HEALTH

Omron, AliveCor addresses heart disease reduction for American Heart Month

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — In honor of American Heart Month, Omron Healthcare and AliveCor are empowering people to take charge of their health through technology. With Omron’s new line of blood pressure monitors and AliveCor’s mobile wireless electrocardiogram, the risk of heart attack and stroke has the potential to be reduced, the companies announced Thursday.
 
“It comes down to providing the right tools and educating Americans about taking good care of their number one organ – the heart,” stated Ranndy Kellogg, COO Omron Healthcare. “If we can get more people to start monitoring their blood pressure and ECG readings at home on a consistent basis, we can help save lives.”
 
Omron recently launched their most precise monitors ever with Advanced Accuracy to help ensure accurate readings. The company said that five times more data points are captured for a more precise reading; more data points are captured, and interferences such as breathing and movement have less of an impact. Premium units include the ComFit cuff, which inflates around the entire arm to avoid incorrect positioning. Omron’s proprietary algorithm allows for more consistency and precision.
 
Omron’s Bluetooth Smart blood pressure monitors (10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor and 7 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor) enable users to take accurate blood pressure readings and then wirelessly transfer readings to their smartphone so they can know their stats anywhere, anytime. Launched last summer, the new upgraded Omron Wellness app is available for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play. The Omron Wellness app now integrates with Apple Health, incorporates email sharing of data with family or physicians and offers a hypertension notification when taking a reading.
 
Atrial fibrillation continues to be the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting more than 140 million people worldwide. With the Food and Drug Administration-approved AliveCor Heart Monitor, users don’t have to be in a doctor’s office to get an accurate ECG. They can take a reading at home or on-the-go and easily share ECGs, AFib episodes and symptoms with a doctor immediately or at their next appointment.
 
Most recently AliveCor received FDA clearance on two new algorithms for their AliveECG app. AliveCor’s new algorithms include a Detector that displays automatically when an ECG is normal. The other new Detector will notify users immediately if there is any interference in a recording, sometimes called noise or artifact, which can make the ECG difficult to interpret. These new features are expected to be available this quarter, the company noted. 

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Iron supplementation reduces blood donor recovery time

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. — A National Institutes of Health-funded study comparing low dose iron supplementation to no supplementation in blood donors found that supplementation significantly reduced the time to recovery of post-donation lost iron and hemoglobin — an iron-rich protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells throughout the body.
 
The results of the "Hemoglobin and Iron Recovery Study," supported by NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, appeared Feb. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
 
Blood donors are allowed to give one pint of blood every eight weeks. A major concern is that about 25% to 35% of regular donors develop iron deficiency. Since iron is needed for red blood cell production, low iron can cause fatigue and anemia — a condition in which the blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells — and can lead to temporary ineligibility for future donations. It can take months to recover the lost iron. New research indicates a possible solution.
 
“This research brings us another step closer to understanding how to maintain healthy iron levels in blood donors. Maintaining healthy iron levels will allow donors to safely continue donating thereby ensuring a robust blood supply for patients in need,” said Simone Glynn, chief of the Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch at NHLBI.
 
The randomized trial ran from April 2012 to December 2012 at four blood centers in the United States and included 215 blood donors ages 18 years and older. The study was conducted by the NHLBI-supported Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III, a large, multicenter research program that seeks to optimize health outcomes in donors and transfusion recipients and to help ensure the safety and availability of transfused blood products in the United States and internationally.
 
“Donating blood is safe and essential for health care. This study highlights the importance of maintaining iron levels after blood donation, and shows that supplemental iron effectively restores hemoglobin, even in donors with higher iron levels,” explained the study’s principal investigator, Joseph Kiss, medical director at the Institute for Transfusion Medicine and associate professor of medicine, University of Pittsburgh.
 
The study measured the effect of low dose daily iron supplementation on the time to recovery of lost hemoglobin and iron after donating a unit of blood. Participants included 136 females (63%) and 79 males (37%); 52 donors (24%) were 60 years or older. Although all were blood donors, none had donated blood in the last four months.
 
Researchers separated the blood donors into two groups based on their iron levels: a lower iron and a higher iron group.  Half of each group was randomized to take one tablet of ferrous gluconate (38 mg of low dose iron) daily for 24 weeks following their blood donation. Hemoglobin and iron levels were measured seven times during the study. Compared to donors who did not take iron, the donors taking iron supplements returned to pre-donation hemoglobin levels faster in both the lower iron (five weeks versus 23 weeks) and higher iron groups (four weeks versus 11 weeks). Similarly, donors taking iron supplements recovered lost iron more rapidly than those not receiving supplements (11 weeks versus more than 24 weeks). Without iron supplementation, two thirds of the donors did not recover the iron lost from donating blood after 24 weeks.
 
“The NHLBI is supporting additional research to address questions such as who benefits most from iron supplementation, how much iron should be taken, and for how long. This research can help encourage blood centers to evaluate best strategies on how to help donors maintain iron levels and prompt all donors to discuss iron supplementation with their physician,” concluded Glynn.
 

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Carmex Cold Sore Treatment named 2015 ‘Product of the Year’

BY Michael Johnsen

Franklin, Wis. — Carma Laboratories on Wednesday announced that its new Carmex Cold Sore Treatment has been named the 2015 “Product of the Year” winner in the Specialty Skin Treatment category by Product of the Year USA — the nation’s largest consumer survey on product innovation. 
 
The “Product of the Year” award is backed by the votes of more than 40,000 consumers. For manufacturers of the winning products, the award is a powerful marketing tool that has shown to increase product trial, awareness, distribution and sales. Over the past 25 years, winners across the globe have reported an average sales increase of 10% to 15%. Furthermore, leading global research company TNS recently conducted a study with U.S. shoppers and found that: 
 
  • “Product of the Year” USA winners outperform category sales performance by 38.1%;
  • The “Product of the Year” logo is more effective on a package than the word “NEW”; and
  • Coupon redemption consideration increased 24% when the “Product of the Year” logo is featured in an FSI.
“We are honored that Carmex Cold Sore Treatment was voted as winner in the Specialty Skin Treatment category,” said Jona Mancuso, marketing director at Carma Laboratories. “We are in excellent company and feel that this is a major milestone for the Carmex brand.” 
 
The brand accepted the award yesterday during a special ceremony in New York. Beginning Feb. 12, the distinctive red “Voted Product of the Year” logo will be leveraged across all marketing channels, including product packaging, advertising, promotions and the brand website, www.carmexcoldsore.com
 
Carmex Cold Sore Treatment works on contact to block pain and itch while minimizing the appearance of a cold sore. The formulation including 10% Benzocaine blocks pain and itch, while the TriPLEX Formula technology smoothes and fills to make the cold sore less noticeable. 
 
Carmex Cold Sore Treatment has a suggested retail price of $14.99 (0.07 oz. tube).

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