HEALTH

Allarae, Lobeck initiate joint venture

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS Allarae Health Care, a Dallas-based medical technology company, and Lobeck Medical, a Swiss-based home-test kit manufacturer, earlier this month agreed upon a joint venture that is expected to showcase telemedicine-friendly products in the U.S. as early as this fall.

Lobeck Medical fields several products from blood glucose meters to diagnostic test kits for pregnancy, ovulation, female menopause and colon cancer.

Together the two companies will launch several new products in the field of early cancer detection such as breast cancer monitoring, strep throat detection, prostate PSA and flu virus screening. FDA and CE approval has already been obtained for several tests which are ready for immediate global sale under the worldwide brand name “MediSmart of Switzerland,” the companies stated.

Under the main provisions of the new agreement, Allarae will make available a comprehensive software system for test result tracking and monitoring under the “MediSmart of Switzerland” brand. The software will integrate all the test kits and blood glucose meters manufactured by Lobeck into a central data vault and tracking network, thereby creating a unique, first-to-market international offering, the companies stated. These new products, among others, will be presented at the worlds leading medical trade fair MEDICA in November 2008 in Dusseldorf/Germany, which is expected to be a coming out party, of sorts, for consumer-friendly telemedicine solutions.

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Study says children can get key vitamins, nutrients from cereals

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition has released a report that said a significant number of American children and adolescents do not receive adequate amounts of calcium and another report cited that 42 percent of adolescents received a lower amount of vitamin D levels than recommended.

Some dieticians and General Mills cereal maker have said that including vitamin D- and calcium-fortified cereals in a child’s diet helps promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life,” Kathleen Zelman, master of public health, registered and licensed dietician, said.

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that children ages 2 to 8 should have two cups of dairy each day. The dairy can come from cheese, fat-free milk, low-fat milk, or yogurt. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for children aged1 to 3 years is 500 milligrams of per day and they should receive 200 IUs of vitamin D, sources said. Children 4 to 8 years of age should have 800 milligrams per day and the same amount of vitamin D as younger children.

General Mills said that all of its Big G Kid cereals include 12 vitamins and minerals—including calcium and vitamin D—and each has 8 grams of whole grain in each serving. In addition, by the end of the year General Mills has committed to reducing the amount of sugar per serving in its Big G Kids products to12 grams.

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FDA panel recommends stricter labeling for eye care products

BY Michael Johnsen

GAITHERSBURG, Md. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on June 10 recommended there be stricter labeling and testing for contact lenses and cleaning solutions, following a meeting of the Ophthalmic Device Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee.

The meeting was called by the FDA, in part, because of the number of product recalls associated with contact lens cleaning solutions in the past few years.

Specifically, the advisory committee suggested stronger label warnings that would identify potential infections that can lead to blindness, for example, as a possible consequence of not following product instructions. 

Panelists also recommended the agency require pre-approval testing of the efficacy of lens solutions against Acanthamoeba keratitis, a parasite involved in one of the outbreaks. 

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