AASPA Newsline
Nov. 26, 2013

Technology and medicine: Applying Google Glass in the medical field
By Rosemary Sparacio
Every day, new strides in technology make headlines in all kinds of areas. Nowhere is it is more prevalent or exciting than in the medical field. And one of the most talked about new tech "gadgets" to come onto the scene and into the consciousness of just about everyone who follows the news is Google Glass. The last few months have seen story after story about Goggle Glass being used by physicians. But as far back as a year ago, when Pelu Tran, a third-year medical student at Stanford, and Ian Shakil, a consultant at a West Coast start-up, saw and tried out Google Glass, they realized that the implications in medicine alone would be compelling. So much so that they founded a startup exclusively to investigate the use of Glass for medicine.More

High costs cause healthcare access problems for Americans
EHR Intelligence
In a poll with few surprises, the latest Commonwealth Fund international survey crowns the United States with the dubious honor of being the most expensive country for healthcare. More Americans experience problems accessing basic healthcare due to the cost of services than residents of ten other countries including Canada, France, the U.K., and the Netherlands. Americans spend $8,508 per capita on healthcare when adjusted for differences in cost of living, compared to $5,669 for Norway, the next most expensive, and $3,182 in New Zealand, which is the cheapest. More

Study: Good fixation, but severe stress shielding after THA found at follow-up
Patients in this study showed good fixation and no revision hip arthroplasty surgeries at 10-year and 12-year follow-up, but researchers noted severe stress shielding in almost half of the cases. "Total hip arthroplasty using Synergy stems for 50 hips showed favorable results even at 10 [years] to 12 years after surgery, with follow-ups conducted in 94 percent of cases," Dr. Tomofumi Nishino and colleagues wrote in the study.More

Home Calculator may predict likelihood of home discharge after surgery
2 minute medicine
Before surgery, patients are instructed to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, all without knowing the exact risk of complications. This study’s authors derived and validated a Home Calculator that uses preoperative factors to predict the risk of a patient not going home after surgery. This tool can be utilized by surgeons in a variety of surgical specialties to help patients understand his or her individualized risk. More

2 were arrested with surgically altering fingerprints of illegal immigrants
A Dominican doctor and his assistant were arrested this past weekend in Peabody on federal charges of conspiring to surgically alter the identities of deported illegal immigrants via their fingerprints. The arrests stemmed from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston. More

Has robotic surgery caught up with thoracoscopic surgery?
Medscape (free subscription)
The number of robotic pulmonary resections appears to be increasing significantly, and robotic-assisted lung surgery may be an appropriate alternative to video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), according to an article published online Oct. 3...More

Surgeons describe new knee ligament
Medical News Today
At the Belgian University Hospitals Leuven, two knee surgeons have for the first time given a full anatomical description of a new ligament that they term the anterolateral ligament (ALL). The new ligament is thought to play an important role in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.More

UMN surgeons perform region's first 'breathing lung' transplant
University of Minnesota surgeons say they have performed the first lung transplant procedure in the Midwest using a new technology designed to better preserve lungs once they've been donated. The so-called "breathing lung" transplant was performed last week in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. A 51-year-old Minnesota man with emphysema underwent the double-lung procedure. The organs spent two hours in the experimental device while being transported from the donor's hospital. More

Study on injuries to the ureter during robotic prostatectomy
There may be warning signs to help surgeons avoid damaging part of the urinary system during robot-assisted surgical removal of prostate cancer, ultimately preventing the expense of additional surgery, according to researchers at Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute. Although rare, they found instances when the ureter — tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder — were cut and required repair. In each case, they identified patient characteristics that may forewarn such damage. The study was recently published in the Journal of Endourology.More

Research provides first rigorous comparison of 2 surgical approaches for severe heart valve disease
New research presented today at the 2013 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found no difference in outcomes at one-year between two recommended surgical options for treating ischemic mitral regurgitation (IMR) — repair of the leaky valve or its replacement with an artificial valve.More

Private website touted as interim alternative to HealthCare.gov
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Despite doubts from many, President Barack Obama remains confident that the technical glitches that overshadowed the launch of the federal health insurance exchange in October will be fixed by Nov. 30. Obama said while the site was getting better each week, supporters should remind their friends and family that HealthCare.gov isn't the only place consumers could enroll for insurance. He said enrollment could happen over the phone, in person and by mail. What Obama didn't mention was that there is also an alternative website where consumers could shop for plans. And it's gaining a lot of attention.More

Medical tourism: Overseas and under the knife
Men's Journal
For decades, Patrick Follett beat the hell out of his body, taking to the mountain-bike trails five times a week and skiing more than 100 days a year. By the time Follett turned 58 last year, his left hip joint was a ragged mess of flayed cartilage, forcing him to limp around his job as ski-lift supervisor at California's Snow Summit Mountain Resort and drop recreational skiing altogether. A surgeon told him he had sports-induced arthritis and would need a total hip replacement to get back to biking and skiing.More

Lung cancer surgery survival rates unchanged since 1950s
Medical Xpress
No treatment for lung cancer today gives us significantly better chances of survival than chest surgery from 60 years ago, according to a medical historian from The University of Manchester. Dr. Carsten Timmermann says survival figures following specialist chest surgery of 25 percent after five years, and 15 percent after ten years or longer, are only marginally better today than in the 1950s when the standard technique still used today first emerged.More