Policy news


The 'Angelina Jolie effect' caused surge in women testing for breast cancer gene
Testing for the BRCA 1 gene mutation soared by nearly 40% in the week that Angelina Jolie announced that she had chosen to have an elective double mastectomy because she carried the gene, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute study. 13 Feb 2015

Biomedical engineer Dr Robert Langer wins Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
Dr Robert Langer, a David H. Koch Institute Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT, has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. 3 Feb 2015

European research initiative to test novel treatments for Alzheimer's disease
The EPAD project has announced the start of a novel collaboration between 35 academic and private sector partners from Europe and the US to test innovative treatments for the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Nominet Trust lists healthcare technology in annual NT100 'tech for good' list
The NT100 list for 2014 features 34 healthcare and accessibility applications that are embracing new technologies. These include e-NABLE, which harnesses 3D printing to create affordable prosthetics; FingerReader, a wearable tech device for sight loss; and MAMA, a global community which delivers vital health information. 8 Dec 2014

UK schools to get defibrillators to save children suffering cardiac arrest
The UK Department for Education (DfE) has awarded a contract for an initial provision of 500 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to Philips through a public procurement framework with NHS Supply Chain. 8 Dec 2014

Hospital sector investing in new equipment to drive efficiency gains
Hospitals in developed countries are becoming increasingly confident about their growth prospects for the year ahead despite rising costs and ongoing economic uncertainty, according to a survey by GE Capital. 18 Nov 2014

New strain of Ebola found in the Congo
An outbreak of haemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August has been verified as Ebola but a different strain from that in the more well known outbreaks in west African countries, according to an international study. 18 Nov 2014

Drug discovery system for cancer is failing patients, says leading expert
The development of new drugs and treatments for cancer has failed to keep up with advances in knowledge because the system is broken, according to Professor Paul Workman, Interim Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research. 28 Oct 2014

New data on the global economic impact and burden of preventable blindness
Novartis and its eye care division, Alcon have introduced new data on World Sight Day that highlights the economic impact and burden that blindness and vision impairment can have on societies and individuals across the globe. 28 Oct 2014

Ebola patient carers at risk of infection when removing protective gear
A team of American infectious disease and critical care experts have issued an alert for clinicians caring for Ebola patients that how they remove their personal protective gear can be just as crucial as wearing it to prevent exposure to the deadly virus. 24 Oct 2014

UK invests £230m in stratified medicine, genomics and dementia research
The UK government has announced that a partnership led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) will invest over £230 million in 23 medical research centres around the UK to develop new technology for identifying the causes of diseases. 24 October 2014

Randomised controlled trials for testing Ebola treatments are unethical say experts
A group of leading health experts have urged the deployment of alternative trial designs to fast-track the evaluation of new Ebola treatments to suit the urgency of the crisis. 15 Oct 2014

New forecasts show Ebola infections could reach 1.4 million by January
The current Ebola epidemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and infect more than 1.4 million people by the end of January 2015, according to a new forecast released by the US CDC. 2 Oct 2014

Scale of current Ebola outbreak makes previous models for predicting spread  useless
A mathematical model that replicates and forecasts Ebola outbreaks is no longer suitable for predicting the eventual scale of the current epidemic, according to researchers at the University of Warwick. 2 Oct 2014

Tenth of antibiotics prescribed by GPs over 22 years fail to cure patients
A 22-year study by Cardiff University has found that more than one in 10 of all antibiotic treatments in a primary care setting failed. This rate has increased and continues to rise. 26 Sept 2014

International Ebola response "Totally, and lethally inadequate" says MSF
The International President of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), Dr Joanne Liu, has told the UN that the world must act now to fight Ebola or many more people will die and that the response remains totally and lethally inadequate. 17 Sept 2014

Regions most at risk of Ebola mapped
An international team of researchers has mapped the regions in Africa most at risk of an Ebola outbreak based on animal infections. 9 Sept 2014

Northumbria University trains Thai nurse trainers in use of 'SIM patients'
A delegation from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has visited Northumbria University, Newcastle, to learn how to use robotic patient mannequins for use in training nurses in colleges across the country. 14 Jul 2014

Call for better resources to deal with Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone
Researchers working in Sierra Leone  have written a letter to the Lancet calling for improvements in access to diagnostic technologies and health-care resources, as well as improved disease surveillance and health communication for dealing with the Ebola crisis. 8 Jul 2014

Medtronic launches $17m programme to support chronic disease care for underserved populations
Medtronic has launched HealthRise, a five-year, US$17m Medtronic Philanthropy program that supports community-based demonstration projects specifically designed to expand access to care and management of chronic, non-communicable diseases. 24 Jun 2014

Novartis Foundation and Netherlands Leprosy Relief launch project to reduce leprosy
The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development and Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) are launching a project with national leprosy programs and other leprosy organisations to reduce the spread of leprosy worldwide. 11 Jun 2014

European Medicines Agency backtracks on clinical trials data transparency
An editorial in The British Medical Journal has questioned why the European Medicines Agency has recently decided to backtrack on their decision for public access to clinical trial data. 29 May 2014

New EU rules on clinical trials data aimed at preventing Tamiflu and other scandals
New rules on making clinical trials data available for public scrutiny were voted through by the European Parliament this month. 15 April 2014

Call for clearer direction on use of whole-genome sequencing for newborn screening
Ethical, legal and social issues of whole-genome sequencing should be debated before adopting it in public-health programs that screen newborns for rare conditions, say researchers at McGill University.

Second Sight's retinal prosthesis system approved for reimbursement in France
The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has become the first recipient of the French Government's 'Forfait Innovation' programme for reimbursement of innovative treatments. 2 April 2014

Large variation in quality of health care within and between European countries
Sweden, Italy and Norway have high quality health services overall, according to the EuroHOPE project, but quality and costs vary widely both between and within countries. 1 April 2014

EuroHeart II project shows €196bn annual cost of cardiovascular disease in Europe
The EU-funded EuroHeart II Project  was completed at the end of February after three years of research into current cardiovascular disease trends and analysis of EU-wide CVD prevention policies. 4 March 2014

High blood pressure is an epidemic as devastating as HIV
The response of most governments and international aid agencies to high blood pressure, or hypertension, is little better than the reaction to HIV/AIDS 20 years ago — too little too late — according to an editorial in the International Journal of Epidemiology. 4 March 2014

MedaPhor supports ultrasound training in Rwanda and the Dominican Republic
Cardiff-based MedaPhor is working with US healthcare institutions to provide technical support to boost ultrasound skills in Rwanda and the Dominican Republic. 4 Feb 2014

European Parliament approves €80 billion research fund for Horizon 2020 programme
The European Parliament has approved the Horizon 2020 European research and development programme with a budget of nearly €80 billion over seven years. 22 Nov 2013

Eating nuts linked to longer life and lower risk of diseases
A study tracking the diet of over 100,000 men and women over 30 years has found that people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20% percent less likely to die from any cause than were those who didn’t consume nuts.

European Patients’ Forum launches campaign for patient participation
The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) has launched a campaign ahead of the 2014 European elections to encourage policymakers to commit to putting patients at the centre of healthcare throughout Europe. 2 Oct 2013

Serious delays in diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS
Most patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis are facing unacceptable delays in diagnosis in Europe, according to research carried out by GE Healthcare. 26 September 2013

European Parliament could cripple medical innovation in Europe
The European Parliament’s Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has voted in favour of draft legislation that trade body Eucomed says could cripple the medical technology sector in Europe and delay patients' access to innovative products. 25 Sept 2013

Call for action on antimicrobial resistance
International leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, SMEs and the healthcare sector met in May to look at why we are no closer to defusing the antibiotic resistance “ticking-time bomb” than we were a decade ago. 21 Aug 2013

Medilink East Midlands wins £2.1m funding from ERDF for advisory service
Medilink East Midlands will be able to continue its iNet business advisory service for a further two years with an additional £2.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 31 July 2013

UK government announces £93m support for medtech sector
The UK government has announced awards from the Biomedical Catalyst fund for research projects, a new National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and joint investment in medtech companies by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Health. 31 July 2013

Sir Andre Geim wins Copley Medal for discovery of graphene
The Royal Society has awarded Sir Andre Geim the Copley Medal for his contributions to science and in particular his work on graphene. 25 July 2013

Many medical practices worse than doing nothing
A new analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings has documented 146 medical practices currently in use that have no benefit. 24 July 2013

Government not doing enough for the science-based economy
The UK’s science-based economy needs greater support from the Government to grow, according to a survey of science-based companies by Lab Innovations. 17 July 2013

Recommendations for the development of nanomedicine in Europe till 2020
The European Technology Platform on Nanomedicine (ETPN) and the NANOMED2020 project have published a White Paper on the Contribution of Nanomedicine to Horizon 2020 research funding programme. 21 June 2013

Increased payments to hospitals reduced infant mortality in Thailand
When healthcare reform in Thailand increased payments to public hospitals for indigent care, more poor people sought medical treatment and infant mortality was reduced, a new study by the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty shows. 21 June 2013

Med tech industry applauds planned US-EU trade negotiations
AdvaMed, COCIR, MITA and MedTech Europe have applauded the announcement at the G8 Summit for the benefits that the negotiations could bring to the medtech sector on both sides of the Atlantic. 21 June 2013

COCIR welcomes changes to EC EMF Directive protecting use of MRI scans
COCIR has welcomed the revised European Council Directive on Protecting Workers from Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (the EMF Directive) passed by the European Parliament yesterday. 21 June 2013

Thirteen national science academies call on G8 to act on drug resistance threat
The national science academies of the G8 member states and five other science academies, are calling on the G8 governments to take action over two threats to human populations: drug-resistant infectious agents and sustainable development. 4 June 2013

Genome analysis poses ethical dilemmas, says European Society of Human Genetics
The provision of services that give patients cheap whole-genome analysis can pose ethical problems if used incorrectly, says The European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG). 22 May 2013

Western diet reduces health in older age
A Western-style diet reduces the chance of having good health and higher functionality in older age, according to a 15-year study of British adults. 25 Apr 2013

Novartis joins Malaria No More in campaign to eliminate malaria
Novartis and the charity Malaria No More have announced that they will work together to accelerate progress in the fight against malaria in a campaign called the Power of One. 25 Apr 2013

Today's adults are less healthy than previous generations
The adults of today are less "metabolically" healthy than their counterparts of previous generations, even though they have greater life expectancy, according to a large population study from the Netherlands.

NHS workforce shows slight fall in 2012
Nearly 1.36 million people (1,358,295) were working for the NHS in England at 30 September 2012 — a 0.2% (3,238) decrease from 2011. The figures cover staff working in hospital, community, general and personal medical services. 4 Apr 2013

WSD results show telehealth not cost effective for chronic disease management
Results from the Whole System Demonstrator Trial, one of the largest trials of telecare and telehealth ever conducted, show that the cost of telehealth is about three times the cost-effectiveness threshold set by NICE. 22 March 2013

Health services losing the war against antibiotic resistance
The UK's Chief Medical Officer has highlighted the threat of antibiotic resistance and called for action to develop new drugs. Also, on bmj.com health economists Richard Smith and Joanna Coast argue that antibiotic resistance “has the potential to undermine modern health systems". 11 Mar 2013

European Parliament urged to focus on need for safety and timely access to medical devices
Eucomed has issued a statement that it welcomes stakeholder calls at a public hearing of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee for improvements to Europe’s regulatory system for medical devices. 28 Feb 2013

Feature: New model needed for managing long-term conditions
Clare Wexler, CEO, Totally Health, examines why commissioners and patients must behave differently if care pathways for the treatment of chronic disease are to improve, and why integrated, innovative technologies must form part of the solution. 26 Feb 2013

European medtech industry criticises proposed EU medical device legislation
Eucomed, the European medical technology industry association, has called for changes to the European Medical Device Directive proposal and has launched a campaign, called "Don't lose the 3", to ensure legislators are aware of the objections. 25 Feb 2013

European Science Foundation calls for increased use of ICT in health and social care
A new position paper produced by the European Science Foundation (ESF) calls for increased use of information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve delivery of health and social care services. 22 Feb 2012

NICE recommended to look at impact of new drug approvals on other patients
For the first time a method has been found for estimating the impact on other patients of new and more costly drugs and other treatments in an environment of limited budgets. 7 Feb 2013

TSB lauds progress made in establishing Catapult network of innovation centres
Chief Executive Ian Gray, speaking in the House of Lords earlier this week, outlined the milestones reached since the Prime Minister announced late in 2010 that the Technology Strategy Board would be establishing, overseeing and coordinating the network. 30 Jan 2013

UK government needs more innovative approach to improve prospects for telecare
The UK government's flagship 3millionlives telecare programme is in danger of stalling without a more  innovative approach, according to a new report. 28 Jan 2013

SR One launches £100,000 competition for young medtech entrepreneurs
Venture capital firm SR One has launched a £100,000 competition to encourage young biotechnology and medical technology entrepreneurs in Europe. 28 Jan 2013

UK funding competition for robotics and autonomous systems research
A £1 million funding competition that will help develop Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) technology in the UK has been launched by the Technology Strategy Board. 25 Jan 2013

New alliance of academic research centres to accelerate drug development
Six of the world’s top translational health research centres have formed the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres. 23 Jan 2013

Care homes and healthcare services need to work together to improve health of older people
Tensions exist between care homes and healthcare services due to their different focus and requires better co-operation and integration to improve levels of care for older people, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire. 23 Jan 2013

Increase in young people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases
In Europe, about three million patients suffer from the inflammatory bowel diseases crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, with a peak occurring between the ages of 20 and 30. 23 Jan 2013

NHS publishes guidance to reduce carbon footprint of medical devices and medicines
The guidance is the first of its kind for the healthcare sector and is an important part of helping the NHS to reduce its carbon footprint. 17 Dec 2012

New website helps healthcare organisations reduce risk of sharps injuries
BD has launched a website to help healthcare workers and their organisations comply with the EU Directive on the prevention of sharps injuries. 10 Dec 2012

UK government support for university and business research partnerships favours the south of England
When complete, the combined government, business and charity support will deliver more than £1 billion of new funding for research, with £497 in the south of England. Nov 2012

€300 million boost for biomedicine in Berlin
Two of Berlin's largest biomedical research centres are merging to form the Berlin Institute of Health (BHI), a joint venture that will receive at least €300 million in new funding over the next five years. 26 Nov 2012

Financial incentives successfully improve hospital mortality rates
A study of hospitals across Northwest England has shown that a combination of competition and collaboration, with financial incentives for success, gave a significant fall in mortality rates for certain conditions. 23 Nov 2012

UK Business Secretary announces a few more peanuts invested in tech sector
The Technology Strategy Board will invest up to a further £6 million in new Launchpad competitions to accelerate the development of existing clusters of innovative high growth SMEs around the UK. 21 Nov 2012

All social groups equally affected by obesity epidemic
A Swedish study shows that obesity is increasing across all social groups and that we need to look at factors other than socioeconomic status to understand and solve one of the major public health concerns of the Western world. 14 Nov 2012

Quarter of bowel cancers only discovered from emergency hospital admission
A national audit has found that about a quarter of bowel cancer patients in England are only diagnosed with the disease after an emergency admission to hospital. 31 Oct 2012

More collaboration between business and universities needed to boost UK economy
UCB has called on the UK Government to ensure that measures to strengthen partnerships between universities, business and the NHS actually deliver results. 24 Oct 2012

Flaws in EU regulation of medical devices, says BMJ
A joint undercover investigation by the BMJ and the Daily Telegraph has exposed flaws in the EU system used to grant market access for devices such as replacement hips, cardiac defibrillators, and breast implants. 24 Oct 2012

European medtech associations form new alliance to drive industry forward
Eucomed and EDMA, the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association, have formally launched a new alliance called MedTech Europe. 10 October 2012

Eucomed voices concern over scrutiny procedure in EC proposal for medical device regulations
Eucomed has welcome most of the recommended measures in the European Medical Device Directive proposal but says the ‘scrutiny procedure’ will ultimately harm patients and will negatively impact European governments and industry. 3 Oct 2012

European Commission proposes new regulations for medical devices
The EC has proposed two regulations to ensure that patients, consumers and healthcare professionals can reap the benefits of safe, effective and innovative medical devices. 3 Oct 2012

Unnecessary medical treatment costs US up to $800bn per year
Leading doctors are calling for action to tackle unnecessary care that is estimated to account for up to $800bn and are challenging the basic assumption in US healthcare that more is better. 3 Oct2012

Are genes or the environment the main cause of obesity?
The ongoing obesity epidemic is creating an unprecedented challenge for healthcare systems around the world, but what determines who gets fat? Two experts debate the issue. 3 Oct 2012

ASEAN Medical Device Directive to give US$400m boost to market
A new co-operation agreement between 10 South East Asia countries to standardize medical device registration will allow suppliers to take advantage of more than $400M of new emerging business in four key areas. 21 Sept 2012

Health and safety guidelines issued for working with nanomaterials
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has published the first-ever health and safety guidance for working with nanomaterials in research and development. 20 Sept 2012

China achieves basic healthcare for all eight years ahead of plan
Following a national healthcare reform programme, China has extended basic healthcare access to more than 95% of its 1.35 billion population eight years ahead of schedule. 17 Sept 2012

University of Bath appoints Professor of Healthcare Engineering
The University of Bath has appointed Professor Richie Gill to pull together multi-disciplinary expertise in healthcare engineering from across the institution. 16 Aug 2012

IET calls for entries for science, engineering and technology awards
The Institution of Engineering & Technology has issued the final call for entries for its 2012 Innovation Awards, honouring individuals and companies in science, engineering and technology. 9 July 2012

European Research Council allocated €1.75bn by EC for research projects
The EC has announced a total budget of €1.75 billion to support projects funded by the ERC in 2013 in all fields. 9 July 2012

EC invites applications for share of £6.5 billion research funding
The European Commission has announced an invitation to bid for a share of the largest ever EU research and innovation funding, under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). 9 July 2012

ECRI Institute identifies 1,000 healthcare technologies to address unmet healthcare needs
These interventions, which cut across scores of diseases and conditions, are described in newly published reports that are free and available to the public. 6 July 2012

Ukraine opens 200-bed perinatal centre
The new perinatal center has been opened in the southeastern city of Dnipropetrovsk as part of the healthcare reform program. 26 June 2012

Lack of action on COPD as big a threat as global financial crisis
In the run up to World Spirometry Day on 27 June the European COPD Coalition (ECC) is calling on policy makers across Europe to recognise that chronic diseases such as COPD, present as great a threat as the global financial crisis, and is urging collective international action.

UK government funds 16 R&D projects for hi-tech manufacturing
The UK Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are to provide £6.5 million grant funding to support the development of new technologies in manufacturing. 15 June 2012

COCIR reports on International Medical Device Industry Compliance Conference
This year’s conference agenda featured a variety of sessions and roundtables to address, amongst others, global anticorruption trends and risk management and transparency. 17 May 2012

111 organisations call for more controls over use of synthetic biology
The coalition has released a report, The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology, to highlight the risks to public health and the environment from synthetic biology. 14 Mar 2012

European neurodegenerative disease research strategy launched
The EU Joint Programme in Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) is the first of the European Joint Programming initiatives which are designed to address the ‘grand challenges’ facing EU society. 9 Feb 2012

EDMA and Eucomed join forces to create European industry federation
The move aims to enhance the recognition of their joint membership at European level and make them uniquely positioned to address common issues of interest. 17 Jan 2012

Strategies to study lifestyle and genetic factors related to chronic diseases
A group of scientists has examined the challenges associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, and described 10 key areas with the highest priority for research. 13 Dec 2011

EIB, EIF and EC launch facility to help technology-based SMEs get loans for RDI
The new risk-sharing instrument for SMEs will be managed by the EIF. In addition, the EIB and the European Commission are to provide extra resources for research infrastructures. 12 Dec 2012

UK Future Technologies Fund backs SEP IV to support high technology businesses
The UK Future Technologies Fund has committed to SEP IV, the latest fund managed by Scottish Equity Partners continuing the support of the European Investment Fund. 12 Dec 2012

AstraZeneca gives 22 drug compounds for research at UK universities
Astra Zeneca and the UK Medical Research Council have reached a landmark agreement that gives UK universities free access to 22 of the company's compounds with pharmaceutical potential. 5 Dec 2011

TSB announces £8.5m grants to fourteen projects to boost regenerative medicine
The UK Technology Strategy Board has announced that fourteen commercially-focused research and development projects that will lead to innovation in regenerative medicines are to benefit from nearly £8.5 million of UK government funding. 5 December 2011

UK government announces £90m new funds for life sciences commercialisation
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a package of support for the UK’s leading life science companies and academia to enable them to move more quickly from discovery to commercialisation. 5 December 2011

NHS NIHR to fund development of new medical devices — apply by 7 Dec 2011
The NHS National Institute for Health research has launched a call for proposals to develop innovative healthcare products for the improvement of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in the NHS.

NTAC launches online tool to accelerate adoption of new technology in NHS
The NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC), has launched the Generic Adoption Process to provides a roadmap, along with the required tools to enable proven medical technologies to be adopted. 3 Dec 2011

Feature: Regulatory challenges in getting medical devices ready for the market
By Rachael Histed, Associate, DLA Piper. The current challenges faced by the healthcare sector are creating a wealth of opportunity for innovation in the medical devices industry. With tightening budgets, an aging population and an impending shortage of healthcare professionals, the healthcare industry is crying out for improvements in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disease. 29 Nov011

Growing rate of premature mortality in European men
An EC report reveals a growing rate of premature mortality in European men and deteriorating health. Its lead author, Professor Alan White, the world’s first Professor of Men’s Health at Leeds Metropolitan University, presented the findings at an Expert Symposium on Men’s Health as part of the launch of the University’s Institute for Health & Wellbeing on Thursday. 4 Nov 2011

The winning formula for improving health systems at low cost
There is a winning formula for improving health systems that low income countries can apply,  according to a new study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 3 Nov 2011

Annual screening with X-rays does not reduce lung cancer deaths
A trial involving 150,000 patients that gave half annual chest X-rays for up to four years showed that screening did not significantly reduce death from lung cancer compared to the unscreened group. 27 October 2011

Lack of communication across care settings puts elderly patients at risk
Effective coordination across primary and secondary care settings is crucial in the recovery of elderly people. Poorly executed transitions may lead to poor clinical outcomes, inappropriate use of hospitals and re-hospitalization. 26 Oct 2011

Global intitiative addresses growing challenge of urban health
The General Assembly of the International Council for Science has endorsed plans for a new global initiative to plan for the increasing health challenges of the rapidly growing urban populations worldwide.  23 October 2011

Eucomed launches five-year strategy to transform healthcare
Eucomed, the European medical technology industry association, has launched a 5-year industry strategy report ‘Contract for a Healthy Future’. 17 Oct 2011

World Food Day: multi-pronged approach needed to fight global hunger
To mark World Food Day 2011, Worldwatch's Nourishing the Planet team emphasizes the need for innovative hunger-fighting initiatives at all levels. 16 Oct 2011

Cochrane Collaboration calls for free access to all clinical trials data
The Cochrane Collaboration says free access to all data from all clinical trials will provide the best care for patients globally. 11 Oct 2011

Lung diseases cost EU economy €100bn — urgent action needed
The European Respiratory Society (ERS), has produced the European Respiratory Roadmap that outlines key recommendations and respiratory health priorities for the next decade. 2 Oct 2011

ECDA welcomes UN discussion on non-communicable diseases
The European Chronic Disease Alliance welcomes the UN High Level Meeting on Non Communicable Diseases to address the diseases that account for 86% of deaths and 77% of the disease burden in Europe. 27 Sept 2011

D4D offers awards to develop assistive and renal technologies
Devices For Dignity (D4D) is offering £30,000 in a proof-of-concept competition designed to accelerate the development of promising ideas in the healthcare technology sector. 31 August 2011

First changes in 100 years to method for checking high blood pressure
The way blood pressure is diagnosed and treated is set to be revolutionised following new guidelines issued by NICE. 24 August 2011

Sheffield to host event promoting high-value medtech manufacturing
Organised by Medilink Yorkshire & Humber, the High Value Manufacturing in Healthcare event to be held on 29 June, will engage with the UK healthcare technologies community to look at the issues relating to high-value added manufacturing. 9 June 2011

COCIR publishes position paper on innovation in healthcare
The paper, Towards an innovation-driven healthcare model,gives an industry perspective on the opportunities and challenges innovation-driven healthcare presents. 26 May 2011

Malaria vaccine trial starts in Burkina Faso
Trials of a new candidate malaria vaccine GMZ2 have begun in Burkia Faso. The vaccine is a hybrid malaria vaccine composed of merozoite surface protein (MSP3) and glutamate rich protein (GLURP). 17 May 2011

Safety of European medical devices regulation questioned
An investigation by the BMJ and UK TV company Channel 4 questions whether the European safety regulations for medical devices protect patients adequately and calls for tighter regulatory controls. 16 May 2011

Clear strategies and recommendations needed for biomaterials banks for research
Two German Senate Commissions have concluded that: biomaterial banks are an indispensable resource for biomedical research; they are of great importance to the quality and competitiveness of German research; and it is important that clear strategies and recommendations exist for Germany. 3 May 2011

Europe could save 135,000 lives a year through better cardiovascular care
A pan-European study of cardio-vascular diseases has found that up to 135,000 deaths could be prevented in Europe each year through better control of risk factors. 20 April 2011

IBM's MRSA-fighting nanotechnology marks century of healthcare innovation
IBM’s announcement of the first biodegradable nanoparticles that can seek out and destroy drug-resistant bacteria caps off a century of healthcare and life sciences innovation from IBM. 11 April 2011

New weapons needed to tackle growing threat of tuberculosis
Leading experts from 12 countries discussed the growing threat from tuberculosis at a conference at the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp this month. 28 March 2011

New EU-funded projects to find new cures for tuberculosis
To mark World Tuberculosis Day the European Commission has announced that it is supporting new projects aimed at finding new cures for the disease. 28 March 2011

MRSA screening in ICU saves hospitals money
Even under the most conservative assumptions the screening would be cost-neutral if early detection of MRSA would lead to a reduced rate of infection and transmission within the hospital. 16 Feb 2011

COMED project produces documentaries on European medical research
COMED has released nine science documentaries on selected medical research projects funded by the European Commission’s 7th framework programme (FP7). 14 Feb 2011

UK government launches bowel cancer awareness campaign
The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign is being piloted in two regions and if successful will be rolled out across the country. Adverts will appear on TV, radio and in newspapers for seven weeks. 7 Feb 2011

New research clusters improve UK drug development capability
Two UK initiatives are linking the pharmaceutical industry, government-funded research and academia with the aim of reviving the country's reputation as a centre for drug research. 19 Jan 2011

Public-private partnerships in healthcare worldwide worth US$70 trillion up to 2020
The rapidly increasing costs of healthcare worldwide will spur governments to use public-private partnerships to improve efficiencies, according to PwC's Health Research Institute. 6 Jan 2011

Weekend and holiday admissions to hospital increase risk of death
Patients treated by Welsh hospitals for upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding were 41% more likely die if they were admitted on a public holiday and 13% more likely at the weekend. 21 Dec 2010

Top ten healthcare technology hazards released by ECRI Institute
The ECRI Institute has released its 5th annual list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011. The list features the top health technology hazards that warrant critical attention by hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the coming year. 10 Dec 2010

Hospital-wide safety program can lead to rapid improvement in safety culture
Rapid improvements in the culture of safety, even in a large complex hospital, can result from implementing a prescribed set of hospital-wide patient-safety programs. 10 Dec 2010

Abbott joins Clinton Health Initiative to improve HIV testing in Africa
Abbott will supply its RealTime HIV-1 qualitative test kits to healthcare facilities and also offer the capability to collect and process samples using dried blood spots. 23 Nov 2010

Solar powered blood pressure device is reliable tool for developing countries
A new solar-powered device to measure blood pressure can provide affordable and reliable blood pressure testing in low income countries according to a field study. 23 Nov 2010

Many cardiovascular deaths in Europe could be prevented with better care
Results from a large pan-European study indicate that many of the 4.3 million annual deaths in Europe could be avoided if at-risk patients received better preventative care. 23 Nov 2010

Diabetes treatment costs China US$25bn per year
Early Data from a study by the Chinese Diabetes Society of the Chinese Medical Association and the International Diabetes Federation shows 13% of China’s medical expenditure is directly caused by diabetes. 23 Nov 2010

Dyadem opens office in Germany
Enterprise risk management system supplier Dyadem has opened a second office in Europe, located in Starnberg, Germany, on the outskirts of Munich. 9 Nov 2010

BMJ raises concerns about FDA post-approval surveillance of medical devices
A British Medical Journal (BMJ) investigation published today raises concerns about the ability of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor the ongoing safety of medical devices through post-approval surveillance. 3 Nov 2010

Eucomed calls for improvements in EU medical technology legislation
Eucomed has called for improvements in the current ‘notified body based system’ for medical technology certification in Europe, but does not believe it requires a major overhaul. 26 Oct 2010

Malaria mosquitoes rapidly evolving into new species
Genetic analysis of the two strains of mosquito responsible for the majority of malaria transmission in Africa has found that they have evolved such substantial genetic differences that they are becoming different species. 22 Oct 2010

Budget cuts in Europe threaten science research and economic development
Euroscience, the European Association for the Promotion of Science and Technology, has warned of the dangers of government budget cuts across Europe for science and economic development. 22 Oct 2010

UK government announces £50m funding for personalised medicine
The Stratified Medicines Innovation Platform is a new government initiative providing over £50 million of funding for research and development in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals for personalised medicine. 15 Oct 2010

Almac’s Clinical Technologies Division passes MHRA inspection
Almac has successfully passed one of the UK’s first joint routine clinical and manufacturing inspections by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency at its Craigavon, UK site. 11 Oct 2010

Experts discuss global health effects of climate change
World-leading experts are gathering at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm to discuss the health hazards associated with climate change. 11 Oct 2010

Group purchasing organisations cost US healthcare $36bn more than open market
A study commissioned by the US Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) has found that hospitals pay more for medical devices and equipment bought through group purchasing organisations (GPOs) than through the open market. 11 Oct 2010

EUCOMED's MedTEch Forum to address unprecedented challenges facing industry
The EUCOMED, the European medical technology industry association, is holding its MedTech Forum 2010 and general assembly from 12-14 October in Brussels. 6 Oct 2010

Siemens Healthcare supports Indonesian reforestation program for CO2 savings
Siemens Healthcare is combining its Proven Excellence Program for refurbishing medical devices with supporting tropical forest regeneration in Indonesia. 1 Oct 2010

Concern raised over the increasing commercialisation of science
The increasing commercialisation of science is restricting access to vital scientific knowledge and delaying the progress of science, claim researchers from the University of Colombo. 20 Sept 2010

Pain experts declare access to pain management a fundamental human right
Pain management experts from 84 countries have called for governments worldwide to recognize the rights of people to access reasonable care for acute and chronic pain. 15 Sept 2010

Euroaspire studies health and economic impact of heart disease prevention
The multinational EUROASPIRE III health economics study aims to find out to what extent a focus on prevention can reduce both the health and economic impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) — responsible for 4 million deaths in Europe each year. 3 Sept 2010

Australia facing epidemic of heart rhythm disorder
Australia has seen a 75% increase in hospital admissions for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart disorder, over the last 10 years. 3 Sept 2010

Screening of young athletes for heart disease needs improving
The screening process for young footballers to detect those at risk of heart disease does not take into account the type and intensity of the exercise performed. 2 Sept 2010

Ethianum clinic built with sustainable and environmentally friendly systems
The newly opened Ethianum clinic in Heidelberg is one of the first clinics in Germany to implement sustainability criteria across the organisation. The clinic was developed in partnership with Siemens using its Green+ Hospital Program. 17 August 2010

Historic opportunity to "change the face of AIDS", says Bill Gates
Bill Gates has called on all countries to keep up the fight against HIV/AIDS in a keynote speech at the 18th International AIDS Conference, saying the world has an historic opportunity to "change the face of AIDS". 26 July 2010 Deutsch Español Francais

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation combats HIV and tuberculosis in African community projects
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has announced the community-based projects that it is currently supporting in resource-poor regions across Africa to help combat the challenge of HIV and tuberculosis co-infection. 26 July 2010

European pharma companies lead in increasing access to medicines in developing countries
European pharmaceutical companies outcompete their US counterparts in making medicines available to people in developing countries, according to the Access to Medicine Index. 14 July 2010

ECRI Institute adds 4,000 new terms to medical device nomenclature system
The 2010 Universal Medical Device Nomenclature System (UMDNS) now contains 24,544 terms covering the expanse of medical devices and equipment used for modern healthcare delivery. 12 July 2010

Elephantiasis elimination programme reaches 600m people in 2009
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), commonly known as Elephantiasis and one of the world's leading causes of chronic illness, is on track to become one of the first parasitic diseases transmitted by a mosquito to be eliminated. 15 June 2010

European IMIDIA project to develop better tools to fight diabetes
The Innovative Medicines Initiative for Diabetes (IMIDIA), a public–private consortium funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), has launched a project focusing on pancreatic islet cell function and survival. 15 June 2010

Call for EU to ensure maximum benefits are gained from nanomedicine
European nanomedicine experts have called on the European Parliament to ensure the widespread benefits offered by advances in nanomedicine are used to the best advantage. 2 June 2010

Six US healthcare providers in drive for environmental sustainability in hospitals
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative is a co-ordinated approach to achieve sustainability, prevent environment-related illness, create extraordinary environmental benefits, and save billions of dollars in healthcare expenses. 14 May 2010

Personal and agricultural antibiotic use increasing resistant E. coli in Peruvian children
Direct and indirect exposure of young children to antibiotics through medical and agricultural usage can increase their risk for carriage of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, which has become a global health problem. 10 May 2010

Bacterial survival strategies could teach bankers how to avoid financial crises
If we want to drive maximum growth, encourage innovation and protect the economy from disasters, we will have to learn from lowly bacteria and put in place robust regulatory systems, says Dr Harvey Rubin, a professor of medicine, biochemistry and computer science, at the University of Pennsylvania, and Founder and Director of the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response. 10 May 2010

Global economic downturn will shrink life sciences sector and R&D spend
Curbing costs in response to the global economic downturn, as well as the continuing capital crunch, is likely to have a long-term impact on the life sciences industries, according to a new white paper released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. 10 May 2010

Recycling medical equipment could save hospitals millions
Wider adoption of the practice of recycling medical equipment — including laparoscopic ports and durable cutting tools typically tossed out after a single use — could save hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars annually and curb trash at medical centres.

First EU Joint Programming initiative to tackle Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease
Leading researchers from across Europe gathered in Stockholm last week to develop a European-wide research strategy to tackle neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. 20 April 2010

Wide variations in treatment for breast cancer in Europe, USA and Japan
A global study of nearly 10,000 women with early breast cancer has found wide variations in how they were treated, despite international consensus on best practice, according to the May issue of the British Journal of Surgery. 15 April 2010

Northern Irish oncology hub showcased in Washington DC
Almac opened a high-level Washington DC event last month: From Science to Society: A Northern Ireland Showcase in Cancer Genomics and Personalized Medicine, to highlighted the capabilities and exceptional work of Northern Ireland’s established oncology hub. 2 April 2010

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European countries adopt plan to fight environmental threats to health
Through the Declaration and Commitment to Act 53 European governments agreed to implement national programmes to provide equal opportunities to each child by 2020 by ensuring access to safe water and sanitation, opportunities for physical activity and a healthy diet, improved air quality and an environment free of toxic chemicals. 1 April 2010

The best of UK medical technology innovation honoured
Some of the UK's most pioneering technology companies were recognised this month at the Medilink UK Awards 2010, an annual event that celebrates cutting-edge technologies, outstanding business achievements and international success across the UK’s medical technology sector. 25 March 2010

Alliance Biosciences provides HIV and TB biosafety guidance to Kenyan orphanage
Alliance Biosciences has reached an agreement with the Nyumbani Children's Home in Kenya to provide engineering and biosafety guidance to Nyumbani's planned HIV/TB diagnostic facility. 9 March 2010

Hepatitis B and C serious public health issue in US
A report by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) says that 3.5 to 5.3 million people have chronic hepatitis B or C virus infections despite prevention efforts by federal, state and local government agencies. 9 Mar 2010

World's focus on too few diseases increasing child mortality and tuberculosis
Problems controlling common diseases like HIV, heart disease and diabetes in poor countries could be hindering efforts to meet the world’s key child health and tuberculosis goals, a new study has warned. 9 Mar 2010

GE Healthcare expands portfolio of ecomagination products
The portfolio now includes two new healthcare products and three product categories, including the Centricity Enterprise Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solution. 15 Feb 2010

Factory Reimbursement launches tools for medical device reimbursement across Europe
Factory Reimbursement has launched a new low-cost research and reporting service for medical device companies that wish to market and sell products in Europe. 9 Feb 2010

Performance of EU healthcare systems to be investigated by EuroHOPE project
The project will utilise microeconometric methods to measure the performance, quality, use of resources and costs of healthcare in the treatment of five key public health problems or diseases in seven European countries.

Report urges review of hazards of silver nanoparticles in consumer products
The UK Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances has produced Report on Nanosilver, recommending that government bodies fund a thorough review of the hazards and exposure of silver nanoparticles as an immediate priority. 9 Feb 2010

Free conferences on EU nanotechnology governance framework — 11 Feb London
The FramingNano UK Event, to be held in London on 11 February, provides a unique opportunity to explore the key issues of nanotechnology governance and to discuss possible new governance models. The Event will be of interest to all concerned with the responsible development of this vitally important enabling technology. 8 Feb 2010

Siemens launches Green+ Hospitals program
Siemens has introduced the Green+ Hospitals program to provide a complete environmental solution, including ecological, social, and economic factors. 5 Feb 2010

Most Europeans able to differentiate generic from brand medicines
A survey of patients in seven European countries has found that 71% of patients claim to know the difference between generic medicines and brand medicines. 19 Jan 2010

Médecins Sans Frontières treats Haiti earthquake victims amid damaged medical facilities
MSF is managing to treat hundreds of earthquake victims despite suffering severely damaged facilities and missing and injured staff. 14 Jan 2010

UN Foundation supporting Haiti earthquake relief efforts
The United Nations Foundation is supporting relief teams from the World Food Programme and the UN partner Télécoms Sans Frontières being deployed in the devastated areas of Haiti following the earthquake on 12 Jan. 14 Jan 2010

FDA publishes guidance on developing diagnostic tests for 2009 H1N1 flu virus
During a pandemic manufacturers can submit a request to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization to allow unapproved tests that meet certain criteria to be used for diagnosis. 3 Nov 2009

Mother and child wait for vaccineInvestment in global health is best way to save lives, say Bill and Melinda Gates
In a joint speech to US policymakers this week, Bill and Melinda Gates called for a global push to halve child deaths worldwide by 2025. They made the case that US initiatives to fight AIDS, malaria, and other diseases in poor countries are America's best investment for saving lives. 30 Oct 2009

GE Launches $250m Healthymagination Fund for healthcare technology ventures
GE's new equity fund will make investments in highly promising healthcare technology companies globally that have innovative diagnostic, IT, and life sciences technologies. 27 Oct009

TÜV Product Service extends medical device testing service in UK
The TÜV Active Medical Device Service includes safety testing for the first time and is responding to a surge in demand from UK customers preparing for the 2012 third Edition of the Medical Electrical Equipment Standard. 27 Oct 2009

Emergent BioSolutions sponsors discussion on biopreparedness in Europe
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has sponsored the Security and Defence Agenda’s roundtable discussion, Raising Biopreparedness Levels in Europe, which examined European efforts in preparing and reacting to various biological threats and the potential for European cooperation in these areas. 20 Oct 2009

Norway's aging population creating impossible demand for hospital beds
SINTEF has estimated that the health service in 2030 will need to employ every second young person in the country and increase hospital bed capacity by 5000, which cannot be achieved in the timeframe. 20 Oct 2009

GE's Developing Health Globally programme commissions three hospitals in Cambodia
The Developing Health Globally corporate citizenship program is aimed at improving access to quality healthcare by addressing critical gaps in existing developing-world healthcare facilities. 20 Oct 2009

Wellcome Trust and Merck launch joint venture to develop affordable vaccines for low-income countries
The Wellcome Trust and Merck have created the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a first of its kind research and development joint venture with a not-for-profit mission to focus on developing affordable vaccines to prevent diseases that commonly affect low-income countries. 9 Oct 2009

Blindness in Nigeria set to rise 40% — mostly preventable
By 2020, 1.4 million Nigerians over age 40 will lose their sight, and the vast majority of the causes are either preventable or treatable, according to the Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study Group. 5 Oct 2009

Cancer awareness scheme launched at English football clubs
A new scheme launched today at five English football clubs will help educate men about the symptoms and risks of ‘male’ cancers — prostate, lung and bowel cancer — and encourage them to go to their doctor earlier when they show the symptoms. 26 Sept 2009

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METRC calls for project proposals in the "science of everyday things"
METRC the N8 Molecular Engineering Translational Research Centre based at Sheffield University, has launched its Autumn 2009 Proof of Concept Funding Call for industry–academic partnership projects. Up to £50,000 is available for each project. 23 Sept 2009

Large differences in cardiovascular mortality and national prevention policies across EU
Research from a three-year programme to analyse cardiovascular health and prevention policies in 16 European countries shows heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Europe but there are huge differences in both national prevention policies and levels of cardiovascular mortality between countries. 21 Sept 2009

US FDA approves four vaccines for 2009 H1N1 influenza virus
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. The vaccines will be distributed nationally after the initial lots become available, which is expected within the next four weeks. 21 Sept 2009

World Alzheimer's Day: report shows more than 35 million with dementia worldwide
Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) has released a new report to mark World Alzheimer's Day on 21 September 2009. It shows more than 35 million people will have dementia in 2010, a 10% increase over figures reported in 2005, and a doubling nearly every 20 years. 21 September 2009 

Does government do enough for SMEs?
The UK Chartered Institute of Marketing has launched its latest Agenda Paper, Access all areas? which asks what kind of help does government really offer SMEs. 19 Sept 2009

The Gambia launches national vaccination campaign against child-killing disease
The Gambia has launched a national immunisation programme with the help of the GAVI Alliance to eradicate pneumococcal disease, one of the leading causes of child death worldwide. 1 September 2009 Francais

How to reduce the millions wasted on purchases based on physicians' personal preferences
ECRI Institute has revealed some of the processes that hospital  administrators can implement to better manage the high cost of personal preferences in a new white paper. 28 August 2009

Americans would embrace comprehensive healthcare reform if properly informed
With polls pointing to a decline in public support for healthcare reform in the US, new research shows that getting Americans more involved in the debate is essential to swinging public opinion in its favour. 26 August 2009

1957-58 flu pandemic can provide clues to planning for current H1N1 outbreak
The Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has examined documents and newspaper coverage related to the 1957-58 influenza pandemic to compare the progress and severity of that outbreak and study the practical actions taken that allowed the US to continue functioning with minimal disruption.  17 August 2009

Dutch Center for Translational Molecular Medicine completes €265 million funding
The funding, which was completed with the approval of a prostate cancer research project, makes CTTM one of the largest public-private partnerships in the world. 17 August 2009

World's population aging at unprecedented rate
The average age of the world’s population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The number of people worldwide aged 65 and older is estimated at 506 million as of mid 2008 and by 2040 it will reach 1.3 billion. 17 August 2009

UK parliamentary committee criticises government for inadequate support for science and technology
The UK Government has reduced science to a political bargaining chip and must raise its game to produce an ambitious science and engineering strategy for the future, concludes an all-party committee of MPs in a report published last month. 7 August 2009

Call for UN action to avert world's fastest growing health threat: non-communicable diseases
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) have called on the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to take immediate action to avert the fastest growing threat by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to global health. 16 July 2009

UK life sciences sector applauds government's Life Sciences Blueprint
The associations say that it provides an excellent basis for firmly securing the future of the life sciences sector and re-establishing the UK’s global competitive position. 16 July 2009

UK government launches strategy to put innovative technology into health services
The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) Blueprint sets out to transform the UK environment for life sciences companies and ensure faster patient access to cutting-edge medicines and technologies. 16 July 2009

EU project to assess the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks of NSAIDs
The SOS project aims to assess the risk of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal events among NSAIDs users to guide the selection of NSAIDs that have minimal harmful side effects. 15 July 2009

Better estimates of A(H1N1) flu virus severity needed, say experts
Accurate estimates of the severity of the new H1N1 virus, and in particular how many deaths might arise over the course of the pandemic, are central to healthcare planning over the coming months, say experts in a paper published on bmj.com today. 14 July 2009

European project to assemble a virtual human body to aid medical research
The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) is a pan-European project that aims to create a methodological and technological framework to deliver patient-specific computer models for the personalised and predictive healthcare. 6 July 2009

Poorer countries with no access to antivirals in pandemic could use generic drugs to prevent deaths
Almost 90% of the world’s population will not have timely access to affordable supplies of vaccines and antiviral agents in the current influenza pandemic, but it is possible that inexpensive generic drugs that are readily available, even in developing countries, could save millions of lives. 29 June 2009

UK tops list of 213 countries at extreme risk to spread of swine flu
A Warwick Business School professor and one of the founders of global risks specialist, Maplecroft, has released three new maps and indices revealing the countries most at risk from an influenza pandemic. 29 June 2009

Cancer screening fear is fuelled by lack of information
Fear plays a major role in whether women decide to go for cancer screening or not, but healthcare providers underestimate how much women need to know and wrongly assume that they will ask for information if they want it. 29 June 2009

sanofi-aventis donates 100m doses of A(H1N1) flu vaccine to WHO
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, will reserve 10 percent of its output for the WHO as a donation to help address the influenza pandemic in developing countries. 18 June 2009

Edible silica tags could help prevent counterfeiting of medicines
Cellular Bioengineering is developing a novel technology that can help prevent counterfeit medicine and other consumables. The tags are made of the highest purity silica, rendering them biologically inert and edible. 17 June 2009

WHO calls for health sector to lead fight against climate change
The health sector can play a leadership role in reducing the magnitude and consequences of global warming by reducing its climate footprint, says WHO and Health Care Without Harm in a discussion paper. 17 June 2009

Impaired vision costs billions in lost productivity worldwide
Nearly 158 million people globally suffer with vision impairment resulting from uncorrected refractive error, which can usually be eliminated with a pair of eyeglasses and an eye examination. 15 June 2009

Over 60% of US bankruptcies due to medical problems
A survey of bankruptcy filers in the US shows that illnesses and medical bills contribute to a large and increasing share of bankruptcies. 15 June 2009

Leading NGOs call for international action to combat global epidemic of non-communicable diseases
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and World Heart Federation (WHF) have jointly called on the international community to address urgently the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), responsible for 35 million deaths a year. 10 June 2009

European experts launch think tank for chronic fatigue syndrome
Ten leading scientists in Europe have formed a Think Tank for ME and will hold their first meeting on the 13th of June. They want to initiate an effective research effort to find the secret behind the mystery disease that cripples an increasing number of lives. 10 June 2009

Cost of medical technology only small part of national health costs and rising slowly
A study by AdvaMed of the costs of medical technology in the US has found that it rose only slightly as a percentage of national health expenditure from 5.4% in 1989 to 6.2% in 2006, despite huge technological advances. 8 June 2009

European medical technology sector weathering storm but expecting tougher times
A recent survey by Eucomed of medical technology manufacturers across Europe has found that the recession was having a significant negative impact on only 20% of the companies. 8 June 2009
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Diabetes care not improved by pay incentives for primary care doctors
The care of patients with diabetes in the UK has improved over the last decade, but this does not seem to be a direct result of the Quality and Outcomes Framework — the scheme that rewards UK general practices for delivering quality care. 5 June 2009

University of Hertfordshire to host international symposium on the future of medical technology
The International MedTech Symposium hosted by the University’s Medical Technology Innovation Centre (MTIC) will bring together opinion leaders from industry, government, academia and finance to examine the future of the MedTech industry. 3 June 2009

European online obesity survey launched
With excess weight and obesity increasing across Europe at an alarming rate, the online survey seeks to understand to what degree this is of concern to European citizens and what steps we think should be taken to address this pressing issue. 28 May 2009
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Reducing chronic diseases critical to US economic recovery and healthcare reform
The second annual Almanac of Chronic Disease published by the US Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) highlights the factors making up the US$1.7 trillion cost to the US economy of treating chronic diseases. 28 May 2009

Developed world neglects diarrheal diseases that kill 1.6 million children
PATH and WaterAid America have released two new reports that show that the international aid community and developing-country governments are not responding to clear evidence on child mortality by targeting resources where the disease burden is greatest. 27 May 2009

Institute for OneWorld Health in collaboration to fight neglected diarrheal diseases
The US-based non-profit pharmaceutical company has successfully completed its first screening campaign of the Roche proprietary compound library and will select up to 40 new drug leads for further study intended to identify a new treatment for childhood diarrhea. 28 May 2009

Generic pharmaceuticals saved US healthcare $734 billion over last decade
The use of generic pharmaceuticals saved the American healthcare system more than $734 billion from 1999-2008, with approximately $121 billion in savings in 2008 alone, according to a report published by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association. 19 May 2009

Early findings on development of Mexican swine flu reported in new study
An international team including World Health Organisation and public health agencies in Mexico, have found that the outbreak data so far is very consistent with the early stages of a pandemic and the strain of influenza is as lethal as the 1957 pandemic. 13 May 2009

Imperial College to build £99m health science centre in London
A new centre will will form a key part of the Academic Health Science Centre, which is a unique partnership between Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust that aims to bring new therapies and treatments to patients much more quickly than ever before. 13 May 2009

Warning over 6-month time lag to develop pandemic flu vaccine
Research from the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust warns of a six-month time lag before effective vaccines can be manufactured in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. 11 May 2009

GE expands developing health globally program to Cambodia
GE has announced that it is expanding its Developing Health Globally program to include six sites in Cambodia and is donating ultrasound equipment, mobile x-rays and patient monitors to Cambodia’s Ministry of Health for distribution to 23 public health facilities. 11 May 2009

Hospital infection control will be critical in preventing spread of swine flu
The severity and extent of the current swine flu outbreak (now officially named influenza A(H1N1) by WHO) are unknown, but the SARS outbreak (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003 taught that rigorous infection control in hospitals may be key to limiting deaths from any disease outbreak. 1 May 2009

Preparing for pandemic flu — guides for families, businesses, healthcare providers
Trust for America's Health (TFAH) has re-issued its series of It's Not Flu As Usual guides on pandemic flu preparedness for families, businesses, medical providers, and community groups. The guides are applicable to all countries. 1 May 2009

Swine flu could be a disaster for weak public health systems in developing countries
A potential spread of swine flu to developing countries without adequate means to track the outbreak or to treat those infected could prove disastrous, says humanitarian agency World Vision. 1 May 2009

European Association of Urology position statement on screening for prostate cancer
Based on the results of the European Randomised Study for Screening of Prostate Cancer (ERSPC), the EAU has formulated a position statement regarding prostate cancer screening in Europe, and the subsequent actions to be taken by health professionals and health authorities. 24 April 2009

Tide turns in fight to stop European Commission restricting use of MRI scanners
Further pressure has been applied to the European Commission to amend the Physical Agents (EMF) Directive which, if adopted into national legislation, would drastically curtail the use of MRI scanners in hospitals and research centres across Europe. 24 April 2009 Deutsch

Dutch Consortium builds registry for care of rare diseases
The Dutch Orphan Disease Registry Consortium is building a disease registry framework to collect information on rare diseases, encourage drug development and optimize patient care. The consortium focuses on inborn errors of metabolism as a target group of diseases. 22 April 2009

Yorkshire attracts major investment in healthcare technologies
The Yorkshire and Humber region in northeast England has accounted for nearly 10% of first-round investments in healthcare technology in the UK, according to figures revealed at the launch of a new Access to Finance programme for local healthcare technology companies. 2 March 2009

EU project to study impact of nanomedicine on healthcare
The EU-funded NANOMED project aims to look at all aspects of nanomedicine and provide an objective answer to claims that this rapidly evolving field will change the face of healthcare forever. 25 February 2009

Diabetes in UK increases 74% over six years
The numbers of new cases of diabetes in the UK rose 74% between 1997 and 2003. The rate of increase is now higher than in the US. 24 February 2009

NHS medical device training goes online
A ground-breaking project is being launched in the UK to create a National Health Service (NHS) e-learning platform for medical devices, including a library of both generic and detailed training. 22 February 2009

Rotary members worldwide prepare for mass polio-immunization campaigns
Hundreds of Rotary club members from the United States, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Korea, the UK and the Caribbean will join thousands of their fellow Rotary members , other volunteers and health workers over the next few months to immunize children against polio in India and Nigeria. 16 February 2009

Public health approach needed to win the war on cancer
Smoke-free laws and other proven methods are an essential component of the public health approach to preventing cancer, according to an article published in The Oncologist. 31 January 2009

Canada to enforce world's first mandatory reporting on engineered nanomaterials
The Canadian government reportedly is planning to release in February the world's first national regulation requiring companies to detail their use of engineered nanomaterials, according to environmental officials. 31 January 2009

Boston Scientific and Medtronic reach agreement over patent disputes
Boston Scientific Corporation and Medtronic, Inc.have announced the settlement of two lawsuits and an agreement to stand down in three others. 31 January 2009

US$630 million drive to eradicate polio by Gates foundation, Rotary, UK and Germany
Rotary International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK and German governments have committed more than US$630 million in new funds to fight polio, a crippling and sometimes fatal disease that still paralyzes children in parts of Africa and Asia and threatens children everywhere. 31 January 2009

The malaria test cardMalaria diagnostic test on a card gives hope for developing countries
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a prototype malaria test printed on a disposable Mylar card the size of a credit card. The key to the test is not only miniaturised lab-on-a-chip technology, but also the use of sugar to keep the dried reagent viable for months without refrigeration. 26 January 2009

UK healthcare technology companies urged to tap into growing Middle East markets
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) are urging UK healthcare technology businesses to capitalise on demand in the fast growing Middle East market. 23 January 2009

Call for nanoscale food-additives to undergo new testing for safety
Nanotechnology policy experts in the US are urging that food additives that contain nanoscale materials be subject to new safety testing to ensure that their use does not pose unintended risks. 12 January 2009

Alfred P Sloan Foundation funds studies on societal issues of synthetic biology
The Alfred P Sloan Foundation has launched a new initiative to study the societal issues associated with synthetic biology — a rapidly developing scientific field where researchers are constructing novel organisms from the building blocks of DNA. 12 January 2009

World hunger crisis spiralling out of control
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has urged countries to step up and urgently allocate funds for the world's poor. Warehouses will run out of food by March —  for school children alone it needs to feed 59 million children. 9 January 2009

Hospitals pump $18bn into New Jersey economy
Hospitals in New Jersey hospitals are a key economic engine for the US state, providing more than 113,000 full-time jobs, $7 billion in employee salaries and more than $18 billion in total spending, according to the New Jersey Hospitals 2008 Economic Impact Report. 9 January 2009

UK NanoKTN supports EC's €1.8bn investment in ICT research
The UK Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) has announced its support for the €1.8bn that has been made available for research projects by the European Commission, through their Information Communications Technology (ICT) fund. 9 January 2009

Cheap reliable diagnosis for tuberculosis urgently needed
TB kills 2 million a year in developing countries and the threat of TB outbreaks even in Europe and North America costs these countries hundreds of millions of Euros to control every year. Yet the immediate, solvable challenge in TB is simply to diagnose the disease quickly and simply with robust, fully-tested kits. 8 January 2008

Economic stress and healthcare costs causing ill health in US
A survey by AARP, the US membership organisation for the over 50s, has found that the economic recession is affecting people's health and that difficulties in paying for healthcare are adding to the problem. 6 January 2009

EU legislation threatens use of MRI scanners
Urgent action and public pressure is still required to stop the European Union adopting legislation which will restrict the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners throughout Europe, according to the UK's Institute of Physics. 22 December 2008

German hospital finance reform improves access to medical technologies
The German parliament has paved the way for the use of more innovative medical technologies with the passing of the Hospital Financing Reform Act. 19 December 2008

Canadian Supreme Court upholds selection patents
The Canadian Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to uphold selection patents earlier this month helps keep the biotechnology sector competitive as it seeks international investment during these difficult economic times, says BIOTECanada, an intervener in the case. 20 November 2008

UK Royal Commission calls for more safety measures for nanotechnology materials
A new report by the UK's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) says that there is an urgent need for more testing, extending existing governance arrangements and creating new arrangements to control the development of nanomaterials. 12 November 2008

Healthy bones program reduces hip fractures by 37%
Proactive measures can reduce hip fracture rates by an average of 37.2% — and as much as 50% — among those at risk, according to a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Southern California. 10 November 2008

People with chronic diseases are often unaware of their health status
A screening of 65,000 people across the US showed that many people, despite knowing that they have a chronic disease, such as diabetes or asthma, may not understand the extent or seriousness of their health problems. 5 November 2008

Médecins Sans Frontières prevented from treating refugees in Italy
Médecins Sans Frontières medical teams have been forced to stop providing medical care to refugees at the harbour of the Italian island of Lampedusa after the Italian Interior Ministry refused to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding. 1 Nov 2008

Gates Foundation invests in 104 unconventional approaches to solving global health problems
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded 104 grants to explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve global health. The grants of US$100,000 each, announced in Bangkok this week, will be made to scientists from 22 countries and five continents. They mark the first round of funding from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help lower the barriers for testing innovative ideas in global health. 24 October 2008

International effort to study role of body microbes in human health and disease
Scientists from around the globe have formed the International Human Microbiome Consortium (IHMC), which will co-ordinate research to characterize the relationship of the human microbiome in the maintenance of health and in disease. 23 October 2008

An example simulation using the modelPandemic flu models help determine food distribution and school closing strategies
The 1918 flu pandemic killed more than 40 million people worldwide and affected persons of all age groups. While it is difficult to predict when the next influenza pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed models to help organisations such as emergency services and education authorities prepare emergency response plans. 16 October 2008

A third of diseases in developing countries are potentially treatable by surgery
Researchers from Columbia and Cornell Universities (NY) have been studying whether patients in poor countries suffering from certain medical conditions could benefit from surgical treatment. The results of the study could potentially lead to the implementation of surgical infrastructure in countries where none currently exists. 16 October 2008

Gifu Castle JapanInternational Diabetes Federation launches diabetes awareness campaign
The International Diabetes Federation is calling on groups and individuals worldwide to get involved in activities to raise awareness of diabetes leading up to World Diabetes Day on November 14. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Diabetes in Children and Adolescents.” 29 September 2008

UK technology board invests £15m in medical device and telecare R&D
The UK Technology Strategy Board has awarded grants of £5 million for nine projects to research and develop telecare products and a further £10 million for 22 projects developing new medical devices. The projects will bring together the best UK expertise from industry, the health and care professions and universities. 23 September 2008

War against malaria in the tropics failed partly due to poor advice
The war against malaria in tropical countries was fought and lost in the 20th Century on the basis of faulty intelligence, a ‘dodgy dossier’ which argued that the same methods used to tackle the disease in temperate countries would also work in the tropics. 18 September 2008

UK medical technology industry body announces new chief executive
The Executive of the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) has announced the appointment of Peter Ellingworth as its new Chief Executive. He replaces John Wilkinson, who left to take over as Director General of EUCOMED earlier this year. 11 September

Call to make sudden cardiac arrest a national health priority in USA
The US National Medical Association (NMA) has called for changes in the prevention and treatment paradigm for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It has released a white paper that outlines directives for elevating SCA to a national health priority and bringing it to the forefront of the policy discussion. 13 August 2008

Sony supports Operation Smile
Sony Electronics is helping the worldwide children's medical charity Operation Smile as part of a promotion for a new camera range. 13 August 2008

American diabetics fight for right to continuous blood glucose monitors
A group of American diabetics has launched a campaign to get insurance companies to allow claims for continuous glucose monitoring systems. 3 August 2008

Scottish study shows smoking ban reduces hospital admissions for heart attacks
NHS Health Scotland, the national health improvement agency, has found a 17% fall in admissions for heart attacks just one year after a national smoking ban came into force. 31 July 2008

Benefits of minimally invasive technology debated at UK parliamentary meeting
A cross section of members of parliament, clinicians and patient groups came together in London last week to debate the benefits of minimally invasive technology (MIT) at a parliamentary reception. 22 July 2008

Global action against neglected tropical diseases
The WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases (STAG-NTD) has released a report of its recommendations to the World Health Organization (WHO) on action to take over neglected tropical diseases resulting from its meeting in April. 16 July 2008

IHA to assess value of medical devices and improve use
The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) of California has been awarded a $1.3m grant to implement statewide collection of comparative data, evaluate purchasing and payment systems, and develop a new episode-based payment method for medical device purchasing. 6 June 2008

Lung cancer in Europe not prioritised despite poor survival rates
The fragmented organisation and management of lung cancer diagnosis and care in many European countries are exacerbating already poor survival rates amongst patients with the disease, according to a report from a group of leading Swedish researchers. 6 June 2008

International Diabetes Federation to set up global framework for diabetes education
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) will begin designating centres of education globally to improve clinical outcomes, care and knowledge of healthcare providers and people with diabetes. IDF is calling for applications from institutions and member organisations that have a recognised reputation in health professional education. 6 June 2008

UK Health Protection Agency to study health effects of MRI scanners
The UK Health Protection Agency has announced its intention to study the potential harmful effects on patients and medical staff of the high magnetic fields generated by magnetic resonance imaging machines.22 May 2008

Call for European action to combat heart disease
A Call for Action encouraging European countries to develop national strategies to combat 4.3 million deaths and economic loss of 192 billion annually from heart disease has been issued by the Joint European Societies on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. 29 April 2008

Workshops on FDA medical device inspections outside US
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding two workshops in Europe to help medical device companies prepare for an FDA inspection. 11 April 2008

Clinical trials have major deficiencies in design and funding
There are major shortcomings in the way clinical trials are designed, carried out and funded in the US. These include the exclusion or under-representation of women, older people and minorities and insufficient training in disparities for members of institutional review boards. 7 April 2008

Dutch molecular medicine institute allocates 150m for disease research
The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM) in Eindhoven has awarded 150 million of funding for nine research projects directed at the most prevalent diseases in the cardiovascular area, cancer and neurodegeneration.

Better primary care for elderly could reduce hospitalisation by 50%
An efficient response from primary care would reduce hospitalisation of people over 60 by more than 50%, for cases caused by the most common illnesses in the older population, according to a study by researchers at the University of Granada. 31 March 2008

Global pledge to avert 388 million deaths from chronic diseases
A group of leading international health experts and activists, the Oxford Health Alliance, has launched a call to action to confront the global explosion of chronic diseases which will claim 388 million lives in the next decade. 10 March 2008

US representatives call for more funding for prostate cancer research
Prostate cancer has become more common than breast cancer, yet advanced diagnostic imaging technologies comparable to mammograms remain unavailable. Over 20 US representatives have urged the US Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health to urgently fund research into the disease. 18 February 2008

European Commission sponsors study on regulating nanotechnology in the EU and US
The EC has awarded US$587,000 to a group of US and UK institutes, headed by the London School of Economics and Political Science, to compare nanotechnology regulation in the EU and US and assist a unified approach to regulation. 18 February 2008

US offers industry voluntary submission of nanotechnology hazards
Industry, non-governmental organizations and other groups in the US can voluntarily submit safety data on engineered nanoscale materials under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan for the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 1 February

UK strategy to improve cancer services
The UK government has published a five-year cancer strategy focussing on prevention and improving services. The report identifies the need to tackle the serious shortage of radiotherapy capacity and radiographers, delays in uptake of new cancer drugs and the need to encourage the spread of improved surgical techniques. 15 January 2007

Harvard's top 10 health stories of 2007
Drug safety, genome science and sleep are among the top ten health issues of 2007 chosen by the editors of Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Letter. 17 December

Public safety at risk from FDA's lack of resources to keep up with scientific advances
A new report on the state of the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) says that the safety of the nation is at risk from the inability of the Agency to keep up with advances across a wide range of scientific fields. 17 December

World Bank report says TB control would lead to massive economic gain for poor countries
A World Bank study has found that 22 countries with the world’s highest numbers of TB cases could earn significantly more than they spend on TB diagnosis and treatment if they implemented a global plan to sharply reduce the numbers of TB-related deaths. Highly affected African countries could gain up to 9 times their investments in TB control. 12 December

Ineffective action in controlling TB causing 1.6 million deaths each year
TB is treatable, but inadequate action by governments worldwide is leading to escalating cases of drug-resistance, of which only 2% are treated. TB is an avoidable human tragedy of 9 million infected people and 1.6 million deaths each year. 12 December

Berlin future fund grants €16m to medical engineering projects
The Technologiestiftung Berlin (TSB) has granted €2.2m to develop a new marker for use in diagnosing strokes. It is the eighth medical engineering project supported by the Fund and brings the total granted in this area to €16m. 6 December

The London Eye lit up for World Diabetes DayDiabetes communities unite to celebrate World Diabetes Day November 14
Diabetes currently affects 246 million people globally. For all of them and the many millions more at risk, November 14, 2007 is a highly significant date as it marks the first United Nations-observed World Diabetes Day. 13 November

Reducing the environmental impact of medical technology at Siemens
Siemens Medical Solutions systematically improves the impact of its products and systems on people and the environment. As a result, new computed tomography systems consume 30% less energy, contain 80% less lead and generate up to 58% less radiation than previous systems. 22 October

World ill-prepared to cope with catastrophic impact of flu pandemic
The impact of a flu pandemic is likely to exceed what most corporate and governmental leaders have imagined, or are prepared for, according to a new report. A long-lasting pandemic is not only likely to happen, but overdue. 9 October

Up to 98% of hepatitis C in Europe goes undiagnosed
A report released today by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) highlights the significant inconsistencies that exist in hepatitis C (HCV) diagnosis and treatment across Europe and beyond. In recognition of World Hepatitis Awareness Day, patient groups around the globe are united in their call for action. 1 October 2007

European Directive on radiation exposure will ban MRI scans
European Directive aimed at minimising exposure to radiation will prevent the use of MRI scanners, according to Professor Dag Rune Olsen of the the Norwegian Radiation Hospital, Oslo. 27 September

1.5 million unnecessary child deaths from diarrhoea 
Diarrhoea is still one of the most common reasons for the high child mortality rates in many low and middle-income countries despite two decades of global efforts to control it. One fifth of all the deaths amongst children under the age of five that are reported every year are caused by serious diarrhoea. 17 September

US FDA lacks resources to regulate nanotechnology
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report recommending action to address the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. But according to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies the agency has been under-resourced for decades and there is a lack of risk-research data on nanotechnology for the agency to be able to carry out the recommendations. 21 August 2007

US environment agency criticised for lack of action on health risks of nanomaterials
The US Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program has been labelled "too little, too late" by Environmental Defense. 14 August 2007

Rapid action in the community can prevent deaths during pandemic
A study of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic has shown that early intervention to isolate infected people slowed down the spread of the disease and saved lives, according to a new study based on public records from the time. 9 August

WHO launches US$2.15 billion plan to contain extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership have called for urgent investment worldwide to boost the ability to contain the threat of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis  (XDRTB). They have launched an action plan to help prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of the disease and save up to 134 000 lives. 3 July 2007

UK businesses unprepared for severe disruption from flu pandemic
Most companies in the UK have inadequate plans to protect their businesses in the event of loss of staff during a flu pandemic even though most recognise they will suffer significant financial loss, according to a recent survey. 18 June 2007

GE Healthcare donates used medical equipment to International Aid for use in developing countries
GE Healthcare has formed a partnership with International Aid to supply a range of used medical equipment and training of staff.  International Aid will refurbish and distribute the products overseas and will also provide education and product support. 14 June

Growing Alzheimer’s epidemic could cripple healthcare
The rapidly increasing number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease could cripple healthcare services in the next few decades. In 2006, 26.6m people were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide and could rise to 100m by 2050. 11 June 2007

Call for mass screening in Europe to prevent 200,000 deaths from colon cancer
Leading European scientists, physicians and politicians have called for national action plans across Europe to screen for colon cancer and prevent the 200,000 unnecessary deaths each year. Virtually all colon and rectal cancers can be either prevented or cured, yet little effective action has been taken since screening was recommended in 2003. 19 May 2007 Español  Francais

The effects of climate change on health in the UK
The UK Department of Health and Health Protection Agency have published an updated report on the Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK. The Department is asking for comments up to mid June, before final publication. 13 May 2007

Report on developing radiotherapy services in England
The report says there is still a need to increase services to meet current and future demand, there should be greater choice and there is a need for more community-based services. 17 May 2007

Call for international action on biggest epidemic in human history — diabetes
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is calling for urgent action to counter the diabetes pandemic, which is threatening to overwhelm global healthcare services. There are 246 million people with diabetes now and 4 million die from it every year. It is likely to bankrupt national economies. 4 May 2007 Español Francais Deutsch

Groundbreaking study shows hospital investment in IT does reduce costs
A two-year long study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Wharton School of Business of the use of information technology in US hospitals provides the strongest evidence that the investment does pay for itself, but it has to be comprehensive and given enough time to work. 3 April 2007

Lack of transparency in healthcare raises costs and prevents innovation
A new study from the US National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) has found that the lack of real competition for patients has a profound effect on the cost and quality of healthcare. It also found legal, regulatory and cultural barriers barriers to competition, innovation and transparency. 28 March 2007

Sweden donates US$42m to GAVI Alliance for child immunisation in poorest countries
The SEK 300 million (US $42 million) donation from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) reflects the country's long-term commitment to global health and poverty eradication goals. 14 February 2007 Deutsch Español Francais

Healthcare products should be chosen for quality not price, say German hospital directors
German medical technology companies and sickness funds agreed that competing on product quality is better than a price-based economy in the BVMed's January conference on German health reforms. 7 Feb 2007

Call for masterplan for German health economy
A cross-party "Masterplan for the health economy" is needed in Germany, with innovative medical technologies playing a key role, according to BVMed. 7 Feb 2007

Global public health network funded by $20 Million Gates Foundation grant
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a five-year grant of nearly $20 million to Emory University and  Finland's National Public Health Institute, KTL (Kansanterveyslaitos) to support the International Association of National Public Health Institutes
(IANPHI). 18 Jan 2006

Adoption of new technology needs to be evidence-based to reduce health care costs
Advances in medical technology are a main factor driving the trend of increasing health care costs. Including evidence-based decision-making in the healthcare coverage process would ensure that use of new therapy and technology is tied to evidence of clinical benefit. 11 Jan 2006

Nanotechnology safety in workplace neglected
Little is known about the potential risks of nanotechnology even though there are more than 400 products on the market. A strategic plan and more resources for risk research are needed now in order to ensure safe nano-workplaces. 9 Jan 2007

Indian in vitro diagnostics market surpasses $250 Million in 2006
A new study from Kalorama Information, Clinical Diagnostics in India, estimates in vitro diagnostics (IVD) revenues topped $250 million in 2006 and will show double-digit growth rates over the next three years. 4 Jan 2007

Financing sustainable healthcare in Europe: how to get value for money
Leading healthcare, policy and finance experts have developed a range of recommendations to improve healthcare quality and financing in Europe. 18 December 2006 Español Francais Deutsch

Point-of-care diagnostics market to surpass $16bn worldwide by 2010.
The demand for reduced costs and decentralized diagnostic testing in the US is driving the market, according to research from Kalorama Information. 18 December 2006

Medtech companies need risk intelligence to survive and thrive
Medtech companies face demands from many quarters, including business, government, legal and medical. To manage all these needs, companies need risk intelligence, according to a new white paper from Deloitte & Touche LLP. 18 December 2006

Pre-hospital care in Lund, Sweden doubles survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest. 8 Dec 2006 Francais Deutsch Español

Top US health industry trends of 2007
Pressure on pricing amid demand for transparency will force pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health plans to rethink their strategies. This is one of the top issues identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute in a new report. 8 Dec 2006

Advance Nanotech joins EC's FLUTEST avian flu project
Advance Nanotech joins a consortium of elite government labs in Europe, South Africa, and the USA to develop, evaluate and validate diagnostic tools to aid in the early detection of avian influenza. 7 Dec 2006

Falls become leading cause of injury deaths for over-65s
Fall-related death rates for men and women 65 years and older increased significantly from 1993 to 2003 in the USA, according to a report from CDC. In 2000, the direct medical costs for falls among older adults were approximately $19 billion.

World Diabetes Day — 14 November
In almost every country of the world, diabetes is on the rise. The current number of people with diabetes stands at over 230 million. The disease is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack and stroke. It is one of the most significant causes of death, responsible for a similar number of deaths each year as HIV/AIDS. 14 Nov 2006 Español Deutsch Francais

UK to move minor operations and tests out of hospitals into GP practices
As part of a major UK policy change designed to cut hospital stays and reduce costs in the NHS, the UK will conduct a nationwide wave of demonstration projects that could pave the way for the NHS to carry out millions more operations and tests at the doctor's surgery instead of in hospitals. 31 October 2006

FDA will be overstretched by need to monitor medical nanotechnology
Developments in medical nanotechnology are advancing at such a rate that the US regulatory body, the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to be able to cope with the requirements to monitor them, according to a new report. 12 Oct 2006

Pro-active approach to introducing medical innovations needed — BVMed innovation forum. 15 Sept 2006

Cover picture of UNESCO report The Ethics and Politics of NanotechnologyThe ethics and politics of nanotechnology
UNESCO has published a report that assesses the ethical, legal and political aspects of nanotechnology. It outlines what the science of nanotechnology is, and presents some of the issues facing the international community in the near future. 8 August 2006

Global harmonization of regulations for medical devices
The 10th annual Global Harmonization Task Force1 (GHTF) Conference was held last month in Germany to discuss "Design for Patient Safety in a Global Regulatory Model". 27 July 2006 Deutsch

First electronic record products certified for use in USA
The first round of ambulatory electronic healthcare record products (EHRs) have been certified by the US Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT). This removes a significant barrier to widespread adoption of electronic health records in the USA. 25 July 2006

Disparity in efficiency of healthcare financing in western countries
A new research paper from Siemens Financial Services, entitled Healthcare Affordability — The Global Challenge highlights the need for efficient use of capital in Western world healthcare systems. 13 July 2006

Media relations increasingly important to medical device companies
An online survey of 90 companies carried out by BVMed found that the sector needs to make better use of the media and manage their communications more effectively. 8 June 2006

Successful medical device companies use CRM and KM
A new strategy review from HBS Consulting concludes that poor information and cumbersome processes can seriously hamper the sales and service operations of medical device companies. Success is achieved by effective use of customer relationship and knowledge management systems. 7 June 2006

Tom Cruise Ultrasound Bill should ban keep-sake scans, says ACR
The American College of Radiology (ACR) has applauded the California Assembly for passing the "Tom Cruise law," which would prohibit the sale of diagnostic ultrasound equipment to anyone but appropriately licensed health care providers. It also urges the California Senate to include the prohibition of sale to foetal keepsake studios. 25 May 2006

Millions squandered in unnecessary medical tests
A study of preventive health screening measures such as ECGs, X-rays and laboratory tests has shown that unnecessary tests are costing the U.S. health care system millions — and potentially billions— of dollars per year. 25 May 2006

Legal simplification for medical devices in Germany and the EU
The German parliament will amend the restrictive Medical Devices Act and the simplification strategy of the EU Commissioner aims to cut legal red tape for medical devices. 18 May 2006

Uptake of doctors’ ideas is an important factor for success in medical technology.
The importance of proper use of doctors’ ideas for new medical technologies and procedures was made clear at the BVMed special conference in Munich. 18 May 2006

German law hinders use of medical devices
German medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers have demanded a clarification of the legal conditions for the adoption of medical technical aids into the medical technical aids register. 11 May 2006

Industry and government leaders to analyse EU medical device regulations
Top-level European government and industry leaders will meet to dissect European policy on health product innovation at a regulatory affairs conference in Portugal in June. 6 May 2006

Improvements in patient-safety depend on culture change
A new study of six innovative patient-safety programs found that building a safety culture into healthcare organisations required both revamped clinical practices and “social engineering" to bring about cultural change. 20 April 2006

New Georgia Tech research institute in Ireland to focus on medical devices and RFID
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) will establish its first research enterprise outside the USA in Athlone, Ireland to focus on research and development needs of industry. It plans to build up a portfolio of research programs and collaborations with industry valued in excess of $24 million. 26 March 2006

Anton J. Schmidt re-elected chairman of BVMed board
Anton J. Schmidt, executive chairman of Ethicon GmbH, was re-elected as BVMed chairman of the board at the German Medical Technology Association’s annual general meeting in Berlin. He has headed the association since March 2004. 24 March 2006

EU should invest more in medical technology to benefit economies
EU Member States should invest more in innovative medical technology and diagnostics, as this will increase efficiency in healthcare and reduce the burden on society of disease and disability, according to Eucomed and EDMA. 24 March 2006

First HIV/AIDS medical centre for children opened in Swaziland
Operated by Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, in partnership with the government, it is funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb's Secure the Future philanthropic initiative. It is the third such centre built under the initiative. 3 March 2006

Swedish association of medical device suppliers changes name to Swedish Medtech. 2 March 2006

Setting targets improves NHS performance in England but can cause problems
The star rating system for English NHS trusts seems to have improved performance, but systems need to be put in place to minimise gaming and ensure targets are not causing problems elsewhere, according to an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). 24 February 2006

Circulatory support system gains German approval for reimbursement
The governmental authority for healthcare charge reimbursement in Germany (InEK) has granted the highest approval level available for Abiomed's Impella Recover devices. 7 February 2006

German government initiatives to boost use of IT in healthcare
Expenditure on healthcare IT in Germany represents a paltry 0.5% of total healthcare outlays — an extremely low proportion compared to other developed countries. However, the pursuit of a more integrated healthcare IT policy, government initiatives and new reimbursement structures are set to boost demand for healthcare IT in Germany. 5 February 2006

Technology adoption easier for German hospitals
The processes for the introduction of medical technology innovations in the German hospital flat-rate reimbursement (DRG) system have been significantly improved and accelerated. 1 February 2006

European doctors embracing Internet technology and mobile devices
A survey of European doctors has found over 80% use the Internet and electronic records, and two thirds use handheld mobile devices. 30 January 2006

New website for global health data
GlobalHealthFacts.org is a new and freely accessible website with the latest country and region-specific data on high-profile diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other key health indicators. 17 January 2006

Une nouvelle ressource accessible sur le Net facilite l'accès aux données mondiales de santé. 17 janvier 2006

Health technology assessment in Europe
The World Health Organization has produced a policy brief on: Health technology assessment: an introduction to objectives, role of evidence, and structure in Europe. 15 January 2006

European e-health initiatives boost virtual private networks
The European healthcare segment offers exciting growth potential for information and communication technologies (ICT) service providers and equipment vendors. Uptake will particularly impact areas such as patient data, security, telemedicine technologies and hospital administration. 15 January 2006

Document: Medical Technology in Germany — Opportunities and Risks through Technological Innovation Repercussions of and for the National Health System, as well as Potential Growth Markets Abroad.
Research project on behalf of the Ministry of Economics and Labour. Berlin, August 2005. Download Summary (191K PDF) in English.
German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology publication page.

Rise in number of older people living independently in UK
More older people are getting the help they need to live independently, according to a report published by the UK Health and Social Care Information Centre. 8 January 2006

Broadband for elderly and disabled could generate billions for economy and cut care costs
A report by the US New Millennium Research Council shows that accelerated broadband deployment to older Americans and people with disabilities could deliver hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy in potential health care savings and other major benefits. 21 December 2005

Europe needs major investment in medical applications of nanotechnology
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has called for a clear strategy and investment plan to ensure Europe does not miss out on the benefits of nanomedicine. 18 December 2005

More resources needed to study dangers of nanotechnology
A new inventory of research into the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology shows the need for more resources, for a coherent risk-related research strategy, and for more collaboration. 18 December 2005

Patient-centric strategy crucial for EU Healthcare
Health First Europe (HFE) outlined a series of recommendations to contribute to a debate on the challenges and the future of healthcare in the EU at the annual Open Health Forum held by the European Commission. 15 November 2005

Health systems worldwide unsustainable, says PwC
Faced with rapidly rising costs, diminished resources and growing demands, health systems around the world are under siege and many will be unsustainable within 15 years unless fundamental change occurs, according to a survey of 700 health leaders by PricewaterhouseCoopers. 15 November 2005

Medical technology has vital role in preventing flu pandemic
A wide range of medical technology products, ranging from masks to pulse oximeters, will play a vital role in dealing with any flu pandemic, according to industry association AdvaMed. 11 November 2005

Strong patient support for new medical technologies in doctor's surgery
A survey by Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll shows that the vast majority of US adults are in favour of new technologies in doctors' practices and many believe they will reduce the costs or improve the quality of medical care. 3 November 2005

US may lose lead in biomedical robots
he United States' lead in research on robots for use in biology and medicine could change in the next few years, according to a report on robotics research and development in the United States, Japan, Korea and Western Europe. 11 October 2005

eHealth requires harmonisation across Europe
Insurmountable hurdles to harmonisation of healthcare in Europe are being created as a result of incompatible electronic systems being introduced in EU member countries. 8 October 2005

Health illiteracy costs Europe millions
Improving health literacy is the key to improving overall health and to reducing healthcare budgets in Europe, according to a panel of experts meeting at the European Health Forum Gastein, Austria. 8 October 2005

EC consultation on restrictions of hazardous substances in electrical equipment
The EC is inviting interested parties to submit comments on the new legislation controlling use of toxic substances in electrical equipment, which is due to come into force next year. 12 September 2005

UK government hinders uptake of vital medical technologies
Only a few months after a UK parliamentary report highlighted the need to make better use of medical technologies to improve healthcare, the government is scrapping the committee that assesses these technologies for use in the National Health Service. 3 September 2005

US FDA issues White Paper on automatic identification of medical devices
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a White Paper giving a general overview of some of the most prevalent technologies for automatic identification of medical devices. 31 August 2005

Public consultation for the proposed revision to the European Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EEC. 15 May 2005

AHA expresses concern over satellite interference with medical devices. April 2005

European Commission launches public consultation on RFID data-protection issues. February 2005

Health plans attempt to rein in radiology costs
While prescription cost increases have moderated, radiology costs grow almost 20% a year, according to new research from HealthLeaders-InterStudy. February 2005

US Medicaid cuts will hurt most-vulnerable citizens
The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania said that the proposed $60 billion in Medicaid reductions over ten years shifts the burden of deficit reduction to the most vulnerable citizens. February 2005

American Diabetes Association disappointed with Bush's budget cuts for chronic disease prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is slated for a 6.11% funding cut and areas within the CDC responsible for responding to the diabetes epidemic are slated for a 6.5% funding cut. There are currently 18.2 million Americans living with diabetes and more than 40 million with pre-diabetes. February 2005

President Bush lauded for support of medical liability reform
The Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Healthcare (CARH) applauded President Bush's continued call for meaningful medical liability reform in his State of the Union Address. February 2005

Business Roundtable applauds President Bush's bold State of the Union agenda
Business Roundtable President John J Castellani hailed President Bush's State of the Union address, saying it promoted innovative, pro-growth approaches that will benefit all Americans. February 2005

New EU directive should simplify electronic device manufacturing in Europe. January 2005


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