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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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Health & Wellness


Google used 46B data points to predict medical outcomes of hospital patients

© unknown/KJN
Some of Google's top AI researchers are trying to predict your medical outcome as soon as you're admitted to the hospital.

A new research paper, published Jan. 24 with 34 co-authors and not peer-reviewed, claims better accuracy than existing software at predicting outcomes like whether a patient will die in the hospital, be discharged and readmitted, and their final diagnosis.

To conduct the study, Google obtained de-identified data of 216,221 adults, with more than 46 billion data points between them. The data span 11 combined years at two hospitals, University of California San Francisco Medical Center (from 2012-2016) and University of Chicago Medicine (2009-2016).

Comment: What's in your health chip? You know it's coming.


Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan team up to redesign US healthcare

© Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP; Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Jamie Dimon, CEO JPMorgan Chase; Warren Buffett, CEO Berkshire Hathaway; Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon
Sometimes, not very often, there is a news story that makes you sit up and think: wow, this is going to change the world. And so it was on Tuesday, when Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced they had agreed to join forces to create an independent healthcare system for their US employees.

It is headline stuff because it brings together the world's richest person (Jeff Bezos), the most-admired US investor (Warren Buffett) and the head of its largest bank by assets (Jamie Dimon). Bezos understands logistics, Buffett understands insurance and Dimon understands money. Together they ought to be able to improve US healthcare. But it is more than that. If these three companies can really deliver more efficient healthcare, that will become a model that will disrupt health provision around the world. And the funny thing is that this has been inspired by Obamacare.

The reputations of those three companies are huge. That they should combine shows that big companies are dissatisfied with the provision of healthcare in the US. It is extremely expensive, absorbing some 18 per cent of US GDP (double that of most European countries), and yet is uneven in its service. The best is wonderful, but there are of course many holes in the system, and outcomes overall are not as good as Western Europe or Japan.

Comment: 'Amazon and the social media giants know a huge amount about us. If you could pool all the data and use artificial intelligence to analyze it'...and that statement is quite a scary thought, especially if "the chips are down."

Improving someone's health - but on who's research and by what standards? Will they outlaw evil vaccines? We probably know the answer to that one. Make it more efficient? Efficient is 'more profitable'.

More from NPR:
So people perked up Tuesday morning when the CEOs of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase said in a press release that their companies are going to partner in a nonprofit venture to figure out "ways to address healthcare for their U.S. employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs."

The press release, such as it is, said technological solutions would be the "initial focus" of the venture's work. All three companies have a lot of experience using technology to make life easier for consumers.

Amazon's online reach and experience may be the most obvious. But Berkshire Hathaway owns Geico, a juggernaut in direct-to-consumer sales of insurance. And JPMorgan Chase's consumer finance services - from mortgages and credit cards to traditional banking - give it expertise in dealing with people about complex decisions in person and online.

Think then of an online app that might help employees shop for health care with information about prices and quality. What if the app helped them book appointments with doctors and nurse practitioners, too?

Would an app that eases the way for employees to more easily choose health services that offer better value make much difference in how much the companies spend on care? Maybe a little, but probably not a lot.

In California, a health care pricing tool launched in 2014 for government employees and retirees didn't really catch on. Only 12 percent of employees used the tool to shop better for lab tests, office visits and imaging services, according to a paper published by the journal Health Affairs in August. And the tool didn't reduce overall spending on the services it included.

[T]his wouldn't be the first time that employers have banded together to improve health care quality and do something about costs. It has happened many times before, in fact.

Two prominent examples in recent years include the Leapfrog Group, founded by big companies in 2000 to spur hospitals to improve quality and patient safety, and the more recent Health Transformation Alliance, a corporate consortium that emerged publicly in 2016.

Neither of those efforts could be said to have fundamentally changed how health care is delivered or paid for, even if they have made a difference on the margins.

But as the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt said on Twitter, there is no chance the nation can budge health spending without the big bosses at least trying.


Researchers warn of the link between raw chicken necks and a rare form of canine paralysis

sick doggie
© University of Melbourne
Raw chicken can be risky for dogs.
Feeding dogs raw chicken meat, particularly chicken necks, has been linked to a rare but potentially fatal type of canine paralysis.

A study led by the University of Melbourne's U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital found the consumption of raw chicken meat increased the risk of developing the paralysing condition acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN) by more than 70 times.

Dr. Matthias le Chevoir, chief investigator on the project said the cause of APN in dogs had baffled the veterinary community for a long time.

"It is a rare but very debilitating condition where the dog's hind legs first become weak and then may progress to affect the front legs, neck, head and face. Some dogs may die from the disease if their chest becomes paralysed," Dr. le Chevoir said.

"Most dogs eventually recover without treatment but it may take up to six months or more in some cases. It can be difficult for owners to nurse their pet until the condition gradually improves.


Desperate parents of autistic kids turn to bleach and turpentine for miracle cure

Emma Dalmayne
© Oli Rudkin/Mercury Press
Campaigner for children's rights Emma Dalmayne has spoken out against the use of turpentine.
Desperate parents are trying to cure autism by making their kids drink poisonous chemicals.

At least six police forces across Britain have questioned families over allegations children as young as two were forced to drink bleach and turpentine.

Some were also given bleach enemas to purge "parasites" which a church cult and unqualified advocates like ex-drug addict Danny Glass blame for causing the behavioural condition.

Tonight, as a task force of MPs and campaigners investigated, a doctor warned that the quack remedies will end up killing children.

One in every 100 kids in the UK suffers from some form of autism, for which there is no medical cure.

Comment: More on MMS:

Microscope 1

Researchers create two-shot cancer 'vaccine' that has been successful attacking tumors in mice

© China Photos / Gettyimages.ru
A two-shot cancer "vaccine" has, according to new research, been wildly successful at attacking tumors in mice. A clinical trial using the treatment on human patients is now getting underway.

The method works by using two agents to reinvigorate cancer-fighting T cells directly in the tumor. One of the agents amplifies the activation of the T cells, while the other stimulates the cells into attacking the cancer. Some of the T cells even leave the tumor to find and destroy similar growths in the body.

The method has worked remarkably well in the lab with both targeted and untargeted tumors shrinking or disappearing after treatment. In this way a staggering 87 of 90 mice studied were cured of the cancer. The researchers saw similar results in mice with breast, colon and melanoma tumors. The study by Stanford researchers is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.


Five things your blood type says about you

blood type stickers
© Martynasfoto/Getty Images
There's a lot your blood can say about you . . . and a lot it can't. Search the web, and you'll dig up articles tying one of the four major blood types (A, B, AB, O) to everything from diet dos and don'ts to partner compatibility. But there's just not a lot of research to back up those claims.

On the other hand, some solid research has linked different blood types to higher rates of certain diseases. (Read more about those in Things Your Blood Type Says About You.) And there are other, subtler ways your blood may affect your life:

Comment: None of these are particularly hard-hitting research, (although the gut bacteria correlation is interesting). It seems we're all too ready to ascribe behaviours and disease proclivities to blood type, yet clearly more research is needed on the subject.

See also:


New book by endocrinologist: 'The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains'

Dr. Robert Lustig
I'd been trying to figure out what might be peculiar about American culture that was driving the opioid, obesity and depression crises. Then a longtime subscriber sent me a video with Dr. Robert Lustig, who's totally on the case. He's cracked the neurochemical-cultural and economic codes of the country where "Happiness" is legally enshrined as a foremost right in the founding document.

Lustig is a professor of endocrinology at UCSF, where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity. He's the author of The Hacking of the American Mind, in which he reveals a massive conflation that exists in American ideology (and in the American consumerist ideals that have propagated throughout the planet) between pleasure and happiness, which Lustig explains are completely different:

Comment: While its clear to see that dopamine addiction of any sort is clearly detrimental, the salutary effects of serotonin may be a little more tricky to discern. See:


Super Bowl may become one giant petri dish of flu

NFL football
© Erin Costa
In case you've missed the countless headlines, news reports, and official warnings from medical professionals across the country, let's just get this out of the way: This year's flu season is particularly bad. Doctors are pushing everyone to get the flu shot with greater urgency than most years due to the rapid spread of the illness and a climbing death toll. It's being called the worst flu season since 2009, and those who are sick are urged to avoid contact with others.

Unfortunately, we're just a handful of days away from the Super Bowl, which means tens of thousands of people are about to be packed into a seats for the biggest sporting event of the year. US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is hosting the event, and with well over 65,000 people are expected to be in attendance, things could get pretty ugly.

Comment: You might be better off without the vaccine, as it's rather ineffective and more likely to make you sicker. See also:


Gains in life expectancy have been slowing down in both rich and poor countries alike

life expectancy
© CC0 Public Domain
Increases in human life expectancy have slowed dramatically across the world since 1950, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Although a "ceiling effect" is expected as average lifespan approaches its biological limit, the study found that the trend towards slower gains - and even declines - in lifespan is worst among low-lifespan countries.

"This is not about us hitting the ceiling; the slowdown has been sharpest in countries that have the most life expectancy to gain," says David Bishai, PhD, professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.

The finding, reported in BMC Public Health on January 17, does not have a clear explanation, although it shows that progress in health technology since 1950 has not been enough to keep longevity increasing at its historic rates in populations.

"It's a rebuke to the idea that you can fix global health just by inventing more stuff," Bishai says, adding "New health technology has been essential to making strides in life expectancy, of course, but our predecessors in the 1950s were making faster progress with the basics of soap, sanitation and public health."


Are the children dying from the flu across America vaccinated?

child flu shot doctor
Children are dying from the flu all across America, according to media reports. What the media isn't reporting, however, is how many of the children who died were also vaccine recipients. Make no mistake: If only unvaccinated children were dying from the flu, that would be the headline everywhere: "Unvaccinated Children Dying Across America" or even "Flu Shot Saves Children from Deadly Influenza." But of course you're not seeing those headlines for the simple reason that vaccinated children are among those who are being killed by this year's flu.

"The dominant Influenza strain this year is H3N2. This particular strain has a history of causing more hospitalizations and more deaths," reports The Organic Prepper. "In addition to H3N2 producing a more serious infection in general, this year's particular H3N2 influenza virus is particularly virulent."

This year's flu has reportedly killed 44,116 people, according to the CDC. The number of children so far killed by this year's flu is 37, say CDC statistics. The flu vaccine, widely touted by the clueless media as being some sort of magical "bulletproof vest" against influenza infections, is approaching zero effectiveness.

Comment: The flu shot is both dangerous and ineffective. Yet it continues to be promoted both by the corrupt medical establishment and the mainstream media. Just a little bit of research goes a long way toward finding out the truth about the jab, and continues to be the ultimate IQ test for the public at large. See also: