Posts Tagged ‘prevention’
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.
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 the rest of this entry »
System monitors seniors’ health in the comfort of their own homes
By Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation, December 6, 2012
Many elderly dread the prospect that chronic medical issues will force them to leave their homes for an assisted living facility or nursing home, making them dependent upon others for their care and personal needs. Sometime in the near future, however, new technology could help them remain in their homes longer, perhaps indefinitely, without having to give up their independence.
“Our goal is to keep people in their private homes for as long as possible,” says Marjorie Skubic, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri. “The idea is to detect functional decline or early signs of illness, so we can identify problems when they are very small and proactively address them before they become catastrophic. That way, mom won’t have to leave her home.” Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the Health Care, Stupid:
As Our Health Goes, So Does Our Economic Recovery
By Peter Abaci, M.D., Chronic pain specialist
(original on Huffington Post)
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
– Albert Einstein
As we head into the final stages leading up to election day, expect the fight over whom and what is best for our economy to rage on. Debating how best to stimulate the economy has been anointed as the de facto topic of importance heading into our upcoming election, but let’s not forget that the health of Wall Street and Main Street is inextricably linked to the health of our citizens. As I have written here in the past, I am no economic expert, but I do work in the trenches every day in a profession that impacts our nation’s budget like no other.
The fact that doctors like me seem to drive the spending of tax dollars more than other occupations like teachers, governors, and generals tells you right there that health care is the elephant in the room of any debate on our economic future.
Professor Carl J. Schramm wrote about Improving the Nation’s Health with More Efficient Care as part of a GE Ideas Roundtable that included two good interactive infographics about working in America and how different nations view innovation. But I don’t think improving the efficiency of care is where the biggest benefits lie, so I added this comment:
Technology can be a two-edge sword. On one hand it has contributed to the doubling of the amount of published medical information every year or two, causing general practitioners to specialize just to keep up with changes in their field. On the other hand, innovations such as telehealth, remote monitoring and analysis of medical & environmental sensors, and IBM’s Watson supercomputer applied to medical diagnostics, will help to move many procedures and tests down-market from MD to PA, NP, RN, aid and consumers in their homes.
But aren’t we still addressing the wrong problem? It’s not so much about the efficiency of delivering care but eliminating the need for it. We currently have a “sick care” system, not a health care system, and that’s the real problem to focus on. When patients are viewed as customers of the health care system, practitioners and institutions have financial incentives to keep them as patients – i.e. treat symptoms rather than provide cures or prevent illness in the first place. Even health insurance providers fuel this backwards view, since more demand for medical care leads to higher premiums and larger profits.
Some of the most effective progress in health care has come from public health programs such as immunization, clean water, and education about smoking, nutrition, and exercise. I’d throw poverty and obesity into that mix since, according to HBO’s documentary The Weight of the Nation, public health officials can reliably predict a community’s average weight by zip code and have noticed lifespan differences of more than 20 years between poor neighborhoods on one side of town and affluent ones on the other side just 8 miles away.
How do you deal with the inefficiencies of the healthcare system?
This question was posed to a LinkedIn discussion group by White Glove Health, an Austin-based company that provides health care directly to you at home or work or over the phone. It’s a new discussion thread, but here’s my initial response.
Given advancements in technology, and related but slower advancements in regulatory oversight, I see companies like White Glove Health leading us into a more efficient future where advice, tests and procedures move down-market over time from specialists to general practitioners, PAs, NPs, RNs, medical aids, and health consumers themselves. I see many functions moving from hospitals to clinics, satellite clinics, and homes. And I see eventual changes in licensing that allows care to extend across state lines, and even international boarders.
NEHI Identifies 11 Emerging Chronic Disease Technologies To Watch
Cites Potential to Improve Care, Lower Costs for At-Risk Populations
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 13, 2012) – NEHI, a national health policy institute dedicated to finding innovative solutions to health care problems, today identified eleven emerging technologies that have the potential to improve care and lower costs for chronic disease patients, especially those in at-risk populations.
The “technologies to watch” target a range of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, stroke and heart disease, and reflect the growing emphasis on empowering patients to monitor their own care through the use of mobile platforms, social networking and home-based telehealth technologies. The technologies include web-based platforms that enable patients to connect virtually to their physician through their smartphone or personal computer, cell phone apps for medication reminders and asthma control, and in-car wireless systems that monitor patients’ health while they are driving. According to NEHI’s selection criteria, the technologies are under-used but have high future potential and align to the safety net population with low cost and easy access. Read the rest of this entry »
The song is up on YouTube already, but I’m embedding it here to further promote it. If you like it, add your comments or use the social media links at the bottom to share with friends.
|Donuts don’t grow on trees;
don’t you wonder why.
Cause all the foods that are good for you
Living foods they give us life,
Keep away from foods that are dead.
|God created man,
and he gave us food to eat.
Eat it in its natural state,
He gave us fingers to pick and eyes to see
Living foods are easy to find.
|Fruit juice and soda can make us sick
if we drink it to excess.
Too much sugar can make us fat.
We don’t drink enough pure water
We all need to get moving
Now that all four episodes of The Weight of the Nation have aired on HBO, I’m updating this article with new information, important statistics, and embedded versions of the trailer and each episode.
Obesity is a really BIG problem (excuse the pun), and with over two thirds (69%) of us overweight or obese, it’s now the largest threat to the health, wellness and future survival of our nation. Obesity has become an epidemic that needs swift action and an unprecedented public health campaign. Otherwise, we’ll end up like those fat Axiom characters in Pixar’s movie, Wall-E, and we’ll bankrupt America.
I hope everyone young & old will watch HBO’s The Weight of the Nation. It’s a four-part documentary that premiered on Monday, May 14 to explore our uphill battle with obesity. If you prefer to watch on your TV or want to learn more, you can visit the link above to buy the CD or the book that it’s based on. (An online version of the book is free.)