Article | August 31, 2023
Since ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022, artificial intelligence (AI) tools have become disruptive to nearly every industry. While there's been controversy about whether AI would benefit the healthcare industry, it has proven to be just as capable in healthcare as in other sectors.
In the medical field, there is reason to believe AI tools may be an even more reliable and useful resource than other sectors. Medical students have been panicking over AI's threat to their career prospects. But as these systems mature, the experts increasingly believe that AI may serve as a counterpart to human medical expertise rather than a threat.
How AI Tools Are Expected to Aid Medical Professionals?
Again and again, as the debate over modern AI tools rages on, we encounter the analogy of the calculator. No one feels threatened by calculators, not even professional mathematicians. Instead of throwing up their hands, math experts embrace the power of these now archaic computerized devices. If the experts are correct, this may be similar to the future of the alliance between AI and humans.
According to the designers and programmers who understand how these systems work as well as how information technology tends to progress, AI can be expected to help the medical profession in the following ways:
Cosmetic Surgery Consultations
One of the farthest-reaching applications we see develop is in consultations for plastic surgery and similar applications. Perhaps one of the easiest aspects to understand is hair-loss consultations. In our practice, we use a device known as HairMetrix, which uses an AI-driven analytical system to help determine what is causing a patient to lose their hair and which treatment options would be the most effective.
Because it is AI-driven, it is fully based on visual scans and is completely non-invasive. Just like this, AI can be used in an abundance of other ways to minimize the use of exploratory surgery and improve healthcare outcomes.
Artificial intelligence is already helping medical providers deliver diagnoses more quickly. These tools can identify anomalies that might otherwise take human hours or even weeks to identify. This has improved the rate of cancer detection, among other things, which will predictably improve survival rates.
Developing New Pharmaceuticals
The development of new medicines is notoriously slow. Not only is testing a painstaking process, but even seeking FDA approval can take years. AI is expected to help the development of pharmaceuticals through simulation on the molecular level, allowing researchers to see how the active mechanisms in a drug will work in the body.
Improved Administrative Efficiency
In the medical field, administrative tasks are notoriously slow. It is believed that generative AI will be able to automate many administrative functions and innumerable office chores. It could streamline sorting patient files, accelerate the interpretation of data, and much more.
In an area where information technology is already improving patients' lives, access to medical advice is still a bottleneck in the system. AI tools have the potential to slowly bridge the gap in health disparities. Combined with the power to diagnose, this could dramatically increase the capability of online patient portals.
Of course, this list of anticipated AI capabilities is far from exhaustive. Researchers and medical professionals have high hopes for these tools, and some are already proving to be more than mere speculation.
In a world where AI is reshaping industries at an unprecedented pace, the healthcare sector stands poised to benefit significantly from this technological revolution. From streamlining administrative tasks to revolutionizing diagnostics, the potential of AI in medicine is vast and diverse. As we witness AI-enabled tools like HairMetrix, enhancing the cosmetic surgery consultations and AI algorithms expediting diagnostic accuracy, it's clear that we are only at the beginning of a healthcare transformation that is set to improve patient care, increase survival rates, and revolutionize medical practices.
Article | November 29, 2023
Combating stress and anxiety can be a major challenge these days, but there are certain behaviors that contribute to those feelings, and you can take action right now to stop them and focus on your wellbeing. By taking a look at the way you react to others, how you practice self-care, and what kind of attitude you approach new tasks with, you can make some positive changes to your lifestyle that affect both your personal and professional lives.
Stop stressing over your current job
Almost everyone experiences job-related stress at some point in their lives, but when those feelings become overwhelming, it may be time to consider your options, according to Zenbusiness.com. Those in corporate positions and high-level management often cope with the most stress or anxiety due to the number of people they have working under them. If you find yourself bringing home feelings of irritability, or if you suffer from insomnia or a lack of focus during the day, take a look at open positions elsewhere and think about how much moving on could help you maintain a higher level of mental health. It can be scary to think about making such a major life change, but you’ll never know what possibilities lie out there if you don’t take a leap.
Stop competing with others
While some competition in the business world is a healthy motivator, other types can leave you feeling terrible about yourself. Rather than comparing your lifestyle or achievements to someone else’s, try to practice gratitude each day by using mindfulness techniques that allow you to focus on your own actions. Focus on your strengths and remind yourself that you’re doing the absolute best you can each day. Make it a point to congratulate others on their achievements, especially your coworkers, and do what you can to build others up. When it comes to social media, remember that the things we share only give a glimpse into the whole story, and that comparing your life to another’s can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing.
Stop ignoring your physical needs
While your mental wellbeing is obviously an important focus, it’s also crucial to think about how you can make sure your body is getting everything it needs. Working a corporate job often means sitting stationary at a desk for long hours, working through lunch hours, or working at home even after you’ve clocked out for the day. Allow yourself to rest by setting boundaries once you’re home, and give yourself the tools to get better sleep by creating an end-of-day routine that will help you relax and prepare to let the workday go. Eat plenty of lean protein and leafy greens to keep your energy up, and make it a point to get up and move around at work. You might also invest in a standing desk, as those come with multiple health advantages for individuals who spend much of the day sitting.
Stop dreading the new week
It can be helpful to set some boundaries where work is concerned, but it’s also important to get organized in order to banish that dread you feel on Monday morning. Facing a busy week can bring on stress and anxiety that leaves you feeling unprepared, but if you take the time to write out a to-do list on Friday, you can jump right in at the beginning of the week without feeling frazzled. It can also help to have something to look forward to, such as promising yourself a little treat once you get a certain amount of work done. Staying productive can be a big help, so if you have time left toward the end of the day and there’s a small task still to be done, don’t let your desire to leave early on a Friday afternoon take over. Finishing up can give you a sense of satisfaction and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed once the new week starts.
Stop saying yes to everything
Another behavior that leads to feeling overwhelmed is saying “yes” to anyone who asks for your time or energy. You may feel that doing so contributes to a helpful, team-oriented atmosphere at work, but it becomes a problem when you take on too much without focusing on your own needs at least part of the time. Learning how to diplomatically say no when you can’t take on any more responsibilities is a form of self-care that can banish stress and allow you to focus on your own needs without feeling guilty.
Letting go of stress, anxiety, and poor health habits can take some time, but by creating some new routines you can learn new habits that help you tackle anything life throws your way. Write down a strategy that encompasses your daily schedule, and get organized both at work and at home for maximum mental health benefits.
Health Technology, Digital Healthcare
Article | August 16, 2023
Throughout my professional carrier, I iused to visit many companies involved in drug discoveries and had seen the challenges they go through. Some are pleasant as the investigational molecules were moving forward in value chain whereas few faced bottlenecks at the end. The association with Pharma industry over the years had taught me about many new ideas and allowed me to see that how innovative ideas are impacting our social and scientific world to a great extent. The changes we see today, are the results of ideas came from various quarters globally and I feel digital innovation had shaped today’s world differently. The impact of digital platform in today’s Pharma world is a “Game-Changer".
Innovation is a continuous process which simplifies challenges into reality and plays a very important role in our society. Centuries ago, scientists used to spend years in laboratories to understand material science. The chemical science evolved around discovering elements, synthesis of compounds or even isolating products from natural resources. Today’s world is highly indebted to those discoveries and efforts and modern science has gradually moved towards digital platform. Last few decades, innovations based on new technology platforms has made huge impact in scientific discoveries and few such ideas and action I feel has brought significant changes. Our lifestyle and social environment have witnessed deep impact due to such innovation. The chemical science is evolved not around only chemists today but have huge influence of mathematicians and technologists for faster development.
Advancement of digital science, new algorithms to solve the problems has modified the way of drug discovery to a great extent. In the recent past, we were heavily depended on big machines, but innovation has brought the whole items in a small packet now. The technology platform is modified, speed has increased in identifying new drugs with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is accelerating the drug discovery and development processes. Today’s Pharma industries for commercial supplies are now depended on automation, optimization of the manufacturing processes, as well as designing effective marketing and post-launch strategies. The process is aimed to have better control on the operation, improving safety and better predictability of quality. For conducting clinical trials, identifying patient’s profile, an eligibility criteria is crucial which has been made by the processes being faster and cost effective by introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Earlier when focus was to identify the origin of life, finding new elements, compounds or building blocks, today’s world is heavily dependent on data or ‘Big Data’. The amount of information available throughout drug discovery and development process, analyzing, interpreting, and predicting right candidate require high-performance systems to analyze data properly and derive value from it. There is advancement of analytical techniques, which provides more accurate information about the clinical trial reports and the data across patient pool, zeroing down towards right candidate is a real challenge and there are several AI enabled tools available where the processing time is reduced significantly which might have taken several years. The exciting part is that innovation is not only limited to laboratory work but works in coordination of mathematical interpretations, data analysis and provide significant clues to develop new molecules and even provide approach towards therapeutic categories. Currently available advanced technologies enhance drug development process, making it less time-consuming and cost-effective process where AI can recognize hit and lead compounds, and provide a quicker validation of the drug target and optimization of the drug structure design. Data scientists play a very significant role in all these activities.
Innovation focusing personalized medicine is now a reality and companies involved in such basic research have made breakthrough to understand how the human body responds to drug. Software solution is also available for simulating effects of drugs in patient body based on individual characteristics, scientific data for real time prediction of efficacy and drug interaction on individual. These predictive models are shortening drug discovery pathways to a great extent. Small molecule drugs or even large molecules development are heavily depended today on such modelling and predictive approach. The aim to reduce cost of drug development, shortening discovery path, focus on clinical trial mechanism is more productive with a higher success rate. During the pandemic period, in a shortest possible manner, several companies started working to develop new drugs or vaccines using drug-specific exposure models for drugs under investigation for the treatment of Covid-19.
Similarly, discovery platform is also working on cutting edge technology ‘Organ-on-a-chip’ that can emulate the physiological environment and functionality of human organs on a chip for disease modeling, mimicking the impact and could be a game changer in future. I will be happy to see when technology platform can accurately predict human mind and with the help of AI, can find a probable solution to avoid any such complex conflicts. It would be interesting to see that AI is analyzing and predicting the chemical change in the bodies impacting human mind and analysisng it quickly to predict psychological behavior of the patient and guide physician for right therapy. This may lead to predicting problems one may face in old ages where the decays may be prevented at early stage. This is a challenge but understanding and predicting psychological behavior may improve patients’ life. Depression and its remedy may be based on understanding changes, patterns of physicochemical behavior and its impact during mood swing and predicting such things in advance by using the advanced AI tools could be a game changer.
Another path breaking development where technology involving both engineers and scientists to help drug design to obtain maximal therapeutic benefits for patients including designing drug delivery systems and biomedical devices is 3D-printing technology. This involves high end computer simulations making analysis faster and predictive than before. Influence of 3D printing in designing variety of dosage forms has simplified its preparation. Though further study is under progress but the technology implementation at late has reduced cost of drug development to a significant extent and will add value in future drug development. It is interesting to see how this 3D printing technology works on human brain mapping and predicting a right path for treatment for betterment of large patient pool. Today with advanced technology, we are now more dependent on machines, limited close interaction with our near and dear ones, but created more friends on social platform. Though life looks easy, but over dependent on machines is creating another complex environment and this growing complexity may change the disease pattern. It will be interesting to see that how these technology platforms improve further to ease out such complexities for a healthy future.
Future of Healthcare
Article | December 8, 2020
Let’s face it. It’s been one tough year with too many of us sitting idle and indulging in calorie-laden foods for way too long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe. For all too many, sheltering in place has prompted unwelcome weight gain—a troublesome truth as we head into the holiday season where gluttony oft reigns supreme.
That said, many individuals did have foresight and motivation back in March and the months that followed, wisely leveraging that extreme downtime to “diet for dollars” with HealthyWage—a pioneer of money-driven weight loss contests and challenges for individuals, teams and business groups. In fact, those who started a 6-month HealthyWager challenge during the pandemic (late March through May) broke company records, spurring a dramatic increase in pound shedding success rates—and in-kind cash payouts—against the norm. So motivated became America to drop, or avoid, the so-called ‘quarantine 15’ and score some cold hard cash in the process, HealthyWage reports that this past May it logged a substantial year-over-year increase in challenge participants at large. This is not surprising given Google search trends indicates the portion of people searching for weight loss hit a 5-year high in May of 2020—a level even exceeding the quintessential New Year’s diet resolution season.
Beyond the fact that people who started weight loss wagers during the pandemic achieved much greater success as compared to participant results the prior year, and earning hundreds and even thousands of dollars for their efforts, it is women and individuals under 30 years of age primarily accounting for the sustained increases. For example, among the litany of pandemic era success stories, Lisa S. won over $1,900 for losing 50 pounds in 6 months while Hayden T. won over $1,200 for losing over 62 pounds in 6 months—both during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the coronavirus rages on well into the fourth quarter, we collectively find ourselves again having to shelter-in-place. Those trying to reconcile how they will survive this next round of being home bound, and the holiday season at large, with mitigated waistline and budgetary wreckage—and who are even planning their New Year resolution approach just beyond—would be wise to consider the gamified dieting approach. “Loss Aversion is a powerful dynamic and the reality of having ‘skin in the game’ can propel the results of a gamified weight loss initiative,” notes HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry.
The efficacy of diet gamification is well-proven. For one, according to study findings published by JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral economics-based gamification led to “significantly” increased physical activity among overweight and obese Americans. In this particular study, pairing a step tracking device with social incentives led to sustained, long-term behavior change—prompting participants to take more steps then with a step tracking device, alone. While the report explains that “gamification interventions significantly increased physical activity during the 24-week intervention,” with competition being the “most effective.”
That’s something HealthyWage has seen play out since launching its weight-loss gamification platform in 2009. HealthyWage is, in fact, founded on earlier substantive research and "double-incentivization" methodology that proves competition and rewards—especially the cash variety—can as much as triple the effectiveness of weight loss programs.
“A key element for the success of a gamification program is giving participants something to lose if they fail to meet their goal—whether tangible or intangible,” notes Roddenberry. “In this particular study, it was just points at stake but even this effected behavior change. There are actually throngs of studies demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.”
A few other notable HealthyWager success stories (both female and male) are case-in-point. These include Jean N. who lost 71 lbs. and won $3,357.99 for her efforts, and Jeremy M. who also lost 71 lbs. and won $1,886.32 for his own slimdown success. From its website, HealthyWage.com shares yet more inspirational success stories of both women and men who gained financially for their pound-shedding achievements using the company’s unique gamification approach. This includes Kristin W. who lost a staggering 114 pounds and won $4,000 for her efforts, Anastasia W. who lost 41 pounds and won a whopping $10,000 in kind, and Blake S. who lost an impressive 151 pounds and won $4,670 for his own slimdown success. Figures that are tasty, indeed.
These and other such HealthyWage payouts are proof positive. For their weight-loss achievements that collectively exceeds an astounding 1,050,000 pounds for this year, alone—269 of which losing in excess of 100 pounds (and nearly 7.5 million pounds lost since the company’s launch), HealthyWage has reportedly paid more than xx30,000 dieters over $13 million cash in 2020, specifically, and over $55 million cash since its inception in 2009.
HealthyWage programs apply these principles:
HealthyWager Challenge: participants commit to a weight loss goal and an upfront financial payment and get their money back plus a financial return if they accomplish their weight loss goal. The average participant loses 40.7 pounds and gets paid $1,245.
HealthyWage Step Challenge: participants commit money and agree to increase their steps by 25% over 60-days. If they achieve their goal they get their money back plus the money from those who don't hit their goal.
Upholding the new findings while also further validating HealthyWage’s well-honed approach, an additional study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine continue to prove that money is an effective motivator to “increase both the magnitude and duration of weight loss.” The same hold true in business for staff wellness initiatives. Results from one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that “Loss Incentive’ Motivates Employees to Take More Steps ,” finding that financial incentives framed as a loss were most effective for achieving physical activity goals.
As a prolific corporate and group wellness purveyor, since 2009 HealthyWage has worked with an array of hi-caliber participants on workplace and staff wellness initiatives, including Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and more than 25% of the largest school districts in the country. HealthyWage has, in fact, formally created competitive, money-motivated programs for more than 1000 Fortune 500 and other public and private companies, hospitals, health systems, insurers, school systems, municipal governments and other organizations throughout the U.S., and their program has been more informally run at more than 7,000 companies and organizations seeking to bolster staff health and well-being, and boost bottom lines in kind.
“Throngs of studies reiterate the importance of the 'stick' in the design of a wellness incentive program, whether for individuals at home or for employee groups,” Roddenberry says. “Many studies have demonstrated that the threat of losing something of value is much more effective than the opportunity to win something of equal value. That’s precisely why we advocate that program participants ‘pay to play’ and make an investment out of their own pocket in order to win rewards—in our case large cash prizes—for losing weight and getting more active in the program.”
Studies do consistently show that monetary incentives serve to enhance the effectiveness of, and duly complement, weight-loss programs of any and all sorts, especially when paid out quickly like HealthyWage’s various programs. For its part, HealthyWage reports that the average participant more than doubles their investment if they are successful at achieving their goal. The financial upside potential is impressive.
So, if this is the season when you would like to not only resolve to lose those extra lbs. but also actually achieve that worthy goal, consider a cash-fueled approach. It just might give you that extra dose of motivation that’ll truly help you stay the course, shed weight and make some extra money in the process. There’s no better time than right now to bank on yourself.