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technology 8 articles

U.S. government joins whistleblower complaint against technology contractor

The federal government has filed a complaint against information technology contractor CA. Inc. for violations of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of intentionally overcharging the government for its products and services over the course of several years. The government’s lawsuit was prompted by another complaint brought by a former CA employee who filed a lawsuit against the company under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The U.S. government contracted CA in September 2002 to provide software licenses, maintenance, training, and consulting services to the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Health And Human Services, and Labor. According ... Read More

NTSB safety officials want mandatory collision-avoidance systems in all vehicles

Federal safety officials are pushing the U.S. government to make collision avoidance systems standard equipment in all cars and trucks, saying that the technology exists and is accessible, but it won’t reach its full potential to save hundreds of lives and spare thousands more from crash injuries until it becomes as common as air bags and seat belts. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 35,000 people die on U.S. roads and highways every year. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials say that many of those fatalities could become a thing of the past if all vehicles had crash avoidance ... Read More

Philadelphia building collapse report calls for updated state building code

An investigative committee of the Philadelphia City Council said that the state of Pennsylvania must update its building codes to reduce a serious public safety threat like the deadly June 5 building collapse that killed six people and injured 14 others in a Salvation Army thrift store. In a report issued last week, the Philadelphia City Council Special Investigative Committee urged the Governor, state legislature, and Uniform Construction Code Review Advisory Committee (RAC) to adopt model building codes to ensure the safety of all buildings, not just in Philadelphia but in the rest of Pennsylvania. “Model building codes include the ... Read More

Nasal spray could help drive down suicide rates among U.S. veterans

“Here’s a window into a tragedy within the American military,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff wrote in an April column. “For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.” The alarming epidemic of suicide amongst our veterans, often linked to traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and all the adverse emotional and physical complications that accompany them, have compelled military and civilian researchers to find better ways of diagnosing and treating brain injuries, which can lead to myriad cognitive, motor, and emotional problems. Among those problems, depression and suicide loom ... Read More

FDA grants three kidney disease devices to enter expedited approval process

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded its accelerated approval process for medical devices to include end-stage renal-disease devices. Three out of 32 applicants were selected to be among the first to qualify for the program. The accelerated approval process for medical devices has allowed much-needed medical devices on the market without clinical testing if they are similar to ones already on the market. But the process has come under fire in recent months because of injuries and recalls on devices that critics say were cleared before safety and efficacy were established. Earlier this month, Consumer Reports urged Congress ... Read More

FDA focuses on safety and innovation in approval of medical devices

Amid pressure from victims of faulty artificial hips and an independent medical policy group to stiffen the approval process for medical devices, and requests from medical device manufacturers to keep the status quo, the top device official for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told industry executives last month that the agency hopes to find a solution that focuses both on safety and innovation. The approval process for moderate risk medical devices, such as artificial hips and surgical mesh, has become the focus of concern for the agency after last year’s recall of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement ... Read More

Oil spill cleanup technology lags dangerously behind

BP and other giant oil corporations have invested billions of dollars to develop means of drilling deeper and farther out to sea, yet they have invested relatively no money in developing effective deep-sea oil cleanup and response methods. Every year, the oil companies continue to push the envelope on offshore drilling in deep, remote regions of the ocean. Yet a devastating problem without a good solution will be created should anything go wrong with these risky operations, as BP’s volcano of oil in the Gulf of Mexico so clearly demonstrates. Even after the 1979 Mexican oil spill in the Gulf, ... Read More

CPSC launches social networking initiative

Recognizing how online social networking tools are changing the way we stay connected to the people and things that matter to us, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has launched CPSC 2.0, an effort the CPSC describes as “a comprehensive social networking initiative that will make lifesaving and other safety information more accessible to consumers.” Traditionally, the CPSC has relied on the media to convey important messages about product safety and recalls to the public. And, while announcements have long been available on the agency’s web site, few people take the time to access the information on a regular basis. ... Read More