CVS Pharmacy Ups Its Game

CVS’ new HealthHUB

In 2019, there are fewer large chain  pharmacies than ever before. Nonetheless, the competition is intense among giants such as CVS and Walgreens.

Thus, for example, CVS has been upping its game in major ways.

As CVS reports:

“The company is opening HealthHUB® locations  that offer a broader range of health care services, new product categories, digital tools and on-demand health kiosks, trusted advice ,and personalized care. With the new format, over 20 percent of the store is now dedicated to health services, including new durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies and new product and service combinations for sleep apnea and diabetes care.”

“With personalized Pharmacy support programs and MinuteClinic services, the HUB team is improving care for patients managing chronic conditions, with a focus on recommending next best clinical actions and driving medical costs savings.”

“The new store format also includes a variety of pathways to nutritional health with one-on-one and group counseling delivered by an in-store licensed dietitian, as well as access to a free weight loss digital app.”

“Acting as the connection point inside the HealthHUB® is the Care Concierge, a newly established professional responsible for customer engagement, including educating customers about our new service offerings, helping them navigate the in-store services and events, and connecting them to our in-store providers.”

The following video provides an overview of the HealthHUB.


 

Advice About Retirement

View a couple of TED Talks videos.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics .”

Through its Web site, New Retirement shows 10 Ted Talks that give advice about retirement:

“You want to have a better retirement. But how do you get there? You could spend hours researching the latest science behind happiness, personal finance and investment theory, and health research. Or you can take a few minutes to watch the best TED Talks related to retirement.”

Here are two examples.

 

Videos from Sharecare

Links to SIX video channels on various aspects of health.

As its Web site notes: Sharecare is empowering people to improve their wellbeing and make a positive impact on where they work, live, and play, while helping employers, health plans, and health systems drive measurable outcomes and close gaps in care for their populations.

To help accomplish its mission, Sharecare has an excellent assortment of videos. In SIX channels. Click the images to access them.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain Videos from Sharecare.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition Videos from Sharecare

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz Videos from Sharecare

Fitness and Exercise

Fitness and Exercise Videos from Share

Men’s Health

Men's Health Videos from Sharecare

Women’s Health

Women's Health Videos from Sharecare
 

4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000

No excuses now not to hit the proper number of steps.

Interesting blog title, huh? 4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000. To put this in context, consider that for years we have been told that a minimum of 10,000 steps per day are needed to be healthy. Yet, for many of us, this may not be a realistic goal. So, what do we do? Suppose that the 10,000-step figure is wrong.

According to new research, the proper minimum number may be as few as 4,400 steps daily.

As Allison Aubrey observes for NPR:

“There’s nothing magical about the number 10,000. In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It’s often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what’s it really based on?”

“‘The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined,’ says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was curious to know how many steps you need to take a day to maintain good health and live a long life, so she and her colleagues designed a study that included about 17,000 older women. Their average age was 72. The women all agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.”

“It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. ‘It was sort of surprising,’ Lee says. In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps. Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity. The findings were published  in JAMA Internal Medicine.”

“So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.”

Listen to the brief NPR audio for an overview. And click on the image to access the full NPR article.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/29/727943418/do-you-really-need-10-000-steps-per-day
“New research shows that daily light walking is important for maintaining health as you age. But if you can’t hit 10,000 steps, don’t worry.” Peter Muller/Getty Images/Cultura RF

 

New Hope for Those with Pancreatic Cancer

Mayo Clinic providing new options.

For those who follow this blog, you know that I am a VERY fortunate pancreatic cancer survivor. Since my cancer was diagnosed early, I was able to have a successful Whipple surgery. For most, the outlook is not as positive.

But, new research presents greater hope for the future. As Erika Edwards reports for NBC News:

“Historically, doctors have given pancreatic cancer patients chemotherapy or radiation hoping it would cause the tumor to shrink or pull away from the artery or vein it’s ensnared. Dr. Mark Truty, a surgical oncologist at Mayo Clinic, believes that’s the wrong approach. ‘You’re going to be sorely disappointed if that’s what you’re expecting’, Truty told NBC News.”

“About a third of pancreatic cancer cases are found at stage 3. Truty estimates about half of his pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed at this stage seek his care after other physicians said their tumors could not be surgically removed. His team’s approach to treating stage 3 pancreatic cancer is different from most other oncology practices”

“The Mayo Clinic approach works like this. Patients are given extended, personalized chemotherapy until levels of a tumor marker in the blood called CA 19-9 fall to a normal range. Then if a PET scan shows the tumor is destroyed, doctors move forward with radiation and surgery.”

“Among 194 pancreatic cancer treated this way at the Mayo Clinic, 89 percent lived longer than the expected 12 to 18 months. The approach has pushed average survival to five years after diagnosis, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic.

To learn more, watch the following video. Note: The beginning of the video may be a downer. But the overall video is hopeful.


 

Using Robotics to Help Those with Severe Disabilities

Advances in robotics are quite helpful.

For those with severe physical disabilities, even simple tasks may be difficult. And that can be depressing. But, companies are making great strides with robotics. These advances have the potential to increase the quality of life. Read below and then view the video.

Here is one example, as discussed by John Toon of Georgia Tech:

“An interface system with augmented reality technology could help people with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks. Those tasks might include feeding and performing routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a ‘robot’s eye view’ of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.”

“Described in PLOS ONE, the system could help make sophisticated robots more useful to people who don’t have experience operating complex robotic systems. Study participants interacted with the robot interface using standard assistive computer access technologies—such as eye trackers and head trackers—that they already used to control their personal computers.”

“The paper reports on two studies showing how such ‘robotic body surrogates’ — which can perform tasks similar to those of humans —could improve the quality of life for users. The work could provide a foundation for developing faster and more capable assistive robots.”