2018/10/15: Previous studies have looked at climate change’s impact on mood and on suicide. However, there hasn’t been much research between those extremes, says Nick Obradovich, the lead author on the study and a researcher at MIT’s Media Lab. To capture that middle ground, Obradovich and his team used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s collected responses to the question: “Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?”
They found that when the average monthly temperature in already hot places got even hotter — shifting from 77-86 degrees F to above that range — there was a 0.5 percent increase in self-reported mental health issues. It sounds small, but if extrapolated across the current U.S. population over a 30-day period, that increase would lead to almost 2 million additional individuals reporting mental health difficulties.
The systems we have in place aren’t equipped to handle this influx of mental health issues, says psychiatrist Elizabeth Haase, another member of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. She says it may require rethinking and restructuring our mental health care system, with an emphasis on community-based and value-based health care, where medical professionals are paid based on outcome.
2018/09/27: Insurance works because we are ignorant of our individual fates. It is the fact that any of us might turn out to be a bad risk that makes it sensible for everyone to insure against that remote chance. The pooling of individual risks that can only be known in aggregate underlies the whole system. But there is a subtle mismatch of aims between insurers and their customers. The customers want to avoid the consequences of misfortune; the insurers want customers who avoid misfortune. The two aims are reconciled because both sides are operating behind a veil of ignorance.
Insurers have an interest in knowing as much as possible about their customers. Customers have an interest in insurers underestimating their real risk. But both sides will benefit if ways are found to reduce the risk of the misfortune insured against. The balance between knowledge and ignorance of risk has traditionally been struck at the level of statistical knowledge about large groups.
But statistically significant groups are getting smaller in the age of big data.
12018/09/19: one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.
Privacy and consumer advocates have raised questions about whether insurers may eventually use data to select the most profitable customers, while hiking rates for those who do not participate. The insurance industry has said that it is heavily regulated and must justify, in actuarial terms, its reasons for any rate increases or policy changes.
Health misinformation in Nigeria varies from “cruel hoaxes” such as drinking saltwater to cure Ebola, to general misperceptions about causes of disease, mode of transmission and available treatment.
There are also ungrounded concerns about the safety of medical interventions. Classic examples include false beliefs about contraceptives and vaccinations.
Nigerians have "generally poor health-seeking behaviour" as a a result of poverty, religion and a poorly functioning health system. Social media makes the situation worse by spreading false health rumours.
2017/03/17: No one stated their intention to create a social welfare program for white people, specifically white men, but they didn’t need to. By handing control to employers at a time when virtually every good paying job was reserved for white men the program silently accomplished that goal.
When Democrats respond to job losses with an offer to expand the public safety net, blue collar voters cringe and rebel. They are not remotely interested in sharing the public social safety net experienced by minority groups and the poorest white families. Meanwhile well-employed and affluent voters, ensconced in their system of white socialism, leverage all the power at their disposal to block any dilution of their expensive public welfare benefits. Something has to break.
We may one day recognize that we are all “in it together” and find ways to build a more stable, sensible welfare system. That will not happen unless we acknowledge the painful and sometimes embarrassing legacy that brought us to this place. Absent that reckoning, unspoken realities will continue to warp our political calculations, frustrating our best hopes and stunting our potential.
2016/08/17: People often ask me: is this 3D printing thing actually useful to somebody? My answer: it surely is, for children affected by leukemia!
It is only possible to describe domiciliary care as 'low-skill' and 'low-knowledge' if you exclude from it key attributes of good care such as a) recognising changes in a person's physical, mental
An interactive map shows how hospitals across the country charge Medicare different amounts for the same procedure.
If I toss a coin, but hide the result every time it comes up tails, it looks as if I always throw heads.
Girls in the United States are entering puberty at earlier ages than they have in the past, a new study reports.
An ER patient can be charged thousands of dollars in "trauma fees" - even if they weren't treated for trauma.
Overdose deaths in the United States have nearly tripled over the past 15 years.
When I was growing up, I hated drinking milk, and so had to take these giant, brown, disgusting calcium pills every night with dinner. My mother used to call them 'horse pills' because of how large they were, and I can still remember the taste of their sickly sweet coating - if I'd had a choice in t...
Google stopped running ads for drug treatment centers, thus reshaping the rehabilitation industry and how we approach ending America's opioid epidemic.
Britain's obesity epidemic is fuelling devastating numbers of amputations - almost all of which could have been prevented, experts have warned.
There's a theory going around Washington that Republicans don't want their health bill to pass.
Two years ago I wrote about my experience in a London emergency department with my son, Victor. That post has since been viewed more than 450,000 times. There are over 800 comments with no trolls (a feat unto itself) and almost all of them express love for the NHS. I was in England again this week. And yes, I was back in an emergency department, but this time with my English cousin.