With November election slowly approaching, one of the newest features currently being used to ease the process across the world is, GIS community mapping. Community mapping is using mapping technology to identify, understand, analyze and resolve community issues. Residents can use GIS mapping to type in their polling place and even give them directions to it.
Interactive community mapping systems can replace paper-based data to help store vital information more efficiently. GIS can provide details about specific parish/county population, transportation and highway systems, voting precincts, zoning and land use, parks and more. Locations of utilities, pipelines, flood zones and elevation can also be mapped.
The opioid problem has become a national crisis over the past several years. Statistics show 115 people die daily due to opioid overdose. The Justice Department nationally awarded 320 million dollars to assist in making a profound impact on the opioid crisis.
Nebraska was given 1.3 million dollars to promote prevention, treatment, and enforcement. The money will be used to strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs through improvement of prescriber enrollment and actually utilizing the program. The money will also take a look at problematic prescribing and geographic areas that raise the most concern.
2. https://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/nebraska-to-get- m-from-justice-department-to-fight-opioid/article_f613fff2-77b2-51ca-ae9a-e834cd09d5b5.html
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
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:
For more information on the foodborne illness, outbreak checks my last post.
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.
One public health issue that needs more attention is foodborne disease outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks account for approximately 9.2 million illnesses each year. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 800 foodborne disease outbreaks are reported annually, resulting in roughly 15,000 illnesses (18% of which resulted in hospitalization) and 20 deaths each year.
Figure 1: Displays the most common pathogens that cause food borne illness, outbreaks, hospitalization, and deaths from 2009-2015.
Foodborne outbreaks are the result of two or more cases of foodborne illness caused by a similar pathogen. When foodborne outbreaks occur, the cases are reported to both the local and state department. After gathering information from those departments, the CDC follows up with an investigation. It is always important to be aware of warnings for food outbreaks and food recall alerts. Be careful of what you eat. Remember to Wash your hands when preparing and handling foods.
For more information click the following link:
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”.
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….”
The American Academy of Pediatrics and The World Health Organization suggest that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months postpartum. It has been scientifically proven that breastfeeding provides essential nutrition and potentially reduces risk for a variety of diseases and asthma among other things.
In Hempstead, New York, the town board voted to repeal a town code that banned breastfeeding in public. State law in New York allows women to breastfeed openly and freely anyplace.
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.
- 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
America’s healthcare industry is a mess: from confusing regulations to perverse incentives. Meanwhile, Mario Schlosser, the CEO of Oscar Health, has moved from academia and created a company, called Oscar, with Joshua Kushner (brother of Jared Kushner) to try to solve these problems. “The goal of Oscar is to do to health care what Uber did to the taxi industry: use smart digital technology to make everything faster and easier for customers, and then use the data gathered to build radically new services, which can collect more data that leads to new services.” said Schlosser. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has committed roughly $375 million in investments to this digital relief.