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Category Archives: Health Care

Twitter and UN Global Pulse Announce Data Partnership

News release, September 23, 2016: “Twitter and UN Global Pulse today announced a partnership that will provide the United Nations with access to Twitter’s data tools to support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by world leaders last year. Every day, people around the world send hundreds of millions of Tweets in dozens of languages. This public data contains real-time information on many issues including the cost of food, availability of jobs, access to health care, quality of education, and reports of natural disasters. This partnership will allow the development and humanitarian agencies of the UN to turn these social conversations into actionable information to aid communities around the globe. “The Sustainable Development Goals are first and foremost about people, and Twitter’s unique data stream can help us truly take a real-time pulse on priorities and concerns — particularly in regions where social media use is common — to strengthen decision-making. Strong public-private partnerships like this show the vast potential of big data to serve the public good,” said Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse. “We are incredibly proud to partner with the UN in support of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Chris Moody, Twitter’s VP of Data Services. “Twitter data provides a live window into the public conversations that communities around the world are having, and we believe that the increased potential for research and innovation through this partnership will further the UN’s efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.” Organizations and business around the world currently use Twitter data in many meaningful ways, and this unique data source enables them to leverage public information at scale to better inform their policies and decisions. These partnerships enable innovative uses of Twitter data, while protecting the privacy and safety of Twitter users. UN Global Pulse’s new collaboration with Twitter builds on existing R&D that has shown the power of social media for social impact, like measuring the impact of public health campaigns, tracking reports of rising food prices, or prioritizing needs after natural disasters.”

Scientists working to deliver nanoparticles directly through patients skin to treat illnesses

“Scientists are investigating a way to use temporary tattoos that deliver nanoparticles to treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. “Placed just under the skin, the carbon-based particles form a dark spot that fades over about one week as they are slowly released into the circulation,” says Christine Beeton, a scientist at Baylor College of Medicine.… Continue Reading

Census of Problem-Solving Courts, 2012

Suzanne M. Strong, Ph.D., Ramona R. Rantala, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Tracey Kyckelhahn, Ph.D., Former BJS Statistician. September 15, 2016. NCJ 249803 “Describes type, location, and characteristics of all known problem-solving courts in 2012. Types of problem-solving courts include drug, mental health, family, youth specialty, hybrid DWI/drug, DWI, domestic violence, veterans, tribal wellness, and other… Continue Reading

Kaiser – How Much Has Medicare Spent on the EpiPen Since 2007?

Kaiser Data Note: “The latest example of high and rising prescription drug prices to attract significant media and public attention relates to the EpiPen, an auto-injector containing the drug epinephrine which is used to reverse the effects of severe allergic reactions. Since Mylan acquired the EpiPen from Merck in 2007, the company has increased the… Continue Reading

CRS Report – FDA Regulation of Medical Devices

FDA Regulation of Medical Devices, Judith A. Johnson, Specialist in Biomedical Policy, September 14, 2016. “Prior to and since the passage of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, Congress has debated how best to ensure that consumers have access, as quickly as possible, to new and improved medical devices and, at the same time, prevent… Continue Reading

CDC – More than 1 in 4 US adults over 50 do not engage in regular physical activity

“Despite the many benefits of moderate physical activity, 31 million Americans (28 percent) age 50 years and older are inactive – that is, they are not physically active beyond the basic movements needed for daily life activities. This finding comes from a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in… Continue Reading

Medications in public wastewater focuses need for better safeguards

Mental Floss – “A new study reveals that most of the high concentrations of pharmaceuticals in wastewater don’t come from people flushing their meds willy-nilly down the toilet, as New Scientist reports. Rather, we are flushing meds through our bodies into the sewers.  In a new study in Science of the Total Environment, scientists collected wastewater… Continue Reading

New American Community Survey Statistics For Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Available For States and Local Areas

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released its most detailed look at America’s people, places and economy with new statistics on income, poverty, health insurance and more than 40 other topics from the American Community Survey. Many states saw an increase in income and a decrease in poverty rates between 2014 and 2015. During that same… Continue Reading

PwC – Cities of Opportunity

“The living city – London, Singapore, Toronto and Paris top the 2016 benchmark (our 7th edition) of the broad urban qualities that make 30 global business, finance and culture capitals successful. Beneath the headline results of who finishes first, however, findings show the heart of the city revolves around balanced social and economic strengths. And… Continue Reading

Health Costs 2016 Employer Survey: Premiums Rise Modestly, but Deductibles Climb More Quickly

“Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 3 percent to $18,142 this year, a modest increase at a time when workers’ wages (2.5%) and inflation (1.1%) also grew modestly, according to the benchmark Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Workers on average contribute… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Bulk Fuel, Generic Drugs, DHS, Affordable Care Act, School Choice

Bulk Fuel: Actions Needed to Improve DOD’s Fuel Consumption Budget Data, GAO-16-644: Published: Sep 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2016. Generic Drugs Under Medicare: Part D Generic Drug Prices Declined Overall, but Some Had Extraordinary Price Increases, GAO-16-706: Published: Aug 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2016. Homeland Security: DHS’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear… Continue Reading

9/11 – passage of 15 years brings new insights

There are many articles that continue to provide us with perspective and insight as we respectfully and with continued sadness, mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11. For many years there was an effort to obtain the release of the redacted “28 pages from the House Intelligence Committee’s 2002 report to Congress. As I posted July… Continue Reading