Category Archives: Blogging

Three important medical developments to emerge in the last decade

The health and medical industry is arguably one of the most crucial businesses in the world, not only for its economic importance but more so because of its role in keeping the human race alive. Like food production and power generation, it will never get obsolete but would instead, continue to evolve.

 

For many years, the advancement in technology has led the way to outstanding growths in different fields and industries, not only improving our way of life but also promising new and better things to look forward to in the centuries to come. In fact, several advantages from these developments shaped a better world and their benefits can be seen most especially in how the combination of technological feats and healthcare research revolutionized medicine in the last decade. Let’s discuss some of the most innovative healthcare developments in the past 10 years.

 

3D Printing in medicine

Medical 3D printing is probably one of the most industry-changing technologies of the century. This type of three-dimensional printing initially made headlines because of its innovations in manufacturing and production until its popularity took another spotlight when scientists achieved the impossible and successfully created human organs and simple body parts using 3D printers.

Image source: ibtimes.co.uk

 

Cancer fingerprinting

Another breakthrough in medicine contributed to the necessary development in cancer therapies is through cancer fingerprinting. This approach analyzes the how particular cases of this disease react to specific treatments. According to experts, each cancer case displays a unique identity code and the process of “fingerprinting” can allow medical staff to observe and study the mutated genes of tumors, letting them measure the sensitivity of specific cancers to different types of chemotherapy.

Image source: express.co.uk

 

Synthetic hormones

Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death around the world but recent progress in research related to this disease provided hope for people suffering from serious heart conditions through a new synthetic version of relaxin, the “serelaxin,” a type of hormone that can boost survival rates in patients by 37 percent. This type of treatment can open up blood vessels and have shown anti-inflammatory effects on the human system.   Although several medical trials are still being conducted, this is one of the strongest candidate to finally pave the way to new and advanced avenue of research.

Image source: mymasc.com

 

Truly, we have come so far in our search for a more optimistic and healthier life and these developments will go on to lead a brighter and healthier future for all of humanity.

Comments Off on Three important medical developments to emerge in the last decade

Filed under Blogging

REPOST: Why Health Care Is Especially Vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks

When computer savvy is used maliciously, it could spell chaos and data breaches. As with the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks, many organizations—including hospitals—had their systems taken advantage of by amateur hackers, jeopardizing patients’ records and putting the health care industry in major disarray. Read the article below by Sy Mukherjee of Fortune to know why medical systems are especially unprepared to deal with this new class of cyber-criminals:

 

The WannaCry attack has jolted our digital lives. Mark Schiefelbein—AP

 

The ongoing saga of the WannaCry ransomware attack which devastated the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) over the weekend and has already infected hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe reads like a Black Mirror episode set in our very times.

 

A cadre of amateur hackers took advantage of security flaws in widely-used Microsoft operating systems with a technique gleaned from none other than the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)—and consequently brought a nation’s health system to its knees while throwing patients’ lives into disarray.

 

It’s still too early to gauge the fallout from this digital delinquency. But the breach highlights a stark—and scary—reality about health IT: Outdated medical systems are woefully unprepared to deal with a new class of criminals willing to hold patients’ medical data, credit card numbers, and other personal information hostage barring a big payout. In fact, the FBI has issued several stark warnings about the unique and growing threat ransomware presents to health care companies specifically in the past few months.

 

Continue reading HERE.

Comments Off on REPOST: Why Health Care Is Especially Vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks

Filed under Blogging

Modernizing healthcare: Is blockchain technology the next step?

Interoperability is at the heart of the blockchain technology and for the health care industry, this ability could power a more accessible yet safer way of health information exchange. For instance, taking advantage of this innovation for electronic medical records sharing will not only provide patients with real-time information but also deliver a faster way of data sharing among institutions and healthcare providers.

 

Image source: btcmanager.com

 

The technology could give rise to new health information exchanges (HIE) models that will create more efficient electronic medical records. Although it still in its early stages, here are the potential uses of Blockchain technology that will revolutionize the healthcare industry.

 

  1. Health record management

The technology has the potential to build a less complicated and more updated digital record-keeping system. As a ledger technology, it can promote interoperability, ensuring integrity and privacy for patient records.

 

  1. Patient-centered approach

Patients can have the full control and real-time access to their own medical data so that they can easily share it with other healthcare providers like hospitals, insurance companies as well as laboratories.

 

  1. Secured sharing

With its real-time access and control capabilities, patients can share data to various groups or individuals. Data sharing are pre-approved so that it will only be shared with the patient’s chosen group of individuals or organizations.

 

  1. Cost-efficient

Transferring a patient’s medical records between institutions and healthcare providers will be faster and will cost less. In addition, compliance costs will be reduced and the digital nature of this technology will make auditing easier.

 

Image source: ancapetre.com

 

Blockchain technology has not yet reached its full maturity in its possible applications in other industries and there are still issues that need to be addressed. However, many experts believe that it has the revolutionary potential to transform the health care industry in the future, which can spell a healthcare boom, higher client satisfaction rates, and even increased value of healthcare stocks—the latter a major plus for investors.

Comments Off on Modernizing healthcare: Is blockchain technology the next step?

Filed under Blogging

Four digital healthcare startups to watch

 Digitalization has not only encompassed modes of entertainment such as movies and music. It has also made its way into the hospitals and the healthcare system. This has numerous positive implications for the industry. Not only will service delivery become faster, but it will also translate to a more efficient working framework. This is a most welcome change for one of the pitfalls of healthcare is that it is highly cluttered. That’s why the numerous startups that are popping up in this field are something to truly watch out for.

 

Image source: crowdstrike.com  

 

Zocdoc is one of the pioneers in this field. On average, patients struggle just to acquire a doctor’s appointment. Zocdoc wants to solve this problem by giving patients real time access to their healthcare providers through their app. During their early days a few years ago, they were able to raise $15 million.

Force Therapeutics, meanwhile, is drastically improving patient outcomes by giving them direct communication with their doctors. They take it a step further by educating them through video recordings. They mainly deal with patients with musculoskeletal problems.

 

Image source: wsj.net

 

The co-founders of Flatiron Health had a first-hand experience of what it means to fight cancer. That is why they launched their cloud-based startup which mainly focuses on the digitalization of oncology. They were able to raise an incredible $175 million in funding.

StartUp Health on the other hand has made their goals a little bit bigger. In a span of 25 years, they are planning to improve the global healthcare system by elevating the wellbeing of all through their network of Health Transformers.

 

Image source: biznews247.com

 

Many more positive changes in the healthcare industry will happen in the next couple of years or even decades, and most of them will be largely based on technological advancements. Thus far, hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent to develop apps or tools that could streamline data management within the industry.

Comments Off on Four digital healthcare startups to watch

Filed under Blogging

Vigor and vitality: The healthiest cities around the world

According to the World Health Organization, a healthy city is a setting wherein there is continual change in the improvement of the physical and social aspect of the environment which its residents occupy. It will also enable them to mutually support each other in the performance of life activities. Ultimately, a healthy city is a place where the people within it will achieve the best quality of life possible. Naturally, people want to spend their days in a happy and conducive environment, and these healthy cities from all over the world are definitely making the benchmark so high for the others.

Image source: jllrealviews.com

In the United States of America, the title of healthiest city would go to Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida. This is based on the Gallup-Healthways’ Community Well-Being Index. When they interviewed the residents of these locations, they were able to find physical, emotional, financial, and social health satisfaction. It certainly is no fluke that they are in the top spot for it is their second year in a row there.

If the US has Naples, then Europe has Copenhagen. It has been dubbed as one of the healthiest cities in the world as proven by its track record. It is an environment which is nearly ‘stress-free’ because only 2 percent of the population are working for 40 hours or more in a week. This translates to residents having more time to do what they want to do, including more time for an active lifestyle.

Moving to Asia, the honor would go to Okinawa. The residents there are so healthy that they are beating the life expectancy average for men and women by a whole decade. It also has the highest concentration of people who are living to be a hundred or more (centenarians). They practice vigorous exercise and a lean diet. That’s why their average body mass index hovers around 18 to 22.

Image source: forksoverknives.com

Among Latin American cities, meanwhile, Havana in Cuba is perhaps the healthiest in the region. The country as a whole has a life expectancy similar to that of the US. Despite being a generally poor city, Cuba has a near-100 percent vaccination rate and health screenings are quite regular. Residents in Havana are taught about proper nutrition, exercise, and first aid from a young age.

In the world’s smallest continent, Melbourne boasts of a quality of quality that is matched only by a few other cities on earth. This Australian metropolis has been named the ‘most livable city in the world’ by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which ranks places based on a number of categories or criteria including healthcare, education, crime rate, and lifestyle. Melbourne is very clean, safe, and hospitable, with a pleasant weather, top-notch infrastructure, and absence of any civil unrest that plague many other urban centers.

Image source: visualresource.com.au

Health and economic performance have direct correlation. Improving the health of a nation’s citizens would most likely translate to economic prosperity because there will be more people in the workforce able to perform effective activities. Policy choices with regard to healthcare should therefore not be taken lightly. Countries with strong health and education conditions may find it easier to achieve sustained growth.

Comments Off on Vigor and vitality: The healthiest cities around the world

Filed under Blogging

Fitness advice for the elderly: Don’t stop moving

As one ages, his or her body will inevitably go through several changes—and often on the less delightful side of the spectrum. Such changes can occur no matter the circumstance, and they can get really incommodious as one nears his or her golden years. Apparently (and naturally), the elderly face more health problems than the younger ones. That’s why it is ideal (and often necessary) to keep track of one’s fitness throughout his or her life.

 

Image source: agingwithgraceinfo.org

 

For starters, everyone should watch out for chronic back pain. According to a study from the University of Sydney, senior citizens with back pain are 13 percent more likely to die due to any cause. This is alarming because most individuals think of back pain as a not-so-dangerous condition.  The researchers also stated that the intake of painkillers are not an effective means of treating the condition.  In many cases, such drugs can only lead to a few more conditions. Scientists are urging everyone to keep on moving and partake in a healthy lifestyle—one which involves a vegetable-rich diet and frequent exercise.

 

Image source: keeponamazing.com

 

A person’s joints and muscle power will eventually deteriorate come retirement age. Many physical activities one might have enjoyed 10 or 20 years ago many no longer be possible today.  For older people who have bad athletic habits, there is risk of unnecessary injury.  Their regimens need to be tailored according to their condition, needs, and goals.  Co-morbidities need to be considered as well. For example, in people who have arthritis, walking could be a viable exercise. Combined with proper diet, chances of age-related diseases are sure to diminish.

 

Image source: healthaim.com

 

An aging population is detrimental to any country’s economy. A healthy and able-bodied population is apparently what should constitute the workforce. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help people stay productive even through retirement. In fact, some of the world’s wealthiest individuals have remained active in the business and investment world up to their 70s or 80s… and these are people who place high priority on their health.

Comments Off on Fitness advice for the elderly: Don’t stop moving

Filed under Blogging