Penn Study: Painkiller Prescriptions on the Rise

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

iStockphoto.com | DanielAzocar

Are prescription painkillers playing a role in increasing rates of addiction and overdose from prescription opioid painkillers? A study published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers at Penn Medicine doesn’t go as far to say doctors’ pain treatment methods are the cause, but shows they have become much more lenient in recent years with prescribing opioid medications — both in larger doses and more frequently — after low-risk surgeries.

“I think much of this pattern probably derives from good intentions, says Mark Neuman, senior author of the Penn Medicine study. “It also reflects the fact that there are only so many options for patients who have pain.” The researchers say more work is needed to see how pain prescriptions plays into the addiction and overdose epidemic. Read more »

New Penn Medicine Video Provides Incredible, Personal Look at Post-Mastectomy Nipple Tattoos

I’ve heard about hospitals that employ tattoo artists as part of their reconstructive teams for women who undergo mastectomy procedures, but until today, I’d never actually seen one of them in action. Last week, Penn Medicine released a super powerful video, in which one patient, named Emily, allows her nipple-tattoo session to be documented by a film crew.  Read more »

DreamIt was Second-Most Active Health Care Investor in 2015

At a recent Dreamit health demo day, Saurabh Radhakrishnan introduces us to GraphWear, a smart sweat patch.

At a recent Dreamit health demo day, Saurabh Radhakrishnan introduces us to GraphWear, a smart sweat patch.

Whether it’s a mouthpiece that detects concussions, pill bottles that blink when it’s time for patients to take medicines or wearables that track diseases, health care technology is an exploding industry — and Philadelphia is at the center of it all.

In fact, Philly’s Dreamit Ventures (through its offshoot Dreamit Health) was the second-most active health care investor in 2015, according to new research from CB Insights. (No. 1 was the highly touted Silicon Valley-based seed accelerator, Y Combinator.) DreamIt and Y Combinator were the only investors to finance more than 10 unique digital health companies this past year — with DreamIt making deals with companies like Redox, Oncora Medical and CareCierge.

For 2016, Dreamit has $1 million earmarked for investments in health care tech. To date, Dreamit has invested more than $3.1 million in health care companies that have participated in its program and those companies have raised nearly $12.3 million in additional capital, the company reported. Read more »

Penn Study: Mustaches More Common Than Women in Top Medical Leadership Posts

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

You probably could’ve guessed — if asked — that there are more men than women leading the nation’s top academic medical institutions in America. But would you have guessed there are more mustaches than women in the ranks?

There are, according to a study co-authored by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and published at The BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal.

“The lack of women in leadership roles in medicine is well-documented,” Dr. Mackenzie Wehner, a dermatology resident physician at Penn Medicine said in a statement. “But despite the eccentricities of the study, our results show that even when you focus solely on men with mustaches — which are rare — women are still outnumbered across various specialties.” Read more »

Penn Study: Paying Patients, Doctors Leads to Lower Cholesterol

(Irenaphoto/Shutterstock )

(Irenaphoto/Shutterstock )

What’s the best way to lower people’s cholesterol? Offer financial rewards to both patients and doctors when people take their allotted medications at the appropriate times. That was the main finding from a recently published University of Pennsylvania-led study.

It’s easy to understand why a financial reward gives patients incentives to take their medicine (typically statins like Lipitor). But why pay doctors too? Read more »

Two Philly Hospitals Have New Partner: Abu Dhabi

(Photo: ME NewsWire)

(Photo: ME NewsWire)

Two Philadelphia hospitals recently announced partnerships with an Abu Dhabi health care provider. Although both partnerships are preliminary and little detail has been offered — it opens the door for increased collaboration between Philly and the growing health care market in the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, the University of Pennsylvania Health System entered into a strategic partnership with VPS Healthcare, which has more than 7,500 employees, 650 physicians and serves 2 million patients per year, according to the company. Read more »

These Intensive-Care Babies at HUP Are Philly’s Most Precious Trick-or-Treaters

Photo courtesy the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Photo courtesy the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Maybe it’s all the hormones I still have pumping after just having my own kid six months ago, but, man, I can’t help but be in love with these teeny, tiny costumed babies currently in the Intensive Care Nursery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The nurses and care staff threw the families a little Halloween party yesterday and dressed up the little ones for the occasion.

“It’s nice to have something to look forward to,” said mom, Kayla, who gave birth to baby Wyatt at 25 weeks and two days. Wyatt, who was dressed as a pirate, has been in the ICN for just over two months. “There are definitely a lot of ups and downs and little things to celebrate day to day, but something like this was a little more exciting.”

Check out more precious photos of Wyatt and his friends below.  Read more »

Zion Harvey — 8-Year-Old Double Hand-Transplant Patient at CHOP — Released from Hospital Today

Photo via Penn Medicine/Facebook

Photo via Penn Medicine/Facebook

Late last month, the world fell in love with Zion Harvey, the eight-year-old Baltimore native who received a double hand transplant in early July at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The surgery, the first-ever hand transplant performed on a child, was a joint effort of physicians at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania. It was deemed a resounding success.

Penn Medicine announced that Zion was released from the hospital today, posting several new photos of Zion with transplant team leader L. Scott Levin. The caption reads: “Zion is a tremendous, brilliant child, and though he has a lot of work ahead of him, he’s already talking about ways in which he can help others who face similar circumstances. We’re privileged to have been a part of his story.”

Check out all the photos below.  Read more »

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