Friday, June 5, 2020
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Has the covid-19 pandemic put a light on the cracks in our system ? (Arlen Meyers)
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
There is an App for That: The US is amassing an Army of Contact Tracers to Contain the Covid-19 Outbreak.
Why contact tracing may be a mess in America
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
A serology test is designed to detect antibodies, which circulate in our blood to help fight off infections. Researchers see some potential in using antibody testing to understand how prevalent Covid-19 is in a community, and studies are already underway.
Alphabet Verily is launching an antibody research study for Covid-19
Monday, May 18, 2020
I wasn’t as happy as I expected to be when I walked out of the hospital on my last day in medical school. But then again, there was little to celebrate — my last few patients had terminal cancer, a stroke, and end-stage liver disease from alcoholism. I signed off my patients to my resident, and so, my medical school career came to an unceremonious end. I thought to myself that I was finally done with my schooling.
How many times have we told ourselves that we reached the last milestone — that it’d be smooth sailing from now on? I remember telling myself that I was done with medical school when I finished my first board exam. Then, I repeated those words to myself when I finished my second board exam. And then again when I finished my last residency interview and once more after Match Day.
But it’s never done. The reality of being responsible for patients slowly took shape during these past few weeks. Maybe that’s why my last day of medical school came and went without any fanfare — even eventually with an MD after my name, nothing will have really changed. I’ll still be learning and taking care of patients just as I’ve done over the past year.
Some special aura appears around you when you don a white coat. Suddenly to outsiders, you’re seen as a healer and sometimes a last resort. Magically, you possess the backstage pass to delve into the lives of strangers and hear about their most intimate details. I’ve had patients tell me many times about their joys and worries, their relationships and vices, and even their sex lives, all unprompted. There is no other relationship comparable to that between a doctor and the patient — at least not one that can form so swiftly and built on blind trust and confidence.
The clarity of a clean white coat soon becomes less distinct as time passes. With time the title 'doctor' loses some of it's brilliance. The early thrill of hearing Doctor Smith diminishes as time passes as I carry more responsibility and automatically make decisions with less time thinking about them than when I was a wet behind the ears healer. The clean pristine white coat would become altered, much like my own sense of worth.
Still, there hangs a thick and opaque curtain between us — patients know so little of what goes inside our heads, and we devote so little of our time to figuring out what their thinking and feeling. That’s why medical writing is essential to medicine. The goal of my columns over these last four years was never to persuade, or to convert, or to proselytize. After all, you can’t do that in a 600-word monthly column — you can’t change anyone’s opinion these days even if you handed them a thick binder filled with scientific facts.
Instead, the goal was simply to teach, to inform, and to reveal. To let patients know that their doctors cared for them and are invested in their lives, even if they manage to see them for only 15 minutes after an hour of sitting in the waiting room. These pieces intended to tell patients that we know that being a patient not easy, but neither is being a doctor.
Every patient and doctor have untold stories that deserve to be exchanged. My columns were a collective attempt to build a two-way bridge between those who were being cared for and those who cared for them.
Friday, May 15, 2020
California's Governor Newsom Proposes Painful Cuts to Health Care Programs to Close Budget Shortfall
Thursday, May 14, 2020
The Hunt for Covid-19 The secret to why some people get so sick from covid could lie in their genes |
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
CEO and founder Tim Fitzpatrick is leveraging the latest in neuroscience research and VR filmmaking to radically improve health education and patient confidence.
Kidney disease is a large and growing health challenge, in the United States and globally, thanks in part to rising rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. A full 37 million Americans (15% of the adult population) suffer from kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation, and in 2016, more than half a million people had to be put on dialysis at least 3 times a week just to survive.
This represents a huge cost to Medicare ($114B in 2016) and efforts are now underway to transition dialysis patients to in-home care, a cheaper and more comfortable alternative. This need for this transition to home became even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, but how can resource-strapped dialysis clinics — which currently only spend a few minutes on patient education through paper pamphlets — safely and efficiently transition hundreds of thousands of patients to home care?
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Jerry Levin, ex CEO of Time-Warner shares his own personal experience with dialysis. Following a severe injury from a fall, with multiple injuries he eventually was placed on hemodialysis while rehabilitating in a skilled nursing facility. The experience was an eye-opener and less than optimal for his condition and many others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also provided specific guidelines to address a similar deathtrap: dialysis centers, due to their comparable high volume of older patients (50% of all dialysis patients are over 65) and their history of infections are a very high risk for heightening the spread. More than 725,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure, otherwise known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Of these, at least 500,000 individuals are on dialysis.
Receiving home dialysis treatments in a nursing home is not something that is only available to people like me (former CEOs). It could be provided to any patient who needs it. Unfortunately, right now it’s not available to many, which is mainly a function of the red tape and bureaucracy in healthcare. Our current system is characterized by slow decision making, limited willingness to try new and innovative therapies, and stubborn adherence to the status quo of where and how healthcare should be delivered.
But there is a safer way to administer this lifesaving care, and we must urgently make plans to deliver dialysis within nursing home and long-term care facilities, and further to accelerate the provision of dialysis for those able to do it in their home. We must save our elderly and our broader population from this deadly blind spot.
Say Hello to IKONA, the Startup Using VR to Improve Health Literacy, Starting with Dialysis
Monday, May 11, 2020
The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them