Heart Monitoring, Everywhere

| April 16, 2018

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You’ve felt this dizziness before. The heart palpitations. Maybe chest pains. Shortness of breath. It comes and goes but when it comes, you know it. If symptoms continue, you should get with your doctor to check it out. Of course, just like visiting a mechanic when your car is making a noise when you get there … nothing happens. You’re fine. Ticking like a clock.

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NHG

NHG is a healthcare supply partner that offers consumables, care equipment and care environment consultancy from one single source to help the sector deliver the best possible patient care. With over 30 years’ experience building relationships with, and learning from, the care sector, we understand how important the profession’s role is in society.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Post Pandemic Meltdown: Gamified Dieting Success Rates, Sign-ups Surge Amid ‘Quarantine 15’ Concerns

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.

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Setting Expectations in a Complex Healthcare System

Article | December 8, 2020

Over the past few weeks, I have written various posts on the experiences I have had with people whom I am working with as a Nurse Advocate. Each person came with unique issues related to their health. One patient had a suspected deep vein thrombosis, one was diagnosed with a reoccurrence of lung cancer, and the third person had a GI bleed with multiple co-morbidities that took months to identify and get under control. My role was to support them by helping them navigate the complex healthcare system by breaking through barriers each faced. These included getting appointments in a reasonable time frame, researching specialists who had the expertise to diagnose and treat them (and who were in their managed care network), working through the complexities of authorizations, payment, and reimbursement issues that accompanied each visit.

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Artificial intelligence and healthcare

Article | December 8, 2020

When we imagine the future, we think about "The Jetsons" or "Back to the Future." Although we are not flying our cars or transporting instantly to any location at the push of a button, Artificial Intelligence (AI) permeates our lives. Think about the last time Netflix picked out your last binge marathon, Gmail finished your sentence or Siri created your grocery list. These are all examples of AI. Companies use Al to predict actions customers will take based on their habits. Al is also shaping the healthcare industry. In fact, according to Becker's Healthcare, Al will save healthcare $52 billion by 2021. Al bots track consumer health, enabling doctors to more easily access patients' health information. Apps and chat bots bridge the communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. Patients receive advice from their bedside and save time by using Al. Al takes a patient's health information and creates recommendations that can prevent further illnesses from occurring. A recent article provides insights on Al and data as a "what is next" for the communication industry.

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Health IT coalition to use data analytics in battle against COVID-19

Article | December 8, 2020

Healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, and academia are banding together to use their collective expertise, data, and insights for rapid deployment of innovative, open-source solutions to the global pandemic. The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, a private-sector led response, aims to mitigate the worst effects of the coronavirus by flattening the curve. A key component of this effort will be the use of real-time data for analytics that will help preserve the healthcare delivery system. LUMEDX client partners HCA Healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, and Intermountain Healthcare have joined big tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others. For a full list, visit the website here. All coalition work is voluntary, and members are asked to pledge open cooperation and sharing. In addition to combining the best sources of information from around the world to provide data, analytics and insights to all, the coalition’s priorities include

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Spotlight

NHG

NHG is a healthcare supply partner that offers consumables, care equipment and care environment consultancy from one single source to help the sector deliver the best possible patient care. With over 30 years’ experience building relationships with, and learning from, the care sector, we understand how important the profession’s role is in society.

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