Why your gut may hold the key to cardiovascular health

ANA SANDOIU | March 21, 2019

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An increasing number of studies suggest that the bacteria in our guts hold the key to healthy aging. For instance, a recent conference that Medical News Today reported on featured research in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. The results suggested that colonizing the gut with specific strains of bacteria, for example, can delay aging and prevent a host of age-related chronic diseases.

Spotlight

Omron Healthcare, Inc

Omron Healthcare has been designing state of the art blood pressure monitors for over 50 years. And today, our passion to empower people to take charge of their health – using precise technology in the comfort of their own home – still beats strong. Our philosophy of accuracy and accessibility also extends into a wide variety of fitness monitors, electrotherapy pain relief products and respiratory devices. Helping improve everyone’s ability to live healthier is, quite simply, the heart and soul of our purpose. Today, and well into tomorrow.

OTHER ARTICLES

Can New Technology Drive Health Care’s Future?

Article | April 11, 2020

Over the past twenty-five years most businesses have been revolutionized by the easy availability of cloud and mobile-based computing systems. These technologies have placed power and access into the hands of employees and customers, which in turn has created huge shifts in how transactions get done. Now the companies with the highest market value are both the drivers of and beneficiaries of this transition, notably Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Alphabet (Google), as well as their international rivals like Samsung, Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. Everyone uses their products every day, and the impact on our lives have been remarkable. Of course, this also impacts how businesses of all types are organized. Underpinning this transformation has been a change from enterprise-specific software to generic cloud-based services—sometimes called SMAC (Social/Sensors/Mobile/Analytics/Cloud). Applications such as data storage, sales management, email and the hardware they ran on were put into enterprises during the 80s and 90s in the client-server era (dominated by Intel and Microsoft). These have now migrated to cloud-based, on-demand services.

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Why Should Hospitals Invest in Healthcare Supply Chain Management Technology?

Article | April 11, 2020

The use of technology in hospitals has been increasing for the last decade and at present, it has reached an all-time high. However, it may be surprising to realize that the healthcare supply chain management (SCM) area of hospitals has not fully embraced technology. According to a survey conducted among 100 hospitals recently, nearly half of these hospitals use less sophisticated/outdated tools or manual processes, such as Excel spreadsheets, to manage supply expenses, inventory, and other supply chain activities. According to the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), healthcare supply chain management costs will surpass labor costs shortly for the number one position. But there is good news; similar surveys show potential for significant healthcare supply chain management cost savings. For example, an analysis by Navigant consulting estimates that, by standardizing and streamlining the healthcare supply chain management processes, hospitals can save an average of US$11 million per hospital or 17.7% annually. What is Healthcare Supply Chain Management Procurement, distribution, and movement of products and services from the receiving deck to the patient encompass the process of healthcare supply chain management. There are a lot of challenges in healthcare supply chain management processes. The major issues include demand for specific types of product in inventory, hoarding of supplies, out-of-stock issues that may lead to expensive delivery charges, product expirations, unwarranted increase in inventory dollars based on demand, and pilferage, among others. These issues may contribute to out-of-budget supply costs. Healthcare supply chain management is an extremely complex process. Poor product standardization, inadequate data reporting, a lack of automation throughout the process, and increasing regulatory requirements only add to the difficulties. Thus, an easy way to get rid of all these complexities is to incorporate advanced technologies in the healthcare supply chain management process. Healthcare Supply Chain Management Technology Advanced healthcare supply chain management technologies are developed to transform the supply chain process to a more efficient one by automating repetitive manual tasks in hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Minimizing waste, enabling timely data-based decision-making, streamlining inventory, and reducing labour, supply, and operational costs are the major benefits of healthcare supply chain management software. There are mainly two types of healthcare supply chain management technology solutions, enterprise resource planning systems and niche healthcare inventory and healthcare supply chain management solutions. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems ERP systems are not the best for healthcare supply chain management specifically because these systems are used in many industries. Also, the concerned vendors often do not have the required healthcare expertise. As this is mainly implemented by larger and non-healthcare related businesses, it may take a longer time to implement. Also, it requires dedicated customization resources. This makes it inflexible for the healthcare industry supply chain management. Niche Healthcare Inventory and Supply Chain Solutions This type is known as the best-of-breed healthcare supply chain management solutions. They provide healthcare-directed and flexible solutions as they are affordable and incorporate deeper industry knowledge. These systems can also focus on specific areas such as interventional medicine, surgery, and other healthcare departments. Why Should Hospitals Invest in Healthcare SCM Technology Although hospitals and other healthcare organizations have demonstrated excellent performance in fighting COVID-19, the pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the present healthcare supply chain management process. Supply shortages, especially lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), highlighted how poor healthcare supply chain management affected healthcare providers. The underlying concern behind the supply shortage is that hospitals’ supply chains are not well prepared for the future of healthcare. Organizations are depending upon old models, which are not innovative, agile, or advanced enough to cater to the requirements of the modern data and technology-driven world. Automating Healthcare supply chain management will be a major differentiator for hospitals at present and in future, impacting all aspects, including brand reputation, consumer trust, and quality of care. Healthcare leaders, such as organization heads and hospital administrators, require a new healthcare supply chain management system to deliver care at a lower cost. To realize this requirement, they have to make bold decisions and speed up the transformation of their healthcare supply chain. Acceleration of healthcare supply chain management transformation will be grounded in many imperatives, which are related to process, people, and technology. The digital transformation focusing on these areas will fasten the long-term growth and sustainability of healthcare supply chain management. Digital Transformation to Raise Healthcare Supply Chain to New Levels The Healthcare industry has given importance, other than information systems and key enterprise technologies, to electronic health record platforms in the last decade. Currently, the healthcare industry is on the brink of a digital revolution. Several technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), are opening new doors for healthcare organizations to evolve to a level beyond anything previously imagined. It will surely affect healthcare supply chain management. However, the healthcare supply chain has not yet kept pace with changing technologies. To create a fully developed supply chain, hospitals should find innovative ways to integrate their physical process with digital data. Hospitals should start using tools such as predictive analytics along with digital statistics and information to drive decisions. Investing in this technology integrated healthcare supply chain management, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations will help achieve optimal benefits. However, it needs an efficient deployment of new technologies, such as the integration of ML and AI, and maintain a functioning healthcare system. Collaboration Between People and Technology for Better Results Years of operating in traditional systems has delayed the progress of healthcare supply chain management. As the consequences of running out of stock can be devastating in the healthcare system, leaders and clinical professionals have to look at supply chain differently. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated and strengthened the necessity of better collaboration. Now leaders need to act timely to solidify these changes, brought out by the pandemic, to stop people reverting to behaviours that were problematic in the past. Automation will make the future of the workforce and supply chain workflows more efficient. The greatness of the impact on future healthcare supply chain management performance depends upon the greatness of the automation of work. Hospitals should highly focus on technology to perform various repetitive tasks, including delivering patient food trays, gathering supplies and bringing them to caregivers, picking case carts, and transporting supply carts to storage rooms. Staff efficiency is increased, when repetitive tasks and predictable work are automated and performed by robots. This helps staff focus on more complex tasks that drive innovation and value. Digital transformation occurs only when there is strong leadership and a conducive culture. Hospitals should realize the value of data in decision making and change their view about the supply chain leader. Modern healthcare supply chain management leaders are those who excel in education, governance, collaboration and communication, and change management. In hospitals, the supply chain management leader position should be elevated to executive level and they should be capable of using modern technologies for effectively handling the healthcare supply chain management process. The Future of Supply Chain Operations The sole aim of effective healthcare supply chain management has been finding the lowest cost products for the end-user without considering much about the profit of the manufacturer. The alarming product shortages and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic have changed that. Now, leaders are much more focused on how to diversify manufacturer product origins. Technological advancements and digital transformation will encourage the efforts to evolve vendor and inventory management, which is evident in procure-to-pay strategies. In case of procure-to-pay strategies, hospitals can reduce cost and increase efficiency by integrating technology assistance in areas such as accounts payable, including invoice discrepancies, match exceptions, and placing purchase orders electronically. In hospitals, healthcare supply chain management should evolve quickly to forecast and adjust the changing flow of patient volumes and care sites. Increased acute care in the home, utilization of telehealth, and remote patient monitoring will surely change demand for care facilities and supply demands from consumers. Efficiently catering to these requirements with the assistance of the latest technologies will determine the future of hospitals and healthcare supply chain management. In the healthcare supply chain management, technologies will play a vibrant role in boosting competence and reducing cost from now. Get yourself updated to avoid getting outdated! Frequently Asked Questions What is the value of supply chain management in healthcare? The healthcare supply chain management process ensures the right time availability of medicines, maximizing patient care, minimizing inventory wastage, and minimizing human errors. Healthcare supply chain management ensures timely availability of medicines for all patients at right time at lower cost possible. What are the 5 basic components of supply chain management? The five basic components of supply chain management are plan, source, manufacture, deliver, and return. Through these five components of supply chain management hospitals ensure the availability of all the medicines in hospitals. Shortage of essential medicines and other articles brings total chaos to the system. Why is Supply Chain Management important for a hospital? Supply chain management is essential for hospitals and other healthcare organizations as it ensures the availability of medicines and medical equipment so that patients get access to all facilities in time. In order to keep a consistent patient experience, an efficient supply chain management is necessary for all hospitals.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Hangover Alcohol Syndrome

Article | April 11, 2020

Ha, ha, ha, it’s me, alcohol hangover syndrome. Oh no, it feels like I have a fire burning through my head, that cannot be put out. What a pain, the hang-over. I can't get up. My eyes are red and blurred. I feel sick and body is tired. My body aches like French fries sizzling in scalding hot oil. Ouch, what a pain it is. Ouch is not a strong enough expression. So I Scream! Damn is the toe nail fungus vomiting too, I am sick. Screaming; oh no my head cannot handle it, it spinning and blazing like fire. My eyes are red, like a red eyed dragon. Well you are feeling the side effects of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, referred to as intoxication - hang-over. Alcohol is labeled as the gateway to addiction and may lead to other drugs. The Lancet Medical Journal advises alcohol increases the risk of hypertension, stroke and heart attack. Alcohol intoxication is the result of high consumption of alcohol increase in the blood stream. The higher the amount of alcohol within blood stream the more impaired you become. According to statistics of 2015 an average of 6 people die each day due to alcohol poisoning or drinking so much that the body become overwhelmed. The body resistance to alcohol intoxication poison aligns in the critical or essential areas of the brain that control heart rate and breathing causing the heart rate and breathing to shut down and can lead to death. Frequent intoxication can inhibit ones' ability to think, focus, health, work, communicate, behavior and relationships. Frequent intoxication also influences one to become isolated, trying not to disclose habits by lying about drinking to family, friends or associates and even hiding alcohol in some cases whether it be at home or work. Hazardous harm of alcohol poison to the body begin as a craving for alcohol. This chain reaction is similar to the body becoming tired and fatigue and demands sleep which you cannot control, you must get sleep or pass out. Groans are similar to a choking frog that cannot control it voice. The craving or urge to drink may be triggered by internal or external factors. Attention and insight or consciousness to what triggers urge to drink is an advantage to assist in controlling the (ABV) alcohol beverage volume consumed. Mentioned in the beginning intoxication poison is not pleasurable and intoxication is unhealthy, so has this habit of excessive drinking become an uncontrollable addiction? My rap song is you are hooked and chorus is: Unforgettable, Unforgettable, Unforgettable You have made me your number one love You take me with you like a shadow You hold me with such a grasping hold of touch I am yours and you live just to be with me! Risk Factors of Alcohol Toxic obstacle of future damage Reality is a hard hitter and a definite strike out Consequences and penalties exist! Many times with a toast, alcohol is the toaster to recognize an individual are group of individuals. Toast with alcohol can lead the way to consumption of more alcohol. There is a chicle that friends don’t let friends drink drunk. Well when the friend is seeing through eyes of alcohol themselves who become the helper? Drinking and drinking is a serious violation of the law. Risk factors are costly, expensive and devastating. Risk factors include but are not limited to: DUI- (Driving under the influence) Driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited by law and punishable by law. Consequences for illegally operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can range from imprisonment, fines, community service and limited operating driving privileges. These factors are enforced under Misdemeanor Offense based on the merits, history of the first time offense. If the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is above .08 consumption while driving a vehicle one can be arrested. DWI- (Driving while intoxicated) Driving while intoxicated is also prohibited by law and is punishable by law. DUI and DWI are related and both are violations that have penalties. Multiple DUI’s are DWI’s fines can range from $2000 0r more, are or imprisonment depending on state which the violation occurred. The violation is governed under Gross Misdemeanor or felony. Factors include subject pass history, accidents and drug use. Related obligations imposed are rate of operating a vehicle insurance increase, storage and towing fees, attorney fees, DUI classes, restitution, possible criminal and court fees, scarred background record, possible driver license suspension or driver license being revoked. Accidents- According to National Institution on Drug Abuse report “Drinking and driving can add up to tragic ending. In the U.S. about 4300 people under the age 21 die each year from injuries caused by underage drinking, more than 35 percent in car crashes.” Relationships- Relationships are a valued connection, resource, positive interaction, communication and socially are viewed as binding or a bond. When a relationship becomes troubled an uncomfortable strain effects the stability of comfort and sometimes trust. Drugs for instance can cause damage to a good relationship with family, friends and acquaintances. Relationships should be positive, supported and loving. Jail- A sentence for punishment of an unlawful crime. Risk Factors of Alcohol Divorce – Divorce can carry the burden of a setback. Change is transition and sometimes stressful. An individual can feel pressure and seek relief that may eventually lead to depression anxiety or harmful opioids without medical advice. License Suspension- A period of time which a valid driver license privilege is suspend temporary. Financial Burden- Fines, fees, loss of driver privilege and other costly expenses create financial burden or loss of income that may be saved or distribute differently. Health Issues- Quote your health is wealth has merit and valuable. Your health matters and chemical dependency addiction impairs the body system with side effects such as strokes, hypertension, seizers, respiratory problems and heart failure. Employment- EAP (Employment Assistance Program) EAP is an employment assistance agency providing services to assist in personal, financial and work related occurrences. Court Ordered Rehabilitation – The risk factors associated with alcohol related court can be positive. The individual who takes advantage of this opportunity could overcome alcohol addiction and improve his or her behavior to become a more productive citizen. This also helps one to rebuild their lives. Alcohol rehabilitation also allows people to heal from addiction and dependence issues. Most people prefer alcohol rehabilitation programs to avoid a Criminal sentencing and to get their lives back on track. Risk factors can work out very well for one and help one redeem his or her positive life back. Children Neglect- Family and especially children struggle and suffer as they learn to live without your guidance. Being absent in your children life signal a lack of love and trust for them. They begin to doubt themselves despite your habit of addiction. Grief – Regret and self-emotional punishment for the injury, harm or death inflicted upon another while impaired by the use of alcohol (Drinking and driving) Don’t drive and drink is a safety factor that should not be ignored!

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Healthcare Industry and its Workers

Article | April 11, 2020

The one clear consensus that has emerged from this doubt and anxiety-filled time is that our society will be forever changed by COVID-19. In the recent days, we have seen a general movement toward telecommuting and digital solutions to accommodate the drastic changes caused by this global pandemic. The healthcare industry, which is arguably impacted the most, is no exception to this trend. But while the movement to digital healthcare started well before the outbreak, it has been a slow journey, fraught with many regulations that have slowed its market penetration. With the current system so overwhelmed, a transition from the face-to-face model of care to a digital model has become vitally necessary, forcing it to happen sooner rather than later. Places that have already embraced the digitalization of healthcare practices have demonstrated the benefits of updating the old-fashioned model. A digital approach to healthcare can have unlimited applications, from telemedicine to a digital system for tracking available hospital beds. All of these applications not only save time but also potentially peoples’ lives by eliminating unnecessary contact between infected and healthy patients as well as their caregivers.

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Spotlight

Omron Healthcare, Inc

Omron Healthcare has been designing state of the art blood pressure monitors for over 50 years. And today, our passion to empower people to take charge of their health – using precise technology in the comfort of their own home – still beats strong. Our philosophy of accuracy and accessibility also extends into a wide variety of fitness monitors, electrotherapy pain relief products and respiratory devices. Helping improve everyone’s ability to live healthier is, quite simply, the heart and soul of our purpose. Today, and well into tomorrow.

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