Endobronchial ultrasound and other advances in technology are enabling interventional pulmonologists to better diagnose lung cancer and identify molecular abnormalities, according to Stanford Medicine's Arthur Sung. For example, the endobronchial ultrasound technique enables transbronchial needle aspirations for lymph node biopsies from inside the airway.
A small study in Skeletal Radiology found that follow-up exams with high-resolution ultrasound can show the effectiveness of steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Researchers studied 27 wrists with the condition and found that ultrasound images taken one, four and eight weeks after prednisolone injection correlated with clinical symptoms including pain levels.
A study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 14.6% of pregnant women with sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea had preterm births, compared with 10.9% of those who didn't have sleep disorders. The findings also showed that odds of delivery before 34 weeks' gestation was more than two times higher among those with sleep apnea and almost two times higher among those with insomnia, compared with those without sleep disorders.
Health care organizations continue to struggle with EHR optimization projects, which require them to continually improve and update their technology to satisfy the needs of health care professionals and other staff. Barriers to these projects include the lack of EHR standardization and issues surrounding EHR usability and data reporting requirements.
HIMSS Analytics surveyed 436 physicians, practice leaders, practice IT directors and staff from hospital-owned and free-standing outpatient practices and found that 92% of hospital-owned facilities and almost 70% of freestanding facilities have operational EHR/EMR systems. Nearly 60% of respondents reported no plans to replace their current ambulatory EHR solution within the next two years, compared with 6% who said they intended to buy a new solution, down from 9% last year.
Cybersecurity experts say the health care industry should prepare for ransomworm, the next evolution in ransomware that combines ransomware and a worm. Kevin Magee of Gigamon advises health care organizations to improve their fundamental cybersecurity methods because cybercriminals will "invest much more time in planning and customizing the attack and will both require and expect greater rewards for their efforts."
A review in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association said that overweight children and adults who reduce or eliminate fructose, especially high-fructose corn syrup, from their diets may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease. The researchers also said that reducing HFCS may help patients become healthier without the need to count calories or go on a diet.
A study in Health Affairs found a growing disparity between the Appalachian region and the rest of the US for infant-mortality rates and life expectancy. Researchers said diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, respiratory disorders, lung cancer, drug overdoses, accidental injuries and suicide are tied to the growing survival disparities between the region and the rest of the country, with smoking-related disorders accounting for more than half of the life-expectancy gap.
In 2015, 6.3 million people purchased health coverage outside Affordable Care Act exchanges, but 41% of them would have been eligible for premium subsidies if they'd bought their plan through a public marketplace instead, according to research published in Health Affairs. The study also found that many of those who shopped off-exchange were healthier than their counterparts who bought plans through a public marketplace, suggesting an opportunity to improve the ACA risk pool.
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