Health:

4 Medical Advancements Optimizing Lifestyles

It’s hard to believe there was a time when testing your blood glucose levels was painful and a huge ordeal, or an era when those on oxygen therapy weren’t able to fly. The advances in medical technology are phenomenal, offering better lifestyles and convenience for patients around the world. However, most people don’t look very closely at these advancements unless they or someone they know relies on it. Here’s a look at some of the best advancements in recent history and how they’ve changed lives for the better.

1. Oxygen machines and accessories

Today’s options for oxygen therapy trump those of even a few years ago. Now, the machines are lightweight, designed to be carried with ease, feature impressive battery lives and there are portable options which are FAA-approved for flying. For patients who rely on science for the quality of oxygen they need, suddenly the world’s most taken for granted “free” resource can be a challenge.

2. The modern EPIpen

The number of people with life threatening allergies is on the rise, including the influx of nut allergies in very young children. Obviously, education and personal management is crucial when addressing allergies, but sometimes mistakes are made. Today’s EPIpen offer an easy to carry, simple to conceal option for those with fatal allergies. The effectiveness and ease of use has opened up a world of opportunities, allowing patients (some for the first time) to travel and engage in activities worry-free.

3. Saliva-based blood glucose testers

Type-1 diabetics especially have to keep a close eye on their blood glucose levels, but fear of needle pricks has made life nearly debilitating for some. The invention of saliva-based blood glucose testers has made this sometimes painful multi-daily activity moot for many. It’s also been a lifesaver for parents of diabetic children.

4. YAG Laser therapy

For many years, there were no advances in the laser therapy dentists and endodontists used, which lead to root canals failing, extra pain, time and money from patients. However, the latest YAG Laser device offers more comprehensive dental pulp cleanings and has streamlined the entire root canal process. It’s lessened the instances of failed root canals and provides a faster chair experience for patients.

From improved pregnancy tests to digital x-rays that severely cut down on radiation exposure, the wonder of medical advances are popping up at lightening speed. If you’re unhappy with your current medical device or gadget, talk to your doctor and start researching potential alternatives.

 

Health:

4 Tech Rules for Your Workout

workout

You want to look like a terminator at the gym because of your perfectly toned body, not because of all the wires poking out from your ears and armbands. Sometimes technology can be a great way to optimize your workout, but sometimes it can distract you from doing your best. How can you strike a balance and use tech wisely at the gym? It’s time to set a few rules.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer a crossfit gym, big box gym or the local hole in the wall boxing gym to get your sweat on. No type of workout is going to be beneficial if you’re too distracted to make the sessions count. Consider adding these rules to your next workout, right up there with your personal water goals and getting in those BCAAs.

1. Do cardio at least once per week with no iPod

However you get in your cardio (treadmill, running outside, elliptical, row machine, etc.), if you’re dependent on having music blasting in your ear, shake things up. Try at least one day per week with no music. Your body will start to respond to other stimuli and you’ll get a break from your addiction. Long-term learning to do cardio by natural outside influences (such as passing cars) or your heartbeat can help improve your workout because the “pace” is always difference.

2. Leave your phone in the locker

If your excuse is that your music is on your phone, get a separate mp3 player with no Wi-Fi access. You’re going to check that text, email or Facebook notification and it’s going to interrupt your workout. It can also distract you as you rush through your last 10 minutes to reply. Unless you’re expecting a true emergency call, it can wait for an hour.

3. Take calories counters, etc. with a grain of salt

Even the most high tech heart rate monitors and calorie counters might potentially be off. They can be used occasionally as a general measurement, but they’re not your workout bible. Instead, rely on how you feel, how out of breath you are and manual heart rate checks.

4. Take out the ear buds

Like at the airport, some people use ear buds as a way to tell people, “Don’t talk to me.” Sometimes you need total alone time at the gym, but if you do this non-stop you’re missing out on something big: the supportive community at your fingertips. You can learn a lot from your fellow gym rats.

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Health:

How Pharmacy Technology Helps to Save Lives

pharmatech

While you can still find the occasional pharmacist who uses a mortar and pestle, this field of expertise is increasingly technology-oriented. From inventory checking to ordering and tracking drug interactions, pharmaceutical technology has many implications for saving lives. Participants in insurance plans such as Medicare Part D Plans can rest assured knowing that this technology offers benefits with each prescription drug order.

Drug Interaction Checkers

Some prescription medications interact with others or with foods, supplements and vitamins that you’re already taking. Drug interactions may reduce the efficacy of one or more of the medications, which in some cases can be deadly. According to this article, many pharmacies are offering a variety of drug interaction checkers that both you and your pharmacist can use. Drug interaction checkers are available on mobile apps so you can determine whether or not it’s safe to take an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug such as ibuprofen along with your diabetes medication, for example. If you participate in a Medicare Part D program through a retail pharmacy, your pharmacist should also be able to inform you of potential interactions at the time you pick up your prescription.

Allergy Trackers

Allergies to medications are a serious risk to anyone. A medication allergy can develop at any time, even if you’ve used that medication before. Automated drug allergy tracking offers your health care team a way to keep track of your drug allergies so they can avoid prescribing any medication with those ingredients. Information technology systems are quickly advancing in their ability to prevent these types of medical errors, explains this article. By participating in a Medicare Part D plan and keeping all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy, you can also help to prevent medication errors.

Automated Medical Records Systems

As the field of health care information technology continues to grow, patient medical records are increasingly automated. The use of electronic medical records helps to track your information, allow sharing between your different providers and maintains a comprehensive listing of all your current medications, recent procedures and medical statistics, explains this article. This means that the pharmacy where you receive your Medicare Part D prescription drug discounts can receive electronic submissions from your primary care physician and any specialists on your care team. You may enjoy the benefits of reduced paperwork and less time spent waiting at the pharmacy or doctor’s office thanks to this technology.

Mail Delivery Services Through Medicare Part D Programs

Many participants in Medicare Part D plans enjoy the savings that these plans offer. To save even more, you can arrange for your prescriptions to be delivered through the mail. According to this article, you can go online to request your refills and the technology systems will automatically process and fill your order. Today’s technology features systems that check to make sure you receive the correct prescription medication before your current supply runs out.

Science:

Streamlining the Moving Process with Cutting Edge Technology

Although many people in the Windy City look forward to the prospect of moving to a new residence, these same individuals tend to dread the prospect of the move itself. The process of finding reputable Chicago movers, getting the contents of a home packed up and actually making the move is a closely orchestrated task that can easily go awry.

As is the case with so many other aspects to day-to-day life in the 21st century, dynamic technological developments now exist that are designed to make the moving process substantially more manageable, according to this article. As a prelude to beginning the moving process, a person should consider what applications and resources exist to keep the process moving smoothly.

Organizing the Move: Leaving Nothing Behind

A residential move runs far more smoothly when it is organized from the beginning. Unfortunately, in many instances, a move becomes nothing less than a confused, rushed and muddled experience.

When the decision to relocate is made, a person is wise to obtain one of the moving-management applications that are available on the market today. MoveMe.com is a prime example of this type of application designed to bring a sense of order to the moving process from conception to completion. Another similar type of product is the House Move application. Both products are available for download to smartphones.

These moving-management applications represent relatively comprehensive solutions. In addition, these applications provide resources for after the move.

Technology and Scheduling a Move

A surprisingly common complaint lodged against at least some moving companies in the Chicagoland area, and across the United States, is the failure of a mover to show up at the scheduled time. Indeed, the Chicago Better Business Bureau logs a number of complaints annually about movers that do not show up at all.

Although this issue involves only a limited number of moving professionals, scheduling-related mistakes are always a possibility even with the most reputable moving companies. One meaningful solution that is lowering the possibility for errors in the scheduling of a moving company involves the introduction of more interactive appointment technology.

Historically, movers were scheduled through phone calls. With more interactive, Internet-based scheduling technology, a person in need of a mover can submit a request easily online. From that point forward, a person planning a move can access the appointment and track the processing of the request. Moreover, this type of system automatically sends appointment confirmations not only to the person relocating but to the team at the moving company as well. In addition, the system enables the customer to directly contact the moving company through email or live chat.

Some companies have enabled live updates. Like a package, movers can identify where along the route their belongings are, and they can estimate arrival time much more closely. This is very handy for those who are moving to a new area. The experience can be complicated, but there are tools available to make it go much more smoothly.

Health:

Tips for Finding the Perfect Care Home for Your Loved One

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If you have an elderly or handicapped loved one that needs some sort of assisted living facility, you may be anxious about helping to make the decision. The same can also be said if your loved one will need a nursing facility to recuperate from surgery before heading home. Here are some tips for finding the right care home.

Search Inspection Reports and News Stories

The Medicare website allows you to check on the track record of facilities you may be considering. You can also ask for copies of inspection reports from the facilities, which they should happily furnish. If administration hesitates to provide them, look elsewhere. Also, run a search and carefully review any news stories about potential facilities, both positive and negative. If the facility was shut down at one point or has undergone a complete change in management, you may want to restrict your searches to only include items that have occurred since that event took place.

Consider Reviews and Opinion Sites

Do some digging on the Internet and see what families and the residents themselves have to say. While no facility is going to be perfect, be alert for allegations of cruelty, neglect, an overwhelmed or indifferent staff and other such claims. There are disgruntled people everywhere, but decide for yourself which complaints will factor into your decision.

Weigh the Total Costs

Few families can say that cost isn’t a factor when it comes to choosing a facility. If your loved one is on a fixed income, some places may be simply out of reach unless members of the family are willing to make an ongoing contribution towards their care. If your loved one’s care may last years, you don’t want to have to move them because of financial concerns. Choose a place that is acceptable to the family budget.

Visit the Facilities Yourself

Whether you’re looking for a long-term nursing home or a nursing facility for short-term recuperation, make it your business to go and check each place. Don’t be afraid to talk to the residents and those working there. If your loved one has certain religious, dietary or accommodation needs, now is the time to ask about them. The facility should be clean, fresh-smelling and welcoming. Trust your intuition. If you feel welcomed, at peace and happy while you are visiting, there is a great chance your loved one will.

Other Comfort Considerations

While everyone is different in what they would like in a nursing home, talk to your loved one about special circumstances for their comfort. Most facilities allow residents to have their own bedding, but they may not be allowed to bring in their own bed. Find out about the visitation policies, especially if those who will be visiting regularly work odd hours. If your loved one is a night owl, is there a lounge or solarium they could enjoy? What about opportunities to be outside or interact with therapy animals?

Being called upon to help choose a care home for a loved one can be an anxious experience, but it doesn’t have to be. By keeping these tips in mind, you can find the best possible facility for the one you love.

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Health:

4 Ways to Make Chiropractic Care Part of Your Techie Lifestyle

Who has the time to see doctors on a regular basis? With your busy lifestyle, you barely have time to grab a quick bite to eat or keep up with your Facebook posts. However, prioritizing your health is made easier with technology, and many healthcare professionals are getting on board. If you want to take better control over your well-being, start by branching out and including some alternative care that complements your traditional physician. chiropractor 1

Chiropractors aren’t meant to be seen only after a car crash. Experts in the health and alignment of the spine, this part of your body plays a role in everything from muscle pain to headaches. In fact, those regular adjustments can work wonders in ensuring you feel your best. Even though the average appointment takes 30 minutes or less, it can still be a challenge to squeeze in an adjustment.

Here’s how to make it a little easier.

1. Download chiro-friendly apps

There are hundreds of apps which are chiropractor-approved and do things like remind you of ergonomic postures or provide exercises that are office-friendly. Check with your chiropractor first to make sure none of these suggestions are contraindicative for you or your body. After that, you can start exploring the many apps at your fingertips.

2. Check in without “checking in”

A reputable chiropractor will work with you and your schedule, quickly replying to phone calls and emails. Maybe you just have a simple question about pain management and don’t have time to schedule an appointment. Make use of technology, and remember that some professionals might even offer virtual video appointments.

3. Draft a wellness plan

Include all of your healthcare professionals when drafting a wellness plan, and ensure that preventative care takes top billing. Just like you wouldn’t skip paying your phone bill each month, you should have the same priorities with your health. Maybe this includes an adjustment once per month as well as an acupuncture session or massage therapy. Find a plan that works with you and your schedule.

4. Do your own research

There’s a lot of wrong information about chiropractors floating around, but don’t take any information as gospel until you do the research yourself. You’ll be surprised by the history of chiropractic care and the many conditions it can treat. Don’t dismiss it as unnecessary because it might be the tool you’ve been searching for.

 

Science:

3D Printing Will Be A Game Changer in a Few Short Years

3D printer

Journalists who have covered 3D printing sometimes refer to the famous replicator on Star Trek. But this is not science fiction — it’s emerging science fact.

You can, in fact, create something out of thin air. What’s more, you can create almost anything you like in a variety of materials from plastic to steel.

A third industrial revolution?

Sometimes referred to as the Third Industrial Revolution, 3D printing could be the end of mass production and the beginning of customized production. Here’s how the future will look when 3D printing becomes as common as printing from your desktop printer.

Suppose you buy an expensive laundry machine, but a part breaks off. Usually, you would have to contact the store where you bought it. The salesman will talk to the repair person, who in turn talks to the distributor. The distributor will probably then get the part shipped from another country because the cost of labor was cheaper there when it came to building your laundry machine.

But now, with 3D printing, this long, possibly expensive, chain of production comes to an end. Instead, you would simply go to the manufacturer’s website and download a CAD file. You then print out the part you need. If you don’t have a 3D printer, you simply go to your local office supply store and get the part printed there.

Here’s another example. Suppose you just bought some designer jewelry and you wanted to print out a little jewelry box for it. You could upload a design for a jewelry box from your desktop onto your CAD program, customize the box to the size and shape you want, and then send it to your 3D printer.

How does it work?

The actual technical term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing technology. While there are a number of different types of this technology, they all create 3D objects one layer after another until you have a complete object.

With regular printing on a sheet of paper, there are two dimensions: an X and Y axis. With 3D printing, you have a third dimension, which you could regard as the height or depth, and that’s the Z axis.

Building in 3D

The printed layers are developed along the X and Y axis first, then as one layer after another is added, one atop the next, the Z axis comes into existence. It’s like baking a cake in layers, adding one layer after another, until your initially flat cake becomes a tower.

Using a 2D printer, you will probably use office software, perhaps Microsoft Word, to print the sheet of paper. After you’ve written the document, you click the print icon, and instructions are sent to your desktop printer about what to do.

A 3D printer uses a digital file in a similar manner. Instead of a word processing program such as Microsoft Word, however, you’ll use a program called Computer Aided Design (CAD). Once your design has been completed, you click the print icon to send instructions to your 3D printer. As the printer goes to work, construction material is poured layer by layer.

Right now, all this may sound a little too fantastic to believe. But the technology exists and it will probably be a part of everyday life in just a few years. Even now entrepreneurs are dreaming up ways to make this technology available in the marketplace.

 

Health:

Startling Discovery Makes Anti-Aging Products Work Even Better

Using advanced plant stem cell technology, researchers are able to develop a more stable form of antioxidants. The new line of antioxidant therapies is expected work even better than what is currently available in the market for beauty and skin care products. Lavender-Oil

What are botanical antioxidants?

Botanical antioxidants are extracted from flowers such as roses; berries, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; and even beans, for example, soybeans. Finding the right plants and making use of their antioxidant capability has become an exciting aspect of skin care research.

Scientists have found that wild plants contain more antioxidants than plants — berries, for instance — grown on farms. This is because they are not compromised by GMOs and the chemicals that are routinely sprayed on them.

Berries have been found to be high in anthocyanins, while soybeans are abundant in isoflavones. When beauty products with a high level of botanical antioxidants are regularly applied to the skin, they create thicker, firmer skin by encouraging the production of collagen.

How anti-aging products are getting better

Scientists first began to look for antioxidants in plants when they noticed how well plants protect themselves from oxidation if they’re exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. In human skin, as well, oxidation (the result of free-radical damage), is the reason skin ages, and becomes steadily less healthy over time.

Scientists became curious about what would happen if they extracted the antioxidants in plants and rubbed them on human skin. Would skin be protected from oxidation? Numerous clinical trials showed that this deduction was correct.

The best plants proved to be the ones that grow outdoors because of their exposure to wind, rain, and sun. However, it was eventually discovered that the antioxidant products in plants have been compromised by pollutants such as heavy metals in the ground and the use of pesticides on farms.

Many outdoor plants did not have as high a concentration of antioxidants as expected because of poor soil conditions, fluctuating weather conditions, and the frequent use of fertilizers and pesticides.

More recent research has suggested that what scientists need to do is focus on getting the antioxidants directly from plant stem cells. This will bypass the pollutants and other environmental conditions that have been reducing the potency of the antioxidants.

Concentrating on the stem cells

Stem cells can be removed from any part of a plant that’s rich in antioxidants: the roots, stems, twigs, leaves, or fruit. Usually, however, they’re extracted from the leaves because the level of antioxidants is highest there.

The new technology is used in the following four ways:

First, the whole plant is sterilized to remove all contaminants completely. Second, the stem cells are removed.

Third, further stem cells are cultured from the original batch. These stem cells have the purest and highest level of antioxidants.

Fourth, the pure and stable antioxidants are added to skin care products.

The new plant stem cell technology in skin care is focused on extracting the purest, most stable form of antioxidants from the stem cells in plants.

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