How a Specialist Nurse can Help with Dementia

By Rohit Agarwal

Dementia is a series of mental illnesses, sadly most of which are seen as incurable. One of the most commonly found dementia case is Alzheimer’s, which comprises of about 75% of all dementia patients. Dementia has a direct effect on a person’s ability to think and reason. It also affects the patient’s short term memory and basic problem solving. It is thus important for nurses involved with the care of dementia patients to be well aware of the patient’s needs and should be able to handle all situations without making the patient feel the loss of control. Here are some tips for a Specialist Dementia Nurse while taking care of patients.

nurse

Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felbrycollege/

Read More …

Poverty in America — living below The Line

The Line is an important documentary that covers the stories of people across the country living at or below the poverty line. They have goals. They have children. They work hard. They are people like you and me. Across America, millions are struggling every day to make it above The Line.

As shown in the Stats below and the accompanying infographic, poverty is a drag on the economy that also affects the cost of healthcare, as I’ve written before in this blog. Read More …

Powering tiny medical circuits in the body

Batteryless Electrostimulator

A batteryless electrostimulator next to medicinal pills for size comparison. (Photo: Austin Lee)

In my interview last year with Dr. Metin Akay, he described the daunting problem of powering tiny computer chips deep inside the body. Neurologists, he said, can already control the misfiring of rogue neurons that cause epilepsy by implanting small electrodes in the brain cluster of misbehaving neurons, but they still must resolve battery-life issues and need a reliable power source.

Today they do this by connecting the electrodes to a power source worn outside the body, but Stanford assistant professor of electrical engineering, Ada Poon, has found a safe way to transfer energy to tiny circuits the size of a grain of rice using targeted ratio waves. Read More …

How to Live Long and Healthy

90+

Helen Weil, 92, and Henry Tornell, 94 (CBS NEWS from 60 Minutes segment on “Living to 90 and Beyond”)

Until recently, very little was known about what it takes to live well into our 90s. That’s because there weren’t many people that old to study, and because records were sparse about their diet and lifestyle. But today men and women above the age of 90 have become the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and there’s new research that helps explain why. 

What can we do now to live long and healthy?

Finding out was the goal of a new research study known as “90+,” which was the subject of a 60 Minutes segment on Living to 90 and Beyond.   Read More …

Holistic Health and the Science of Healing

Learn about The Science of HealingA while back, at a networking event for healthcare marketers, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Julie Reardon. She has a Family Medicine and Integrative Medicine practice in Austin and has a different view of holistic health, saying that “Too many times we ‘diet’ and fail to ‘live it.'”  She uses the term LIVE IT as an acronym for:

L earn about healthy eating & living;
I ncorporate more veggies in your diet;
V italize your diet with vitamins & supplements;
E xercise;

I magine how you Want to feel; and
T hink before you eat, and eat slowly

Before we left the meeting, she insisted that I hunt down Dr. Esther Sternberg’s PBS documentary, “The Science of Healing,” and I watched it today on NetFlix. Here’s a short clip Read More …

The Emerging Sleep Wellness Market

Withings Aura

The lead image for the Times article featured the Withings Aura, a very sensitive under-the mattress sensor that connects with a colored night light and alarm clock. The light can change colors from blue, which is good for waking you up in the morning, to red, which is preferred at night since blue light inhibits melatonin production and the biological clock that tells the body it’s time to sleep. But instead of showing the bluish version, I found this red version more appropriate for an article on sleep.

Consumers are learning how sleep affects health, safety and productivity, thanks to a flood of articles in the scientific literature and mainstream news media. Today I responded to Collecting Data on a Good Night’s Sleep, an article in The New York Times about all of the fitness activity trackers and under-the-mattress sensors.

These sensors basically tell you what you already know — you don’t sleep well — but few actually help you sleep better. Some attempt to monitor sleep and wake you at the best time close to when you set your alarm. They may even show graphs of sleep patterns, based on how much you move or even your heart rate, but they can’t be very accurate without also measuring brainwave activity. Zeo was the one product I know of that did that fairly well, but it ended up going under. Read More …

Caring for a Stroke Patient

Caring for a Stroke PatientBy Rohit Agarwal

Stroke also referred to as ‘Cardiovascular Accident’, is a type of a medical condition involving brain function disturbance due to lack of blood flow to the brain. There can be a number of causes that lead to a stroke, like blockages and hemorrhages.

This is a high level medical emergency that can be fatal. There is a high risk of a stroke to people of old age, diabetic patients, people who take high cholesterol diet, consumption of alcohol and smoking. Stokes should be taken seriously as it is considered to be the second leading cause of death in the world.

When a person survives a stroke there is always a risk of further repercussions that might include a second stroke, decreased brain functions, temporary loss of dexterity and paralysis. Hence, special care should be given not only in the hospital but at home as well, so we discuss home care tips for stroke patients. Read More …

The Need & Positive Effects of Restorative Sleep

Arianna Huffington

Watch Arianna Huffington’s TED Talk below to see why it’s time to open your eyes to the need to close them.

By Wayne Caswell

Sleep deprivation has become a terrifying problem in our on-the-go society, where working more and sleeping less can be seen as a badge of honor. But even nodding off momentarily can have disastrous results, as we saw in graphic news reports of the December Bronx Metro-North train derailment

“I was in a daze,” engineer William Rockerfeller told investigators about the moments leading up to the crash. “I don’t know what I was thinking about, and the next thing I know, I was hitting the brakes.”

Sleep scientists think Rockerfeller may have slipped into what’s known as microsleep, when parts of the brain are awake and parts just doze off for a few seconds. But his momentary lack of attention before approaching a dangerous curve too fast derailed more than just the train; it also ended the lives of four people, injured more than 70 others, and probably cost Rockerfeller his career.

Short sleep, or getting less than 6 hours when 7-9 hours is recommended, drastically dampens our attentiveness and reaction times, as well as our health overall. While I’ll describe the negative effects of Short sleep, this article is really about the positive benefits of Restorative sleep, and it concludes with an excellent speech on the topic by Arianna Huffington. I hope it motivates you to add a New Years’ resolution — get more sleep. Read More …

Ageing and Brain Science

Science & Technology ConvergenceThis article explores advances in neural engineering research and is based on my interview with Dr. Metin Akay, Founding Chairman of the new Biomedical Engineering Department and the John S. Dunn professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston. His discipline unites the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics with cellular, molecular, cognitive and behavioral neurosciences.

One expected result of these fields converging is to lower health care costs. Another is to extend life, but as Dr. Akay put it, “While it’s very important to live longer, it’s much more important to have quality of life.” Read More …

Beyond Jeopardy!, What is Watson Up To Now?

IBM Watson plays Jeopardy! and wins.By Dr. Martin Kohn, Chief Medical Scientist for IBM Research

Two years ago, IBM’s Watson computer shocked the world when it beat two past grand champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!

Watson isn’t playing around anymore.

Watson and the technological leaps forward that made it so revolutionary — the ability to understand human speech, make sense of huge amounts of complex information in split seconds, rank answers based on probability, and learn from its mistakes — are being put to work.

In health care, Watson is helping doctors tailor medical treatment to every patient’s situation in a time when the amount of medical information is doubling every five years. Read More …

Young Innovators and The Future of Healthcare

Brain InterfaceThis article is about the power of the Internet as a learning and research tool, and the role that young, Internet-savvy innovators are playing as they develop the future of healthcare

Easton LaChappelle

Easton, a 17-year old inventor, spoke recently at TEDxMileHigh about his 3D printing & animatronics project and the future of prosthetic & animatronic limbs. He started this work at age 14 and used the Internet to research and learn about electronics & sensor technologies, programming & modeling software, 3D printing & industrial design, and wireless networking. He’s now living in Houston and working at NASA on robotics projects. Read More …

The Costs of Job Stress

The Costs of Job StressJOB stress only adds to a host of stressors facing unpaid family caretakers, and this all can take a toll on both your career and your health.

If you are a family caregiver, think about how much time do you spend, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some 65 million unpaid family caregivers look after elderly or disabled loved ones, averaging 20 hours/wk. AARP did a study that put the 2009 annual burden on unpaid family caregivers at $480 billion/year, including lost worker productivity, reduced earning capacity & retirement income, and increases in their own physical & emotional health and related costs. It’s more than the $361B in Medicaid spending and nearly as much as the $509B in Medicare spending.

The infographic below, from Top10OnlineColleges.org, identifies JOB stress as a leading factor in poor health, but so is not getting enough sleep.  Of course the two are closely related. After the infographic and listed highlights (for blind people using a screen reader) are related infographics and articles on both Stress and Sleep. Enjoy, but don’t stress out. Read More …

Moore’s Law and The FUTURE of Healthcare

By Wayne Caswell, Founder of Modern Health Talk
Which Future

This article examines a future driven by Moore’s Law and the trend of circuits and components getting smaller, faster and cheaper exponentially over time and the eventual blending of science and technology (INFO + BIO + NANO + NEURO). I approach this topic from the unique perspective of an IBM technologist, market strategist, futurist, and consumer advocate. See About the Author and About Modern Health, below, to better understand what shaped this view of the future. You can also see my slide presentation and related articles & infographics at the bottom.

Which Future?

Futurists regularly consider alternative scenarios and examine factors that can steer the future in one direction or another. That way, clients can select a preferred version of the future and know what they might do to make that future happen.

It’s relatively easy to extrapolate past trends, assuming that nothing prevents those trends from continuing at the same rate, but will they? One can also look at what’s possible by tracking research lab activity and then estimating how long it will take to bring those new technologies to market.

But a potentially better approach is to start with a solid understanding of market NEEDS and what drives the development of solutions for them, or factors that inhibit solutions. Changes in politics and public policy, for example, can be a huge driver, with Obamacare as an example, or a huge inhibitor. That’s why I’m so interested in various healthcare reforms that accompany tech innovation. Read More …

The Impact of Mindset on Quality of Life

What's your Mindset? Happy? Sad? Angry? Blue?The Impact of Mindset on Quality of Life…

 

and What Healthcare Providers and Patients Can Do About It

by Samantha Rodgers

Many factors impact a person’s quality of life. Often we focus primarily on physical health and, while that certainly plays a role, it’s not the only component impacting life quality. Healthcare providers and researchers have studied the effect of mindset over the past years, and have learned that what a person thinks or believes and how he or she feels emotionally also plays a role in quality of life.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Healthcare Management and Hacettepe University in Turkey, happiness or a lack thereof has a definite impact on the quality of a person’s life as they age. Similar to improving physical health with medical treatments, healthcare providers and their patients are now also working together to improve quality of life by changing thoughts and attitudes, and boosting emotions. Read More …

Mind control of helicopters now. What might be next?

Mind control of robot helicopterIn this amazing feat of engineering, a person’s thoughts are used to navigate a robot, which makes us wonder about other applications in the future.

Using a brain-computer interface developed by University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several students learned to steer a robotic quadcopter with just their thoughts. As shown in the video, they navigated the craft around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring.

Similar technology may someday allow disabled people to regain speech or mobility lost due to disease or injury. They may be able to control a variety of devices with just their thoughts, including lights, TV remotes, artificial limbs and wheelchairs. The solution is completely noninvasive: brain waves (EEG) are picked up by electrodes in a cap worn on the scalp, not requiring a chip implanted in the brain.

A more detailed report on the technology is available in the Journal of Neural Engineering, and the video is shown below. Read More …

CES 2013, Digital Health Revolution: Body, Mind & Soul

On the first day of CES I attended a Digital Health Summit panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. To introduce the discussion, she described Americans’ increase in antidepressants, sleep medications, and stress, and how 75% of healthcare spending is spent on preventable diseases, and 80% of medications are for pain. All of these conditions are preventable through other means, she said.

The panel discussed a perfect storm of multiple trends: (1) stress (and I’d add sleep deprivation) is a killer, (2) our broken & expensive sick care system, and (3) technology & wearable devices that can help us focus on health & wellness. Market researchers note that 30 million wearable devices shipped in 2012, going to 60 million in the next year. In addition, 44 million health apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year.

Read More …

CES 2013, GPS for the Soul and Digital Health Revolution

I attended CES in person this year instead of monitoring the show from the comfort of my home office and writing my traditional report, CES in Pajamas. On the first day I attended “The Digital Health Revolution: Body, Mind and Soul,” a  panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington and am thrilled that Huffington Post is so prominently promoting conversation and innovation supporting better health & wellness. Its GPS for the Soul smartphone app, for example, complements lifestyle articles around the theme “Less Stress, More Living.” Here’s an article that Arianna published on the first day.

CES 2013, GPS for the Soul and the Digital Health Revolution

By Arianna Huffington, 1/07/2013

Greetings from Las Vegas, where I’ve landed in the midst of a perfect storm. I’m not talking about the weather — it’s a crisp, beautiful day here. No, I’m talking about one of those moments in which several trends converge to create something larger, a moment we will look back on as the time everything changed. Read More …

Bringing Dead Back to Life & Envisioning a Healthy Future

The beginning (or end) of a year is a good time to remember & reflect on the past while pondering & planning the future. So today’s post comes from Huffington Post, with ties into other articles about Personal Memoirs & Memories, Perpetual Websites & Memorials, the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, and Future Forecasts. It’s about the well-known futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil.

Adding Kurzweil to the executive staff at Google may help the company stay vibrant and even increase its impact on information technology. Google also invested in Kurzweil’s Singularity University, which strives to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially-advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges. He envisions using a search engine to access a database of your thoughts, stored in the Cloud, in a way that mirrors your values and personality.

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Director Of Engineering, Wants To Bring The Dead Back To Life

Inventor Ray Kurzweil hopes to develop ways for humans to live forever, and while he’s at it, bring back his dead father (at least virtually). Behind him is the support of a tech giant. This month, Kurzweil, a futurist, stepped into the role of Director of Engineering at Google, focusing on machine learning and language processing.

Read More …

The Benefits of Napping

When was the last time you let yourself have a nice, leisurely nap?

Past articles promoted the health & productivity benefits of good sleep, but what about a short nap? The folks at Patio Productions shared this great infographic on the science and statistics of napping, spent inside or in the majestic outdoors. Enjoy, and pass it along to friends.

 

Read More …