Day 1 :
The University of Melbourne | Australia
Time : 10:20-11:00
Christolyn Raj is an ophthalmologist who specializes in retinal disease and is director of Sunbury Eye Surgeons in Melbourne. She is also affiliated with The University of Melbourne Australia holding a Senior Lecturer position. Her interest in congenital eye disease spans years of research and she also holds a degree in Medicine and Public Health. She is involved in hosting several educational seminars focusing on public health implications of chronic eye disease and what needs to be done to address this in the clinical setting. Her education focus is not limited to the medical arena; she has been involved in lecture series to allied health students and professionals as well as the general public and early graduates of the University of Melbourne. A passion of hers is the arts and this topic takes an innovative approach on how the visual impact of eye conditions is a ‘real problem ‘in our society and current approaches on how we through science and medicine can look to improve our treatment of such conditions.
Statement of the Problem: Every hour in Australia, approximately 11 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes. Around the world, diabetes is predicted to increase by 55 per cent by the year 2040. Among the ocular complications of diabetes, diabetic maculopathy is the most common and potentially blinding. Typically, it affects individuals in their most productive years and has devastating complications on the patient as well as society as a whole. A recent epidemiology study estimated the prevalence of diabetic maculopathy to be 7 per cent of the Australian population but, within this group, almost half (39 per cent) had associated visual impairment
As eye care professionals, optometrists and ophthalmologists are the gatekeepers for this disease. If we educate our patients to manage their diabetes well, present early to their optometrists, and then refer them for treatment in a timely manner, this disease may be entirely reversible.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: To illustrate the nature of diabetic maculopathy I wanted to use the example of famous American impressionist Mary Cassatt, who was diagnosed with diabetes and developed severe complications of retinopathy. This, in addition to other ocular complications of cataracts, caused a premature end to her artistic career. Her fellow Impressionist artists gleaned rather inaccurately, from her poor progress, that cataracts alone – not diabetic retinopathy – was the grim reaper of an artist’s life.
Findings: Many of our young diabetic patients exhibit a similar outlook to their disease as Cassatt did. They are eager to continue their lives and work unperturbed by their diagnosis. How then can we enlist our patients to help in prevention of the devastating complications of diabetic maculopathy? Education is key. By getting patients involved in their diabetic care – they can gain control of this disease.
Conclusion & Significance: Eye specialists are often the first to see progression of diabetes as it frequently manifests as worsening maculopathy and/or retinopathy. It is therefore in our patients’ best interests that we co-ordinate the care from physicians promptly and provide feedback when we see signs of worsening eye disease.
1. Dunstan D, Zimmet P, Wellborn T, et al. Diabetes and associated disorders in Australia 2000. The Accelerating Epidemic. Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle report 2001. Melbourne: International Diabetes Institute, 2001.
2. International Diabetes Federation, Diabetes Atlas 7th edition, 2015.
3. Sharma N, Ooi JL, Ong J et al. The use of fenofibrate in the management of patiemts with diabetic retinopathy: an evidence-based review. 2015 Vol 44.No6, 367-370.
Brigham Young University, USA
Keynote: Prescription claims according to wellness program participation for a large employer in the United States
Time : 09:40-10:20
Ray Merrill’s expertise is in biostatistics and epidemiology. His research interests include analysis and modeling of trends in chronic disease incidence, mortality, and survival data; investigation of the impact of chronic disease treatment advances and increased utilization of screening tests on population disease statistics; methodologic investigations into new chronic disease measures, the relationships between incidence, mortality, and survival, and the impact of various biases on chronic disease statistics.
Worksite wellness programs that include biometric screening and health risk appraisal can identify the need for lifestyle change and prescription medication. Hence, there may be an initial increase cost in prescription medication, but the aim is to prevent more costly health problems in the future, as well as lower absenteeism and presenteeism. The purpose of the current study was to identify the number and total cost of prescription claims and copays for a large US employer according to wellness program participation, age, and sex. A retrospective analysis was conducted of prescription medication use among 6810 workers during 2013-2016. Those completing the wellness program were more likely women (32.5% vs. 22.9%, p < 0.0001) and younger (M=45.5 vs. 48.5, p < 0.0001). Approximately 72.7% (74.4% women and 68.6% men, p < 0.0001) filed a pharmacy claim. In 2013, there was no difference in number of claims filed or total cost between participants and nonparticipants. Mean number of prescriptions changed over the study period, initially increasing but then decreasing for wellness participants. Overall the decrease was 34.7% among wellness participants. The corresponding change for non-participants was an increase of 3.4%. Mean changes in total costs showed similar patterns. In 2016, program participants filed nearly 3 fewer claims, with total cost about $329 less, on average. Approximately 96.5% of employees filing a pharmacy claim made a copayment. Overall, copays consist of 6.4% of total insurance and employee expenditure on pharmacy claims. In conclusion, the biometric screening and health risk appraisal components of the wellness program resulted in an initial increase in number and total cost of pharmacy medication. However, over the four-year study period, the number of claims and total cost of pharmacy medication significantly decreased.
1. Merrill RM, Frutos A. Reduced lung cancer mortality with lower atmospheric pressure. Dose Response. 2018;16(2):1559325818769484.
2. Merrill RM. Conditional relative survival among female breast cancer patients in the United States. Breast J. 2017;Epub ahead of print.
3. Merrill RM, Johnson E. Benefits of marriage on relative and conditional relative cancer survival differ between males and females in the USA. J Cancer Surviv. 2017;11(5):578-589.
4. LeCheminant J, Merrill RM, Masterson TD. Changes in behaviors and outcomes among school-based employees in a wellness program. Health Promot Pract. 2017;18(6):895-901.
5. Merrill RM, LeCheminant JD. Medical cost analysis of a school district worksite wellness program. Prev Med Rep. 2016;3:159-165.
6. Merrill RM, Thygerson SM, Palmer CA. Risk of injury according to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, comorbid mental illness, and medical therapy. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2016; 49(2):45-50.
SensDx Ltd | Poland
Time : 11:25-12:05
Dawid Nidzworski is an entrepreneur and scientist. A graduate both: the Faculty of Chemistry GUT and the IFB UG-MUG. He holds his PhD from IFB UG-MUG. Laureate of programs VENTURES FNP, IMPULS FNP, LIDER (NCRD), the SME Instrumens (H2020), “Fast Track” (NCRD), Masovia programme, TechMatStrateg and 4.1.4 PIOR Programme. He developed biosensor (FluSensDx) which will identify influenza virus in the patient's throat swab. He is also working on an edible vaccine against influenza virus for poultry (LIDER). He is the winner of many awards and scholarships. Co-author of several publications, congress reports and patent applications. His start-up company SensDx will revolutionize the way of medical diagnostics in the world.
Influenza is a contagious disease caught by humans and caused by viruses belonging to the family Orthomyxoviridae. Each year the Influenza virus infects millions of people and kills hundreds of thousands of them. Economic losses caused by employee absenteeism are counted in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year. In order to successfully treat influenza virus infections, it is necessary to detect virus during the initial development phase of the infection when tens to hundreds of viruses are present in the pharynx of the patient.
Streptococcus pyogenes belongs to the family Streptococcaceae and is one of the most popular pathogen causing bacterial infections of upper respiratory tracts. The early symptoms of infections of influenza virus and Streptococcus pyogenes are very similar and there is a huge problem to recognize and distinguish those pathogens and start appropriate treatment. Here, we present results of pre-clinical study of novel mobile technology for detection of influenza virus and Streptococcus. Our team developed single-use biosensor (MultiSensDx), universal reader and mobile application for early detection of two types of pathogens in only 5 minutes. Our technology is a useful tool in telediagnostic procedure and may be an internal part of many telecommunication platforms. We strong believe that this solution will have a huge impact on Public Health in the near future.
Complete system for introduction to telecommunications platforms
In our labs, we have developed a single-use test for detection of influenza virus, the universal reader (ready to detect other pathogens and biomarkers) and user friendly mobile application which helps in whole procedure of analysis.
1. Nidzworski, D., Siuzdak, K., Niedziałkowski, P., Bogdanowicz, R., Sobaszek, M., Ryl, J., Weiher, P., Sawczak, M., Wnuk, E., Goddard III, W.A., Jaramillo-Botero, A., Ossowski, T. 2017. A rapid-response ultrasensitive biosensor for influenza virus detection using antibody modified boron-doped diamond. Scientific Reports 7: 15707 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-15806-7
2. Nidzworski, D., Pranszke, P., Grudniewska, M., Król, E., Gromadzka, B. 2014. Universal biosensor for detection of Influenza virus. Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 15 (59), 239-242.