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FDA approves smartphone blood-sugar monitor

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — With a newly approved device, diabetics can turn their smartphone into a blood glucose monitor. The Food and Drug Administration cleared South Korean company Philosys’ Gmate SMART blood sugar monitoring device for U.S. marketing on Aug. 15. The device plugs into the headphone Jack on iPhones and iPads and — using the company’s Gmate app — turns the phone or tablet into a blood sugar monitor. 

"This is an exciting time for Philosys as we continue our efforts to be a technology leader for the diabetes mobile monitoring arena,” Philosys SVP sales Mike Tickle said. “The Gmate SMART will give our customers TeleHealth capabilities with the accuracy and quality they deserve at a cost effective price.” 

The app can store blood glucose data over time and users can email it to physicians. Users can also categorize when in the day — before or after a meal, or after exercise — they monitor their blood sugar. The device is about the size of a quarter and doesn’t require any adapters or need to be paired through Bluetooth. The Gmate app is currently only available for iOS devices.

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Updates made to the 2013 ACIP recommendations on seasonal influenza vaccines

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the 2014-15 influenza season.

The report updates the 2013 recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices regarding use of seasonal influenza vaccines.

Updated information for the 2014–15 influenza season includes 1) antigenic composition of U.S. seasonal influenza vaccines; 2) vaccine dose considerations for children aged 6 months through 8 years; and 3) a preference for the use, when immediately available, of live attenuated influenza vaccine for healthy children aged 2 through 8 years, to be implemented as feasible for the 2014–15 season but not later than the 2015–16 season. Information regarding issues related to influenza vaccination not addressed in this report is available in the 2013 ACIP seasonal influenza recommendations.

Information in the report reflects discussions during public meetings of ACIP on Feb. 26 and June 25.

Click here to read the report.

 

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Report: U.S. hospitals experience more than 60 Ebola scares

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — Hospitals and state laboratories in the United States have processed more than 60 Ebola scares over the course of the last few weeks, according to a report from ABC News.

Hospitals in 27 states notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the illnesses, doing so to be cautious due to the ongoing outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Of the 68 cases reported, 58 were false alarms; blood samples of the remaining cases were sent out for testing.

The CDC is urging healthcare providers to ask patients about travel history to help with identifying potential cases, ABC News reported. The total number of deaths from the outbreak totals 1,229, and 2,240 people have been infected since March.

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