Currently, most individuals have easy access to information due to the availability of mobile gadgets that can access the Internet. Subsequently, most people utilize the Internet to search for various solutions, answers or information regarding diverse issues such as health, fitness, technology, sports, politics and religion. Individual searches or queries on search engines have proven to be a great resource in determining what one is experiencing.
This information recently came in handy to Microsoft’s researchers after getting groundbreaking results from analyzing voluminous samples of search engine data or queries. The outcomes of their research indicated that it was possible to identify various Internet users affected by pancreatic cancer.
The Research Work
The Microsoft scientists involved in the research included Dr. Ryen White and Dr. Eric Horvitz. They utilized search engine queries obtained from Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. The study revolved around data that showed indications of a person diagnosed with the disease. Upon getting such information, they did a backward analysis of the data in a bid to identify earlier concerns that showed that a Bing user was getting symptoms of the disease before a medical analysis. The information can be obtained from Reddit Science.
Scientists are still debating on the next course of action. Various suggestions have been raised such as coming up with a health service whereby Internet users could give scientists access to their searches in an effort of monitoring for any queries that could depict early symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
Web queries have also been utilized by Google to undertake research on early detection of flu epidemics. Microsoft has also managed to identify severe drug reactions through patterns observed on weblogs before FDA’s warning system spotted them.
Scientists are searching for ways to reduce air pollution that is harmful to humans. An area that you might not be familiar with is pollution from agricultural operations. reddit science recently linked to “Farms a Major Source of Air Pollution, Study Finds”.
The study notes that gases from fertilizers and animal wastes mixed in the air with combustion products produces small (less than 25 micrometers) solid particles. Particles of this size penetrate deep into the lungs and cause cardiac and pulmonary disease. Another 2015 study estimates that each year 3.3 million people (worldwide) are killed by this pollution. A very detailed article about the effects of air-borne particles can be found at wiki Particulates.
Because food production is very important, the “Farms…” article suggests that the best way to reduce the particulate pollution is to reduce the combustion products in the atmosphere since both forms of pollution combine to produce the particles in question. Reducing combustion products air pollution is, of itself, a major goal in the reduction of greenhouse gases. Reducing agricultural emissions may be very difficult, while at the same time, increasing production. The major agricultural emission is generally ammonia gas, which, in small concentrations typical of its level in the atmosphere, is not much of a problem.
Theranos, a company with the reputation for lower priced, faster, and better lab results is making the press, based on their innovative approach to blood testing. Founded by Elizabeth Holmes in 2003, Theranos has led the way for blood testing. As much buzz as this has made, the current news is contrary. Holmes is now listed on the Forbes billionaire list and Theranos has an estimated worth of greater than $9 billion.
The big question comes about as to how Holmes invention works. As reported in Business Insider, David Koch, MD and president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, stated that it is impossible to say how good this is going to work due to lack of evidence to review. There are no peer-reviewed studies, which compare traditional tests to Theranos lab tests. Jaime Garcia Dias has reasonably looked at this with a skeptical eye. In an effort to protect intellectual property, there are no independent experts allowed lab access.
A representative of Theranos has reported to the Business Insider that they have called for an “unprecedented level of review with the FDA,” further citing that they are not obligated to do this. The outcome remains to be seen. Theranos labs are currently in 41 of 8,000 Walgreen’s in the US. Tests are being conducted for GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer as well as several hospitals systems. Revenue is also gained from the Cleveland Clinic and the US military. Labs are all certified and operate clinically.
Hospital-radiology alignment is a growing concern across the healthcare industry. Better methods by which to achieve important objectives are being presented in the US, hospitals and radiologists attempting to provide the the best possible patient care. Health-care stakeholders, legislators, insurers,and regulators are increasingly occupied with radiology due to requested service improvements and implementation of mechanisms increasing cost-controls. Hospitals employing primary care and specialty physicians for increased efficiency and better health care. Radiology has not been traditionally considered an mandatory in-house service, as others such as blood labs.
Radiologists are unanimously supportive of alignment, however, the exact methodology is not exactly known. Radiology Associates of Canton have gone on record with concerns, and have formed a contractual arrangement that gives certain responsibilities to the group that would have been under the jurisdiction of the hospital. Radiology groups are now strategically planning, in union with investors, to fund more alignment agreement projects between radiologists and physician groups. The practical benefit of this can be found in faster turnarounds for the hospital, as well as radiologists. A common radiological request for better equipment budgets is an example of one reason as to why radiologists may not meet the demands of today’s rapid healthcare needs. Tackling problems like this will ensure elimination of a mutual dissatisfaction between the hospitals and radiology departments.
Hospitals and radiology departments are eager to discuss co-management for other reasons. There are additional sources of compensation to be gained from these agreements. Security for long-term contractual agreements between radiology and hospitals. Hospitals are able to issue tax exempt bonds for on-site radiology services and this satisfies specific tax requirements regarding the issuing of the bonds. These tax-exempt bonds are not allowed in the case of outpatient cases requiring radiology. Separate contracts issued for outpatient radiology providers may also facilitate more participation and control amongst providers and radiologists alike.
As a leading provider of radiology services, Imaging Advantage understands the need for better provider – specialty provider relationships. Offering a multitude of providers different forms of radiology and teleradiology, facilitating beneficial contracts between hospitals and radiologists is integral better patient care. Unique radiology billing models not only increase effective patient care, but also allow hospitals and providers a feeling of greater transparency existing within the partnerships. Knowing that now every provider if going to need the same level service is part of Imaging Advantages unique appeal. Imaging Advantage’s specially tailored programs give providers the flexibility they need to provide the best patient care without delayed turnaround and confusion.