Bringing Scientific Rigor to Medical Research Using Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology applied to medical research can improve trust in science by creating an unchangeable, time stamped record of the research findings. Blockchain technology, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, ensures that transactions entered into a ledger cannot be changed with time. As applied to the cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC), the result is a monetary system that, cannot be manipulated by a centralized government because it creates a permanent and accurate record of all transactions. The strength of the system comes from its use of a distributed database as compared to current monetary systems that require a centralized database such as is used by credit card companies and banks. Applying this same technology to medical research increases trust in the results because just like bitcoin, the transactions (scientific data collected) are permanently archived in an unchangeable, immutable manner.

The exchange of money, just like the conduct of medical research, requires a high level of trust. Money in the past has generated this trust through government regulations and central bank oversight. Medical research in the past has attempted to create high levels of trust through peer review conducted by reputable medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Both methods of generating trust rely on a trusted central authority, either the government or a medical journal. As such, both methods are highly susceptible to fraud via corruption or innocent errors of the centralized authority. This has led to widespread distrust in medical research. Bitcoin operates differently, because it sets up a method of relying on a distributed network based upon a mathematical algorithm, rather than centralized authority susceptible to human error.

Financial transactions require perhaps the highest level of trust. People need to know that all transactions recorded in the ledger be entirely accurate and totally resistant to being changed in the future. Because blockchain technology as implemented in bitcoin has earned this trust, bitcoin has become a widely used store of value with a market capitalization of over $100 billion USD. When other cryptocurrencies are considered, the total trust in blockchain based financial systems exceeds $250 billion USD. Similarly, health care professionals need to be able to trust that data obtained from medical research is both completely accurate and completely immutable. Physicians need to know that medical research isn’t plagiarized or fraudulent in any way. Blockchain technology has made bitcoin a trusted, global currency. In the same way, blockchain based medical research will greatly increase trust in the results and as a result, improved medical care.

Aging Does Not Have to Mean Decreased Quality of Life Thanks to Holistic Medicine

One unavoidable facet of the human condition is the progression of time and the correlating health changes that go along with the passage of time. Those who are aging typically face conditions that weaken the body and reduce the quality of life as the years add up. There are various holistic approaches that can help these individuals tone their bodies and improve their quality of life again. These approaches avoid the prescribed medications of functional medicine and focus on other treatments that utilize natural compounds and therapy focused on movement and invigoration.

Healthy Eating Habits

Fruits and vegetables are important to help the body stay fit and operate as it should. Eating organic is a big boost to the body’s efforts to maintain strong muscles and healthy skin. Making sure to include the right amount of Vitamins C, D, E and K as well as Vitamin A will keep the body functioning as it should and help individuals enjoy their remaining years.

Supplements

Holistic medicine believes that providing the body with the natural compounds it needs, the body’s capabilities return to what they were in the individual’s younger years. It is important to take supplements rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants in order to help the body complete processes as it should.

Skin Care Taken Seriously

The first step is to minimize sun exposure and also cut down on the amount of chemicals the skin is exposed to on a regular basis. Next, it is important to use topical vitamin C and moisturizers to help the skin stay supple and healthy.

The aged look of skin can be addressed and reduced, provided you utilize the right products and don’t -buy into the promises from make-up or cleansers that are sold for profit and not for the true benefit of the consumers.

Exercise and Sleep Can Mean the Difference

It is important to get enough sleep and make sure to take proper care of teeth and gums. This allows the body to handle illness and any pain or discomfort as it should, rather than having the focus diverted to these issues or the energy available reduced due to lack of sleep.

For those who want to stay healthy, it is important to fit in some exercise, even if it is a regularly scheduled walk. The body needs the exercise to help burn fats and process certain compounds to remove them from the system.

Functional medicine revolves around a specified pain or condition, the diagnosis of said illness and prescriptions meant to resolve or at minimum keep the issue at bay. For those who want to feel healthy and avoid taking too many prescriptions, it is wise to turn to the holistic option to evaluate the potential answers for the condition the sufferer deals with on a daily basis. The prognosis may be better, and the sufferer may get more immediate resolution to the problem. A happy ending using natural solutions can be within reach quickly. Functional medicine has its place, but holistic medicine is an undervalued resource for those with chronic conditions.

Types Of Genetic Disorders

Genetic disorders occur as a result of abnormalities or variations in the information encoded by the genes and chromosomes. As per the available information on genetic disorders, these disorders can be broadly classified into four different categories, which are as follows:

1. Single-gene Disorders: Also known as Mendellian or monogenic disorders, these occur when the changes or mutations occur in only a single gene. Some well-known examples of single-gene disorders include cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Marfan syndrome, Huntington’s disease and hereditary hemochromatosis. Single gene disorders can be further classified into autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked dominant, X-linked recessive and Y-linked disorders.

2. Multifactorial Genetic Disorders: Also known as polygenic, these disorders occur as a result of mutations in multiple genes. These disorders are really complex, difficult to analyze and hard to treat. Some examples of multifactorial disorders include autism, coronary heart diseases, cleft palate, mental retardation, cancer and diabetes.

3. Chromosomal Disorders: These diseases occur as a result of abnormalities in the chromosomal structure such as missing or presence of extra copies of chromosomes. The most well-known chromosomal disorder is the Down syndrome or Trisomy 21 where a person has three copies of chromosome 21. Other examples include Klinefelter syndrome, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, Turner Syndrome and Williams’ syndrome.

4. Mitochondrial Disorders: These disorders occur when there are mutations in the mitochondrial DNA or the non-chromosomal DNA of the cell. These disorders are maternal in origin as only egg cells contribute mitochondria in a developing embryo. One very good example of a mitochondrial disorder is the Leber’s Hereditary Optic neuropathy.

Dental Health Activities

Dental health activities are designed to encourage good dental health practices and to help avoid dental cavities, gum diseases and oral cancer. State dental health programs are the primary entities responsible for conducting the core activities with regard to oral health conditions within different states. Local health departments in association with the dental community and public/private schools also arrange various dental health activities. The promotion of dental sealants and monitoring of the fluoride content in drinking water are examples of disease prevention activities. The American Dental Association provides a great deal of resources for dental health activities.

Classroom dental health activities are an integral component in the development of a child. Dental health activities to provide valuable oral care education and to promote the importance of proper dental hygiene among children are conducted with the help of posters, interactive dental health games and contests, health fairs and classroom presentations. Health educators present programs on topics such as brushing and flossing, bad breath, good nutrition and how to overcome the fear of visiting the dentist. The organization and administration of school-based fluoride mouth rinse programs and the promotion of school dental screening are examples of additional dental health activities focused on children.

Organizations such as Oral Health America develop, implement, and facilitate educational and service programs designed to raise awareness of the importance of oral health. Nationwide activities and campaigns coordinate schools, governments, care providers, and corporate and community partners in the fight against tooth decay and oral disease prevention. Many state dental health programs are involved in epidemiological surveys, applied research projects and community needs assessments. This information is important in developing an appropriate and responsive community programming. Many public health systems operate independent public health dental activities. These activities vary in scope and size across each state depending on population requirements. State grants are allotted to develop innovative dental activities and programs specific to individual states? needs, and improve access to oral health services.

Misuse of Medical Equipment

When doctors order tests like x-rays and CAT scans they usually only need a simple reason for doing so. Unfortunately, in many cases these types of health care equipment is misused or ordered when it is not really necessary. When this happens a patient ends up paying for a service they should not have had to. The costs alone from misuse of health care equipment is staggering. Not only is it putting a dent in the pockets of patients, but it is also part of the reason for rising health care costs.

Besides the financial side of misuse of health care equipment, there is the health concerns to consider. X-rays, for example, are known to be dangerous. A person is being subjected to radiation which can be profoundly damaging to the body. There is a limit on the recommended number of X-rays a person should receive, but many times when a doctor orders a x-ray, they are unaware of the person s history with getting x-rays. Additionally, x-rays are harmful for pregnant women and for reproductive organs, in general. Too many x-rays can lead to many health problems.

The misuse of health care equipment is something that is likely to go unnoticed. More and more insurance companies, though, are requiring further validation for such uses which may help to end misuse. However, most of the time as long as a doctor deems it necessary, the procedure will continue.

When it comes to medical equipment, x-rays are probably the most used type of health care equipment. In emergency rooms around the country, doctors usually are quick to order an x-ray if the diagnosis is not immediately recognizable. The misuse of health care equipment can lead to many problems for the patient.

The Health Care System is Broken – Should Big Parma Buy Hospitals?

We all know that the health-care system in the United States of America is broken and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. As podium pushers and politicians tell us that they will give us universal health care we all know that that is impossible. We also know that the Social Security system is running dry and we can barely afford that.

We know that there are all kinds of lobbyists from the health-care industry in Washington, DC trying to keep it going and keep the government paying for all these health services in our hospitals. The truth this is the Medicare system in the United States was originally ill-conceived and it is only gotten worse throughout the years. Today it represents a huge cost that we can no longer afford.

Indeed the health-care system is broken, but who is coming to the rescue and how come these politicians keep promising us universal health care – a scheme that would clearly bankrupt our nation? So who is going to bail out all the hospitals if the government stops footing the bill?

Maybe big Pharma and the pharmaceutical companies might buy up all the hospitals in order to make sure that those hospitals only sell their drugs? America is on drugs there is no doubt about that and the average Grandma now is probably taking 13 different medications all counter-acting each other, wow, now that is certainly quality of life.

It is incredible this crisis – maybe we should combine these two crisis – the health-care industry and big Pharma and put them together so we can manage them better as we cut off some of this excessive corporate welfare? Too hard hitting for you? So, what’s your solution then?

American Health Care Industry – Why Innovation is So Difficult

Healthcare industry presently in United States is in miserable condition, the delivery of treatment to consumers is often inefficient, ineffective and consumer unfriendly. The problems in the sector had been well documented and they range from medical errors, which by some estimates contribute around 8 percent of all deaths in United States, soaring cost of health care administration, the amount of time one get an appointment with the physician and inadequate facilities.

Why there are no innovations in the industry to improve it

Despite enormous investments in innovation and magnitude of the opportunity for the innovators, not many people are willing to invest in the industry. The reasons are numerous but one of the primary reasons is failing of too many efforts. Not many companies have able to translate their paper plan in the real world. One example of a massive failure is, managed care revolution that ended up losing $40 billion of investors’ money into biotech venture and into endeavors of achieving economies of scale to fragmented physician practices.

How we can improve present state of American health care industry

The idea of universal coverage is in rounds in public domain for years now, and there are no signs that Bush administration will take such restructuring of the system. The second solution to the problem is to focus on particular areas rather than solving the problem at once. These areas can be chosen carefully by the company according to its expertise and core competency. Some of the areas to focus which companies can zero down on are –

Innovations in the delivery of health care can result in more convenient, effective and less expensive treatments for today’s time stressed and increasingly empowered health care consumers.

New Drugs, diagnostic methods and drug delivery system can offer the hope of better treatment and care at lesser cost.

Healthcare is still astonishingly fragmented industry and integrated health care activities can increase efficiency, improve care and save consumer time.

Health Travel to Mexico Growing Due to Availability of Safe, Affordable, High-Quality Options

With the skyrocketing costs of health care, the issue of health travel or “medical tourism” has been generating lots of buzz in the media. Within the last few weeks, stories about health travel have hit the pages of publications like US News & World, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, detailing how health travel offers people high quality health care at a price far more affordable than the US. It’s a benefit without boundaries – meaning, the cost savings are for anyone who wants them, including the thousands of insured who are nevertheless facing higher premiums, reduced coverage, and higher out-of-pocket deductibles and co-payments.

While much of the press has focused on exotic locales like India, Mexico is actually the most common destination for Americans traveling for health care. Last year alone more than 50,000 Americans traveled to Mexico seeking everything from heart surgery, hip replacement, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic surgery procedures, preventive screenings and even homeopathic health treatments. Mexico is widely recognized for its number of leading gastroenterology (weight loss) surgeons.

In its study Medical Tourism: Consumers In Search of Value, Deloitte estimates the number of medical travelers is expected to reach 6 million per year in 2009. The growth is not surprising – the typical medical traveler receive outstanding quality health care at significantly lower cost over U.S. pricing.

For example, in Mexico, weight loss surgery ranges from $6,000-$11,500 vs. the $25-35,000 price tag in the U.S. Hip replacement is $10,000-$12,000, compared to $60,000+ in the U.S. A $100,000 angioplasty in the U.S. is $25,000 in Mexico – featuring a surgeon who regularly spends at least three months of his operating time in the U.S.

Mexico offers the additional benefit of having direct flights from many U.S cities, and most surgeons are fluent in English as well as Spanish. The hospitals that welcome medical tourists are sleek, modern affairs featuring amenities such as patient suites, sushi restaurants and a medical traveler concierge, while even newer, more sophisticated hospitals continue to be built.

Do your research to find the medical tourism company that best suits your needs. There are companies that guide patients through the process of getting medical treatment abroad, handling every detail of your trip – from insurance to financing, arranging for air travel, accommodations, appointments, transportation to and from your procedure and even keeping you in touch with friends and family.

Telehealth Resource Center Grant Project

The Health Resources and Services Administration, frequently known as the HRSA, is an agency operating inside the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is largely answerable for bettering the public’s access to quality health care services.

The grants and initiatives of the HRSA are all particularly designed to contribute to the attainment of its main agency mission which is to “improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health work force and cutting edge programs.”

In accordance with this mission, the Health Resources and Services Administration has recently constituted the establishment of the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program, also known as the TRCGP.

Essentially, the aim of the program is to be able to financially support the establishment and development of Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs).

The Telehealth Resource Centers will be engineered to provide technical assistance to health care affiliations, health care networks, and several other groups of health care providers during the process of implementing inexpensive telehealth programs that would serve medically underserved communities and populations.

With this, the program will be able to expedite and customize the provision of telehealth technical assistance services throughout the country, while simultaneously moving towards the provision of a wide range of expertise that may not be readily available in any existing community.

The program seeks to seek applications from entities who have already manifested daunting experience in providing technical assistance regarding the development of sustainable telehealth programs.

In addition, the program also hopes to expedite the successful dissemination of health-related information, the effective collusion and communication between health care providers, and finally, the marketing of the integration of new technologies used in clinical information systems with other telehealth technologies.

The Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program intends to financially support the creation of up to five Telehealth Resource Centers by administering funds in the amount of $1,625,000.

The organizations and institutions who will be eligible to submit an application under this program are the following:

a) Non-profit setups

b) Faith-based organizations

c) Community-based organizations

d) Tribal non-profit organizations

The Department of Health and Human Services, the mother agency that is financing the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program, is the federal government’s leading agency that is responsible for defending the health of all Americans through the provision of essential human services to all, giving greatest priority to the vulnerable and to the medically uninsured.

Health Insurance Representative

The health care agent will be someone with whom a person shares a lot of important information and with whom they are basically trusting their health and their life to. It is natural, then, that a person chooses someone they feel like they can communicate with openly and whom they can trust. They should also make sure that their health care agent shares the same ideas as they do. For example, if a person is into alternative medicine then they should chose a agent who feels the same. It is very useful that a person feels relaxed enough with their agent to be able to tell them all their problems and to be open and honest with them, including being able to object to something should the need arise.

Ensuring Satisfaction with a Health Care Representative

Selecting a health care agent should be a decision that is carefully made. A health care agent should be a trusted and respected person. There are some important considerations a person should make when choosing their health care agent.

Other considerations when choosing a health care representative have nothing to do with the actual doctor. A person should feel happy with the entire service, including the office staff. They should be happy with the appointment scheduling process, too.

Choosing a health care representative is a big decision that should not be made lightly. A person needs to get to know a representative before making that final decision. Once a person takes the time to choose a health care representative they should end up happy with a good, long term relationship.