Welcome to Trends-in-Medicine, offering independent, cutting-edge articles and information on drugs and devices in development. Our subscribers have access to news and analysis on the latest data, regulatory issues, and trends of interest to the healthcare community.

HIMSS21

If HIMSS is any indication, Epic continues to do well. Many CIOs believe Epic is becoming the “private” EHR and Cerner the “government” EHR, saying Cerner has been neglecting hospitals as it focuses on its government contracts. · Hospital budgets are up an average of ~5% among CIOs questioned at HIMSS, but none is planning any major expenditures. This next year is focused on recovery from Covid-19, refining existing telehealth, interfaces, cybersecurity – and staffing, which is a real issue. There is interest in population health but less than in some past years. · The exhibit floor was sparsely attended, but exhibitors did not appear too unhappy. · Health Catalyst’s acquisition of Twistle looks like a good move as Twistle was getting a warm reception. · Linking retail primary care to EHRs is potentially a big problem for health-care IT.

ESC: Heart Failure and SGLT2 inhibitors

At last – a drug that is effective in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). New data presented at ESC showed a reduction in heart failure hospitalizations (but not mortality) with an SGLT2 inhibitor – Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly’s Jardiance (empagliflozin). The news raised the profile of all SGLT2 inhibitors, and there was a lot of discussion about when and how to use them and how to sequence them with other approved drugs. Here is a deep dive into SGLT2 inhibitors in heart failure, both reduced and preserved.

Medical Conference Calendar for Sept-Oct-Nov-Dec 2021

Here is an updated calendar of the medical conferences scheduled for the last 4 months of 2021. The schedule includes 13 in-person meetings, 31 hybrid meetings, and 30 all-virtual meetings. However, things are still in flux, so watch for changes.

The Diagnosis of Melanoma

Dermatologists agree that full-body skin examinations, with use of a dermatoscope to examine specific lesions, are the best way to identify potential melanomas, which can then be biopsied for a definitive diagnosis. There is interest – but not much real excitement about or demand for – new technologies that help avoid the need for a biopsy, particularly, digital photography; digital apps; confocal microscopy; SciBase’s Nevisense, an electrical impedance spectroscopy device; Orlucent’s fluorescent biotag device; Canfield Scientific’s Vectra; and DermTech’s PLA and PLAplus genomic assays – with more technology on the way.

American Academy of Dermatology VMX: Psoriasis Update

There was a wealth of new data at the AAD VMX meeting, particularly on psoriasis drugs – one that is approved and 5 that are still investigational. Each of those investigational drugs is from a different company and has a different mode of action – a PDE4 inhibitor, an anti-IL-36, a TYK2 inhibitor, an AhR modulator, and an anti-IL-17A/F.

ACIP Update

After a review, CDC’s ACIP agreed with the FDA that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is appropriate for adolescents. The panel also reiterated its belief in the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, despite blood clots that are not seen with the mRNA vaccines, and reviewed the status of variants.