Viewpoints: Lessons on How Robots, Wearable Devices Can Lower Health Costs; Gun Trauma Takes Big Toll On Caregivers, Too
Editorial pages focus on these health care topics and others.
The Wall Street Journal:
Hacking Health Care: How Tech Will Drive Down Costs
Human beings are safer today than at any time in history. We live more than twice as long as we did in 1900 thanks, in large part, to advances in technology. But our increased lifespan comes at a price. The U.S. spends $3.5 trillion each year on health care, and the federal government shoulders more than 28% of that cost. The Census Bureau projects that 20.6% of Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2030, compared to 15.24% in 2016. The U.S. is facing a retirement wave that will strain our health-care system. As head of CTA for three decades, I’ve watched the medical community use new technology to make advances in everything from diet science to disease detection. Much of this technology has not been widely tested, and some of it raises difficult questions about privacy and cybersecurity. But AI, sensors and even digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa could help keep costs down and improve care. Here’s how. (Gary Shapiro, 12/6)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Gunshot Trauma Affects More Than The Victims. Caregivers Suffer Lasting Damage, Too.
As a nurse who spent years working with trauma patients and the physicians who treated them, I witnessed the effects of gun violence up close: colostomies, brain injuries, shattered bones and paralysis, to name a few. Years after a bullet had damaged their spinal cords, some paraplegic and quadriplegic patients still regularly cycled through the hospital with bedsores and infections. (Laurie Barkin, 12/9)
10 Ways To Detect Health-Care Lies
In the past several months, we have observed blatant signs of deceptive, misleading, unsubstantiated and foolish statements in the health-care industry. These include fraudulently marketed products from Theranos and IBM Watson and a recent statement by the CEO of One Medical that his firm aims to take out 10 percent of U.S. health-care spending — something no one has ever done (not even the federal government). (Lawton R. Burns and Mark V. Pauly, 12/9)
Transplanted Uterus: Complications On Fertility Shaming Are Born
A woman in Brazil who received a transplanted uterus in 2016 gave birth to a baby girl using the first ever deceased uterine donor. Although 11 other deliveries have occurred in the world using live donors, this is the first of its kind to utilize the uterus of a woman who was deceased.The process of transplanting a uterus for these women and utilizing a deceased donor's uterus offers new options for women like the 32-year-old recipient who had the rare congenital disorder of Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, or uterine absence. This disorder affects one in 5,000 women. (Sameena Rahman, 12/7)
'Screen Time' Causing, Exacerbating Childhood Psychiatric Disorders
Working in the world of child and adolescent psychiatry as an advanced practice nurse, I frequently hear about symptoms of irritability, anger, isolation and poor sleep from my patients. These symptoms are common to many childhood psychiatric disorders. These disruptive symptoms baffle parents, teachers and clinicians alike, and can lead to incorrect diagnoses for these children with dysregulated moods.I have been a steadfast believer in the importance of good diet, exercise and adequate sleep as being elementary steps one can take to improve moods. I now also consider the fourth tenet for youth mood regulation to be limited electronic screen exposure. (Annette Rothman, 12/8)
What's Holding Pharma Back From The Next Antibiotic Breakthrough?
In the five years since the alarm sounded about so-called superbugs, the world has continued to grapple with the staggering health and economic impacts of antibiotic resistance and mounting resistance to antibiotics of last resort.In the U.S. alone, antibiotic resistance adds $20 billion to $35 billion in direct health care costs each year, along with 8 million extra days in the hospital. In the European Union, multidrug-resistant infections kill more than 30,000 people every year. While scientists work to uncover new ways to combat antibiotic-resistant microbes — which harbor a dizzying array of tools to evade antibiotics — the question of how to best develop and commercialize novel antibiotics while at the same time creating a return for investors remains just as puzzling as the most recalcitrant bacteria. (Peter Bak, 12/10)
Des Moines Register:
Privatized Medicaid Is Here To Stay; Independent Review Is Now Needed
The election of Gov. Kim Reynolds means privatized Medicaid is here to stay. She has refused to return control of the health insurance program for 600,000 people to the state, and it’s unlikely she will do so in the future. That reality should prompt all Iowans, including privatization critics and the governor’s administration, to shift our focus to a common goal: Making sure Iowa's privatized Medicaid works as intended for patients, providers and taxpayers. That will ultimately require diligent oversight and a commitment by this administration to transparency. (12/6)