Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Illumina Collaborate on Scalable Clinical Whole-Genome Sequencing Initiative
NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Seeking to advance the scope of precision medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Illumina, Inc. are entering into a collaboration to sequence the complete human genomes of thousands of consenting patients, in order to identify genetic alterations driving disease and potentially reveal previously unidentified therapies for treatment. The initiative, which also includes a collaboration between Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and the New York Genome Center (NYGC), aims to evaluate the diagnostic potential of whole-genome sequencing at scale, which allows the interrogation of the full genome sequence of a patient’s DNA. The goal is to better understand health problems and potential disease risks of individual patients, and to design more effective treatments, including the choice of specific drugs and their dosing.
Investigators will study the feasibility and viability of large-scale implementation of whole-genome sequencing within an academic medical center that is part of a major metropolitan health care system in the United States. Whole-genome sequencing has already been shown to improve patient care and disease prevention in specific clinical contexts, but few systems have deployed whole-genome sequencing across multiple care pathways. Weill Cornell Medicine, through its Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, which have applied this precision medicine approach to investigate cancer’s molecular underpinnings since 2015, will be among the first medical institutions to examine the feasibility of large-scale whole-genome sequencing across multiple diseases. In addition to revealing the role individual genes play in disease and therapeutic responses, the study could also yield promising new avenues for scientific inquiry.
Under the initiative, which originates from Weill Cornell Medicine’s Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center will offer qualifying patients the option to have their genomes sequenced as part of their diagnostic workups. NYGC will leverage its high-throughput whole-genome sequencing clinical sequencing expertise to investigate patients’ DNA, using Illumina’s patented Next-Generation Sequencing technology. NYGC was the first sequencing center in the country to gain regulatory approval for clinical whole-genome sequencing tests for genetic diseases and cancer from the New York State Department of Health Clinical Laboratory Evaluation Program. Board-certified molecular geneticists at NYGC will interpret and share the results with ordering physicians, who will then share them with their patients. The initiative will focus on the disease areas of oncology, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. This first phase will inform the next steps to expand infrastructure to support more widespread testing in years to come.
“We are committed to expanding whole-genome sequencing to cancer and other common diseases more broadly, so that the approach can eventually become a routine part of healthcare, an essential source of data for biomedical research and, importantly, enhance patient care,” said Dr. Olivier Elemento, director of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, who also leads joint precision medicine efforts at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. “This project and the network of participating
Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital wins prestigious award for “Building a Secure, Reliable and Smart 5G Hospital in Thailand”
Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital wins prestigious award for “Building a Secure, Reliable and Smart 5G Hospital in Thailand”
Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa (left), Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, receives the CommunicAsia Award from Mr. Sanchai Noombunnam (right), Deputy Managing Director of Informa Markets Thailand.
Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, received the CommunicAsia Awards 2020, in the “Most Innovative 5G Trial in APAC” category from Mr. Sanchai Noombunnam, Deputy Managing Director of Informa Markets Thailand, during the “5G Powered Smart Hospital Enabled with Cloud and AI” MoU signing ceremony between the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital and Huawei Thailand.
The distinguished award celebrates the hospital’s achievement in integrating Huawei’s 5G+Cloud+AI COVID-19 diagnosis solution into the hospital’s operations to enhance the efficiency of coronavirus diagnosis and treatment throughout the pandemic. The solution significantly helps the medical staff shorten the wait time of COVID-19 results, while providing a high-speed connection with low latency during remote operations, thanks to the fifth-generation network. The cloud-based system also improved patients’ data collection and resource allocation. Huawei’s tailor-made solutions have proven effective in reducing the workload of medical personnel and helping the country better control the pandemic.
The award celebrates a fruitful partnership between Siriraj Hospital and Huawei Thailand, under the “Building a Secure, Reliable and Smart 5G Hospital in Thailand” project, that resulted in a revolutionary COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment solution leveraging on the power of 5G, Cloud and AI technology.
The award also recognises the success of the “5G unmanned medicine delivery vehicle” pilot project, developed by Huawei in collaboration with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital. The 5G driverless vehicle aims to reduce personnel contact, minimise infection risks, and improve drug delivery efficiency in the new medical era.
“I am deeply honoured to receive this award on behalf of the hospital. At Siriraj, we always look for ways to improve efficiency of medical services and operations,” said Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa during his acceptance speech. “I would like to thank Huawei for its continuous support in helping us realise our vision for a 5G smart hospital. We will continue to jointly explore new opportunities in the 5G healthcare field. Together we will bring reliable and efficient medical services to the Thai people.”
“This is a proud moment for the Hospital, and we are delighted to have contributed to this honour,” said Huawei Thailand CEO Mr. Abel Deng. “It is Huawei’s mission to accompany Thailand as it develops a strong, connected healthcare ecosystem through 5G and other advanced technologies and solutions.”
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – At REHAB Hospital of the Pacific, a 2-year-old yellow labrador offers his own brand of medicine.
Toby is the four-legged member of REHAB’s staff.
“He’s here Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 4. He works a full day and sees many many patients,” said Kasey Alexander, REHAB’s animal-assisted clinical therapist.
“He goes to every floor and even visits the outpatients.”
Patient Lakeisha Sato is getting stronger thanks to Toby. Their toss and retrieve exercises are helping her regain the use of her left hand.
“When I knew I could do it and I had support from staff and a dog, oh, that was even better!” she said.
Alexander is Toby’s handler. They’ve worked together since August, helping with physical, occupational and even speech therapy.
“We have some patients that have strokes and brain injury. They may struggle even saying his name,” she said.
Toby was trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii to obey 90 commands. His disposition is a bonus.
“He just brings comfort and healing and just a lot of joy, especially in the midst of a pandemic when there’s limited visitors,” Alexander said.
Sato has two weeks to go before she goes home to Maui. Toby has taught her a valuable lesson.
“Don’t give up. It gets easier,” she said.
Alexander survived cancer and was a REHAB patient before joining the team.
“I wanted to give back, and I wanted to bring some healing, some hope to people,” she said.
She knows how tough the road to recovery is and how Toby lightens patients’ loads.
“He may start chasing his tail. He may role on his back to get belly rubs. He knows exactly what they need at that moment,” she said.
Alexander is also a licensed mental health counselor. She teaches people how to counter stress through grounding and breathing exercises, and practicing gratitude.
Toby has his own methods that work wonders.
Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
When U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, Defense Health Agency (DHA) director called on Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB), little did a newly arrived Navy petty officer realize he would be front and center during the visit.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (Surface Warfare and Aviation Warfare qualified) Anthony Johnson was selected by his directorate to be recognized by the visiting DHA director for his dependable work on the job and his leadership efforts guiding junior Sailors.
“It was an honor to even be recognized with the short amount of time I had been onboard. I was not aware and was definitely caught by surprise when told to report immediately after completing my Basic Life Support instructor course that day. I love knowing that even if nothing is being said around you, your Chain of Command is always paying close attention and recognizing the hard work and effort we all put in daily,” said Johnson, who was hand selected to assist NHB’s Healthcare Benefits operations and Referral Management Center in helping service members and their families navigate enrollment complexities, electronic health record MHS GENESIS registration and coordination of care needs.
“I tried to learn as much as possible to become a valuable asset to the Healthcare Operations Department and Referral Management Center,” Johnson said, helping conduct daily primary care manager (PCM) assignments and management of patient empanelment for 37 PCMs with approximately 33,800 patients.
He also assisted in coordinating and updating TRICARE enrollment and benefits for more than 7,000 Sailors assigned in the Pacific Northwest, along with handling counseling and management of billing concerns, coordinating virtual appointments and serving as a liaison between NHB and claim(s) advisors.
Johnson is currently the leading petty officer of the Multi-Service Unit managing14 enlisted Sailors in support of nine nurses.
The added responsibility and increased reliability is part of the path that Johnson has followed from Gulfport, Miss. to Atlanta, Ga. where he graduated from Stone Mountain High School in 2001. After time spent unhappily working in construction as a welder, he chose to pursue his interest in medicine, drawing inspiration from his mother in doing so.
“My mother dealt with medical issues for many years of my life since middle school. I always wanted to know the why and the how this medicine or that medicine works, or what is causing the symptoms, how to treat it, etc.,” explained Johnson. “I am the oldest of three boys raised by a single parent, who battled cancer since I was 12 years old, which grew my interest in medicine. Plus, I like helping people in need anytime I can.”
“I kept good grades, played sports in school, but never knew what I wanted to do until later in life when I decided to go after my interest in medicine,” continued Johnson. “I have a daughter who’s growing so fast on me, recently turning 14 years old in October and wants to become a pediatrician. I hope to continue in the rate that I love until
(WTNH) — The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t come with a set of instructions. As the hospitals began to fill, it was all hands on deck. Hartford Hospital Doctor Michael Hallisey joined his colleagues on the front lines.
What jumped out at him was the toll it was taking on them; dealing with a deadly virus that quite frankly, we didn’t know too much about.
“These are people who are facing the stress of COVID and taking care of patients. They like the distraction of talking about something that’s intriguing and thrilling like a book,” Dr. Hallisey said.
So he started a book club and bought his colleagues a series of books by bestselling author Michael Connelly. When Connelly first found out, he did not understand how his books could help. Then he spoke with Dr. Hallisey, and began to understand.
“The idea that you need a break, you need a relief, that came through. And so it’s very fulfilling to me to be in a position where maybe I can provide a little bit of that with my stories,” Connelly said.
Connelly pens detective novels and other crime fiction. His latest book just released this week is titled The Law of Innocence. It’s dedicated to Dr. Hallisey and his Hartford Hospital Book Club.
“Everyone was just like wow. This is, you know, this is real,” Hallisey said.
Connelly’s main character is Harry Bosch. In the web television series, Bosch, a police detective, is played by New Haven native Titus Welliver. Bosch’s code is, “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.”
Connelly sent Dr. Hallisey t-shirts with that slogan. Hallisey handed out the shirts and books to his colleagues. “In my mind, it’s thousands and thousands of people, but at the forefront is Dr. Hallisey-kinds leading by his example,” Connelly said.
“I told them there is medical literature that shows that crime fiction is very helpful. I call it medicine for the mind.”
Embargoed until 10:35 a.m. CT/11:35 a.m. ET, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020
DALLAS, Nov. 13, 2020 — Omecamtiv mecarbil, a new, investigational heart medication, reduced the risk of heart failure-related events in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, according to late-breaking research presented today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The virtual meeting is Friday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 17, 2020, and is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide. The manuscript of this study is simultaneously published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Ejection fraction is a measurement of the proportion of blood the heart pumps out with each contraction. Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, or HFrEF, occurs when the left ventricle, the heart’s largest pumping chamber, loses its ability to contract normally. The heart can’t pump with enough force to push blood into circulation. An ejection fraction of 40% or less is used to define HFrEF. For this study, an EF of ? 35% was required.
The GALACTIC-HF (Global Approach to Lowering Adverse Cardiac Outcomes Through Improving Contractility in Heart Failure) study assessed omecamtiv mecarbil, an investigational medication that was granted “fast track” designation as a new heart failure treatment option by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2020.
Omecamtiv mecarbil binds to cardiac myosin, the protein in the heart that transforms chemical energy into mechanical work, thus powering muscle contraction. In previous studies, it was found to improve cardiac function by increasing the effectiveness by which myosin interacts with actin, another protein involved in heart muscle contraction.
“Omecamtiv mecarbil is the first in a class of heart medicines called myotropes that selectively target cardiac muscle to improve cardiac performance,” said John R. Teerlink, M.D., lead author of the study, director of heart failure and of the Echocardiography Laboratory at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco. “In the phase 2 study that led to GALACTIC-HF, omecamtiv mecarbil increased measures of cardiac performance and function. GALACTIC-HF focused on evaluating the effect of this potential medication on outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure.”
GALACTIC-HF was a phase 3, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The study enrolled more than 8,000 patients in 35 countries with chronic heart failure who were either currently hospitalized for heart failure or with a recent history of hospitalization or emergency department visit for heart failure within one year prior to screening.
Participants were predominantly male (79%) and white* (78%), with an average age of 66 years and average ejection fraction of 27%. In addition:
62% had coronary artery disease;
- 40% had Type 2 diabetes;
- 70% had high blood pressure;
- 36% had chronic kidney disease; and
- 25% were hospitalized at the time of enrollment.
* While only 7% of participants self-reported as Black, more Black patients were enrolled in GALACTIC-HF than in any contemporary, international heart failure trial.
The state’s new cases, hospitalizations and testing positivity rate are rising.
Rhode Island’s largest health care system, Lifespan, has suspended visitation in its hospitals as the state’s COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and positivity testing rate continue to rise.
“Care teams will encourage the use of devices such as smartphones to communicate with patients remotely, and, when available, the use of iPads for virtual visits,” Lifespan said on its website. If patients don’t have a device to use for virtual visits, according to its website, Lifespan will provide one.
Exceptions to the rule, which went into effect Monday, include Hasbro Children’s Hospital, which allows one parent to visit at a time and Newport Hospital’s maternity ward, which allows one birthing partner per patient. One adult may accompany a patient arriving in the emergency department, and that visitor’s stay will be limited.
As of Tuesday, Rhode Island had reported 34,543 cumulative COVID-19 cases and 1,212 related deaths, according to the state health department. Rhode Island’s testing positivity rate was 3.3% this week, which is lower than the 5% threshold the World Health Organization recommends governments get their positivity testing below.
Still, that rate has been slowly rising since September, and combined with increasing cases and hospitalizations, it suggests Rhode Island’s outbreak is moving in the wrong direction.
On a national level, hospitals are filling — 21% of hospitals across the country had more than 80% of their ICU beds filled the week of Oct. 24 through Oct. 30, compared to 17% to 18% during the summertime peak, according to an internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.
ABC News’ Josh Margolin contributed to this report.
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Argentine football great Diego Maradona was admitted to hospital Monday for medical checks, his personal doctor announced.
“It’s not a serious situation and we didn’t come for an emergency,” Leopoldo Luque told reporters outside the clinic in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires.
Though he gave no details of Maradona’s condition, Luque said his patient would undergo a series of medical check-ups.
“He’s an elderly patient with many pressures in his life. It’s a time when we must help him. It’s very difficult to be Maradona,” Luque said of the star, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday.
The doctor ruled out any link to the coronavirus pandemic, which is ravaging the South American country, much of it still under confinement.
Maradona, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and poor health, is considered at high risk of coronavirus complications should he be infected.
He has suffered two heart attacks in the past and contracted hepatitis.
“Diego is fine, but he can be much better. I didn’t find him the way I wanted to see him. I had a previous talk with him, I told him: ‘Let’s go to a clinic to improve a little,’ and he said: ‘Well, let’s go,'” said Luque.
The former Argentina captain, who led his team to triumph in the 1986 World Cup, is currently coach of Argentine SuperLiga club Gimnasia.
Along with Brazil’s Pele, Maradona is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.
He joined his players briefly at the club’s training ground on his birthday, but had obvious difficulty walking and had to be helped away by his assistants after staying only 30 minutes.
“It breaks my heart to see him like this,” one of his daughters, Giannina, tweeted the next day.
“I didn’t go to see him that day, but the day before he was very well,” his doctor told reporters outside the clinic in La Plata, where Gimnasia is based.
Maradona went into self-isolation last month after a bodyguard showed symptoms of the virus, though he later tested negative.
Back in 2014, then-California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris imposed a strict condition on the affiliation between Hoag Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Health System, a Catholic hospital group: For the most part, Hoag was to be exempt from Catholic church restrictions on women’s healthcare services.
Doctors at Newport Beach-based Hoag say that condition has been flagrantly breached by Providence Health, the successor to St. Joseph — and the violations are proliferating.
Since 2015 and up to the present day, a managed health plan controlled by Providence has been refusing to pay for contraceptives prescribed by Hoag OB/GYNs for their patients.
We would like to be tops in women’s healthcare, but how can we be if there are certain things we will never be able to provide, based on our association with Providence?
Jeffrey Illeck, an OB/GYN at Hoag Memorial Hospital
The health maintenance organization, Heritage Healthcare, has cited the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services as grounds for refusing payment, even though the 2014 agreement under which Harris approved the affiliation explicitly states that Hoag would not be bound by the so-called ERDs then or “in the future.”
Frustration among Hoag OB/GYNs has been rising.
Several members of Hoag’s professional staff filed a confidential complaint with Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office on Oct. 9.
The complaint asserts that “Providence has increasingly disallowed women’s health services when they involve any form of contraceptive care,” even when IUDs are prescribed for reasons other than birth control, such as heavy menstrual bleeding.
Providence also has refused to cover deliveries when they’re combined with sterilization procedures such as salpingectomies (the removal of one or both fallopian tubes), even though combining those procedures is the standard of care to avoid requiring a patient to undergo two rounds of anesthesia and recovery rather than one.
The complaint says that physicians’ staffs are spending many hours a day pursuing reimbursement claims for Heritage enrollees.
“We have seen IUD reimbursements, for example, pending for as long as two years, requiring multiple appeals and grievances on behalf of patients,” the complaint states. Billing staff “have never spent so much time trying to get reimbursements for IUDs. … In many cases, payment is never received.”
The Hoag doctors say that Providence established “an anonymous hotline for people to complain if they believed Hoag was committing so-called immoral procedures involving women’s reproductive health.” The hotline was connected to the Orange County bishop’s office, they say, adding: “We were never told of its existence.”
In sum, “Providence has established a history of broken trust in its relationship with us, with absolutely no end in sight,” says the complaint, which is not a public document but which I’ve reviewed.
Providence has refused to comment on any of these assertions.
Becerra has not responded to the complaint,