Boutique Medicine Venture Generates Marketing Intelligence for Procter & Gamble

Consumer products giant acquires 100% ownership of concierge medicine company

Clinical laboratories and pathology groups may soon be serving physician practices owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG). That’s because the consumer products giant now owns 100% of MDVIP, a nationwide concierge practice of 350 doctors in 28 states.

The deal is noteworthy because it further expands Procter & Gamble’s presence in healthcare. In 2006, P&G invested $325 million in a joint venture with Inverness Medical (NYSE:IMA). The joint venture announced its intention to develop and market diagnostic test kits for use by consumers that can be sold in retail outlets. At the time, The Dark Report wrote that, “P&G’s interest in consumer self testing is based on its belief that consumer demand for health services and healthcare products will soar in the coming decades.”  (See The Dark Report, June 4, 2007, “ Inverness Buys Biosite, Has New Venture with P&G” )


New Clinical Laboratory DNA Test Identifies Sepsis Patients in Just 18 Hours

Researchers say Mobidiag’s microarray-based diagnostic test technology looks promising

There’s a new DNA-based microarray platform that could speed identification of blood-borne pathogens. By allowing clinical laboratories to deliver test results in just 18 hours, use of this new microarray could improve early detection and management of sepsis patients.

In a study headed by Päivi Tissari, M.D., of the Division of Clinical Microbiology, Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory in Finland, the Prove-it sepsis assay, manufactured by Helsinki-based Mobidiag, demonstrated 94.7% clinical sensitivity, 98.8% specificity, along with 100% sensitivity and specificity for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. The conventional process of growing a culture—the medical laboratory’s gold standard—typically takes between one to three days to become positive and two more days to identify the bacteria and their antibiotic sensitivity patterns. Mobidiag’s Prove-it sepsis assay returns results in only 18 hours.


New Technology Captures Tumor Cells from the Bloodstream

Nano-technology Breakthrough May Prevent Cancers from Metastasizing

With the goal of removing tumor cells from the bloodstream, a biomedical engineering team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock has discovered a non-invasive way to identify cancer and to capture tumor cells in the bloodstream. This landmark discovery, could dramatically improve early cancer diagnosis and prevent deadly metastasis. It could also provide a framework for a new type of diagnostic test that could detect metastatic cancer from a blood sample.


MinuteClinic Gains Contract to Offer New Rapid Test for Conjunctivitis

Early example of how in-store walk-up clinics may expand their lab testing services

Pathologists concerned that in-store walk-up clinics might become important laboratory testing centers will be interested to learn about the latest development. The largest operator of these in-store clinics has just partnered with an in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturer for exclusive access to a new rapid diagnostic test.

MinuteClinic, the pioneer and largest operator of in-store health clinics, has a deal with Rapid Pathogen Screening, Inc. (RPS), a Sarasota, Fla.-based biotechnology company, to offer the RPS Adeno Detector test for conjunctivitis, or pink eye. This new point-of-care (POC) test will be initially offered at the MinuteClinics located in 23 CVS pharmacy stores in the Atlanta area.


UnitedHealth Offers Medicare 15 Ways to Save $540 Billion, While Improving Care Quality

List of recommendations based on UnitedHealth’s extensive database and experience

Every sector of the healthcare industry is offering both Congress and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) advice on how to reform the system to improve quality of care, while reducing costs. Too often, the search for ways to save money that can be redirected to covering uninsured is a game of taking money from one existing health service and shifting it to another.

Recently UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) stepped into this debate over how to save money. In important ways, it is better positioned to provide this advice than most other entities. For example, UnitedHealth Group is the nation’s largest insurer in terms of revenue. UNH funds and organizes care for 70 million Americans. It arranges $115 billion in health care services provided by 5,000 hospitals and 650,000 physicians nationwide. Because of this, UNH’s Center for Modernization and Reform has collected more data on clinical services provided and resulting healthcare outcomes than anyone else.