Attend any biotech or health informatics conference and one thing becomes clear: the scarcity of physicians. Entrepreneurs, businessmen, angel investors, and software engineers swarm these conferences -- and their encompassing companies -- all the while the imperative persona in this realm remains tied up behind a dysfunctional EHR or in an overbooked operating room. Why? Certainly, inculcating these dynamic players in the health care space is integral to the successful evolvement ...

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“There’s an app for that.” The phrase became so popular with the advent of smartphones that Apple even trademarked it. There are currently 3.8 million apps available on Android devices and over 2 million available to Apple iPhone users. Does that mean that we’ve reached a limit on new and useful apps that can be created? Absolutely not. Especially in the medical world, it seems as if there’s so much room to ...

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After a Harvard endocrinology course several years ago, I walked out into the weak afternoon spring sunshine and crossed the street to the Boston Public Garden. Among the multitude of faces of the other flaneurs I was certain I saw scores of people suffering from endocrine diseases -- probably undiagnosed, I thought to myself: I saw tall men with big jaws, typical of acromegaly; stout women with skinny extremities and ...

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Modern technology needs to do better. This is the message delivered by every CEO after every Silicon Valley scandal in recent memory. This time, they should really do it. Medicine can show them how. Let's have the professionals building our future abide by industry-wide standards, just as doctors do. As both a startup founder and a physician, this idea makes intuitive sense to me. Drawing on my experience treating patients and running ...

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When I was a cardiology fellow back in the 1980s, I learned about a variety of early tools for evaluating heart health that had been displaced by the modern standards of electrocardiography (ECG, or EKG for the Deutschephiles) and echocardiography. One such technique – ballistocardiography – stuck with me, and may be making a comeback. Ballistocardiography is based on the observation that the mechanical action of the heart leads to subtle ...

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One late evening on pediatrics call, a frantic young couple brought in their few weeks old baby. She had spiked a fever which refused to go down and was fussier than normal. The cause of her symptoms could have been anything -- at best, a mild respiratory infection, in which case we would simply watch her and manage her symptoms, but at worst, it could be meningitis, an infection attacking ...

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Like many physicians, I entered medicine with a desire to care for patients in an engaged and collaborative fashion, not shuttle them through the exam room and out the door. After finishing my residency in family medicine in the 1990s and working in a few different clinical settings to start out, I found myself at a hospital-owned clinic, where the culture of “feeding the mothership” prevailed and accomplishments were measured ...

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Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke that has escalated to alarming rates in recent years, affecting nearly 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. In an attempt to reduce its prevalence, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC-8) released a set of hypertension management guidelines. However, various concerns arose regarding the recommendations and as a result, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and ...

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Health care is obsessed with new technology. Every week, a new article comes out promising disruption of medical care as we know it through personalized genetic therapy, app extensions that transform smartphones into ultrasounds or autonomous surgical robots. Yet, one of the best examples of health care technologies is also one of its oldest — instant messaging. Though the original messaging platform AOL Instant Messenger was sadly discontinued at the end ...

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It has become more and more evident with time that the health care delivery system here in the United States is riddled with issues. One with many disagreements arising from the fact that there is no clear and universally acceptable solution to our problems. In many ways, the system seems to step on its own feet — as the health care professionals working within it fight to make it work ...

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