Tag Archives: cost saving

Uptick of Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth – How can we help?

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has always been referred to as “adult-onset,” and generally considered not to affect adolescents and youth. However, the recent child obesity epidemic has led to an increased incidence of T2D in children and adolescents from 10-19 years of age, as reported in papers and editorial commentaries in the Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) study in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

The most surprising and alarming results of the TODAY study are the fast rate of disease progression of T2D in youth compared to progression in an adult, the high rate of co-morbidities and subsequent complications and the inadequate treatment options for this patient population.

The TODAY study is an ongoing study supported by the National Institute of Health, monitoring more than 500 youth with T2D since 2004. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: metformin alone, metformin plus rosiglitazone, or metformin plus intensive life-style changes. The study found that the rate of deterioration of beta cell function (cells in the body that produce insulin to help transfer glucose into cells) in youth with T2D was four times higher than adults and only the group in the metformin plus rosiglitazone achieved a significant improvement in the preservation of beta function and insulin sensitivity.

Additionally, high blood pressure, kidney disease, body mass composition, eye disease, and cardiovascular risk factors, including lipid and inflammatory markers increased in proportion to the rise in A1C (a protein indicating the severity of T2D) and over time. The development of T2D among youth has significant public health consequences, as the complications of diabetes in kidney, eye and cardiovascular disease will be manifested during the most active and productive periods of their lives.

So what can we do to help address this issue?

For starters, Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP®) Therapy can potentially help this cohort of patients by managing the glycemic control in young people. There are published studies in medical journals with data demonstrating that EECP can improve the delivery of glucose to muscle cells where it will be utilized effectively and reduce insulin resistance by activating the glucose transporter which helps insulin transport glucose into cells. Furthermore, there is sufficient evidence showing that EECP can improve endothelial function, producing factors that neutralize oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, while also reducing the co-morbid complications. These complications occur at higher rates in T2D youth because they will have a longer time to endure diabetic complications.

Currently, it is a working hypothesis that EECP Therapy may reduce the deleterious impact diabetes has in the young population and our health care system; additional clinical studies have to be done to confirm this hypothesis. Although EECP is not currently cleared by the FDA for the treatment of T2D, the potential is clear, and at Vasomedical, we are devoting more effort and resources toward researching the benefits of this treatment for this particular patient population.

Tales from the Road: Hospitalar 2013

After three days of exhibiting at the Hospitalar 2013 meeting in São Paulo, we are even more convinced that Brazil will be an excellent market for EECP Therapy!

At the exhibition, Vasomedical displayed and demonstrated its core technology, EECP Therapy, its Biox ambulatory monitoring products and its EZ series patient management products. Visiting physicians and healthcare professionals expressed particular interest in how EECP technology can help patients with cardiovascular disease as well as significantly reduce healthcare costs.

We met with attendees from across the globe who were extremely pleasant and welcoming to the Vasomedical team and our products. It was a great experience participating in this event and understanding how we can expand our presence in South America.

The icing on the cake: we are in the process of registering Vasomedical and Biox products for sale in Brazil, putting us in a great position to build relationships for the near future!

Make sure to stay tuned for more tales from around the globe as we continue to showcase and educate the healthcare industry about EECP Therapy technology and our other offerings.

Next stop: New York, NY!

EECP Therapy Stars in Medical Thriller: “We Find ‘Em… We Fix ‘Em!”

Upon returning to my office this week I found a copy of a paperback novel on my desk entitled “We Find ‘Em, We Fix ’Em!” written by Richard Ryder MD, a specialist in Internal Medicine and cardiovascular disease currently practicing in Georgia. This book, originally written and published in 2010, is a medical novel that presents a scenario to illustrate in the author’s opinion what he believes is wrong with American healthcare.

More specifically, Dr. Ryder is a physician who, through his writing, challenges both current medical practices and patients to take responsibility for their own healthcare. He is a proponent of preventive cardiology and non-invasive procedures before invasive ones – as are we here at Vasomedical.

By way of a quick summary, the book is about a company executive who experiences what he believes is a heart attack and rushes to Miami General in search of a quick fix. What he gets is a rushed consultation and unnecessary procedure that ultimately “costs him his livelihood, well being, his marriage and almost his life.” The book is touted as a medical thriller based upon research and a carefully imagined scenario, which could happen in reality, about the dangers of unnecessary cardiac procedures and the risks they entail.

After being misdiagnosed and mistreated, the patient sues the doctor.  To us, the most interesting part occurs next:  during the trial Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP®) Therapy is brought up in the testimony of a medical expert as a more appropriate therapy than stenting, citing that it should have been considered.

However, it is also pointed out that medical insurances only provide coverage for EECP Therapy when patients cannot be stented or have surgery. This is a very real challenge patients face today.  Though coverage policies are limiting, there are a number of discretionary guidelines that would permit coverage, if in the opinion of a cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon, the patient is not readily amenable to invasive procedures because of their personal health condition.

Furthermore, EECP is also mentioned as a possible therapy for patients who suffer from congestive heart failure, like the main character who has developed CHF due to his mistreatment. However, it is pointed out that coverage is not currently supported or severely limited for use in this application. I could tell you what happens next but I don’t want to give away any more of the story for those who wish to read the book.

As I flipped through the book, it dawned on me that I wanted to share this story because it is probably happening more often in real life more than we realize. This book could be a great catalyst for greater patient advocacy and support of EECP Therapy, which has helped so many patients to date and saved the healthcare industry a great deal of money, but is still one of the best medical secrets today.

Dr. Ryder was one of the first physicians in the country to be involved with EECP Therapy in his former practice in Johnson City, New York more than a dozen years ago. He is an advocate of EECP Therapy and hopefully is still referring patients to this treatment in his Georgia practice.

You can check out the book here.  Let us know what you think!

Thank you, Dr. Ryder, for helping to bring EECP Therapy to the forefront of conversations.  We hope the rest of you enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

EECP Therapy Featured on eHealth

Dr. GN Shirbur, a consultant cardiologist based in Bangalore, wrote an article on the ins and outs of EECP Therapy on eHealth. He answered questions including, What is EECP all about?, Who needs EECP?, What are the advantages of EECP?, and other informative questions. You can read the full article post below.

EECP – A non-invasive method to repair the heart

What is EECP all about?

Enhanced External Counter Pulsation is a non-invasive cardiovascular treatment for patients who have heart disease (single or multi vessel blocks), congestive heart failure and/or repeat of signs and symptoms after surgical treatment and also for those prone to heart ailments due to various other factors.

Who needs EECP?

People suffering from chest pain (on exertion, at rest, continuous, occasionally) , blocks, family history, high cholesterol, abnormal and sedentary lifestyle, smokers, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol, obesity and such hypertension, diabetes and other conditions involving poor blood circulation are ideal candidates for EECP. Recent studies have shown a drastic dip in the prevalent age group suffering from cardiac disease. From an older age group, cardiac disease is now found to hit 40-55 year olds due to their sedentary lifestyle, stress and obesity.

Also, any patient suffering from coronary artery disease is a potential candidate for EECP. In addition EECP is especially beneficial for:
• Patients who have had persistent heart disease symptoms despite having undergone angioplasty or bypass surgery.
• Patients who cannot undergo surgery due to other medical conditions like diabetics, hypertensions or renal impairment.
• Patients who just don’t want to go under the knife.
• Patients who are heavily dependent on medications or have to cut down their activities in order to avoid angina.

What is the treatment procedure of EECP?

1. Time: One hour a day for 35 sessions or 2 hours a day with a 6 hours gap as advised by cardiologist.
2: Procedure: A typical EECP session would be like this – the patient is made to lie on a padded table and three large inflatable cuffs (like the blood pressure cuff) are strapped to his/her legs. The patient’s heart is monitored via the ECG display on the machine, which in turn regulates the inflation and deflation of the cuffs. EECP gives you two benefits. One is that it pumps blood to the coronary arteries and second is that the deflating action creates a vacuum in the arteries when the heart begins to beat.
3. Prerequisites: Treatment is so simple that there are no serious prerequisites. Patients need to have finished meals 2 hours prior and wear tight elastic fitting pants during treatment.

What are the advantages of EECP?

EECP is entirely non-invasive. No medications are given specifically for the treatment but the routine medications given to strengthen the heart and for diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol reduction need to be continued. The treatment is so simple that the patient feels a drastic improvement from symptoms thereby a sense of well being and an enhanced quality of life.

What are the effects of EECP?

Heart disease does not mean just blockages. It is a condition that affects your entire vascular system, from the brain to your toes. Merely opening up one or two isolated blockages is not the way to treat the condition. EECP in fact treats the entire vascular system, naturally bypassing any blockages.

Apart from this, EECP helps in creating new blood vessels and strengthens your heart, by releasing nitric oxide which relaxes your arteries. EECP also reduces inflammation in the blood vessels which leads to heart disease. Also, EECP is known to reduce stress and depression in patients suffering from heart disease due to improvement in symptoms and ability to go through normal work without pain, discomfort or anxiety.

Is EECP safe? Are there any side effects?

EECP is has a high standard of safety. The treatment is USA FDA approved and used by doctors in India and across the world to treat extremely ill cardiac patients where no medication and no procedure could provide relief. The only side effect of EECP is an increased feeling of well being, improvement in the quality of life and reduction in cardiac medication.

Dr. GN Shirbur

ENHANCED HEARTS,

BANGALORE

 

Cleveland Clinic – Non-Invasive Therapy Relieves Chest Pain

Cleveland Clinic featured EECP Therapy on their blog to educate the public on how EECP Therapy can relieve chest pain caused by angina without surgery or medication. You can read the full blog post below.

By: The Beating Edge Team 

Improving blood flow without surgery or medications may seem impossible, but a unique outpatient therapy called Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) is proving effective. It is an option for some patients with unrelieved chest pain caused by angina.

More than 7 million people in the U.S. are estimated to suffer from angina according to the American Heart Association. These patients suffer from ischemia, which means that there is a restriction in the blood supply to body tissues. This causes a shortage of oxygen, and EECP therapy can help.

What Exactly Is EECP?

Enhanced External Counterpulsation is an outpatient therapy that mechanically increases blood flow to improve chest pain symptoms and quality of life.

While undergoing EECP, the patient lies on a comfortable table and is strapped with treatment cuffs that inflate along the legs from the calves to the thighs and buttocks. This external pulsation helps to increase blood supply to the heart muscle and decrease the amount of work it has to do. Throughout the procedure, heart rate and rhythm are monitored to make sure the patient is responding well.

Studies using stress tests have shown that EECP relieves angina and the degree to which a person suffers from ischemia. This non-invasive therapy is provided on an outpatient basis and does not require the use of any medications.

Limitations of EECP

Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Ellis, MD, section head of Interventional Cardiology, says there are still many reasons that medication and surgical interventions remain the gold standard in heart treatment.

“EECP is not for everyone,” he says. “Some arrhythmias and other cardiovascular conditions preclude EECP, and it takes several treatments to see lasting results—so, the time commitment is great.”

He adds that about half of patients who try EECP relapse after one or two years. In addition, the treatments are not always covered by insurance.

“For some patients, it may be a good option,” says Dr. Ellis, “especially for those who are intolerant of medications or who suffer from persistent angina.”

Is EECP right for you?

The decision to try EECP begins with talking to your physician. EECP has been shown to help patients who:

  • Are no longer getting relief from the use of medications.
  • Have returning symptoms after heart surgery and interventions.
  • Have other health concerns that disqualify them for another procedure.

Learn more about EECP therapy offered at Cleveland Clinic

Tales from the Road: Africa Health Exhibition and Congress 2013

This week, we have been showcasing our technology at Africa Health Exhibition and Congress 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Reminiscent of when we first introduced EECP Therapy to the U.S. market in1995 at medical shows, the response of attendees at the South African Healthcare meeting this week was met by a variety of responses – from surprise to excitement. Many attendees were surprised to see such a well-documented treatment for the first time. They asked:  why have we never heard of this before?!

Physicians, nurses, hospital administrators and government officials all were curious to check it out and learn more about the technology and its benefits. They spent time with us in our booth to watch demonstrations and listen to our presentations to learn for the first time what this technology was all about and the life-changing impact it can have for those with heart conditions.

Attendees were also very interested in our Biox ECG Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitors as well as our patient management products.

We met with attendees from across the globe including South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Egypt, Algeria and the UAE. We believe that the reception of our products and the relationships we established will help us reach our goal of expanding sales in the African region.

Stay tuned for more tales from around the world as we continue to showcase and educate EECP Therapy technology and our other offerings. Next stop: Sao Paulo, Brazil!