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Category Archives: Health Care

OECD survey of 21 counties – many people unhappy with public services and benefits

“Many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are inadequate and hard to reach. More than half say they do not receive their fair share of benefits given the taxes they pay, and two-thirds believe others get more than they deserve. Nearly three out of four people say they want their government to do more to protect their social and economic security. These are among the findings of a new OECD survey, “Risks that Matter”, which asked over 22,000 people aged 18 to 70 years old in 21 countries about their worries and concerns and how well they think their government helps them tackle social and economic risks.This nationally representative survey finds that falling ill and not being able to make ends meet are often at the top of people’s lists of immediate concerns. Making ends meet is a particularly common worry for those on low incomes and in countries that were hit hard by the financial crisis. Older people are most often worried about their health, while younger people are frequently concerned with securing adequate housing. When asked about the longer-term, across all countries, getting by in old age is the most commonly cited worry…

In every country surveyed except Canada, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, most people say that their government does not incorporate the views of people like them when designing social policy…”

Social Media Addiction Is a Real Disease, U.K. Lawmakers Say

And Facebook and Google Must Be Taxed for It – Fortune: “For the last few years, some psychologists have been warning of the dangers of social media addiction—a phenomenon that whistleblowers from within tech industry say has been deliberately fostered by companies such as Facebook and Google. Now, lawmakers in the U.K. say social media… Continue Reading

FINRA National Financial Capability Study

FINRA Investor Education Foundation: – “A significant part of financial capability is the ability to make ends meet through adequate savings. Having resources for immediate medical needs is also an important component. In the U.S., 18% of individuals reported that over the past year, their household spent more than their income (not including the purchase… Continue Reading

America’s doctors warn Google, Twitter, and Facebook: Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing tech platforms

Business Insider: The American Medical Association (AMA) is worried that anti-vaxxers are weaponizing the world’s biggest social media platforms, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Parents often use these platforms to spread misinformation about vaccine dangers that aren’t real. Doctors say the content is having a dangerous impact on the number of vaccinated people in America,… Continue Reading

Specialists from seven countries call for moratorium on gene editing

Nature [no fee or paywall]: Adopt a moratorium on heritable genome editing, Eric Lander, Françoise Baylis, Feng Zhang, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Paul Berg and specialists from seven countries call for an international governance framework. “We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm,… Continue Reading

The World Wide Web Turns 30. Where Does It Go From Here?

Sir Tim Berners Lee via Wired: “Today, 30 years on from my original proposal for an information management system, half the world is online. It’s a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far we have yet to go. The web has become a public square, a… Continue Reading

CDC is launching its first investigation into e-scooter injuries

CNBC: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the first-ever study of electric scooter accidents at the request of Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department. “We want to identify the risk factors for those who get injured, how severe the injuries are and why they’re getting hurt,” said Jeff Taylor, manager… Continue Reading

National Academies website – Vaccines are safe

“Vaccines go through a lot of testing.  Why? Because they are meant for healthy people and babies, vaccines often go through even more testing than other medical products. Vaccines are tested in labs and in hundreds to thousands of human volunteers before being approved for the public. This testing process takes many years, often more… Continue Reading

Life insurance industry using AI and social media to rate customer risk

The New Yorker: “Recent news that life insurers are now subject to a mild setback in the process for determining premiums might have been cheering if it didn’t come with a revelation that the actuaries of the world might be studying your Instagram feed. Last month, in a circular letter, the New York State Department… Continue Reading

Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites

TechCrunch: “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal.” Those locations include a network of hospitals, pharmacies and… Continue Reading

Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, 2019

“Iceland, Japan, Switzerland round out top five; U.S. is 35th – Health index looks at life expectancy, environmental factors…The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation. Spain has… Continue Reading

A true story about smartphone addiction

The New York Times – Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain – “And if you’re anything like me — and the statistics suggest you probably are, at least where smartphones are concerned — you have one, too. I don’t love referring to what we have as an “addiction.” That seems… Continue Reading