What the Next President Should Do: Healthcare Common Sense

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The 2016 election is over, and a top priority for the new administration and Congress is healthcare. The candidates discussed little substance about healthcare during the campaigns, despite the fact it is approaching 20% of our economy and touches every American. You could say the problems in healthcare have been caused by action by one party and inaction by another party. You could say Republicans want this and Democrats want that, but I don’t think labeling should be the focus. The problem is Congress (both parties) are tied to special interest groups. Insurers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and the plaintiff’s bar, along with Congress created our unaffordable healthcare system.
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Telehealth Performance – How Good Is It?

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Telehealth is here to stay, but it will go through an evolution like all new technology shifts. A new study evaluated performance of teledermatology. The results were mixed. There were incorrect diagnoses and missed diagnoses. Treatment recommendations were not always consistent with guidelines. Prescriptions frequently lacked disclosure about possible adverse effects.  The study was limited because there are not yet large numbers of cases to evaluate. A significant limitation to the study was the authors were unable to assess whether clinicians seeing these patients in traditional in-person encounters would have performed any better.

On balance, telehealth is a good thing. It has the potential to expand access to more patients, and the medical literature is filled with examples of telehealth systems providing quality care.


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Looking To Bring More Energy To Your Meetings? EXERCISE

Squeezing in a little exercise improves concentration and actually makes your meeting more productive. Waking up the mind and body creates a better atmosphere for listening to the innovative thoughts and ideas being delivered and better prepares us for putting those ideas into action when we return to the workplace.

Invite a person from your Leadership Team to deliver a “3-5 minute” exercise break. Exercise helps increase energy levels, as well as concentration levels.  Break up the presentations where sitting for long periods can put the mind, not to mention other parts of the body, to sleep.  The break also creates a different type of exposure for your attendees to interact with leadership! 
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Accelerating Cancer Treatment

Re-Posted from John Patrick’s Blog on Accelerating Cancer Treatment…I remember being at a technology conference in 1999 when teenagers Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning demonstrated a digital music service called Napster. It was the beginning of a revolution, and it made a lot of sense to me. The rock group Metallica sued Napster in 2000 and the momentum of music sharing slowed – temporarily. I never saw the problem as theft. I saw it as an industry unwilling to give up the status quo and give consumers a way to purchase music. It took Steve Jobs, the iPod, and iTunes to ignite major growth in digital music.
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What the Next President Should Do About Healthcare!

Dr. John Patrick has the following to say to our next president:

The 2016 political scene is unfolding. In less than a year, American citizens will decide who our next President will be. So far, in the debates, town halls, and speeches, little substance has been discussed about healthcare, despite the fact it is approaching 20% of our economy and touches every American. You could say the problems in healthcare have been caused by action by one party and inaction by another party. You could say Republicans want this and Democrats want that, but I don’t think labeling should be the focus.
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Healthcare Technology: Wireless, Cuffless Blood Pressure Readings

The latest in healthcare technology is from John Patrick’s blog:

When doctors or nurses measure our blood pressure, they normally place a cuff around our arm and inflate it. The measurement is for a point in time and sometimes representative. Scientists at Australia’s Monash University are developing a new approach. Their cuffless “blood pressure estimation system” can be worn for hours at a time and wirelessly transmit real-time readings.

The new approach uses radar technology and is comfortable because no pressure is applied to a patient’s body. Lead scientist Mehmet Yuce explains:

The system incorporates a few small sensors that are worn against the skin at arterial sites, beneath the clothing.
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Is today’s hospital a Donald Trump or a Jeb Bush?

Recently I took a cab from the Dallas airport to a downtown hotel. During the ride I inquired of my driver what he thought of Uber. That was a mistake. I got a detailed and thorough analysis of everything he thought was wrong with the Uber concept and why it could not possibly last. His argument included that the drivers were not licensed, they did not have to pass any sort of test about the geography of the city, and that they did not carry adequate insurance. This contrasted with everything I’d heard from many friends that Uber is the best thing that has happened to intra-city travel.
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Affordable Care Act – Good Intentions Hampered

In the late 1800’s France poured money, men and material into building the Panama Canal. They were spectacularly unsuccessful. Years later the concept of a canal intrigued President Theodore Roosevelt. The prevailing sentiment at the time was that the canal should go to Nicaragua presumably because clearly anything connected with the French had to be slipshod.

It was only after some thoughtful discussion and Roosevelt’s leadership that the decision was made for the United States to build the canal through Panama along the same route previously attempted by the French.

In today’s environment anyone or anything associated with the Affordable Care Act is also immediately dismissed as irrelevant and moot by the political right.
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Mobile Devices for Better Health

In a recent article, Healthcare Selfies: Consumers Go Mobile for Better Health, Dr. John Patrick features mobile devices for consumers to monitor their health. One such device is AliveCor. It has a heart monitor that attaches to the back of an iPhone and creates a 30-second EKG. A team of engineers at Cornell University has developed a smartphone camera attachment that takes a photo of a single drop of blood that a consumer has placed on a strip, and in a matter of seconds a colorimetric analysis displays cholesterol level. Read the article for additional devices. The pace of mHealth adoption will accelerate; self-monitoring and self-diagnosis are here to stay.
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Dr. Green’s Favorite Brain Workouts

In a recent interview by Bottom Line/Health, our own Dr. Cynthia Green was asked to suggest her best brain workouts. It’s not what most of us think. Crossword puzzles, online classes and other such activities are not necessarily the best for improving memory and preserving overall cognitive function. The latest research reveals that it takes more than quiet puzzle-solving and streaming lectures.

In fact, some activities that we once thought were time wasters may actually help build intellectual capacity and other cognitive functions.  And, the most important steps to keep your brain performing at optimal levels are lifestyle choices.  Brain workouts that include getting aerobic exercise (at least 150 minutes per week), maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking and eating a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables (low in refined sugar and white flour)

However, research now tells us that there is more to a healthy brain workout. 
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