He can also give someone the finger

Georgia Tech gave a musician a prosthetic arm that allows him to play the piano. This is a Really Big Deal, because typical prostheses don’t offer that kind of motor control. Until now.

But wait, there’s more:

This is the second device Weinberg’s lab has built for Barnes. His first love is the drums, so the team fitted him with a prosthetic arm with two drumsticks in 2014. He controlled one of the sticks. The other moved on its own by listening to the music in the room and improvising.

Yeah, welcome to the future.

We’re just gonna toss this out there

Several members of the Georgia House of Representatives are proposing some big changes to help residents of rural areas of the get healthcare.

One of those changes, per Georgia Health News: “allowing expanded responsibility for health care providers who are not physicians.”

The others include a Medicaid waiver to expand coverage, and a change to how the state licenses healthcare facilities via certificates of need. Read about it in GHN.

Richest country in the world

A Consumer Reports survey found that almost one in four Americans (22 percent) rations their medication because of cost.

Quoth:

When drug costs rise, consumers often resort to desperate measures, our survey suggests. People who experienced price spikes in their meds were more likely to say that, like Smith, they rationed their own meds by not taking them as often as they should. They were also more likely to split their pills without first talking with a doctor, or to use expired medication. And a shocking number—about 20 percent—said they didn’t fill their prescription at all.

(If you can’t get the article from the Web, click here for a PDF version.)

Unterman to introduce “omnibus”opioid bill.

State Senator Renee Unterman told the Gwinnett Daily Post that she’s going to be introducing an “omnibus” bill to address the opioid crisis in Georgia. The specifics haven’t been nailed down, but she expects to have the details ready by the beginning of the legislative session.

Hemophilia cured?

No joke. A gene therapy trial — a human trial — has just been published. It looks at though it has actually cured hemophilia. Yes, it’s just a first human trial, but this is clearly well past the “lab” stage and even the “mice in lab” stage. Grain of salt: It was only on 13 patients.

This phase 1–2 dose-escalation study took 13 patients with severe haemophilia A and found the treatment successfully improved levels of the blood-clotting protein in all patients. Most exciting was the follow-up study 19 months later that found 11 of the patients displayed normal or near normal levels of the protein. All 13 patients were able to discontinue any prior regular treatments for their disease following this experimental therapy.

How much is that CEO in the window?

Pharma investors want to know whether executive pay is adding to drug price hikes. Yes, of course it is, but that’s not exactly what they mean. They’re wondering if tying executive compensation to short-term goals will hurt the long-term investments, as it might invite pushback from payers … including government.

Tyger, tyger

Australian scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the extinct Tasmanian Tiger. They claim it’s to better study how genetic diversity impacts extinction, but in reality we know it’s just one step closer to creating the chickenosaurus.

Artist’s conception

* What? We can be William Blake fans

CVS CEO wants the stores to be one-stop healthcare shops

Here’s what he told NPR in an interview about the Aetna purchase:

“Imagine a world where that patient can walk into a CVS pharmacist, they can engage with a nutritionist about their diet. They can talk to a nurse practitioner, perhaps have their blood glucose level checked, talk to their pharmacist about medication.”