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Indian-American doctor creates new cardiac device

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Dr. Samir Pancholy

Dr. Samir Pancholy

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – Dr. Samir Pancholy, an Indian-American cardiologist renowned worldwide for his advancements in emergency heart treatment, has invented a new device to prevent complications during catheterization.

Pancholy is responsible for introducing the nation’s cardiology patients to a less painful and safer alternative for catheter insertion, one which allows the device to be inserted through the wrist instead of the groin. His device is shattering through the medical community, as it prevents blood vessels from closing after the procedure.

Doctors catheterize patients for procedures like installing a stent, clearing blockages in blood vessels or inserting tiny cameras to look inside the heart.

“One of the potential downsides of doing radial artery catheterization is that because it’s a small artery and we put equipment in there, it tends to close up or occlude,” he said.

In May, Pancholy and VasoInnovations Inc., the company he started with several partners, received patents for VasoBand.

The VasoBand wraps around the wrist of a patient, and applies pressure to the both radial and ulnar arteries. It stops the bleeding from the radial artery but also keeps the blood flowing to prevent occlusion after the procedure. When he first began the procedure in 2002, only a small percentage – about seven to 10 percent – of radial artery catheterizations led to closed arteries. Through techniques he and his colleagues developed in 2008, those which became nationally accepted practices, that figure was shaved down to just 2 to 3 percent.

However, those closed arteries represented grave complications later in the process, the doctor said. Because the radial artery loops around at the wrist and connects with the ulnar artery, blood still travels normally to the hand, and it’s possible that patient and doctor may never know the radial artery closed, Pancholy said.

“We’d go in once, do the catheterization, everything goes fine and the patient goes home,” he said. “Then, two years later they have another blockage that we have to fix and we can’t go back in that same artery again – it closed up.”

Through applying pressure to the other side of the artery loop, the catheterization access site is less likely to close, he said.

“Randomized trials have actually shown that compressing the ulnar artery with any device leads to a lower rate of occlusion.”

Employing small balloons, the bracelet puts targeted pressure on the ulnar artery as well as the radial artery. Pancholy and his team now have their device patented, and are preparing to start trials of the device in India and the Czech Republic, where past compression techniques have already been tested.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the device before it can be put into production. The company plans to patent the device and corresponding technique in other nations so it can be standardized and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.

Health

Why Congress passed a South Asian specific heart health bill

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PALO ALTO, Calif. (Diya TV) —  It’s well known in the South Asian diaspora that cardiac issues are commonplace. But new research is shedding light on how prevalent it is and why it’s a topic scientists are efforting to understand better.

South Asians face cardiac issues at four times the rate of the general population according to Stanford Medicine and studies suggest South Asians have two to three times higher risk of coronary artery disease when compared to other ethnic groups.

Thus, South Asians often face heart related procedures at a relatively young age and are also more likely to lose their life from heart attacks.

“When you look at data coming out of both India and elsewhere, South Asians have higher risk even at younger ages,” said Dr. Abha Khandelwal of Stanford’s South Asian Translational Heart Initiative (SSATHI).

“The heart attacks are happening about eleven years earlier on average than any other ethnic group.” 

In July 2022, Congress passed H.R. 3771, the South Asian Heart Health Awareness and Research Act of 2022, co-sponsored by Seattle-area Rep. Pramila Jayapal. 

The bill authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to “establish programs that support heart-disease research and awareness among communities disproportionately affected by heart disease, including the South Asian population of the United States.” 

During a press conference broadcasted by Diya TV celebrating the passage of the bill that was attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Jayapal said “this is an issue that affects every single district across the country and it was really great to have such a big bipartisan vote.”

For Stanford’s Rajesh Dash, this effort is personal. The Indian American doctor has seen the epidemic first-hand, personally and professionally.

About 2 years ago, a few colleagues of mine and myself had recognized that we all have a family history of early heart disease. A lot of people in our families have died at early ages and have had heart problems their whole life.”

There are standard recommendations made by medical practitioners to reduce the risk of heart ailments – exercise more, have a better diet, stop smoking and manage stress.

But SSATHI officials point out genetics also play a role. So risk factor screenings and research programs like theirs that call for additional heart testing and genetic risk evaluation are additional options to consider.

SSATHI patient Jaswant Tawdekar says with all the risk factors involved, one shouldn’t put their checkups on the backburner, even if they ‘look’ like the picture of health.

“A lot of people think if they are lean they might not have any issues at all. But that’s not the case with South Asians.”

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FBI: Amity CEO Ridhima Singh, others accused of major healthcare fraud

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Amity

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The FBI says, CEO Ridhima Singh of Amity Home Health Care is among the 28 people, that include doctors and nurses, accused in the scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home health care provider, Amity Home Health Care, with involvement in a kickback scheme that led to $115 million in tainted claims. The complaint said medical professionals received $8 million worth of bribes disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, reimbursements, entertainment or gifts, in what the Department of Justice said was simply “a cash for patients scheme.”

The man accused of stabbing and killing 62 year old Parmjit Singh in Tracy made his first court appearance. 21 year old Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy pleaded not guilty of homicide during his arraignment. Police are still investigating the motive behind the crime.

And Priyanka Chopra & her husband Nick Jonas were named by People Magazine as their pick for ‘Best Dressed of the Year.’

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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PM Modi’s Houston reception sold out, 50,000 to attend

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Modi Kashmir SanjayPanda FireEye

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — “Howdy, #Modi!”, the community event in Houston next month featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sold out, with more than 50,000 people registering for the program. This community summit will be at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team. The expected crowd will be the largest for a foreign leader in the United States other than for Pope Francis.

The Indian government has begun to ease restrictions in most areas of Kashmir, with barricades being lifted to allow more freedom of movement of people and traffic. Markets remained shut and phone and internet services are still suspended. Large security measures are also still in place. Students are being asked to return to school, but most classrooms are still mostly empty.

With a lot of narratives online about what’s going on in Kashmir, we asked Indian Counsel General in San Francisco, Sanjay Panda, to give context and sort out fact from fiction.

Fire Eye, an American-based cyber security firm says hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing nearly seven million records containing patient and doctor information. Fire Eye did not publicly name the website, but says the cyber criminals are mostly China-based and are selling the stolen data underground.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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