Thursday, December 29, 2005
Atrial Fibrillation and Conflicts of Interest
I actually worked with Mike Hooven (now"Chief Technical Officer" (but the real brains)) of Atricure which was a spin off from his first venture in bipolar scissors for minimally-invasive vein harvesting for coronary bypass grafting, Enable Medical) when I was in Cincinnati Ohio about 5 years ago. Atricure is now public and Mike has made a few zillion bucks, I'm sure. My hat's off to him. Mike's one smart "engi-nerd".... but I left Cincinnati for personal reasons (the medical climate there is tough, to say the least: too many hospitals, not enough patients/businesses) and was surprised to see all this! But the story really isn't about Mike, it's about the relationship of major centers taking stake in a company and "researching" and "teaching" without disclosing to the patient's or community to whom they teach (like fellow docs). Hmmm, seems the course at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute on "Minimally Invasive Surgical Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation" recently scheduled for 1 Feb 2006 was recently "rescheduled" after the Wall Street Journal piece appeared... Atricure, I'm sure, was to play prominently in the meeting.
Here's the problems in a nutshell:
The Cleveland Clinic has been an advocate of heart surgery with a device from AtriCure Inc. and has done the operation on 1,247 patients while having undisclosed ties to the manufacturer.
A venture fund the Cleveland Clinic helped set up and put money into invested in AtriCure.
The Clinic's CEO (Cosgrove) helped manage that fund and invested in it himself.
The Clinic's CEO (Cosgrove) sat on AtriCure's board.
Cosgrove developed a device AtriCure plans to market, which would bring him royalties.
Another Clinic doctor, who used the device and reviewed it favorably in publications, was a paid consultant to AtriCure.
It might be best to let the dust settle a bit before having that conference....
PS: I recently updated my bit on atrial fibrillation with a few more figures. Hopefully it will help out folks trying to sort all the incredible information out there. If it's too technical, let me know. I can clarify if need be. The point is to take yet another approach to the discussion and evaluation of afib that keeps the patient first.... Hmmm, an interesting approach these days....
PPS: Oh, for purposes of disclosure, I am on the Speaker's Bureau for Medtronic, Inc. :)
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Asthma? COPD? Other respiratory conditions?
It obviously harkens back to the days of Bill Clinton's election bid stance on whether he used illicit drugs "... but I didn't inhale!" and we tried to keep it acceptable to all ages by including a picture of an inhaler (yes, it's an Atrovent inhaler belonging to my son....). So enjoy! Share it with friends and feel free to contribute your ideas to make another person's day a bit brighter! Oh, yeah, you can find it at: http://www.cafepress.com/medtees/1076980. A portion of proceeds are contributed to the American Lung Association.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Back from the holidays
Well, it's been a wonderful Christmas season! Too bad we now have to get back to work to prepare for the new year. Got a really cool gift just waiting for summer....
The best part of these sandals is the bottle opener on the bottom! It should be great for the beach in the summer! Oh, they can be found here (I have no commercial interest...just thought you'd like to know). As we are entering into the coldest part of the season in the Chicago area, the thought of wearing these on the beach in the summer will help carry me through....
We'll get on to more interesting heart-related matters soon enough. Sometimes it's good to kick back and relax a bit!
All the best-
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Power of the people
In case you're still looking for a gift for the office or your boss, there has been alot of interest in our shirt for "obsessive compulsives." It certainly makes a statement and makes folks think.... anyway, it's sure to bring a smile and, yes, a portion of proceeds are donated to the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.
Also, just wanted to update folks on the puch to raise $500 for hurricaine victims through the sale of t-shirts on MedTees.com: we're up to $329 from the beginning of the campaign! Thanks to all who have bought shirts.... Every little bit helps, and the contributions to the advocacy groups are also important. And we still have quite a few days before the New Year. We'll post our first 6 month's contributions in Jan '06 when we get a final tally.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Power Medical Scooters
When asked about her mobility at home, she said she was pretty much restricted to a chair and slept there because it felt better to be sitting up. I asked her how she gets around in her apartment, and she said it was VERY difficult. I asked if she had ever thought about a medical scooter. She had never considered this. I suggested several websites she could read more and knew that there was a rule she had to have a physical therapist or pulmonologist or rheumatologist provide a "Letter of Medical Necessity," but a little research on my part disclosed this requirement was removed this year! (Sometimes I'm a little late to the party.) Now ANY prescribing physician can provide a prescription for a medical scooter provided the patient has been seen "face-to-face" by their provider within 30 days and there is a FUNCTIONAL need for such a device.
Just thought you might want to know in case you're late to the party, too!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Lemieux with Afib
Our thoughts and prayers go out to him.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
One fake, one real, guess which?
Friday, December 02, 2005
"All Conditions Suited to a T"
If there's any graphic designers out there who'd like to design and donate a really cool shirt design for a medical cause near and dear to their heart, and in turn use our site as a marketing stepping stone to greatness, we'd be happy to post your design on a t-shirt and acknowledge you as the designer (and provide a link to your site).... it's just a thought, but who knows... it might generate some interest in your work.... just e-mail the design to me from the MedTees website under the "Contact Us" tab.
Oh, for those of you interested in purchases there, be aware there will be a TWO-DAY SALE on 7 and 8 Dec 2005 of $5 off on any purchase over $20, $10 off more then $40, and $25 off any purchase over $100. You'll have to enter a special code to get the credit on your purchase. So keep your eye on the sales graphic on the front page....