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New non-invasive technique improves monitoring of foetal heartbeat

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Pregnant Women

London, Sep 12: Researchers have developed a technique that can accurately separate foetal heartbeat from background noise in acoustic recordings, a finding that could potentially lead to cheap and non-invasive foetal monitoring while making pregnancy much safer.

The new technique involves doctors examining the sounds in a mother’s abdomen, by placing cheap vibration sensors on the mother’s belly and recording the acoustic signals emitted by the foetal heart.

In fact, it is simple enough so that a mother could potentially place the sensors on her belly in the comfort of her home and make recordings that her doctor can analyse later, the researchers said.

“Our work suggests that there is potential for low cost and continuous recordings of foetal heart sounds in the home… Our results should help doctors to make pregnancy safer,” said Elisavet Koutsiana, a researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

So far, the low acoustic energy of the foetal heartbeat, along with conflicting sounds such as the mother’s own heartbeat and breathing and noise from her digestive system had made it difficult to accurately pick out the sound of the foetal heart from the recording. 

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the team used mathematical analysis technique called Wavelet Transform-Fractal Dimension — to de-noise lung and bowel sounds.

The researchers could clearly discern the foetal heart sounds in both authentic foetal recordings and simulations of healthy hearts, and only slightly less clearly in simulations of abnormally fast or slow heartbeats.

They could still recognise the heart sounds even when unexpected noises were present.

Further, they could also distinguish between the different segments of the foetal heartbeat, which could be useful for doctors in their assessment of foetal health.

IANS

Disaster

Coronavirus crisis may get ‘worse and worse and worse’, warns WHO

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

GENEVA : The raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”

Infections rose above 13 million across the world on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by one million in just five days in a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people.

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Doctor who managed Goa’s only Covid hospital tests positive

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

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Dr Gomes

Panaji, July 13 : Dr. Edwin Gomes, who had emerged as the face of Goa”s Covid-19 treatment and care effort, and had served as the in-charge of medication of patients at the state’s only designated Covid-19 hospital, has tested positive for the viral infection, a government spokesperson said.

“Dr. Gomes has been admitted to a state government facility for doctors infected by coronavirus,” the spokesperson said.

Gomes, 58, is also the head of medicine at the state”s only medical college, the Goa Medical College, and had last week ended his unbroken 98-day shift at the designated Covid-19 hospital.

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that “four to five” Covid-19 patients who died, were suffering from cancer. “Eight to 10 patients were above the age of 80 years, while one also died of liver failure. The death rate has increased due to co-morbid conditions,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat.

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Disaster

Glenmark cuts Fabiflu price by 27%

On June 20, Glenmark announced that it received manufacturing and marketing approval from India”s drug regulator for FabiFlu, making it the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.

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Glenmark Fabiflu

New Delhi, July 13 : Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has commenced a Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) study on FabiFlu to closely monitor the efficacy and safety of the drug in 1000 Covid patients that are prescribed with the oral antiviral.

Further, Glenmark has announced a price reduction of 27 per cent for FabiFlu. The new MRP is Rs 75 per tab from the earlier Rs 103 per tab.

The price reduction has been made possible through benefits gained from higher yields and better scale, as both the API and formulations are made at Glenmark”s facilities in India, the benefits of which are being passed on to patients in the country.

Glenmark has successfully developed the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and the formulation for FabiFlu through its own in-house R&D team within the country, ensuring self-reliance with regard to long term production and manufacturing.

Commenting on these developments, Alok Malik, Senior Vice President & Head – India business, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said, “We expect this post marketing surveillance study to shed more light on the drug”s clinical effectiveness and safety in a large cohort of patients prescribed FabiFlu. Our priority from the start of this pandemic has been to offer patients in India an effective treatment for COVID-19, while also ensuring accessibility to the masses.

“Our internal research shows us that we launched FabiFlu in India at the lowest market cost as compared to the cost of Favipiravir in other countries where it is approved. And now we hope that this further price reduction will make it even more accessible for patients across the country.”

Despite investing significantly in R&D, clinical trials and the manufacturing of FabiFlu (API and formulations), Glenmark has managed to keep the pricing of FabiFlu lower as compared to its price in other countries.

FabiFlu in India was originally launched at Rs 103 per tablet, while, its price in Indian Rupees is higher in the remaining countries like Rs 600 in Russia, Rs 378 in Japan, Rs 350 in Bangladesh and Rs 215 in China.

On June 20, Glenmark announced that it received manufacturing and marketing approval from India”s drug regulator for FabiFlu, making it the first oral Favipiravir-approved medication in India for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19.

The manufacturing and marketing approval was granted as part of accelerated approval process, considering the emergency situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in India. The approval”s restricted use entails responsible medication use where every patient must have signed informed consent before treatment initiation.

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