According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost 2.8 million people visited the emergency rooms for traumatic brain injuries in 2013 (most recent data available). Of those people, nearly 50,000 died. Most with traumatic brain injury were treated with a neurological exam followed by a CT scan.
When wellness programs started a few decades ago by some large employers, they were not taken very seriously, treated mostly as an unproven employee perk. They were considered a mere attempt to promote good health habits among employees.
Hundreds of thousands of patients fall in hospitals each year and almost half are injured in the fall. They add on patient stays and increase patient costs by an average of $14,000.
Wellness is sprouting up everywhere. Now, it has made it to supermarkets. A joint program by Publix and BayCare Health Systems calls for the launch of Walk In Care telehealth kiosks at 26 Publix Pharmacies by the end of 2018.
Drug abuse is one of the most problematic issues of our time, with addiction at epidemic levels. Now there is a new app for mobile devices that can detect traces or bulk quantities of all kinds of drugs. MobileDetect is specifically designed for law enforcement personnel—EMS, hazmat, security officers, customs and border patrols.
Say hello to Welloh. It’s a new mobile app that will make it easier for consumers to access many different health care services, including Convenient Care facilities, hospitals, pharmacies and more. The new app is offered as a free download for both iOS and Android mobile devices. It can be found on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The increase in human lifespan—currently at an average of 80 years in developed countries—is often attributed to improved medical treatments and technologies, including innovations like the discovery of antibiotics and enhanced care for once-fatal occurrences like heart attacks. Yet advancements in medical technology also impact quality of life, particularly as people age. Many recent breakthroughs have improved seniors’ ability to remain healthy throughout the aging process, while simultaneously improving home care and challenges like overcrowded hospitals and remote populations.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent non-profit organization that works to improve health care quality, has given its patient-centered medical home ‘a makeover’ in order to “reduce documentation burdens, lower costs, and facilitate quality improvements.”
The NCQA’s move marks a growing effort spearheaded by the healthcare industry’s leadership organizations in response to new technologies, uncertainty surrounding reimbursements, and heightened reporting requirements. The organization’s recent announcement of a comprehensive overhaul will enact changes that aim to create “a much more user-friendly version of the popular practice transformation framework that avoids the pain points of previous iterations of the program,” said Michael S. Barr, MD, Executive Vice President of the Quality Measurement and Research Group at NCQA.
All data and scientific literature indicate that poor medication adherence is directly correlated with increased hospitalizations, higher mortality rates, and a number of serious adverse health consequences. Approximately 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed, resulting in at least 100,000 preventable deaths per year. In terms of incurred costs, these numbers translate to between $100 billion and $300 billion dollars in spending, burdening the already weakened infrastructure of health care. Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, an internist at Harvard Medical School, describes the problem as “the final cascade of all of science.”
A startup company based in Baltimore has recently been awarded research funding by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), through a Small Business Innovation grant. emocha Mobile Health, a company focused on medication adherence, will receive $225,000 through the NIH Fast-Track mechanism, with an additional $1.5 million tied to achieving specific milestones.