Beat Future Infectious Diseases by Crowdsourcing Strategic Data

By Rich Murr, CIO, Epicor Software

To blunt the impact of COVID-19, a vast number of medical, industrial, and financial resources are being deployed. And while these efforts are important, we should also look ahead so that we are better able to prevent future pandemics by crowdsourcing strategic, available data that would offer a bigger picture.

As someone who previously served in the United States Marines and who now serves as a CIO for a software company, I can emphatically say that regardless of your line of work, one of the best first lines of defense is information – specifically, quality information that can be speedily obtained and assessed. In the case of fighting infectious diseases, this information is critical for our epidemiologists. They need information so that we can combat potential threats before they become widespread.

It’s clear that relying solely on closed societies, public health institutions, or the

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Admissions still low among Hispanic neighborhoods and for respiratory diseases — ScienceDaily

While declines in U.S. hospital admissions during the onset of COVID-19 has been well-documented, little is known about how admissions during the rebound varied by age, insurance coverage and socioeconomic groups. The decline in non-COVID-19 admissions was similar across all demographic subgroups but the partial rebound that followed shows that non-COVID-19 admissions for residents from Hispanic neighborhoods was significantly lower than for other groups. The findings are reported in a new study in Health Affairs (released as a Fast Track Ahead of Print article) conducted by a research team from Sound Physicians, Dartmouth College, and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

“Our study shows that patients from Hispanic neighborhoods did not have the same rebound in non-COVID-19 admissions as other groups, which points to a much broader issue of healthcare access and equity for lower-income and minority patients,” said

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Is rheumatoid arthritis two different diseases? — ScienceDaily

While disease activity improves over time for most rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, long-term outcomes only improve in RA patients with autoantibodies, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Xanthe Matthijssen of Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, and colleagues. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that RA with and without autoantibodies are two distinct conditions.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis, caused when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the linings of joints. Over the last decade it has become clear that there are differences in RA patients with and without RA-associated autoantibodies detectable in their blood. In the new study, researchers followed 1,285 RA patients between 1993 and 2016 through the Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic cohort. Data on patients’ symptoms, treatments, autoantibody status, disability and mortality was collected annually.

In total, 823 patients had autoantibody-positive RA and

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Parkinson’s disease is not one, but two diseases — ScienceDaily

Although the name may suggest otherwise, Parkinson’s disease is not one but two diseases, starting either in the brain or in the intestines. Which explains why patients with Parkinson’s describe widely differing symptoms, and points towards personalised medicine as the way forward for people with Parkinson’s disease.

This is the conclusion of a study which has just been published in the leading neurology journal Brain.

The researchers behind the study are Professor Per Borghammer and Medical Doctor Jacob Horsager from the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

“With the help of advanced scanning techniques, we’ve shown that Parkinson’s disease can be divided into two variants, which start in different places in the body. For some patients, the disease starts in the intestines and spreads from there to the brain through neural connections. For others, the disease starts in the brain and spreads to

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