Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Entelos, Inc. Develops a Simulation Process for Drug Treatment Analysis

A while back, England's chief medical officer indicated that not having enough simulators for doctors to practice on could be harmful to patients. This opinion shows that using simulation has proven to be useful to some health care professionals. Further, Entelos, Inc., a California based company, is employing simulation to analyze drug treatment outcomes for diseases, including obesity and diabetes.

Simulation is often employed to improve skills. In the U.S. Space Program for example, simulation is used to train the astronauts. And a Yale University study showed that simulation can be used to increase a doctor's proficiency. In the study, student doctors were taught to successfully insert a catheter into a major vein of the body.

Modeling a drug treatment scenario and analyzing the outcome using simulation would be an effective way to determine appropriate treatment options for diseases. Entelos, Inc. has designed a biosimulation lab, called PhysioLab, that can simulate human disease, and disease treatments.
With the PhysioLab platform, a researcher can construct a virtual patient and carry out clinical trials for, say, an obesity drug, using computer modeling and simulation. In fact, the company was just given a U.S. patent entitled, “Apparatus and Methods for Assessing Metabolic Substrate Utilization."

For more information, interested organizations can contact Entelos, Inc. According to a statement on the company’s Website, “Access to Entelos expertise and technology is available through R&D partnerships, research agreements, licenses, and strategic alliances.”

We feel that simulation for obesity drug analysis would mean a great deal to the bariatric or weight loss industry. The weight loss industry has had a difficult time developing a safe and effective drug that can help a person lose weight. However, since the potential market for weight loss products, including obesity drugs, was estimated by some to be 59 billion dollars in 2009, a tool to improve the development of weight loss drugs would be a boon to the bariatric or weight loss industry.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wellness Programs Are Beneficial to Employers And Employees

In an effort to improve the general health of their employees, employers have been offering wellness programs to employees. Among the programs’ most important components are help with diet and exercise. These programs aim to keep employees healthy and lower health care costs. Medical weight loss centers may be able to play an important role in these programs by joining with organizations that deliver wellness programs and with employers who purchase the programs.

More and more, experts believe that putting wellness programs in place may enable organizations to be more profitable by improving employee health. In fact, according to the organization, U.S. Preventive Medicine, an effective wellness Program can yield a $1.00 to $3.00 return on investment.

And according to Right Management, a subsidiary of Manpower Inc., an organization’s wellness program can improve the organization’s competitive edge by increasing employee productivity and performance.

Further, some insurance providers see the benefits of offering wellness programs. CIGNA has just purchased Kronos Optiman Health Company, a Phoenix-based health and wellness company. This acquisition will enable CIGNA to expand its wellness program offerings, including its online services.

To make a wellness program more effective, program leaders will often ask for a participant's medical history, and inquire about family illnesses. As an incentive to employees, some medical information obtained may be used in decisions to lower or raise health insurance premiums, or establish monetary employee awards.

But using medical information to give monetary awards or raise or lower health insurance premiums may conflict with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. This act provides "protections against discrimination based on an individual's genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings."

But still, effective wellness programs are proving to be beneficial to the employer and the employee. The employer gets a more engaged and productive employee. And the employee will likely pay less out-of-pocket for health care, and the employee will have a higher quality of life.

Because wellness programs are beneficial, medical weight loss centers may be able to work with employers and wellness program organizers to help find ways to use the medical information without discriminating against any group or anyone in the group. It's worth a shot, and this activity may give a weight loss center a competitive advantage.

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