Category: Uncategorized

Thoughtless, thoughtful or both: My OB Said What?!?!

Photo credit to My OB Said What?!? Blog

One of my friends from high school is expecting her first baby – any day.  And, apparently, she’s got some interesting stories to tell about her visits with her to-remain-unnamed obstetrician in Connecticut.

Today, she posted this link on Facebook:

I curiously clicked the link.  At first, I figured the site would be akin to texts from last night or the FAIL blog – purely for enjoyment or giggles, not for any more tangible benefit.

Turns out I could be wrong.  Consider these points:

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Research literacy: What is it?

There are a number of types of research. (Photo by Kaibara87, from Flickr.)

Last week I learned a new term: research literacy. We have all heard of literacy, which involves reading and writing. Then there is media literacy, which is the idea that people should be able to analyze, evaluate, create and participate with media messages. There is also health literacy, which relates to being able to understand health information and use that information to make decisions about health. But research literacy was a term that was new to me. Research literacy is really what one would expect: it’s the idea of being literate about research and having an understanding of what research really means.

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Snazzy technology can come with high costs

money bags

How much should we pay for uneccessary procedures, or ones that aren't as effective as previous methods? Ask your policy makers and insurance companies for the answers.

While e-health and telemedicine have the promise to help make our healthcare system more effective and effeceint, more technology is not always the best answer. A recent article on highlights the importance of justifying using shiny new tech toys when cheaper means will do.

The article highlights a speech given by David Meltzer, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Meltzer also has a PhD in economics, which might be why views skyrocketing healthcare costs from a different lens.

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Text4Baby provides health information

By Ken Banks, From Flickr.

At the end of February last year, Upstream provided information on a new service related to maternal and child health: Text4Baby.

Text4baby is a free service that sends text messages to expectant mothers or to mothers of babies less than a year old. It provides them with information and reminders that are meant to improve health for the mother and the baby.

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Electronic health records: Funded, but not yet functional

Nurses in class

It's time for health care professionals to learn about EMRs, but who will talk their patients into using them too?

They save trees (less paper), are easy to search and the federal government is throwing billions of dollars behind their implementation. So, what’s the problem with electronic health records (EHRs)?

Patients don’t seem to want them, or know much about them. A survey by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) found that “only 14 percent of consumers said they get their medical records electronically from their physician’s office, and 30 percent don’t know why they would need to.”

Where is the disconnect between this efficient and potentially life-saving system (medical records can help catch mistakes that humans sometimes miss on paper) and implementation?

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Tobacco warning labels get update in Canada

One of 16 new proposed health warning messages on a cigarette package. Credit: Health Canada, 2011.

Tobacco warning labels around the world vary from gory to containing eyebrow-raising sexual innuendo.

In a move described in Medical News Today as “demonstrating world leadership” by Rob Cunningham, Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society, the tobacco warnings and messages on cigarette packs in Canada may be getting an update.

Since 2000, health warning messages, health information messages, and information about the toxic emissions of cigarettes have been displayed on cigarette packages in Canada as part of its Tobacco Act.  This week, officials at Health Canada are proposing updated legislation, titled Tobacco Products Labeling Regulations (Cigarettes and Little Cigars) (TPLR-CLC) that will update and expand the requirements.

What’s new?

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Mobilizing the troops: Advocating health funding through communication

Photo by Daniel Borman, From Flickr.

Funding is always an issue for people in the business of communicating health.  Funding is needed to carry out programs, to inform and to educate, but funding related to public health programs is often on the chopping block when tough budget cuts need to be made.

Funding related to teen pregnancy prevention has been one of the areas recently facing cuts, but the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is fighting it, and they are encouraging individuals to stand up and fight for funding as well.

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mHealth development: Faster fetus photos

Prenatal health care is attracting a lot of attention from the tech field.  Last week we posted on a a smartphone-based portable medical ultrasound unit.

On February 9, 2011 Mobily and Great Connection introduced Mobile Baby, a mobile health (mHealth) application that links directly to any ultrasound machine and enables high-quality, 2D and 3D images and video to be delivered to any mobile device via MMS and email.  While Mobile Baby allows expecting parents to more easily and rapidly share images with their family and friends (which can be argued as either exciting or annoying), perhaps more impressive are the application’s amazing health implications, specifically for those who live in remote areas of the world.

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