Several bottles of lubricating eye drops or artificial tears have been found to harbour a rare strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sixty-eight infections have been reported, of which three people have died and eight have lost their sight. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised consumers to carefully check the labels of the oral drops they use, and to avoid specific brands sold by firms EzriCare and Delsam Pharma. The products were manufactured in India and were found to be contaminated during manufacturing with a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, that is resistant to carbapenems. Carbapenems are powerful antibiotics usually used in US hospitals to treat severe infections.
AI bots are already dispensing patient diagnoses via smartphone, but Channel News Asia highlights growing concerns among medical professionals about larger diagnostic AI algorithms. Computer systems could soon “overrule” human doctors, while data could be misused or exploited. Dr. Yazan Maskoun, a cardiovascular specialist at Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital, noted that while data analytics has already begun to have a real impact on medicine, AI-powered algorithms remained in their infancy for their particular field.
Staying with eye care, researchers have developed an eye patch that can monitor drug treatment remotely, and independently manage dosage if necessary. The prototype system uses sensors to determine medication requirements based on responses by the eye to drugs. The eyes are a suitable place to test out new medication delivery systems due to their accessibility and the rapidity of drug circulation during treatment. The ultimate aim is to make remote treatment more reliable for drug users, and to reduce the occurrence of dangerous under or overdoses.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new opioid, Dsuvia, 10 times more powerful than Fentanyl, an existing similar painkiller. It dissolves quickly in the mouth and is designed for use in hospital settings to treat acute pain caused by trauma or surgery. The decision has sparked outrage from some quarters, while others say Dsuvia is vital amid a shortage of other opioids commonly used in hospitals. A report by the US Senate in 2016 found that the healthcare sector spent $1.5bn on lobbying for opioids over the previous decade.