Decision Resources Group executive joins Google Healthcare Advisory Board
BURLINGTON, Mass. — Decision Resources Group on Wednesday announced that Monique Levy, VP digital innovation at Decision Resources Group, has been selected to join Google's Healthcare Advisory Board. A recognized thought leader, analyst and strategist in the healthcare, media and technology space, Levy will provide key insights on the changing healthcare industry to advance the board's mission.
Google established the board in 2013 to help consumers searching for health information make more empowered and informed healthcare decisions. The board's primary mission is to gain a better understanding of the problems that healthcare consumers and providers face and offer feedback on product ideas and development. To accomplish this, Google assembled a group of experts to discuss the changing healthcare landscape and the many issues plaguing the industry.
At Decision Resources Group, Levy helps healthcare companies understand and leverage emerging media and technology to improve business performance and customer engagement. She regularly presents cutting-edge research and analysis at industry conferences and is a frequent press contributor, appearing in The Economist, Forbes and Medical Marketing and Media, among other publications.
“I'm honored to be part of this distinguished group of industry leaders and work more closely with Google to help drive innovation in healthcare,” Levy said. “Technology — from data, to experiences and devices — will play a central role in the transformation of healthcare to a value, patient-centered and outcomes-driven system.”
The board comprises top pharmaceutical, media and agency executives and healthcare thought leaders who are widely regarded as healthcare industry experts. Its activities include hosting a quarterly thought leadership roundtable that helps guide ongoing and upcoming Google health initiatives.
Former CNS CEO takes president role at Airware Labs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Airware Labs on Wednesday tapped Dan Cohen for the newly created position of president.
“Dan Cohen's strategic vision and his well-known track record as an innovator make him the right choice for the next phase of development for Airware Labs,” stated Jeffrey Rassas, Airware Labs CEO. “This is an exciting time as we see expanding product traction in domestic and international markets. Our growing success in increasing consumer brand awareness and the availability of our products in consumer-preferred brick and mortar and online retail outlets points to what I expect will be an increasingly bright and profitable future.”
Cohen is the former founder, chairman and CEO of CNS, which successfully introduced Breathe Right to the market. In what has since become a case study in how to successfully obtain consumer impressions without breaking the bank, CNS placed the brand in the spotlight as several NFL players in 1995's Super Bowl XXIX wore the breathing aid during the game as a silent testimony to its efficacy.
Airware Labs’ products are marketed under the brand name Air and address key consumer health and quality of life challenges including snoring, insomnia, nausea, headaches, airborne bacteria and viruses, allergies, congestion, and enhanced sports performance.
Unlike external products such as nasal strips, these soft, comfortable, and discreet, latex and drug free products fit just inside the nose utilizing an FDA-approved medical-grade material. Some Airware products include 3M filtration media to stop allergens, airborne bacteria and viruses as well as a blend of proven, therapeutic premium oils to provide additional antimicrobial protection and symptomatic relief.
In addition to CNS, Cohen also is the co-founder of Round River Research.
Lice in 25 states not phased by permethrin remedies, study finds
BOSTON — Scientists on Tuesday reported that lice populations in at least 25 states have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools.
“We are the first group to collect lice samples from a large number of populations across the U.S.,” says Kyong Yoon, lead researcher. “What we found was that 104 out of the 109 lice populations we tested had high levels of gene mutations, which have been linked to resistance to pyrethroids.”
Pyrethroids are a family of insecticides used widely indoors and outdoors to control mosquitoes and other insects. It includes permethrin, the active ingredient in some of the most common lice treatments sold at drug stores.
Yoon, who is with Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, explained that the momentum toward widespread pyrethroid-resistant lice has been building for years. “I was working on insecticide metabolism in a potato beetle when my mentor, John Clark, suggested I look into the resurgence of head lice,” he said. “I asked him in what country and was surprised when he said the U.S.”
Intrigued, Yoon followed up on the lead and contacted schools near the university to collect samples. He suspected that the lice had developed resistance to the most common insecticides people were using to combat the bugs. So he tested the pests for a trio of genetic mutations known collectively as kdr, which stands for “knock-down resistance.”
Kdr mutations had initially been found in house flies in the late ’70s after farmers and others had shifted to pyrethroids from DDT and other harsh insecticides.
Yoon found that many of the lice did have kdr mutations, which affect an insect’s nervous system and desensitize them to pyrethroids. Since then, he has expanded his survey.
In the most recent study, he gathered lice from 30 states with the help of a network of public health workers. Population samples with all three genetic mutations associated with kdr came from 25 states, including California, Texas, Florida and Maine. Having all the mutations means these populations are the most resistant to pyrethroids. Samples from four states — New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon — had one, two or three mutations. The only state with a population of lice still largely susceptible to the insecticide was Michigan. Why lice haven’t developed resistance there is still under investigation, Yoon said.
The solution? Yoon says that lice can still be controlled by using different chemicals, some of which are available only by prescription.
But the situation also offers a cautionary tale. “If you use a chemical over and over, these little creatures will eventually develop resistance,” Yoon says. “So we have to think before we use a treatment.”
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