H4D facilitates access to healthcare by allowing patients to consult a doctor remotely in the Consult Station®, the first connected local telemedicine booth. This medical device allows quality healthcare to be delivered for primary care, occupational health, and general health promotion.
From McKinsey & Company (June 11, 2020)
For the past 10 to 15 years, virtual health has been heralded as the next disrupter in the delivery of care, but there has been minimal uptick in adoption. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing against structural barriers that had previously slowed health system investment in integrated virtual health applications.
From the Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2020):
“We have to operate a hospital within a hospital, taking care of the needs for patients who have had strokes or a newborn delivery or need surgery while dealing with an otherwise healthy 35-year-old who picked up Covid-19 at a social event,” says James Linder, chief executive of Nebraska Medicine…
For instance, more hospitals are remotely triaging and registering patients before they even arrive. Clinicians can consult with patients from their home via telemedicine to help determine how sick they are and if they need to come to the ER at all. From there, admissions are made with as little contact with staff or other patients as possible.
Hospitals are rethinking how they operate in light of the Covid-19 pandemic—and preparing for a future where such crises may become a grim fact of life.
With the potential for resurgences of the coronavirus, and some scientists warning about outbreaks of other infectious diseases, hospitals don’t want to be caught flat-footed again. So, more of them are turning to new protocols and new technology to overhaul standard operating procedure, from the time patients show up at an emergency room through admission, treatment and discharge.
From The Guardian (April 16, 2020):
“As this epidemic makes clear, at any moment, any of us could become sick, could become hospitalized, could be on a mechanical ventilator,” said Adam Gaffney, an ICU doctor in Boston. “And that, in the United States, could mean potentially ruinous healthcare costs.”
With over 21,000 people dead and more than a 547,000 infected with the coronavirus in the US the last question on a person’s mind should be how they will pay for life-saving treatment.
There were 27.9 million people without health insurance in 2018, and record-high unemployment will increase that figure by millions
But as the death toll mounted, a patient who was about to be put on a ventilator in one of New York City’s stretched to capacity intensive care units had a final question for his nurse: “Who’s going to pay for it?”
Conclusion: The study was inconclusive with respect to potential differences in progression of individual radiographic features after surgical and non-surgical treatment for degenerative meniscal tear. Further, we found no strong evidence in support of differences in development of incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis or patient-reported outcomes between exercise therapy and arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.
Objective: To evaluate progression of individual radiographic features 5 years following exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy as treatment for degenerative meniscal tear.
Design: Randomized controlled trial including 140 adults, aged 35-60 years, with a magnetic resonance image verified degenerative meniscal tear, and 96% without definite radiographic knee osteoarthritis. Participants were randomized to either 12-weeks of supervised exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. The primary outcome was between-group difference in progression of tibiofemoral joint space narrowing and marginal osteophytes at 5 years, assessed semi-quantitatively by the OARSI atlas. Secondary outcomes included incidence of radiographic knee osteoarthritis and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, medial tibiofemoral fixed joint space width (quantitatively assessed), and patient-reported outcome measures. Statistical analyses were performed using a full analysis set. Per protocol and as treated analysis were also performed.
Results: The risk ratios (95% CI) for progression of semi-quantitatively assessed joint space narrowing and medial and lateral osteophytes for the surgery group were 0.89 (0.55-1.44), 1.15 (0.79-1.68) and 0.77 (0.42-1.42), respectively, compared to the exercise therapy group. In secondary outcomes (full-set analysis) no statistically significant between-group differences were found.
From Bob Grant, The Scientist Magazine (April 1, 2020):
Prevention has been playing a growing role in other diseases, infectious and otherwise, long before this latest global pandemic. Cancer, the focus of this issue, is ubiquitous, and one would be hard pressed to find a person anywhere on Earth whose life wasn’t in some way touched by the complex and vexing malady.
This cancer-focused issue features a cover story in which we explore one facet of cancer prevention: exercise. In this feature story, Danish researcher Bente Klarlund Pedersen explains that studies have shown frequent exercise to be useful in avoiding cancer as well as in helping cancer patients lessen the side effects of their cancers and treatments. Her research and that of others is seeking to enumerate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the benefits exercise seems to offer cancer patients.
But when one considers the practical ripples that biology sends through societies—issues of public health and the shared goal of minimizing the impact of diseases on a global scale—human behavior and prevention become vitally important.
Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But experts have said it could take a year to 18 months for one to hit the market. The process for testing and approving a vaccine is long and complicated.
That can be frustrating when the coronavirus is taking more and more lives every day. But cutting corners to push a vaccine through faster can lead to devastating consequences. We know that, because it’s happened before.