Martin is a generally healthy 61-year-old married man who has come to you for his annual physical examination. As you discuss Martin's health concerns, he mentions an interest in receiving a prescription for testosterone.
Which of the following approaches do you think is appropriate for this patient? Base your choice on the published literature, your own experience, recent guidelines, and other sources of information.
1. Recommend testosterone-replacement therapy
2. Recommend against testosterone-replacement therapy
To aid in your decision making, each of these approaches is defended in a short essay by an expert in the field.
Nick Bostrom talked about his book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, in which he posits a future in which machines are more intelligent than humans and questions whether intelligent machines will try to save or destroy us. He spoke at an event hosted by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in Berkeley, California.
The face of medical care is rapidly changing thanks to major advancements in the capture, proliferation, and analysis of medical data. Technologies like the electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) are drastically improving the way data is aggregated and shared.
Now the hope is that big data analytics will help to make sense of seemingly endless streams of medical information.
As many doctors are painfully aware, outcome-oriented care is no longer a buzzword but a reality. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has started to implement a program where payments are based on the ability of providers to meet key National Quality Strategy Domains (e.g. care criteria). Public payers are testing this new methodology, and private payers are expected to soon follow.
These big data analytics applications can also be relevant for the FDA, which may want to see how drugs perform in a non-test environment to ensure the appropriate patient populations are receiving the drug. I also expect pharmaceutical companies to actively scour this data to track drug efficacy post-release or identify markets that could “benefit” from increased penetration.
I am eager to see how the data evolution improves outcomes for doctors and patients.
As often as I can, I savor each one for at least 20 seconds. Why? Because according to a researcher from the University of Toronto, “The longer that something is held in awareness and the more emotionally stimulating it is, the more neurons that fire and thus wire together, and the stronger the trace in memory.”
While some argue that healthcare doesn’t have a place on social media, we beg to differ. If you desire a branded practice with a distinct online voice that represents your true persona as a business, social media is great place to start and encourage a conversation with current and future patients. Though beginning your social media pages can be a bit daunting, McCauley Marketing Services is here to walk you through. Below, find four basic points to touch on when setting up your social media pages and creating a social media marketing strategy with our team.
Target market: Who is it?
Pinpointing your target audience so that you can tailor your content specifically to them can strengthen, streamline, and focus your efforts. Ask yourself questions about your current patient base as well as the ideal patients you want to see more of. Samples: What types of procedures are they most interested in? What is their age range? Where do they live? What websites or social mediapages do they currently like?
Goals: What do you want to achieve, and how long are you giving it?
When you made the decision to jump on the social media train, you had a purpose outside of just existing among competition. Are you selling a product that you’d like to increase the potential amount of buyers for? Do you aim to direct more traffic to your website or blogs? A great thing about social media is that it is very quantifiable, so you are able to see what content works best with concrete numbers to back it up. While creating your goals, establish timelines along the way to ensure you’re getting the results you desire and on the same page as your marketing team.
Budget: How much do you realistically want to put into your social media?
It may be free to set up an account on most social media platforms, but paid advertising is an increasingly popular and often effective way to reach a wider audience. How much do you want to put towards advertising? We recommend trial periods of putting a certain amount of dollars into advertising per month and adjusting your budget until you reach a number that balances your financial ability and marketing goals.
Peers: Who do you admire?
Observe what other businesses like yours are doing online. Which social media platforms do they use and what kind of content do people seem to engage with? What tactics of theirs would you like to emulate, and what would you rather stay away from?
When you meet with us, McCauley Marketing Services, we will cover far more than just the basics of setting up accounts and are happy to help you understand the social media process in an easily comprehendible way. If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your healthcare business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today. Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
The University of Tasmania's Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Understanding Dementia, is a 9-week online course that builds upon the latest in international research on dementia. It's free and anyone can register.
The development and availability of wearables is running hand in hand with the exploding interest in the digital health space. Managing our health via apps and devices is slowly becoming the norm. And patients that need to monitor their condition day-to-day have even more to benefit from this powerful combination. Startups are of course entering this space in droves.
The latest is a startup which launches out of stealth today: MyHealthPal, an iOS app and analytics platform that enables people with long-term health conditions to manage their condition, is initially focusing on Parkinson’s Disease, but could be applied similar diseases.
It’s now secured an initial seed funding of £500,000, and launched a trial with the highly respected Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) could soon follow Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) ,Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF ) , and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) into the healthcare field. According to a recent Reuters report, the company is experimenting with online support communities for patients and mulling the development of personal health and fitness apps.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has expressed its interest in the healthcare field. In 2012, the company asked users to specify their organ donor status, which caused average daily online organ donor registrations in the U.S. to soar from 616 to 13,054, according to theAmerican Journal of Transplantation. When Facebook acquired virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR for $2 billion earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited telehealth (virtual doctors’ appointments) as a possible use for the technology.
Although Facebook’s support groups and mobile apps are still in the early planning stages, it’s fascinating to consider how the company could redefine “social healthcare” with its 1.3 billion monthly active users.
The business of social healthcare Facebook wouldn’t be the first company to create online social groups for patients and doctors.
Back in 2008, Google launched Google Health, an ambitious effort to connect fragmented electronic health records, or EHRs, into a single personal health record, or PHR. That effort was abandoned in 2011 after the service failed to achieve mass adoption among doctors and patients. Last November, Google launched Helpouts, an “expert marketplace” which can help connect patients to doctors via video connections.
Meanwhile, smaller companies like Doximity and Personiform are emulating Facebook andTwitter‘s (NYSE: TWTR ) networking models to connect doctors and patients to one another. Doximity, which had nearly 300,000 members as of January 2014, allows physicians to connect to each other and share patient data in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
Doximity’s iOS app. Source: iTunes
Personiform’s Project Medyear connects patients and physicians by merging Twitter hashtags with Google+ circles. Patients can actively share their health problems and symptoms on the network with hashtags, which helps them connect with strangers with the same ailment. To protect their privacy, Medyear uses Google+ circles to form “CareRings”, which control exactly who sees their health information. Physicians can join also the network to connect with their patients.
WebMD (NASDAQ: WBMD ) , which offers support groups via its online communities, lets physicians use its Medscape mobile app to send medical information to patients who use WebMD’s mobile app. Last October, the company acquired Avado, a developer of cloud-based patient relationship management tools, to enhance this system.
Considering all the activity that’s going on in this field, it makes a lot of sense for Facebook to experiment with using its sprawling social connections to link patients and physicians to each other.
The business of preventative care apps Meanwhile, preventative care apps — like exercise, diet tracking, and calorie counting apps –are a big part of the booming mobile health (mHealth) market, which Grand View Research estimates will grow from $1.95 billion in 2012 to $49 billion by 2020.
Apple, Google, and Samsung are all getting ready to capitalize on that growth. Apple recently launched HealthKit, its unified dashboard for iOS health apps and wearables. Google will soon respond with Google Fit, a similar platform which notably lacks HealthKit’s integration with EHRs. Samsung has S Health, another similar dashboard for Samsung phones and Gear smart watches.
These platforms are all designed with the expectation that sales of smart watches will soar. Current forecasts mostly back that belief — for example, research firm ON World believes that smart-watch shipments will surge from less than 4 million in 2013 to 330 million by 2018.
With these unified healthcare platforms and devices taking over smartphones, it would be wise for Facebook to offer health-tracking features to its 1.07 billion mobile monthly mobile users, who generated 62% of the company’s advertising revenue last quarter.
The Foolish takeaway Although the healthcare market is a lucrative one, it will also be a challenging one for Facebook to break into.
Facebook’s constant shifting privacy settings, its dependence on targeted advertising for revenue, and its controversial “emotional manipulation” experiment could all hurt Facebook’s chances at evolving into a trusted healthcare network or developer of health-tracking apps. Last year, Reason-Rupe’s survey of over 1,000 American adults revealed that 61% did “not trust Facebook at all” for protecting their personal information and privacy.
Becoming a private social network for patients and doctors is a smart next step for the social network, but we should remember that Facebook couldn’t compete against LinkedIn(NYSE:LNKD ) for a simple reason — the former was a place for personal posts, while the latter hosted professional profiles. We could see the same problem with asking patients to share health information on Facebook — its reputation as a casual social network could prevent it from ever being taken seriously as a healthcare platform.
Leo Sun owns shares of Apple and Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), LinkedIn, and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), LinkedIn, and Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
1. Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, or kombucha. These foods are excellent for detoxification and can help nourish gut bacteria. A lot of times sugar cravings are a symptom of a much deeper imbalance in the gut. Along with fermented foods, you can take a dairy free probiotic capsule to come back into balance.
2. Choose bitter foods like arugula, dandelion greens and even schizandra berries. Bitter foods can help prevent or reduce sugar cravings by retraining the taste buds. Not only that, but bitter foods are great for liver detox and if you’ve been eating too much sugar, chances are your liver could use some extra love!
Nintendo’s first entry into the “quality of life” business, which it plans to release by early 2016, is a device that tracks a user’s level of fatigue by monitoring sleep.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata detailed the device at a meeting for investors in Tokyo on Thursday, following the release of the company’s second-quarter financial report.
“There is no argument that whether or not we have sound sleep or not significantly affects our health,” Iwata said, “and many of us recognize through our daily lives that accumulated fatigue makes it difficult to maintain good health.”
“Fatigue and sleep are themes that are rather hard to visualize in more objective ways. At Nintendo, we believe that if we could visualize them, there would be great potential for many people,” he said.
There's good reason chia seeds have been on everyone's minds these days. These tiny seeds are high in protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s, but there is a right and wrong way to eat them, and one man recently learned the hard way."
In one patient case study, one man experienced intense dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, after ingesting a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and chasing it with water. One of the reasons chia seeds are touted for weight loss is because they expand multiple times their size in water and help you feel full for longer. However, taking down a dry tablespoon and chasing it back with H2O is not going to lead to a comfortable experience, since they don't have time to reach your stomach to expand.
At one time or another, we’ve all experienced rushing mindlessly through our daily routines, missing how there are many opportunities to turn routine activities into moments for mindfulness, (How To Practice Mindfulness (No Matter How Busy You Are)...
Exercising doesn't have to be costly. In fact, some places don't even charge a cent, so there's no excuse for not moving those muscles. Here are some Auckland-based ideas for easy-on-the-wallet - New Zealand Herald
Technology is shaping the future of healthcare, and while technology has brought a number of innovative healthcare solutions, some are worried about the growing impact and potential danger of unregulated health IT apps. Plenty of health and fitness apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play range from harmless to helpful, but doctors are worried about untested and unregulated apps that claim to replace medical devices or diagnose illnesses. Doctors are now asking the FDA to take notice and are warning the public to evaluate these apps with a critical eye.
Says Stark: “The new MOOC platforms provide a way to deliver high-quality nutrition education to thousands of individuals worldwide. In addition, experiences from online courses can benefit face-to-face courses on campus.”
Noting the two-way process, she adds: “Lessons learned from a global audience can be incorporated into live offerings.”
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