Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life-changing healthcare innovations feature at Made in Brunel 2013

05 Jun 2013

Image displaying the Made in Brunel innovation digit floss
Several young designers and engineers featured in this year’s Made in Brunel showcase have focused on providing healthcare solutions that can make a difference to people’s lives both in the UK and around the world.
Healthcare designs taking centre stage at the highly-acclaimed exhibition include Zen, a watch that can help relieve anxiety, Digit Floss, an innovative device to help clean between the fingers of stroke patients who are unable to unfold their hands, and a new inclusive Easy-Open Deodorant designed to enable independence in personal care.
The exhibition, which showcases the innovations of young designers from Brunel University’s School of Design and Engineering, opens at The Bargehouse on London's South Bank from Thursday 13 - Sunday 16 June 2013.
Zen is a wrist mounted device designed by Johnny Connors that, at the aesthetic level, works as a watch. However there are sensors on the product which detect the biological signs of the user to determine the level of anxiety they are experiencing. Once detected, the watch vibrates to alert the wearer and then displays options to help relieve the stress.
Hand contracture due to a stroke is a heavily underestimated condition with few effective offerings in maintaining hand hygiene and the condition is particularly prevalent among the older population. Young designer Fung Chan has developed Digit Floss, a device which intuitively enables safe hand washing without prying apart the fingers.  The product assist carers to perform their duties safely and efficiently and patients benefit from an improved experience to maintain personal hygiene.
Young designer Ben Clarke’s Otto is a rollator developed through research with many older people, designed to combat problems with current walking aids which lack design acumen, reducing their independence and inhibiting the quality of their lives. Otto’s unique Scandinavian inspired birch plywood construction is optimised to improve posture and provide unobtrusive aid around the home.
Inclusion and disability are also major themes of this year’s showcase. Lynette Smith’s project Easy-Open Deodorant looks at the stigma which is unfortunately still attached to many disability aids despite the growth of inclusive design. Initially, an assistive deodorant product for one person, the design was adapted for a wider variety of users, resulting in an inclusive product that is easier to use by all. The Easy-Open deodorant design enables independence in personal care, accommodating different grip and reach abilities, alongside convenience for fast paced lifestyles
Weixin Jin’s Innovative Spoon Design is a comprehensive and detailed investigation to develop a spoon to help adults who experience reduced muscle strength, poor spatial coordination and decreased motor skill. The design concept improves food serving accuracy and thus reduces the chance of food spillage. It is hoped that using this spoon will help the adult gain confidence and retain personal dignity.
This year’s show focuses on stories of the design and engineering students and how their own personalities and experiences have shaped their innovative products.
Many of the young designers and engineers are set to become industry names of the future and a number of the designs have been developed in collaboration and at the request of leading brands including Coca-Cola, Puma and Rolls-Royce.
Around 300 innovations are expected to catch the eye of consumers, producers and service providers. Previous Made in Brunel exhibitors have landed top jobs at the likes of Jaguar Cars, Porsche Design, Dyson, Burberry and
The three day exhibition will include workshops, design forums and talks from leading figures in the design and engineering industry.
For more information about Made in Brunel 2013 please go to the Made in Brunel website or you can follow the show on Twitter: @madeinbrunel13.

South Florida Medicare patients score top in nation for some diseases

Senior Reporter-South Florida Business Journal
Medicare beneficiaries in South Florida are among the most chronic disease-plagued in the nation, especially in Miami-Dade County, according to the federal government.
New data from the Department of Health and Human Services separated out chronic disease diagnoses among Medicare recipients by county, including the percentage of beneficiaries in each county with each disease. The data from 2011 showed that life isn't always sunny in the Sunshine state, at least from a hospital bed.
For Medicare beneficiaries in Miami-Dade, compared to the national average, they were:
  • 95 percent more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, second worst in the entire nation and worst among metro areas.
  • 91 percent more likely to have osteoporosis, second worst among metro areas.
  • 85 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression, worst in the entire nation.
  • 64 percent more likely to have ischemic heart disease, worst among metro areas and seventh worst in the entire nation.
  • 62 percent more likely to get arthritis, fifth worst among metro areas.
  • 60 percent more likely to have asthma, second worst among metro areas.
  • 53 percent more likely to contract chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, worst among metro areas.
  • 49 percent more likely to have a stroke, second worst among metro areas.
  • 39 percent more likely to get diabetes, third worst among metro areas.
  • 20 percent more likely to get a heart attack, second worst among metro areas.
  • 20 percent more likely to have hypertension, worst among metro areas.
So much for the image of Miami as a happy, healthy retirement playground. It sounds more like a sick ward.
It seems strange that Miami-Dade Medicare beneficiaries lead the nation in depression, but Broward and Palm Beach counties are slightly above average. Could there be a swoon of depression when seniors cross the county lines south? I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Florida leads the nation in fraudulent mental health billing to Medicare.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t problems in the neighboring counties. In Broward, Medicare beneficiaries compared to the national average were:
  • 50 percent more likely to have osteoporosis.
  • 34 percent more likely to have ischemic heart disease, 10th worst among metro areas.
  • 28 percent more likely to have chronic kidney disease, seventh worst among metro areas.
  • 27 percent more likely to get breast cancer.
  • 27 percent more likely to get prostate cancer.
  • 26 percent more likely to have a stroke.
  • 24 percent more likely to have Alzheimer’s and related disorders.
  • 22 percent more likely to get colorectal cancer.
  • 21 percent more likely to get lung cancer.
  • 21 percent more likely to have atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm).
  • 20 percent more likely to have high cholesterol.
Palm Beach County is well known for its luxury senior centers, but it’s not so healthy either, especially when it comes to cancer cases. Compared to the national average, its Medicare beneficiaries were:
  • 77 percent more likely to have osteoporosis, fourth worst among metro areas.
  • 61 percent more likely to get breast cancer, worst among metro areas.
  • 55 percent more likely to have atrial fibrillation., worst among metro areas.
  • 52 percent more likely to have ischemic heart disease, third worst among metro areas.
  • 46 percent more likely to get lung cancer, second worst among metro areas.
  • 40 percent more likely to get prostate cancer, sixth worst among metro areas.
  • 36 percent more likely to have high cholesterol, fourth worst among metro areas.
  • 25 percent more likely to have arthritis, seventh worst among metro areas.
  • 22 percent more likely to have a stroke.
However, Palm Beach Medicare beneficiaries had fewer heart attacks and less chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than the national average.
There are a couple of findings throughout Florida that also were sadly surprising. Lake County Medicare beneficiaries had the greatest percentage of high cholesterol in the nation (53 percent above average), with Marion County third and Charlotte County fourth. What are seniors eating over there?
Florida was the second worst state, after Delaware, for the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with high cholesterol.
Florida was the worst state for Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer, at 35 percent above the national average. Collier County was worst in the nation at a startling 108 percent above average.
Florida was the worst state for ischemic heart disease in Medicare beneficiaries, at 29 percent above the national average. It was also the worst state for arthritis, at 15 percent above average.
Despite Florida’s reputation as a clear air state, it was second worst for lung cancer cases among Medicare beneficiaries at 23 percent above the national average. Only Kentucky had more.
Orange County had the highest percentage of chronic kidney disease for Medicare recipients among metro areas, 32 percent higher than the national average. Florida was the second-worst state, behind Georgia.
Florida was also second worst (behind Hawaii) for osteoporosis, at 33 percent above average. So many seniors may be too brittle to hit the tennis courts.
I guess the only silver lining here is that at least there will be plenty of demand for jobs in Florida's health care sector.
Brian Bandell covers banking, finance, health care and education. Get the latest banking industry news here.

Four Americans charged with healthcare fraud

Four Indian Americans are among 89 people charged with healthcare fraud running into about $233 million in false billing after a nationwide strike in eight cities, according to federal authorities.
All the Indian Americans charged are from the Chicago area.
Ankur Roy, Akash Patel, and Dipen Desai, have been charged with six counts of health care fraud each in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury last Wednesday and unsealed Tuesday.
The three, who owned and operated Selectcare Health Inc, which provided outpatient physical and respiratory therapy in Park Ridge and Skokie, were charged with submitting more than $4 million in false billings to Medicare between March and July 2011.
Roy, 36, of Miami was arrested Tuesday in south Florida, while Patel, 33, of Morton Grove, and Desai, 33, of Chicago, will be ordered to appear for arraignment on a later date in US District Court in Chicago.
According to the indictment, the three allegedly submitted $4,009,094 in false billings for services that were purportedly provided between April 2010 and April 2011, resulting in payments totalling approximately $2,214,424 from Medicare and $320,881 from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $2,535,305 in alleged fraud proceeds, including $446,974 in funds withdrawn by cashiers' cheques that were seized by the FBI in July 2012.
In a second case Dr. Nalini Ahluwalia, 58, was charged with one count of violating the anti-kickback law for allegedly receiving $1,000 in exchange for referring two patients to a home health care agency in Aug 2012.
The charges demonstrate that "we will not tolerate medical professionals and providers who abuse our healthcare system," said Gary S. Shapiro, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
--Indo-Asian News Service