More confusion for online health seekers

IN SUMMARY: Online health seekers are becoming more and more confused as conflicting health news seems to counteract previous reports about products like baby aspirin. The release of new and updated health information means that online health seekers have to spend more time online to peel away the layers of “hype” from the facts.

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Apple watch study is moot

  • The Apple Heart Study, conducted by Stanford University researchers and sponsored by Apple, evaluated the ability of the Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation, a common heart disorder also known as A-fib, in an astonishing 400,000 participants.
  • The study was not a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of medical research.
  • It’s a purely observational study designed to see whether the Apple Watch’s heart pulse monitor can identify people who have a-fib. 
  • A leading cardiologist told me “the study is really moot and doesn’t change my views on the Apple watch for patients”
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Cost of Employer Health Insurance Is a Growing Burden

  • Recent national surveys show health care costs are a top concern in U.S. households
  •  In 2017, more than half (56%) of people under age 65 — about 152 million people — had insurance through an employer.
  • Average premiums for employer health plans rose sharply in 2017.
  • The average annual deductible for single-person policies rose to $1,808 in 2017.
  • ombined, average employee premium contributions and potential out-of-pocket spending to meet deductibles across single and family policies rose to $7,240 in 2017 and was $8,000 or more in eight states.
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What the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know About High Healthcare Costs

IN SUMMARY: With health-care firms making excess profits of $65bn a year the worst offenders are not pharma firms but an army of corporate health-care middlemen. Total excess profits amount to only about 4% of America’s health-care spending. But this still makes health care the second biggest of the giant rent-seeking industries that have come to dominate parts of the economy. The excess profits of the health-care firms are equivalent to $200 per American per year, compared with $69 for the telecoms and cable TV industry and $25 captured by the airline oligopoly. Only the five big tech “platform” firms, with a figure of $250, are more brazen gougers.

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