Genomic Medicine Pilots

Although the potential for genomics to contribute to clinical care has long been anticipated, the pace of incorporating genomic findings into medical practice has been relatively slow since NIH has be able to support only a limited number of programs.

However, NIH has just announced funding for about $3,000,000 with 3 to 4 awards to support collaborative genomic medicine pilot demonstration projects. NIH’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (RFA-HG-13-004) will support projects that will adapt ongoing successful genomic projects or initiate new projects to expand the implementation of genomic medicine.

The demonstration projects will incorporate the patient’s genomic information into their EMR and provide clinical decision support for appropriate interventions or to give clinical advice.

Specific goals are to expand and link existing genomic medicine efforts, develop new collaborative projects and methods in diverse settings and populations, contribute to the evidence base regarding outcomes when incorporating genomic information into clinical care, and share the information with others.

NHGRI expects the project datasets and associated genotyping data from the participating projects to be widely shared with the scientific community for research. Information such as study protocols, descriptions, CDS, bioinformatic tools, and publications are expected to be made available through an open access sections of a database such as dbGaP, other public web sites, and/or published in the scientific literature.

Organizations eligible to apply for funding include higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profits, and governments. The deadline for the application is July 17, 2013 with the earliest start date anticipated to be April 1, 2014.

Go to http://gratns.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-13-004.html for more information.

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HRSA Supports Rural Vets

HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is now accepting applications for FY 2013 “Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program” (RVHAP). ORHP is providing funding for $960,000 to help coordinate activities so that rural veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom will have access to services needed for mental healthcare via the use of networks, electronic communication, and telehealth networks.

RVHAP goals are to:

  • Utilize telehealth and health IT including EHRs to help improve care coordination for veterans who are seen by both the VA and private providers
  • Expand existing networks via partnerships and coalitions with other healthcare entities such as CAHs, FQHCs, rural health clinics, home health agencies, community mental health clinics, and other providers of mental health services such as pharmacists, local governments, and private practice physicians
  • Consult with state hospital associations, rural hospitals, providers of mental health services, and other stakeholders to provide services

 

Grant funds are to be used to strengthen coordination in rural healthcare networks with the VA and may also be used to help upgrade existing equipment and software in rural facilities.

Eligible applicants can only be current Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program grantees in states with certified CAHs. The estimated award amount will be up to $329,000 per year. The response to HRSA’s funding announcement released April 3, 2013 is due May 17, 2013.

For more information on (HRSA-13-246), go to www.grants.gov or contact Larry Bryant, at LBryant@hrsa.gov or call (301)443-1330.

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NINR to Contract with Inova

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) within NIH intends to contract with Inova Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. The funding will used to study the biological mechanisms underlying the risks that can produce the onset of PTSD as well as long lasting neurological impairments.

Data will be obtained from clinical procedures and medical records as part of standard of care to determine the patient’s eligibility. Recruitment will be for 120 patients to be enrolled over year with an average of 10 patients enrolled per month. NINR will then categorize patients into two groups. One group will include trauma patients who do not develop PTSD and the other group will include trauma patients who do develop PTSD.

Specifically, this study will identify differences in the DNA methylation of stress-related genes and concentrations of inflammatory proteins that collect in blood and sweat that may contribute to a higher risk for PTSD onset. Blood for research will be taken when phlebotomy is done for clinical evaluation and/or treatment or in conjunction with clinical care.

This notice appearing April 2, 2013 at www.fbo.gov is not a request for proposals but a capability statement, proposal, or quotation may be submitted by other sources by April 17, 2013. Primary point of contact is Louis A. Kuta, Sr. at kutal@od.nih.gov.

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Remote Monitoring Trials

Since hospital readmission penalties in the U.S. will take effect in 2013 and mHealth technologies are expected to become more pervasive in the care delivery system, interest in remote patient monitoring is expected to remain strong especially with older adults in the coming years.

Mayo Clinic and Preventice have developed a non-invasive minimally obtrusive, interactive remote monitoring platform designed for physician-directed patient self-management and can be very useful in monitoring CHF patients.

Mayo is sponsoring a new clinical trial along with NIH as a collaborator to study the use of remote monitoring to manage cardiac patients. The clinical trial “Assessment of the BodyGuardian RMP in Elderly Healthy Subjects” (NCT01808053) is going to assess how the BodyGuardian remote health monitoring system could be improved by incorporating ECG, heart rate activity, and breathing data.  Weight, blood pressure, and symptom data will also be integrated.

The study will center on individuals in an independent living center and will transmit data wireless to a central data analysis hub. The BodyGuardian sensor adheres to the patient’s skin and is smaller than a cell phone, giving patients complete mobility and freedom to go about their normal lives without restriction.

The study’s start date of March 2013 is currently recruiting 20 participants of both genders 50 years or older that are healthy with their life anticipated survival to be more than one year and living in an independent living facility.

Go to http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCTO1808053 for more information. The Principal Investigator is Charles J. Bruce at the Mayo Clinic. For more details, contact Nancy Lexvold at (507) 255-7013 or email lexvold.nancy@mayo.edu

Another clinical trial “Patient Perspective on Remote Monitoring of Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices” (NCT01691586) sponsored by UMC Ultrecht in the Netherlands is studying Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) when the patient has a cardiovascular electronic device implanted. The study will look at how effectively RPM systems can interrogate the device automatically and then send the data from the patient’s home directly to the physician.

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effect of RPM along with in-clinic follow-up versus in-clinic follow-up only. The second objective is to identify patients who prefer RPM over in-clinic visits and all of the cost factors involved.

The study not yet open for recruitment will include 900 individuals from 18 years old to 85 that are heart failure patients implanted with a first time ICD/CRT-D device. This study excludes patients on the waiting list for heart transplantation.

Go to http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01691586 for more information. The Principal Investigator is Mathias Maine, MD, PhD at +31 (0)88 466 6184 or email mmeine@umcultrecht.nl. The estimated completion date is expected to be May 2016.

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“Continua Connects” Launched

The “Continua Connects” Technology Showcase & Networking Events to be held May 12-13, 2013 in Abu Dhabi will bring major purchasers together with developers and integrators of Continua compliant devices, systems, and services. The goal is to promote and support global adoption of interoperable design guidelines and to gain exposure for continua-ready personal health technologies developed by member companies.

The event in May is one of the first of five planned Continua Connects events and will support the rollout of “Weqay”, a regional connected health program focused on managing cardiovascular disease risks such as diabetes, hypertension, and smoking for the population of 2.4 million.

Continua Connects events are designed to promote standardization to governments preparing to implement a telehealth or mhealth program and to highlight new and available technologies to facilitate timely rollout for target programs requiring Continua compliant technologies.

Another event “Mobilizing Technology to Efficiently Deliver Quality & Cost-Effective Healthcare” will be held in Singapore June 24-27, 2013. This is the 2nd”Connected Health Asia 2013” event and will provide a comprehensive platform for healthcare institutions and solutions providers to examine issues in implementing eHealth and Mobile/Telemedicine.

Key topics will include how to develop a sustainable model for mobile health and telemedicine, how to achieve connectivity and interoperability in mHealth telemedicine and with EHRs , using mobile telemedicine in hospitals and for community care, selecting the right EHR system and telemedicine technologies, advancing healthcare delivery with EHR data, and connecting EHRs with mHealth.

For more information or to register for the “Continua Connects Technology Showcase”, email connect@continuaallliance.org. To register, for “Mobilizing Technology to Efficiently Deliver Quality & Cost Effective Healthcare”, go to www.connectedhealthasia.com/index.php.  Continua members will receive a 15% discount. Contact admin@continuaalliance.org for details.

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LifeBot to Demo New System

Lifebot LLC will be premiering their new advanced telemedicine system called LifeBot 5 at the largest American Telemedicine Association (ATA) meeting ever held with 6,000 projected attendees May 5-7 in Austin Texas. The ATA meeting for the past 18 years has been the foremost forum for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth, and mHealth space.

The new LifeBot 5 promises to revolutionize the way remote care is delivered and reduce both the risks and costs of deploying telemedicine systems in clinic-to-hospital, hospital-to-hospital, and hospital-to-ambulance communications.

The system is very affordable since it begins under $20,000 and costs less than half of most existing telemedicine solutions that have many less critical features. Since LifeBot 5 is portable, it can be installed instantly putting life-saving telemedicine systems on the fast track to full scaled deployment.

Unlike existing instruments, LifeBot 5 is modular in construction so it may be readily adapted to new technologies or be easily upgraded as critical needs arise. The system is being made even smaller and lighter to serve future needs.

According to CEO Roger Heath, “Demand is high and we are currently in the process of gearing up production to meet the demand. Significant advancements have been made to the base software and hardware component structures by adding many new features to the original LifeBot DREAMS system. Details on the new features will be released soon.”

For more information on the ATA Annual International meeting & Trade Show go to www.americantelemed.org and for information on LifeBot 5, go to www.lifebot.us or visit exhibit booth #426 at the ATA meeting.

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News from NIH

The NIH Brain Initiative launched with $100 million is going to focus on revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that will show how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space.

Understanding the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information all at the speed of thought. NIH intends to allocate $40 million for the initiative in FY14 and collaborate closely with DARPA and NSF. (more…)

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