Editorial

Dear Readers, For two thousand years, the oath of Hippocrates has bound its proponents to uphold the highest of professional standards in treating patients. This inviolable commitment continues today and clearly delineates the duties of our vocation. Nevertheless, much has changed today in comparison with ancient medicine. Modern medical science has progressed tremendously, while also gaining a dependency...

EU News

A new study funded by the European Commission is assessing the progress made to date, towards the realisation of European e-Health Action Plan goals. Good practices and lessons learned constitute the study’s key elements. The results will be fed into policy recommendations for further accelerating e-Health implementation. The study has been assigned to a consortium consisting of empirica Communication...

Exhibitors @ RSNA 2010

Siemens showed off their ACUSON AcuNav V, the world’s first intra-cardiac echocardiography catheter for volume imaging, at the 2009 Scientific Sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society in Boston, MA, USA.With real-time volumetric information from inside the heart, the new ACUSON AcuNav V volume catheter is said to improve therapeutic ablation procedures and other electrophysiology (EP) applications; fa...

Philips has agreed to acquire the assets of InnerCool Therapies Inc., a therapeutic hypothermia company, and wholly-owned subsidiary of Cardium Therapeutics, Inc. It will be acquired in an asset purchase transaction for 11.25 million dollars, and the transfer of around 1.5 million dollars in trade payables. The transaction will reinforce Philips’ leadership position in the emergency care market by...

The pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim again posted gratifying growth in local currency (+8.3 percent) over the previous year in the first six months of 2009. Consolidated in euro, this reflected growth of + 15.7 percent thanks to the positive exchange rates, with net sales of 6,388 euros million compared with 5,522 million euros in the first six months of the previous year.The operating income...

Sonosite has announced the appointment of Rodney F. Hochman, M.D., to its Board of Directors. Dr. Hochman has more than 35 years of hospital management experience and has held numerous executive-level positions in hospitals across the country. He currently serves as CEO of Swedish Medical Centre and has led the organisation since April 2007. Prior to joining Swedish, Dr. Hochman served as executive...

Medtronic announced that a federal US district court jury in San Francisco awarded it 57 million dollars in past damages, finding that AGA Medical Corp.’s manufacture, sale and use of its Amplatzer® Occluder and vascular plug product lines infringed claims of two US patents owned by Medtronic. The jury also ordered that AGA pay Medtronic a royalty of 11 percent on future US sales of the infringing...

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Centre has increased their relationship with Spacelabs Healt hcare and installed a fleet of all-new bedside monitors and central monitors in their ICU. The new monitors join existing Spacelabs monitors in the hospital’s “rapid assessment” chest pain department, emergency department, paediatric care unit and telemetry unit at the hospital.The centre selected Spacelabs’...

Cover Story: Cost-Effectiveness

Combined Approach to Patient Management May Yield Substantial SavingsCoronary artery disease (CAD) is presently the most common cause of death in industrialised countries. Consequently, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases represents a large drain on resources. In this challenge, stress imaging techniques represent a cornerstone in the management of stable patients and have demonstrated,...

Access to Medical Technology in Europe  In this article, we will firstly present the case of two patients for whom, despite similar medical conditions, different therapies were advised, to highlight the inequality in access to medical technologies in Europe. Then, we will look at the matter of cost-effectiveness – are patients being differently treated in the same cases, due to financial pressures...

Decreasing the Financial BurdenThe financial burden on society to treat and prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD) is enormous. ICDs effectively reduce SCD and are recommended for secondary and primary prevention of SCD from VT/VF. Unfortunately, ICDs are expensive and add to demands to healthcare budgets in even the most developed nations. In this article, we look at the cost-effectiveness of ICDs in...

The Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing (CEP) was created within the UK National Health Service (NHS) Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA). Funded by the UK Department of Health (DH) it delivers free, independent and impartial evidence to healthcare providers to underpin purchasing decisions and to drive adoption of useful, innovative healthcare technologies in the NHS. This article will focus on CEP...

Clinical trials measure healthcare outcomes to determine the efficacy of healthcare interventions. Economic evaluations provide valuable information to help decision- makers allocate scarce resources more efficiently and to see whether the intervention represents good value for money. Two methods can be used to determine cost-effectiveness: an economic evaluation alongside a clinical trial, which...

Features

Trend Shows Technological Advances Fuelling GrowthThe ultrasound imaging equipment market is currently seeing a clear trend towards miniaturisation. The dramatic increase in the use of hand-held and portable ultrasound (defined by In Medical as  compact ultrasound), has driven additional growth for ultrasound in markets such as cardiology. Developments in the ultrasound imaging market today focus...

EUROACTION, a demonstration project in preventive cardiology, was launched in 2003 in eight European countries (Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK). Using a matched paired cluster randomised controlled trial study design (see Fig. 1), it aimed to show that nurse-led care could facilitate the implementation of European and national guidelines for CVD prevention...

Echocardiographic imaging has evolved into the key diagnostic modality in paediatric cardiac care. Its role has expanded beyond that of initial diagnosis; intracardiac echo is now used during interventional cases in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, transthoracic echo is the preand post-operative modality, and transesophageal echo is utilised in the operating room (see table 1). In this article,...

Coronary heart disease (CHD) and the impact it has on society will to continue to increase, as the average age of the population rises. Advances in prevention and treatment have increased survival rates in patients with CHD. Continuing interventions for patients already diagnosed with CHD impacts on further coronary events they may experience and ultimately impacts on their mortality. Many patients...

The evaluation and management of syncope is often challenging to clinicians. A ‘well-appearing” patient may present to the Emergency Department (ED) or outpatient clinic who may be at risk for malignant arrhythmias. Poor prognosis would inevitably result in extensive testing and hospital admission. The recognition of this dilemma has led to recent clinical investigations to assess specialised mul...

Cardiology Leaders

Prof. Pedro Brugada tells Cardiology Management about the public and private achievements that have shaped his career in cardiology. We also learn about the scientific legacy left by himself and his brothers, as the first to describe ‘Brugada syndrome’, a hereditary disease characterised by sudden cardiac death caused by severe disturbances of the rhythm of the heart.There is no standard typical working...

Healthcare Economics

Understanding the Emotional Tools Required to Lead Your Team In normal praxis, people are promoted to a position of management or leadership due to their effort, results or good performance.They become leaders by default. But when they get there they soon realise that leadership takes something more than reaching goals or showing good intentions. Leadership is about getting others motivated, about...

Country Focus: Cardiology in Italy

A System in Transition The Italian National Health Service (INHS) was established in 1978 to grant universal access to a uniform level of care throughout Italy, financed by general taxation. The INHS provides universal coverage and free healthcare at point of delivery to all Italian and European Union citizens. In spite of this, there are considerable variations in coverage and service quality between...

Italy’s approach to healthcare IT, and more specifically e-Health, has three facets. These are based on: National-scale techno-infrastructural requirements (the New National Healthcare Information System);E-Health Board, to harmonise regional and national policies and implementation, and ascertain that these are in line with the European Union, andSemantic considerations. The overall goal of the e-Health...

Telemedicine represents a good solution for the management of patients with cardiac problems. Telecardiology, in particular, guarantees continuity of care and the creation of integrated networks between acute hospitals and primary care, with a more rational and quicker management of patients. Additionally, telemedicine is particularly implemented where geographical barriers impinge on equity of access...

Since 1978, the Italian healthcare system has been organised according to the National Health Service model (Italian National Health Service, or INHS). Coverage is universal and, theoretically, uniform throughout the country. In 2003, public healthcare expenditure accounted for 75.1% of total healthcare expenditure. The Italian healthcare system is tax-funded and most care is provided free of charge...


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