Healthcare :In the News

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U-M helps entrepreneurs develop a better eye dropper

With an assist from UM3D Lab’s Cube printers, Dr. David Lorch and Dr. Marius Tijunelis developed a clever eye dropper guide. 


"During a fellowship at the University of Michigan Medial Center, David Lorch and his partners searched for problems that patients regularly face.

The fellowship was designed to teach the entrepreneurial process along the way, leading towards the invention of DROPin, a new and easier way for patients to distribute eye drops."

Read the rest here.

The art of the nap

Don't you wish more local firms emulated U-M's recognition that naps could do wonders for productivity?


"And more and more people are doing just that. Companies like Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Proctor and Gamble encourage employees to take nap breaks. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is one of several colleges to set up rooms for napping. (Located in the school’s library, UM’s nap station is equipped with vinyl cots, disposable pillowcases, and a 30-minute time limit.) And Barclays PLC, a global financial group, got some unwanted publicity last year, when the Wall Street Journal revealed that exhausted interns were slipping into stalls to take “toilet naps,” using their phones as an alarm. And then there’s Google Naps, a parody of Google Maps, which can tell you the best places in your city to catch a few winks—from libraries to park benches."

Read the rest here.

St. Joseph's is tops for heart surgery

Usually it's ":U-M this. And U-M that." I'm sure St. Joe's in Ypsilanti is glad to get a piece of the limelight for a change.


"St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor was named one of the top 15 hospitals in the country in Consumer Reports first-ever rating of hospitals in heart surgery.

More than 400 hospitals were rated in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico based on data for two heart surgeries: surgical aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, an operation done to treat blocked coronary arteries."

Read the rest here.

U-M Athletics has 8 docs on the 2014 Best Doctors in America list

Best Doctors Inc lists over 50, 000 U.S. physicians on its annual list. 493 U-M docs, more than any other institution in Michigan, made the cut.
"Team physicians and orthopedic surgeons Dr. James Carpenter, Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Ed Wojtys were named to the prestigious list along with neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher. In addition, four consultants that work with the athletic department on a case-by-case basis received selection: James Holmes (orthopedics - foot and ankle), Anthony Chiodo (physical medicine and rehabilitation), Jennifer Kim (ENT/plastic surgery) and Jon Jacobson (radiology)."
Read the rest here.

U-M Kellog Eye Center implants first bionic eye

<Insert Bionic Man sound effects here> Last month surgeons at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center implanted the very first bionic eye in patients with  late stage Retinitis Pigmentosa.
"The device is implanted in one eye. The patient wears glasses with a camera that converts images into electrical pulses that go to the retina.
It won't completely restore a person's vision, but it's giving people who can't see some hope."
Read or watch the rest here.


U-M researchers say: love thy neighbor, live longer

Haters take note: good will for your neighbor equals good health. It's science. Man, we feel sorry for all those short-lived commenters on
"A new University of Michigan study shows that adults in this age bracket who live in a good neighborhood with trustworthy people lowered their risk of stroke up to 48 percent.
Feeling connected with neighbors builds what researchers describe as "neighborhood social cohesion." The trust and connection with neighbors was associated with a reduced risk of stroke above and beyond the effects of negative psychological factors—such as depression and anxiety, said Eric Kim, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Psychology and the study's lead author."
Read the rest here.

U.S. News & World Report ranks U-M Hospitals tops in nation

The nation's best cure-alls for most every affliction can be found right in the Ann Arbor vicinity.


"The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers offer the best care in Michigan and are among the nation’s best in 12 specialty areas, according to a new ranking from  U.S. News & World Report.

This is the second year in a row that U-M has topped the  statewide ranking, and the third that it has also topped the  Metro Detroit ranking."

More here.

Clean hands are healthy hands: Biovigil's technology gets tested

The nations' hospitals are trying to clean themselves of the consequences of poor hand washing by giving technology developed by Ann Arbor's Biovigil a dry run.


"Health experts say poor hand cleanliness is a factor in hospital-borne infections that kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that one of every 20 patients in U.S. hospitals gets a hospital-acquired infection each year...

Since last year, SSM St. Mary’s Health Center in the St. Louis suburb of Richmond Heights, Mo., has been the test site for a system developed by Biovigil Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich. A flashing light on a badge turns green when hands are clean, red if they’re not. It also tracks each hand-cleaning opportunity — the successes and the failures."

More here.

U-M team wins national prize for research crowd funding software

If this concept goes far enough, a prize-winning platform developed at U-M could be the Kickstarter for the medical community.


"Crowd funding is all the rage these days, with everyone from charities to start-up companies offering ways for masses of people to kick in small amounts of money that together can make big things happen.

But could that concept work for medical research?

A University of Michigan Health System team wants to find out – and  they have just won a national prize  for their prototype of a web-based platform to do it."

More here.

U-M doctors "print out" life-saving airway tube

Talk about being quick on your feet. Who would've thought a 3-D printer and some plastic could help to save a life?


"In a medical first, doctors at  C.S. Mott Children's Hospital  of the  University of Michigan  in Ann Arbor used plastic particles and a 3-D laser printer to create an airway splint to save the life of a baby boy who used to stop breathing nearly every day.

It's the latest advance from the booming field of regenerative medicine, making body parts in the lab."

More here.

U-M Health System touted for leading-edge green practices

For seven years running, U-M Health System has ranked among the top hospitals in the country for healthy green infrastructure, garnering an Environmental Leadership Circle Award from Practice Greenhealth.

Some reasons why: 

"In 2012, 3.5 million pounds of trash were diverted from the landfill through UMHHC’s recycling efforts.   This resulted in an overall recycle rate of 28 percent for 2012...

UMHHC requires all new buildings, additions and construction projects with a budget of $10 million or more to meet  Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)  Silver level.   LEED is one of most widely accepted international rating systems for measuring the environmental impact of new construction."

More here

Parents mag says Mott Children's Hospital among best in the nation

What does $754 million and a 1.1 million-square-foot facility get you? A number eight ranking on Parents magazine's top 10 children's hospitals in the country.
"Hospitals were ranked by the editors of Parents based on the following: Rates of survival for childhood cancer, pediatric heart disease, experience in performing complex procedures, depth of research programs, safeguards to prevent medical errors, staging ratios, community outreach and services that address the emotional needs of families and patients. "
Read the rest here.

U-M researchers develop heartbeat powered battery

One word: Piezoelectricity
Researchers at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan have developed a battery prototype that can take the motion generated by a heartbeat and use it to recharge pacemakers.
"For the latest study the team measured heartbeat-induced vibrations in the chest. They then used a 'shaker' to reproduce the vibrations in the laboratory and connected it to a prototype cardiac energy harvester they had developed.
Measurements of the prototype's performance, based on a wide range of simulated heartbeats, showed the energy harvester generated more than 10 times the power required by modern pacemakers."
Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor is best place to successfully age

I know, huh? But what the folks at CNN really want to reinforce is that A2 is aces for AARPsters looking out for their health and well-being.
"The Milken Institute analyzed data for 78 indicators of success, including health care, housing, transportation, education opportunities and cultural experiences. They then weighted the indicators based on survey information regarding what was most important to seniors - health care and financial security landing at the top of their concerns."
Read the rest here.

Navigating the intersection between faith and medicine

Deciding how and when to talk about an individual's spirituality can be a challenge when it comes to medical treatment. However, a U-M medical student's experience helps illustrate why it can be an important connection.


"When Hasan Siddiqi saw a patient wearing a head scarf, the fourth year medical student at University of Michigan—Ann Arbor wished her "Assalamu alaikum." After returning the Arabic greeting, the patient—who, it turned out, attended the same mosque as Siddiqi—asked him about everything from the availability of halal food at the hospital to the proper times and direction to pray. "

Read the rest here.

U.S. News & World Report ranks U-M Hospital No. 6

The University of Michigan Medical School is ranked high when it comes to learning hospitals. The Ann Arbor-based hospital came in No. 6 as a research hospital and No. 14 with regard to primary care hospitals, according to the latest tabulations from U.S. News & World Report.

Read the rest of the story here.

Ann Arbor's HealthMedia continues its healthy growth

HealthMedia's Ted Dacko gives a glimpse into the company a year after its merger with Johnson & Johnson. It appears the mega corporation is expanding its presence in Ann Arbor.


Ted Dacko, president of Ann Arbor-based health coaching software firm HealthMedia, is resigning from the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, confirmed today.

Dacko, who was credited with steering the company through tumultuous times to a blockbuster sale in October 2008 to J&J, said he may join another Ann Arbor startup, serve on various company boards or provide consulting for a while.

"I'm a guy that likes the process of the startup, building and growing a company, that sort of thing," Dacko said. "J&J is a great company. It's mutual, it's amicable, it's natural. I just said i think it's time you put somebody else in this position, and they wholeheartedly agreed."

Read the rest of the story here.

New invention leads to cleaner hands in hospitals

Experts from the University of Michigan are easy to find, even if you are a reporter from The New York Times looking for the inside dope on new plasma hand sanitizers.


HOSPITAL workers often have to wash their hands dozens of times a day — and may need a minute or more to do the process right, by scrubbing with soap and water. But new devices could reduce the task to just four seconds, cleaning even hard-to-reach areas under fingernails.

Instead of scrubbing, the workers would put their hands into a small box that bathes them with plasma — the same sort of luminous gas found in neon signs, fluorescent tubes and TV displays. This plasma, though, is at room temperature and pressure, and is engineered to zap germs, including the drug-resistant supergerm MRSA.

The technology is being developed in several laboratories. Gregor Morfill, who created several prototypes using the technology at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, says the plasma quickly inactivates not only bacteria but also viruses and fungi.

Dr. Morfill and his colleagues have tested their devices on hands and feet. “It works on athlete’s foot,” he said. “And the nice thing is, you don’t have to take your socks off. They are disinfected, too.” (The cleaning takes a bit longer when socks are added to the job, he said — about 25 seconds. “And it doesn’t yet work through shoes,” he added.)

Plasmas engineered to zap microorganisms aren’t new. During the last decade, they have come into use to sterilize some medical instruments. But using them on human tissue is another matter, said Mark Kushner, director of the Michigan Institute for Plasma Science and Engineering and a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Many thousands of volts drive the generation of plasma,” he said, “and normally one doesn’t want to touch thousands of volts.” But the design of the new hand sanitizers, he said, protects people from doing so. Reassured by that design, about five years ago he put his naked thumb into a jet of microbe-destroying plasma at the lab of another plasma researcher.

Read the rest of the story here.

Longer hospital stays maybe cheaper, U-M study says

Researchers from Ann Arbor continue to prove conventional wisdom wrong. This time it's that longer hospital stays are indeed cheaper in the long run.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hospitals that send patients home earlier can save money and the policy does not end up costing more later, researchers reported on Monday.

The intensive look at two common conditions -- pneumonia and heart failure -- showed that it may be possible to lower costs in the U.S. system without hurting patients, the researchers reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Most evidence did not support the 'penny wise and pound foolish' hypothesis that low-cost hospitals discharge patients earlier but have higher readmission rates and greater downstream inpatient cost of care," Dr. Lena Chen of the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Medical Center and colleagues wrote.

Read the rest of the story here.

U-M researchers play key part in concussion test

Researchers at the University of  Michigan are just about done hitting their heads on the wall when it comes to developing a new test for concussions - something professional sports is particularly interested in.


NEW YORK - A simple, inexpensive test of reaction time may help determine on the sidelines whether an athlete has suffered a concussion, according to research released today that will be presented in April at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd annual meeting in Toronto.

Research has shown that reaction time is slower after a concussion - even as long as several days after other symptoms have resolved. However, tests currently used to measure reaction time rely on computers and special software. That rules out their use in real-time situations such as games.

"We view their reliance on computers a limiting factor for use in many clinical settings," Dr. James T. Eckner of the University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Ann Arbor told Reuters Health by email.

Read the rest of the story here.

Michigan Headache Inst leads way with migraine research

If your head hurts, you probably should check in with the people at the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute. Even The New York Times knows that.


Migraines may be right up there with root canals and childbirth as one of life’s more painful experiences. But unlike childbirth or dental surgery — which can be dulled with standard pain medications — migraines are notoriously tricky to treat.

Those who suffer from these disabling headaches often try a dozen or so medications before they find something that works. What’s more, many migraines do not get properly diagnosed, according to the doctors and researchers I spoke with. That can lead to a lot of extra pain — and expense — for the afflicted.

A reason migraines are so maddeningly elusive is that they are not simply bad headaches. They stem from a genetic disorder (yes, you have your parents to blame) that afflicts 36 million Americans and manifests as a group of symptoms that besides head pain may include dizziness, visual disturbances, numbness and nausea.

Some of the symptoms resemble those from other disorders, like sinus headaches, epilepsy, eye problems or even strokes. And to further complicate matters, sufferers react in varied ways to medications.

“What might be a miracle drug for one person could be a dud for another,” explained Dr. Joel Saper, director of the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute, a treatment and research center in Ann Arbor. “There is no universally effective therapy.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Advanced Photonix develops new type of body scan

Advanced Photonix wants to take just a peek at your body with its new scanners, and that's the point behind the Ann Arbor firm's new technology.


Ann Arbor -- While the battle between security and privacy puts the use of airport body scanners in question, a small company in Ann Arbor is working on a new technology that could satisfy both sides.

In a pair of buildings just off Interstate 94 in the southern end of the city, Advanced Photonix Inc. researchers are working with next-generation technology to take privacy concerns out of the scanning equation.

For 15 years, engineers at the company have been manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum for high-end customers like NASA and the pharmaceutical industry.

The company's specialty -- terahertz waves -- may also provide a key breakthrough in the scanning debate.

They don't get the name recognition of X-rays and millimeter waves, which are the cornerstones of current scanning technologies. But terahertz waves can do something those others can't.

A terahertz scan can identify the makeup of a material, whether it's the metal of a gun, or the chemical signature of PETN, the chemical explosive that authorities say terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab used in his Christmas Day bombing attempt.

Current scanners produce a high-definition image of travelers, which some see as an invasion of privacy. That ability of terahertz waves to identify material without the use of detailed images could provide the necessary compromise.

"With terahertz technology, we can take a more general outline of the subject and just look for metal or explosives in the chemical signatures," said Richard Kurtz, API's chairman and chief executive officer. "A lot of the research is out of the way, so the next phase will be development and engineering."

Read the rest of the story here.

Hospitals at U-M to earn $14 million

The University of Michigan Hospital is staying out of the red, and not just because it’s the main color of some big rivals.


The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers said Thursday it overcame a challenging state economy to earn a projected $14 million on its operations for fiscal 2009, its 13th consecutive year of gains.

Read the rest of the story here.

University of Michigan students find new ways for deaf to feel the music

Only University of Michigan students could find a way for the deaf to hear "The Victors".


When Robert Alexander saw the e-mail announcement for the "Feel the Music" competition - a contest that asked University of Michigan students to design devices that would enable hearing-impaired people to experience live music - he thought it was a prank.

Months earlier, while composing a song, the media arts graduate student had discovered that he could "hear" music through his leg.

Read the rest of the story here.

Compendia Bioscience uses better data to lure more business

Compendia Bioscience continues to grow in Ann Arbor.


After redesigning its principal product - a cancer profiling database system - Compendia Bioscience is exploring how to leverage the value of its extensive data to secure new revenue.

The Ann Arbor-based health care IT and consulting services firm is also looking to add five employees for a total of 25, said John Freshley, chief business officer.

The move comes as Compendia finished redesigning the Oncomine database, which was originally created at and licensed from the University of Michigan. For Compendia, which experienced 300 percent revenue growth in 2008, the new version of Oncomine represents an upgrade from 3.0 to 4.0.

"We've been working on this release for quite a long time, probably over 18 months," Freshley said. "We almost completely rebuilt the product and the data from scratch."

Read the rest of the story here.

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital surgeons use robots to improve procedures

The "cutting edge" takes on a new meaning in Ann Arbor as robots start assisting local surgeons.


Your doctor tells you that your prostate must be removed, or you need a hysterectomy, a heart bypass or lung cancer surgery.

You're worried, of course, about your mortality. But you're also apprehensive about pain, blood loss, recovery time, getting back to work, the size of the incision, preserving erectile function, or the fact that your breastbone will be sawed open for surgery.

A roomful of people with the same concerns recently got a chance to see and even operate briefly one of the high-tech alternatives - called the da Vinci Surgical System - during a presentation at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township.

Read the rest of the story here and how the University of Michigan Hospital was rated a top hospital yet again here.

Ypsilanti's water: If it smelled bad, it was good for you

More than 100 years ago if Ypsilanti couldn't cure what ails you then the water beneath it could. Mineral water beneath the college town was seen as a way to cure many of people's ills, ranging from cancer, alcoholism and "women's trouble."




Beginning in the 1880s and continuing into the early years of the 20th century, Ypsilanti was nationally known for its mineral water.


Mineral water was seen as a treatment for just about every illness. Proponents claimed mineral water treatments could cure cancer, alcoholism and nervous disorders and it was said to be especially good for treating "women's trouble."


Read the rest of the story here.

Health industry grows in Michigan, Washtenaw County ranked fourth in state's health care employment

The health industry is growing and it's expected to get even larger in the coming years. Not only will the baby boomers already working in the industry be retiring and require replacement, even more will themselves become medicare elegible.

A ten percent increase in job growth is expected in the coming years.


One in 10 Michigan residents, or 515,700 people, work directly in the health care industry, a 9 percent increase from 472,300 in 2003. The current report is based on 2006 data from various federal resources.

By comparison, auto manufacturing provided 208,000 in direct jobs in Michigan, a 31 percent decrease from 272,000 in 2003, the report said. Agricultural employment dropped 7 percent to 73,000 workers compared with 79,000 in the same period.

Read the entire article here.

Read a related article by the Ann Arbor News here.

Mott Children's Hospital ranks among nation's top pediatric hospitals

Not only did Mott Children's hospital hit No. 26, but it was the only hospital in Michigan to nationally rank in all seven pediatric specialty areas featured in the report. They include cancer, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, respiratroy disorders, and general pediatrics.

See ranking details here.

Google and Ann Arbor-based UNIVAL partner up for online medical records database

Scanning in pages of documents doesn't separate information or make it user friendly and searchable. Google and UNIVAL are changing that by launching Google Health. Through Google, UNIVAL will input, interpret, and organize that data making health records more assessable.


Consumers are not staying with the same health care provider long term anymore either, said Allison Halerz, administrator of marketing services. "So when you change providers, this helps ensure the patient doesn't get lost; they can take this with them," she said.

What sets their company apart from similar services, said Ron Fernandez, director of IT, is that while others may scan medical documents into a database, UNIVAL interprets and organizes the data before posting it.

Read the entire article here.

UM opens sleep research center, one of the world's first

The center has eight research beds that resemble a hotel of sorts. Two beds, called Temporal Isolation Labs, may be a one-of-a-kind in the world. The rooms completely close off the subject from the time of day in order to test their innate circadian rhythms, which are patterns of rest and activity in the body and the mind.


Now that the laboratory has opened, on the second floor of the Rachel Upjohn Building on UM's East Medical Campus, director Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D., foresees that her team and colleagues will be able to discover a wealth of new knowledge about how the mind, body and brain interact to produce sleep irregularities and off-kilter circadian rhythms.

"Already, we know that people with depression, seasonal affective disorders, anxiety disorders, alcoholism, and many more conditions suffer terrible disruptions to their sleep patterns, and that in turn, a lack of good-quality sleep worsens their conditions," said Armitage, a professor of psychiatry at the UM Medical School. "But there are so many unanswered questions about why this happens, how early in life it begins, and how it might be treated or prevented. This lab will help us do just that."

Read the entire article here.

U-M first in state to use 3-D spine surgery system

The O-ARM Multidimensional Imaging System does a multitude of things for the patient. It allows neurosurgeons to view patient anatomy in the operative position, monitor the status of the surgery, and verify surgical changes with a 3-D volumetric image prior to the patient leaving the surgical suite - what a mouthful. The U of M is the first hospital in the state to implement such a technology.


“The University of Michigan has long been at the forefront of performing spine surgeries in a minimally invasive way,” says Frank La Marca, M.D., director of the U-M Spine Surgery Program.

“The O-ARM, through space-age navigational technology, allows us to further improve outcomes and to apply minimally invasive techniques to spinal pathologies which until recently could not be addressed with minimally invasive techniques, including degenerative disease, spinal trauma, spinal tumors and complex spinal deformity,” continues La Marca, who is an assistant professor in the U-M departments of Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering.

Read the entire article here.

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Ann Arbor high school senior wins top research prize

Ann Arborites are so smart even the town's high school students are winning awards for research. A Huron High School senior took home an award for her research on a vaccine and a $50,000 scholarship from the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition in Washington, D.C.




Katie Everett is a math whiz, but even she didn't know how to create a computer program until six months ago.


Today, this neophyte programmer from Ann Arbor is $50,000 better off -- having earned a scholarship by being one of two top winners in the annual Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Competition.


She won thanks to a computer program she created that helped her discover information about the effectiveness of the human papilloma virus vaccination for adolescents.


Read the rest of the story here.

34 Healthcare Articles | Page: | Show All