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Is ‘Big Data’ a big deal for healthcare in Canada?

A survey to learn what people think about the use of large data sets for research purposes

PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY:
Big Data, in health care, is large and complex sets of data that have information routinely collected on patients’ health and their use of health care systems.

The purpose of this study is to understand the public’s knowledge and opinions about the use of Big Data in Canadian health research. This includes:

  • Current level of knowledge about Big Data;
  • Willingness to participate in projects using Big Data;
  • Major concerns about the use of Big Data;
  • Interest in learning more about research using Big Data;
  • Preferred modes of receiving more information about Big Data

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Mayo Clinic conducts first-ever test of stem cell therapy to treat arthritis

Picture of a stem cell to represent stem cell therapy for arthritis

Image courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida have conducted the world’s first-ever test of using stem cell therapy to treat arthritis. The research was published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Patients participated in a blinded and placebo-controlled clinical study that tested the benefit of using bone marrow stem cells to reduce arthritic pain and disability in knees. Each of the 25 patients enrolled in the study had two bad knees. One knee was given stem cells while the other knee received only a saline control injection. Patients did not know which knee received the stem cells. Continue reading

MedPage Today names top 2016 advances in rheumatology

A group of people jumping up in the air on a beachMedPage Today interviewed specialists in rheumatology in the United States about the advances in rheumatology in 2016. Below are the five most common advances mentioned.

1. Tocilizumab (Actemra) for the treatment of giant cell arteritis 

Giant cell arteritis affects over 200,000 people in the United States. Research data from an international clinical trial showed that after a year of treatment, 56% of the 250 study participants given tocilizumab weekly plus prednisone were in sustained remission, compared with just 14% of those given placebo alone (P<0.0001).

At the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), Dr. John H. Stone of Harvard University at Boston noted: “There is something new in giant cell arteritis at last, and the era of unending glucocorticoid treatment with no viable alternative is over.” Continue reading

JointHealth™ insight – December 2016: Happy Holidays from ACE!

JointHealth insight December snippetThis season, as we reflect on our 17 years serving Canadians with arthritis, Arthritis Consumer Experts wants to also share with you new research information and highlight 2017 programs. In this issue of JointHealth™ insight, you will find:

  • A special thank you message from Cheryl Koehn, Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts
  • A review of ACE’s accomplishments in 2016
  • An introduction to new JointHealth™ Education programs for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
  • New research and case study on biosimilars
  • An explanation of “real world data”

Picture of Cheryl Koehn

“On behalf of my ACE team members and our Scientific, Medical and Consumer Advisory Board, I want to thank you again for your interest, participation and support of our work. We wish you a joyful holiday season and improved health in 2017.”

– Cheryl Koehn

Osteoarthritis will cost the Canadian economy $17.5 billion per year

Knee with osteoarthritis

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to a study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, the rate of osteoarthritis (OA) is increasing and Canada’s aging population and rising rate of obesity is to blame. Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of chronic pain and loss of mobility in Canada and is associated with reduced productivity and increased burden on the health care system.

Statistics Canada reports that almost two-thirds of Canadian adults and 23% of children are overweight or obese. “These compelling demographic trends will increase the burden of OA and the associated disability among the working age population will become substantial in the coming years,” Behram Sharif, research team lead and an Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute post-doctoral fellow based at the University of Calgary, said. Continue reading

Canadians recognized at 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting

Congratulations to Dr. Carter Thorne and Dr. Claire Bombardier!

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) announced the 2016 recipients of its Master of the ACR designation and Distinguished Fellow Award honours during the 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. These recognitions are given annually to members who exhibit outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology.

drcarterthorneDr. Carter Thorne receives Master of the ACR designation
ACE wishes to congratulate Carter Thorne, MD, FRCPC, FACP, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada/ University of Toronto, for recognition as a Master – one of the highest honors that the ACR awards to its members. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older, who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession. These honorees have devoted their long careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.
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