Social media and the Internet have often been compared to the Wild West at times when it comes to the posting of ideas, opinions and beliefs.  There has been very little regulation of what is posted and how it is utilized -- which may actually be a good thing. However, many of us have learned (often the hard way) that posts on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites can be ...

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In a controversial study, Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Drug Development estimates that the cost to bring a new drug to market exceeds nearly 2.6 billion dollars.  The study, which was 40 percent funded by industry has been criticized for over estimating these costs in favor of industry and misrepresenting some cost estimates.  While we will not know fully the extent of the methodology of the study ...

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Apple Watch and HealthKit: A new age of virtual health care The practice of medicine and health care in general has become an electronic and increasingly mobile interaction. Patients are better informed, more engaged, more connected and have a much greater virtual presence. In fact, according to Pew Research, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter are those who are in the 45 to 65 age bracket.   Nearly 50 percent of all ...

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Thousands of people have travelled from West Africa to the U.S. in the last 6 months.  While the CDC and others throughout the Obama administration continue to reassure everyone that the U.S. is 100 percent prepared for an outbreak,  potential cases and exposures continue to surface all across the country. In Dallas, the first confirmed case of Ebola has passed away.  Even more concerning is the fact that the patient initially ...

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MedPage Today recently tackled a very controversial issue in medical practice.  The piece explored the ongoing battle between dermatologists and allied health professionals (AHPs) over the performance of dermatologic procedures.  As independent NPs and PAs begin to bill for more and more procedures (thus potentially talking revenue away from board certified dermatologists) specialists are beginning to argue that the AHPs are practicing beyond their scope of practice. According to the 
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It is clear that patient compliance with prescribed medications is critical to success in the treatment of any chronic disease process.  In addition, patient engagement and co-management of their disease has been proven to improve outcomes.  A new study from the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that any changes in the appearance of a medication may result in a decrease in compliance; when a pill looks differently patients often simply ...

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There is no doubt that Affordable Care Act has changed the landscape of medicine in the U.S.  Now, private practice is becoming a thing of the past. Financial pressures, increasing regulatory requirements, electronic medical records and outrageously complex coding systems are forcing long time private physicians to enter into agreements with academic centers and large hospital systems in order to survive. As a result, medicine today is more about increasing patient ...

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For scientists and researchers who are developing new treatments for disease, Data is power.  For patients, Data can mean empowerment.  Devices that track health indicators are readily available.  These devices can track heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and even respiratory rate and body temperature. In the Wall Street Journal, the medical applications of the Fitbit device are explored.  The Fitbit is a basic pedometer that tracks movement, steps taken, calories consumed ...

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As a child, I often watched science fiction movies and television shows wondering how much would become reality in my lifetime.  From space travel in Buck Rogers and Star Trek to time travel in Back to the Future, I often imagined growing up in a world where the impossible became probable.  Bionics and the repair of human tissues was captivating and the Six Million Dollar Man became a hit series. Now, much of what was thought to be ...

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For physicians, the applications of tablets are endless Medicine is becoming mobile.  Physicians, nurses and other health care providers must be able to quickly assimilate and react to an overwhelming stream of data.  Tablet technologies, such as the iPad, have been incorporated into the workflows of many clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals.  Medical schools and residency programs are quickly adapting the technology for teaching.  While tablets do present some ...

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