The iHT2 Health IT Summit in Denver, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.
The Summit will feature keynote presentations from Peter Fine, FACHE, President & CEO, Banner Health, and Bernard Harris, Jr., MD, MBA, President & CEO, Vesalius Ventures, and President, American Telemedicine Association.
Featured Speakers include: Dana Moore, SVP & CIO, Centura Health; Gregory Veltri, CIO, Denver Health; Russell Leftwich, MD, CMIO, Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives; Neal Ganguly, VP & CIO, CentraState Healthcare System; Andrew Steele, MD, MPH, Director, Medical Informatics, Denver Health; Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA, MSc, Regional CMIO, Catholic Health Initiatives; Charles Doarn, MBA, Research Professor and Director, Telemedicine & e-Health Program, University of Cincinnati; Mark Caron, SVP & CIO, Capital BlueCross, and many more.
Panel Discussions for the Health IT Summit in Denver include: Accountable Care Organizations: Taking on Risk & Identifying Critical Tools, Leveraging Data to Improve Outcomes & Safety, Preparing for 2013: Organizational Strategies for the Transition to ICD-10, Breach Avoidance: Strategies to Protect Patient Data, HIE Performance: Defining Your Objectives & Measuring Progress, Meaningful Use Stage 2: Reaching the Next Stages of Quality & Care, and Mobile Health: Leveraging Data at the Point of Care.
The full agenda can be viewed by visiting: http://ihealthtran.com/2012denveragenda.html
Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, Quantix, Extract Systems, SLI Global Solutions, Nuance, Comcast, Altus, Rubbermaid Healthcare, VMware, Healthcare IT News, CMIO, FierceHealthIT, ADVANCE, NASCIO, AMDIS, eHealth SmartBrief, Frost & Sullivan, IDC Health Insights, Mobile Healthcare Today, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT²) announced ten new members to their Advisory Board this week. These members represent some of the brightest minds in healthcare information technology, and they will work to provide thought leadership and valuable industry connections to expand and improve the quality of the Institute’s initiatives throughout the year.
The Institute’s Advisory Board is a group of health care thought leaders representing the diverse stakeholders involved in the integration of health information technology. This esteemed group provides iHT² with insight and guidance throughout the year on how it can better serve the health care industry in their goal of fostering the adoption and implementation of health IT.
“Members of the iHT² Advisory Board greatly enhance our ability to offer health IT leaders superior educational and collaborative opportunities,” said Barry P. Chaiken, MD, MPH, Senior Fellow & Health IT Chair, Institute for Health Technology Transformation, CMO, DocsNetwork & former HIMSS Chair. “The insight provided by these distinguished professionals allows iHT² to keep pace with developing trends in healthcare, and offer conferences, webinars and publications that satisfy the needs of a wide range of industry professionals.”
The new members join a board of over twenty health IT leaders representing organizations throughout the country including: Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Health Initiatives, Capital BlueCross, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Delaware Health Information Network, and more.
The newly appointed members are:
- Samantha Burch, VP, Quality & Health IT, Federation of American Hospitals
- Mary Carroll Ford, MBA, VP & CIO, Lakeland Regional Medical Center
- Dick Gibson, MD, Chief Health Intelligence Officer, Providence Health & Services
- Fred Galusha. CIO & COO, Inland Northwest Health Services
- Chris Jaeger, MD, VP, Medical Informatics, Sutter Health
- Elizabeth Johnson, SVP, Applied Clinical Informatics, Tenet Healthcare
- Bill Phillips, CIO, University Healthcare System
- Justin Graham, CMIO, NorthBay Healthcare
- Andy Steele, MD, Medical Director, Informatics, Denver Health
- Doris Crain, CIO, Broward Health
- John Santangelo, Director of IT, Cleveland Clinic Florida
“The Advisory Board contributes invaluable industry insight that results in some of the most comprehensive, intimate, and informative programs taking place year after year,” said Waco Hoover, CEO, Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “The accomplishments and dedication of the Advisory Board is what truly separates the Institute apart from other organizations.”
Intermountain Healthcare, Partners Healthcare System, and Kaiser Permanente to Deliver Keynote Presentations at the Health IT Summit in San Francisco
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced the keynote presenters for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco, which will take place March 27-28th at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The keynote presenters at the annual program will be Mark Probst, CIO, Intermountain Healthcare, Blackford Middleton, MD, Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners Healthcare System, and Hal Wolf, SVP & COO, The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.
The iHT2 Health IT Summit, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.
“We are dedicated to continuous improvement that enhances patient care. I look forward to learning from health care leaders and sharing our experience in improving outcomes by putting advanced health IT in the hands of clinicians, care teams, and patients,” said Hal Wolf, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.
Panel discussions for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco include: Accounting for Assumptions: Taking a deeper look at reforming our healthcare delivery system, HIE & HIX: The convergence of healthcare information, Securing Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI): From the Data Warehouse to the Point of Care, Analytics in Healthcare: Improving Outcomes Through Data Management, The Cloud in Healthcare, Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Leveraging Technology to Improve Outcomes & Efficiency, Patient Management Without Walls: Enabling mHealth and Telemedicine, and more.
“Healthcare I.S. leadership is consumed with the demands of ARRA HITECH (meaningful use), ICD-10 (maybe we are going to get some relief) and a barrage of requests to meet the demands of a changing healthcare landscape,” said Mark Probst. “I believe that even though the demands are great – as I.S. leaders, we must not simply follow and adopt aging solutions, rather we have the responsibility to innovate.”
Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, InnerWireless, CloudPrime, Accellion, ICW, SLI Global Solutions, VMware, athenahealth, Comcast, InterSystems, LANDesk Software, Pano Logic, Aventura, Key Info, AUXILIO, Somansa Technologies, Inc., Salesforce.com, EMC2, AMDIS, The California Association of Healthcare Leaders (CAHL), California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), CMIO, DOTmed, eHealth SmartBrief, Executive Insight, Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, IDC Health Insights, MarketsandMarkets, NASCIO, ReportsandReports, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.
Health Care Thought Leaders Release Research Report Finding Automation Is Key to Population Health Management
The Institute for Health Technology Transformationtoday released findings from an Automating Population Health Research Project, which seeks to educate the healthcare industry on how best to apply technology in meeting the challenges of population health management.
Prepared in consultation with a broad range of industry experts, the Population Health Management: A Roadmap for Provider-Based Automation in a New Era of Healthcare report finds that population health management requires healthcare providers to develop new skill sets and new infrastructures for delivering care. To make the transition from fee-for-service reimbursement to accountable care, which depends on the ability to improve population health, providers will need to automate many routine tasks, ranging from identification of care gaps and risk stratification to patient engagement, care management, and outcomes measurement.
“In the era of healthcare reform, provider organizations must change their traditional approach and embrace new ways of thinking about their mission,” said Waco Hoover, CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “They must not only care for the sick, but also strive to keep their patient populations healthy. Information technology is the key to doing this cost efficiently, and automation can enable care teams to identify and work with the patients who truly need their help.”
Report coauthor Paul Grundy, MD, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation for IBM, and President of Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, commented, “Patient-centered medical homes based on primary care are the building blocks of accountable care, and information technology is the key to successful medical homes. With the help of registries, electronic health records, health information exchanges, and other tools for care coordination and automation, healthcare providers can manage their populations effectively and keep their patients as healthy as possible.”
Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health, and another of the report’s contributing authors, said, “Given potential health care reform and efforts to increase quality and efficiency of care in the setting of persistent fiscal limitations, the importance of leveraging information technology and focusing on population health management has become a top priority for many health care institutions. Our goal for the project is to provide resources that health care providers can utilize as they are considering and implementing population health management initiatives.”
Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Phytel and chair of the report’s research committee, commented, “This important new report underscores the message that Phytel has been spreading among physician groups for the past several years. By using technology to identify subpopulations and patients who are at risk, to reach out to those patients, and to automate care management, healthcare providers can provide optimal preventive and chronic care to their patient populations. Providers can also use technology to engage patients in their own care, which is the real key to lowering costs and improving population health. We are proud of our participation in this project, and we hope that the report will be helpful to providers who plan to move in this direction.”
Among the healthcare thought leaders who contributed to the Automating Population Health Research Project are Alide Chase, MS, Senior Vice President for Quality and Service, Kaiser Permanente; Robert Fortini, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Health System; Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, School of Nursing Professor & Dean, Academic Health Center Director, Associate Director of Biomedical Health Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota; Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Phytel; Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM; Margaret O’Kane, President, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics, Denver Health; and Dan Fetterolf, Principal, Fetterolf Healthcare Consulting.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced today that Jay Srini, Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures has been appointed Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair for the Institute’s 2012 series of educational programs and meetings.
Jay Srini is an internationally recognized thought leader on national and international trends that are changing the face of healthcare. In her current role at SCS Ventures, Jay works with startup companies internationally to help them with their business development, technology strategy, and expansion. She also advises established companies on their strategies to enter and grow their healthcare vertical.
“We’re thrilled to work with Jay in a concerted effort to move our health system forward with programs that foster the more innovative use of information technology,” said Waco Hoover, the Institute’s CEO. “Jay has a wealth of industry expertise that will make a meaningful and lasting impact on programs and initiatives developed at the Institute.”
In Jay Srini’s role as Senior Fellow and Innovation Chair she will work with the Institute’s Advisory Board and other industry leaders to program and develop leading educational programs and collaboration opportunities for health care leaders. In tandem with the Institute’s mission to promote the effective use of technology across the U.S. health system, Mrs. Srini will engage leaders from the community to ensure the Institute continually provides timely and relevant resources.
“We are in the midst of tectonic shifts in healthcare on all fronts ranging from new discoveries to new payment models and new stakeholders entering the healthcare sector,” said Jay Srini. “Finding innovative ways to deliver cost effective patient centered health care has never been as important as now. Innovation is virtually impossible without collaboration! I am honored and excited to take on this new role at iHT2 to develop new programs and platforms to drive innovation in healthcare through collaboration knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination.”
Jay’s prior experience includes her role as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Insurance Services Division as well as her role as Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC. Jay was Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works where she led technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors and external sources and served in executive management roles for its’ portfolio companies. She has served on several healthcare boards including HIMSS (himss.org), PRHI (prhi.org) and is a frequent speaker on International Healthcare forums. She serves on several HHS (Health and Human Services –hhs.gov) related advisory panels and serves in an advisory capacity to International healthcare Institutions and Venture capitalists.
Jay has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and her executive education from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also serves as one of the commissioners at CCHIT (Certification Commission of HealthCare Information Technology) in addition to her role as adjunct faculty Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and advisory board of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation is the leading organization committed to bringing together private and public sector leaders fostering the growth and effective use of technology across the healthcare industry. Through collaborative efforts the Institute provides programs that drive innovation, educate, and provide a critical understanding of how technology applications, solutions and devices can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare.
The Institute engages multiple stakeholders:
• Hospitals and other healthcare providers
• Clinical groups
• Academic and research institutions
• Healthcare information technology organizations
• Healthcare technology investors
• Health plans
• Consumer and patient groups
• Employers and purchasers
• Device manufacturers
• Private sector stakeholders
• Public sector stakeholders
This is the first article in our series on men’s hidden health conditions. Read today’s article on postnatal depression in men.
Men can expect to die approximately five years sooner than women, and men are more likely to die as a result of unintentional injury and suicide relative to women.
These differences are not well explained by physiological differences between men and women. One possible explanation is that men are more reluctant to go to the doctor – and less likely to be honest once they get there.
We have a cultural script about masculinity that tells men they need to be tough, brave, strong and self-reliant. It’s exemplified in phrases like “be a man” and “man up”. Men learn from an early age if they don’t act in this tough, masculine way they lose their status and respect as men.
There’s a lot of literature linking masculinity to health issues in men.
Our recent study found men who buy into the traditional cultural script about masculinity, and believe they must be brave and self-reliant in order to be respected, had...
This is part of our series on hidden or stigmatised health conditions in men. Read the other articles in the series here.
Klinefelter’s syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects approximately one in 450 males. Each cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes. The sex chromosomes in a female are XX, and XY in men. Typically, men have 46 chromosomes with an arrangement of 46XY, while those with Klinefelter’s syndrome have a 47XXY arrangement.
The chromosomal arrangement in someone with Klinefelter’s. from www.shutterstock.com
Klinefelter’s syndrome is not commonly diagnosed, with only four in 10 men diagnosed after birth and 10% diagnosed pre-puberty. Klinefelter’s syndrome is not typically diagnosed at birth, although physical characteristics may include a small penis and undescended testicles.
Klinefelter’s syndrome is the most common form of hypogonadism, where men are unable to produce sperm or sufficient levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone. The low levels of testosterone result in the underdevelopment of typical male...
The most common position of our spines throughout most of the day is a rounded or hunched one. Modern activities, such as using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, cause us to bend our neck and upper back.
If you don’t change your activity and move in a different way, the stiffness can build, making it harder to straighten your spine. This can contribute to developing a hunched back.
Hunchback Or Hunched Back?
A hunchback – medically termed kyphosis or hyperkyphosis in the extreme – is an abnormal forward curvature in the upper back.
There are many types, such as the severe form of an inherited bone disease called Scheuermann’s. This is likely what Quasimodo – or the Hunchback of Notre Dame – would have suffered from. Around 0.4% to 8% of the population are thought to suffer from Scheuermann’s disease.
The most common form, though, is a postural hunchback that commonly occurs in older age due to long-term effects of posture and gravity on the spine. It looks like a rounded curve of the upper back, near the...
I taught myself about orphanages 12 years ago, not actually because of my work as a human biologist but because of my daughter. She was born in 2004 and her first 14 months of life were spent in an orphanage in China.
I am well acquainted with the vast body of research that shows the physical and psychological harms of deprived environments. Orphanages can arguably be placed under this category along with other places such as refugee camps and some hospitals where children lack close contact and attention. Deprivation comes in many shapes and forms: lack of food, diseases, maltreatment, and child abuse are some of the harms that come to mind. However, I would argue that deprivation of love can be just as deadly.
When I started researching orphanages and child health I read the classic works of paediatrician Harry Bakwin, psychologist John Bowlby and psychiatrist Harry Edelston. At the beginning of the 20th century, in the US and the UK, the death rates among infants placed in orphanages, nurseries, and foundling hospitals...
Expert Committee Finds Genetically Engineered Crops Are As Safe To Eat As Conventionally Bred Plants
An expert committee of scientists has released its conclusion of a comprehensive analysis looking into the safety of genetically engineered (GE) foods. It found that there doesn’t seem to be any difference between them and conventionally bred crops, and that genetically modified organisms pose no greater threat to the environment, either.
The experts note that there are difficulties in establishing long term trends, but that the only immediate risk posed by the food stuffs related to major pests developing resistance to the genetically engineered crops. They also found that there was no significant increase in productivity from GE crops.
They found that modern advances in genetic engineering are blurring the once clear lines that distinguished between GE and conventionally bred organisms. With the development of new techniques, such as the precision gene editing procedure of CRISPR, there is expected to be an explosion over the coming years in terms of new genetically engineered crops entering the market, and as it differs to older,...
For up to 9,000 years, humans have been reaping the spiritual, psychological, and recreational benefits of psilocybin mushrooms. But for years, exploring its possibilities within the world of medicine has been hampered by tight legal regulations and – no doubt – its association with countercultures. However, a pioneering study in the U.K. has boasted promising results in using the psychedelic drug to treat depression.
The trial at Imperial College London gave 12 people psilocybin, the active component in “magic mushrooms.” These six men and six women had all been diagnosed with moderate or severe depression for a significant amount of time – an average of 17.8 years – and had previously undertaken unsuccessful attempts at other treatments.
The study, recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry, showed that all the patients experienced a notable improvement in their symptoms within three weeks of taking the psychedelic trip. Three months on, five patients were in complete remission, reporting no signs or symptoms of depression.
This stands in comparison to the 20 percent remission rate of people...
It is not news that light is usually painful to migraine sufferers. According to new research, however, a narrow range of wavelengths can actually ease the pain.
Light-induced pain, dubbed photophobia, is associated with 80 percent of migraine attacks. The need to lock oneself away in a dark room prevents people with migraines from participating fully in life, sometimes for days on end. “It is their inability to endure light that most often disables them," said Harvard Professor Rami Burstein in a statement.
Previous research found that blind migraine patients are sensitive to blue light, but immune to the effects of other colors, inspiring Burstein to study how different colors affect sighted migraine sufferers. He tested this by exposing 69 brave patients to different colored light and asking them to rate the intensity of their headache.
Burstein found that light at both ends of the spectrum was problematic, with 80 percent of people in the trial reporting increased pain when exposed to either red or blue light. The brighter the...
If you’re baking fish, roasting vegetables or preparing a piece of meat for dinner tonight, chances are that you’ll wrap your food in aluminium foil. What you may not realise is that some of the foil will leach into your meal – and this could be bad for your health.
Research that I conducted with a group of colleagues has explored the use of aluminium for cooking and preparing food. Aluminium doesn’t just appear in foil: it is the most popular cookware material used by people in developing countries. Pots and pans are lined with it and it is found in some kitchen utensils like large serving spoons. Copper used to fulfil this role, but over time it’s been replaced by aluminium because it is cheaper to mass produce and easier to clean.
But while cooking your food in aluminium pots or pans isn’t a bad thing, placing it in foil and putting it in the oven is problematic. This is especially true with acidic or spicy food that’s prepared at high temperatures.
Aluminium and health
Human bodies can excrete small amounts of aluminium very efficiently. This means that minimal...
Tuberculosis ranks alongside HIV/AIDS as a leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, 1.5 million people died from TB in 2014. The challenges in tackling the disease include the facts that people are tested too late and that the turnaround for most tests is long. To remedy this a point-of-care rapid diagnostic test for TB has been developed by a multinational team of scientists led by researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. One of its co-inventors, Professor Gerhard Walzl, spoke to The Conversation Africa’s health and medicine editor Candice Bailey.
How have TB tests been done up until now and what are the challenges?
There are three main tests that are currently in use.
A culture test – the most sensitive – requires people to produce a sputum sample that is sent to a centralised laboratory where a culture test is done. A positive result shows up after ten days. A confirmed negative result takes up to 42 days.
The problem with this test is that it is only available in centralised laboratories, which means patients must make several trips to a hospital or health...
The results of a clinical trial into the effectiveness of a new immunotherapy drug for a deadly form of skin cancer are set to be presented at an upcoming conference, with researchers hailing the study as “a step forward” in the quest to overcome the affliction.
Melanoma is a condition whereby the skin’s pigment-producing cells – called melanocytes – become cancerous. Often spreading to other parts of the body, the disease typically has a very low survival rate. According to Caroline Robert, who led the study, prior to 2011 the average melanoma sufferer lived for less than one year.
The difficulty in treating the disease owes to the fact that cancer is simply a mass of malfunctioning body cells, rather than an external pathogen. Because the body’s immune system contains a number of mechanisms that prevent it from destroying its own cells – ensuring it only targets alien invaders – it does not attack these cancerous cells.
For example, a protein called programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) is found on the surface of white blood...
A tool to support public health decisions on Zika virus predicts most planned interventions to be cost-effective
“I’m vegetarian.” “I’m vegan.” These statements typically will be met with a range of reactions, varying from bafflement to praise. But what makes people adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet? How are vegetarians and vegans viewed by the rest of society? And why don’t more people become vegetarian?
The ethics of eating
About 12% of the UK’s population is vegetarian or vegan. Many people adopt a vegetarian diet for health reasons, yet those that do appear to be less committed to their diet than those who reject meat for ethical reasons. So what is it about being ethically motivated that supports stronger commitments?
You often hear that people who shun meat for ethical reasons possess a greater capacity for empathy than those who don’t. Indeed, there is some evidence that ethically-motivated vegetarians and vegans score higher than omnivores on standard measures of empathy (for example, the empathy quotient).
Ethically-minded vegetarians and vegans also seem to have an expansive “circle of moral concern”, meaning that they think that many animals, including farm animals, deserve...
Drinking cherry concentrate can lower systolic blood pressure for up to three hours, our latest study found. If tart Montmorency cherry concentrate was a drug, it would probably get FDA approval.
Tart Montmorency cherries are rich in a number of plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In cell and animal models, cherry extracts have been shown to have a range of cardiovascular health effects.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer, globally. In Europe, CVD is the leading cause of death in adults and is responsible for nearly half (48%) of all deaths. And in the US, 25% of deaths are attributed to CVD – that’s about 610,000 premature deaths each year. Raised blood pressure is the greatest risk factor for cardiovascular disease and even small reductions in blood pressure can have a big impact on mortality rates.
Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers. Systolic blood pressure (the top number) measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts, and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats...
Before a drug can be tested on humans, it has to be tested on animals. The drugs regulators demand it. Nobody – including researchers – likes testing on animals, which is why the race is on to find alternatives.
For this reason – as well as the fact that animal models are often unable to correctly predict how a drug will react in humans – scientists are actively considering alternatives. Fortunately, rapid progress is being made in a number of areas which may soon, hopefully, render animal testing obsolete.
One promising alternative to animal testing is computer models. This “in silico” technique simulates the workings of human biology to predict how a new drug will behave in the body, where it will end up – and even what side effects might occur.
This helps researchers refine drug structures before they are tested in animals. It can reduce the number of animals that are tested on by weeding out compounds that are overly toxic or not likely to be effective. Almost all pharmaceutical companies now routinely use computer models in drug development as the database of background...
Researchers have managed to keep a human embryo alive in the lab for a record period of time, moving past the point when they would naturally implant into the womb, and surviving just short of the number of days scientists are legally able to grow them for. For 13 days the researchers were able to observe how the early embryo developed, with the hope that by understanding these early stages, it could lead to better fertility treatments.
“Embryo development is an extremely complex process and while our system may not be able to fully reproduce every aspect of this process, it has allowed us to reveal a remarkable self-organising capacity of human blastocysts that was previously unknown,” explained Dr. Marta Shahbazi, one of the co-authors of the study published in Nature Cell Biology, one of two to be released on the same research, with the other coming out in Nature.
The new technique, developed at both Rockefeller University and the University of Cambridge, allows the embryos to...
“Human error is inevitable” a paper in the British Medical Journal observes. Nevertheless, the paper's authors are alarmed that an estimated quarter of a million people died as a result of medical mistakes in the U.S. in 2013. The figure, 251,000, is more than double suicide, firearms, and motor vehicle accidents combined, which is why the paper is a call for action to push the number down by calling for better reporting on this.
According to Professor Martin Makary and Michael Daniel, both of Johns Hopkins University, addressing the problem starts with acknowledging it. “Medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death.” they write. Consequently, it doesn't make it into the annual assessment of leading causes of death compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and therefore into public awareness or priorities for research and mitigation.
It's hardly surprising that physicians don't want to write “my screw-up killed the patient” on a death certificate. Not...
Ever wondered what it looks like inside an opera singer? No, us neither. But it turns out, it's pretty interesting and very weird.
Scientists at Freiburg Institute for Musician's Medicine thought it would be a good idea to stick Michael Volle, a German baritone singer, in front of an MRI scanner and watch him sing an aria from Richard Wagner's 1845 opera "Tannhäuser".
Once you get over the initial weirdness, you’re able to see all the subtle – and not so subtle – movements from the vocal chords, mouth, tongue, and windpipes that go towards creating a booming operatic singing voice.
- vocal chords
- MRI scan
Imagine a seasonal jab of antibodies that could neutralise the HIV virus. Such an injection could prove to be next best alternative to an HIV vaccine, which has proven elusive to date.
American and German researchers have demonstrated that by injecting macaques with neutralising antibodies, they successfully shielded the monkeys from HIV infection for as long as six months.
After infection, HIV methodically weakens the immune system to the extent that a simple cold can escalate to fatal pneumonia.
But what if you could give your body some warning of HIV infection in advance by training the immune system with anti-HIV antibodies?
This was the thinking of the researchers behind this study. They purified four antibodies produced by patients infected with HIV, and then injected the macaques each with a different type.
The macaques were then exposed to the monkey equivalent of HIV, named appropriately SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus). Results showed that the antibodies were able to provide the macaques with...
Regular participation in muscle strengthening activity such as weight or resistance training has many health benefits. However, this mode of exercise has been largely overlooked in Australian health promotion. Our recent research shows a large majority of Australians do not engage in muscle strengthening activity.
Muscle strengthening activity usually includes exercise using weight machines, exercise bands, hand-held weights, or own body weight (such as push-ups or sit-ups). When performed regularly, muscle strengthening activity leads to the improvement or maintenance of strength, size, power and endurance of skeletal muscles.
Historically, most public health physical activity recommendations have predominantly promoted moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking or jogging). However, the current Australian guidelines issued in 2014 are our first national public health guidelines to additionally recommend muscle strengthening activity. They recommend an adult “do muscle strengthening activities on at...
This is part of our series on hidden or stigmatised health conditions in men. Read the other articles in the series here.
Hypospadias is a malformation of the penis that is present from birth. In hypospadias, the opening of the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder) is misplaced somewhere along the underside of the penis instead of being at the tip.
The degrees of severity vary, depending on the position of the opening. It can sit within the glans (the tip of the penis), on the shaft of the penis itself, or even within the scrotum, between the two testes.
Although the incidence varies among regions, hypospadias affects approximately one in 250 male children. Of these, 70% comprise less severe forms, where the opening is relatively close to the tip of the penis, while 30% are affected by more severe forms.
Most cases are diagnosed at birth or during childhood, when parents or doctors find the penis is abnormal during a physical examination. However, it is not uncommon in adult...
Pregnancy sounds like the ultimate form of animal cooperation – mothers share their own bodies to grow and support their children’s prenatal development. But in reality, embryos use every trick in the book to take more than their fair share. Mothers, in turn, marshal their best defensive tactics.
Ultimately, it’s an evolutionary arms race. Offspring continually evolve strategies to steal resources, while mothers evolve strategies to defend their resources. Natural selection will favor embryos that are able to steal resources, but this will impose costs on the mother.
My colleagues and I are interested in how the mechanisms of this battle could have evolved. We recently investigated some differences between closely related animals that carry their young and others that lay eggs to figure out how hormones evolved to be expressed in the placenta. By understanding the processes that support conflict, we can identify how this conflict arose, and the impacts that it might hold for human health.
Placenta as a combat zone
The placenta allows mother and...
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