Category Archives: World News

Study Blasts Fitness Trackers’ Ability To Boost Health

fitness trackers

A study has found that fitness trackers might not benefit health after all.

Researchers discovered that regular use of a fitness tracker or pedometer did not increase activity levels enough to benefit health – even when a financial reward was involved.

It’s not the first study to suggest that fitness trackers are not all they’re cracked up to be, research published in September found that fitness devices didn’t help people lose weight.

A randomised trial involving 800 full-time workers aged 21 to 65 found that, over the course of the year, volunteers who wore fitness trackers recorded no change in their step count.

Continue reading Study Blasts Fitness Trackers’ Ability To Boost Health

5 technology trends that will affect hospital care


Healthcare technology is always changing and evolving. Hospitals that want to keep up need to stay on top of the latest tech trends and incorporate them into patient treatment, especially as quality of care becomes more crucial to profitability and survival.
Pragati Verma, a representative from telecommunications company CenturyLink, wrote an article for Forbes about the latest up-and-coming tech advances that every hospital will be using in the next decade to improve patient care and boost outcomes.
Changes to watch
Facilities may want to start looking into these five emerging technologies now so they can start preparing:
Connected medical devices. Start-up companies are investing millions of dollars into creating insulin pumps and pacemakers that can pick up signals and automatically transmit data to networked computers. These devices will also allow patients to see how they’re working in real-time, giving them the chance to monitor their own health. Other wearable devices track patients’ general fitness level and vital signs, and they’re already popular among health-conscious people. Technology for medical devices will only expand in the next decade, and hospitals can use them to improve patient outcomes.
Quantified health data. Right now, patient data’s being collected and stored in different ways, including in electronic health records. And connected medical devices are in their infancy, storing their own information on patients. The next step is processing all this data from multiple platforms in a way that’s meaningful for providers and patients, and several companies are stepping up to accomplish this goal. Companies will translate and analyze this health data, making it an integral part of patients’ care plans instead of having it sit on computers, unused.
Medical records on-the-go. Right now, most electronic health record (EHR) systems are hosted on physical servers, with few healthcare entities using cloud-based systems. As security technology improves, more EHRs will be hosted on cloud-based and web-based platforms. This means providers and patients can access them more easily on laptops, tablets and smartphones via a secure log-in to a website or online portal. Even better – this lays the framework for a more comprehensive health record, since access won’t be limited to a physical computer.
On-call doctors via telehealth. The days of the traditional house call may be long gone, but technology offers new ways for providers to check-in on patients outside of an office visit. Telehealth is on the rise, and more payors are reimbursing providers and hospitals for treating patients remotely. The technology used to provide telehealth has gotten more sophisticated, and it’ll only get better over the next decade when combined with other emerging healthcare tech used to monitor vital signs from afar. In some cases, telehealth may even replace visits to the ED for certain urgent, but not life-threatening, illnesses.
3-D printing. Advances made in the field of 3-D printing have the potential to drastically transform the care provided at hospitals. Increasingly, this technology’s being used to improve prosthetics for patients – and it’s being talked about as a possible enhancement for joint replacement surgery (one of the biggest procedures being scrutinized by the feds). Down the line, 3-D printing may even revolutionize organ transplants – researchers are already looking at the feasibility of duplicating body parts like the outer ear.

First ever successful field testing of Ebola vaccine reported

 Ebola virus

Field testing of a new vaccine against Ebola conducted in Guinea, West Africa – called rVSV-ZEBOV – has revealed that it is effective in protecting individuals and containing the spread of the deadly virus.
A syringe on a map of Africa.
The recently developed vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, is one of two that have received preliminary testing among humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) trial, whose results are published in both The Lancet and The BMJ, was designed by researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

A technique known as “ring vaccination” was the inspiration for the trial. This method involves tracking down and vaccinating anyone who may have been exposed to someone carrying a virus, in order to contain its spread. Ring vaccination was behind the eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. Continue reading First ever successful field testing of Ebola vaccine reported

Sugary drink consumption, birth weight and adult lifestyle linked to type 2 diabetes risk

sugary-drinksincreased risk of type 2 diabetes: regular sugary drink consumption and a combination of low birth weight and an unhealthy lifestyle in adulthood.

Cans of soda
Higher consumption of sugary drinks – defined as one 250 ml serving daily – was associated with an 18% increased risk of type 2 diabetes before adjusting for obesity and a 13% increased risk after adjustment.
Around 29.1 million people in the US have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for around 90-95% of all cases. Continue reading Sugary drink consumption, birth weight and adult lifestyle linked to type 2 diabetes risk

Does your smartphone know if you are depressed?

smartphone know if you are depressed

How well does your smartphone know you? According to new research, these devices can now be utilized to detect if you are suffering from depression.

We have previously reported on the impressive feats achieved by smartphones, including diagnosing blood parasites and reducing levels of anxiety. Now, scientists believe they can use the device to identify people suffering depressive symptoms with 87% accuracy.

The findings, published in The Journal of Medical Research, ultimately could assist with the monitoring of individuals at risk of depression, enabling health care providers to act more quickly. Continue reading Does your smartphone know if you are depressed?

Type 2 diabetes linked with reduced cognitive function


Researchers have revealed that over just 2 years, the ability of people with type 2 diabetes to regulate their blood flow is reduced, impairing the cognitive and executive skills.
Older lady tests her blood sugar level with a pen device.

The study focused on older adults, assessing participants with an average age of 66.
When blood flow is regulated normally, the brain can redistribute blood to areas that become more active during specific tasks. Continue reading Type 2 diabetes linked with reduced cognitive function

Verizon Enables Internet Of Things, Cloud And Big Data For Healthcare Providers


Verizon Enterprise Solutions recently forecasted that predictive analytics, cloud services and connected devices will be the key technology trends to watch in 2015, and one industry that stands to benefit greatly from these technologies is healthcare, especially as it relates to the evolving patient-centric care models. Continue reading Verizon Enables Internet Of Things, Cloud And Big Data For Healthcare Providers

More Bad News for Malaria Vaccine

anopheles-mosquitoAn experimental malaria vaccine only protects about a third of children from malaria over four years, but it could still save millions of lives, researchers reported Thursday.

It’s the final report on the vaccine called RTS,S/AS01, the only vaccine that’s been shown to protect at all against malaria.

The news isn’t great, and researchers were puzzled by some of what they found.

The international coalition has been studying more than 15,000 babies and young children vaccinated against malaria in Africa, where about 1,300 children die every day from malaria. Continue reading More Bad News for Malaria Vaccine

India faces new health threat

Kenneth E. Thorpe
Kenneth E. Thorpe

If we learn to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, then we can break the back of the non-communicable diseases menace

What sets India truly apart in today’s economy is its gigantic workforce. The country has the largest number of young workers in the world, with 12 million joining the workforce every year. But the question is, how productive can these people be if they suffer from frequent illness and poor health? Continue reading India faces new health threat

Swine influenza: Natural ways to boost your immune system

Swine influenza

Swine flu has claimed the lives of 43 more people taking the toll in the country to 1,158 at present, ringing alarm bells against the deadly virus.

Since we are busy in our everyday activities, it is difficult to prevent ourselves from exposure against such infections. Off course getting vaccinated against a particular infection is a solution to ensure a strong immune system, but cutting down on unhealthy habits and adopting a good lifestyle will certainly take you a long way in staying fit. Continue reading Swine influenza: Natural ways to boost your immune system