The 30% the investment in new health technologies you wasted in value or improperly used appliances

29 11 2010

The 30 per cent of the money invested globally in new health technology is wasted because doctors, authorities and managers opt for purchasing innovative appliances “no real value” or those performing a misuse.

This is the denunciation of the President of the Kovacs Foundation, doctor Francisco M. Kovacs, who has presented this Thursday in Madrid the scientific day ‘ the adoption of medical innovations: critical analysis and recommendations ’.

According to Kovacs, health spending increases “between two and four times more than the rate of inflation” each year and the main reason is the incorporation of new health technologies, area which accounts for half of the increase in this expenditure.

However, rather than bring benefits, often buy these new technologies not only unnecessarily expensive service, also affects the patient, that nearly one of every three cases is subjected to unnecessary interventions, as angioplasty, Caesarean sections or prosthetic knee or hip.

In the case of purchase of inefficient technologies, This expert cites the case of the Canary Islands, where “is it being spent each year 2,5 million euros in demonstrably useless rehabilitation technologies, for the treatment of neck pain and lumbar”.

In connection with the misuse of some technologies, says the abuse of magnetic resonance that occurs in Spain, where each year are 970.000 only by lumbar spine. “Two thirds of them –approximately 680.000– they should do as useless and counterproductive to the patient”, ensures.

On the useful additions that are left out, pointed out the case of the neuroreflejoterapia, saves each year “three million euros for each million inhabitants covered”. “Now they are only covered 2,5 millions of Spaniards and are leaving save per year 130 million euros”, says.

In his view, the Spanish health system “does not deserve one euro until does not demonstrate that he performs a rational use of what you already have”. To do this, says, you need a ‘ road map’ towards the improvement of the system of evaluation of these new technologies that allow “Open the door of the system only to the best”.


In this sense has been the President of the international society of health technology assessment (HTAi, acronyms in English), Laura Sampietro-Colom, for those who are another example of unnecessary innovation the surgical robot commercialized by Intuitive Surgical robot ‘ Da Vinci ’.

“This robot puts bad surgeons at the level of the good and this is positive for the patient, but involves an expenditure of over one million euros for purchase and 150.000 euros per year of maintenance”, points.

In this sense, stresses that Catalonia has three of these robots, and that this investment is “inefficient against the benefit of a good surgeon”.

Sampietro-Colom pointed out that, in Spain, There is a law that says that all health technology should be evaluated prior to their incorporation in the system. However, failure to do so is generating “inequalities and lack of efficiency”.

Is not that the Agency for health technology assessment, dependent of the Carlos III Institute and the Ministry of science, his work is doing wrong. Either you made the blame on decentralization, under whose shadow have appeared six regional assessment agencies.

He understood, It is of “enhance and improve” the work of the agencies that exist and make “an effort to create a critical mass” and one “culture of assessment” in the SNS. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 25 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 29 November of 2010] Available on Internet:

A ' microchip’ help paraplegics to exercise

25 11 2010

Scientists from the Council of scientific research in engineering and physics United Kingdom (EPSRC, in its acronym in English), they have developed a ‘ microchip’ freeing up electrical impulses and that, implanted spinal cord, You can help patients paraplegics to exercise.


This type of muscle stimulation devices previous attempts had failed because they were too bulky, Although on this occasion these researchers have succeeded in developing a device “smaller than a fingernail” known as ‘ Active Book ’.

In fact, This name has it been because it is placed between the spinal nerves as if they were pages in a book, freeing electrical impulses directly to the spinal cord from a series of electrodes, Unlike conventional stimulators that worked from the outside by applying pulse in the skin.

Units adhere to a ‘ chip’ of Silicon that is hermetically sealed to protect the unit from the penetration of water, Since it can cause corrosion. The objective is that the pilot to test studies the ‘ Active Book’ begin next year.

In addition, and as explained by Professor Andreas Demosthenous, author of the research, in statements to the BBC obtained by Reuters, the device includes different intensities depending on the field of muscle rehabilitation.

“The research has the potential to stimulate more muscle groups than is currently possible with existing technology” says Professor Demosthenous, justifying this potential to “You can deploy into the spinal canal”.

In this way, allows the user to stimulation of more muscle groups “have enough movement to exercise controlled such as cycling or rowing”, Adds.

According to this scientist, the ‘ microchip’ It could also be used for a variety of restorative functions, as the stimulation of the muscles of the bladder to help overcome incontinence, stimulation of nerves or to improve the capacity of the intestine and remove spasms.

Previously, This type of equipment had limitations due to the difficulty of packing electrodes and stimulators muscle in a small unit although, Thanks to advances in laser materials processing technology, you have failed to cut tiny electrodes of Platinum sheet. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 24 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 25 November of 2010] Available on Internet:…

Medtronic develops a portal ‘ incubator’ research in medical technology for experts from all over Europe

22 11 2010


Medtronic, a company leader in technology for the health care, It has announced the launch of ‘ Medtronic EUreka ’, a portal intended to become one “incubator” innovation in medical technology projects, where inventors, researchers, European doctors will be able to turn their ideas into reality.

The program ‘ Medtronic EUreka ’, It occurs through the web ‘‘, It has been designed to provide a meeting point where to submit ideas and future projects, thus establishing a strong link between European inventors and Medtronic to move new product concepts to the industry, improving the quality of life for patients around the world.

As reported by the company specializing in medical technology, This Web site responds to the need that the doctors have to have of a process “simple and clear” It strengthens your ideas, always evaluated by professionals.

Through EUreka, According to the President of Medtronic Europe, Rob ten Hoedt, “Medtronic seeks to increase innovation with regard to medical technology and make sure that the patients that obtain benefits through technology that saves lives”.

“Our goal is to continue to build the future of medicine in collaboration with the European inventors, allowing the creation of new products that enhance the concept of health as a whole”, you have added.

The ideas that are received will be evaluated by a small group of experts. Inventors will be informed of the initial decision of Medtronic in relation to his idea within approximately of 3 in the months since you proposed the same. In the event that the assessment is not relevant for Medtronic, the creators can convey your idea to ‘ MD Start ’, an independent medical device incubator dedicated to the medical field based on Switzerland.

“We are confident that an approach of this kind in Europe, It protects inventors and provides opportunities to collaborate for innovation, It will bring excellent results and help continue the research of medical technology”, He said Senior Vice President of medicine and technology, Medtronic, doctor Stephen Oesterlé. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 15 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 22 November of 2010] Available on Internet:

A study finds the international impact of the research of the ICO

18 11 2010

This Tuesday 16 November report the Bibliometric indicators of scientific activity in Catalonia. Prepared by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, the CSIC and the Scimago research group, It is based on Scopus, a database that collects 19.000 international publications in the scientific sphere between the years 2003 and 2008.

Catalunya, at the head of the State with respect to quality

The study shows that Catalonia is the second autonomous community in terms of scientific production (69.728 items between 2003 and 2008) behind Madrid, He published 93.655 in the same period.
However, Catalonia takes first place in terms of the quality of the research, If you consider the impact of studies, valued by the number of citations received in articles written by other researchers. Altogether, Catalonian items received a 42% more than appointments than the world average. These indicators of quality placed in Catalonia at the country level as Canada, Singapore and Finland.

The ICO, the health institution with the most influential research

The study also analyzes the scientific production of research centres, universities and health institutions.
In this last section, Hospital Clinic is the first in production volume, with more than 6.000 work, followed by the Vall d ’ Hebron, Bellvitge and Hospital de Sant Pau. The ICO is in ninth place with 831 publications.
In terms of quality, the ICO occupies leading positions, with an average of 18,58 citations per document, only finally in the Centre for Genomic regulation (22.74) and the IrsiCaixa Foundation (20.84).
As the citation levels differ according to the scientific areas, the study develops a standardised impact, enables comparisons between entities regardless of the scientific field in which focus activities. At this point is where the ICO investigation Gets the second position, with a standard impact of 2 ’ 56, behind the IrsiCaixa, with a 3,49.

Iconcologia.NET [en línea] Barcelona (Spain): iconcologia.NET 17 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 18 November of 2010] Available on Internet:


Patients operated of knee prosthesis are participating in a new program that allows rehabilitate at home

15 11 2010

A total of 68 patients of the Hospital Son Llatzer operated of knee prosthesis they have participated in the pilot program of TeleRehabilitation that has put into operation the health centre and which allows exercises home and thus avoid scroll to the hospital.

Precisely, the Councils of health and consumption, Vicenç Thomas, and innovation, Pilar Costa, they have known first-hand the operation of this new project, financed with funds of the Plan Avanza and which is the result of collaboration between the Fundación iBit, the Office of information technologies and communications of the Servei de Salut (OTIC); the Son Llatzer rehabilitation service, and the technological support of the Telefónica company.

Tests with patients were started on an experimental basis a year ago and a half and, Since then, they have participated 68. It's people that has been implanted them a knee prosthesis and have been given the option of continuing rehabilitation at home. Each Physiatrist is who decides the criteria for the inclusion of patients in this program, in which participate voluntarily.

In particular, before you begin the rehabilitation at home, a physical therapist program exercises that correspond to each patient in the hospital and explains the operation of the system of telerrehabilitacio. Those who join the program receive the necessary equipment to follow the treatment, that includes a laptop with touch screen, two biomedical sensors with wireless technology to capture the movements of the patient, the necessary tools for the exercise and a connection to send the results by Internet to the staff of Son Llatzer.

Once home, the patient is placed on a leg sensors, you are connected to the computer, on the screen which a figure simulates the movements that the patient does and tells you if you are doing correctly prescribed rehabilitation exercises. This interaction allows the patient to correct entries of rehabilitation while he makes them and adapt them to the program.

Later, Thanks to the data logging, physical therapist analyzes the results of the exercise, so that you can adapt the complexity and pace to the evolution of the patient. Also, When the patient makes an inspection visit, the physician assesses the clinical improvement and decides the new treatment that will need to continue. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 12 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 15 November of 2010] Available on Internet:

Mobile technology catalyzes change in health, According to the PSPK report of the future of health

11 11 2010

Devices such as mobile phone or tablets play and will play a crucial role in the future of health care provision, According to the PSPK report of the future of health, that just made public and it has been commissioned by Unicef. According to Piers Fawkes, PSPK President, advances in technology now allow this provision at a more affordable price and decentralized, so you can reach a large percentage of the population, reducing the barriers to entry in less developed markets. This change in access is considered particularly important in countries with little or no health infrastructure and in areas where there are few trained health professionals. In addition, This technology allows these professionals to carry out quality checks remotely.

Among the most prominent developments underlines the significant momentum towards a change to monitoring and individualized diagnosis and field. In this way, services that once were available only in the query or in the hospital, You can now use to demand solutions assimilable and low-tech. For example, a toilet can use a simple phone with software adapted to perform dozens of diagnostic tests. This information can be sent to a database at a medical center of reference, where trained doctors and professionals can discuss them, provide a rapid diagnosis and suggest treatment alternatives. This possibility of data capture and quick responses of remotely translates, According to those responsible for the report, in a better health, fewer trips to the hospital and fewer lost work days.

PSFK-Unicef concepts

Another important change is happening in the access and availability of health information, It was made possible by the proliferation of systems designed to alleviate deficiencies in infrastructure and have laid the foundations for the dissemination of information and the receipt of feedback in virtually any location. Like this, the collective knowledge that now can be found in the network is now available to millions of people around the world who previously lacked access. This connectivity allows now to share health information, encouraging the growth of social networks focused on medical and health care, It allows professionals, health-care workers and individuals, connect quickly and share knowledge.

The report details 15 milestones that will have an impact on health and well-being around the world. Entre otros, the query by SMS, distance learning, temporary communities that allow people to organize spontaneously, technology that uses alternative energy advocates, offline web devices or game development to promote healthy behaviors. For Fawkes, the combination of simple advances with leading-edge technology is the road that leads to services, applications and technologies that allow health care within reach of all and of higher quality. In addition, the report lists ten challenges that these innovations must overcome. Entre otros, the lack of access to relevant information, the diffiAmong othersistance training and contact health professionals when needed, the limited availability of information of the dose of drugs for certain age groups, the lack of connection between health workers or the difficulty of registering births.

To achieve this, Eleven different companies have contributed their ideas, with a few general criteria for success that pass design products designed specifically to persons that are aimed, with open and publicly accessible platforms, Bearing in mind the sustainability and scalability. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 8 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 11 November of 2010] Available on Internet:

**Published in The interactive doctor**

The health of patients can be controlled via mobile phone

8 11 2010

The State of the patients already can be controlled via mobile. The tool, the Andago company, works by collecting data from patients and sending them to a mobile network with Linux operating system via Bluetooth. Over the mobile network parameters are recorded in a system of management of histopersonal medical materials to be analyzed. The new tool will facilitate the interconnection of systems medical devices, tools such as Open Health Assistant or stories of personal health management systems. The system is also compatible with various medical devices(thermometer, Pulse Oximeter, scale, blood pressure monitor) extending its possibilities.

Sector professionals see this as a positive innovation. “Personal health connected via mobile devices can improve the lives of millions of people by providing opportunities for automonitorizarse wherever they are. This allows to improve the management of the living conditions, as well as giving greater freedom compared to fixed systems” said the Director of Continua Health Alliance, Chuck Parker.

The new company Andago system has been developed in collaboration with the LibreSoft the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid group. His official presentation took place during the days of the ‘ Fall Summit and Plugfest ’, technology applied to medicine, It is held in Seoul. [en línea] Madrid (Spain): 3 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 8 November of 2010] Available on Internet:


Nursing tv, a television in the service of the citizens

4 11 2010

From SATSE, It has been noted that Nursing tv today officially starts its broadcast via the Internet ( in order to give visibility to the work develop nursing professionals in the health care system and improving the health of the population.

In addition, It reiterates that it is the first professional television of health, and it will allocate a large block of its contents to spread tips, recommendations and health care to citizens, led by nurses. It's the society find out about everything that the nurse can do to improve your state of health.

Nursing tv thus becomes a window to promote the work of nurses in and out of Spain. Six channels and 24 hours of programming they put in the service of the nurse and the society, using the The information and communication technologies (ICT).

Today, e-health, World of work, Professional development, Video-Formacion and cooperation are the areas where users can find a television à la carte that adapts in contents and timetables to your needs. It also incorporates the web advances 2.0, encouraging the participation of the audience in the design of contents.

Nurse tv is strongly committed to generate and transmit a balanced set of programmes, in order to meet the needs of access to information that has the nursing. Through the quality-oriented work, It aims to get the confidence and credibility of the audience as a means of communication that seeks the benefit of professionals and citizens.


The project was made possible thanks to the Union of nursing, SATSE, and the Foundation for the development of the nursing, FUDEN, you guarantee from his profound knowledge of the profession the work that develops this TV.

With this new means of communication, aims to promote activity that are developing the nurses in health centres, the development of the profession and make increasingly close relationship between the nurse and the society. [en línea] Spain:, 3 de noviembre de 2010 [REF. of 4 November of 2010] Available on Internet:…

Dr BALCELLS: The business resumption through the science industry

1 11 2010


Dr. Manel Balcells

Chairman of the Executive Committee of Biocat




The importance of the biomedical sector in the economy of our country is vast. Taking as an example Catalonia, system that I know well and in which I have participated and am currently, It is a sector where the hospitals are major economic centres and management: There are hospitals in Catalonia whose budget is higher than the the municipality of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, the second city in inhabitants of this community. Not to mention the not inconsiderable figure that moves the Health Department in the catalan Government: the 33% the budget of the Generalitat. It is necessary to, because, be aware of this reality when we are discussing about the key stakeholders in the design of new economic models or economic development strategies are designed.

Our belief is that in the biomedical sector, and in the industry that is generated to your around, It is the key to the change of economic model that should lead the business revival in our country.

In this economic scenario it is necessary to also note that the toilet is, along with the defense, one of the few sectors in which the generator of innovations and the buyer are mostly the same agent: the Administration. Purchasing power comes from the external client and the system itself. We must, because, using public procurement as a lever for the development of the industrial sector, as a tool to enhance mature sectors enterprises to leverage their technological capabilities to enter in emerging sectors. However, to run the model, purchases must be aligned with the health challenges that response should be.

In the world there are various models to follow. A good example of this is Britain, that aligns the priorities of the national service for health with the Ministry of industry, for international public-private consortia are funded in must intervene them, necessarily, a public hospital in the country. Like this, the industrial sector is reactivated, provides answers to the challenges of health with innovative solutions, and in the short term there are cost reduction and increased efficiency. And the key element remains hospitals, that in our country are decidedly nuclei of proven excellence. In Catalonia, for example, There are first class international hospitals, with high level of care, research excellence and technology transfer capacity. The opportunity to relaunch our economy is to exploit the potential which are available. The challenge, do it in key strategic.