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COVID is less severe with Omicron than Delta, U.S. study suggests

The Omicron variant appears to result in less severe COVID-19 than seen during previous periods of high coronavirus transmission including the Delta wave, with shorter hospital stays, less need for intensive care and fewer deaths, according to a new U.S..



COVID is less severe with Omicron than Delta, U.S. study suggests

Reuters source:

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Tesla’s Situation In Shanghai Is An “Epic Disaster” For Its June Quarter, Wedbush’s Dan Ives Says

Tesla’s Situation In Shanghai Is An "Epic Disaster" For Its June Quarter, Wedbush’s Dan Ives Says

As Elon Musk continues to publicly melt…



Tesla's Situation In Shanghai Is An "Epic Disaster" For Its June Quarter, Wedbush's Dan Ives Says

As Elon Musk continues to publicly melt down on Twitter about his proposed buyout offer and the left's "dirty tricks" and political attacks that he is expecting, Tesla stock has been plunging.

The automaker's stock came under pressure weeks ago, ostensibly after some investors started to do the math behind Musk's proposed buyout offer of Twitter.

This morning, it's under pressure again thanks to a price target cut by Wedbush's Dan Ives, who has cited Shanghai's lockdowns as his reasoning. 

Ives called the situation in China "an epic disaster" for Tesla's coming June quarter and said he expects to see "modest delivery softness", according to a Bloomberg note out Thursday morning.

Ives also said he is expecting a "slower growth trajectory" in China into the second half of the year and called the headwinds out of Asia "hard to ignore".

He also commented that the ongoing Twitter drama "may be a distraction" for Musk at a time when his attention should be focused on dealing with Tesla's issues. 

Recall, we noted days ago that "no vehicles were sold in Shanghai last month" as a result of the lockdown, according to an auto-seller association in the city. 

We also noted that Tesla's plans to restart Shanghai to its pre-pandemic production levels had been pushed back another week. Citing an internal memo, Reuters wrote just three days ago that Tesla is still planning on just one shift for its plant this week and a daily output of about 1,200 units.

Tesla is aiming for 2,600 units per day by May 23. 

Additionally, it was reported Monday that Tesla would be recalling over 100,000 vehicles in China. 107,293 vehicles in China will be recalled "due to safety risks", according to the China People's Daily

The recall, which relates to a defect in the central touchscreen during fast charging, "involves Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced in the country between Oct 19, 2021, and April 26, 2022," the report says. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 08:26

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Pandemic babies with development delays can be helped to make up for lost social interaction – 5 tips for parents

The COVID-19 pandemic – and the isolation it brought on – deprived many babies of the stimulating experiences they need to develop. Is the damage permanent?…



Children born during the pandemic are at nearly twice the risk for developmental delays. Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

Typically, about 1 in 6 children experience a developmental delay. But children born during the pandemic, a 2022 study has found, have nearly twice the risk of developmental delays in communication and social development compared to babies born prior to the pandemic.

The reason, some researchers believe, is related to less interaction with other children, among other factors.

Delays in communication can mean a child learns to talk later, talks less or uses gestures like pointing instead of talking. Social developmental delays might be present when a child doesn’t respond to their name when called, doesn’t look at what adults are paying attention to in the environment, or doesn’t play with other children or with trusted adults.

It’s hard to say if children who suffer from these delays can be caught up or if they will require continued services or special education into elementary school and beyond. The more severe the delay, the more likely the child will need ongoing specialized services.

One way to be more certain is to talk to your child’s pediatrician about whether your child is meeting certain developmental benchmarks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also recommends that parents contact their state’s early intervention program and say, “I have concerns about my child’s development, and I would like to have my child evaluated to find out if he/she is eligible for early intervention services.”

In the meantime, parents and early childhood teachers can support language development for children who may suffer from delays by providing rich, responsive interactions and conversations.

As a researcher who specializes in language and literacy skills for young children with learning disabilities, here I offer five evidence-based strategies that parents and teachers of children with pandemic-related developmental delays can use to support the growth of their child’s language skills and later school performance.

1. Get children talking

Language is how we share experiences. However, children with developmental delays may not talk very much. Adults can create opportunities to talk, which helps children develop the ability to communicate and interact with others.

One way to do this is to create situations in which the child has to talk to get something they want. For example, at home, put a favorite toy or snack in a clear sealed bag or plastic container so the child can see the item but cannot get it themselves without asking for help. At preschool or day care during snack time or free play, provide the student with two choices and have them say which choice they want. For children whose speech is hard to understand, any noise or attempt at talking is a good sign. The important part is that they are trying to talk, not that the words come out perfectly. If the child’s speech is unintelligible, have them point and talk at the same time to show their choice.

2. Expand on children’s speech

Providing rich language is critical for supporting the language development of children with developmental delays.

One way to provide rich language is by responding to what the child says and then adding on details or adjectives. For example, if a young child sees a dog and exclaims, “Doggy!”, an adult could expand on that speech by saying, “Yes! There’s a big brown dog.” The adult is acknowledging what the child said and providing more language for the child to hear and respond to while sharing the experience of seeing a dog.

3. Be a warm and attentive conversation partner

When adults provide warm, supportive interactions, children go on to have better language skills in preschool, better vocabulary and reading ability in first grade, and better mathematics performance in third grade.

Being a supportive partner means following the child’s lead and not always telling the child what to do. For example, play with toys the child chose or enact pretend scenarios the child came up with. During conversation, talk directly to the child about a topic the child chose and take turns talking. Don’t worry about correcting the child or guiding the interaction. It’s OK if you’ve talked about the dog across the street a thousand times. Each interaction builds language skills. Stay positive and engaged.

4. Share a book

Shared book reading is a technique where the adult actively involves the child in the storytelling experience. Children who participate in frequent shared book reading have larger vocabularies, use more complex language and have better reading comprehension in later grades.

Start by asking open-ended questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” Talk to the child about their real-life experiences similar to the book, like, “Remember when we went to the park? What did we do there?”

Point out words and letters while reading aloud to help children develop their awareness of print. Talk about interesting words in the story and define new words. Children often like to read the same book over and over, so there will be many opportunities to use these strategies during story time. Don’t worry about using them all at once.

5. Talk about words

Help children develop a better awareness of the connection between words and how they sound. This is an important skill that supports reading and writing.

Clap or count syllables in words, such as “cupcake” or “butterfly.” Tell nursery rhymes and have the child say which words rhyme or come up with other words that rhyme. Talk about the sounds you hear at the beginning or end of words, such as the “t” sound in “tiger” or the “m” in “room.” Children are slowly learning that spoken language is made up of words and sounds that can be represented by written letters. This knowledge is the gateway for learning to read and write.

Abigail A. Allen received a federal grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (R324B200016) to develop a series of sentence writing intervention lessons for young struggling learners (2020-2024).

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Joined up thinking needed for joined up data plans

Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come
The post Joined up thinking needed for…



Joined up data could transform the pharmaceutical industry and help create a healthier Europe for decades to come – but the route to change is far from smooth sailing.

Without careful consideration and full stakeholder input, the EU’s plans for a connected data system could end up being counterproductive.

That’s the view of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), which has published a list of recommendations aimed at helping the sector get the most of out of the data it holds.

“If the European Health Data Space (EHDS) and the rules surrounding access to the data are not carefully thought through, with the involvement of all stakeholders, there could be unintended consequences that limit the utility of the data for developing innovative medicines,” said the organisation.

Huge potential

The EFPIA Recommendations on a Connected Data System in Europe, published at the end of April, welcomes the proposals, which are part of the European Strategy for Data, to create common data spaces.

Said the authors: “A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.

“This, combined with value-based healthcare, can result in better allocation of resources and more sustainable healthcare systems.”

The value of this approach, which places real-world data in the hands of the right people at the right time, was demonstrated in abundance over the last few years, they went on.

It was, they explained, stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystem coming together to share insights, whether from clinic, research, or genomics, that changed the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applying the same ethos to healthcare in general, then, could give the drug development sector all the information it needs to contribute to a fitter, healthier Europe.

“For the research-based industry, access to data is critical at every step. From accelerating drug discovery to understanding patients’ behaviours and the outcome of treatment, the availability of data is essential to testing hypotheses, identifying trends and assessing proposed treatments,” they said, adding that improved access to, and transmission of, health data could “transform the pharmaceutical industry”.

“A connected health data ecosystem has the potential to empower more effective and efficient research and development of new treatments and diagnostics. It would also ensure better planning and delivery of patient-centred care through personalised medicine.”


Significant challenges

While EHDS is a lofty ambition, bringing it to fruition will not be without its challenges, both practical and regulatory.

As the EFPIA paper points out, health data is currently held in a wide range of repositories, from clinical notes and electronic health records to insurance claims, patient registries, patient-reported outcomes records, and continuous patient monitoring data from apps and wearables.

Unlocking their value, then, requires a high level of interoperability between different IT systems, providers, data sources, and software, all based in different countries with different levels of infrastructure maturity.

“Healthcare system information must be better connected. This will allow stakeholders to use this data for optimising and improving health outcomes,” said the paper, adding that interoperability was a “critical enabler of the digital transformation of healthcare in Europe”.

Conflicting national laws could be another important barrier to data access and use. Varying interpretations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, present challenges for clinical development of innovative medicines, said the authors.

“Conflicting interpretations of Article 9 of the GDPR, and the additional limitations on processing of health and genomic data that member states have enacted under this article, cause significant delays in study start-up and patient enrolment.

“Some member states take the position that the only lawful basis for processing health data is when individuals have given their consent for its collection and use. Others… take the position that processing this health data, when necessary for scientific research, is lawful.”

EU Data Protection Supervisors, the paper recommends, must reach a common understanding of key GDPR terms if citizens are to enjoy the same rights across the EU.

Practical solutions

The EFPIA paper makes a number of recommendations on how the EU could embrace the full potential of the proposed EHDS.

First, it says that developing a shared understanding of the relevant requirements in digital health is essential, and calls for an EU-wide approach to how data is accessed, pooled, compared and used, while also protecting privacy.

In terms of possible solutions, it points to the use of Federated Data Networks (FDN), in which separate networks share mutual RWD resources.

“In an FDN, data is not moved from its host source, though hybrid models can exist with local and central data hosting. The research question or query moves to where the data is originally hosted, with results aggregated centrally or delivered to the researcher,” said the authors.

This, they went on, could unlock the power of data in primary or secondary care settings, in clinical care decision-making, and in research, whilst preserving the privacy of the RWD at a local level.

Common data models (CDM), which standardise the logical infrastructure of software systems to enable interoperability, are also required.

“CDM is essentially a construct, a means to an end to help organise RWD into a common structure, formats, and terminologies across diverse, heterogeneous, and multiple source datasets,” said the paper.

“It addresses a central need to be able to curate data for analysis on a contemporaneous and continuous basis (not on a per study basis) or for largescale, geographically diverse, network studies of multiple data sources.”

 Joined up approach to joined up data

Ultimately, building a usable EU-wide health data system requires input from all stakeholders, and decisions on FDNs and CDMs should be taken internationally, as a sector.

Because, as the EFPIA says, we all have one goal: using the power of data to improve the health of the citizens of Europe.

About the author

Amanda Barrell is a freelance health and medical education journalist, editor, and copywriter. She has worked on projects for pharma, charities and agencies, and has written extensively for patients, HCPs and the public.

The post Joined up thinking needed for joined up data plans appeared first on .

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