Gigaom

Business leaders need insights to remain competitive, which is driving them to prospect for big data “gold.” But they need help filtering the signal from the noise and don’t want to waste time on standing up the hardware, configuring the software and manually coding point-to-point solutions. They want to get data in and out of Hadoop, or any other big data target, as fast as possible without needing a complement of data science experts on staff.

Snaplogic is an enterprise cloud integration platform that enables users to efficiently build, deploy and manage multiple high-volume, data-intensive integration projects. For enterprises dealing with massive amounts of data, SnapLogic’s Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) solution provides data ingress, egress and data logging for Hadoop to help them get from big interactions to big insights quickly and easily.

This new solution offers regular Joes and data architects alike an easy way to integrate Hadoop data with…

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Gigaom

Electronic health records provider Practice Fusion is bringing in some new blood. On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based company said it made its first major acquisition in purchasing 100Plus, a personal health prediction startup.

100plusFounded in 2011, 100Plus last month launched a mobile app that combines data analytics and game mechanics to encourage people to engage in healthy activities.

In the acquisition, 100Plus’ five-person team will join Practice Fusion’s data and product development teams, with Chris Hogg, co-founder of 100Plus, becoming the associate vice president of data science. The company would not share financial details.

Ryan Howard, Practice Fusion’s CEO, who is also a co-founder of 100Plus, said he and Hogg first met a couple of years ago when Practice Fusion challenged about 50 teams to hack anonymized patient records to come up with interesting applications. Hogg created a tool that found patients’ “health twins” and then predicted their future…

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Health & Family

Over the past week, my girls and I have perfected the art of snowflake-making. We’ve notched diamonds and triangles into meticulously folded pieces of paper and unfolded them to reveal lacy creations that will grace the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School’s new building.

A continent away, there’s not much tangible that we could offer in the form of support for the students who watched or heard shooter Adam Lanza gun down their classmates and teachers earlier this month in Conn. We could not drop by to pay our respects and light a candle. We were encouraged to hold back on sending gifts.

As Newtown, Conn., mourns the loss of 20 first-graders, four teachers, an elementary-school principal and a school psychologist, the town has been deluged with good will. Strangers have donated money and food and toys — so many toys (more than 60,000 teddy bears as of Saturday) that…

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FDA halts operations at peanut butter plant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration halted operations of the country’s largest organic peanut butter processor Monday, cracking down on salmonella poisoning for the first time with new enforcement authority the agency gained in a 2011 food safety law.

FDA officials found salmonella all over Sunland Inc.’s New Mexico processing plant after 41 people in 20 states, most of them children, were sickened by peanut butter manufactured at the plant in Portales and sold by Trader Joe’s grocery chain. The FDA suspended Sunland’s registration Monday, preventing the company from producing or distributing any food.

The food safety law gave the FDA authority to suspend a company’s registration when food manufactured or held there has a “reasonable probability” of causing serious health problems or death. Before the food safety law was enacted early last year, the FDA would have had to go to court to suspend a company’s registration.

Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, said the agency’s ability to suspend a registration like this one is a major step forward for the agency.

“Consumers can be assured that products will not leave this facility until we determine they have implemented preventive measures that are effective to produce safe products,” Taylor said.

Sunland had voluntarily closed its plant after a September outbreak and planned to reopen its peanut processing facility on Tuesday, with hopes of selling peanut butter again by the end of the year. Sunland’s Katalin Coburn said FDA’s decision to suspend the registration was a surprise to the company and Sunland officials had assumed they were allowed to resume operations.

The company now has the right to a hearing and must prove to the agency that its facilities are clean enough to reopen. Coburn said Sunland is cooperating with FDA and company officials hope they can be up and running again soon.

Sunland is the nation’s largest organic peanut butter processor, though it also produces many non-organic products. The company recalled hundreds of organic and non-organic nut butters and nuts manufactured since 2010 after Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter was linked to the salmonella illnesses in September.

In addition to Trader Joe’s, Sunland sold hundreds of different peanut products to Whole Foods, Safeway, Target and other large grocery chains.

During a month-long investigation, after the outbreak linked to processor Sunland and to Trader Joe’s, FDA inspectors found samples of salmonella in 28 different locations in the plant, in 13 nut butter samples and in one sample of raw peanuts.

The agency also found improper handling of the products, unclean equipment and uncovered trailers of peanuts outside the facility that were exposed to rain and birds.

The FDA said that over the past three years, the company shipped products even though portions of their lots, or daily production runs, tested positive for salmonella in internal tests. The agency also found that the internal tests failed to find salmonella when it was present.

FDA inspectors found many of the same problems — including employees putting their bare fingers in empty jars before they were filled, open bags of ingredients, unclean equipment, and many other violations — in a 2007 inspection. Similar problems were recorded by inspectors in 2009, 2010 and 2011, though government officials didn’t take any action or release the results of those inspections until after the illnesses were discovered this year.

In a statement issued earlier this month, Sunland’s president and chief executive officer, Jimmie Shearer, denied the company knowingly shipped tainted products.

“At no time in its 24-year history has Sunland, Inc. released for distribution any products that it knew to be potentially contaminated with harmful microorganisms,” Shearer said in a statement posted on the company’s website. “In every instance where test results indicated the presence of a contaminant, the implicated product was destroyed and not released for distribution.”

A separate peanut butter outbreak in 2009 not related to Sunland was linked to hundreds of illnesses and nine deaths.

 

Source: Yahoo!

FDA Investigating 5 Deaths Linked to Monster Energy Drink

FDA Investigating 5 Deaths Linked to Monster Energy Drink

The FDA has received reports of five people who died after consuming Monster Energy — Monster Energy Deathsa high-caffeine energy drink — in the past 3 years, the New York Times reports.

Other adverse events reported to the agency include one nonfatal MI, abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors, and abnormal heart rate. It is unclear whether patients who experienced adverse events also took alcohol or drugs.

In a statement, an FDA spokesperson said that it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to investigate adverse events associated with the beverage, according to the Times. She added that the FDA had not yet established a causal link between the energy drink and the deaths.

A 24-oz. can of Monster Energy contains 240 mg of caffeine, roughly equivalent to two cups of brewed coffee.

LINK(S):

New York Times story (Free)

Background: Physician’s First Watch coverage of AAP statement on sports and energy drinks (Free)

Published in Physician’s First Watch October 24, 2012

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Post-Show Recap

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Post-Show Recap
Oct 17, 2012

ASDS Post-Show Recap

Laser-buying tips: Less is more for most dermatologic problems

Dermatologic surgeons wanting to set up a laser practice have an array of platforms from which to choose. For maximum return with minimal equipment, a nonablative fractional laser for resurfacing procedures and a modern laser can treat a variety of vascular problems, according to Anne Chapas, M.D.
Dermatologists best for skin procedures

Most primary care physicians believe dermatologists are most qualified to perform skin cancer surgery and cosmetic procedures, according to a recent survey.
Sclerotherapy success starts with knowledge of anatomy

Understand the underlying anatomy, pick the appropriate concentration and type of sclerosing solution, and provide proper post-treatment care for success in sclerotherapy for leg veins, said Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Nontraditional approach to filler facial augmentation yields enhanced results

Adding volume with injectable fillers is an effective method for restoring a more youthful appearance to an aging face. For optimal results, however, the treatments should not focus only on the middle of the face, according to Michael Kaminer, M.D.
Beware the changing playing field for physician-branded skincare product lines

Before pursuing the creation of a physician-branded skincare line, dermatologists should undertake a comprehensive analysis of the market and the development costs, said Frederic S. Brandt, M.D., at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Gender-specific differences matter when marketing aesthetic services to men

Botulinum toxin treatments in men is a rapidly expanding market, but success in serving this growing population requires physicians to hone gender-specific approaches, according to Michael Eidelman, M.D.
Improve efficiency, patient care services with today’s hottest technology

Advances in technology provide new opportunities for improving office efficiency and better patient care. But they also pose challenges to physicians seeking to take full advantage of these tools, said Amy Derick, M.D. at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.
Building the framework for a successful cosmetic dermatology practice

High consumer interest in cosmeceuticals and cosmetic procedures may seem to translate into excellent opportunities for revenue and practice growth, but establishing a successful cosmetic dermatology practice is not something that happens overnight, according to Michael Gold, M.D.

FALL CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY CONFERENCE

FALL CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY CONFERENCE

If you didn’t get the chance to attend all of the sessions at this year’s Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference, which took place last week in Las Vegas, see what you missed here. Recaps of the meeting’s hottest clinical sessions are below!

Changing cancer guidelines, impending audits impact dermatologic coding

Coding-related changes exerting the most impact on dermatologists involve National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guideline changes and increasing numbers of Medicare contractor audits, according to Brett Coldiron, M.D. » Full article

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Dermatology Times’ Laser and Light 2012 special supplement is available!

Read about today’s hottest laser and light technologies by visiting: dermatologytimes.com/laserandlight2012

New study shows success in treating acne with photodynamic therapy

The most exciting news regarding photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves a new study showing significant results in treating acne, says the study’s primary investigator. » Full article

Novel antiviral research targets herpes simplex, herpes zoster

Promising developments in antiviral therapies include potential vaccines and treatments for herpes simplex and herpes zoster, said Stephen K. Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2012 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference. » Full article

Recent innovations in dermatology address skin cancers, psoriasis and more

New treatments that are currently impacting the field of dermatology address diseases ranging from skin cancers to cold sores, said Mark Lebwohl, M.D., at the 2012 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference. » Full article

Anatomic understanding fuels advances for filler techniques

A growing knowledge of facial anatomy is driving ongoing refinements in filler strategies and techniques, says Allan S. Wirtzer, M.D., a Sherman Oaks, Calif., dermatologist in private practice. » Full article

Polidocanol boosts leg vein treatment efficacy

Most leg vein treatments are less complex than dermatologists may think, and polidocanol makes such treatments more efficient than ever, an expert says. » Full article

Guidelines cite judicious use of antibiotic prophylaxis for derm surgery

When considering prophylactic antibiotics in dermatologic surgery, knowing what to do can be as important as knowing what not to do. » Full article

Effective surgical closures require planning, follow-up

Achieving optimal surgical closures begins long before — and ends well after — the procedure, says Roger I. Ceilley, M.D., an Iowa dermatologist in private practice and clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. » Full article

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Conference Brief

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