Next-generation sequencing is a catchall term for new, high-throughput technologies that allow rapid sequencing of a full genome. It can be used to sequence a patient’s DNA in diagnosing a genetic disorder or characterizing a cancer, but can also be used to sequence the genome of a pathogenic bacteria, virus, fungi, or parasites. In this JAMA clinical review podcast, we talk with authors Marta Gwinn, MD, MPH, and Gregory L. Armstrong, MD, from the CDC, about how next-generation sequencing of infectious pathogens is being implemented in clinical practice and in public health surveillance for infectious disease.
E-values are a new tool that enables investigators to estimate the likelihood that some unmeasured confounder might overcome seemingly positive results. They are very easy to calculate and any reader of the medical literature can do this calculation to get a sense for how likely it is that there is some unmeasured factor in an observational study that might negate otherwise seemingly positive findings.
Saved by a Fitbit. Technology is developing at a pace far exceeding its application in medical care. An exception is in consumer devices, which as long as they do not hold themselves out as diagnostic tools, can apply as many technologies to wearable devices as companies want to put into them. In this episode we discuss how a clinician used a wearable device to diagnose his father's rapid heart rates consistent with dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
Read the article: Wearable Devices for Cardiac Rhythm Diagnosis and Management
Breast cancer screening is debated passionately among those who advocate for very aggressive screening and other experts who believe that screening can be harmful. The arguments for all sides of the debate are best understood by knowing the numbers of women who will benefit or be harmed by breast cancer screening. Both sides of the debate are explained in this podcast by Nancy Keating, MD, and Lydia Pace, MD, both from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Very few people who think they are allergic to penicillin actually are. Yet, even if someone reports a remote and vague history of penicillin allergy, these very useful medications will not be given. This forces many patients to use antibiotics that may be too broad spectrum, not very effective, or expensive. Three major societies have come together to agree on an approach for assessing if penicillin allergy is really present when a patient reports an allergy to these medications. Erica S. Shenoy, MD, PhD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, author of a JAMA review on the topic, discusses this very important problem.
Read the article: Evaluation and Management of Penicillin Allergy: A Review