Week in Review: August 19

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Over-the-counter hearing aids expected this fall in US

Millions of Americans will be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription later this fall, under a long-awaited rule finalized Tuesday. The regulation creates a new class of hearing aids that don’t require a medical exam, a prescription and other specialty evaluations, the Food and Drug Administration said. That’s expected to increase competition and eventually lower costs. The devices will be sold online or over-the-counter at pharmacies and other retail stores. The devices are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing problems. The FDA estimates that nearly 30 million adults could potentially benefit from a hearing aid, though only about one-fifth of people with hearing problems currently use one. Source: Associated Press

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Changing kidney blood type may boost transplants
The breakthrough has particular implications for minority groups, who often find it harder to find a match. A kidney from someone with blood type A cannot be given to someone with type B, and vice versa. But changing the blood type of a kidney to the universal type O will mean it can be transplanted into any patient. People from black and other ethnic minority groups often have to wait a year longer for a transplant than white patients because they are more likely to have the rarer B-type blood group. Source: BBC News

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UK becomes first country to approve updated Moderna vaccine targeting omicron

Today, the UK approved an updated COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna that targets both the omicron and original strains of the virus. The omicron strain targeted by the UK-approved vaccine is BA.1, while the U.S. FDA has instructed vaccine makers to target BA.4 and BA.5. Source: The Hill

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic Minute: prescribing nature for mental, physical health (video)

“Biophilia means that we are wired to be connected to nature — that there’s something healthy about having nature either in our presence or us being present in nature,” says Dr. Brent Bauer, a general internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic. “There’s actually a lot of research on this topic. So it’s no longer just, ‘Nature sounds good.’ We know it’s actually really good. Those studies range from evaluating people who are in a city and then taken into a forest. What happens to blood pressure? What happens to heart rate? And in many, many studies, we do much better in the natural environment.” Source: South Florida Reporter

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Everything you need to know before the next big Alzheimer’s readout

To Ronald Petersen, a neurologist and Alzheimer’s researcher at the Mayo Clinic, CLARITY-AD is unlikely to demonstrate a benefit that will revolutionize treatment of the disease. But after more than a decade of disappointing and debatable results from similar clinical trials, even a 0.5-point difference on CDR-SB would be a meaningful place to start, he said. “I’m thinking any kind of clinical response might be meaningful in terms of that’s all we can expect from that type of intervention at that stage of the disease process,” said Petersen, who is not involved in CLARITY-AD. “When you look at the data, I think you see a trend: Impacting amyloid at the plaque level does have a clinical benefit; it’s just modest. And my contention is: That’s what you should expect. That’s life. That’s reality.” Source: STAT News

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Doximity ranks Mayo La Crosse family medicine program no.1 in state, Midwest

Mayo Clinic Health System’s Family Medicine Program in La Crosse has been named first in the state and the Midwest by online medical networking service Doximity. Source: La Crosse Tribune

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Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.