Saturday, September 1, 2012

Diabetes Mobile Apps May Cause Usability Problems For Older Adults

Causing a number of severe health problems, diabetes is prevalent among people aged 65 and older. One of the most crucial things diabetics can do to control their illness is to maintain control of blood glucose levels. Although there are new technology products out there specially designed to help self-monitoring more easy and more accessible, the machines do not benefit some older users.

Laura A. Whitlock and Anne Collins McLaughlin, human factors/ergonomics researchers, examined the problems older adults might have using one type of new technology, blood-glucose-tracking applications for mobile devises. The findings will be presented at the upcoming HFES 56th Annual Meeting in Boston.

Mobile devices have tracking apps that are made to log the multiple variables, such as prescription drug use and food consumption, that impact blood glucose levels.

Other features helping diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels are sometimes found in the apps as well, such as:

    * educational tools
    * alarm-based reminders
    * interactive forums
    * report generators

However, older users will probably have a hard time using these apps because of the declines they will experience in vision, cognition, and motor skills as they age or with the progression of the disease. This is concerning because if these self-monitoring tools are too difficult for them to use, they will probably be discouraged and refrain from using them.

Three leading blood glucose apps were observed in the scientists' paper, "Identifying Usability Problems of Blood Glucose Tracking Apps for Older Adult Users," in order to see if they present older adults with usability problems, especially visual and physical obstacles.

Whitlock revealed:

    "We found that even though these apps are rated highly [in Apple's App Store], they may present a number of challenges for older adults."

Some examples of potential design issues include pages with:

    * small text
    * poor color contrast
    * icons that enter into an alternate mode if the individual holds the button too long
    * a font size that gets smaller when the length of the text is bigger than one line
    * scroll wheels that obscure the page view

The elderly who have memory limitations, poor vision, or declining motor skills have a high chance of experiencing issues with usability

Whitlock concluded:

    "Developers are recognizing and responding to the desire to use mobile technology to improve personal health, and we're going to continue to see the growth of mobile applications to answer health needs. However, I think it's important for the public to know that this can and should be done in a way that is accessible to all, including older adults."

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

An easy Treatment for anxiety Guidelines

Numerous treatments for anxiety are now available to modern man, but you can not venture on your own when it comes to dealing with anxiety. The participation of an experienced therapist in the rehabilitation process is an absolute necessity. To describe the recovery process in metaphorical terms, we can say that the treatment of anxiety, as the path from darkness to light. Capture of fear that doctors determine how anxiety affects everyone at least once in a while, but in some cases, the patient no longer controls the emotions he / she gives into depression, stress, fear and panic.
Could anxiety be the result of too much stress? Does it draw from the experience grief in this life or indirect? Is a genetically predisposed to anxiety? Scientists have so far failed to understand that there are few of these, which leads to the installation of anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, from individual to individual, the predominance of one over another alarm call is clear. Thus, treatment of anxiety differ so much, and they should always be adapted to the uniqueness of the patient, as well as possible.
There are drugs and drug-free, invasive or noninvasive procedures anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is prevalent in all forms of treatment, as it provides the material, tools and guidance to patients in order to conquer fear forever. Even in very severe cases, therapy can bring balance to the existence of the patient in the sense that the trains are suffering so that the condition is tolerable and manageable. Experts often use multiple processes in parallel or anxiety treatment formulas, which follow a holistic approach.
Here is an example of how different methods of treatment of anxiety may be combined. Let's assume that the doctor decides not to prescribe medication. In addition to therapy, you can relieve stress, calm your mind and get in control of their condition through regular physical activity, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation and breathing techniques. Anxiety sufferer must integrate all of this in his / her life in order to get the best self-help strategies to prevent panic attacks and to control his / her mind and buy valium.
A lot of programs to combat anxiety to provide users with a holistic approach and a combination of several treatments for anxiety in one formula. Talk to your doctor and come up with such a program together, or use ready-made one recommendation to a specialist. Anti-anxiety program to help yourself to let anxiety sufferers to break the vicious circle of fear, change your thinking pattern and develop mindfulness in all activities.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Experts Warn about Health Misinformation from Twitter

A small number of Twitter users can easily cause the spread of misinformation health, found in studies that examined the Twitter updates on the use of antibiotics. Experts warn that while the number of cases were small, Twitter can easily have a negative impact on public health.
The researchers analyzed 52,153 "tweets" that these antibiotics on March 13, 2009 and July 31, 2009, categorization of tools for publishers, as a "general use, advice / information, side effects / adverse reactions, diagnosis, resistance, misunderstanding and / or misuse, positive reactions, animals, wanting / needing, cost, and others. "The researchers then randomly monitor updates 1000 updates, and then took things further investigation of antibiotic misunderstanding and abuse.
The researchers searched for key words that included phrases such as flu and antibiotics, or cold, antibiotic and antibiotic residues, and share, and antibiotic residues. The most common category of "tweets" involved in the general discussion of antibiotic use and days of their impact on improving health. .
The second most popular category was "advice and information", some of which include personalized recommendations, and the third category of antibiotics on Twitter were no complaints or side effects that could adversely affect the health of others. For example, "those antibiotics made me want to die" and more specific information about vomiting as a side effect of antibiotics.
"As people change how they interact, going from passive consumption to active creation of content on the Internet, social networks are becoming increasingly important sources of information," said Catherine Murphy, RN, PhD, CIC, APIC 2010 president. "These findings are a reminder that we must continue to monitor networks such as Twitter and explore ways to positively influence the health of the population through social networks."
The researchers suggest that misinformation update the forms of health can be easily spread on Twitter, discovered in his analysis of tweets about antibiotics. They also show that health workers can collect information about the misinformation about antibiotics updates from Twitter, or even use social networks to promote positive health behaviors and provide valuable information through their own tweets.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Non-Allergic Food Demand Rapidly Increases

Non-allergic food products are increasingly filling food market, making wide choice of different food types available for every one suffering from various health complications.
About 12 million US residents suffer from various food allergies and close to 2 million residents suffer from celiac disease. In these people the immune system attacks aggressively itself when they take allergic food or gluten protein. The number of people with food allergies is on the rise. The number of people with peanut allergy has already doubled during the past ten years. Between 150 to 200 people die each year because of food related allergies.
It is not yet clear why food allergies are rising so rapidly. Several researches are suggesting the following hypothesis: allergies are occurring because of reduced number of germs in daily life of kids, because of environmental pollution, and the way some food products are being produced. However, none of these points are 100% confirmed to be the cause of allergies. Although, all of the points that were mentioned above are true, meaning that probably allergies come because of the combination of these issues.
The number of people with allergies are driving the demand for non-allergic food. This year there the production of non-allergic food will reach to $3.9 billion, gluten-free food is expected to take $1.3 billion by 2010 compared to $700 million in 2006.
In 2006 government required all food manufacturers to have all ingredients clearly mentioned on food products containing milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts. Since then, food companies had to be even more attentive to the needs of consumers with allergies. For example, Girl Scouts now sells milk-free cookies, Anheuser-Busch sells gluten-free beer, and Kellogg’s has Pop-Tarts nut-free factories.
Gluten is not yet being actively taken out from food, but some major companies, such as General Mills and Stonyfield Farm, are already going gluten-free. Kellogg’s and Campbell Soup now produce food for those with various allergies and celiac.
Changing the manufacturing process for already established companies is harder than for the newer companies that start their production with inclusiong of allergy-free food. These new food producers don’t need to change manufacturing process and facilities, but can build new facilities and design new processes, which are much easier to do than redesigning. This tells us that the going allergy-free or gluten-free proves to be more difficult for the major companies and requires more efforts on their part. However, making the change will show how serious these major food producers are serious toward the health needs of their customers.
According to National Association for the Specialty Food Trade statistics, 300 out of 2800 its members already offer 7000 allergy-free products, but 5 years ago only 50 members did so. There are also several internet stores offering non-allergic food, such as Heather and Brian Selwa and Steve Rubinstein. These figures show the level of significance for companies to go allergy-free.
A spokesman for Mintel reported that non-allergic food market is increasing even more rapidly than the demand does. People mostly avoid eating certain types of food even if they don’t suffer from allergy. About 28% of people think they have allergy, but they really don’t. However, all these market changes make people feel comfortable, because they can go to a general food shop and buy whatever they want to, and whatever they think is safe for their health.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Public Health Problem With Arsenic In Baltimore Parks

Following the closure of Swann Park because of arsenic contamination, Baltimore City has completed its review of city parks and found no other public health risks associated with arsenic. The review was conducted in coordination with the Maryland Department of the Environment with input from federal and local experts.
%26quot;Because of its proximity to a former chemical manufacturing facility, Swann Park is unique,%26quot; said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Commissioner of Health. %26quot;This review is reassuring to all of us who regularly enjoy the parks in the city.%26quot;
Last summer and fall, the Maryland Department of the Environment conducted spot testing of 11 parks. This review was released in January 2008. None of the test results were close to the range of Swann Park, which reached thousands of parts per million of arsenic.
As planned, the city (through its consultant Environmental Resources Management, Inc.) conducted follow-up testing at four parks. This testing has revealed no levels of arsenic of public health significance. Results were reviewed with senior scientists at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in the federal government and local experts at Johns Hopkins.
Meanwhile, Swann Park’s remediation is proceeding on schedule. Excavation of soils is near completion, and air monitoring results have not shown any problems.
"We appreciate the work of many agencies to check on the park system," said Wanda Durden, the new director of the Department of Parks & Recreation. "We are looking forward to a great summer."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Small Protein Can Broaden Immune Response In Humans

Treating cancer patients with interleukin-7 (IL-7), a small protein that can stimulate the immune system, leads to an increase in lymphocytes, key to the production of effective immune responses, in the body, according to a new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The demonstration that IL-7 is able to broaden the possible immune responses in humans could have a wide range of clinical implications. This study was published online June 23, 2008, in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
%26quot;Our results are only a first step in a long process,%26quot; said the study’s lead author, Claude Sport s, M.D., of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. %26quot;Potential clinical applications need to be tested systematically in order to define the field of clinical application for the drug.%26quot;
Chemotherapy and HIV infection often deplete the body of lymphocytes, thereby, reducing immune function. With aging, individuals older than 45 to 50 years are generally incapable of regenerating significant amounts of na ve T lymphocytes, because of the progressive loss of function of the thymus, the organ where T lymphocytes differentiate in order to perform very specific functions. In contrast, in younger adults, restoration of na ve T cell populations takes 12 to 24 months. Na ve T cells are essential for the immune system to be able to adapt to new pathogens encountered in life and to support the body’s ability to fight cancer.
IL-7 is a naturally produced cytokine that is essential for T cell development during fetal life. Cytokines are small proteins produced by cells of the immune system that help regulate immune responses. IL-7 remains critical after birth for maintaining some types of T cells in the body. Previous research in animal models has shown that IL-7 can help restore T cell populations.
To assess the effects of IL-7 treatment in humans, the researchers administered a laboratory-generated form of IL-7 (rhIL-7) to 16 cancer patients with solid tumors, who had not responded to standard treatment, under their skin every other day for 14 days. The patients, whose ages ranged from 20 to 71 years, each received a total of eight doses of rhIL-7. The researchers found an increase in the total number of lymphocytes in the patient’s bloodstreams. The number of CD4+ T cells increased by about 300 percent and the number of CD8+ T cells increased over 400 percent. One function of CD4+ T cells is to act as "helper" cells and recruit the activity of other immune cells, whereas CD8+ T cells act directly as cytotoxic T cells that kill infected cells and tumor cells. The greatest effect of rhIL-7 was on na ve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Remarkably, this cytokine promoted the expansion of na ve T cells in older individuals, returning their T cell profile in the blood to what is seen in younger people and children. Treatment with rhIL-7 also had a notable effect on the number of memory CD4+ T cells, which play a key role in the body’s defense against tumors and chronic, persistent viral infections.
The changes induced by rhIL-7 reflected increases in the total numbers of lymphocytes in the body. These higher lymphocyte numbers remained elevated for up to six weeks after treatment ended. The researchers found that rhIL-7 caused increases in lymphocyte proliferation as well as an influx of lymphocytes into the bloodstream from lymphoid tissues, such as the lymph nodes and the spleen. They did not observe a direct effect on the thymus during this two-week study; however, other studies have shown that, in adults, participation by the thymus in immune cell restoration may take several months after T cell depletion.
"These findings may lead to a large number of clinical applications for IL-7," said Sport s. "For example, there might be therapeutic applications in immune-compromised individuals, such as in cancer or HIV-infected patients, to boost lymphocyte counts and immune responses. It might also be used to enhance immune responses to conventional vaccines, particularly in older individuals, as well as responses to cancer vaccines or other forms of cancer immunotherapy."
"NCI has long been at the forefront of the clinical development of IL-7, and we plan to continue exploring the biologic properties of IL-7 in humans and to define its clinical applications," added Sport s.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Massachusetts Proposes Use of Graphic Anti-Smoking Posters

Anti-smoking campaign in the past few years have led to growing arena of smoke-free zones, increased taxes on tobacco products, as well as improving state and local programs to help smokers to maintain.
Massachusetts wants to add to the anti-smoking campaign, becoming the first state in the nation to force retailers to prominently graphic warnings about the dangers of kureniya.Graficheskih posters will not be placed "out of sight" but must be placed next to the tobacco sales racks, cash registers, where they can not be missed.
The posters will contain images of ominously darkened lungs, brain damage, and bad teeth to show the dangers of tobacco use. Retailers who refuse to display symptoms within two feet of tobacco displays and cash register could face a fine of $ 100 to $ 300.
Department of Health of Massachusetts proposed a campaign that now must be approved by the Public Health Council. The Boston Globe reports that the doctors, disease trackers and consumer activists on board have already expressed support for such mery.Sovet will meet in August.

Posters on the model of personal-left-fantasy campaign in New York, where the signs depicting the health effects of smoking began appearing in stores in December last year.
The campaign is guaranteed $ 316,000 in federal stimulus money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will allow the state to provide the materials to retailers without charge.