Month: September 2023

Health care has had a tough year. Where we stand on our 5 stocks in the sector

Health Gorilla launches Patient Access, Enabling Access to

Mountain View, CA, Sept. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Health Gorilla, a privacy-focused health information network and interoperability solution provider, has announced the launch of its Patient Access solution, which allows healthcare organizations to access comprehensive health data by enabling consumers to submit queries to national health information networks under the Individual Access Services (IAS) purpose of use.

Accessing comprehensive data seamlessly from national exchanges has traditionally been limited to specific use-cases, such as treatment. Organizations that provide healthcare services outside of treating patients, such as insurers and life sciences organizations, rely on time-consuming, manual methods of accessing consumers’ medical records, including direct outreach to the patient’s physicians, asking patients to recount their medical history from memory, or requiring patients to provide their EHR patient portal credentials. 

Healthcare support organizations can now leverage Patient Access to enable consumers to seamlessly retrieve and share their comprehensive clinical data from a nationwide network of clinics, hospitals, and EHR systems in near real-time. Patient Access is now available as an out-of-the-box software platform and FHIR-based API for custom applications. 

The Patient Access solution includes:

  • Real-time, IAL2 consumer identity validation
  • One-tap submission of IAS queries to Health Gorilla’s nationwide Health Information Network, CommonWell Health Alliance, and Carequality
  • Bi-directional data flows to support consumer-mediated sharing

“After years of planning, we are thrilled to release our Patient Access solution, finally enabling consumers to access their own data from our national health information network,” said Steve Yaskin, CEO & Co-founder of Health Gorilla. “Healthcare organizations can now access comprehensive data from a nationwide network of EHRs through consenting consumers. The launch of Patient Access opens a new chapter for how patient data will be retrieved and exchanged.”

“Treatment-based exchange has scaled to hundreds of millions of medical record exchanges every month, and we believe the Patient Access

Aging With a Healthy Brain: How Lifestyle Changes Could Help Prevent up to 40% of Dementia Cases


By encouraging people to be physically, mentally and socially active, we can potentially keep a significant number of dementia cases at bay. Photo: Dougal Waters/Getty Images

A 65-year-old woman repeatedly seeks medical help for her failing memory. She is first told it’s nothing to worry about, then, a year later, that it’s “just normal aging.” Until finally, the penny drops: “It’s Alzheimer’s. There is no cure.”

Scenarios like this one are too common.

Dementia remains largely underdetected, even in high-income countries such as Canada where rates of undetected cases exceed 60 per cent. Beliefs that cognitive deficits are normal in elderly people, and the lack of knowledge of dementia symptoms and of diagnostic criteria amongst medical doctors have been identified as the main culprits of missed cases and delayed diagnosis.

Age-related memory losses should not be shaken off as just part of normal aging. Occasionally forgetting where we parked the car or where we left our keys can happen to everyone, but when these situations become frequent it’s important to seek medical advice.

While many individuals experiencing mild changes in their ability to think and remember information will not go on to develop dementia, in others, these declines constitute an early warning sign. Research has shown that people with mild changes in cognition are at a greater risk of developing dementia later in life.

In fact, it has been demonstrated that the disease process (changes in the brain’s structure and metabolism) starts decades before the appearance of symptoms such as memory loss. Moreover, it is increasingly recognized in the scientific community that interventions that aim to slow down or prevent disease development are more likely to be effective when initiated early in the disease course.

Despite this, protocols for early detection are

Analysis: Shein vows to cut clothing waste, but can the ultra-fast fashion brand really change its spots?

  • Ultra-fast fashion brand Shein second only to Inditex in revenue, churning out thousands of new designs a day
  • Shein scored 7 out of 100 on Fashion Revolution’s latest Transparency Index
  • Campaigners see Shein as prime contributor to millions of waste textiles sent to Global South
  • In response it has set up a fund to help countries manage clothing waste, and is trialling peer-to-peer exchanges to enable customers to sell used clothes
  • Brand says waste from unsold clothes is in single digits, and has partnered with with Queen of Raw to rescue excess fabrics

August 24 – Sales of $10 tops and $15 dresses have sent the value of Shein, the Chinese-owned brand selling ultra-fast fashion to the West, soaring since it launched in 2017 in the U.S.

Churning out thousands of new designs a day, Shein has a direct selling model that targets its millions of social media followers.

The privately owned company, which is in talks with investment banks about a potential U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters, is valued at more than $60 billion.

In February, the Financial Times reported that Shein, headquartered in Singapore, made $22.7 billion in revenues last year, on a par with H&M, though below industry leader Inditex, which owns Zara. And Shein has no intention of slowing down, targeting revenues to more than double to $58.5 billion in 2025.

Although another Chinese company with a similar model, Temu, is snapping at Shein’s heels, Shein is squarely in the sites of environmental campaigners, who see it as a prime contributor to the mountains of discarded waste textiles exported to countries in the Global South.

According to U.S./Ghanaian not-for-profit Or Foundation, one destination for waste textiles is Kantamanto second-hand market in Accra, which receives 15 million new garments a week. It says 40% end

‘Mastermind’ arrested after alleged Ont. operation involving 300 people

Peel Regional Police work the scene around a home in Brampton, Ont., on November 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

The suspect allegedly worked with members of a large online retailer to illegally obtain funds from the healthcare benefits provider. (Credit: Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Peel Regional Police have arrested and charged a 30-year-old Vaughan, Ont., resident, who they claim was the “mastermind” behind a “health care benefits scam,” which took place over a 22-month period.

The scam allegedly involved approximately 300 people working as part of a large online retailer, with 30 people being the “most complicit,” said Tyler Bell, a Peel police spokesperson, to Yahoo Canada. After an investigation by the Fraud Bureau, Anand Pareshkumar Amin was arrested and charged in connection to the operation.

“The majority of the individuals were newcomers [to Canada] with limited understanding of how benefits work,” said Bell. “The mastermind behind this essentially convinced people that they were entitled to benefits and to provide him with their access information where he made fraudulent claims on their behalf.”

The investigation began after officials were contacted by a health care benefits provider, who had completed their own fraud investigation and determined that there was criminality involved.

Once the payout was dispersed by the health care benefits provider, the illegally obtained funds would then allegedly be shared between the individual plan member and Amin, who also worked for the online retailer.

The criminal investigation concluded that this fraudulent operation ultimately resulted in an initial loss of over $600,000 for the health care benefits provider, over the course of almost two years. Bell said that some of the money has been restituted, and the total loss in the end is approximately $100,000.

Given that the company received repayment from most involved, combined with the circumstances with many of them being newcomers to Canada, the only individual charged is Amin, said Bell.

Amin has been charged with

How health systems can better protect patient privacy

Dr. Eric Liederman, director of medical informatics for The Permanente Medical Group, says good communications with patients about cybersecurity protection is essential – even as risks to protected health information are on the rise, from external bad actors and insider threats.

Growing patient discomfort in sharing health information

Beyond health system disruptions such as ransomware that can compromise patient data, cybercriminals are increasingly going after individual patients. Some know they have a “target” on their backs and remain tight-lipped with their healthcare providers, said Liederman. 

Before what he referred to as the major ramp up in attacks against healthcare that began in 2015, there was “an appreciable minority of patients who were uncomfortable providing all their information to their doctors,” he told attendees at the HIMSS Healthcare Cybersecurity Forum in Boston earlier this month.

According to one 2014 survey, 10% of patients distrusted health technology, Liederman said, but another recent survey found 87% of patients are unwilling to divulge all their medical information.

It’s not only “a sense of psychic harm” they seek to control in holding back health information, a sense of distrust that their health system can protect them has them seeking care elsewhere. 

“How do we impress upon our patients and our workforce that we’re protecting them?”

Implementing mechanisms to ensure the safety of data – from the inside of organizations out – and communicating about cyber protection efforts has resulted in better outcomes, Liederman said. 

Joint governance leads to better patient protection

Liederman credited joint governance for helping to facilitate a higher sense of trust among patients and the workforce.

With joint governance, there’s increased dialogue that says, “We’re all together on this – all the way to the top of the organization,” he said. 

At Kaiser Permanente, members from all parts of the organization play

Health Workers Warn Loosening Mask Advice in Hospitals Would Harm Patients and Providers

Nurses, researchers, and workplace safety officers worry new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might reduce protection against the coronavirus and other airborne pathogens in hospitals.

A CDC advisory committee has been updating its 2007 standards for infection control in hospitals this year. Many health care professionals and scientists expressed outrage after the group released a draft of its proposals in June.

The draft controversially concluded that N95 face masks are equivalent to looser, surgical face masks in certain settings — and that doctors and nurses need to wear only surgical masks when treating patients infected by “common, endemic” viruses, like those that cause the seasonal flu.

The committee was slated to vote on the changes on Aug. 22, but it postponed action until November. Once the advice is final, the CDC begins a process of turning the committee’s assessment into guidelines that hospitals throughout the United States typically follow. After the meeting, members of the public expressed concern about where the CDC was headed, especially as covid-19 cases rise. Nationwide, hospital admissions and deaths due to covid have been increasing for several consecutive weeks.

“Health care facilities are where some of the most vulnerable people in our population have to frequent or stay,” said Gwendolyn Hill, a research intern at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after the committee’s presentation. She said N95 masks, ventilation, and air-purifying technology can lower rates of covid transmission within hospital walls and “help ensure that people are not leaving sicker than they came.”

“We are very happy to receive feedback,” Alexander Kallen, chief of the Prevention and Response Branch in the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, told KFF Health News. “It is our goal to develop a guideline that is protective of patients, visitors, and health workers.” He added

‘They’re meaningless’: why women’s clothing sizes don’t measure up | Fashion

In my wardrobe, I have a long Cos dress with a label that reads XS. A similar style from Doen is labelled M – theoretically a whole two sizes up, while a Topshop dress that always feels a little on the large side is labelled a 6. Weird. A vintage mini that I can’t get on without undoing the zip is a 14, and two Asos denim jumpsuits are an 8 and a 10 respectively – and don’t even get me started on jeans. Despite this, all these clothes fit just fine.

The size and shape of my body has remained more or less the same for years – it’s the ability to know whether or not a purchase will fit that has fluctuated. Ask any woman, and they’ll tell you that finding the perfect T-shirt in, say, a size 10 from one brand doesn’t mean you’ll fit size 10 T-shirts everywhere. You may not even fit other size 10 T-shirts from the same shop. What’s behind this sizing debacle?

In the UK, more than a fifth of all clothes bought online are sent back. According to the British Fashion Council, incorrect sizing or fit was the top reason for returns (93%). Whenever I return a purchase, retailers want to know why. Was an incorrect item received? Was it damaged? Did I order more than one size? Or did the size ordered not fit? Usually, for me, it’s the latter.

“I think it would be better to get rid of sizes 10, 12, 14, 16 – they’re meaningless,” says Simeon Gill, senior lecturer in fashion technology at the University of Manchester. “Let’s move into a bust, waist, hip system – that’s essentially what online retail is doing. It’s just that it’s also retained this outmoded idea of 10,

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and NYS Department of Health Strengthen Relationship

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe welcomed New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald and NYS American Indian Health Program Director Michèle Hamel for a tour of tribal medical facilities and to discuss shared efforts to strengthen public health. Pictured are (first row, from left): Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance, Tribal Chief Beverly Cook, NYS Health Commissioner McDonald, and Tribal Sub-Chief Agnes “Sweets” Jacobs; (second row, from left): Tribal Sub-Chief Derrick King, General Counsel Dale White, Health Director Michael Cook, A/CDP Clinical Director Connie Thompson, NYS American Indian Health Program Director Michèle Hamel, and Assistant-Executive Director Star Thomas.

AKWESASNE – The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald were delighted to make introductions and take part in a guided tour of the Akwesasne community on Thursday, September 14, 2023. It was the first visit to Akwesasne for Dr. McDonald, who was joined by First Nations Health and Wellness and NYS American Indian Health Program Director Michèle Hamel.

Appointed as the Acting-Commissioner of the Department of Health in January 2023, Dr. James McDonald was confirmed as NYS Health Commissioner by the State Senate on June 10, 2023. Since that time, Dr. McDonald has been working to empower New Yorkers to live healthier lives and increase their access to quality health care, including within underserved areas of the State.

“It was truly an honor to meet with the leaders and spend the day with the people of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “It is so important that we continue to build and strengthen our partnership, and expand our understanding, as we work to promote public health. We discussed some of the challenges facing Akwesasne, and I look forward to working together to address these challenges and to

N.S. health administrative workers readying to strike 3 years after contract expired – Halifax

Thousands of health care administrative workers in Nova Scotia are eyeing a strike three years after their contract expired.

The unions representing them say wages remain the major sticking point, but they’re open to returning to the bargaining table. The president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) says these staff members deserve more.

“The premier has been focusing on health care,” says Sandra Mullen. “Certainly, nurses, doctors, all of those contracts have been signed with promises to keep those wages where they need to be within Atlantic Canada.”

Sandra Mullen is the President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU).

Skye Bryden-Blom/Global News

She says the wages of admin staff haven’t kept pace with inflation as some make as low as $18 per hour and are now taking on second jobs to help make ends meet.

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The NSGEU represents nearly 3,800 of the more than 5,000 administration workers in Nova Scotia’s hospitals and community care settings. The remainder are covered by CUPE and Unifor.

“They keep that operation [health care] running. They schedule appointments, they enter information that the doctors need, they do a multitude of things,” says Mullen.

The Essential Health and Community Services Act requires employers and unions to establish an essential services agreement before a strike or lockout can happen.

“I won’t allow Nova Scotians to go without access to essential services,” says Premier Tim Houston. “Particularly, I will not allow Nova Scotians to go without access to health care because of a labour disruption. It will not happen.”

Click to play video: 'Frontline worker unions happy to see Nova Scotia budget focus on health-care'

Frontline worker unions happy to see Nova Scotia budget focus on health-care

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