Wearables and Health Care

Recently, fitness trackers and other wearables have gained more popularity as health monitors. And this is expected to continue.

As Business Insider Intelligence reports:

“The health-care industry is undergoing a transformation due to pressure from ballooning healthcare costs, a rising burden of chronic disease, and shifting consumer expectations. Thus, wearables — including smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other connected devices — play a key role in this transformation.”

“U.S. consumer use of wearables for health purposes jumped from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018, according to Accenture. And penetration should continue to climb. With more than 80% of consumers willing to wear tech that measures health data. The growing adoption of wearables, and the breadth of health functions they offer, will capture a fuller picture of consumer health and behavior. Thus enabling health-care organizations to differentiate from the competition, drive value, and engage consumers.”

“In this new report, Business Insider Intelligence details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the U.S. health-care sector. We explore key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, health-care providers, and employers. And the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable sharing the health data captured in these devices with their doctors, employers, and insurers. Such data offer opportunities to improve outcomes, reduce health-care costs, and engage customers. Providers can use wearables to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of a burgeoning staff shortage, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity.”

 

Humorous Look at Online Self-Diagnosis

How often do YOU look online to diagnose yourself based on various symptoms? I plead guilty to doing this. Is this a helpful approach?

As Kyle O’Brien reports for The Drum:

“The Internet has become the first source of healthcare information for many people. But self-diagnosis can lead to plenty of misinformation, as a spot for North Memorial Health humorously shows.”

“The Minnesota-based healthcare provider enlisted agency BrandFire to compile some of the stranger ailments people think they have after they’ve Googled their symptoms. The spot, titled ‘Symptoms,’ features people discussing the seemingly frightening results with a North Memorial Health doctor who reassures them that their symptoms are not as scary as the Internet has led them to believe. One man is convinced he has scurvy, another bubonic plague while another is convinced he has ‘Himalayan Mountain Syndrome.’”

“The commercial explains that, ‘Searching your symptoms online is scary but our doctors aren’t.’ It’s meant to show that trusting a doctor is a lot more reassuring than taking a stab at Internet diagnosis.”

Good News Network

The Good News Network runs a nonprofit Web site dedicated to GOOD News.

The Good News Network runs a nonprofit Web site dedicated to GOOD News. As it notes: “From its beginnings, the Web site [in 1997] has been a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the globe, confirming what people already know — that good news itself is not in short supply; the broadcasting of it is.”

 

Among Good News Network’s sub-sites are these:

 

Donate for Free with Amazon Smile

Do you have a favorite charity? Did you know that could donate to it for FREE through Amazon Smile? Amazon contributes 1/2 percent of purchases made at that site — with no cost to you. 1/2 percent may sound like a pittance. But consider this: As of May 2018, Amazon Smile had contributed a total of more than $89 million to charity.  My particular interest is the Marc Lustgarten Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, which has received nearly $20,000 through Amazon Smile.

Do a Good Deed with Amazon Smile — FREE!!!!

Amazon Prime’s vast customer base, which shops at Amazon rather often, presents a huge opportunity for charitable groups. To facilitate donations, Amazon set up Amazon Smile.

THIS IS NOT A SALES PITCH. If you already shop at Amazon, there is an easy way to give to charity. Amazon Smile is an application that costs nothing to join or use when shopping. Through Amazon Smile, a 1/2% donation is made to the charity you choose when you shop. You can type in any charity you want. [Just type in the name of the charity instead of selecting one of the recommended ones.] 🙂

To learn more about Amazon Smile, click on the image.

To sign up for Amazon Smile, click here.

Note: Amazon Smile works whether or not you are a Prime member — at no cost to you.

 

Humor Helps Our Frame of Mind

One of the things that I’ve found over the years is that a sense of humor can really help. Here are a few funny (maybe) quotes. Hopefully, at least a couple will make you laugh. 🙂

These quotes are from Cancer ABCs: [actually, they’re mostly groaners.]

Taken From Actual Doctor’s Notes

  1. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
  2. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  3. On the second day, the knee was better, and then on the third day it disappeared.
  4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  5. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
  6. Healthy-appearing decrepit, 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  7.  The patient refused autopsy.
  8. The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  9. Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40-pound weight gain in the last three days.
  10. She is numb from her toes down.
  11. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.
  12.  Skin: somewhat pale but present.

Top Ten Ways To Know You Are A Cancer Thriver 

  1. Your alarm clock goes off at 6 a.m. and you’re glad to hear it.
  2. Your mother-in-law invites you to lunch and you just say NO.
  3. You’re back in the family rotation to take out the garbage.
  4. When you no longer have an urge to choke the person who says, “all you need to beat cancer is the right attitude.”
  5. When your dental floss runs out and you buy 1000 yards.
  6. When you use your toothbrush to brush your teeth and not comb your hair.
  7. You have a chance to buy additional life insurance but you buy a new convertible car instead.
  8. Your doctor tells you to lose weight and do something about your cholesterol and you actually listen.
  9. When your biggest annual celebration is again your birthday, and not the day you were diagnosed.
  10. When you use your Visa card more than your hospital parking pass.

 

 

Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

As I wrote in my very first blog post for Living Well While Surviving Cancer: “I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with any terrible disease and their families.” At times, this refers to me as well. I’m doing my best to be upbeat and live as well as I can EVERY DAY. Sometimes, that’s not easy.

Last month, my wife Linda and I went on a cruise vacation that we were planning for months. The travel and itinerary both seemed within my capability range. Because of my health issues, we prepare carefully and wait until near the date of each of our trips to book everything. And we always get trip insurance.

The first few days of this trip were fine; and we had a great time. I even tried — unsuccessfully — to take a selfie while sightseeing. I may have a lot of skills, but taking pictures with my phone is not one of them. Yes, that is my hand blocking the scenery. LOL.

Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy

Unfortunately, there was nothing very funny about the rest of our trip. On the third night of the cruise, I couldn’t stop shivering. And the ship’s doctor decided to send me ashore. We were docked in a good spot and the hospital I was sent to by ambulance was fine.

I was examined right away and admitted to ICU. It turns that somehow I had contracted double pneumonia with sepsis. In addition, I had a fever,  low blood pressure, and a low oxygen level. Pretty scary stuff. I was out of it, so I didn’t really know what was going on. However, Linda was petrified (again).

I was in ICU for 6 days. Then, I spent another 4.5 days in a regular hospital room.  Thankfully, the excellent doctors were able to mostly “fix what ailed me.” When I was able, we returned home.

How am I now, a short time later? My doctors at home tell me it may take up to six weeks to fully get over this illness. They have also ordered me not to fly for another 6 months or so. Nonetheless, I’m feeling much better today and looking forward to every day as it comes.

What’s my moral of the story? The same one I’ve been preaching to myself for years: Live life every day. We really don’t know what is around the corner. We can only play the hand we are dealt, and make the best of it. Yes, this was not my favorite trip by any means. But Linda and I did have a few good days at the beginning. And we have a LOT of memories to look back on and stories to tell. I LOVE YOU LINDA!!

Of course, we have insurance companies to battle with over my medical care, our return home, etc. That is part of what makes life so challenging.

 

I wish you all the very best on any travel you have coming up. And above all, stay well! 

 

Jim Valvano ESPY Awards Video

To me, there are three tremendous videos of presentations by those suffering from a terminal illness. Today, we cover Jim Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards show. Jim was a championship college basketball coach.

As the V Foundation Web site notes:

“Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®

“With these words, Jim Valvano announced the beginning of the V Foundation for Cancer Research with ESPN’s support. During Jim’s memorable speech accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the inaugural ESPYS on March 4, 1993, his message was simple: cancer research needs our support.”

“Despite being weakened from his fight against cancer, he delivered an energetic and inspiring speech that brought the crowd to its feet. Although he passed shortly after his speech, Jim’s legacy lives on through the V Foundation.”

“For the past 25 years, the V Foundation has continued Jim’s message by funding incredible projects and researchers focused on finding and end to cancer. Because of the V Foundation’s generous supporters: More than $200 million has been awarded to cancer research and programs. 100% of every direct donation goes to cancer research. There are 16 million cancer survivors in the U.S., with that number expected to grow to 20.3 million by 2026.”