Uber Health allows health care professionals to arrange Uber rides for patients traveling to and from the facility for non-urgent visits. Rival ridesharing service Lyft launched a similar service at the end of 2017.
Uber Health’s dashboard offers “simple billing, reporting, and management,where organizations can easily keep track of what they’re spending on rides.
Features include flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers, and staff, allowing rides to be booked immediately, within a couple of hours, or even up to 30 days in advance, if necessary. This makes it easy to plan a follow-up appointment with the patient while they’re present at the facility, allowing both parties to agree on a mutually convenient time and date.
Riders won’t need to have the Uber app. Ride notifications will be sent via text message to a mobile phone. Although the company says it’s also planning to set up alternative options such as landline calls.
It’s not clear who will pay for the rides. More than 100 healthcare organizations — among them hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers, and physical therapy centers — are already conducting trials with Uber Health, and the dashboard is available to all such facilities from this week.
Connected devices are working their way into the healthcare field. Doctors and nurses are starting to use wearable tech to help monitor their patients from afar — using technology to collect patient data that would usually be taken at the doctor’s office.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is working with cloud-based technology company Medidata to develop activity trackers that gather data on cancer patients, logging their day-to-day actions in hopes doctors will find it easier to treat and potentially one day diagnose cancer.
The band from AliveCor just earned FDA approval to read heart rates through the Apple Watch
Apple reportedly is also working on embedding its smartwatch with an EKG reader of its own. And researchers have also turned to the Apple Watch to use the device to monitor and collect information on those with Major Depressive Disorder.
In a new study carried out by researchers from the University of Montreal, scientists examined the link between 3D-platform games and growth in different brains areas among older people. They were particularly interested in the gray matter in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is used for memory building. The loss of gray matter in the hippocampus is associated with neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Their findings indicated that the Super Mario 64 training led to increased gray matter in the hippocampus, along with another structure called the cerebellum, which is important for motor control and balance.
The scientists hypothesized that 3D platformers are good because they ask people to explore a new environment, and to memorize it. When people do that, they form a cognitive map, meaning an internal representation of the environment, which they can then use to navigate. We know from past research involving both humans and rodents that this promotes activity in the hippocampus.
Payment shifts and regulatory mandates are putting hospital Medicare margins on a downhill slope. Hospital executives say the chasm between the two has widened in recent years due to a number of factors: federal mandates to deploy expensive health information technology systems under the meaningful use program, a 2% across-the-board cut to provider Medicare payments under the Budget Control Act of 2011, reductions in Medicare disproportionate-share hospital payments and the move to alternative-payment models. Layoffs and reductions in services have been common coping mechanisms to avoid the income drop
While expanded coverage is a net positive, hospital leaders still complain that the government payment programs do not cover costs. For Medicare, hospitals received 88 cents for every dollar spent caring for beneficiaries in 2015 and 90 cents for Medicaid patients, according to the American Hospital Association. Combined underpayments from the government programs were $57.8 billion in 2015. This includes a shortfall of $41.6 billion for Medicare and $16.2 billion for Medicaid, the association reported.
Attempts to move Medicare from a fee-for-service system to a value-based model pose perhaps the most serious challenge to hospitals and health systems struggling with low Medicare margins.
In 2015, the Obama administration announced it wanted 30% of payments for traditional Medicare benefits to be tied to alternative-payment models such as accountable care organizations by the end of last year and 50% by the end of 2018.
The first goal was met, but since the Trump administration took over in January, CMS officials have been coy about their own goals for the shift beyond noting they want the move to be voluntary.
Overall, hospital leaders believe they are getting mixed messages from the Trump administration over whether it still supports the move away from fee-for service Medicare, given that it has canceled or scaled back several new pay models created under the Obama administration.
There are things Congress can do to stabilize and lessen the financial pressures hospitals now face. The Medicare recovery audit contractor program could be overhauled. Under the program, private companies audit the medical records of hospitals and doctors to find instances of improper billing or erroneous payment from the government.
Hospital executives argue that claims are often mistakenly flagged as being improper in some way. Of the claims that have completed the appeals process, 62% were overturned in favor of the provider, according to the AHA. The association found that 43% of all hospitals reported spending more than $10,000 managing the RAC process during the third quarter of 2016, 24% spent more than $25,000 and 4% spent over $100,000.
Despite those concerns, the program has scored big for the federal government. RACs have recouped $8 billion in improper payments since its inception in 2009, according to the CMS.
The other recurring request from hospitals is that Congress preserve the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. A proposal to repeal the mandate is included in the Senate version of tax reform legislation.
Designer pets” are already within reach; mice have been turned green. Beagles have been doubled in muscle mass. Pigs have been shrunk to the size of cocker spaniels with “designer fur.” Woolly mammoths are being attempted.
Illustration: Chelsea Beck/GMG
They are predicting that half of the population with decent health care will–have eggs grown from human skin and fertilized with sperm, then have the entire genome of about 100 embryo samples sequenced, peruse the highlights, and pick the best model to implant.
traits could changed in a designer baby
Embryo screening involves a process called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Embryos are created by in-nitro fertilization and grown to the eight-cell stage, at which point one or two cells are removed. Scientists then examine the DNA of these cells for defects, and only normal embryos are replaced in the womb.
Three-parent babies are human offspring with three genetic parents, created through a specialized form of In vitro fertilization in which the future baby’s mitochondrial DNA comes from a third party. The procedure is intended to prevent mitochondrial diseases including muscular dystrophy and some heart and liver conditions.
Pros and Cons of Designer Babies
Reduces risk of genetic diseases
Reduces risk of inherited medical conditions
Keep pace with others doing it
Better chance the child will succeed in life
Better understanding of genetics
Increased life span
Can give a child genes that the parents do not carry
Prevent next generation of family from getting characteristics/diseases
Termination of embryos
Could create a gap in society
Possibility of damage to the gene pool
Baby has no choice in the matter
Genes often have more than one use
Geneticists are not perfect
Loss of Individuality
Other children in family could be affected by parent’s decision
Only the rich can afford it
Some scientists disagreed over whether certain types of gene-editing would be important for helping patients, with one prominent researcher contending the technology would not often be needed, while another described dire current clinical needs for it.
CRISPR is a powerful technology that allows editing—by way of replacing or repairing—of multiple genes at once in animal, plant and human cells. This biological tool could help unlock understanding of basic human biology and also help patients in need of medical care. However, This method has also sparked new ethical controversy.
Gene editing could include altering genes in one person—say to treat disease or make a cosmetic change—but, more controversially, it could also include making changes to the germ line that would then alter the genome for an individual’s children, grandchildren and the following generations, with potentially unknown repercussions.
Several years ago, breast implants became the biggest thing in plastic surgery. They were expensive and had quite a stigma, however soon after, the general public grew to accept them as a woman’s choice and nobody’s business. I fo you could afford it so be it!
Today, it looks like women are starting to swing in the opposite direction. Surgeons across North America have noted a steady increase in the number of women having their implants permanently removed. Implants need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, and a lot of women are just having them taken out instead. In the past year, about 4,000 Canadian women have had breast ‘explant’ surgery. In the United States, about 40,000 women have their implants removed a year. So why the shift?
Women are ex-ing the implants for a number of reasons including:
Shifting body image trends, health concerns and more natural alternatives. Like with fashion, technology or anything else, body image goes through phases and trends. Ten years ago, a woman’s ‘ideal body’ (cue eye-roll) included large breasts. Now, with our culture’s emphasis on clean living and healthy eating, the ‘ideal body’ (another eye-roll) is trending toward a more athletic build, including a smaller chest.
There has also always been a concern that breast implants could leak or cause a negative reaction. Although the technology has become much safer since it was first introduced, putting any foreign material in your body is always a risk. Certain types of implants have even been related to rare cancers.
Workers at a Rhode Island library are learning how to respond to opioid overdoses.
WJAR-TV reports a training session at the Providence Community Library in Providence on Friday taught librarians how to administer the overdose reversal drug naloxone.
The training is supported by a state grant and provided by the nonprofit group Protect Families First.A local hospital is providing free provide naloxone kits to every Providence Community Library location.
The state Department of Health says 336 residents died in 2016 as a result of a drug overdose.