When Size Affects Your Odds

durkin_helenOncologists are on board in the fight against obesity. And they’ve made it official by issuing their first-ever Position Statement on Obesity and Cancer through the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

That’s especially great news for women—who are twice as likely as men to be affected by the nearly half a million new cases of obesity-related cancers worldwide each year. Not surprisingly, the greatest proportion of them are in North America. (http://ow.ly/FacZg http://ow.ly/Fadcm)

Despite the fact that more American men than women are overweight or obese, U.S. women are disproportionately affected by the obesity-cancer link. Obesity not only puts a woman at greater risk of cancer—especially post-menopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer—but it worsens her odds for surviving it as well. (http://ow.ly/FacZg http://ow.ly/Fadcm http://ow.ly/H8C3C) (more…)

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Who is perfect? Advocacy ads for real people.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

What is the nature of disability? What is the nature of beauty? What is perfection? Who among us is perfect?

These questions are at the heart (literally and figuratively) of a project undertaken by Pro Infirmis, a Switzerland-based advocacy organization raising awareness of people with disabilities, promoting the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2013.

Pro-Infirmis-Mannequins-and-People-300x188Mannequins in fashionable shops on Zurich’s tony street the Bahnhofstrasse were replaced by new ones, artfully, painstakingly and lovingly created, as shown in the video.

Pro Infirmis’s website tells us “who” we are looking at in human and 3-D life-size mannequin form: Miss Handicap 2010, Jasmin Rechsteiner; radio presenter and film critic Alex Oberholzer; track and field athlete Urs Kolly; blogger Nadja Schmid; and, actor Erwin Aljukic.

In Pro Infirmis’s words: Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. (more…)

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  • January 13th, 2015 Filming in the ER: A Policymaker Perspective
    By Glenna Crooks
  • January 12th, 2015 Filming in the ER: A Patient Perspective
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Trend-weaving the 2015 health care trends

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    ‘Tis the season for annual health trendcasting, which is part of my own business model. Here’s a curated list of some of my favorite trend reports for health care in the new year, with my Hot Points in the conclusion, below, summarizing the most salient trends among them.

    TechCrunch’s Top 5 Healthcare Predictions for 2015: In this succinct forecast, Walmart grows its presence as a health plan, startups get more pharm-funding, hospitals channel peer-to-peer lending, Latinos emerge as a “most-desired” health care segment, and Amazon disrupts the medical supply chain.

    Experian 2015 Data Breach Forecast: Healthcare security breaches will be a persistent and growing threat in 2015, with “the expanding number of access points to Protected Health Information (PHI) and other sensitive data via electronic medical records and the growing popularity of wearable technology,” based on this credit/risk management company’s assessment. The value of medical identity threat is very high. As a result, the FBI warned the health care industry that their security systems were insufficient compared with other industry sectors, according to Reuters. (more…)

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    Music as Medicine

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post is written by Lisa Suennen one of our 2015 Women to Watch. It originally ran on her blog Venture Valkyrie.

    It happens every time. I hear “Bad to the Bone” on the radio and suddenly all is right with the world. I love music and I have learned that if I choose the correct genre and tempo  I can improve a depressed state or calm a hyper one. I have song lists on my iPod called Cranky and Stressed, F the World, and Happiness, all designed around my various moods. Music can have a profound affect on my state of mind. I think this is true for most people, actually.

    The therapeutic value of music has long been known to the medical world. Famed neuropsychologist Oliver Sacks used music to engage his patients (this was dramatized in the movie The Music Never Stops, where a brain-damaged patient is able to recall memories otherwise lost when he hears the favorite music of his youth). (more…)

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    Innovate or Captivate? The Courtship of ‘Generation C’

    Nancy Green

    There will be a lot of innovation on the floor of the mHealth Summit next week in Washington, D.C. —products and solutions designed to push the envelope on applied technology for healthcare.  For quite some time, the race to innovate has compelled tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike to first conceptualize and then develop solutions that will be hailed as “new.”  After all, new is different.  New is better.  What the customer wants, we are convinced, is something new.  So we dazzle them with a new gadget or a new capability far more often than is necessary or even worthwhile.

    But there is an emerging generation of tech consumers pushing back on this assumption with a new demand:  “Don’t give me something new; give me something I need.”  Say hello to Generation C—the most digitally connected, communicating, and “clicking” generation of any before it.  Born after 1990, they are the iEverything generation, and they have lived their entire lives on the cutting edge of technology and connectivity. (more…)

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    Healthcare’s Renewable Resource: Authentic Patient Experience

    kym

    Cancer is my medical degree. Navigating my way through three distinct cancer diagnoses across three unique stages of life and managing three different treatment paths is my specialty. In the course of enduring Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 17, melanoma at 38 and, in 2012, breast cancer at 46, I’ve amassed firsthand expertise in the critical areas of patient-provider communications, care coordination, patient safety, insurance reconciliation, disease prevention, and personalized treatment planning.

    From the time of my first cancer diagnosis over 30 years ago to today, cancer has influenced my life and risk of future disease. To put my experience in perspective, the collective time I spent in the throes of surgery, recovery and treatment of my two most significant diagnoses – Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer –totals twelve months. So, I have spent only 1/30th of my cancer experience fully immersed in the healthcare system. (more…)

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    Women-centered design and mobile health: heads-up, 2014 mHealth Summit

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    This post is written as part of the Disruptive Women on Health’s series celebrating the 2014 mHealth Summit taking place December 7-11 Washington, DC.

    Women and mobile health: let’s unpack the intersection.

    12.3 1On the supply side of the equation, Good Housekeeping covered health tracking-meets-fashion bling in the magazine a few weeks ago in article tucked between how to cook healthy Thanksgiving side dishes and tips on getting red wine stains out of tablecloths. This ad appeared in a major sporting goods chain’s 2014 Black Friday pre-print in my city’s newspaper last week. And along with consumer electronics brand faves like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung, Sony’s plans for a watch were hiding in plain sight on a Japanese crowdfunding site since September 2014; speaking of fashion-meets-wearables, the strap is designed to morph into 24 different designs. (more…)

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    Passport Stamped for the Land of Pain: Learning to Live in a Foreign Land

    Janice Lynch Schuster

    The following post originally ran on the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy’s (PAINS) website.

    For many years, my passport was stamped in the land of the well, but a poor response to oral surgery in 2013 cancelled that document, leaving me in the land of the sick, the suffering, the other. While I was a well-one, I’d hear stories from that other country—and listen as best I could when others told tales of their visits– but I did not know what it truly meant to live there all the time.

    Learning to live in another country is hard work. There are unfamiliar customs to understand, a language to learn, awkward situations, foods and beds and places that do not quite feel like home. The currency may not convert.

    Once you become a chronic pain patient, as I have, you discover how much of your life is no longer your own. (more…)

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    Consumer Centricity: Changing what we know about Health Care

    Cyndy Nayer

    Consumer Centricity is about to change everything we know about health care. It is creating a health investment community where transparency is king and social exchange reinforces value.

    This is the rise of the consumer health investment marketplace. Technology is improving the conversations and exchange of data—social media (providing peer-to-peer information and counseling), quantifying technology (providing measures of health to the person without the need for clinical reporting), and financial advice (tune in to some of the social media pages for patient and cost advocacy). We are witnessing the handoff of health care control to the consumer who does, in fact, have a bigger financial stake than ever before, but who also can leverage data for answers to personal questions and priorities.

    At last the consumer is developing a voice in health care, identifying the priorities of lifelong health that he or she values. There are 4 reasons that consumers are building noise on their preference in health care:

    1. Enormous increases in consumer-driven health plans with high deductibles. (more…)


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    Mental Health Care Game-Changers: Technology and Social Networks

    Jen Hyatt

    Jen Hyatt

    The world of health care breeds innovative thinkers, radicals, people who see and act to ‘make things better.’ So why is health care so often not a place of change, but a place of stasis?

    Change can be disorientating, and large systems can suffer from barriers to innovations that are hard to break through. And while, with resolve and vision, these can be tackled it is much harder to bring about change that requires a shift in power. This sort of change tends to create fear, often legitimate, that something will have to be lost or given up to enable a change to become embedded. But, by using technology and social networks such changes in healthcare can be realized.

    (more…)

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    Health Anywhere-Data Everywhere: All Roads Lead to Data

    Meryl Bloomrosen

    I cannot help but notice (and comment) on the overwhelming number and type of notices, headlines, press releases, meet ups, mash-ups, Code-A-Thons and hackathons all around us.   Digital health is booming as is obvious by the types of emerging technologies and their capabilities.[1]  [2]  [3]  There seems to be a vast array of diverse options for remote, embedded, wearable, swallow able and implantable devices and gadgets.  Our houses, vehicles, furniture, and clothing are becoming wired to help sense, monitor, track and collect health related data.[4]  [5]   New terms, terminology and jargon abound (i.e., big data, little data, small data, open data,  open gov, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and data analytics and visualization).

    Data are available from many sources including: genetics, health records, clinical registries, public use data files, birth and death registries, clinical trials, insurance claims, public and private sector surveys, drug interaction studies, and patient-generated sources. The availability of increasing amounts and types of data from such diverse data sources presents challenges (technical, technological, legal, political, financial, and cultural) and opportunities.[6]  The ubiquitous nature of devices and gadgets may indeed help patients and consumers have continuous data vital signs such as on blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and fitness indicators such as calories consumed, steps walked, miles run. (more…)

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    The Rise of Consumer Centricity: Comments on the Gamechanging Opportunities

    Cyndy Nayer

    In commenting on the new IMS Pharma Letter, we highlight the emergence and widespread build up of the consumer’s role in prevention, care and outcomes. Consumer centricity is being driven by the rise of CDHP (consumer directed health plans), but it’s quite different from these insurance products, with their high deductibles and variable co-pays.

    Consumers are learning and experiencing more about consumer-directed health plans (CDHP) as they enter the exchanges, even though CDHP has been around for fifteen years or more.  Most new health insurance products have a deductible that must be met, so consumers must pay for services and treatments until they reach that goal.  NOTE:  the ACA (Obamacare) mandates that no individual pay more than $6350 in total out-of-pocket costs in Y2014).  If they have not paid the sum, they will pay more of their own money for the care.

    Consumer centricity in health care means that control for choice of service and for outcomes will shift to the  consumers and they will become the ultimate arbiters in their health and health care.  It’s a value-based concept that drives this shift in decision-making. IT supports the data so that the consumer can decide where, when, why and who to choose for care based upon personal preferences and goals, total costs, incentives to engage and time to get to the outcome preferred. (more…)

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    Iowa Accountability Program’s Judicial Training Institute Aims at Improving the Handling of Domestic Violence Cases

    iapDomestic violence is an epidemic that impacts an estimated 6,000 Iowans each year. While many view domestic violence as a private issue, Kimberly Baxter, Director of the Iowa Accountability Program, identifies how domestic violence is truly a community concern: “Domestic violence affects everyone from service providers to families and the community at large. We need to address domestic violence as a community. Brutality behind closed doors is not only real, but also taboo. It is not something we want to discuss, but if we cannot discuss it, how can we address it? How can we mitigate it?” For nearly ten years the Iowa Accountability Program (IAP) has worked to assist victims of domestic violence and the communities in Iowa that support them. This year, the IAP aims to strengthen its impact through its new Judicial Training Institute. (more…)

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