HEALTH

Kaz launches online tool to help Americans understand health impact of humidity

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Kaz last week launched the Vicks Moisture Map, an online tool to help families understand how too little humidity can create issues for the body, pets and the home.

The interactive map pinpoints the top 10 driest cities across the country by synthesizing weather data and geographical data from several sources. 

“When looking at the top cities in America with the driest air, the Southwest definitely has a cluster due to the desert environment in states like New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada," Ted Myatt, senior scientist with Environmental Health & Engineering and the University of Rhode Island, said. "Even though hot and dry go hand in hand — so does cold and dry — and experts believe the flu season may spike in winter months due to low humidity levels,” he said. “New scientific research indicates keeping your home’s relative humidity levels between 40-60% can decrease influenza survival in the air and on countertops, doorknobs, and other surfaces. That’s why it’s so important to check your humidity levels and increase indoor humidity with a humidifier.”

And according to a recent survey of U.S. moms the most annoying winter ailments to their families are dry skin and chapped lips, followed by stuffy noses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cites that at least 81 million Americans experience dry, itchy or scaly skin during the winter due to colder, dryer air and over-heated homes. 

The recent survey of U.S. moms also found that nearly half of all moms (48%) surveyed own a humidifier and 88% of those believe their health and comfort has improved as a result. 

 

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Test kit that detects influenza A and B virus within 15 minutes launches in Europe

BY Michael Johnsen

WALTHAM, Mass. — Alere on Thursday announced the availability in Europe of the Alere i Influenza A & B test, a molecular test that detects and differentiates influenza A and B virus in less than 15 minutes. The test is now commercially available in Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the U.K. 

"Alere i is a transformational platform that allows healthcare professionals to make a rapid influenza diagnosis — and effective patient management decisions — in a clinically meaningful timeframe, whether the patient is in the physician office, emergency department or urgent care clinic," stated Avi Pelossof, Alere global president of infectious disease. "Alere i also significantly expands screening opportunities by making innovative, rapid molecular testing technology available at the point of care as well as in laboratory settings." 

Molecular testing involves the extraction and analysis of DNA or RNA strands to detect sequences associated with viral and bacterial causes of infections. Alere i Influenza A & B is the first molecular diagnostic test that delivers actionable, lab-accurate results in less than 15 minutes on a user-friendly platform, the company stated. The proprietary technology utilizes isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology, which, unlike polymerase chain reaction testing, does not require temperature cycling and can therefore deliver results more quickly and to a broader range of settings. 

Alere i tests for Strep A, C. difficile, respiratory syncytial virus and chlamydia/gonorrhoea are currently in development.

Alere i Influenza A & B is currently under regulatory review in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration and is not available in the U.S. pending completion of such review.

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KT Tape acquired by private equity firm Palladin Consumer Retail Partners

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Private equity firm Palladin Consumer Retail Partners on Thursday announced the acquisition of KT Health, a producer of kinesiology tape and related sports medicine products in the retail market. KT Tape, the company’s flagship product, is used by professional and recreational athletes to prevent injury, reduce pain, promote recovery and maximize comfort.  

“We are excited to join forces with the Palladin team, who have tremendous experience in growing consumer brands," stated John Mackay, KT Health CEO. "Their support, expertise and involvement will be instrumental in capitalizing on the significant growth opportunities ahead. We also look forward to working with our great retail partners and loyal customers, as we expand the reach of KT Tape and introduce other related products to benefit athletes worldwide.”

KT Tape is sold in 22,000 retail doors in the United States in sporting goods, food, drug and mass retail channels, as well as through clinicians, online retailers and the company’s own e-commerce site, KTTape.com, the company stated. 

KT Health, based in Lindon, Utah, was formed in 2008 with the intent of empowering everyday athletes to prevent injury, recover faster and play harder. The company will continue to be led by its founders, Mackay, Jim Jenson and Ryan Dewey. The founders and other shareholders will partner with Palladin by reinvesting a significant portion of their equity. Palladin’s support will enable KT Health to expand its market presence, product range and opportunities in the sports medicine category.  

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

 

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