Active Aging Series: Beating Heart Surgery

March 31, 2016 | 186 views

Rockford Health System and Wesley Willows are proud to present the Active Aging series of educational topics for your healthy life. Active Aging presentations will be offered the first Thursday of every month. The events, held at 4142 Johns Farm Road in the Town Center of Wesley Willows, are free and the public is welcome to attend.

Spotlight

Voalte

Voalte develops smartphone alternatives that simplify caregiver communication. As the only company to offer a comprehensive Mobile Communication Strategy, Voalte enables care teams inside and outside the hospital to access and exchange information securely. Voalte customers benefit from a solid smartphone infrastructure that supports their existing systems and expands to accommodate future technologies. Founded in 2008, Voalte is a privately held company based in Sarasota, Florida. Over 35,000 caregivers use Voalte products every day.

OTHER ARTICLES
HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Role of AI and ML in the Healthcare Industry

Article | July 19, 2022

Alexa, Are You There? If Siri, Alexa, Google Now, or Cortana are your friends, you do not need any special introduction for today’s topic! This is because these digital assistants have become part and parcel of our lives; from completing our minimal tasks to helping us solve our problems, they make our day-to-day life simpler and more manageable. Popularly called AI, Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. Similarly, Machine Learning, also called ML, is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. Digital Assistants-cum-Doctor Assistants The unpredictable pandemic years, which took thousands of lives, depict the rise of complexities in the healthcare industry. To deal with such cases in the future tactfully, the healthcare segment needs to be proactive and implement advanced technologies to detect, resolve, and prevent untimely death. Modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning help the medical fraternity perform tasks usually done by humans quickly and accurately, saving much time that can be utilized elsewhere. Let’s take a quick tour of how AI and ML can boost the healthcare industry: Artificial Intelligence can broadly scan patient databases or consult patients via a chatbot or online support system to understand their symptoms, send data to doctors, and get real-time diagnoses and prescribed medicines. Machine Learning, a subset of AI, can replace traditional processes with a supervised one, as in, a patient can be treated based on similar symptoms and treatment of other patients. The process requires a quick scanning of the database, which can be time-consuming if done by human effort. Taking technology by storm, patients suffering from neurological disorders can be treated via Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) backed by AI. With the help of this technology, normal bodily functions, such as the ability to move, speak or react, can be restored. It can also assist doctors in treating patients with strokes, locked-in syndrome, etc.The healthcare segment is revolutionizing, as sensitive operations such as heart surgery are being performed with robotic precision and control with AI-based algorithms. For this purpose, precision machine learning processes are being used to train robots and improve accuracy. AI can also help in digital pathology. Instead of placing separate slides or tissue blocks and observing them manually, pathologists can do it via AI, which can help analyze digital slides using image analysis and machine learning. Toward an AI-friendly Life! If you never forget to wear a smartwatch, track daily steps, get water intake notifications, eat mindfully, and consistently monitor pulse rates, then you are already AI-friendly! You have successfully incorporated AI into your life and taken the first step towards a healthy life!

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

What are the Key Types of Healthcare Supply Chain Management Solutions?

Article | August 29, 2022

Introduction Within the last two years, the healthcare industry saw an influx in patient care as COVID-19 swept through communities across the globe. The widespread shortage of patient care tools, personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical technology amid the pandemic led to an exponential rise in health expenditures and demand for essential supplies. In response to the medical demand-supply imbalance, the governments of numerous countries increased their medical care expenditures to counter the challenges of patient care equipment shortages. For instance, according to the National Healthcare Expenditure Data, federal government spending on healthcare and medical care grew by 36% in 2020 and is estimated to reach US$ 6.2 trillion by 2028 in the U.S. Despite the rise in medical budget allocations, medical facilities are still facing difficulties obtaining enough supplies with the growing prevalence of numerous chronic, infectious, and hereditary diseases. As a result, organizations are focusing on deploying innovative solutions, such as healthcare supply chain management software, to keep track of inventory, procurement, logistics, and others and strengthen their supply chain. Healthcare Supply Chain Management Solutions: Key Types Healthcare systems, hospitals, and other patient care sites require a broad array of supplies to perform diagnosis and treatment, from masks and gloves to catheters and implants. Inadequate supplies coupled with inflation is making supply chain management a crucial but complex component in providing optimal patient care across the healthcare industry. This has shed more light on the role of supply chain management in saving lives. Effective supply chains help various regulatory agencies, including medical goods manufacturers and insurance companies, deliver essential supplies, resources, technologies, and other patient care goods to healthcare establishments. Supply chain management solutions are thus garnering massive traction among healthcare organizations for simplifying and automating manual supply chain and logistics operations. Let’s have a look at the types of supply chain management software that assist healthcare organizations to optimize their supply chain processes: Inventory Management Software Efficient medical inventory management is critical for the running of healthcare organizations. The software provides real-time inventory tracking, assisting organizations in closely monitoring inventory changes, avoiding shortages of both low-value and high-use patient care items, decreasing the wait time for access to medical supplies, and reducing the chances of late delivery. Order Management Software It is crucial for healthcare establishments to have an estimate of the demand and supply of goods to prevent shortages. Order management software enables these organizations to coordinate supply chain demand planning and forecasting. It also assists in streamlining warehouse operations, resulting in faster and more accurate order placement. Sourcing and Procurement Software By tapping into the power of sourcing and procurement solutions, healthcare organizations can develop robust sourcing processes and automate, streamline, and optimize their entire procurement processes. The software also assists establishments in improving their supply inventory levels, identifying the best supplier, and reducing their overall purchasing cost. Shipping and Tracking Software Shipping and tracking software assist in the planning and execution of the physical movement of goods. These solutions are primarily used by medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers during the delivery or relocation of patient care goods. The integration of these solutions enables organizations to track and manage numerous batches of goods in transit. The Bottom Line Growing competition, healthcare regulations, shipping costs, and increased logistics requirements from medical institutions have complicated the supply chain management processes. As a result, life-science companies are investing in cutting-edge supply chain management solutions to reduce numerous errors, improve logistics, and eliminate unnecessary costs spent to fix them. Thus, several companies are now emphasizing the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and data analytics, into healthcare supply chain management software to reap benefits such as process automation, streamlined inventory, reduced waste, improved decision-making, and lower labor, supply, and operational costs.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Can Medical Providers Recommend E-cigarettes for Smoking Cessation?

Article | September 28, 2022

Smoking has a lot of consequences to one’s health. It can lead to cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—all of which are chronic diseases. This is part of the reason why the Health and Human Services agency reports that 70% of adult smokers want to quit. As a medical provider, adults looking to stop smoking will come to you for advice and treatment. One alternative smoking product you might want to recommend is an e-cigarette, given their prevalence in recent years. In this article, let’s take a deeper look at whether e-cigarettes’ should be recommended for smoking cessation and what other treatment options to endorse to patients. Are e-cigarettes approved for smoking cessation? Electronic cigarettes, more commonly known as e-cigarettes, are devices that vaporize nicotine-based liquid to be inhaled by its user. It almost replicates the experience of smoking a cigarette due to the device’s shape and the vapor it produces. However, the FDA has yet to approve e-cigarettes for smoking cessation because there is currently limited research on their effectiveness, benefits, and risks for the human body. Additionally, scientists at the University of California found harmful metals in the vapor from tank-style e-cigarettes. These e-cigarettes are equipped with high-power batteries and atomizers to store more liquid. These result in high concentrations of metals like iron, lead, and nickel in the vapor. Exposure to and inhaling metallic particles may impair lung function and cause chronic respiratory diseases. As such, medical providers should not recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. What can medical providers recommend for smoking cessation? Smoking cessation medication Presently, two FDA-approved prescription medicines for smoking cessation are Bupropion and Varenicline. Bupropion is an antidepressant that decreases tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It does this by increasing the brain chemicals dopamine and noradrenaline. This comes in a pill and can be used alongside other smoking cessation aids. Varenicline also reduces cravings and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It blocks nicotine receptors in the brain, decreasing the amount of enjoyment one gets from smoking. One thing to note about this is that it will take several days for Varenicline's effects to take place. Therefore, it's best to prescribe these pills 1-2 weeks before the patient quits smoking. Like Bupropion, Varenicline may be used simultaneously with other quit-smoking products. Nicotine Replacement Therapy Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a treatment involving nicotine consumption at gradually decreasing levels. This reduces the patient’s desire to smoke without them having to quit cold turkey. NRT involves using nicotine alternatives that don’t produce smoke, such as nicotine pouches and nicotine gum. Nicotine pouches are oral products containing ingredients like nicotine, flavoring, and plant-based fibers. These are placed between the lip and gum, where nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream. Different variations have different strengths. On! pouches come in different strengths: 2mg, 4mg, and 8mg. Patients may start from 8mg variants and gradually decrease this dosage as their NRT progresses. Pouches also come in a wide range of flavors—including citrus, mint, and berry—to entice users. Meanwhile, nicotine gum is chewing gum that contains nicotine. It is chewed a few times before being parked between the gums and cheek for nicotine absorption. The nicotine gums by Lucy are a significantly better alternative for tobacco users. Like pouches, this gum comes in several flavors, such as cinnamon, mango, and wintergreen, and different strengths ranging from 2mg to 6mg. Counseling The recommendations mentioned above—medication and NRT—are more effective when coupled with counseling. A Primary Care Respiratory Medicine study revealed that successful smoking cessation is best attained through pharmacological treatment and counseling. Sessions typically involve a patient meeting with a counselor and they discuss their smoking habits, possible causes, and how to mitigate them. Medical providers should include counseling in addition to medication and NRT. E-cigarettes have yet to be approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids. For now, medical providers should provide medication, NRT, and counseling to patients who want to quit smoking.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Top 5 Ways for Strengthening Healthcare Supply Chain

Article | September 28, 2022

Introduction Healthcare supply chains are highly regulated, high-margin domains with stringent quality criteria, such as the demand for cold-chain storage and shipping. In addition, due to a lack of adequate understanding of the complicated rules governing healthcare products and services, medical aid providers are encountering inefficiencies while outsourcing capabilities to logistics service providers (LSPs). In today's value-based care paradigm, healthcare leaders are tasked with improving patient outcomes while decreasing costs. With surging globalization, the growing cross-border nature of several medical products, and rising complexities in healthcare logistics, the need for building a robust supply chain is rapidly increasing across the healthcare industry. Key Ways to Enhance Healthcare Supply Chain A resilient supply chain plays a vital role in managing supplies, procuring resources, and shipping medical goods, among others, which assists in improving patient outcomes, enhancing service efficiency, and declining costs. Healthcare organizations are aiming to strengthen their supply chain to enjoy these benefits such as increased reimbursement, improved quality control, reduced inventory and overhead costs, and better collaboration with suppliers. Here are some of the key ways to assist medical aid providers in building a strong healthcare supply chain Develop effective inventory management Manufacturers frequently encounter difficulties with timely inventory movement through their supply chains. Revenue is lost, and profit margins are harmed when products expire because they are not used adequately. This is why it is crucial to effectively manage the inventory process. Hence, healthcare executives should deploy a high-quality equipment management system and increase collaboration between organizations, suppliers, and manufacturers to assist them in controlling inventory levels and effective inventory management. Use technology and analytics to make operations run smoother When it comes to supply chain management automation, the healthcare sector continues to lag behind other sectors. This is true for both the enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions and data analytics use for making decisions about forecasting and product choice. Healthcare executives should make use of efficient technologies, such as solid analytics, in order to successfully improve a supply chain. Implementing data analytics and automation tools can assist in making healthcare supply chain management more efficient and effortless. Widen and strengthen the supplier base One of the most effective ways to build a robust healthcare supply chain is by increasing the number of suppliers and enhancing supplier base management. Manufacturers and purchasers should abandon using single-or limited-source supply chains for raw materials and finished goods. This will assist healthcare companies in expanding their network of raw material suppliers and helps in careful consideration of which suppliers to use for procuring which resources. Improve order accuracy and order cycle times to lower costs Healthcare providers sometimes encounter a large number of errors during the ordering process. When incorrect products are ordered, the facilities face losses in revenue and are sometimes unable to deliver specific services due to the unavailability of products they need. Errors in placing orders can also result in medication errors. This can lead to a decrease in patient outcomes and negatively impact the company’s revenue growth. To reduce the frequency of errors, these providers should deploy a computerized provider entry system. This will help improve order accuracy, increase supply chain efficiencies, and shorten turnaround times in healthcare ordering processes. Consistently track and calibrate performance Regardless of the size of the healthcare facility, it is of great importance for medical aid providers to carefully track and calibrate their performance frequently or on a specified timeline. This enables clinically integrated supply chains in healthcare to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to compare outcomes in terms of cost and quality and make decisions about products. What’s Next? The rising integration of novel disruptive technologies such as data analytics, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain into healthcare supply chain management software is facilitating smooth operations, transparency, growth, and security across the life-science industry. With a growing need for enhancing supply chains, healthcare providers are focusing on deploying advanced supply chain management solutions, such as healthcare logistics software, to strengthen their supply chains. As the trend continues to grow, the sales of healthcare supply chain management software and services are anticipated to rise from the US$2.2 billion registered in 2020 to US$3.3 billion by 2025.

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Spotlight

Voalte

Voalte develops smartphone alternatives that simplify caregiver communication. As the only company to offer a comprehensive Mobile Communication Strategy, Voalte enables care teams inside and outside the hospital to access and exchange information securely. Voalte customers benefit from a solid smartphone infrastructure that supports their existing systems and expands to accommodate future technologies. Founded in 2008, Voalte is a privately held company based in Sarasota, Florida. Over 35,000 caregivers use Voalte products every day.

Related News

Fitbit launched a large-scale study to validate its technology to detect atrial fibrillation

Fitbit | May 07, 2020

Fitbit launched a sweeping heart study on Wednesday aimed at exploring whether its devices can detect atrial fibrillation. The company's focus on health care, along with its work in clinical trials to alert users to conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea. Fitbit's strategy is to make easy-to-use health tools that detect a range of conditions more accessible to the general population. Wearables giant Fitbit launched a sweeping heart study on Wednesday aimed at exploring whether its devices can detect atrial fibrillation. It's part of Fitbit's broader ambitions in healthcare to use its wearable technology for preventive health to reduce the risk of life-threatening events like stroke by detecting problems earlier. With the launch of the heart study, Fitbit is chasing down competitor Apple which received FDA clearance in 2018 for its ECG feature and more recently launched a study with Johnson & Johnson to explore whether its own wearables can detect Afib. "Wearable data and the kinds of information wearable data can provide will serve as another tier in the healthcare system," Eric Friedman, Fitbit co-founder and chief technology officer told FierceHealthcare. Read More: DOXIMITY LAUNCHES DOXIMITY DIALER VIDEO- A FREE TELEHEALTH APP FOR PROVIDERS The company's focus on health care, along with its work in clinical trials to alert users to conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea, makes it clear that it wants to pivot its wearables from just fun accessories to health devices. Fitbit’s user-generated health data, combined with the company’s analytics, can provide an "early warning sign" to users about potential problems like irregular heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation (Afib), Friedman said. "It could serve as a 'check engine light' to help get that person to the appropriate level of care, and that could be, at first, a telehealth physician or a personal health coach. That's another layer in the healthcare system. Fitbit devices will be a "Minute Clinic' on your wrist before you have to go see a physician," he said. Fitbit's strategy is to make easy-to-use health tools that detect a range of conditions more accessible to the general population, according to the company. Until recently, tools for detecting AFib had a number of limitations and were only accessible if you visited a doctor, My hope is that advancing research on innovative and accessible technology, like Fitbit devices, will lead to more tools that help improve health outcomes and reduce the impact of AFib on a large scale. - Steven Lubitz, M.D., principal investigator of the Fitbit Heart Study Fitbit launched in 2007 and now has close to 30 million active users. In November, tech giant Google announced plans to buy the company for $2.1 billion, but that deal still needs to be approved by regulators. Scripps Research Institute and Stanford Medicine are collaborating with Fitbit on research aimed at using Fitbit data to help detect, track and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19. The two studies are examples of where Fitbit can fit in healthcare, Friedman said. The heart study looks at individual wearable data to detect heart health trends and the second study looks at population-level wearable data—including heart rate, sleep, and activity levels—to try to detect the early onset of a virus. "We're not trying to replace the healthcare system. Doctors and clinicians are dealing with acute healthcare issues and they don't have the bandwidth to look at longitudinal trends," Friedman said. "Where Fitbit wants to play and where we have value is that all-day, continuous health monitoring and guidance to help users stay healthy and manage their health conditions." Focus on heart health The Fitbit Heart Study aims to enroll hundreds of thousands of people, and its results will support the company’s regulatory submissions globally. To track heart rate, Fitbit’s devices use photoplethysmography (PPG) technology to measure the rate of blood flow directly from a user’s wrist. Theoretically, these measurements can be used to determine a user’s heart rhythm, which Fitbit’s algorithm will analyze for irregularities in the Fitbit Heart Study. Study participants who receive a notification about an irregular heart rhythm will be connected with a doctor for a virtual appointment at no cost and may receive a free electrocardiogram (ECG) patch in the mail to confirm the notification. One of the goals of the study is to understand how wearable data and virtual care can be used as a model of healthcare that does not involve in-person care, according to Tony Faranesh, senior research scientist at Fitbit. This model of care can be used to both offload the in-person care so the healthcare system can focus on more complicated, more acute health issues, and it's also a way of empowering and educating users about their own health and enabling them to make positive changes before they see a doctor. - Tony Faranesh, senior research scientist at Fitbit. AFib affects nearly 33.5 million people globally and patients with Afib have five times higher risk of stroke. But it also can be difficult to detect. Fitbit wearables have the potential to accelerate Afib detection because the devices provide 24/7 heart rate tracking. This enables long-term heart rhythm assessment, including when users are asleep. The optimal way to identify irregular rhythm through heart rate tracking technology is to screen when the body is at rest, according to the company. "We have the opportunity to develop and provide access to technology that may be able to improve public health and save lives," Friedman said. Fitbit also is pursuing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory authorities for its Afib detection software. Read More: HOSPITAL AND PROVIDER GROUPS CHEER NEW CMS FLEXIBILITY ON TELEHEALTH, CAPACITY AND ACO LOSSES Fitbit inked a multiyear partnership with pharmaceutical giants Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer last year to develop programs to identify and support people found to be at increased risk for stroke. Those programs will be implemented following FDA clearance for Fitbit's Afib detection software. Fitbit completed a clinical trial of its new ECG feature for spot detection of AFib and plans to seek review by the FDA and global regulatory authorities. About Fitbit We're a passionate team dedicated to health and fitness who are building products that help transform people's lives. While health can be serious business, we feel it doesn't have to be. We believe you're more likely to reach your goals if you're encouraged to have fun, smile, and feel empowered along the way.

Read More

The 5:2 Fasting Diet Benefits the Heart

LabRoots | March 21, 2018

A popular fasting diet called the 5:2 or “Fast Diet” may actually be better than traditional calorie-restricting diets for heart health. Scientists from the University of Surrey found recently that the 5:2 diet lowered levels of fat in the blood and reduced blood pressure. The 5:2 diet was popularized by British doctor and journalist Michael Mosley. The diet contains no requirements about which foods to eat, only about when you should eat them. Five days of the week are normal eating days, and the other two days of the week restrict calories to 500-600 per day, with at least one non-fasting day in between the two restricted calorie days.

Read More

Heart Failure from Pressure Overload is Preventable

LabRoots | March 20, 2018

Heart failure that ultimately results from disease factors like high blood pressure can be predicted and potentially prevented. In a new University of Alabama at Birmingham study, scientists show how macrophages from the immune system contribute to pressure overload-related heart failure. Pressure overload that leads to heart failure can either be in the form of high blood pressure or aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve opening in the heart narrows and causes the heart muscle to work harder than it should.

Read More

Fitbit launched a large-scale study to validate its technology to detect atrial fibrillation

Fitbit | May 07, 2020

Fitbit launched a sweeping heart study on Wednesday aimed at exploring whether its devices can detect atrial fibrillation. The company's focus on health care, along with its work in clinical trials to alert users to conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea. Fitbit's strategy is to make easy-to-use health tools that detect a range of conditions more accessible to the general population. Wearables giant Fitbit launched a sweeping heart study on Wednesday aimed at exploring whether its devices can detect atrial fibrillation. It's part of Fitbit's broader ambitions in healthcare to use its wearable technology for preventive health to reduce the risk of life-threatening events like stroke by detecting problems earlier. With the launch of the heart study, Fitbit is chasing down competitor Apple which received FDA clearance in 2018 for its ECG feature and more recently launched a study with Johnson & Johnson to explore whether its own wearables can detect Afib. "Wearable data and the kinds of information wearable data can provide will serve as another tier in the healthcare system," Eric Friedman, Fitbit co-founder and chief technology officer told FierceHealthcare. Read More: DOXIMITY LAUNCHES DOXIMITY DIALER VIDEO- A FREE TELEHEALTH APP FOR PROVIDERS The company's focus on health care, along with its work in clinical trials to alert users to conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea, makes it clear that it wants to pivot its wearables from just fun accessories to health devices. Fitbit’s user-generated health data, combined with the company’s analytics, can provide an "early warning sign" to users about potential problems like irregular heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation (Afib), Friedman said. "It could serve as a 'check engine light' to help get that person to the appropriate level of care, and that could be, at first, a telehealth physician or a personal health coach. That's another layer in the healthcare system. Fitbit devices will be a "Minute Clinic' on your wrist before you have to go see a physician," he said. Fitbit's strategy is to make easy-to-use health tools that detect a range of conditions more accessible to the general population, according to the company. Until recently, tools for detecting AFib had a number of limitations and were only accessible if you visited a doctor, My hope is that advancing research on innovative and accessible technology, like Fitbit devices, will lead to more tools that help improve health outcomes and reduce the impact of AFib on a large scale. - Steven Lubitz, M.D., principal investigator of the Fitbit Heart Study Fitbit launched in 2007 and now has close to 30 million active users. In November, tech giant Google announced plans to buy the company for $2.1 billion, but that deal still needs to be approved by regulators. Scripps Research Institute and Stanford Medicine are collaborating with Fitbit on research aimed at using Fitbit data to help detect, track and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19. The two studies are examples of where Fitbit can fit in healthcare, Friedman said. The heart study looks at individual wearable data to detect heart health trends and the second study looks at population-level wearable data—including heart rate, sleep, and activity levels—to try to detect the early onset of a virus. "We're not trying to replace the healthcare system. Doctors and clinicians are dealing with acute healthcare issues and they don't have the bandwidth to look at longitudinal trends," Friedman said. "Where Fitbit wants to play and where we have value is that all-day, continuous health monitoring and guidance to help users stay healthy and manage their health conditions." Focus on heart health The Fitbit Heart Study aims to enroll hundreds of thousands of people, and its results will support the company’s regulatory submissions globally. To track heart rate, Fitbit’s devices use photoplethysmography (PPG) technology to measure the rate of blood flow directly from a user’s wrist. Theoretically, these measurements can be used to determine a user’s heart rhythm, which Fitbit’s algorithm will analyze for irregularities in the Fitbit Heart Study. Study participants who receive a notification about an irregular heart rhythm will be connected with a doctor for a virtual appointment at no cost and may receive a free electrocardiogram (ECG) patch in the mail to confirm the notification. One of the goals of the study is to understand how wearable data and virtual care can be used as a model of healthcare that does not involve in-person care, according to Tony Faranesh, senior research scientist at Fitbit. This model of care can be used to both offload the in-person care so the healthcare system can focus on more complicated, more acute health issues, and it's also a way of empowering and educating users about their own health and enabling them to make positive changes before they see a doctor. - Tony Faranesh, senior research scientist at Fitbit. AFib affects nearly 33.5 million people globally and patients with Afib have five times higher risk of stroke. But it also can be difficult to detect. Fitbit wearables have the potential to accelerate Afib detection because the devices provide 24/7 heart rate tracking. This enables long-term heart rhythm assessment, including when users are asleep. The optimal way to identify irregular rhythm through heart rate tracking technology is to screen when the body is at rest, according to the company. "We have the opportunity to develop and provide access to technology that may be able to improve public health and save lives," Friedman said. Fitbit also is pursuing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory authorities for its Afib detection software. Read More: HOSPITAL AND PROVIDER GROUPS CHEER NEW CMS FLEXIBILITY ON TELEHEALTH, CAPACITY AND ACO LOSSES Fitbit inked a multiyear partnership with pharmaceutical giants Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer last year to develop programs to identify and support people found to be at increased risk for stroke. Those programs will be implemented following FDA clearance for Fitbit's Afib detection software. Fitbit completed a clinical trial of its new ECG feature for spot detection of AFib and plans to seek review by the FDA and global regulatory authorities. About Fitbit We're a passionate team dedicated to health and fitness who are building products that help transform people's lives. While health can be serious business, we feel it doesn't have to be. We believe you're more likely to reach your goals if you're encouraged to have fun, smile, and feel empowered along the way.

Read More

The 5:2 Fasting Diet Benefits the Heart

LabRoots | March 21, 2018

A popular fasting diet called the 5:2 or “Fast Diet” may actually be better than traditional calorie-restricting diets for heart health. Scientists from the University of Surrey found recently that the 5:2 diet lowered levels of fat in the blood and reduced blood pressure. The 5:2 diet was popularized by British doctor and journalist Michael Mosley. The diet contains no requirements about which foods to eat, only about when you should eat them. Five days of the week are normal eating days, and the other two days of the week restrict calories to 500-600 per day, with at least one non-fasting day in between the two restricted calorie days.

Read More

Heart Failure from Pressure Overload is Preventable

LabRoots | March 20, 2018

Heart failure that ultimately results from disease factors like high blood pressure can be predicted and potentially prevented. In a new University of Alabama at Birmingham study, scientists show how macrophages from the immune system contribute to pressure overload-related heart failure. Pressure overload that leads to heart failure can either be in the form of high blood pressure or aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve opening in the heart narrows and causes the heart muscle to work harder than it should.

Read More

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