The Medical Quack



This is not a nice story at all now the the patient died and the resultant series of events that have followed.  The military is currently using the machine in Liberia so we have not heard the end of this one.  Perhaps in the panic everyone forgot they had this machine sitting around? 

From the Website about the FilmArray:

“The FilmArray is an FDA-cleared multiplex PCR system that integrates sample preparation,image amplification, detection and analysis. It requires just a few minutes of hands-on-time and its turnaround time is just about an hour, giving you faster results which may lead to better patient care.

The FilmArray now has three FDA-cleared panels – the Respiratory Panel, the Blood Culture Identification Panel, and the Gastrointestinal Panel. Together, these panels test for more than a hundred pathogens. Thus, FilmArray is not only the fastest way to better results; it’s the fastest way to more results.”

The FilmArray is FDA approved but perhaps not for use in the US for detecting Ebola?  Hospitals have to agree to use the machine specifically for research projects only…and here’s another clip worth reading from this article:

“The FDA rules in what are called “research use only” machines are far more lax than for machines that must provide clinical diagnosis. According to representatives from BioFire, even after the FDA approved the use of the machine for Ebola screening and allowed workers at the hospital to acquire the proper kit for Ebola testing, a 10-20 day “validation” procedure would kick in before they could change the machine’s use from diagnostics to research — and the results would have to go to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.

Dr. Luciana Borio, assistant commissioner for counterterrorism policy and acting deputy chief scientist at the FDA, recently told National Journal that the agency was looking to speed up evaluation of new drugs to treat Ebola.”

Stay tuned as I’m sure we’ll here more about this and perhaps this is why we have a lawyer as the Ebola Czar now?  BD 

It’s a toaster-sized box called FilmArray, produced by a company called BioFire, a subsidiary of bioMérieux and it’s capable of detecting Ebola with a high degree of confidence — in under an hour.

Incredibly, it was present at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital when Ebola patient Thomasimage Eric Duncan walked through the door, complaining of fever and he had just come from Liberia. Duncan was sent home, but even still, FDA guidelines prohibited the hospital from using the machine to screen for Ebola.

The FilmArray retails for about $39,000 per unit and can screen for the genetic markers of a wide number of respiratory, gastro-intestinal and other illness, including Ebola, but only with the right “kit” in place. Current FDA guidelines would not have allowed Dallas Presbyterian Hospital to get that kit. That’s despite the fact that it can provide results with higher than 90 percent certainty and it’s one of the machines that the military is currently using to screen for Ebola in Africa.

BioFire Diagnostics, a Utah-based firm that produces disease detection technology, confirmed that the Dallas Presbyterian Hospital did in fact have one of the machines (possibly for as long as two years) sitting on the shelf when Duncan came in.

Speaking before a congressional panel Thursday, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden acknowledged that airport screening for Ebola was extremely limited. He also said that he was open to any strategy to reduce risks to the general population from Ebola. Other witnesses at the hearing said the U.S. is rapidly speeding up the development and deployment of new diagnostic systems.



We all know or maybe should know by now that Texas did not extend Medicaid and would that have made aimage different in his treatment?  That’s a big question and his nephew wrote a letter explaining such.  As he stated certain drugs were not available and his test took days longer than someone else who had their results in 24 hours.  Also is this why he was initially sent away?  There’s a lot of questions here to be answered, that’s for sure.

We know we have a broken system for sure and will it take Ebola to wake folks up?  His nephew said he was also denied experimental drugs.  This makes a case perhaps of how care is delivered in the US to the poor and those without insurance. 

Sadly It’s Ebola That’s Bringing the US Kicking and Screaming, To Our Knees–We Must Deal With the Real World Solutions, Not Virtual World Values This Time as They Won’t Work…

Now the next part is awful, the family had to hear of his death from the press?  BD 

Thomas Eric Duncan could have been saved. Finally, what is most difficult for us — Thomas Eric’s mother, children and those closest to him — to accept is the fact that our loved one could have been saved. From his botched release from the emergency room to his delayed testing and delayed treatment and the denial of experimental drugs that have been available to every other case of Ebola treated in the U.S., the hospital invited death every step of the way.

When my uncle was first admitted, the hospital told us that an Ebola test would take three to seven days. Miraculously, the deputy who was feared to have Ebola just last week was tested and had results within 24 hours.

The fact is, nine days passed between my uncle’s first ER visit and the day the hospital asked our consent to give him an experimental drug — but despite the hospital’s request they were never able to access these drugs for my uncle. (Editor’s note: Hospital officials have said they started giving Duncan the drug Brincidofovir on October 4.) He died alone. His only medication was a saline drip.



Here’s yet another one and being a former developer myself I look at all of these such groups andimage realize right up front that developers can’t be serious about this unless they have some other source of income to get involved, it just is what it is.  You can read the press release below.  I think we are reaching the tipping point as well where developers too are starting to see through some of this as gosh knows there’s been enough of them out there.  I call it “Cash for Code” and other big companies such as Verizon have run these as well.   You can innovate your heart out here if you can afford to eat and pay your rent. 

One More “Cash For Code” Innovation Center From Ex United Healthcare Executive
Verizon Latest to Enter “Code for Cash” Prize Format With $1 Million Top Pay Out for Writing Healthcare Apps That Use Their Platform, Is This the New “Corporate Business Model” To Yield Inexpensive Code?

Read between the lines and they want more monitoring apps for folks over 50.  You have a choice of nine categories to where you might want to spend some time and it’s the same old thing with a new cover basically.  We do at 50 dwarf the younger population a we are older and have a lot more data to harvest, that part is correct.  It’s not like there’s a shortage of these types of applications by all means, we have a glut of them actually. 

AARP is always a willing partner as they get paid from United for marketing, link below. 

UnitedHealthGroup and AARP Get Cozier, AARP Still Gets Paid for Marketing Use of AARP Name As AARP Becomes an Optum Labs Data Selling Promoter Amidst Doctor Complaints Received Relative To United Firing of 5500 MDs–Subsidiary Watch

So again another “Cheap Code for Cash” it appears here for all the glory and minimal compensation you may desire to participate for the young folks to figure out how to create some apps for us plus 50 that will collect data and monitor us.  Many folks anymore see most of this up front and are headed for the exits as privacy concerns today are becoming a much greater concern and we know United Healthcare and AARP are both data sellers and make some pretty big dollars doing it as well as being such a strong mentor with CMS over the years with a lot of their quantitated business models.  BD  

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AARP and UnitedHealthcare, two of the leading organizations in senior advocacy and health care, today announced the launch of “The Longevity Network” to promote innovations in health care that will improve the quality of people’s lives as they age.

“The Longevity Network will help foster innovations across the consumer and health care landscape that will improve the health and well-being of the 50+ population”

AARP and UnitedHealthcare have focused on nine innovation “frontiers” that offer a framework for distinct innovation pipelines so entrepreneurs can focus their attention on these high-need areas. The nine frontiers are: medication management; aging with vitality; vital-sign monitoring; care navigation; emergency detection and response; physical fitness; diet and nutrition; social engagement; and behavioral and emotional health.

The Longevity Network will promote innovation by focusing entrepreneurial attention on these large, high-growth market spaces. The goal is to drive a national dialogue about the longevity economy and ensure everyone driving innovation in this country is asking themselves, “What is our 50+ strategy?”

The Longevity Network will include focused research, success stories and discussion groups, and will regularly publicize significant achievements in this area and the best innovations in each of the nine frontiers. The innovations will be evaluated for recognition based on their potential impact, marketplace viability, business model, originality, quality of design and consumer appeal.

The two organizations unveiled the digital platform,, at the 2014 HealthTech Conference in San Mateo. The platform is a central hub where entrepreneurs, advocates and consumers can share information and access ideas, press and other media, social feeds and event invitations about health care innovation for the 50+ community.

Breakthrough technologies, innovative services and disruptive business models are expected to represent $30 billion in cumulative revenue over the next five years and benefit more than 100 million people 50 and older, according to a study from health research firm Parks Associates.



As you can read below, a lot of elective surgical procedures here, so this means orthopedic procedures. image The hospital closed down the surgery rooms after the JACO inspection.  There were 4 patients who had surgery in the same room that came down with infections.

Someone notified JACO and they came out and found some issues.  The hospital was given preliminary denial of accreditation which means no Medicare payments if they lose that. 

Well the hospital is also ready to open their big neuroscience and spine institute so the time is not good when you think of money as those rooms are not making any money while closed.  This is a a brand new wing added to the hospital with cutting edge technologies. 

It will include three operating rooms will equipped with technology to project images of patients’ brains on the walls and ceilings and transmit them in real time to other doctors around the country, so yes your brain can now be as big as the wall.  This is a pretty affluent area of the OC by the way. 

The hospital is cooperating and didn’t find any evidence of any infected equipment so I guess just may have been something in the room that day.  BD 

One of Orange County's largest hospitals has halted all elective surgeries after its accreditation came under review following an outbreak of surgical infections.

Mission Hospital performs about 7,000 surgeries a year, of which nearly 70% are elective.

Last week, the Joint Commission conducted an onsite survey at the hospital following reports that four patients who underwent orthopedic surgery had developed infections.

The accrediting body determined that there was an “immediate threat to health or safety to patients or the public,” and issued a preliminary denial of accreditation, Katie Looze, the commission’s spokeswoman, said in an email.

Last Thursday, the hospital voluntarily chose to postpone all elective surgeries at both its Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach locations out of an “abundance of caution,” said James Keany, the hospital’s associate director of emergency services.

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