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Completely drug-resistant TB strain surfaces in India (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including an entirely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis in India, the da Vinci surgical robot expands its influence overseas, and the UK government shows insecurities on tablets in healthcare.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

Super-TB strain appears in India. First Italy and Iran, and now India. Doctors are reporting a completely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis after trying more than a dozen drugs on 12 patients, three of whom have since died from the lung disease. Quarantine, officials say, is the only way to keep the disease from spreading, although there is fear there are already many more undetected cases lurking.

Tuberculosis cases are declining globally because the infection is usually treatable with long-term antibiotics. But many patients don’t get the right medication or don’t take it properly, leading to drug-resistant strains. Multi-drug resistant strains of TB also are known to exist in Russia and China.

New success for the da Vinci. Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci robotic surgery system is looking to expand its global footprint with new training centers set to open in India and at Fujita Health University Hospital in Japan this year. A new program called the Raven project is also launching in the U.S., calling for academic teams to hack and improve the machine’s software.

UK wary of tablets in healthcare. Tablets aren’t as secure as other health IT equipment, should not be used to store sensitive patient data and should be encrypted, says new interim guidance on tablets from the UK’s National Health Service. Healthcare practitioners should take caution when using cloud-based services on tablets, which are easily stolen, the government advises.

Is it possible that the cost of healthcare isn’t going up? Forbes’ Tim Worstall gives an interesting take on why he thinks the cost of delivering healthcare will actually go down in the near future as technology transitions treatment from being service-based to manufactured-based.

Sick of hearing about the iPad? Well, mobile technology isn’t going away anytime soon, and people are taking notice of its applications in healthcare. Today, Mashable! recommends five useful mobile and tablet apps for hospitals, doctors and patients.

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