF PARK HOUSE HEALTHCARE has launched a new electrotherapy device for the treatment of ulcers and other persistent wounds.
The LifeWave BST device was developed following a study that measured the weakening or absence of natural electrical pulses in chronic (as opposed to acute) wounds.
The device, described by Park House as “the next generation in wound healing”, emits a waveform signal mimicking the pulses that occur naturally to encourage healing. A pair of electrodes attached to either side of the wound on the patient’s skin transmit signals to stimulate the healing process.
The LifeWave BST device is non-invasive and requires minimal training for use on chronic ulcers. Only 30 minutes’ application is needed each day, allowing patient mobility and encouraging compliance.
This device offers the prospect of effective treatment for stasis, arterial, pressure and diabetic ulcers that have not responded to standard wound therapy, potentially saving patients from limb amputation.
“Numerous clinical references are available for reinforcing the significance of this effective innovative BST device developed by LifeWave,” said Christine van Rooyen, Head of Clinical Services at Park House Healthcare.
For more details, visit www.parkhouse-hc.com.