Health information

Statistics on mobile health mean little

Unknown-1“Nobody has figured out how to make consumers — patients — care about mobile health technologies. “And if we don’t [figure that out], m-health will be another tech bubble”. Dr. Joseph Kvedar, director of the Center for Connected Health. Continue reading »

Our healthcare system is still broken

broken_by_liebe_siePOST SUMMARY: Drug marketers may be wasting a lot of money trying to drive demand for their products because the current healthcare system is getting harder to navigate and it’s making it harder for patients to be “consumers of healthcare. Continue reading »

What patients want from healthcare

UnknownPOST SUMMARY: I spent a lot of time this year leading qualitative research along with analyzing quantitative research.  I keep all the research report findings in a binder and while it’s true that a lot of the insights can’t be applied across all health conditions there are some common needs/wants.  Here are some of the most common..

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Serious illness not enough to get patients to change lifestyle

wellnesswomAfter a serious illness, lifestyle changes often have the potential to dramatically improve a person’s overall health and quality of life. In fact, lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet and physical activity strongly influence how rapidly many diseases will progress.  Amazingly, people who have already suffered heart trouble, diabetes or other lifestyle-related illnesses —people who intimately know the consequences of their behaviors — often have an especially hard time turning things around.  At least 40% of smokers who survive a heart attack are still puffing away a year later. Continue reading »

Health care professionals cannot stay out of the conversation anymore

93909491-300x300If you watched media reports you would think that we are winning the war against cancer and that soon treatment will be readily available for a whole range of cancers.  This is just not true and but this shallow reporting is now standard for the news industry and is leading to a lot of patient confusion.  Health care professionals cannot sit on the sideline any longer they have to get involved by helping patients sort through the hype and the reality.  It is quickly becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. Continue reading »

More confusion ? Now fish oil increases risk for cancer

6C8222290-130710-fish-oils-4x3-615p.blocks_desktop_mediumIf you are a healthy consumer and take supplements or prescription fish oil your head is probably spinning at the news that shows men who have the highest levels of fish oil compounds  have a higher risk of prostate cancer. Men with the very highest levels had a 71 percent higher risk of high-grade prostate cancer – the kind most likely to spread and kill, they report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Now that is alarming. Continue reading »

The cause of Type 2 diabetes revealed

imagesAccording to Mark Bittman, an Opinion columnist and the Times magazine’s food columnist, a study published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal PLoS One links increased consumption of sugar with increased rates of diabetes by examining the data on sugar availability and the rate of diabetes in 175 countries over the past decade. And after accounting for many other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates independent of rates of obesity.  In other words, according to this study, obesity doesn’t cause diabetes: sugar does. Continue reading »

Drug side effects via social media

alzheimers-drugsMany women who are taking certain breast cancer medications post online about the drugs’ side effects, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, WHYY’s “NewsWorks” reports.  Of the women who posted on message boards about aromatase inhibitors, nearly 20% talked about the drugs’ side effects, the study found. Most of the comments about side effects related to severe joint pain. Researchers also found that about 40% of the women who posted about aromatase inhibitors discussed discontinuing the medication or switching to another drug. But do physicians really have the time to search social media for drug side effects ? Continue reading »

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