HEALTH

Next-generation telehealth devices featured at CES

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — The Continua Health Alliance and member companies Intel, Trac, Andago, Bluegiga, Texas Instruments and ZyXEL will demonstrate personal connected health solutions this week at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, held from Jan. 6 to 9 here, the alliance announced Monday.

Demonstrations scheduled include a Bluetooth blood pressure cuff and weight scale from A&D, a Bluetooth pulse oximeter (a medical device that indirectly monitors the oxygen saturation of a patient’s blood) from Nonin Medical and a Cypak USB converter cable designed to connect legacy devices to the Continua ecosystem.

In addition, Andago will demonstrate a complete monitoring solution based on Continua Certification Guidelines that works by collecting patient data from a Continua device and sending it to a Linux mobile phone via Bluetooth. The data then is sent through the mobile network and registered in a personal health record to be analyzed by an Open Health Assistant as part of Andago’s care management platform.

Continua will host the closing keynote Digital Health Summit Conference panel discussion Jan. 7. Led by Continua executive director Charles Parker, the panel will include representatives from Intel, Nokia, Ascension Health, Qualcomm and Roche Diagnostics.

Continua is the nonprofit, open industry alliance of more than 230 healthcare and technology organizations dedicated to developing interoperable personal diagnostic devices.

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Omega-3s may aid gum, heart health

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — Omega-3 fatty acids from seafood may reduce inflammation and symptoms of gum disease and risk of abnormal heartbeats, according to recent articles in the December 2010 PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life e-newsletters for health professionals and consumers.

Omega-3 fatty acids, namely DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), may reduce disease symptoms and cartilage degeneration based on results from a U.K. study, which looked at the effect of omega-3s in cultured, stressed cartilage tissue. When low levels of EPA and DHA were added separately to the tissue, the release of a protein associated with cartilage breakdown decreased along with inflammatory substances.

"This research demonstrates the potential of omega-3s to reduce some of the damage and perhaps ease the pain that goes with osteoarthritis," stated Joyce Nettleton, editor of the PUFA Newsletter and Fats of Life.

Omega-3s also may be helpful with periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory condition that destroys gum tissue and bone if untreated. A recent U.S.-Egyptian study was the first to demonstrate that omega-3s are linked to reduced inflammation and improved symptoms in people with advanced periodontal disease. EPA and DHA (900 mg/day) plus low-dose aspirin led to improvements beyond other treatments.

In another study, patients undergoing different types of cardiac surgery who had no history of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heartbeats) or a pacemaker were given seafood omega-3s days prior to surgery. Nearly half (46%) were less likely to develop atrial fibrillation immediately after surgery than those not given any intervention.

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Combe unloads cough-cold, skin care and foot care portfolios

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Reckitt Benckiser on Monday supplemented its Mucinex and Delsym cough-cold portfolio with the addition of Cepacol from Combe.

Combe also announced the completion of its cough-cold and skin care businesses to the British conglomerate, along with its foot care brand Odor-Eaters to personal care company Blistex.

"We are very proud of our divested businesses and are excited about the future of these brands,” stated Christopher Combe, chairman and CEO. “More importantly, these divestitures enable us to increase our company-wide focus on our largest global brands,” he said. “Our retained brands have strong growth opportunities around the world, supported by positive demographic shifts, our leadership positions in these categories and a pipeline of innovative and potentially game-changing new products.”

Combe retains its men’s grooming portfolio, which includes Just For Men, Grecian Formula and Aqua Velva, as well as other brands, including feminine care brand Vagisil and denture care brand Sea-Bond.

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