Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog

Download the Map of Biomedicine - Ebook Edition

Posted on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 02:17 PM

It’s finally here: the Map of Biomedicine ebook!

Last year, 5AM’s Chief Science Officer Will FitzHugh started to make notes about the vast -- and expanding -- field for which we develop software: biomedicine. Originally, his purpose was keeping all of the players straight so that he and 5AM’s software development teams could have a big-picture view of the context that our clients work in, as well as details like the regulatory processes and technological shifts that impact human health.

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Tags: biomedicine, map of biomedicine, diagnostic test development

A $250 Genetic Test Might Revolutionize Breast Cancer Diagnostics

Posted on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The New York Times reported today that Color Genomics, a Silicon Valley startup has raised $115 million to make a $249 genetic test a reality. The test identifies faulty BRCA, as well as more than a dozen other cancer-related genes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are responsible for increasing women’s risks for developing certain breast and ovarian cancers. Filmmaker and actress Angelina Jolie has made headlines over the past few years for her decisions to undergo a preventive mastectomy, and more recently, a preventive oophorectomy in response to her own gene-related disease risks.

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Tags: cancer, biomedicine, 23andMe, diagnostic test development, diagnostics, BRCA

Precision Medicine and the Placebo Effect

Posted on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

If you’ve been watching the AMC series “Better Call Saul” then you know that Chuck McGill — the older brother of protagonist Jimmy McGill — suffers from a mysterious, and little-understood collection of symptoms described as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). EHS sufferers report symptoms ranging from headaches to rashes to burning sensations when they are exposed to electromagnetic fields, such as those associated with cell phones. 

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Tags: clinical trials, precision medicine, placebo effect

3 Things That EHRs Need to Work Better

Posted on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 04:30 AM

Electronic health records have come under scrutiny lately, and that has continued this week at HIMSS15, the annual conference of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Here's some of what's been addressed at the conference so far:

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Tags: EHR, health IT, EMR, electronic health record, HIMSS

Mighty Mouse: Rodent Avatars Push Personalized Medicine Forward

Posted on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Personalized medicine is getting a lot of attention these days. In January, President Obama announced that his 2016 budget includes a $215 million investment in precision medicine.

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Tags: cancer, personalized medicine, precision medicine

The Map of Biomedicine Returns: Getting Drugs to Patients

Posted on Tue, Apr 07, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

In my Map of Biomedicine blog posts, so far, I’ve focused on how diagnostics get to market. But you may recall that way back in my first post I discussed the major themes of the map - what I called ‘vignettes’. The first vignette was the development of diagnostic tests, which is what I’ve focused on so far. Those blog posts are being collected and expanded in an e-book which will be released soon, so keep an eye out for that.

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Tags: personalized medicine, biomedicine, map of biomedicine, drugs

Like My Genome? Facebook, Genetics, and You

Posted on Thu, Apr 02, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

You might remember that back in 2007 and 2008, no publication felt quite right unless it included at least one trend piece about the trendiest scientific and social development of the time: the spit party. Back then, companies like 23andMe were brand new and for less than $500, you could delve into your ancestral genetics, plus get a peek at your genetically encoded health risks and predispositions. After buying a kit online, you would spit into a receptacle, mail it to a lab, and have your results returned in a few weeks. 

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Tags: precision medicine, social media, 23andMe, consent management, Genes for Good

What We Talk About When We Talk About Curing Cancer

Posted on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 05:01 PM

Last night, the three-night documentary series "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies" based on Siddartha Mukherjee's bestselling book premiered on PBS. In the first episode, the filmmakers traced the disease's history from a reference in a 15-foot, 4,000-year-old Egyptian medical parchment (under cures it reads: "There is none.") to the present, at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, where two families are facing unimaginably difficult decisions about how to treat their children's leukemia.

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Tags: cancer, cancer research, research

Ebola: New Outbreaks Amid New Hope for Vaccines

Posted on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Liberia was poised to be the first of the three hardest-hit countries stricken with the Ebola epidemic to declare itself free from the deadly virus that has ravaged the region for a year. The West African nation had gone two weeks without a new infection; and then a 44-year-old street vendor developed a fever. Her teenaged daughter, who'd tended to her sick mother developed a telltale headache.

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Tags: clinical trials, vaccines, ebola

Better EMRs Can Make Big Data More Relevant

Posted on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Is healthcare technology good enough? Robert M. Wachter, M.D., Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF says no. Or at least not most of it yet. He claims that most of the electronic medical records systems used in hospitals are so bad, that some physicians seeking new positions think that not having an EMR system is a perk.

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Tags: health IT, EMR, Big Data

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