Coronavirus

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HIMSS

COVID response boosted by digital transformation

Digital transformation has been a significant factor in the way hospitals have responded to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at HIMSS21 European Health Conference, experts were also quick to point out that the approach of the ‘human resource’ to the challenges and changes was a key factor.

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Severe effects

How COVID-19 wreaks havoc on human lungs

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have published the first detailed atomic-level model of the SARS-CoV-2 "envelope" protein bound to a human protein essential for maintaining the lining of the lungs.

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Fighting the pandemic

90 drugs against Covid-19

Mining the world's most comprehensive drug repurposing collection for Covid-19 therapies, scientists have identified 90 existing drugs or drug candidates with antiviral activity against the coronavirus that's driving the ongoing global pandemic.

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Good news

Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection

Months after recovering from mild cases of COVID-19, people still have immune cells in their body pumping out antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Such cells could persist for a lifetime, churning out antibodies all the while.

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Coronavirus consequences

Long Covid? There's an app for that

People with long Covid could be monitored with the aid of a ground-breaking mobile phone app and clinical website. The system has been developed to help NHS rehabilitation teams manage the large number of people suffering from the debilitating effects of the illness. Patients will also be able to use the app to track their recovery. The app will initially be available to patients in 27 NHS trusts…

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„Swarm Learning“

AI with swarm intelligence to analyse medical data

Communities benefit from sharing knowledge and experience among their members. Following a similar principle - called “swarm learning” - an international research team has trained artificial intelligence algorithms to detect blood cancer, lung diseases and Covid-19 in data stored in a decentralized fashion. This approach has advantage over conventional methods since it inherently provides…

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Corona in healthcare workers

Covid-19 and hospital staff: many infections, but few re-infections

A study of healthcare workers shows they were three times more likely to become infected during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the general population. Around one in five of workers who were infected were asymptomatic and unaware they had Covid-19. The study published in ERJ Open Research also shows that it was not only frontline staff who faced the higher risk, suggesting that there was…

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Coronavirus complications

Post-acute Covid: study explores risk of developing long term conditions

One in 7 (14%) adults with coronavirus infection developed at least one new condition that required medical care during the post-acute phase of illness, which is 5% higher than adults with no coronavirus infection in 2020, finds a US study published by The BMJ. The post-acute phase in this study started 21 days (or 3 weeks) after initial infection. Conditions involved a range of organs and…

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Victims of the pandemic

Covid-19 death toll: experts estimate 1 million excess deaths

Almost 1 million extra deaths relating to the Covid-19 pandemic occurred in 29 high income countries in 2020, finds a study published by The BMJ. Except for Norway, Denmark and New Zealand, all other countries examined had more deaths than expected in 2020, particularly in men. The five countries with the highest absolute number of excess deaths were the US, UK, Italy, Spain, and Poland.…

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Coronavirus disease biomarkers

New Covid-19 testing method gives results within one second

The Covid-19 pandemic made it clear technological innovations were urgently needed to detect, treat, and prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A year and a half into this epidemic, waves of successive outbreaks and the dire need for new medical solutions — especially testing — continue to exist. In the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, researchers from the University of Florida and…

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Coronavirus diagnostics

Rapid Covid-19 test delivers results within 4 minutes with 90 percent accuracy

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides Covid-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0 (Real-time Accurate Portable Impedimetric Detection prototype 1.0). Compared to existing methods for Covid-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and…

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Public health strategy

Covid-19: Delay in second vaccine dose may prevent deaths under certain conditions

Delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccines, at least for people aged under 65, could result in up to 20% lower mortality, but only under certain conditions, finds a US study published by The BMJ. These conditions include a one dose vaccine effectiveness (efficacy) of 80% or higher and vaccination rates of 0.1% to 0.3% of the population per day. If these conditions apply, the researchers say…

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Intensive care support

AI predicts daily ICU trajectory for critical Covid-19 patients

Researchers used AI to identify which daily changing clinical parameters best predict intervention responses in critically ill Covid-19 patients. The investigators used machine learning to predict which patients might get worse and not respond positively to being turned onto their front in intensive care units (ICUs) - a technique known as proning that is commonly used in this setting to improve…

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SARS-CoV-2 medication

Remdesivir: additional mechanism against Covid-19 discovered

When a cell is infected, SARS-CoV-2 not only causes the host cell to produce new virus particles. The virus also suppresses host cell defence mechanisms. The virus protein nsP3 plays a central role in this. Using structural analyses, researchers at Goethe University in cooperation with the Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute have now discovered that a decomposition product of the virostatic agent…

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Covid-19 prevention side effects

Rare blood clots after Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: study sheds more light

A large study from Denmark and Norway published by The BMJ sheds more light on the risk of rare blood clots in adults receiving their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The findings show slightly increased rates of vein blood clots including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. However, the researchers stress that the risk of…

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Labs processing 2,000 to 5,000 tests a day

Workflow automation solutions for mid-volume laboratories

Clinical diagnostics company Beckman Coulter announced the European launch of the DxA 5000 Fit, a workflow-automation solution designed to fit into medium-sized labs that run fewer than 5,000 tests a day. The clinical laboratory has gone through trial by fire in 2020, where total testing was 245% of baseline volumes, with ~55% being SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests. Despite vaccines, many industry…

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Medication testing

'Airway-on-a-chip' to find new Covid-19 drugs

A collaboration spanning four research labs and hundreds of miles has used the organ-on-a-chip (Organ Chip) technology from the Wyss institute at Harvard Univesity to identify the antimalarial drug amodiaquine as a potent inhibitor of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The Organ Chip-based drug testing ecosystem established by the collaboration greatly streamlines the…

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Expert debate on coronavirus protection

Covid-19: The pros and cons of wearing masks outdoors

Wearing face coverings outside should be normalised because it may reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in some situations—and may encourage mask wearing indoors, where risks are greater—say Babak Javid, Dirk Bassler, and Manuel B Bryant. But Muge Cevik, Zeynep Tufekci, and Stefan Baral argue that outdoor transmission contributes very little to overall infection rates and that efforts should…

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Disease management

Covid-19 and beyond: Unlocking the value of diagnostic data

Diagnostic data from the massive amounts of testing being conducted can help make health systems more resilient in dealing with future health crises and pandemics. The importance of diagnostic data was explored during the Medtech Europe online session, “Unlocking the Value of Diagnostic Information – how to make European Health Systems more resilient?” where delegates heard that…

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