House lawmakers passed 38 bills aimed at combating the opioid-abuse epidemic last week, including measures that would give the National Institutes of Health more authority to study nonaddictive painkillers and prevent opioid smuggling through international mail. The House expects to pass this week at least another 19 opioid measures and a legislative vehicle that would wrap in all of the opioid bills passed by the chamber, with the goal of sending the bills to the Senate this summer.
Australian company Medibio is developing mobile apps and wearable devices to enable earlier diagnosis of mental health problems through collection and analysis of heart rate during sleep, breathing, mood changes and more. The company, whose cloud-computing platform spots indications of mental illnesses using machine learning, is looking to apply for FDA approval of a clinical decision support tool after it finishes a clinical trial.
The American Medical Association's first policy addressing the use of augmented intelligence in health care urges federal policymakers and health care stakeholders to focus on "user-centered design," and the policy calls for the AMA to set priorities for AI tools to improve physician satisfaction and patient outcomes. "Combining AI methods and systems with an irreplaceable human clinician can advance the delivery of care in a way that outperforms what either can do alone," said AMA board member Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld.
Data from the Agency for Health Research and Quality showed that from 2011 to 2015, employees treated for migraines had health costs about $2,000 higher, on average, than those who did not experience the headaches, and took 2.2 more sick days each year, according to a study by the Integrated Benefits Institute. "Migraine is important for employers to address because of its negative impact on productivity," said Brian Gifford, IBI's director of research and analytics.
BankUnited's Bank On Wellness program has a 70% employee engagement rate, and Employee Wellness Program manager Jeanette Martin says the effort began by reaching out to top management for guidance and support, and working with the company's insurer to better understand the main health issues employees experience. Martin said the program has a clear goal, to improve employee health, and uses incentives and fun initiatives to encourage participation.
Research published in Nature Scientific Reports that analyzed
cardiovascular risk biomarkers suggests people should engage in exercise and sit less on a daily basis. Dr. David Katz commented that the benefits of exercise and less sitting are complementary, and while either alone is better than nothing, doing both is best.
Babies whose mothers received Tdap immunization during pregnancy had a 43% lower rate of pertussis and 68% reduced prevalence of inpatient-only pertussis, compared with those whose mothers weren't vaccinated during or after pregnancy, researchers reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. However, the findings didn't show reduced odds of pertussis among those whose mothers received Tdap vaccination before 27 weeks' gestation.
Osteoarthritis patients have an estimated 23% higher risk of cardiovascular disease than the general population, and most of the increased risk is tied to the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to research presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Congress 2018. These patients had a 42% higher risk for congestive heart failure, a 17% greater likelihood of ischemic heart disease and a 14% higher risk of stroke.
Researchers found that longer sleep duration and better sleep efficiency positively correlate with lower metabolic risk scores for homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, HDL cholesterol, fat mass, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure and log-transformed triglycerides among adolescents. The findings, based on 829 adolescents, were published in Pediatrics.
A study in JAMA Network Open showed that participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had less improvement on the American Heart Association's 2020 Strategic Impact Goals for diet, compared with income-eligible individuals who did not participate in SNAP and higher-income individuals. Researchers analyzed data on 38,696 participants aged at least 20 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014 and also found that SNAP participants consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks than the other groups.
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