SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Industry

197

Lean is a widely used quality improvement methodology initially developed and used in the automotive and manufacturing industries but recently expanded to the healthcare sector. This systematic literature review seeks to independently assess the effect of Lean or Lean interventions on worker and patient satisfaction, health and process outcomes, and financial costs.

Concepts: Health care provider, Evaluation, Illness, Manufacturing, Industry, Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, ISO 9000

44

In 2015, an estimated 18.4 million U.S. adults had current asthma, and 3,396 adult asthma deaths were reported (1). An estimated 11%-21% of asthma deaths might be attributable to occupational exposures (2). To describe asthma mortality among persons aged 15-64 years,* CDC analyzed multiple cause-of-death data† for 1999-2016 and industry and occupation information collected from 26 states§ for the years 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2007-2012. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs)¶ for asthma among persons aged 15-64 years were calculated. During 1999-2016, a total of 14,296 (42.9%) asthma deaths occurred among males and 19,011 (57.1%) occurred among females. Based on an estimate that 11%-21% of asthma deaths might be related to occupational exposures, during this 18-year period, 1,573-3,002 asthma deaths in males and 2,091-3,992 deaths in females might have resulted from occupational exposures. Some of these deaths might have been averted by instituting measures to prevent potential workplace exposures. The annual age-adjusted asthma death rate** per 1 million persons aged 15-64 years declined from 13.59 in 1999 to 9.34 in 2016 (p<0.001) among females, and from 9.14 (1999) to 7.78 (2016) (p<0.05) among males. The highest significantly elevated asthma PMRs for males were for those in the food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing industry (1.82) and for females were for those in the social assistance industry (1.35) and those in community and social services occupations (1.46). Elevated asthma mortality among workers in certain industries and occupations underscores the importance of optimal asthma management and identification and prevention of potential workplace exposures.

Concepts: Death, Senescence, Demography, Million, Gerontology, Estimation, Manufacturing, Industry

31

Workers in various industries and occupations are at risk for work-related asthma* (1). Data from the 2006-2007 adult Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS), an in-depth asthma survey conducted with respondents who report an asthma diagnosis, from 33 states indicated that up to 48% of adult current asthma might be related to work and could therefore potentially be prevented (2). Identification of the industries and occupations with increased prevalence of asthma might inform work-related asthma intervention and prevention efforts. To assess the industry-specific and occupation-specific proportions of adults with current asthma by state, CDC analyzed data from the 2013 BRFSS industry and occupation module, collected from 21 states for participants aged ≥18 years who, at the time of the survey interview, were employed or had been out of work for <12 months. Among these respondents, 7.7% had current asthma; based on the Asthma Call-back Survey results, this finding means as many as 2.7 million U.S. workers might have asthma caused by or exacerbated by workplace conditions. State-specific variations in the prevalence of current asthma by industry and occupation were observed. By state, current asthma prevalence was highest among workers in the information industry (18.0%) in Massachusetts and in health care support occupations (21.5%) in Michigan. Analysis of BRFSS industry and occupation and optional asthma modules can be used to identify industries and occupations to assess for asthma among workers, identify workplace exposures, and guide the design and evaluation of effective work-related asthma prevention and education programs (1).

Concepts: Asthma, Employment, State, Adult, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Industry

29

The 2011 UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) called for multisectoral action including with the private sector and industry. However, through the sale and promotion of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink (unhealthy commodities), transnational corporations are major drivers of global epidemics of NCDs. What role then should these industries have in NCD prevention and control? We emphasise the rise in sales of these unhealthy commodities in low-income and middle-income countries, and consider the common strategies that the transnational corporations use to undermine NCD prevention and control. We assess the effectiveness of self-regulation, public-private partnerships, and public regulation models of interaction with these industries and conclude that unhealthy commodity industries should have no role in the formation of national or international NCD policy. Despite the common reliance on industry self-regulation and public-private partnerships, there is no evidence of their effectiveness or safety. Public regulation and market intervention are the only evidence-based mechanisms to prevent harm caused by the unhealthy commodity industries.

Concepts: Public health, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Industry, Food and drink, Corporation, Private sector, Capitalism

27

The portfolio of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) rare-diseases therapeutic development program comprises 28 research projects initiated at the preclinical stage. Historical data reveal substantially lower costs and higher success rates but longer preclinical timelines for the NCATS projects relative to the industry averages for early-stage translational medical research and development (R&D) typically cited in literature. Here, we evaluate the potential risks and rewards of investing in a portfolio of rare-disease therapeutics. Using a “megafund” financing structure, NCATS data, and valuation estimates from a panel of industry experts, we simulate a hypothetical megafund in which senior and junior debt yielded 5 and 8%, respectively. The simulated expected return to equity was 14.7%, corresponding to a modified internal rate of return of 21.6%. These returns and the likelihood of private-sector funding can be enhanced through third-party funding guarantees from philanthropies, patient advocacy groups, and government agencies.

Concepts: Medicine, Investment, Finance, Research and development, Net present value, Industry, Rate of return, Internal rate of return

27

PURPOSE: In the present study we evaluated a novel processing technique for the continuous production of hotmelt extruded controlled release matrix systems. A cutting technique derived from plastics industry, where it is widely used for cutting of cables and wires was adapted into the production line. Extruded strands were shaped by a rotary-fly cutter. Special focus is laid on the development of a process analytical technology by evaluating signals obtained from the servo control of the rotary fly cutter. The intention is to provide a better insight into the production process and to offer the ability to detect small variations in process-variables. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A co-rotating twin-screw extruder ZSE 27 HP-PH from Leistritz (Nürnberg, Germany) was used to plasticize the starch; critical extrusion parameters were recorded. Still elastic strands were shaped by a rotary fly-cutter type Dynamat 20 from Metzner (Neu-Ulm, Germany). Properties of the final products were analyzed via digital image analysis to point out critical parameters influencing the quality. Important aspects were uniformity of diameter, height, roundness, weight and variations in the cutting angle. Stability of the products was measured by friability tests and by determining the crushing strength of the final products. Drug loading studies up to 70% were performed to evaluate the capacity of the matrix and to prove the technological feasibility. Changes in viscosities during API addition were analyzed by a Haake Minilab capillary rheometer. X-ray studies were performed to investigate molecular structures of the matrices. RESULTS: External shapes of the products were highly affected by die-swelling of the melt. Reliable reproducibility concerning uniformity of mass could be achieved even for high production rates (>2500 cuts/min). Both mechanical strength and die swelling of the products could be linked to the ratio of amylose to amylopectin. Formulations containing up to 70% of API could still be processed. Viscosity measurements revealed the plasticizing effect caused by API addition. Dissolution data proved the suitability of extruded starch matrices as a sustained release dosage form. Monitoring of consumed energies during the cutting process could be linked to changes in viscosity. The established PAT system enables the detection of small variations in material properties and can be an important tool to further improve process stability.

Concepts: Viscosity, Strength of materials, Compressive strength, Work hardening, Industry, Extrusion, Rheometer, Starch gelatinization

26

The study provides a novel model and more comprehensive estimates of the burden of occupational morbidity and mortality in food-related industries, using a farm-to-table approach.

Concepts: Mortality rate, United States, Food, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Maize, Industry, Food industry

26

Leukaemia risk in adult populations exposed to environmental air pollution is poorly investigated. We have carried out a population-based case-control study in an area that included a fossil fuel power plant, a coke oven and two big chemical industries. Information on residential history and several risk factors for leukaemia was obtained from 164 cases, diagnosed between 2002 and 2005, and 279 controls. A higher risk for subjects residing in polluted areas was observed, but statistical significance was not reached (adjusted OR = 1.11 and 1.56 for subjects living in moderately and in heavily polluted zones, respectively, p = 0.190). Results suggest a possible aetiological role of residential air pollution from industrial sites on the risk of developing leukaemia in adult populations. However, the proportion of eligible subjects excluded from the study and the lack of any measure of air pollution prevent definitive conclusions from being drawn.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Industrial Revolution, Pollution, Fossil fuel, Coal, Environmentalism, Acid rain, Industry

25

Sulphur is an element found in surplus in anthropogenic areas and one of the minerals responsible for the development of acid rains. The analysis of stable S isotopes provides a powerful tool for studying various aspects of the biogeochemical circulation of sulphur. δ(34)S values and S concentrations were determined in a 90-day experiment with the native moss Pleurozium schreberi from rural, urban and industrial sites in Upper Silesia in southern Poland. At the same time P. schreberi from a control site was transplanted to the same rural, urban and industrial sites and the δ(34)S values and S concentrations were determined in the same 90-day experiment. (34)S enrichment (up to 4.7‰) in the mosses tested indicates that these plants responded to environmental pollution stress. Sulphur isotopic composition in the transplanted P. schreberi was related to S concentrations in this species after 90 days of the experiment. Higher δ(34)S values and S concentrations were noted in native mosses than in those transplanted from rural and urban sites while an opposite situation was reported in industrial sites. The transplanted P. schreberi was a better sulphur bioindicator than the native moss in more polluted industrial sites and worse in less polluted rural and urban sites.

Concepts: Plant, Water pollution, Pollution, Isotope, Lichen, Acid rain, Industry, Mosses

25

The effects of environmental pollution on spontaneous abortion (SAB) are still unclear. Records of SAB were collected from five cities (514,996 residents) and correlated with PM10, NO2 and ozone levels. Median pollutant concentrations were below legal limits. Monthly SABs positively correlated with PM10 and ozone levels but not with NO2 levels. The mean monthly SAB rate increase was estimated equal to 19.7 and 33.6 % per 10 μg/m(3) increase in PM10 or ozone concentration, respectively. Higher values of PM10 and SABs were evident in cities with- than in those without pollutant industries, with a number of SABs twofolds higher in the former group. In conclusion, SAB occurrence is affected by PM10 (particularly if industrial areas are present) and ozone concentrations, also at levels below the legal limits. Thus, SAB might be considered, at least in part, a preventable condition.

Concepts: Time, People's Republic of China, Pollution, Arithmetic mean, Prevention, Ozone, Preventive medicine, Industry