Digital health for the elderly

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Amazon’s new Echo Spot Smart home technology introduces a variety of ways that technology can play a central role in maintaining meaningful interactions between seniors and their caregivers and/or families. The seniors of today possess considerably more technological knowledge, and more comfort with technology, than their predecessors. This helps improve the potential for elders to successfully age at home.

Smart homes appliances provide valuable support to elderly parents, with Skype and FaceTime being good solutions to maintaining healthy interactions across long distances. However, they require both participants in calls to effectively utilize an app. They simply cannot substitute for human interaction.  Amazon’s new Echo Show has the potential to reduce challenges that comes with video calls and new-aged technology. A brilliant idea it may be, there are still issues related to small screen size and placement, but this can spark the candle for more innovative ways to care for the elderly.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/25/16933440/amazon-echo-spot-ad-family-sales

https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/heres-the-newest-technologies-for-seniors-and-their-homes

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/amazons-first-ad-for-the-echo-spot-is-about-togetherness-not-shopping/

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Vision Care

 

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To be healthy, is to be in a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being not just merely the absence of disease according to The World Health Organization. Often times eye care is not what automatically comes to mind when thinking about overall health. However, how important is one’s vision? The answer is, vision and eye care are pivotal. Poor vision and lack of eye care can cause a number of problems that can decrease the quality of a person’s life and health.

An independent nonprofit organization, OneSight, travels to underserved and remove populations to provide better vision. During one of the organization’s trips they traveled the Amazon with a team to provide a digital eye clinic; providing an eye exam and glasses all in the same day. In the future the organization plans to add a surgical component for cataracts and other procedures. Still, there are over a billion people in the world that need glasses but have no access or funds to do so.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.who.int/about/mission/en/
  2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/09/partner-content-see-what-lack-of-vision-care-looks-like/

 

 

The data is in: Americans who don’t finish high school are less healthy than the rest of the US

“…adults with no high school diploma or GED are consistently at the greatest risk for the leading causes of disease and death.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans who do not finish high school are behind in terms of living a healthy life compared to those with a GED degree. Although people with less than a high school education has experienced a decline in heart disease, this population consistently reported the highest percent for heart disease. Adults with higher education also do better in terms of smoking as well. Education is very important in living a healthy life. Report shows that people that have at least a high school degree an aid in taking medications properly; interpreting medication labels or food labels; and finding the appropriate preventive care….

 

http://theconversation.com/the-data-is-in-americans-who-dont-finish-high-school-are-less-healthy-than-the-rest-of-the-us-103663

Screening Social Determinants of Health through EHR Systems

Electronic Health Record (EHR), systems used to collect, analyze, and make referrals, use information provided from patients to provide quality and efficient care provided to tailor the needs of the people. Social determinants of health are social and economic conditions that influence quality of life and health outcomes.

Intertwining electronic health records and social determinants of health provide researchers with better quality data to understand the needs and experiences of the community. Analyzing the social determinants of health gives vision to the social needs of the community to develop community health centers that serve the community at an optimal level.

 

https://www.clinical-innovation.com/topics/ehr-emr/ehr-system-screen-social-determinants-health

Las Cruces-Area Group To Launch Data-Driven Adverse Childhood Experiences Prevention Project​

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This community in New Mexico took the effort to combat childhood trauma to new heights. A group of  Dona Ana county agencies initiated a childhood trauma project using data on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A high ACEs score can result in a child’s diminished capacity to learn in school, diminished work performance, or ability to establish healthy relationships. The project was in response to a community movement to end childhood trauma and maltreatment based on a real Protective Services Division of the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department Case.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Prevention Project launched on Aug. 8, with a series of events in Las Cruces.  The program includes a face-to-face classroom experience and five web-based lessons for participants to explore strategies for meeting the needs of families and preventing ACEs and trauma. The group believes through a data-driven citywide process, ACEs can be predictable and preventable.

 

 

http://www.krwg.org/post/las-cruces-area-group-launch-data-driven-adverse-childhood-experiences-prevention-project

Do Socioeconomic Factors Influence Texans’ Decision to Get Vaccinated? – A cartographic Approach

Texas has one of the highest vaccination rates for childhood diseases overall, 97.4%, according to CDC. But the number of children not vaccinated because of their parents’ “personal beliefs”—as opposed to medical reasons—has risen since 2003, when such exemptions were introduced, to more than 44,000 so far in 2017 according to CDC. The 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series is an overall measure that encompasses many vaccines that are recommended for children. Various demographic factors (sex, gender, race, availability of commercial health insurance) influence the decision to get vaccinated, were looked at.

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The county-level data on the socioeconomic factors were obtained from US Census Bureau (American Factfinder). The health insurance data was obtained from Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE). The vaccination rates were obtained from Texas Immunization registry through DSHS. The data was cleaned and geocoded to be analyzed in ArcGIS to produce maps as shown in Figure 1. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship between vaccination rates and independent variable.

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The non-vaccination rates are higher around the major cities of Dallas, Austin-San Antonio, Houston and some northwest Texas counties. Population density has a positive correlation with the non-vaccination rate. Other demographic factors have a positive correlation in certain counties as opposed to others.

 

Source: American FactFinder, Texas Immunisation Registry

The limitation on the immunization data is it being an optional registry so it would not be accurate to run statistics off this information to estimate an immunization rate. In future, it is productive to expand this concept to use regression analysis to try to find the odds of the relationship expressed in the maps and to find if there is a significant association.

Average Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) (µg/m³) By County (2011)

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Check out this map that shows the average fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) (µg/m³) by county for the year 2011. From the map we can see clusters with a higher average indicated by the darker shading. For instance, we can see a cluster consisting counties within for Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming. It is also apparent there are higher concentrations in many Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern states compared to western states. States such as, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky predominantly have a higher average.

By Julia Watson