Posted by andrewmcd on April 4, 2013
It’s nearly spring! After a winter that kind of seemed to last forever, it’s getting light again and the although the temperature feels like we’re about to enter another ice age, it will surely rise a little higher in the coming weeks. And the clocks change soon too, adding a whole extra hour of light in the evenings for doing whatever you enjoy most – be it cycling, jogging, gardening or just generally relaxing.
And one thing many of us do of an evening is go online. We go online for entertainment – catching up on any favourite television shows we may have missed, or maybe to read about the latest big events in the news – or to research stuff we’re interested in.
An increasingly common use of the internet is to look up symptoms – for instance if I’m ill or a loved on is unwell, I’ll go online and see what I can find out. Obviously I’m very aware of the fact that medical stuff on the net is provided for information purposes only. And of course that the only way to obtain a diagnosis is to consult a doctor.
But it seems not everyone’s so keen to leave the safety of the keyboard and computer screen to venture into the doctor’s surgery: a recent survey has found that more than half of people go online for health tips rather then speak to their doctor.
This story was reported in one of the biggest selling daily newspapers, although it’s not entirely clear how the different health queries people had were evaluated. For instance, if I have, say, a particularly heavy cough, then I may well look at a reputable website for health information e.g. from a private health care insurance provider or NHS direct. But I’d also see a health professional. Whereas if I was looking for information on the health benefits of blueberries, legumes or whole wheat grains, I’d likely just check out the internet.
More on the story here…
Posted in medical | Tagged: Health, Medical, medical encyclopedia, symptoms | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on March 26, 2013
Interesting video showing a very patient-centred view of private health care and what’s involved during and after a knee operation.
Musculo-skeletal problems are incredibly common but luckily most don’t involve surgery. When they do though, it’s good to know that such a great level of treatment and after care are avilable
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Posted by andrewmcd on February 18, 2013
The author of this article - Jen Jones writes on dental insurance UK topics as well as
A while ago in the US, a brand new way of potentially treating hypersensitivity in teeth was discovered.
Not only does it treat hypersensitivity in teeth Untied States researchers have discovered it also stops certain bacteria from causing more destruction.
A detailed study carried out by New York University a couple of years ago showed that a special formula of zinc ions and fluoride mixed with a matrix of calcium phosphate actually reverses the process of damage inflicted on teeth by streptococcus mutans.
As well as preventing tooth hypersensitivity the mixture closed a large majority of “tubules” (little crevices in the tooth surface that expose dentin) helping prevent streptococcus mutans bacteria from attacking the teeth as aggressively as they would without the treatment.
It was at during 2010′s International Association of Dental Research (IADR) exhibition in Barca Spain that the discovery was revealed to the dental world.
Contained in Streptococcus mutans for around twenty four hours the samples of dentin where compared.
One group of samples received no treatment what so ever whilst one group of samples had been treated in the formulative concoction of fluoride calcium phosphate and zinc for eight minutes.
Whilst the bacteria in the untreated sample multiplied and multiplied the sample with the fluoride/calcium phosphate/zinc formulation caused the problems when it tried to grow.
Meanwhile it was found that the group with the fluoride/calcium phosphate/zinc formulation treatment didn’t have as many open tubules as untreated samples.
Could these findings start a race for the development of new related dental treatments, or start a revolution in tooth paste formulas?
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Posted by andrewmcd on January 22, 2013
It seems like it’s been winter for months, doesn’t it? You start to feel the air cool sometime in early September, then the leaves fall off the trees in October, and there it is, suddenly November is there – and the winter kicks in and lasts for what seems like a very long time indeed. And it’s still only January!
So we though it would be a good time to check up on you and make sure that you’re keeping winter healthy. Doing things like:
- wrapping up appropriately for the cool weather
- being careful out there with all that ice and snow
- making sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
- making sure you’re getting enough fruit and veg
- staying active (even if it means doing indoor exercise)
This is actually quite a nice time of winter as the light is beginning to creep back into our late afternoons, and as that continues it’s a sure sign that spring will (eventually) be on its way. And then we can really appreciate, after all that snow, some milder spring weather!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: winter health | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on December 11, 2012
About the author: Jen Jones writes for a number of blogs and websites on motor insurance and corporate healthcare.
Whiplash. Sounds kind of nasty, doesn’t it? The term medical doesn’t actually refer to the pain or injury of being hit by a whip though, it’s a neck injury caused by a sudden jolt. I think the idea is that the neck is moved quickly in a way that is not unlike the cord of the whip suddenly being thrown forward. Anyway, regardless of how the term came about, it’s an unpleasant injury – and common. In fact according to NHS choices it’s very common indeed and accounts for over three quarters of bodily injury claims in the UK.
However, given that (like various other muscoloskeletal problems) whiplash can be diagnosed through description, it means that claims which are exaggerated or misrepresented are harder to spot. There isn’t the same diagnosis as there would be for, say a broken bone. All of which means that the average driver’s costs are affected to the tune of £90 per year, say the news stories reporting on the subject. The government is now seeking to change the rules regarding whiplash, by changing the rules regarding the procedures of diagnosis – making it easier to spot fraudulent claims while genuine ones will be settled.
Interestingly, according to the government’s figures there has been a large (60%) rise in personal injury claims that relate to road traffic accidents over the last six years. And this is despite 20% fewer actual accidents being reported over the same period.
The reduction in the number of accidents and the news of the changes in how whiplash claims will be managed should be of interest especially to firms whose employees’ jobs involve a lot of driving – as well as fleet management services and, of course, anyone who drives and is looking
For more info on the causes and symptoms of whiplash, have a look at the NHS Choices site, which has a page dedicated to this topic.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Health, musculoskeletal disorders, whiplash | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on December 11, 2012
Ever suffered from back pain? If, like me, you have
Posted in health video clips | Tagged: back pain, muscoloskeletal disorders | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on December 4, 2012
Stress management is something that gets quite a lot of press coverage these days – and that is a good thing. Where once mental health issues were something that didn’t much get discussed, things are much more open these days. And that is a good thing – it means that for those of us who are suffering from things like stress, depression or anxiety there’s a lot of useful info available, and an immeasurably more sympathetic view of mental health issues than there had been in previous decades.
One of the effects of greater general understanding as regards mental health generally is that there is more diagnosis – and as a result the prevalence of common mental health problems is more extensive than would previously have been thought. 1 in 6 people in the workforce are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression at any one time – which means that even if we’ve not been affected by these ourselves, we’re likely to a have a colleague, friend or family member who has.
And stress also made the news this year with hospital admissions for the problem seeing a sharp rise. This was thought to be related to the economic downturn. So, with all this stress going around, what do we do? Well the first thing to remember is that you’re not alone – far from it. Confiding in a trusted colleague or someone close such as a family member can also make a difference. Sometimes even just vocalising a concern can help as it helps to gain perspective on it and begin managing it. There are a lot of good web resources on dealing with stress, such as AXA PPP healthcare’s Stress Centre and the mind.org.uk pages on stress.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: mental health, stress, wellbeing | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on November 12, 2012
Could we be at the outset of a data revolution?
It certainly looks like all the right elements are in place for the wheels of a data revolution to start turning. Take a look at Google Maps and Street View for instance – we have the ability to collect almost inordinate amounts of data, and we also have the computing power to do something with what we collect. Everything from our sleep patterns to the amount of steps we take during the day can now be recorded using inexpensive apps and devices – usually for our own info – but imagine what could be achieved if more data was shared.
After the London Olympics, the athlete drug testing facilities were turned into an e-health centre – the idea being that routinely collected data will help with the development and targeting of new treatments. This isn’t just an amazing legacy for the summer’s athletic extravaganza – it could also potentially be the centre of medical breakthroughs.
And this month in Wired magazine there’s a fascinating article about the best ways to go about collecting data – which will result in “connected healthcare” – where hypothetically someone could be cared for at home supported by sensors, networks and other high technology.
The article goes into a bit of detail about how this could maybe one day bring benefits to the consumer when buying private health insurance – whereby if an individual by using a monitoring system at home would be able to show that they got a healthy amount of exercise, were taking any medications they were supposed to be taking and so on – could then possibly qualify for a discount. Of course while the technology for home monitoring exists in one form or another, it will be some time before the kit needed is mass market. But it’s an interesting concept.
And it’s not difficult to imagine a future in which much of the routine check up and diagnostics could be done without a visit to a health professional. Yes, whatever happens – one thing’s for sure: we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Posted in Health News, Uncategorized | Tagged: healthcare, patient data, technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on November 5, 2012
Have you been treated by an NHS dentist in the last year or so?
If you have, then you will also have an opinion on the service you received. And a recent survey shows that about 4 out of five patients are satisfied with the treatment they received.
Of course, depending on what you’ve had done, your feelings may vary. I remember once getting an extraction that – to say the least – was uncomfortable. Dramatic, even, in its own little way. Basically what happened was that the dentist was more or less unable to get the tooth out – and a full ten minutes of pulling ensued before, finally, it gave way.
But that was thankfully a rare event and most of the dental treatment I’ve had has been very good indeed. But over the years I have had some fairly involved dental problems, which in its way has been lucky as a few years ago I decided to take out dental cover – and this has meant that I no longer need to worry about that moment when the dentist’s receptionist hands you a hefty bill.
In other oral health news, the Dentistry website recently published a very interesting article all about the BDA Benevolent Fund, which was set up 130 years ago to support members of the profession who had fallen on hard times and were unable to support themselves through working. These days, the charity is still doing its good work – although as the article pouts out state benefits now available to anyone eligible mean that dentists are supported in different ways when they’re in need of assistance from the charity – the examples given being the adaption of living facilities to help disabled people or top purchase a washing machine.
Posted in dental health | Tagged: bda, bda benevolent fund, Dentist | Leave a Comment »
Posted by andrewmcd on October 31, 2012
If you’ve ever had the experience of being in a car when someone’s smoking, you’ll know just how unpleasant it really is. And when the cigarette is extinguished, the situation doesn’t get any better – as the smoke goes stale. And there’s just something about smoking in cars that is particularly unpleasant, for some reason: the enclosed space, the fact that you’re not able to get up and walk to an area where there’s fresher air.
In fact, there are a great many smokers who never smoke in their own vehicle – and while in some cases that’s to save money on valeting costs or perhaps help slow down the vehicle’s depreciation in value, I also strongly suspect that even a lot of smokers find car smoking to be as unpleasant as the rest of us. So it was interesting to read this week that Aberdeen University has backed the Smoke Free Private Vehicles Bill currently being considered by parliament. the reason for this is that – as perhaps you’d expect, but now indicated by scientific research too – that the air pollution caused by smoking in cars could be harmful to passengers.
In other news, Health Insurance magazine this week reports on a recent debate held by the Association of British insurers on the topic of the country’s public and private health system – which of course are beginning to see integration in some areas (private healthcare running NHS hospitals for instance) and private medical insurance policies that offer treatment under private medicine in cases when the waiting list for eligible treatment is over six weeks.
The debate picked up on what insurers believe to be an ‘artificial’ divide between private and public health care in the UK. It’s certainly an area that has the potential to provide for further interesting discussion in the future.
Posted in Insurance news | Tagged: Health, Health-Insurance, private health care, smoking | Leave a Comment »