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JAMA ARTICLE REITERATES POSITIVE ASPECTS OF HOME UTERINE ACTIVITY MONITORING WITH A CALL FOR ADDITIONAL RESEARCH FUNDING

 ATLANTA, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthdyne, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: HDYN), a leader in the high-risk obstetrical services industry, responded to a Review Article that will appear in the July 21 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
 In the Summary of Recommendations' Section, the article stated: "Randomized, controlled trials (grade I evidence) report improved clinical and neonatal outcomes for high-risk women who receive Home Uterine Activity Monitoring (HUAM). However, the designs of most studies do not permit clear conclusions about whether results were due to HUAM or to the intensive nursing contacts that accompanied HUAM."
 Healthdyne believes that this is a clear statement of the effectiveness of its "system of care," which combines a HUAM device with intensive nursing contact. This "system of care" is used with women who are at high-risk to deliver prematurely.
 There are thousands of practicing obstetricians who have a responsibility for caring for these high-risk patients, that are using this total "system of care" provided by Healthdyne and other industry participants to improve clinical outcomes. These practicing obstetricians focus on the positive clinical outcomes, such as increased birth weights, increased gestational ages, and reduced neonatal intensive care days, rather than being concerned with the relative values provided by the HUAM device or the intense nursing contact. The use of the HUAM device in the home environment as an additional clinical tool adds very little cost to the "system of care" and can save substantial costs in terms of a patient having to visit a hospital or physician's office for verification of their uterine activity.
 The Summary of Recommendations went on to state that, "recommends against the use of HUAM in normal pregnancy." In another section of the Article, it was quoted that, "HUAM should not be recommended for routine clinical use." To Healthdyne's knowledge, none of the obstetrical services industry providers have ever recommended or used HUAM for the routine care of normal pregnancies. The HUAM device and associated nursing contact is used on high-risk patients who generally have several major risk factors for a preterm delivery. During 1992, it is estimated that approximately 1 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. received these HUAM services while obstetrical data acknowledges that approximately 15 percent of all pregnancies are at risk to deliver premature infants, and low birth rate and premature infants number approximately 8 percent of the total birth population. Therefore, there is still substantial under-utilization of these HUAM services in spite of the fact that positive outcomes in reducing the adverse effects of low birth weight infants have been shown in a number of studies.
 In the Policy Statement under Research Agenda, a call for more research is made. This is consistent with previous publications written by a small group of physicians who represent a few academic institutions. This group has submitted grant proposals to the National Institute of Health for funds to do a large multi-center study that will take several years to complete. Healthdyne has offered to the NIH any reasonable assistance that it can give to such a study; however, in the meantime the practicing obstetricians and their high-risk patients need to be able to make a choice in terms of the utilization of these HUAM services which have proven to be clinically effective.
 A debate on the pros and cons of the utilization of HUAM services was conducted at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Annual Meeting on May 4, 1993, by Drs. Jeffrey P. Phelan and David A. Grimes. Dr. Phelan took the "pro" side of the debate, while Dr. Grimes took the "con" side of the debate. Dr. Phelan, who is a practicing perinatologist in Pasadena, Calif., can be reached for comments on this JAMA article at 818-441-2558.
 Healthdyne is a national provider of high technology home care medical services, including infusion therapy through Home Nutritional Services and a manufacturer of high tech home care products through Healthdyne Technologies, its partially owned subsidiaries, as well as home obstetrical care through Healthdyne Perinatal Services.
 -0- 7/20/93
 /CONTACT: Donald R. Millard of Healthdyne, 404-423-4529/
 (HDYN)


CO: Healthdyne, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: HEA SU:

RA-BN -- AT012 -- 6850 07/20/93 12:57 EDT
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Date:Jul 20, 1993
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