Article | April 1, 2020
Drug discovery is a notoriously long, complex and expensive process requiring the concerted efforts of the world’s brightest minds. The complexity in understanding human physiology and molecular mechanisms is increasing with every new research paper published and for every new compound tested. As the world is facing a new challenge in trying to both adapt to and defend itself against the coronavirus, artificial intelligence is offering new hope that a cure might be developed faster than ever before. In this article, we will present some of the technologies being developed and applied in today’s drug discovery process, working side-by-side with scientists tracking new findings, and assisting in the creation of new compounds and potential vaccines. In addition, we will examine how the industry is applying AI in the fight against the coronavirus.
Article | April 1, 2020
Tempted to throw in the towel on your New Year’s resolutions? It’s a natural reaction during this unprecedented year. I’m here to tell you it’s okay—and you probably don’t need them anyway.
You’re in good company if you’ve given up on the big shifts. According to widely-cited research study, only 19% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions. In addition, this may not have been the best time to make changes, given all that’s going on with the pandemic.
Also, worthwhile to consider the following insights on the unease with making big changes these days. According to research published in Molecular Psychiatry, when you go through prolonged challenging times (and the pandemic certainly qualifies), chronic stress can change the architecture of your brain and make you feel worn out, anxious, fearful, or depressed. These aren’t the best conditions for making major changes.
You may also face “change saturation,” or in other words, you’ve had to make so many transitions, you just can’t make any more. To prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed, focus on attainable aspirations. Here are a few recommendations.
DREAM ON A SMALLER SCALE
Success for the next 12 months may be closely tied to a less-is-more approach. Instead of seeking a whole new career, maybe you can set your sights on getting assigned to a new project at your current company. In other words, consider how you can tweak your behaviors rather than overhauling them.
Cultivate gratitude. Appreciate the little things. When you’re more tuned into what you have, you’re less focused on what you still want. This “enough mentality” can be helpful to your mental health. You don’t have to make big changes to achieve satisfaction or happiness. Contentment starts with gratitude.
Avoid perfectionism. Often, the fuel for big changes is a feeling you or your situation are not perfect. Remind yourself that perfection is a myth and focus on what’s working. This will help you find fulfillment with your present reality (even if it’s not all you aspire to).
Make a list, then edit down. Another great way to keep your ambitions reasonable is to make a list of all you want to accomplish and then eliminate everything but the top three items. A surefire route to frustration is to expect too much and put unrealistic pressures on yourself. Instead, focus on just a few vital things you want to accomplish, rather than a long list that does not empower you. After you’ve accomplished the first three goals on your list, you can always come back to the others, but give yourself a fighting chance to achieve the most integral top three, first.
Keep yourself accountable through specific techniques—and pay attention to events that may cause you to slide backwards. Research in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explains that 40% of your behaviors occur in similar situations, which is to say familiar circumstances encourage the repetition of choices. Therefore, if you’re able to adjust one potentially repeated behavior, it can make a difference.
Create routines and conveniences. When you want to nurture a behavior, make it a default so you’re not thinking consciously about it. Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found when you repeat behaviors in a consistent context, it helps with habit formation and these take hold much more effectively. You can use this to your advantage. Instead of making a conscious choice each morning whether you want the donut or the smoothie, have the sliced fruit ready to go and the blender on the counter so when you arrive bleary-eyed to the kitchen in the morning, you’re just doing what’s already laid out. Start each day with the routine of responding to quick-hit emails. Rather than deciding what to work on first, just create a routine where you’re repeating behavior that works without as much conscious thought.
Plan ahead. When you can plan for things, you can usually control them more effectively. If you’re going to be in a situation that might create challenges for your new behaviors, make a plan. Perhaps you’re going to the grocery store and you can make a plan to avoid the cookie aisle. Or if you’re back in the office, avoid the calorie-tempting socially distanced happy hour with colleagues by leaving right on time and get a head start on the big project you’re working on. Anticipating what might present challenges will help you overcome them.
Support can be the difference between making small changes and not succeeding at all. Find a source that works for you.
Find friends. Create a virtual group of people also trying to make changes. Perhaps there’s an online group where you can exchange healthy recipes or provide mutual encouragement for regular trips to the gym. Also tap into your existing network and ask your friend to check in with you to see if you’ve had your workout for the day. Seek out colleagues who can nurture the writing skills you want to develop. Find people who encourage you, provide feedback, and remind you about your ability to succeed.
Use technology thoughtfully. There are a wide variety of virtual solutions to help you shift your behavior. Download the app that allows you to track your water intake or the app that will send you notifications if you haven’t moved enough in the last hour. Look for apps that can help you learn the new language you’ve been wanting to add to your skill set or that can connect you with colleagues who have like-minded ambitions. Behavior shifts are most likely to occur with planning, reminders, and feedback. So, find apps that provide these three kinds of support.
Give yourself permission to do less for now and know you can always do more later. In the meantime, stay strong and be satisfied with a little progress for now.
Article | April 1, 2020
Do you know a friend or loved one who suffers from fear, anxiety, and depression and do not know what to do to help them?
It can be frustrating to watch someone you know struggle with their mental health and not be able to do anything to relieve their suffering.
With this in mind, here are seven ways to help the person cope in these kinds of situations.
1. Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression: There are many books and information that will educate you on how to successfully overcome fear and anxiety. Share this information with the individual who is struggling with their fears. The key is to get your friend to understand how important it is to seek some guidance when it comes to their mental health.
2. Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears: Maintaining depression and anxiety can be difficult for the individual so do not add more problems than what is already there. Do not get into arguments with your friend who may be having a difficult time with their anxieties. Make an effort to listen to the person rather than making judgements.
3. Talk to the person instead of talking at them: It is important not to lecture the individual who’s having a hard time with anxiety and depression. Talk to the person about their issues without being rude. Most people will listen if you approach them in a proper manner. Remember to treat others the way you would want to be treated if you were the one who was struggling.
4. Ask for some ideas: Seek advice from a professional who can assist the person you know with their mental health issues. A counsellor can give you some ideas on how to overcome anxiety, fear, and depression. Getting help from a therapist is the number one priority in getting the individual to do something about their problems.
5. Find out why the person won’t get assistance: Address the issues on why he or she will not seek treatment. Many people who are struggling are fearful and frustrated. Try to find out the reasons why your friend won’t get the help they need and then try to find the ways that will overcome their resistance of seeking some guidance.
6. Remind the person on the consequences of not getting help: Another way to convince the individual who is struggling with fear and depression is to tell them what may happen if they don’t get some counselling. Anxiety and depression can make things worse and usually won’t go away by themselves.
7. You can’t manage your mental health all by yourself: A person’s fears and anxieties can be difficult to manage and more than likely he or she will need some help. Many people think that they can overcome their mental health problems on their own. This is a mistake. The individual should admit they have a problem and then seek treatment to get their life back on track.
Article | April 1, 2020
It’s clear that 2020 Healthcare will be the year of big market disruptions. With data-rich players such as Amazon and Google entering into the healthcare market space, many traditional health care systems are reviewing their own strategic plans with an eye towards staying relevant. According to a recent analytics survey by HIMSS, 32% of respondents said that population health is a top focus moving forward, and nearly 60% are eager to make improvements in care. Most traditional healthcare organizations recognize the importance data analytics play in better health management and patient outcomes, but many fall short in actively using these analytics to impact care. A 2019 poll found that 84% of healthcare executives believed analytics would be critical for success in the next three years, yet one out of every three of the healthcare organizations surveyed did not have a comprehensive strategy for analytics in place. Additionally, there is a huge potential to apply data analytics to areas beyond clinical care — a separate 2019 poll among health leaders found that while 90% of respondents report using data analytics in clinical areas, only 28% used analytics for effectiveness of care projects, only 22% were using it for population health, and a mere 11% were using it for chronic care management.