Ham Recall: Food Illness Outbreak!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recalled 90,000 pounds of ham. Johnston County Hams recalled five different ham products Tuesday. The contaminated meat product got distributed to Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, and Virginia. These are the products:

  • Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham
  • Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham
  • Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. Fully Cooked Country Ham Boneless Glazed With Brown Sugar
  • Premium Fully Cooked Country Hamm Less Salt
  • Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led an epidemiological investigation of listeriosis after reports from the FSIS. Through the combined efforts of local state departments and the CDC, the outbreak link is between illness and Johnston Country Ham products. The recall stemmed from ham products possibly exposed to Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is one of the most common foodborne illness-causing agents. This example continues the streak of the foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. My last blog touched more on this public health issue.

For news about this outbreak check out:

https://www.newsweek.com/almost-90000-pounds-ham-recalled-possible-listeria-contamination-one-death-1152506
For more information on the foodborne illness, outbreak checks my last post.
https://healthmap.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/food-borne-illness-outbreaks-a-public-health-problem/
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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/

 

insurance

 

Short term health insurance sometimes referred to as term health insurance serves to fill in the gap in health coverage while in a state of transition. Transition periods such as in-between jobs, awaiting benefits from a new job, missed open enrollment time slot, and/or a college student fresh out of school are a few occasions when short term health insurance is necessary.

Short term health insurance under the Obama Administration developed regulations to limit the length up to three months with no opportunity for renewal. Currently, under the Trump Administration short term health insurance can be purchased for policies lasting up to 1 year with opportunity for renewal a maximum of two times.

Short term health insurance is regulated through the states not the Affordable Care Act which set specific stipulations and guidelines for insurance companies to abide by. Due to this, short term insurance has large coverage gaps, some not including maternity leave, mental health care, or prescription drugs. People with short-term health insurance policies have coverage but “skinny coverage”.

 

Source:
1.   https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/10/01/652141154/buyer-beware-new-

cheaper-insurance-policies-may-have-big-coverage-gaps

 

  1. https://www.uhone.com/insurance/short-term

You Can Now Fly with Marijuana!!!

flyingwithmmj

Travelers are now allowed to fly with marijuana when flying out of Los Angeles International Airport. Yes, that right! Los Angeles International Airport are now allowing their passengers to fly with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana with no risk of arrest or confiscation unless that amount is exceeded.

Airport police would not confiscate it unless it exceeds California’s legal amount and will not stop or arrest you if they find marijuana in your carry-on bags.

The new marijuana policy reads

” While federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana (inclusive of federal airspace,) California’s passage of proposition 64, effective January 1, 2018, allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to….”

https://www.medicaljane.com/2013/10/07/tsa-policy-flying-with-medicinal-marijuana/

 

New Digital Health Tech Accelerator Opens Up NHS To Cancer Specialists

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“Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long since left its science fiction roots behind and has become immersed in manufacturing, supply chain, retail, and business. However, one space where it is set to really make a tangible, life-saving impact is in healthcare. Already there are applications in place that are providing essential care to people in underserved or developing areas, improving patient data care and management, and transforming diagnoses and patient care.”

In the UK, the National Healthcare Institute has started the Digitalhealth.London. This is an accelerator program designed to initiate faster technology adoption by utilizing the lastes in startup and SME invention.

“One of the most recent additions to the accelerator program is Trustedoctor, a global digital healthcare platform that makes it easier for cancer patients to access specialist care. DigitalHealth.London will be supporting Trustedoctor in deploying a solution that could help alleviate the complexities that surround ongoing cancer care and support.”

“Using the accelerator, Trustedoctor will connect with NHS stakeholders, industry investors, patients and other healthtech innovators so it can continually adapt its offering to suit what the NHS actually needs. The AI-powered solution opens up a world of oncology specialists to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment and who need medical support that they can trust while mitigating some of the biggest challenges facing the NHS when it comes to patient care.”

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/insights-kpmg/2018/07/16/five-skills-auditors-need-to-succeed-today/#398135862356

Apple Taking Public Health Strides

Health technology has the potential to enhance our public health system. Tech companies can improve how we monitor disease and potential health risks. Apple has stepped into the health tech field with the introduction of its new product the Apple Watch Series 4. The watch is equipped with features that measure abnormal heart activity and a built-in emergency response contact system. Not only can the user have a constant heart monitoring system, but also the stored information can be shared with the user’s physician. This is one of the first FDA approved consumer devices used for medical purposes.

apple watch 4

This opens the gateway for technology companies to partner with the healthcare system to develop healthcare interventions using consumer devices. These partnerships could potentially lead to increases in public awareness of health outcomes, improve medical data collection, and expand patients access to health information.  Is this the beginning of how we connect our healthcare system and improve public health?

Click the following link to know more about Apple’s venture into health tech:

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/apple-makes-huge-leap-health-tech-first-kind-heart-tracking-features-apple-watch/

Is technology the future of healthcare?

The goal of health technology is to assist in more efficient data collection, increase connectivity, and foresee market changes. A push for a more healthy lifestyle across the United States has lead to an increasing need for innovative ideas that can lead to healthy behavior changes. Even with governmental efforts, life expectancy in the United States has decreased, inequities in healthcare persist in rural communities and healthcare costs are still at an all time high. Developing partnerships between healthcare communities and business technology firms has the possibility to strengthen the development of evidence-based research and HIPAA-compliant clinical resources that can contribute to an improved population health in the United States. Using these firms can also establish  more reputable platforms, health analytics, and marketing expertise that could serve beneficial to the current healthcare issues.

Implementing technology into exercise devices has lead to success stories surrounding smart technology abound. Exercise using smart technology  has been shown to increase physical activity compared to traditional healthcare models. Access to healthcare is also an issue due to the US healthcare industry structure. This can be improved through the use of online applications geared towards connecting clinicians with patients. Through businesses engagement, assistance in the development of technology services that  increases access to low-cost care for patients in need is possible.

Innovative inventions in data collection would assist with patients having access to their own health information. This gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions about their own health. It also reduces redundant testing resulting in patients and clinicians saving time and money. Collaborating with businesses and technology firms on healthcare issues and projects could improve population health overall.

 

References

  1. Stey A, Kanzaria H, Brook R. How disruptive innovation by business and technology firms could improve population health [published online August 16, 2018]. JAMA.doi:10.1001/jama.2018.10782
  2. https://www.medicalbag.com/tech-talk/technology-disruption-improving-us-population-health/article/794210/