A Diabetes Home Test Can Be a Waste of Time and Money
New York Times Upshot blog, March 11, 2019
The New York Times’s blog The Upshot featured the PCORI-funded Monitor Trial in a piece highlighting the study's finding that routine glucose monitoring may be unnecessary for people with type 2 diabetes who are not on insulin. The Upshot post is just the latest in a long line of media coverage and other outside attention for this study, which addresses an important question about care: How much does self-monitoring benefit this group of patients? Employee Benefit News covers the study (registration required) and The Incidental Economist features the Upshot piece as well.
App to Detect Diabetes by Smartphone Fingertip Scan
Medscape, March 15, 2019
Before monitoring becomes an issue, diagnosing diabetes presents its own challenges, starting with this fact: one-third of Americans with the disease don’t know they have it, Medscape reports. In a proof-of-concept study from the University of California San Francisco, researchers developed an algorithm that blends machine learning with smartphone-based photoplethysmography to detect diabetes. The team used data from the Health eHeart Alliance, which is partially funded by PCORI. (Registration required)
Patients As Consumers
Health Affairs, March 2019
A series of articles on patients as consumers appeared in the March 2019 issue of Health Affairs. The theme issue, sponsored by PCORI, featured an article by several PCORI staff and committee members on how engagement—the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, insurers, and others across the healthcare community in every aspect of the research process—is helping ensure that research is better aligned with patient and clinician needs.
PCORI-funded researchers wrote articles on a wide range of issues, including research to help people make decisions on Medicare Part D plans, technology-enabled consumer engagement, community-based mental healthcare research for racial and ethnic minorities, and understanding information valued by research participants.
Nasal Spray Drug Related to Ketamine Approved by FDA to Treat Depression
NBC News, March 6, 2019
The US Food and Drug Administration approved esketamine, a nasal spray that contains the active ingredient in the anesthetic ketamine, as a new treatment for severe depression. The drug “is the first major depression treatment to reach the U.S. market in decades,” NBC News reports. A PCORI-funded study at the Cleveland Clinic is comparing ketamine to electroconvulsive therapy to determine which works best for people with treatment-resistant depression.
Intervention Helps Prostate Cancer Patients Make Better Choices
MedPage Today, March 19, 2019
A PCORI-funded study that helps patients with prostate cancer examine the advantages and disadvantages of various treatments improved satisfaction with care. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania tested the effectiveness of a conjoint analysis intervention called PreProCare compared to usual care and identified preferred attributes of alternative prostate cancer treatments. Use of the tool “improved patient satisfaction with treatment and reduced regrets about those treatment decisions.”
Generic Weight-Loss Drug May Be Safe and Effective for Long-Term Treatment
HealthNewsDigest.com, March 22, 2019
Phentermine, a weight-loss drug approved for short-term use, “may be safe and effective for longer-term treatment,” according to this report about a PCORI-funded project called the Patient Outcomes Research to Advance Learning network and research done by Wake Forest Baptist Health. The study found that people who stayed on the drug longer lost more weight than those on the drug for three months or less, and longer use was not associated with higher blood pressure or increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.
Milk or No Milk? Study Fills Long‑Time Knowledge Gap on Babies with Genetic Disorder
HealthCanal, March 19, 2019
A rare genetic disorder called galactosemia severely impairs the body’s ability to process galactose, a milk sugar, and can cause a range of neurodevelopmental difficulties. For babies with a classic form of the disease, parents are advised to remove all milk from their diet, while parents of infants with a milder variant face a bewildering set of recommendations that range from no limits to an all-out milk ban. A study funded by PCORI shows that children with the milder form of the disorder, Duarte galactosemia, are at “no greater risk of long-term developmental abnormalities that their unaffected siblings, regardless of their exposure to milk as infants.”
Events Focus on Perinatal Mental, Physical Health
Illinois News Bureau, March 21, 2019
PCORI is funding events in Champaign, Illinois, that focus on women’s physical and mental health during and after pregnancy. They include the inaugural National Perinatal Depression Research Engagement Symposium. PCORI is cosponsoring the events with the Identifying Depression through Early Assessment Women’s Health Coalition, the University of Illinois School of Social Work, and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.