Daily ReCAP April 27, 2017


The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.

Chronic: Smartphone App Predicts the Impact of Food on Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

A new smartphone app called Glucoracle can predict post-meal blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). In a study published inPLOS Computational Biology, investigators developed a personalized algorithm that predicts the impact of foods on blood sugar levels. The algorithm uses data assimilation to improve the model’s predictions. “While we know the general effect of different types of food on blood glucose, the detailed effects can vary widely from one person to another and for the same person over time,” said lead author David Albers, PhD. “Even with expert guidance, it’s difficult for people to understand the true impact of their dietary choices, particularly on a meal-to-meal basis. Our algorithm, integrated into an easy-to-use app, predicts the consequences of eating a specific meal before the food is eaten, allowing individuals to make better nutritional choices during mealtime.” To use Glucoracle, users upload fingerstick blood measurements and a photo of a meal to the app, along with a rough estimate of the nutritional content of the meal. The estimate then provides the user with an immediate prediction of post-meal blood glucose levels, which are then adjusted for accuracy. After 1 week of use, the data assimilator has learned how the user responds to different foods allowing the app to begin generating predictions. Investigators are currently gearing up for a larger clinical trial, and they estimate the app will be ready for use within 2 years.

Acute: New Consensus Updates Treatment for Sports-Related Concussions

As new evidence has come to light, an international consensus in theBritish Journal of Sports Medicinehas updated assessment tools for recognizing and treating concussions in sports. “The overriding theme presented in this document is: ‘recognize and remove,’” said Willem Meeuwisse, MD. “In other words, when concussion is suspected, the athlete should be removed from the sporting environment and a comprehensive assessment should be conducted in a standardized way. If a concussion is diagnosed, they should not return to the sport the same day.” The consensus built on the latest scientific evidence at the fourth conference in Zurich, and Dr Meeuwisse said it will have a profound impact on diagnosing and treating sports-related concussions. “While most people recover in the initial 10 to 14-day time period following injury, in some cases individuals may have symptoms that may persist.” The consensus aims to assist physicians and health care professionals in caring for athletes at all levels who may have suffered a concussion. In addition, it includes a tool with specific information for the general public and a specific tool for use in children younger than 12 years.

Preventive: Digital Vaccination Records Help Increase Coverage in Europe

The ECDC has released a survey report on immunization information systems, and found that 21 EU/EEA countries have developed or are in the process of developing systems to digitally record information about vaccinations. Many of the systems in operation or in the process of being operational include the possibility of recording whole-of-life vaccination data. Furthermore, some countries allow the possibility to provide vaccine recipients with a print-out of their personal immunization history. “Digital vaccination records may allow an individual to keep up-to-date with their vaccination status,” said Andrea Ammon, ECDC director. “Access to this information could be critical since many adults may neither have had access to currently available vaccines as a child, nor developed immunity through natural infection. This would be of benefit to both the individual and public health and can empower citizens to become better aware of their vaccination status and needs.”

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