An Exciting New AI Application

Better diagnosing lung cancer and other illnesses early.

As the post title indicates an exciting new AI application now exists. It involves better screening for lung cancer and other diseases!

Previously, we offered these posts on artificial intelligence:

Diagnosing Lung Cancer: An Exciting New AI Application

As reported by Denise Grady for the NY Times:

“Computers were as good or better than doctors at detecting tiny lung cancers on CT scans, in a study by researchers from Google and several medical centers. The technology is a work in progress, not ready for widespread use, but the new report, published in the journal Nature Medicine, offers a glimpse of the future of artificial intelligence in medicine.”

“One of the most promising areas is recognizing patterns and interpreting images — the same skills that humans use to read microscope slides, X-rays, MRIs,  and other medical scans. By feeding huge amounts of data from medical imaging into systems called artificial neural networks, researchers can train computers to recognize patterns linked to a specific condition. Such as pneumonia, cancer,  or a wrist fracture that would be hard for a person to see. The system follows an algorithm, or set of instructions, and learns as it goes. The more data it receives, the better it becomes at interpretation.”

Click the image to read more.

An Exciting New AI Application
“A colored CT scan showing a tumor in the lung. Artificial intelligence was just as good, and sometimes better, than doctors in diagnosing lung tumors in CT scans, a new study indicates.” Credit: CreditVoisin/Science Source

 

Knowing YOUR Bone Density

Free testing with Medicare coverage.

According to the National Cancer Institute, Bone density is 

“A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone mass, and bone mineral density.”

Do YOU know your own bone density? And your proneness to osteoporosis?

Do you know that Medicare covers bone density testing every two years? Or more frequently if needed? Click on the image to visit the Medicare bone density measurement Web site. And then access the resources.

Knowing YOUR Bone Density
 

Profits and Cancer Drugs

Drug prices expected to keep rising.

How do YOU feel about this: profits and cancer drugs? We know that many related drugs are quite expensive — and often required by us!! And in many cases, the situation is getting worse. 😦

As Katharina Buchholz reports for Statista:

Worldwide cancer drug sales are way ahead of those of other drugs. And the revenue generated by them will grow even larger by 2024. This is according to a report recently released by consultancy Evaluate, which analyses trends in the pharmaceutical sector. As per Evaluate’s calculations, oncology drugs reached US$123.8 billion in sales in 2018, more than double that of the next item on the list, drugs treating diabetes with US$48.5 billion dollars in sales. By 2024, cancer drug sales are expected to almost double to US$236.6 billion dollars.”

“Cancer drugs are extremely pricey. Therefore, they generate high revenues, with costs of a cancer treatment at above US$100,000 per patient. Cancer rates themselves are also rising with humans increasing their lifespans. Money funneled into cancer research means new medications coming out, which improves cancer treatment but might also increase its price as pharmaceutical companies charge a premium for the newly researched and released drugs.”

Take a look at the following chart.

Profits and Cancer Drugs
 

Giving Back to Whom?

Picking the best nonprofits!

If you want to do volunteer work or donate money, how do you determine which organizations are excellent? And which should we avoid?

One objective source for information on nonprofits is Charity Navigator:

“Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of nonprofit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.”

“Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.”

Here is an example of a Charity Navigator review, the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Click the chart to see the full rating of Lustgarten.

Giving Back to Whom?

 

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care

54% delaying medical care due to costs.

Unfortunately, a large number of Americans put off getting proper medical care. Why? Often, because they cannot afford it.

Consider the results of recent research by Earnin, as reported by Peter Griffin:

“Health care is an essential part of many Americans lives. Yet, money can be a factor in whether or not they’re getting the medical attention they need. Earnin looked at the impact money has on taking care of oneself in a pair of September 2018 surveys. The dire financial wellness of most adults is bleeding into their actual wellness.”

“Over half of Americans (54 percent) say they’ve delayed medical care for themselves in the last 12 months because they couldn’t afford it. And almost a quarter of Americans (23 percent) have delayed medical care for over one year due to financial issues. Among people who delayed care in the past year, 55 percent delayed dental/orthodontic work, 43 percent delayed eye care, and 30 percent delayed annual exams.”

Overall, “Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say their health tends to take a back seat to other financial obligations.”

Take a look at this chart from Earnin. Then, read more about the study results.

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care
 

New Cancer Drug Approved

Those of us battling with cancer often feel research is not moving fast enough.

Yet, researchers are working quite hard. And billions of dollars are being spent.

Quite recently, the FDA approved a new and VERY expensive cancer drug. As CNN reports:

“Vitrakvi is the first medication developed specifically to target tumors based on gene mutations, not their location in the body.”

 

Amazon to Sell Health Devices

Today, we look at Amazon’s move into medical devices.

Last month, we asked: Would You Buy Your Prescriptions at Amazon?  It seems that the online behemoth knows no limits. And it realizes the enormous potential of health-related products.

According to Business Insider:

“Amazon is now offering an exclusive brand of consumer-focused medical devices to help consumers manage diabetes and hypertension, according to CNBC. The brand, dubbed Choice, was developed by health consultancy firm Arcadia Group. Choice will initially include blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors with supporting mobile apps that offer measurement tracking and reminders. Exclusive consumer-facing medical supplies will complement Amazon’s existing offerings and should be a boon for its healthcare play.”

“But Amazon will need to focus on building consumer trust if plans to use its new health products for a broader healthcare play. On average, more than a third of consumers are ‘not at all comfortable sharing information as simple as personal fitness details and prescription records with Amazon in exchange for its services, per a May 2018 Alpha survey.”

Look at how far Amazon has to go in getting shoppers’personal information.

Amazon to Sell Health Devices