Can alkaline water treat cancer?

The term “alkaline” refers to water’s pH level. It’s measured in a range from 0 to 14. The only difference between this type of water and regular tap water is the pH level.Regular tap water has a pH level of around 7.5. Alkaline water has a higher pH of 8 to 9. The higher the number, the more alkaline. The lower the number, the more acidic.According to a study from 2013, water with a low (acidic) pH tends to have toxic effects.It was once thought that ingesting acidic foods and drinks may increase your risk of developing cancer. It’s also been said that an acidic diet feeds cancer cells, allowing them to thrive and spread.Here’s what you need to know about the potential benefits and risks of alkaline water.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

The promising future of Wellness Industry in India

Article | September 7, 2023

In today's uber-fast-paced world, the human race, in general, has gotten highly comfortable running on all cylinders in the rat race of life, especially people in India. Our country is a land where opportunities are aplenty, and competition is ever-present, which makes every day life so tedious and constant that taking a breather is something that people can rarely afford. This has led to increasing cases of anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and insomnia. These cases rose to such high numbers that it gave way to one of India’s most prominent industry sectors: The Wellness Industry. Though the industry captured global attention between 2015 and 2017, a study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that the wellness industry is currently valued at $1.5 trillion globally. This sudden boom can be attributed to the realisation that it is more important to remain healthy than getting healthy. Furthermore, the report, produced after analysing 7500 consumers in six countries (including India), has offered keen insights into consumer behaviour. When it comes to wellness consumers, their trends can be grouped into six categories: Health: People are now investing in many remote medical devices that can constantly monitor their state of well-being. With the increase in popularity in digital wearables, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring services, this trend is bound to increase. Fitness: People are exercising more. Whether it’s jogging, going to the gym, investing in a pedometer, FitBit, etc., there has been a steady increase in people exercising more. Nutrition: Dieting has always been a significant part of being healthy. An increase in dietary food, supplements, nutrition coaches can be observed in recent years. Aesthetics: With a major chunk of India’s youth population getting invested in their social media, notably the pictures that they post, aesthetic well-being has seen a sharp increase. This includes investments in specific Athleisure clothing apparel (Nike, Addidas, Puma), skincare products (collagen supplements, face masks), and plastic surgery. Sleep: Burning the midnight oil is counterproductive. There has been a steady increase in consumers willing to invest in sleep medications, specialised mobile applications that track their sleep and the state of their sleep, ASMR generating devices, White noise devices, and other products that can enable a consumer to maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Mindfulness: Introspection, understanding the body and its processes to the molecular level, and figuring out ways to implement clarity of thought and methods for improving focus have been huge draws for the wellness industry. Furthermore, with central government’s schemes like AYUSH and the introduction of International Day of Yoga by the United Nations, this particular trend has seen enormous growth. Impact of these trends on the future of Indian wellness industry Organic Products: According to APEDA, India has become one of the largest producers of organic products. A growing number are actively investing monthly in organically grown produce, meat that is organically processed, oil that is wood-pressed or cold-pressed, cosmetics made from organic materials, and clothes made from pure cotton instead of manufactured materials. People becoming more conscious of what they put in their bodies has led to a steady increase in organic shops across India. Exercise, Dieting & Nutritional Supplements: From using simple Calcium supplements and energy drinks to adhering to a strict diet regimen, today’s consumers are genuinely worried about falling sick. This has led to an increase in purchasing supplements. Another trend can be observed where an increasing number of consumers have started buying vitamin, Zinc, and iron tablets, to shore up immunity. Furthermore, Indians have begun consuming gluten-free cereal, cold-pressed juices, Kale products, Avocados, and other food products recommended to be healthier alternatives. Indians have also become BMI-conscious, and an increasing number of them have started to invest in gyms, yoga/cardio classes, exercise-wear, sports wearables, and other products that can enable a person to work out more effectively. Constant Increasing Demand for Oxygen: Even before the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting access to 99% breathable oxygen has pure oxygen was a necessity considering the rising concerns of pollution in Indian cities. As per the ‘World Air Quality Report, 2020’ prepared by Swiss organisation, IQAir, 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India, with Delhi being ranked as the most polluted capital city globally. Moreover, people who indulge in extreme physical workouts exercise, or suffer from high-altitude sickness, need oxygen handy to maintain their wellbeing. In India, prominent wellness companies like UCS Wellness Pvt Ltd have made significant strides to ensure that every individual has access to oxygen through their innovative specially outfitted 18-litre aluminium-bottled oxygen cans of 18 litres under their brand gO2therapy. With the pollution rate showing no signs of slowing down, and the steady increase in demand for oxygen, it would be no surprise to find every household medical kit fitted with a portable oxygen cylinder. Transitioning to Digital Platforms: With the increase in popularity of Telemedicine and Remote-patient monitoring, healthcare and the wellness industry are gaining an aggressive online presence. There are many online exercises/online videos, fitness apps, meditation apps, motivational apps, power coaches, and so much more. Indians find it easier to use these online tools combined with a digital wearable to keep their well-being in the best of conditions. Investing in Social Media Influencers: With the increase in online dependence, the voice of social media influencers is soon to be gospel when it comes to maintaining a fit body and healthy mind. Much like how mainstream celebrities endorse various products, the wellness industry has seen great rewards in deploying online influencers to support their products. Typical examples can include a famous workout specialist advertises particular apparel, gadget, energy drink, or brand of Whey Protein distributors as part of their video. Alternatives to Allopathy: In the Indian market, the wellness industry has seen a shift in paradigm where an increasing number of consumers opt for Siddha, or Ayurveda substitutes, instead of conventional medicine. This is seen more in the age group of 40+. This particular age group has patients with a long history of high BP, high cholesterol, and other ailments that require continuous monitoring and medication. They feel that the healthier choice is in traditional medicine or treatments like Panchakarma, Ayurveda, or Siddha. Conventional medication provides them with little to no side effects, which is the primary reason for its increasing popularity. India is expected to become a wellness hub in the global community following a 12% growth per annum. The Make in India initiative is expected to bring in more investments and opportunities in this sector. The Ministry of AYUSH, with a separate department for Yoga, has been exempted from service tax. A budget of around ?3,400 crores has also been earmarked to be spent over the next five years to help set up and strengthen Ayush Wellness Centers under the National Ayush Mission. This has sparked an increase in startups and businesses focusing on the wellness sector. Meanwhile, the global pandemic is also giving rise to a new consumer behaviour called wellness rebound where they are becoming more health-conscious and striving towards regaining their health soon after recovering from an illness. Considering the aftermath of the pandemic, the aggressive implementation of technology, and the constant consumer market in India, it can be inferred that the wellness industry will evolve and expand further with little to no backslide.

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Health Technology, AI

The digital hospital of the future

Article | July 18, 2023

​As the cost of care continues to rise, many hospitals are looking for long-term solutions to minimize inpatient services. Learn how technology and health care delivery will merge to influence the future of hospital design and the patient experience across the globe in this report developed by Deloitte US. Five use cases for the digital hospital of the future The future of health care delivery may look quite different than the hospital of today. Rapidly evolving technologies, along with demographic and economic changes, are expected to alter hospitals worldwide. A growing number of inpatient health care services are already being pushed to home and outpatient ambulatory facilities. However, many complex andv very ill patients will continue to need acute inpatient services. With aging infrastructure in some countries and increased demand for more beds in others, hospital executives and governments should consider rethinking how to optimize inpatient and outpatient settings and integrate digital technologies into traditional hospital services to truly create a health system without walls. To learn what this future of health care delivery may look like, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions conducted a crowdsourcing simulation with 33 experts from across the globe. Participants included health care CXOs, physician and nurse leaders, public policy leaders, technologists, and futurists. Their charge was to come up with specific use cases for the design of digital hospitals globally in 10 years (a period that can offer hospital leaders and boards time to prepare). The crowdsourcing simulation developed use cases in five categories Redefined care delivery Emerging features including centralized digital centers to enable decision making (think: air traffic control for hospitals), continuous clinical monitoring, targeted treatments (such as 3D printing for surgeries), and the use of smaller, portable devices will help characterize acute-care hospitals. Digital patient experience Digital and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can help enable on-demand interaction and seamless processes to improve patient experience. Enhanced talent development Robotic process automation (RPA) and AI can allow caregivers to spend more time providing care and less time documenting it. Operational efficiencies through technology Digital supply chains, automation, robotics, and next-generation interoperability can drive operations management and back-office efficiencies. Healing and well-being designs The well-being of patients and staff members—with an emphasis on the importance of environment and experience in healing—will likely be important in future hospital designs. Many of these use-case concepts are already in play. And hospital executives should be planning how to integrate technology into newly-built facilities and retrofit it into older ones. Technology will likely underlie most aspects of future hospital care. But care delivery—especially for complex patients and procedures—may still require hands-on human expertise. Laying the foundation for the digital hospital of the future ​Building a digital hospital of the future can require investments in people, technology, processes, and premises. Most of these investments will likely be upfront. In the short term, hospital leadership may not see immediate returns on these investments. In the longer term, however—as digital technologies improve care delivery, create operational efficiencies, and enhance patient and staff experience—the return result can be in higher quality care, improved operational efficiencies, and increased patient satisfaction. These six core elements of an enterprise digital strategy can help you get started as you begin to push your hospital into the future Create a culture for digital transformation It is essential that senior management understands the importance of a digital future and drives support for its implementation at all organizational levels. Consider technology that communicates Digital implementation is complex. Connecting disparate applications, devices, and technologies—all highly interdependent—and making certain they talk to each other can be critical to a successful digital implementation. Play the long game Since digital technologies are ever evolving, flexibility and scalability during implementation can be critical. The planning team should confirm that project scope includes adding, modifying, or replacing technology at lower costs. Focus on data While the requirements of data interoperability, scalability, productivity, and flexibility are important, they should be built upon a solid foundation of capturing, storing, securing, and analyzing data. Prepare for Talent 2.0 As hospitals invest in exponential technologies, they should provide employees ample opportunities to develop corresponding digital strategies. Maintain cybersecurity With the proliferation of digital technologies, cyber breaches can be a major threat to hospitals of the future. Executives should understand that cybersecurity is the other half of digital implementation and allocate resources appropriately.

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Healthtech Security

Wearable Technology: A Pool of Opportunities in Healthcare

Article | November 29, 2023

Introduction The field of smart wearable devices has advanced significantly in recent years as a result of the advent of mobile medicine, the development of new technologies like smart sensing, and the increased penetration of personalized health concepts. These Internet of Things (IoT)-based smart devices not only help people pursue a healthier lifestyle, but also offer a constant flow of healthcare data, which can be used for disease diagnosis and treatment, by actively recording, tracking, and monitoring metabolic status and physiological parameters. Wearable technologies have the potential to completely change the ways to monitor health behavior and are increasingly finding clinical implementation for patients with various types of diseases. Wearable Technology: New Ways of Patient Monitoring While wearable technology has demonstrated value in the fields of entertainment, fitness, and gaming, it is making inroads into the healthcare industry at a rapid pace. Increasing advancements in sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are assisting millions of people in detecting and managing chronic health conditions and avoiding serious illnesses using devices that are as small as a patch the size of a penny or small enough to be worn on the wrist. According to a study, nearly 320 million consumer health and wellness wearable devices are estimated to be shipped across the globe in 2022, and the number is likely to surpass 440 million units as a number of new devices come out and more healthcare providers start using them. Most wearable devices, such as smartwatches, now include heart rate monitors, and some have FDA approval for detecting abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation, a major cause of stroke. As these devices become more intelligent, the percentage of patients and consumers who use them to manage chronic health conditions and diagnose symptoms of serious diseases is likely to rise. This is expected to assist the sales of wearable devices in healthcare to exceed $195 billion by the end of 2027, presenting huge prospects for healthcare equipment providers and associated companies to benefit from the opportunity. The Future of Wearable Technology in Healthcare Though wearable technology is experiencing rapid growth, the field is still considered to be in its nascent stage, presenting massive remunerative prospects for the manufacturers of smart devices, especially in the healthcare industry. Hence, companies of all kinds, from giants to upstarts, are emphasizing on investing and developing new wearable devices with new features and functionalities to meet the surging demand for wearables across healthcare in coming years.

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Digital Healthcare

The Need for Cost Clarity

Article | January 28, 2022

With consumers’ share of healthcare costs expanding, we need to do a better job making charges more transparent and more predictable My husband recently stubbed his toe. Badly. Badly enough that I encouraged him to go see a doctor. He was reluctant. While I suspected he’d rather just garner sympathy by complaining to me while limping around the house (just kidding, honey), his stated reason was all too familiar: “I have no idea what we’ll have to pay. They’ll want to do anX-ray,it might need surgery, and I have no idea what it’ll cost.” All true. We have good health insurance; but like most Americans, when we go to the doctor or have a procedure, what we will actuallyhave topay out of pocket remains a mystery.This is something that we can and should change. As consumers we are shouldering more and more of the cost of healthcare. And the biggest increases are for those of us with employer-sponsored plans. According to an analysis of federal data by the Commonwealth Fund,deductibles in employer plans more than doubled between 2008 and 2017, from $869 to $1,808. Especially troubling, an accompanyingCommonwealth Fund survey revealed that only 62% of adults were very or somewhat confident in their ability to afford healthcare. This increasing burden is also evident when you look at the crushing levels of medical debt in the United States. According to a new studyby JAMA, medical debt is now the largest contributor to personal debt. And the data for this study was collectedbeforethe COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this debt is driven by unpredictability—if the heart procedure you needed costs several thousand dollars more out of pocketthan you thought it would, you may not be prepared, emotionally or financially, to pay it. This is a bad outcome, obviously. The risk of nonpayment rises for the provider; and a recuperating patient is burdened with the stress of a large,unexpected bill. More skin in the game Soas consumers are paying more out of pocket, some may become reluctant to seek care (like my husband) or seek more information about what they willhaveto pay for the care they receive. Consumers are also armed with incredible levels of price transparency with other products—everything from hotel rooms to clothing to household items. With so much skin in the game, and the internet providing so much information, consumers’ expectations are changing when it comes to healthcare. State and federal regulators are also beginning to take action, a trend that will likely accelerate. Most hospitals are now required to publicly disclose the prices they charge. This does not, however, solve the issue for consumers. While it provides a measure of visibility into pricing for insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid, it doesn’t show what share the patient will ultimately pay. Making the complicated simple The complexity of pricing in healthcare is well documented. Niall Brennan, CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit that analyzes medical costs, suggests that healthcare costs are too high.As a recent Wall Street Journal article reported, a price of a C-section varied from $6,241 to$60,584 at one hospital. This all has to do with the vagaries of the agreements that hospitals sign with multiple insurance companies and government payers. In turn, each insurance company will have its own deductible and out-of-pocket schedules, which providers don’t have access to. We are seeking to change this at Change Healthcare. We are piloting our Care Cost Estimator with a few innovative providers. With the Care Cost Estimator, weleverage our unique dataset, and the largest eligibility network in the industry, to make the unpredictable, predictable.Because we’ve managed 15 billion healthcare transactions—and our network covers 1 million physicians, 6,000 hospitals, and 2,400 payers—we have an unmatched ability to analyze what real-world patients are paying for practically any procedure, performed at almost any hospital or clinic. With a cloud-based transaction engine, providers will now be able to tell their patients how much they will have to pay out of pocket for a given procedure.And this analysis takes place in real time. Removing unpredictability in pricing This gives providers the opportunity to offer added value for their patients, taking some unpredictability out of whatis often a stressful transaction. In addition, it accelerates patient payment cycles which, as the patient’s share of the cost burden increases, is becoming more and more important. We’re not talking $50 co-pays anymore; it’s thousands of dollars per transaction. If necessary, providers can also help the patient plan for the expense, offering financing options, thus reducing unpaid bills. For the patient, it allows more informed decision-making and peace of mind. Testing the beta version of our Care Cost Estimator with our partners will allow us to receive real-world feedback and collaborate with customers on how to continuously improve the product as we scale it. We expect the ROI for providers, in addition to the payment-cycle improvements, will include greater patient satisfaction and loyalty. For the patient, it provides information necessary to help make proper decisions and plan emotionally and financially; in other words, giving the consumer the same information for vital healthcare transactions that’s available to them for practically any other purchase. This kind of win-win solution is at the core of Change Healthcare’s mission to improve the healthcare experience for everyone—including my husband and his broken toe!

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