Towards a new generation of medical technology

28 03 2013

Radi was a young soldier when a wound of war not only interrupted his career in the israeli army, but it would dramatically change the course of your life. When recovered, I was quadriplegic and must undergo long rehabilitation treatment in the Sheba Medical Center This city, a hospital of 2000 beds specializing in trauma care. But within a few days it will participate in the Tel Aviv Marathon By Nora Bar


But within a few days, Thanks to a robotic device that includes a “exoskeleton” motorized, a battery and a network of sensors, Radi will be none other than in the Tel Aviv Marathon. You can not run, but it aims to prove that with the help of this mechanism can stand upright, look at other people face to face and walk at a maximum speed of 0,6 m per minute.


The exoskeleton (whose commercial name is ReWalk) It's just one of the developments that the entrepreneurs thriving of this small country of less than eight million inhabitants, around 500 kilometers long, and between 50 and 70 km from East to West, they intend to play a leading role in the design of a new generation of technologies for health.


His creations include innovations in fields such as surgery and studies non-invasive, the computerization of hospital records, telemedicine, digital images, surgical equipment, diagnostic kits and rehabilitation teams. To anticipate the second Med international exhibition in Israel, to be held between the 10 and the 13 June and confluirán representatives of 50 countries, This country's exports Institute presented last week a selection of brand new medical technology during an event for the press which was invited to participate the nation.




“Israel occupies one of the top positions in the world ranking of innovation by the number of patents per capita”, said Gil Rieder, Director of the Department of Sciences of the life of the Institute.


The developments include multiple aspects of health. Some represent advances which rely on known technologies. It is the case of the ETView, a modification of the traditional bronchoscope (the equipment which is used to make diagnosis and to isolate lung), He not only made portable, but they also introduced you modifications that allowed attach you a video camera with two tiny LED lamps to illuminate the inside of the body. “It was approved by the FDA last year and we already sold 50.000 units”, said Israel Lax, of Vivasight, the technological incubator that devised it. According to Lax, soon the new device will begin to be sold in the Argentina.


Such Frieman, of Medinol, experts in stents (devices to treat blockages and coronary artery calcification), presented the feeling, vibrating catheter that allows drilling plate of cholesterol and treating chronic occlusion (of more than the 95%), It is sometimes located in peripheral arteries. You already have permission for marketing in Europe.


Others explore how to apply still tentative scientific knowledge. The company Step Of Mind, for example, based on the research of Dr. Simona Bar Haim, of the Ben-Gurion University, showing that the brain is “strengthens” When responding to unexpected situations. With this in mind, they designed a pair of shoes mounted on platforms with pistons leaning to one side or the other according to a special program for each patient, and that in this way they would stimulate the rehabilitation of people who suffered trauma or stroke, and to help prevent falls in the elderly of 65 they see declining balance. Asher Peretz said that clinical studies indicate that 22 one hour sessions, two or three times a week, they achieve improvements.


Within this group the company also would be Neuronix, that prepares their entry into the field of therapies to alleviate Alzheimer's. After four trials (the last, carried out in collaboration with Harvard University), they propose Transcranial Magnetic stimulation combined with cognitive training.


“The results that we obtained doubled the effectiveness of drugs”, the physicist Eyal Baror, one of those who participated in the development of a team that six regions of the brain with a mild current stimulated (the same principle is being studied for the treatment of depression). It should be emphasized that this method wakes up controversy among specialists and still should be considered preliminary, but according to Baror changes are kept one year and a half, approximately, and they mean that the patient speaks more, is more active, You can find the rooms in your home, move around the neighborhood or play with their grandchildren. Both components of this treatment (cognitive exercises and Transcranial stimulation equipment) they are approved for sale in Europe and the United States.


Medical Inovytec It created an automatic defibrillator that incorporates a long list of functions: is connected to an emergency Center and transmits its records of use periodically (indicating, for example, When it is necessary to replace the battery), It instructs the user through audio and video and integrates oxygen therapy and defibrillation. “It dramatically increases the chances of survival”, said Udi Kantor, co-founder of the company.


OrSense It developed a technology for non-invasive, that was reason of 23 patent for measuring blood hemoglobin, the test performed before donating blood. “The world realized 100 million annual donations - explained Marcelo Alazraki, of OrSense-. For the measurement, a finger is located in the center of a ring pressing it slightly as it is traversed by a LED light. The entire procedure takes between 80 seconds and a minute and a half.”


But certainly the invention that left without words to the small group of journalists who participated in three days of presentations is TopClosure, a revolutionary application for surgery of trauma and chronic wounds. “We often have the problem of missing skin as to make a suture proper - featured plastic surgeon and Professor of the University Bar Ilan Moris Topaz, creator of the simple and ingenious system to gradually approximate the edges of a wound-. As a closing: two specially designed plastic bands are placed, that you are approaching with a toothed belt. It does not hurt absolutely nothing and incredibly reduces scar, because you can use much thinner suture thread. It should be in each operating room, each boat…”


Novel uses of already known techniques include the application of medical hyperbaric (with high pressure oxygen) to treat sports injuries and even recover those caused by stroke. A provocative work recently published in the journal PloS One by Dr. Shai Efrati, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, He argues that you induce neuroplasticity even years after stroke happened [en línea] Buenos Aires (ARG):, 28 de marzo de 2013 [REF. 06 March of 2013] Available on Internet: = 64397

Miguel Martin: “Los españoles queremos una sanidad universal y pública”

25 03 2013


Oncólogo y docente, asesora al gobierno en materia de salud. / ANA NANCE

Oncologist and Professor, advises the Government on health. / ANA NANCE


Michael Martin is a renowned oncologist who takes the job very seriously. Hence its prestige. Hence also the political part of his speech incorrectness. "There cannot be a misunderstood defense of the rights of the workers to defend the vague", says in the middle of this interview. "I'm sorry: You can not defend equal to the works that he is a face".



Head of the Oncology service of the Hospital Gregorio Marañon from Madrid and founder of the Spanish Breast Cancer Research Group (Geicam), Martin rises each day between four and five o'clock in the morning to get the largest of elasticities in his busy schedule.

One of his colleagues at the hospital described as a "technically superb" doctor. As a teacher, Adds, "a number one". Martin openly pronounce on certain internal dynamics in hospitals. "There is a great tendency to say: ' Good, This is a doctor, and I am a warden, We are in the same plane '. Thus cannot operate hospitals. I'm sorry, There is a hierarchy of roles and that cannot be changed. A Spanish doctor who has had to make six-year career, four specialty, and fight as he has been able to, you have what makes failure to occupy a role identified in the ranks. It's embarrassed to say in Spain, because you say you're a classist. Each, at the level that has, and without any concept of inferiority".

To their 58 years, This prestigious doctor of medicine also stands out in the scientific field: He has published (with the support of your team, says) more than 120 articles in journals; two of them, in the prestigious and demanding New England Journal of Medicine.

They run days scrambled in the health. Close points of rural emergency in Castilla - La Mancha, massively rebel doctors from across the political spectrum against privatisations in Madrid, venture capital funds entering the private groups that manage public facilities and the white tide of citizens and professionals who oppose this threat to the quality of the health system extends throughout the country. Martin, Member of the Advisory Council of the Ministry of health, an advisory body formed by 35 prestigious experts, I like this interview his vision of a weakened health system and need changes of openwork hondo. Nobody saved their incisive dissection.


QUESTION: The idea that the Spanish health is one of the best in the world, It is certain or is it a myth?

RESPONSE: Spanish doctors, in particular, and the sanitary Spanish, in general, they are among the best in the world. Spanish health obtains very good results in macrocosm. But we must be self-critical: It is manifestly improved and already was two or three years ago.

P: What are the main problems or dysfunctions of the Spanish health system?

R: First, the great political dependence. Each autonomy has a political color that can influence health planning in your region, and this seems to me unacceptable, is a source of inequality. The second thing is that the health planning in Spain has always been short-term; always budget holes go by plugging.

P: Short-termism, sign of the times in which we live...

R: There are reasons for this. There is a crisis. And it argues that you can not know how is gonna be the world within ten years. But you can make a modular planning: the world within ten years will not be like today, but it will not be the opposite. The third scourge is an incomprehensible lack of consensus among the political parties to define a model of health that is applicable to all communities. I think that Spaniards have said it is very clear political: We want a universal health, equitable and public. I'm not saying that private health may not play a role, but the public should be the axis. For me, private public hospital management is a contradiction; It means admitting that the public administration does not know to manage. The public administration has to manage well rather than cede management to a private entity. In Spain we have to address the change in the public service.

P: What is it mean?

R: An attitude that is inefficient and that today is not very defensible. The average Spanish has the obsession to obtain an official contract, win little, work from eight to three and withdraw his work from the three; to change, want to have the square of lifetime. I think this is an error. Annuities squares are a drag on Spanish society. We would have to evaluate people every five years, with objective criteria, so there is revenge. That Yes, It would have to do it with more competitive than the current wages. A Spanish doctor, with cutouts, no WINS 2.000 euros per month. One Portuguese earns three times more. It is somewhat unfair, and the injustices never end well. The Spanish doctor's salary is the lowest in Europe, under Greece.

P: And how is this possible and who?, However, say that the Spanish health is as good?

R: Because the wage has nothing to do with efficiency. The Spanish doctor has become accustomed to this idea: you know that earn little in the morning and in the afternoon doubles or triples of the morning. To me I do not think efficient a doctor to work in two places at the same time; and I'm doing, I have a query of second opinions a couple of afternoons a week because I can't live with the salary of the hospital. But I would like to live with a living wage, and the salary to contemplate asymmetries, so that the person that more work and more produce could receive a paycheck different from which have less motivation or want to spend less effort.

P: Politicians, physicians and patients. Patients should do also some sort of self-criticism?

R: I would like to make a general comment before answering this. Everything that happens with the doctors, with politicians, with patients, It has to do with how we are Spaniards. The defects are common to all. Spain is a country that has some peculiarities that we must try to change. There is a large facility for envy, to criticize others rather than negotiate; to criticize people, instead of their actions, which is a big mistake. And we also have a huge tolerance of corruption. I am a University Professor and there are very prestigious people who call me every day to ask for to approve your child taken a two exam. This, for me, is a way of corruption, an attempt to influence peddling. And this seems normal to them. "It is human", say. Does not seem to me human, seems to me unacceptable, but I am forced to have to give some explanations as if I were a Monster or a madman, as if I had to justify why not do what I asked.

P: This country is living, in fact, tremendous moments in this front. Do you think that there is a kind of tradition of corruption?

R: Spain has great cultural tolerance with corruption or the corruption. If someone can take advantage of things at work, makes it. People carry pages of the workplace, and pens. Having access to folios, takes to folios; the politician who has access to millions, takes millions. You can tell me that it is not the same and you have reason, is not the same, but we should start to take each one of us as we do not do a maximum effort of austerity and not be strong to avoid favoritism, the corruption and cronyism, We will not be able to change the global system.

Miguel Martin answers questions upright in your Chair, impeccably dressed. We are in San Sebastián de los Reyes, on the outskirts of Madrid, at the offices of the Geicam, the research group that runs from ago 17 years. From here are coordinated clinical trials carried out in 177 across Spain hospitals with new cancer drugs.

Martin is in favour of public health, Yes, but it is considered that this needs Fund reforms. It landed in the Gregorio Marañón hospital Oncology service four years ago and, as described in one of your colleagues, turned to the Department. Set up a clinical trials unit and a program of rationalization of expenses that allowed that the 14 million euro for disbursement in chemotherapy were reduced to 11. This involved the pharmaceutical industry on payment of clinical trials. I.e., It attracted money private to public health.

P: Health coverage is one of the most prized of twentieth-century conquests. Reach the welfare State took years of struggle and effort. Are we witnessing the dismantling of public health?

R: No. The citizens will not allow it. Politicians should be aware of one thing that sometimes forgets them: the Spanish people have chosen a universal health, equitable and public. This may not change for your account.

P: The case is a series of decisions that are taken, If kept in time, they are a way of rolling the public health...

R: What you say is the fear that we have all. The issue is complicated. The problem that there has been, particularly in the community of Madrid, It is that with one blow there has been a reduction of 500 million euros of funding for the health. The counseling has been found with that I had to save 500 millions of euros in a month or two months, they ran out of money for payroll. They have then made the decision to outsource the management of some hospitals. Econo­­micamente solve les part of the problem, but in my view it is a mistake. Background there is an attempt of the PP to privatize health care Spanish? I, sincerely, I don't think so, because they would be fools. They will not be able to do even if they want to. The Spanish people will not allow.

P: The resignation en masse of managers of primary care centers that took place in Madrid at the end of January has been somewhat exceptional. It was a rebellion of doctors of different political latitudes. If there has been, You must respond to something...

R: You yourself have just said: people from very different political latitudes. All the doctors in Spain are essentially agree that the public system is that must follow. Such changes are not consistent with what everyone in Spain want to be health. Even medical PP voters are against these adventures that we don't know what will end up. Is the model Alzira, the model of Andalusia... In Andalusia they have done something that is less harmful, It is to subcontract any small management. But the Administration must maintain control of the public hospital. If yields it to private enterprise, This may be considered the Government's hospital in purely economic terms.

P: With the case of Madrid, were the measures taken consulted with professionals?

R: Radically, not.

P: There are many critical voices who argue that a political dome has made decisions without having all the evidence in hand.

R: Agree. Has not consulted the professionals, and it is a big mistake, Beginner error. I do not understand how politicians can be so naive. Cannot be imposed against doctors medical reform. You have to be sensible.

P: You have a reputation for being independent, no to political gangs, is it so?

R: I've been everything. When was in Valladolid, I studied medicine and at the same time history. At that time, the policy was made at the University. I remember that I was part of the revolutionary autonomous groups, an anarchist party. It was an incredible experience, We even assemble a commune in an attic. Turned out a frustrated experience because after a year not get any girl to enter... I've been through all the political spectrum, and I've done very realistic at the end. We must live together with all the political parties, everyone has the right to exist. I am not of any, Since then. I have voted in several, to some minority. And my vote is now conditioned by the person: If I trust a person's, I'm going to vote, I do like the acronym. Corollary: I am in favour of open lists; closed lists are a perversion of democracy. I am in favour of the Anglo-Saxon model, of a greater proximity of the politician his voters. As the politicians do not come to citizens who vote them, they will continue in this dynamic of disrepute.

Martin is critical of the Spanish political class. "The issue of corruption will be subjected to strict control, I have no doubt. They thought it was not going to pass anything, Why was stolen, they thought that they were unpunished". In this field he returned to quote the Anglo-Saxon culture, where individual behavior has significance. "In United States, a President lies and make him resign. Not here. Here you can lie, rementir, and if he is skilled with the lie and has sufficient support in a number of parliamentary and media, Maybe not resigns. Person lying in politics, person who should automatically stop the charge". It is considered, In addition, that would require a professional qualification to the rulers. "I do not understand that a Prime Minister does not speak English. And the four past Presidents didn't speak it. The negotiations are closed at meals, not in the meetings".

P: Returning to the activity of its founding Geicam, in Spain, an of each 12 women will suffer breast cancer throughout his life. This disease is the leading cause of death in the female population of Spain. From the latest advances that have occurred in the field of Oncology, There is one that is especially hopeful?

R: The first thing that I have is that breast cancer is cured in a 80% cases, When does 15 years is only cured in a 60%. This change has not been seen in other tumors, and has a curious origin: the high frequency of disease. The large number of women with breast cancer that allows us to perform many studies and move toward better therapies. In a year, the Geicam may include 1.000 sick in a study. We have noticed that women are a population particularly grateful face doctors. Women are much more feisty and altruistic: It is better able to understand what the doctor asked when it proposes him to entering a clinical trial. Men, Unfortunately, as soon as we have a cancer, we throw the towel. And often not much we collaborate with physicians. The woman faces the disease in an incredibly positive way, It also helps much in advance.

P: Why does this taboo about cancer?

R: It's a good question. It is a taboo that has ancient history, historical. Cancer was considered synonymous with death in the past. The Spanish society of Oncology medical is trying to, even at the level of the Real Academia Española, to avoid this meaning of cancer as something that destroys, as something that inevitably leads to disaster and doom. When I started doing Oncology, it healed the 40% cancers. Now heal more than the 65% cases, or is, only one-third will die. There has been some amazing progress. And the only way that keep occurring is to deal with the disease with a winners mentality.


Miguel Martin (Valladolid, 1954) It has always been a lover of animals. Although it ended up being medical, wanted to be a biologist. His father was a farmer and he was always close to the. On the farm where his Valladolid childhood unfolded they bred Falcons, they trained them for hunting. "It is fair that the hunt", because the Falcon and Partridge have the same forces", explains. "It was an exciting sport for me".

Once they went to hunt with the discloser Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente, as a partner of promotion at the University of his uncle. Is more, sheep attacked by wolves that came in a legendary episode of the television series the man and the Earth were of his uncle. "The wolves released them to roll the chapter", Remember. "The sheep were two months without giving milk after that.".

Assigned by the country, S.L. © Joseba Elola / country,S.LL. 2013 [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 25 March of 2013 [REF. 28 de febrero de 2013] Available on Internet:

Telemedicine project in cardiac failure of the Hospital of the sea

21 03 2013

The telemedicine in cardiac failure of the Hospital of the Sea project, unique health experience of the country selected by the mobile Congress


Will be presented in seminar open to all attendees the day format 28 February, together with experiences developed in United Kingdom and Germany

The project of telemedicine in cardiac failure of the Hospital of the sea has been chosen to be presented at the Mobile World Congress in the framework of the seminar “mHealth making a positive difference to the endusers“. Will be presented four innovative initiatives in the field of eHealth worldwide, such as telemedicine is located in cardiac failure of the Hospital of the sea, Germany Adventure Diabetes program, the European Patient Forum project and experience in telemedicine in United Kingdom. The paper “mHealth for the cardiac patients: are there any barriers?” It will be Dr. Josep Comin, Head of the unit of failure heart of the Hospital del Mar and researcher at the IMIM (Hospital del Mar's Medical Research Institute), He will explain the results of the project and desmitificará the limits of telemedicine for chronic elderly patients.

The preliminary results show that we have managed to reduce mortality in a 34% and hospital admissions in a 63%. We have also observed that readmissions are reduced for other reasons in a 41% and the cost per patient is reduced by 68%.” Explains Dr. Josep Comin “It should be also noted the high level of satisfaction shown by patients who have been part of the project, since they feel better controlled and safer. These data confirm the viability of a telemedicine project in chronic patients of advanced age, Despite his limited experience in the use of electronic devices” Adds.

The telemedicine for the cardiac failure of the sea Hospital project, developed with technology from Telefónica, started in the year 2010 to keep track of the sick of high risk without having to move to hospital or primary care center, as complement of the heart failure program, that using a new model of management of this chronic disease and with the close collaboration of professionals of the hospital and the primary care teams, It has managed to reduce mortality and hospital readmissions.

The results obtained show with clinical evidence that Telemonitoring together with the teleintervencion and a new model of management, not only is cost-efficient, but that radically improves the quality of life and care of patients, at the time very significantly reducing healthcare costs, being one of the most important developments to ensure the sustainability of the health system.

The mobile Congress is the Congress with more assistants around the world, and they visited last year more than 67.000 people, What makes it a fantastic showcase of innovative experiences being developed. In addition, the project of Telemedicine on heart failure It is also present in the recently opened Mobile World Centre, the first permanent exhibition on mobile solutions to bring this technology to the citizens and which forms part of the strategy of world capital of Barcelona in the mobile telephony sector. The building, located in the Centre of Barcelona, features of 1.800 square metres on three floors, and the first floor, where is the experience of the Hospital del Mar, has been allocated to a permanent exhibition where visitors can discover how mobile is impacting and improving our quality of life, in terms of health, transport, mobility, etc.

Related information:


Web heart failure: [en línea] Barcelona (ESP):, 21 March of 2013 [REF. 22 de febrero de 2013] Available on Internet: = 261

Medical technology: a star discovered

18 03 2013
Autor imagen: Foto cedida

Author image: Photo assigned

Stefan Blum Gallery, BB Medtech's Bellevue Asset Management Fund Manager.


The medical technology sector has managed to beat the market in general in four of the last five years. In the year 2012, the medical technology sector reached a profitability of +17,4%, outperforming the general market (MSCI World Net) by a margin of 3,7%. In this way, has been shown once more that it is one of the defensive sectors most likely to generate positive returns in the long run, especially in volatile markets.

The benefits of medical technology sector growth is impressive, although the sales growth has slowed steadily in recent years. This slowdown has also been one of the main reasons for the reluctance of many investors with regard to the sector.

It is interesting to note that although medical technology has offered superior returns for many years, not many investors have invested in the sector, and now is when they begin to rediscover its appeal. For this reason, We believe that the medical technology sector could receive significant flows of entries in the next year.

The acceleration of growth produces a reassessment of the sector

This year we expect sales growth to return to exhibit a slight acceleration. Our estimate is based on the stabilization at a low level that we observe in the third quarter of 2012, as well as current reports of companies. In addition, the two main markets, Orthopedics and cardiology, They show a clear acceleration of growth. Like this, en el cuarto trimestre de 2012, the global orthopaedics market grew around the 2,5% in comparison with the previous year. While in the field of Cardiology, the world market of the cardiac rhythm management implants (for example, pacemaker) It remains stable and the global stent market experienced a satisfactory growth close to the 2% en el cuarto trimestre de the fourth quarter of

Given that the large corporations that control these factors can generate significant economies of scale with little growth, estimates of benefits for 2013, they are still modest, You can see a positive light. In addition, even major cost reduction programmes are being implemented, which favors this trend.

The lowest risk produces a positive revaluation of the medical technology sector

The prices of the shares of the medical technology companies have responded positively to his financial reports. With a +7,8% (MSCI Healthcare Equipment & Supplies, in USD), the medical technology sector managed to beat the overall market (S&P 500, +5,2%) in January of 2013. Given the variations in the estimates of analysts were little significant, We attribute the rise of prices for a widespread appreciation of the sector, supported by the improvement in the confidence of investors. Investors are relaxing their critical stance and focus on the attractive fundamentals of the sector.

A further reinforcement of the sales growth is expected

Many companies have rearranged their research and development activities to meet the requirements of the market. During the last year, already it was found that the rate of innovation had improved and we have an additional acceleration in 2013. For example, Zimmer, leader in orthopedics, It will benefit this year from the strength of their product cycle. The company held the global launch of a new custom knee prosthesis, along with the vitamin-covered prosthetic acetabular cups and, both products offer the possibility of getting increases share within the company's original market. In addition, Zimmer is entering into completely new market segments with Gel-one (hialuronatos) e electrical surgical instruments.

In addition to a solid products throughout the industry, We hope new positive factors with effects on the prices of the shares, as an acceleration of activity in mergers and acquisitions in the medical technology sector. Most important yet, other 30 millions of Americans will have access to services from next year, giving rise to a new burst of growth and tangible relief from the pressures faced by hospitals. This fact will occupy more and more the center of attention of investors throughout the year.

Potential of rising prices widely supported

We believe that the potential for rising prices of the shares will be especially important in the case of large-cap companies that they can enforce their economies of scale. Also in small and medium-sized innovative companies strong growth, whose contributions can benefit from the increased activity in mergers and acquisitions. In addition, We like companies whose sales are made in a significant percentage in emerging markets, that are already generating the 50% global growth.

Great values such as Medtronic and Covidien have the financial and commercial power to develop r & d projects and complex trials and to successfully market their products throughout the world. In addition, These large groups benefit more than the average acceleration of growth in the mature markets of Cardiology and orthopedics. Even a small increase in sales is enough to achieve significant economies of scale and, Therefore, a profit growth higher than the medium.

Attractive segment of value securities

The appreciation of the sector has decreased considerably over the past years. Therefore, within medical technology, We see investment opportunities. The bottom BB Medtech (Lux) the two segments of value and growth investing, and currently on the 60% of the portfolio is invested in assets of value. Thanks to the combination with titles of growth is a superior attractive profile, both defensive but with growth potential.

The ingredients for an excellent 2013 they are present

In summary, We expect profitability in the medical technology sector, Since enterprises have attractive valuations, estimates of analysts still leaving room for upward revisions. From the point of view of fundamental, This year we expect for the first time a slight acceleration of the growth of sales in the market of medical technology. In general, This evolution will lead to a clear appreciation of the sector. It is positive that many investors just they have invested in the sector, Although it has offered superior returns for many years, and only now beginning to rediscover its appeal. As a result, expect large inflows of entries. [en línea] Madrid (ESP): 18 de marzo de 2013 [REF. 01 March of 2013] Available on Internet:

The use of the Internet can make doctors “more analysts and knowledge managers”

14 03 2013

The use of the Internet can do to change the relationship between the doctor and patient, to be less vertical, and to let doctors be more service providers “to be more analysts and knowledge managers”, pointed out the corresponding academic, Julio Mayol, during a Conference of the Royal National Academy of medicine (RANM) about eHealth: computers, Internet and medicine.

El uso de Internet puede hacer que los médicos sean "más analistas y gestores del conocimiento"

The use of the Internet can make doctors “more analysts and knowledge managers”


The use of the Internet can do to change the relationship between the doctor and patient, to be less vertical, and to let doctors be more service providers “to be more analysts and knowledge managers”, pointed out the corresponding academic, Julio Mayol, during a Conference of the Royal National Academy of medicine (RANM) about eHealth: computers, Internet and medicine.

For this expert, health and health are a priority for all societies, the specially developed. “The large number of processes, data and information which is generated and consumed in health care becomes obvious the computer and Internet application to the practice of medicine”, He said.

After that, He explained that, with regard to the electronic medical record, Although there are many advantages in their use, not all have been proven in clinical studies. “This is because there are different barriers to its implementation, and its design not often responds to the real needs of professionals and patients who use them”, It said.

In their words, European health authorities, national and regional work on the definition of an interoperable electronic medical record, that is to say, to allow access to the patient information regardless of the place and the platform used.

“In any case, the use of a clinical information system, Spanish doctors are well above the European average, both primary care and hospitals”, It said.


With respect to the mHealth, understood as the practice of medicine through mobile devices (tablets or phones), Mayol has pointed out that the ‘ apps’ they have become more popular very quickly responding to the needs of the users, professionals or patients.

“The most basic are used to inform or share knowledge adapted to the user, but they can also become diagnostic solutions or monitoring by leveraging the capabilities of the terminals (camera, microphone)”, He said.

Finally, This expert has recognized that “just adding more intelligences, human and artificial”, will be realized the P4 medicine. “In ten years, I think that it will be possible to extract large amounts of network information to design health care at all levels and in a less reactive way. It will also be possible to more precise diagnoses thanks to artificial intelligence”, It has predicted. [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 14 March of 2013 [REF. 19 de febrero de 2013] Available on Internet:

First Successful Transplantation of a Synthetic Tissue Engineered Windpipe

11 03 2013

For the first time in history, a patient has been given a new trachea made from a synthetic scaffold seeded with his own stem cells.


The operation was performed on June 9th 2011 at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, Stockholm, by Professor Paolo Macchiarini, of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, and colleagues.

Professor Macchiarini led an international team including professor Alexander Seifalian from UCL (University College London, UK) who designed and built the nanocomposite tracheal scaffold and Harvard Bioscience (Boston, USA) who produced a specifically designed bioreactor used to seed the scaffold with the patient´s own stem cells. The cells were grown on the scaffold inside the bioreactor for two days before transplantation to the patient. Because the cells used to regenerate the trachea were the patient’s own, there has been no rejection of the transplant and the patient is not taking immunosuppressive drugs.

The patient had been suffering from late stage tracheal cancer. Despite maximum treatment with radiation therapy, the tumor had reached approximately 6 cm in length and was extending to the main bronchus. It was progressing and almost completely blocked the trachea. Since no suitable donor windpipe was available, the transplantation of the synthetic tissue engineered trachea was performed as the last possible option for the patient, referred by Professor Tomas Gudbjartsson of Landspitali University Hospital (Iceland) who was also part of the surgical team.

The successful transplantation of tissue engineered synthetic organs, referred to as regenerative medicine, could open new and very promising therapeutic possibilities for the thousands of patients who suffer from tracheal cancer or other conditions that destroy, block or constrict the airway.


Professor Macchiarini has previously performed successful transplants of tissue engineered tracheas, but on those occasions the tracheas used were taken from organ donors and then reseeded with the patient’s own stem cells.


Transplantations of tissue engineered windpipes with synthetic scaffolds in combination with the patient’s own stem cells as a standard procedure, means that patients will not have to wait for a suitable donor organ. This would be a substantial benefit for patients since they could benefit from earlier surgery and have a greater chance of cure. In addition to treating adult patients; tissue engineered synthetic trachea transplants would, not least, be of great value for children, since the availability of donor tracheas is much lower than for adult patients. [en línea] Estocolomo (SUE):, 11 March of 2013 [REF. 25 November of 2011] Available on Internet:


The UPC develops antibacterial sanitary tissue

7 03 2013

UPC researchers have developed, from a treatment that combines ultrasound, biopolymers and enzymes, sanitary textiles completely aseptic to the presence of microorganisms. This new technology allows to reduce the incidence of infections contracted by patients during hospital stays, a very important health and economic problem.


Molecular Biology and Industrial Group (GBMI) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia · BarcelonaTech (UPC) It has managed to improve the antimicrobial effect of sanitary tissues with an enzymatic pretreatment and simultaneous deposition of nanoparticles and biopolymer with ultrasonic.

This technique is used to create a completely aseptic textile material to the presence of micro-organisms and prevents the emergence of nosocomial infections. Research carried out in the framework of the European project SONO, funded by the European Union with 12 million euros and involving 17 partners.


Antibacterial textiles 100% effective


Tejido sanitario con presencia de bacterias Imagen: UPC

Sanitary tissue with bacteria image: UPC

The team of researchers from the Campus of the UPC in Terrassa directed by Tzanko Tzanov has used certain enzymes that improve adhesion of the anti-microbial nanoparticles to the tissue under the effects of ultrasound.

With the implementation of these enzymes, researchers have achieved a greater durability of nanoparticles in tissue, even after performing 70 wash cycles.

The antimicrobial effect is total, and it is powered by the incorporation in the tissue of hybrid materials, formed by a mixture of inorganic and organic materials, such as zinc and Chitosan nanoparticles. With the use of these products, the bacteria are not only removed but that prevents the growth of new.

Currently already operate two prototypes of machines that produced fabric for bathrobes and bed linen hospital according to the results of the project SONO. One of these machines is installed in the Italian company KLOPMAN International and another in the Romanian company DAVO Clothing. The fabrics that are produced in these two machines already are being tested at the hospital in Sofia (Bulgaria) with excellent results.


Technical preventive measures against nosocomial infections


Tejido sanitario con efecto antimicrobiano Imagen: UPC

Health fabric with antimicrobial effect image: UPC

The index of hospital or hospital-acquired infections is on the rise, due to factors such as the increased frequency of patients with immune compromise, the emergence of resistant organisms, the increase in the complexity of the work carried out and the performance of invasive procedures.

These infections, they are among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity increase in hospitalized patients and pose a heavy burden on the health system, they occur mainly by contact with robes and sheets. In fact, any other garments specifically used in a hospital setting is susceptible to being infected by bacteria and spread the infection to patients and health personnel.

In the whole of Europe, it is estimated that each year registering more than 4 million nosocomial infections. For this reason, lately have been developed prophylactic techniques that directly affect tissues, as it is the case of the SONO project.


Source: UPC [en línea] Barcelona (ESP):, 07 March of 2013 [REF. 19 October of 2012] Available on Internet:

The economic impact of the “business” tobacco.

4 03 2013

In Spain there are some 11 million adult smokers. The tobacco is the most cultivated non-food product in the world. Of the sale price to the public of a pack of tobacco, the 80% corresponds to taxes.


According to the British American Tobacco Spain published, in an article last April of 2012, tobacco taxes are one of the main sources of income of Governments in almost any country in the world.

In 2011, tax revenue that raised the State by total sales of tobacco in Spain amounted to 9.663 million euros. In recent years, the tobacco industry contributes between the 4 and the 6% the tax revenue of the State budget revenues (PGE).

In addition, Workplace Spanish tobacco production generates more than 1,600,000 direct annual wages in agriculture and a 30% among processing industries and indirect. In total, more than 20.000 Spanish families live directly or indirectly from the cultivation of tobacco.


Now let's see how much raises the State tobacco:


Collection of the State by the tobacco taxes / tax revenues of the State (including the participation of territorial authorities):

2010: 9842.3 million Euros (+4.19% respect to 2009)1

2010: Fundraising 7423 million Euros2

2011: 7253 million Euros (-2.3% respect 2010)2*

2012: 6884 million Euros (-5.1% respect 2011)2


* In December of 2011 the Government ordered an increase in the tobacco tax of the 24%, the second in little more than one year. That rise led to a significant increase in inflation in December to the 3%.

1Data provided by the Club of smokers for tolerance.

2Source: Ministry of finance and public administration.


The conclusion that any of us can be reached after reading these data is that the tobacco industry is not positive, but exceptionally positive. It generates a lot of employment and income more than succulent!


But, is everything positive from the point of view economic with tobacco?


The Health policy was assigned for the year 2009 an amount of 4.622,32 million EUR, What is meant an increase of the 4,3% compared to the previous year, When the budget was in 4.430,82 million euros.

This figure includes transfers to the autonomous communities, Since health is a regional competition. In fact, the ministerial department available only from 705 million euros.

As well, This amount is half of tobacco revenues. The State raised 9.266 million euros through excise and VAT of tobacco in 2008, which represents an increase of the 4,5% with respect to the bagging the previous year and a new historical record of this income.

From 1990, the State case has multiplied nearly by seven revenues thanks to the smokers.

However, “The total amount of costs attributable to smoking in Spain for the year 2008 was of 14.710 million euros and tobacco this year from tax revenues reached 9.266 million euros, What smoking has cost the Spaniards 5.444 million euros per year”, According to the Spanish society of Pneumology and thoracic surgery (Separ).

In the year 2008 the Spanish State paid to cover the direct health costs of only five diseases related to the consumption of tobacco (COPD, asthma, lung cancer, cerebrovascular disease and coronary artery disease) 6.870 million euros. Of this amount, the 38 per cent it went to health costs caused by COPD, that is to say, 2.610 million euros.

That same year, the cost which had Spanish companies as a result of smoking was of 7.840 million euros. Of this figure, el 76 per cent attributed to lost productivity by smoking in the workplace, el 20 percent additional cost of theeaning and conservation of plants and the rest to absenteeism by diseases related to the consumption of tobacco.

Every euro spent on preventing tobacco use saves 55 in health3.


Despite these other data, from the Ministry of health ensures that:

Special taxes, It is well known, they play a regulatory role of the external effects caused by certain consumption, as it is the case of alcohol and tobacco. As well as increasing revenues earmarked for the financing of health care, These taxes contribute to reducing the consumption of both products, resulting in a higher level of health.

In what refers to taxes on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, their tax rates increase a 10 por 100. In terms of the manufactured tobacco tax, the specific rate applicable to cigarettes increases a 5,3 por 100 While the &qby;ad valorem" rate is increased almost by one percentage point. 'Ad valorem' tax rates applicable to the rest of manufactured tobacco are increased in a similar proportion to global rise affecting the taxation of cigarettes by application of the new rates.


And finally, it should be the following question, is it true that the economic impact of the anti-smoking law has been negative?

In this sense it has pronounced Jaime Pinilla, Professor of Economics of the University of Las Palmas, in his study, "the impact of the extension of the law 28/2005 in Spain", where review that the creation of jobs in the hospitality industry to 2008 was of 34.000. Also, This study noted that during the first year of current law, the hospitality in Spain industry turnover 2.200 million euros more than the previous year. Further details of this study in favour of enlargement of the anti-tobacco law are, for example, the average growth of turnover of the fast food - in a 80 per cent, humos‐-free local are, that amounts to three percent annual.

In England, a survey showed that a 20 percent of non-smokers began to more regularly frequent the nightclubs after the entry into force of the prohibition of smoking. The Italian Federation of hospitality issued a report acknowledging that bars, cafes and restaurants had no economic damage following the entry into force of the law and noted that the public was increasing at a 9,6 per cent.

In Norway nor descended in France and regularly figures, data published by the National Institute of statistics and economic studies, They showed that earnings in bars and cafes increased a 1,2 per cent and in restaurants a 18 per cent.

In Ireland, the hospitality industry sowed alarm prior to the adoption of an anti-tobacco law that prohibited smoking in enclosed places and anticipated losses from the 25 per cent. On the other hand, a study in Dublin, following the entry into force of the ban on smoking in local closed, showed that the recruitment of staff in the sector increased an 11 per cent.

Sigismund Solano, Secretary of the SEPAR smoking area, He thinks that "health-saving data and the data of the economic impact on the hospitality industry in other countries where it has banned smoking in enclosed spaces must be sufficient to promote the expansion of the anti-smoking law in Spain, but the first reason for his approval is the prevention of public health". In this sense, Solano believes that "the extension of the law would also benefit to the sector hospitality thanks to the decrease in sick leave for their employees".


I'm not Economist, only physician, but after a quick search on the Internet, trying to get objective results from reliable sources, the conclusion to which I (Perhaps wrong), is that, considering only the economic aspect, the “business” tobacco, It is profitable only for non-State tobacco companies and tobacconists, but for no one else. If the negative consequences that has the consumption of tobacco in the people I add to these data, can only add to the slogan “smoking kills” the of “Smoking impoverishes us”.


(C). Rovira i Bassols

Médico Especialista en Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria.




2- = 1




7- Update of the stability programme. Kingdom of Spain. 2012-2015. Link here.

8- Health expenditure and its financing: evolution, trends and thoughts for the future.