Ghrelin

GHRELIN is an interesting hormone.  According to a recent article in WebMD (July/Aug 2018), this hormone is released from your stomach in large quantities when you lose weight.  So, while you’re trying to reduce your weight, you’re releasing a hormone to encourage yourself to eat more so that you’ll gain weight!  Not only that, the hormone ghrelin doesn’t level off after this roller-coaster ride.  After you have been successful in losing weight, your body does what ever it can to make you fat again.  That’s why researcher say that struggles with obesity and weight maintenance are a lifelong pursuit.  Looking at your relationship with GHRELIN is definitely an intimate experience. The reason why is because this same hormone is your “hunger” hormone.  It plays a pivotal role in helping you to maintain a healthy weight.  Looks like this is another situation where you get the opportunity to make healthy food choices.  Where have we heard that before?  I know – everywhere…

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 A Medscape article (11/4/2016) citing Dr. Kevin Hall from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, states “that metabolism slows when patients lose weight.”  He goes on to encourage medical providers to be aware that two processes are at work simultaneously: an increased appetite and a slowed metabolism.  This awareness may lead medical provider to develop new treatment guidelines for their patients.  Dr. Hall also goes on to highlight the fact that the few individuals who successfully maintain weight loss over the long term do so by heroic and vigilant efforts.

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A white paper by FAIR Health, a national nonprofit organization, reports that the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in recent years and the increase appears to coincide with a rise in obesity rates and other obesity-related conditions (1/20/2017).  This report is based on actual health insurance claims for a privately insured population.  However, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) shows that there is a “fairly stable” obesity prevalence rate for children and adolescents. The difference between these reports is that the CDC survey is based on interviews and physical exams of a cross-sectional civilian population.  However, each study reports a correlation between age and obesity; that means as our children get older they are getting fatter.

Weighty matters continue to be of concern in the U.S.  In 25 states, laws now require that public schools monitor children’s body mass index (BMI) to identify overweight and obese students.  Fewer than half of the parents receiving their child’s health report card accepted the school’s assessment of their child’s weight (WebMD July/Aug 2018). This may indicate that many parents see excess weight as normal.  An article in WebMD Sept. 2018 issue indicates that more than 50% of babies born in the U.S. since 2000 could live to be at least 100 years of age.  However, this golden centenarian age will definitely be decreased by the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity.

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Since we have a lifelong relationship with GHRELIN, we may want to monitor our young children in the basic facts of good nutrition.  Sometimes children view pictures of thin, photo-shopped models portrayed in posed-positions representing unattainable body images inconsistent with life and believe that these photos are the standard of success.  Other children may be dealing with obesity issues and use food as a coping mechanism. Whether you’re an adult challenged with your own weight management lifestyle or you’re a parent dealing with childhood anorexia or obesity, you may want to sharpen your nutrition knowledge about the hormone GHRELIN.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), according to an article in WebMD (5/2018), isn’t our grandparents’ arthritis. This form of arthritis is based in our autoimmune system.

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 Inflammation is the driving force behind many major disorders and rheumatoid arthritis is only one of them.  In a publication by the Arthritis Foundation (Vol.10, Issue 2),  RA Today – The theory is that when a person is genetically predisposed to develop RA, and when the inflammation from that disease flares, the increased inflammation is equivalent to a single match igniting lots of other fires in our body.

Systemic inflammation usually begins when our immune system pumps out inflammatory proteins (cytokines) when not needed.  Normally, our body releases a type of cytokines called TNF (tissue-necrotic factor).  TNF is released when our body is hurt or we have an infection.  TNF acts as a “troop leader” that recruits other cytokines into action.  This recruitment leads to an inflammation cascade that helps to fight off serious infections.   However, when TNF is called out without reason, the inflammation becomes destructive.

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 The article in RA Today states that rheumatoid arthritis occurs when immune cells invade our joints and start churning out TNF.  This invasion not only destroys the joints but other parts of our bodies as well, such as connective tissue i.e. muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joints.  This may be why people who have rheumatoid arthritis are also diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  TNF is mainly produced in fat cells. Yes, fat cells.  Now we all have another reason to maintain a healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

There’s discussion around the issue of what causes RA.  Newer studies point to disruptions in the microbes – bacteria, yeasts and fungi – that play critical roles in regulating the immune system.  Other researchers document a genetic component; that is if your parent or grandparent had RA you have a greater chance of being diagnosed with RA.  Still other studies point to stress being the main culprit targeting and disrupting the immune system. Whatever the cause, RA is variable because it’s autoimmune.  Meaning that symptoms can “come and go” and it can be diagnosed in both children and adults.  One thing is certain, RA can affect every organ of the body – eyes, mouth, skin, heart, kidneys, lungs, etc.  The most debilitating symptom is fatigue.  Up to 98% of people with RA report that they suffer from this “RA fatigue.”

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 Sleeping will not satisfy this fatigue although rest will help you stay healthier.  This type of fatigue can be relieved, in part, by medication because the medication brings down the inflammation.   If you’re diagnosed with RA there are some steps that you can take to foster better health for yourself.  The first is to maintain contact with good medical providers who are involved in your care.  This is a vital step.  Getting evidence-based, medically-accepted care early in your treatment process is important in managing your care.  Another wise step is to stop smoking or using tobacco products if you are currently doing so.  Also maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising to tolerance is helpful. Research shows that people with RA who are obese are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

New drugs are also on the horizon.  Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are effective but must be used under the direction of a medical provider.  Some new biologics have been shown to be extremely effective in reducing inflammation, halting joint destruction and easing pain.  The number of patients undergoing joint replacements in the last two decades for RA has decreased dramatically.

Arthritis Today states in an article entitled “Chronic Pain & The Brain” (Sept/Oct 2018) that patients with RA show the same brain changes for heightened pain sensitivity as people diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Both patients have the same “pro-pain” changes.  This change occurs in the central nervous system (CNS) – the brain and spinal cord – where pain signals are processed.  This accounts for the fact that many people with RA have pain even when their inflammation is well controlled with medication.

Dr. M. Elaine Husni, director of the Arthritis Center at Cleveland Clinic, says: The earlier you start treatment, the better the response.

 

Driving! Attention!

 

You pick up your car keys, open the car door, put your coffee into the cup holder and start the ignition after checking your mirrors and securing the seat belt.

According to an article in WebMD (June 2017), when you text while driving, your eyes are off of the road for 5 seconds.  Since 97.5 % of drivers don’t drive well when they’re on the phone, these statistics indicate that anyone who is texting while driving a car is probably headed for an accident.  Additionally, being absorbed in these activities means that your attention is diverted from driving and your reaction time is slower than normal.  Therefore, you have a higher crash risk.

ONE IN THREE DRIVERS ADMIT TO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING.

Even if your hands are on the wheel, your attention is not on driving your car.  Your attention is on your conversation.  Some may say that they are not prone to this idea since they are young and their reaction time is quick.  However, thirty-eight percent of drivers using their cell phone during fatal crashes are in their 20’s.  Brain scans show that when we are engaged in a phone conversation while driving, our brain does not recognize driving as the more important primary task.

Therefore, your brain is competing for attention.  So, for those five seconds, you are giving your full and primary attention to the text message on your phone and not on your driving.

This doesn’t mean to be silent while you are driving.  Radio and normal conversations don’t compete for your attention the way that a phone commands.

By the way, notice that the person in this picture always avoids seat belts.

Is it worth a life to divert your attention from driving?

About the Recent Fire

The Fires in Greece

Nicholas C. Rossis

Mati fires | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: Express

Many of you have contacted me to ask about the recent fires. As you may have heard, we had two big forest fires raging not 30-40 minutes from our house. One from the North (Kalamos) and one from the East (Mati-Rafina). Different ones, too.

I spent most of that evening talking to friends, making sure they were OK. We also had cousins and aunts who had to evacuate because of a third fire, this one away from us.

I only slept a little that night, with one eye glued to the phone in case the wind turned and brought the fire to us. Woke up tired and with a headache. They said it would rain yesterday afternoon, not a moment too soon, but so far it’s been one sunny day after another. Maybe today. We’ll see.

Thank God, both we and everyone we know is safe, but it…

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SOCIAL GRACES: The Intangible Assets

Can leaders, ingrained in the digital age, acquire the appropriate social graces?

Social graces, according to (Artful Thinkers, 8/2017) current articles is a collection of skills that we use to politely interact in social situations.  These graces congeal into etiquette that is universally accepted as proper protocol within our culture.  In other words, it’s hearing what isn’t said.  Using these intangible skills are invaluable in building long-term, profitable relationships.

So important are these social graces that they intermingle with the old idea of “it’s not only who you know but what you know.”  If a successful business person in social circles wants to be regarded as someone who can build relationships, develop profitable markets and reach measurable deadlines, then that person follows a few simple rules.  Most of these guidelines aren’t “plugged-in” or ‘turned-on” or “downloaded” or “updated with an app.”  These skills require that a physical person be totally present so that they can communicate with another human being.

LISTENING – I’m not only talking about the anatomical ability of hearing sound. Listening refers to what a person does with the sounds that they hear.  It is what we decide to do with the noise that enters into our realm of detection.  As we form this information into our streams of belief, it determines the manner in which we deal with the matters that occur in our life (Lines of Listening, 2015). Be a skilled listener, make good eye contact, use appropriate body language, divert your cell phone calls during conversations, don’t interrupt others.

EYE CONTACT –  Within 10 seconds of a conversation the other person decides your true commitment to the exchange.  Even if you are not physically looking into the person’s eye (i.e. conference call) assume that the person can indeed see you and act accordingly.  Smiling, good posture and making eye contact, even if it’s with the conference telephone, will denote your focused interest.  An article in “Psychology Today” states that we as humans rely on eye contact to connect on many different levels.

CLOCKS and CALENDARS – Being on time for an appointment or opportunity could change your life.  Aim to be 5 minutes early in every situation.  When you leave someone waiting for you they may be devising reasons to not interact with you or your company.  This also refers to conference calls, in-person meetings, television or radio shows.  When you don’t arrive on time, it tells the person that you don’t respect them or their business.  You may want to even arrive before they do.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? – Remembering and using a person’s name in the conversation reinforces that you not only listened during the introductions but are genuinely interested.  If you don’t remember their name, ask them to repeat it; that’s better then forgetting their name or calling them “you”. You yourself know the feeling when another person addresses you by name; it’s respectful.

JUST THE FACTS – You have heard the saying – “everyone has an opinion.”  A leader does not engage in gossip, or hearsay or opinions or unsolicited judgments.  You gather information based on credible facts and analyze your own first impressions.  If there is a documented issue in a person’s past, confront the person in a face-to-face, confidential manner to address the incident.  This doesn’t mean that you ignore fair and critical input, it means that you rely on the facts to resolve the matter.

PERSONAL INTERACTION – One of the most important social graces is our ability to interact on a personal basis with another human being. This usually means that we put our electronic equipment away.  Don’t panic; especially if you are in the generation raised with electronic devices.  It’s okay.  You can do this activity.  Just review the few simple steps that I just outlined and you’ll be fine.  You won’t actually have to touch anyone (unless you shake hands), you’ll just have to acknowledge another human being, make eye contact and verbally talk to them.  I’m not being sarcastic or making fun of you, I’m just acknowledging the fact that human interaction may be an awkward skill for the younger generation.  This may be the most VITAL SKILL SET that you develop as a business leader. Putting your cell phone on vibrate, or airplane mode or messaging mode or temporarily turning it off is not as scary as it sounds.  People do it all the time.  It actually is very relaxing.  Many people do it when they are on vacation or want to relax.  So, it could be a good opportunity for you to take a short vacation and still stay at work.  Great idea!!!

THANK YOU –  Respect for a persons time, energy, relationship and attention is a compliment to not only them but yourself as well.  A thank you note takes many forms.  It can be a hand-written note scribed immediately following your personal interaction or a quick note to express your thanks.  A leader remembers to thank everyone involved in the activity.  I’m not suggesting that you walk around saying “thank you” a hundred times to everyone in the room, I’m talking about your personal touch of acknowledgment.  Your outreach will be remembered.  Speaking to everyone in the same respectful manner should be universal for you – it is your brand and it may be the ultimate social grace.

Yes, leaders ingrained in the digital age can acquire the appropriate social graces.  The intangible assets gained by interacting on a personal level is the key.

Violence

The issue of violence is a glaring item in news articles today. As I research the topic I am often lead back to the item of “parent-child” bonding. Someone said to me, “All incarcerations include a story of the interruption of parent-child bonding early in the child’s life.”  Even though this statement seems intense, there is a hidden kernel of truth traveling throughout the words.

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A parenting enhancement program called The Family Thriving Program (FTP) uses a re-framing approach to adjust a parent’s attitude if their newborn is born in less than an optimal nurturing environment.  Less than optimal is defined as: a parent’s history of unemployment, past history of own abuse, lack of support, unstable housing.  The goal is to assist parents to become competent and independent problem solvers.  This program also looks at newborns at medical risk, i.e. preterm, cesarean birth or any infant/parent pair that has experienced an interruption in the bonding process.   This program also measures the child’s cortisol level.  Cortisol is associated with stressors, such as maternal stress or maternal depression, show elevated cortisol levels.   According to a report by the Promising Practices Network (retrieved 7/19/2018), elevated cortisol levels in early life are associated with reduced capacity for learning and memory later in life (Jameison and Dinan, 2001).

This FTP program incorporates the home visitation program offering support, information, education, problem-solving rethinking exercises, motivational re-framing of commonly-occurring challenges and general problem-solving strategies.

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines child abuse and neglect as any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver (e.g., clergy, coach, teacher) that results in harm, the potential for harm, or the threat of harm to a child.  This definition falls under the definition of violence; abuse is violence.  Violence against children and child abuse affects children’s health now and later and is a costly venture for our country.

1 in 4 children suffered abuse – this translates into 676,000 children being confirmed by Child Protective Services as being victims of abuse and neglect in 2016

1 in 4 children (at least) suffered neglect sometimes in their life

1 in 7 children experienced abuse or neglect in the LAST YEAR

1,750 children died from abuse/neglect in 2016

An organized response to child maltreatment didn’t begin until 1874 in the U.S.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the U.S. in their lifetime.  These people have experienced an intimate relationship.  A common thread that links victims of IPV is that the victim knows the perpetrator, knows him or her well, and vice versa.  IPV involves physical or sexual violence or stalking and psychological aggression, including coercive acts, by a current or former intimate partner.

An emotional tie often hinders a person’s ability to protect themselves against violence inflicted by their partner.  When a relationship turns violent, devotion can become deadly, giving a frightening and disturbing tone to the expression “till death do us part.” (American Nurse Today, Vol. 12, No. 3)

Workplace violence according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) occurs on a regular basis.  75% of nearly 25,000 workplace assaults occur in a healthcare or social service setting.  However, we know that this number is underreported since only 30% of nurses report violent incidents.  American Nurses Association President Pam Cipriano, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, states: “Abuse is not part of anyone’s job and has no place in healthcare settings…”  As of December 2017, Medscape Medical News poll includes a poll of 569 nurses, 73% of female nurses and 46% of male nurses reported being sexually harassed.  Emotional and physical harm can be devastating.

There are a variety of public resources if anyone is at risk for abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233 (www.ndvh.org)

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (www.ncadv.org)

Stop Abuse for Everyone – (503)853-8686) (www.safe4all.org)

Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women – (888-7HELPLINE) (www.dahmw.org)

Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence (888-792-2873) (www.futureswithoutviolence.org)

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I will leave you with a thought to ponder.  There is a field of medical study called epigenetics.  This field relates how a person’s cells read their genes.  It doesn’t alter the DNA code sequence but it influences how the gene is expressed.  An article in Discover Magazine (5/26/2018) and in the journal Nature Neuroscience (June 2004) relate this medical genetic coding issue.  When two scientists, Meaney and Szyf conducted tests in genetic coding and genetic attachment (epigenetics) they noted changes not only in the brain of their test subjects but their genes as well.  The scientist also found by examining blood tests that these changes were passed on to the subject’s offspring thereby altering how gene information was expressed in the next generation.  According to this recognized study, “early stress in a child’s life impacts long-term programming of genome functioning.  Author Elena Grigorenko of the Child Study Center at Yale, states “parenting adopted children might require much more nurturing care to reverse these changes in genome regulation.”

Possibly, we can decrease the incidence of violence and abuse by kissing, hugging and nurturing our babies, and showing people in our lives that we care for them on a regular basis.  If we love and nurture the people in our present generation then they may in turn love and nurture the people in the next generation…

 

Lines of Listening

A collection of feelings, thoughts, and memories is formed by our interactions with our extended family, co-workers, and social acquaintances.  This collection, this Lines of Listening, is our story of our life from our perspective.

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These lines may be weak and barely visible in our mental reasoning.  They may pass through our life as a far-off, delicate whisper.  However, at times they may be intense and offer a strong, intense influence on every action in our life and be at the forefront of every decision that we make.  Whether these Lines of Listening are annoying because we don’t like what they say or enjoyable because we’re reminded of pleasant interactions, we all hear these mental conversations.

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What we decide to do with this mental “noise” that enters our emotional realm of detection affects our life.  Are we hearing or listening to this conversation?  The ability to hear depends on the sensitive anatomy of our body: head, ears, functional hearing structures.  However, listening requires us to discriminate the information and mold it into our beliefs to determine how we deal with issues in our life.

person wearing hearing aidUNDERSTANDING

Sometimes we want to hear, usually we want to listen.  Often we struggle to understand. However, the Lines of Listening are always part of who we are and how we communicate with the world.

Eye Contact

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EYE CONTACT

The best way to leave a lasting impression is to make eye contact. “Secrets to Making Non-Awkward Eye Contact” The Muse – Tools & Skills – 2018 Lily Zhang – Career Development Specialist at MIT.  Obviously, this is something we all understand but it’s satisfying to know that the professionals who work in the field also verify our hunches. The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus (2007) defines the EYE as an organ of sight, a faculty of discrimination; something having an undeveloped bud or the calm at the center of a cyclone.  The definition of CONTACT from this same source is listed as the touching or meeting of bodies where a connection or relationship or communication is formed. Eye contact is important in our everyday life.  Dale Carnegie, the world-renowned speaker and inspirational guide, suggests that you make eye contact with someone long enough to register what eye color they have before looking away.  Somehow this seems instinctual; we do it without thinking about it.  Katherine Schreiber and Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D. (Co-authors of The Truth About Exercise Addition) relate in their article posted 9/20/2016 and verified by Psychology Today “What Eye Contact Can Do to You,” that newborns pay more attention to faces with eyes gazing directly at them than to faces with eyes looking off in the distance.  Even babies have the inborn desire to scan a human face looking for information.  There is also an indication that eye contact is crucial for successful early childhood/parent bonding.  This type of eye contact engagement may enhance memory for the child’s decision-making process.

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Eyes of Babies

Eye contact can have a memory-boosting effect as long as it’s wanted by the person being looked at.  So, make eye contact work to your advantage.  Sean Cooper (The Shyness & Social Anxiety Guy) viewed 7/15/2018 “How To Make Eye Contact Without Feeling Awkward,”  indicates that there is a socially acceptable time frame for maintaining eye contact before the technique becomes staring or inappropriate.  So, how long is too long?  Sean gives us a guideline for eye contact:

  •  eye contact with talking – 1/3 of the time
  • eye contact with listening – 2/3 of the time
  • eye contact with everyday conversation – spurts of 3-4 seconds during the verbal exchange

Since most human contact tends to be non-verbal (a study at UCLA indicated that 93% of communication is not verbal), that means we talk with a combination of body language and eye contact.  Wow, what a great opportunity to let another human being know how you’re feeling and what your opinions are about life.  Your eyes are your “scouts.”  They scan the horizon much like the advance scouts did in the days of the ole’ west when the military was traveling on maneuvers in the hot desert.   Processing of the information is the same: gathering, assessing and decision making.  It’s just as vital today to make the correct decision with the incoming information that you receive from eye contact.  Every day we all make connections through eye contact so you may want to pay attention to the cues coming from the person you’re looking at: it’s a good idea.

Intelligent Medicine

“Doctors who partner with (AI) artificial intelligence as a decision-making aid will see their healing powers expand more than they have in the past 100 years” (Men’s Health, p. 42, May 2018).

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Intelligent Medicine

Mr. Greg Corrado, Ph.D. was making a TedMed presentation about artificial intelligence this past year when he stunned his audience of medical professionals.  Well, Dr. Corrado should know the field well since he is a principal scientist at Google AI and an expert in machine learning.  He went on to explain that to tackle the storm of intense medical data available for medical evaluators today a practitioner needs to condense the “data beast” so that appropriate information can be funneled into focused patient care.

The future is coming.  The future is down the road.  The future is here.  Microsoft, Apple, IBM and many other tech-savvy corporations are creating algorithms for medical facilities.  An algorithm is a structured formula for solving a problem. So, when a doctor, hospital, medical records department, medication ordering program or medical supply procurement agency needs to determine the best solution for diagnosing a problem they turn to a robotic algorithm system to capture the solution.

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Personal Medicine

Personal medicine has become more personal.  Your medical treatment can be decided by a complex set of numbers calculated by a fined-tuned robot analyzing specific personal data about your past, current and future health.  Your medical provider even knows the odds of whether you will keep your next appointment.  Rachel Sturtz (Men’s Health, May 2018) relates a variety of “assistive” robots working to keep us healthy.

  • Sensely – this avatar checks symptoms and pulls data for your doctor to review
  • Woebot – this “chatbot” created by Alison Darcy, Ph.D., monitors your mood
  • AiCure – recognizes your face, verifies medication and checks for administration
  • SemanticScholar – a search-based engine for relevant medical information
  • ARTAS Robotic – transplants hair faster than a human
  • HeartFlow – diagnosing heart disease with 3D map of the heart
  • Butterfly iQ – a pocket-sized ultrasound scanner with unlimited possibilities
  • Watson for Oncology – a plethora of resources for cancer treatment plans
  • Lumo Run (Lumo Lift) – personal biomechanic feedback
  • PatientsLikeMe – a FREE patient network to gain insight from people with similar medical conditions
  • ColgateConnect E1 – toothbrush using 3D technology for healthier teeth
  • Noom – custom nutrition/exercise courses – CDC-RECOGNIZED FOR THE PREVENTION OF DIABETES
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Intelligent Health

Cloud-based, yes, cloud-based technology is being used to view, monitor, assess, analyze, scan, interpret, review, research, plan, learn, devise and track almost every aspect of your medical life.  This detailed analysis is reducing unnecessary, invasive medical procedures, eliminating or reducing health care costs, increasing medical diagnosis accuracy, decrease pharmaceutical waste, increasing the proficiency of medical product tracking, assisting medical providers in assembling a library of current and timely medical information, and most importantly, improving the quality of health care for all of us.

As in all things tech, it’s important not to become entangled in the business part of healthcare.  The use of technology must be tempered with the personal care of medicine.  Development of an effective care plan still balances between the medical provider and the patient; with a fair exchange of information.  Hopefully, humans still talk to humans.  This personal conversation isn’t a debate or gabfest, it’s an informed exchange between concerned people trying to intelligently discuss sometimes difficult health-related questions.  AI (artificial intelligence) is used to assist this exchange and achieve the best healthcare decision.

Rachel Sturtz (Men’s Health, May 2018) states, “artificial intelligence is medicine’s future.”  I would reframe that statement and say that intelligent assistance for personal healthcare is the future.

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The DocBot will see you now

 

Social Health

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Social Health

Like Social Security, Social Health affects everyone in some way.  According to Michael Jones, PhD, RN, MSN, MBA, “social health is expressed when each individual is able to put into practice the information he or she has been provided by their healthcare provider.”  This idea is burdened when 9 out of 10 of us struggle with understanding our health information, (The Mississippi RN – Summer 2018).

Within this context, the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) definition of social determinates of health is, “economic and social conditions that influence the health of people and communities. ” It further states that “these resources are shaped by the amount of money, power, and resources that people have,  all of which are influenced by policy choices.”

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Healthy People

“The context in which people live their lives, the resources available to them, and in particular their social and economic circumstances, are the primary determinates of population health outcomes.” This idea is presented by Professor Alan Davidson in his book entitled, Social Determinates of Health – A Comparative Approach. (2014)

So, how do we as a community get the best outcomes for our health resources?  Well, the WHO (World Health Organization) has developed a list of considerations – Social Gradients, Stress, Early Life, Social Exclusion, Work Life, Unemployment, Social Support Addition, Food, Transport.  Examining these 10 components will give you an in-depth picture of your – or anyone’s – standing within the social health spectrum.

  •  the further down you are on the social gradient, the more disease prevalence
  • stress can lead to distress which can lead to physical health issues
  • it is vital that you receive quality health care in the first two years of your life
  • discrimination impacts your physical health
  • accumulated workplace stress can increase your disease development potential
  • uncertain job security influences your physical health
  • strong social support often equals positive health outcomes
  • addictions as a coping mechanism have negative effects
  • healthy food is essential for good health
  • inadequate access to transportation equals poor health outcomes
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Social Access?

According to AAA (American Automobile Association), this July 4th weekend, in the United States 46.9 million Americans will travel over 50 miles from their home to celebrate the holiday.  They will use either a car, boat, ship or bus.  The National Retail Federation states that 106 million Americans will attend a community celebration.  A CBS News Poll (7-2018) determines that 53% of Americans believe that the “American Dream” is still attainable.

Consider the question,  “Does everyone in my social community have equal access to resources?”  You may well come up with a variety of answers.  According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, “resource is the ability to meet and handle situations. ”  Obviously, the WHO considers Social Health from a “total person” point of view.  Living in a community that values education, social policy concerned with individual diversity, public transportation needs, early childhood health and stable employment is an environment that has considered the CDC, WHO, Dr. Michael Jones and Professor Alan Davidson issues.

You may want to consider the Social Health of your community.