Public Health Issues: Climate Change; Funding For Alzheimer’s Research
A medical expert calls for hospitals and health care officials to begin to plan for global warming problems, and The Wall Street Journal looks at new ways to finance research.
Kaiser Health News: Health Care System Needs To Prepare For Global Warming
Climate change is happening, and with that will come more deaths from heat-related illness and disease, according to a report released Tuesday. "One of the most striking findings in our analysis is that increasing heat and humidity in some parts of the country could lead to outside conditions that are literally unbearable to humans, who must maintain a skin temperature below 95°F in order to effectively cool down and avoid fatal heat stroke," the report's authors wrote. ... Dr. Al Sommer, the dean emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, was on the committee that oversaw the development of the report. He says that often overlooked in the current debate about greenhouse gases and climate change is the effect of global warming on individuals and hospitals" (Gillespie, 6/26).
The Wall Street Journal: Should Alzheimer’s Bonds Be Issued To Fund Drug Development?
The quest for a treatment that can combat Alzheimer’s remains frustrating and expensive, but Andrew Lo believes he may have a path forward. A finance professor who directs the Laboratory for Financial Engineering at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Lo thinks that a public-private partnership could solve some of the funding issues that have plagued drug discovery and development. The plan, which he recently discussed in a paper in Science Translational Medicine, is to create what the pharmaceutical world likes to call 'lots of shots on goal.' We spoke with Lo about his idea (Silverman, 6/25).
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs express optimism about harnessing health data to create new patient tools -
CQ Healthbeat: Tech Companies, Congress Look to Health Data to Create New Patient Tools
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki had to halt sales of her company’s genetic tests for medical uses last year after the Food and Drug Administration voiced concerns over how the data would be used and its accuracy. That experience hasn’t soured Wojcicki’s outlook on the role that the government may play going forward in transforming a growing wealth of data into practical tools for improving the health of Americans. In fact, in a Tuesday interview, she was enthusiastic about the steps that officials within the Department of Health and Human Services are taking to make personal health information and broader health trends accessible (Young, 6/25).