From India to the ends of the earth, this week’s healthcare roundup focuses on happenings both at home and around the world. Read on to learn what’s new in medical news.
A Text Message a Day May Keep The Doctor Away – Reuters
A recently published study from Australia is directing attention to the connection between healthy lifestyle habits and daily reminders from the doctor. The study found that patients who received regular text messages from their physicians were more likely to adhere to healthy behaviors. The study compared two groups of heart disease patients. The texts, which touched on topics like exercising, smoking, and eating, were sent to one half of the group. The other received no contact aside from routine scheduled appointments. Over a six month period, the patients who received the regular texts showed distinctly improved outcomes regarding blood pressure, weight loss, tobacco use, and cholesterol levels in comparison to those who did not receive the texts. These findings allude to a pathway for improvement in an area of patient functioning that is typically less susceptible to physician influence. Read more here.
Why India Is A Hotbed Of Antibiotic Resistance And Sweden Is Not – NPR
The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy just released a report outlining the spread of antibiotic resistance around the world. Long considered exclusively a “rich nation” problem, this report highlights how the disbursement of resistance has become a controversial global issue. The report breaks down the stereotype that wealthy countries like the U.S, Japan, and Korea are solely susceptible to resistance, and provides insight as to the condition of countries like India, Vietnam and Kenya. It is among these and other less developed nations where antibiotic overuse and resistant bacteria are beginning to cause serious complications for the general population and the larger medical landscape. Read more here.
Philly Hospitals Prepare for Unusual Illnesses Before Pope visit – Associated Press
With the Pope’s scheduled U.S. tour approaching, medical facilities in Philadelphia, the city of his impending visit, are preparing for abnormal illnesses, atypical to the city’s usual patient scene. Initiated by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the city’s medical leaders are considering the influx of international visitors who may be coming from regions where infectious diseases, including typhoid fever, polio, malaria, and tuberculosis, are still a viable, realistic concern. 1.5 million visitors are expected to flood the city in anticipation the famous religious figure, and this infusion of global perspective highlights a unique approach to contextual awareness in the modern medical landscape. Read more here.
Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight – New York Times
In 24 hours the cost of Daraprim, used to treat acute parasitic infections, inflated from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. The drug suffered this radical price increase following its purchase by Turing Pharmaceuticals. This startup is run by founder and CEO, Martin Shreli, a past hedge fund investor, who claims the increase is justified based on “similar” medications selling for comparable rates. However, the new price has many health care professionals and patient recipients scrambling for alternatives. This move is not an isolated event, and the increase of medication prices for profit is driving both protest and conversation about the balance between patient access, medical advancement, and the sustainability of the health care system. Read more here.
Are You Ready For A Medical Emergency Up In The Air? – Medical Daily
The New English Journal of Medicine recently released a report called “In-Flight Medical Emergencies during Commercial Travel”. The report highlights the likelihood and statistics surrounding life threatening health emergencies occurring on flights, along with the importance and value of physician intervention. The report suggests all physicians prepare ahead of time by considering their personal approach to handling a variety of in-flight emergencies, the most common of which include psychiatric emergencies, trauma, stroke, and contagious disease. Both the article and report illustrate the limited medical training of airline staff, and describe how the lives of injured, ill, or at risk flyers often reside in the hands of the physician on board who is prepared for crisis and volunteers his or her services. Read more here.
Check back next week for another roundup of medical news on the BoardVitals blog.