HOME HEALTH CARE DEVICES FOCUS OF FDA
CONFERENCE AT UH
Medical Professionals Convene to Discuss Challenges,
Benefits of Home Health Care Technology
HOUSTON, July 19, 2007 – Patients are leaving hospitals
quicker these days, continuing treatment and recovery – often
with the aid of medical devices – at home. As a result, the
government and home care industry together must work toward providing
a safe environment for the use of medical devices in the home.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of Houston
are addressing this issue at an FDA conference – “Home
Health Care Technology: Promoting the Safe Migration of Medical
Devices into the Home” – cosponsored by UH Sept. 17-18
at the Hilton UH Hotel and Conference Center. Anyone wishing to
attend should register at http://www.uh.edu/pharmacy/hht/.
The fee is $99 for the two-day event, featuring a variety of presentations,
panels and breakout sessions. Continuing Education Units are expected
to be offered and are currently under consideration.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medical devices are regulated
by the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).
Much of the challenge lies in safely operating medical devices in
the home that were initially approved for use in a clinical setting
by health care professionals.
“As the U.S. population ages, home health care will grow
by leaps and bounds. The technology, entertainment, communication
and finance sectors are combining their efforts to create products
that allow elders to continue living in their homes,” said
Isaac D. Montoya, clinical professor in the UH College of Pharmacy
and the conference moderator. “Home health care and the medical
devices needed to sustain it provide a welcome respite for patients
and their care providers who want to benefit from safe medical treatment
in a home environment. As this phenomenon continues to grow, however,
the FDA, industry and home care interest groups may need to better
collaborate to assure the safety of products for home use.”
Another area examined will be ‘vulnerable populations,’
such as the very young and the elderly, as well as those patients
with complex birth defects, chronic diseases and terminal illnesses.
Included in these various subgroups are disabled children with multi-symptom
diseases (i.e. cerebral palsy) who require a multidisciplinary approach;
elderly people with problems such as poor vision, hearing loss,
physical weakness and cognitive impairments that limit their independence
and ability to properly use devices; patients from different ethnic
backgrounds who may have communication problems or cultural blocks
to understanding device technology; and the chronically ill from
rural areas, low-income families or foster care with few outreach
services and transportation options.
“Attendees will be able to talk directly with government
officials, affording participants an opportunity to influence government
policy,” said Mary Brady, CDRH Home Healthcare Committee and
conference chair. “This conference is a unique opportunity
and should not be missed.”
Additional topics to be covered include respiratory therapy for
patients with disorders such as sleep apnea and chronic lung problems;
risk management in the home of issues that address human error (i.e.
misuse of equipment) and environmental (i.e. electromagnetic interference)
factors; the need for updating durable medical equipment (i.e. walkers,
wheel chairs, hospital beds) that do not require FDA regulation;
creating a device-labeling repository that would provide easy online
access to device instructions; and the evolution of over-the-counter
devices such as cholesterol meters and continuous glucose monitors
that were once “for professional use only” and now approved
for home consumer use. Accreditation, reimbursement, nursing practices,
infusion therapy and governmental roles also will be discussed.
The conference is designed to benefit institutional officials,
medical personnel with an interest in home health care and patient
advocates, as well as graduate and undergraduate students. Home
health care technology experts will give presentations in multiple
plenary and general sessions that will follow a technology, governmental
or clinical track for specific device groups.
For conference information, including agenda, registration materials
and hotel information, visit http://www.uh.edu/pharmacy/hht/
or contact Montoya at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Food and Drug Administration
FDA is an agency with the Department of Health and Human Services
and consists of eight centers/offices. These are the, Center for
Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Regulatory Affairs, the
Center for Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center
for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the National Center for Toxicological
Research and the Office of the Commissioner.
About the UH College of Pharmacy
For more than 50 years, the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
has shaped aspiring pharmacists, scientists and teachers. The college
offers a Pharm. D. degree, a master’s in pharmacy administration,
a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics or pharmacology and combined Pharm.D./Ph.D.
degrees. As one of nearly 90 pharmacy colleges in the United States
recognized by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education,
the college consists of more than 45 basic science and clinical
faculty, nearly 610 adjunct faculty and preceptors and 900 current
pre-pharmacy and professional students. The college has facilities
both on the UH campus and in the Texas Medical Center. At TMC, students
have the opportunity to train with physicians, medical students
and members of UH clinical faculty. In addition to faculty and staff
offices, the TMC facility also houses research laboratories, classrooms
and the Contemporary Pharmacy Practice Laboratory.
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For more information about UH visit the universitys Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.