“Fed Up” with the Food Industry

Katie Couric is Fed UpKatie Couric is fed up with the food industry, and you should be too. [10/2/2016 UPDATE: Added video clip from FOOD CHAIN$, a related documentary]

In the two-minute video below, executive producers Katie Couric and Laurie David address the next great American health crisis with their eye-opening new documentary film, “Fed Up.”

Going against everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, this movie reveals a 30-year campaign by the food industry to mislead and confuse the American public. The result is America’s Obesity Epidemic, a Big problem.

What’s worse is that this epidemic was aided by the federal government and special interest lobbying, and the food lobby is now fighting back with misinformation to discredit the movie. But the evidence is clear, and I urge you to watch the 2-min clip below, the related videos that follow, and the full documentary in theaters near you.  Read More …

FDA issues Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps

FDA LogoWASHINGTON – Sept. 24, 2013 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is encouraged by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) release of guidance on mobile medical apps.
[Modern Health Talk is encouraged too.]

“The FDA has chosen wisely to target its strict regulatory efforts on mobile applications that could pose a significant risk to consumers if used improperly.” said Jonathan Linkous, chief executive officer of ATA. “Their regulation will help reassure patients and consumers that mobile health applications are not only convenient, but safe.”

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WSU shares Smart Home technology with the world

smart home

By Tina Hilding, College of Engineering and Architecture

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have received a National Science Foundation grant to share their “smart home in a box” technology with 60 institutions and scientists around the world in what will be the largest-ever installation of such home monitoring systems.

The collaborators will develop their own monitoring projects in a home or a lab and report back their results. With this data, the WSU researchers will be able to develop a system for using and sharing cutting-edge, smart environments data on a large scale. Read More …

Secret Hospital Charges Now Revealed, Wide Disparities

High Healthcare CostsHospital Prices No Longer Secret As New Data Reveals Bewildering System, Staggering Cost Differences

By Jeffrey Young and Chris Kirkham

When a patient arrives at Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey requiring treatment for the respiratory ailment known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she faces an official price tag of $99,690.

Less than 30 miles away in the Bronx, N.Y., the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center charges only $7,044 for the same treatment, according to a massive federal database of national health care costs made public on Wednesday. Read More …

Under Skin Blood Test Sends Lab Results to Phone

Under-skin Lab-on-a-Chip has 7 sensors to detect blood compoundsSwiss researchers have unveiled a prototype “lab on a chip” that is surgically implanted in the interstitial tissue just beneath the skin, where it analyzes compounds in the blood, and sends results to a phone or tablet through wireless radio connections.

How does it work? The microchip has seven chemical & molecular sensors and gets inductive power from a patch worn on top of the skin. Every 10 minutes the collected data is sent through the patch and a Bluetooth connection to a patient or doctor via smartphone or tablet.

Although the device will not be widely available for at least a few years, its potential practical applications are widespread and include:

  • Glucose monitoring in diabetics, more frequently and without a finger prick.
  • Post surgery patient monitoring
  • Facilitate predictive medicine, including a pending heart attack
  • Measure metabolism and drug absorption
  • Athletes monitoring fluids & nutrition

Video:  Read More …

Zeo’s demise, a wakeup call for Sleep Wellness?

Zeo headbandThis article is based on a LinkedIn discussion that was started by Paul Sonnier, founder of the Digital Health discussion group.

Zeo has closed shop. Mentioned here & here and shown in the video below, Zeo is the company that provided a well known direct-to-consumer (DTC) sleep monitoring and coaching system that claimed to take the “science of sleep out of the lab and put it into your hands.” While speculation abounds as to why this happened (see comments in this group discussion: http://bit.ly/ZeoDHDiscuss), it does highlight some of the challenges in this dynamic consumer digital health market segment, which represents 70 million people in the US alone. Read More …

A Place at the Table – about Poverty, Hunger & Health

Spread the word today! This important documentary is coming to movie theaters, YouTube and on-demand on March 1.

A Place at the Table shows us how hunger poses serious economic, social, health and cultural implications for our nation, and how the problem of hunger can be solved once and for all, with your help.

Now think about the dramatic role that a proper diet can play in decreasing obesity, diabetes, chronic illness, food allergies, and healthcare costs by improving the health of Americans.

As Dr. Wahls says in her TED video, “Hunter-Gatherer diet feeds Mitochondria & Brain Cells.”  “You’ll pay one way or another” – either pay now for a nutritious diet that improves your productivity and quality of life, or pay more later for medical intervention and long-term healthcare. This concept applies individually or nationally as portrayed in A Place at the Table.

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Printing Your Own Medicine… and Organs

Chemist Lee Cronin is working on a 3-D printer that, instead of objects, is able to print molecules. It has exciting long-term potential: printing your own personalized medicine using chemical inks. The 3-minute TED talk below paints a fascinating view of the , but a great many issues remain. Following the video are two related TED talks with more near-term impact.

My reaction

I was amused at the comments on TED.com and had to add my own…

So will the use of illegal narcotics and abuse of prescription drugs explode? Where will we buy the “ink,” and can it be ordered online? Will the cartridges be refillable? Will we need a new constitutional amendment to ensure “the right to bear printers” or the “right to buy ink?” Who will profit from this new industry and lobby for the new laws and regulatory oversight (or lack of it)? As with any disruptive technology, there are many new questions, and there will be many incumbents fighting to preserve the status quo. Read More …

Not Enough Doctors for Baby Boomers

With over 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, there may not be enough doctors to care for them as they age. As Seth Doane reports in this CBS News report, over the next ten years there may be 40,000 fewer doctors than needed. Will technology take up the slack? It may have to, and that’s one reason I started Modern Health Talk – to discuss those technologies.

The two-minute video is filled with lots of new statistics that I added to
our growing list about the Healthcare Problem & Opportunity.

Smartphone app lets you monitor lung health

Hand holding SpiroSmart
photo by: S. Patel, Univ. of Washington
SpiroSmart is a research app to let people test their lung function using only a smartphone.

App lets you monitor lung health using only a smartphone
By Hannah Hickey, University of Washington

9/12/2012 | People suffering from asthma or other chronic lung problems are typically only able to get a measure of their lung function at the doctor’s office a few times a year by blowing into a specialized piece of equipment. More frequent testing at home could detect problems earlier, potentially avoiding emergency room visits and hospitalization.

A new tool from researchers at the University of Washington, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s hospital lets people monitor their lung function at home or on the go simply by blowing into their smartphones. A paper presented this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing showed results that came within 5 percent of commercial devices, meaning it already meets the medical community’s standards for accuracy.

“There’s a big need in the pulmonary community to make testing cheaper and more convenient,” said lead researcher Shwetak Patel, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering. “Other people have been working on attachments for the mobile phone that you can blow into. We said, ‘Let’s just try to figure out how to do it with the microphone that’s already there.’”

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High Tech Advancing Future of Personalized Cancer Care

IBM Watson and Personalized Cancer CareMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, IBM to Collaborate
in Applying Watson Technology to Help Oncologists

IBM Watson combined with MSKCC’s clinical knowledge will help
physicians access and integrate latest science and knowledge

New York City – 22 Mar 2012: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and IBM have agreed to collaborate on the development of a powerful tool built upon IBM Watson in order to provide medical professionals with improved access to current and comprehensive cancer data and practices. The resulting decision support tool will help doctors everywhere create individualized cancer diagnostic and treatment recommendations for their patients based on current evidence.

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What the Fork – $100?

Why do we need a smart fork, you may ask? Well, here’s the hype…

Studies show that people who eat slower eat 11% fewer calories and digest food better, so HAPILABS introduced 2 devices at CES: HAPIfork and HAPItrack. The dishwasher safe HAPIfork got immense press coverage, including articles in Consumer Reports and Bon Appetit, as well as placement on the Stephen Colbert Show (see video below).

This latest electronic gadget functions like a friendly shock collar by paying attention to when you eat, how many bites you take, and the intervals between each bite, vibrating to tell you when you’re eating too fast or too much. The goal is to encourage you to slow down, chew your food, improve your digestion, transform the way you eat, and… enjoy life more. HAPIfork then communicates with your smartphone so you can track your eating habits or share them with friends online. Read More …

CES 2013 prominently features HealthSpot Station

“Real doctors. Real medicine. Really convenient.”

HealthSpot Station was prominently featured in the central lobby just as you entered the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2013, an honor that only the most interesting companies get.

Doctors and patients meet face-to-face like they always have, only in this case, the face-to-face is virtual: the doctor is in his home or office; the patient is seated in the kiosk; and the kiosk is located in a retail store. The HealthSpot Station kiosk allows board-certified doctors to conduct remote diagnosis and treatment using high-def videoconferencing and digital medical devices that appear behind locked doors when needed.

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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.

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Smart Car Features for Older Drivers

Nearly Nine in 10 Seniors Drive a Car that Doesn’t Fit their Aging Needs

AAA research helps “silver tsunami” match vehicle features to health concerns

Click to read about the future of driverless cars.

This photo by Henry Fountain pictures one of Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. The Lexus hybrid has a range-finder on top but otherwise looks reasonably conventional. We may eventually be able to buy cars that drive themselves (see comment below), and three states already license experimental models for operation on public roads, but until they’re commercially available, AAA offers advice on selecting car features for older drivers.

Washington, D.C., (Dec. 3, 2012) – With nearly 90 percent of motorists 65 and older suffering from health issues that affect driving safety, finding a car that not only adapts to conditions, such as lack of flexibility or muscle strength, while maintaining safety and comfort can be difficult. Data from a new AAA survey also reveals that only one in 10 senior drivers with aging health issues are driving a vehicle that has features like keyless entry and larger dashboard controls that can assist with such conditions.

To better equip the “silver tsunami” for driving safety and comfort, AAA has updated its Smart Features for Older Drivers resource to address a broader range of health conditions and include new data on 2012 vehicle features. As a leading advocate for senior driver safety, AAA launched Smart Features for Older Drivers in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation in 2008. In the update, Smart Features identifies vehicle features that optimize older driver safety and comfort, lists current vehicles with those features, and allows users to explore their individual needs through an interactive online tool.  Read More …

Scanadu’s smartphone-enabled home diagnostics

Scanadu Unveils Family of New Tools to Revolutionize Consumer Healthcare

Scanadu SCOUTNASA-Based Company Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA – November 29, 2012

Scanadu, a new personalized health electronics company, today unveiled the first three products in its family of consumer health tools: Scanadu SCOUT, Project ScanaFlu and Project ScanaFlo. Based at NASA-Ames Research Center, Scanadu is using mobile, sensor and social technology to ensure this is the last generation to know so little about our health. The newly introduced home diagnostic tools are set to be the biggest innovation in home medicine since the invention of the thermometer.

Founded in 2010 by Walter de Brouwer after a family medical emergency, Scanadu is using imaging and sound analysis, molecular diagnostics, data analytics and a suite of algorithms to create devices that offer a comprehensive, real-time picture of your health data. The company is also participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, which looks to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand, as well as the Nokia Sensing X Challenge, which seeks to revolutionize digital healthcare. Read More …

Regal extends Universal Access to Moviegoers

Regal's assistive technology for moviegoers

Regal Entertainment Group & Sony make moviegoing accessible to all with advanced technology. (Photo: Regal Entertainment Group)

I’ve written many articles here about Universal Design principals in communities, homes and products, and now I’m thrilled to say that moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind can now experience movies at neighborhood theaters. Regal Entertainment Group announced that 200 theaters nationwide will offer the Sony Entertainment Access System.

The system includes specially designed and lightweight eyewear for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can privately view closed captioned text for both 2D and 3D movies. Patrons who have low vision or those who are blind can use this assistive technology with headphones or neck loops to hear descriptive audio tracks. Captions and descriptive audio can only be accessed by this equipment and is not visible or audible to other moviegoers.

The system is available at the Guest Services counter or from any theater manager. To select films offering this service, look for online showtimes noting: “Accessibility Devices Available.”

 

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