Choosing Wisely to prevent overtreatment
I’ve been a fan of the healthcare consumer group, Choosing Wisely, for several years.
Collaborating with Consumer Reports, Choosing Wisely brings evidence-based healthcare information to patients. Their goal is to educate patients and physicians, and support informed decision making.
Shared decision making not only prevents patient harm from overtreating, but brings down escalating healthcare costs by eliminating unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures. (Healthcare waste accounts for billions of dollars every year!)
Now it’s even easier to get access to their information.
The healthcare app, iTriage, has added 160 of Choosing Wisely’s recommendations to … Continue reading
We’re not sleeping enough
Sleeplessness is epidemic in this country.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) consider insomnia a public health issue and report that at least 35% of adults don’t get a good night’s sleep.
Judging from my circle of friends, I think the percentage is much higher than that!
Insomnia and daytime fatigue make life miserable and contribute to chronic illness. Drowsy drivers cause accidents. Drowsy employees cause on-the-job injuries.
Sleeping pills (hypnotics) are the go-to treatment in the US. Drugs like zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and suvorexant (Belsomra).
Related post: Belsomra—Use with caution
But they have side … Continue reading
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just released a warning about keeping hand sanitizers out of the reach of small children. Because more people use hand sanitizers during cold and flu season, there are more reports of children being poisoned by the main ingredient, either isopropyl alcohol or ethanol. About 90% of these poisonings were in children younger than five.
Anyway, here is a re-post about preventing childhood poisonings in general, and links to Poison Control and other resources.
Stay safe! FN
A rising number of childhood poisonings
I don’t know much about e-cigarettes and vaping, but a recent study … Continue reading
A smart way to quit smoking
Is quitting smoking on your New Year’s resolution list? Or that of a friend or family member?
If so, consider the SmartQuit app.
But first I’ll tell you what I do and don’t like about it.
I like that it seems to be pretty effective. The SmartQuit program and app were developed by researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington (my alma mater!), with funding from the National Cancer Institute.
It uses a particular type of behavior modification—acceptance and commitment therapy—that has proven more effective than other smoking … Continue reading
Pulse Point saves a life!
A recent news story here in Seattle caught my eye: Off-duty doctor gets Pulse Point app alert, saves man’s life
Douglas Stine was driving with co-workers along Aurora Ave. on Monday when he started gasping for air and lost consciousness, the result of a heart condition.
The other workers called 911, but help arrived minutes before the paramedics.
Dr. Matt Gittinger, a UW medicine physician at Harborview, happened to be at his dining room table catching up on work when he saw an alert on his phone.
“I was out of my front door within
… Continue reading
Clouds don’t protect you from the sun
On a cloudy summer day it’s easy to forget that the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet or UV rays aren’t blocked by the clouds. We still have to use sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses, or stay out of the sun to protect ourselves.
Related post: Be informed – What is SPF?
UV rays not only cause sunburn, but also skin cancer and cataracts. And there aren’t enough beauty creams in the world to undo the premature aging effects of the sun, either.
Watch this video to see the sun’s “invisible” damage to the … Continue reading
It’s OK for steps, but not much else
I was feeling really good about myself the other day when I came home after finishing a 6,000 step walk that burned—according to the Fitbit Zip in my pocket—720 calories.
I boasted about this to my husband, who immediately burst my pride bubble by saying, “There is no way you burned that many calories in a 40-minute walk. Think about it.”
He was right. I knew in the back of my mind that 720 calories was just too high. Have you ever run on a treadmill for 15 minutes and felt … Continue reading
Even toddlers seem to be playing with smartphone and tablet apps, so why not make it educational as well as fun?
Obesity among children is still a major public health problem. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hopes their new app, Dining Decisions, will help teach young children how to make healthy food choices.
The app was just released last month, and it’s only available for iPhones and iPads, so I haven’t been able to try it out yet. Hopefully it will be available in an Android version soon! I want to play. 🙂
Related post: Healthy kids … Continue reading
Aura Life, the makers of the popular smartphone blood pressure app Instant Blood Pressure, probably made a mistake when they initially used the well-known medical research complex Johns Hopkins in their marketing campaign.
Aura Life boasted their app “uses a patent-pending process developed by a team from the Johns Hopkins University—a world leader in health innovation.”
Baffled, Johns Hopkins sent Aura Life a cease-and-desist letter, but they also decided to do some research into how well the blood pressure app performed.
The researchers recently released their findings that showed the Instant Blood Pressure app, which uses an… Continue reading
I read a post by a pediatrician last week that gave her opinion that while our government is throwing a lot of money at new nutritional guidelines in an attempt to “fight” childhood obesity, it’s ignoring another food-related danger: choking.
Childhood aspiration (or choking) on food is a major public health issue. Anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 kids visit emergency rooms each year in the U.S. alone, after having suffered a food-choking accident. Hundreds die each year, either in the hospital or before they make it in the door. Most of these kids are under the age of 5, and
… Continue reading