The Health News USA September 27 2017

Overview

  • One thousand five hundred people who visited the California CareForce health clinic at Cal Expo over the weekend to get medical, dental and vision care they either don’t have access to or can’t afford. While the number of uninsured Californians has decreased from 8.6 percent to 7.3 percent in 2016, according to U.S. Census figures, millions still can’t afford health insurance or the costly copayments and deductibles that come with their policies.
  • Mexican officials are reportedly investigating how 7Up soft drinks laced with methamphetamines made their way onto shelves in Baja California, sickening several and killing one.
  • Amazon’s voice technology Alexa has a lot of opportunity to be used in healthcare, whether it’s for remote monitoring of sick patients or in helping doctors take notes during patient visits. But it’s is not yet HIPAA-compliant, meaning it doesn’t meet the federal rules that protect patient privacy when it comes to their personal health data.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article175189221.html

Ten year-old Alvarado Jimenez came to California CareForce’s free health clinic at Cal Expo on Sunday with his mother, Maria Torres, because one of his molars had been hurting him for a few weeks. A dentist had to pull the tooth and Jimenez later opened his mouth and pointed to the wad of gauze that now filled the gap. “It hurt, but I feel better now,” he said.

Jimenez was one of one thousand five hundred people who visited the clinic over the weekend to get medical, dental and vision care they either don’t have access to or can’t afford.
Without insurance, “a clinic like this is so good, so nice,” Torres said, smiling. While the number of uninsured Californians has decreased from eight point six percent to seven point three percent in two thousand sixteen, according to U.S. Census figures, millions still can’t afford health insurance or the costly copayments and deductibles that come with their policies.
At the California CareForce clinic, about half reported having no insurance, twenty percent said their insurance didn’t cover their needs and ten percent were insured but couldn’t afford the cost of their deductible.

“People earning minimum wage and other low-income people are going to pay for their kid’s soccer uniform or pay for their washing machine to get fixed, and not pay to get their teeth cleaned,” said California CareForce Executive Director Pamela Congdon.

….
Medical staff from across California volunteered Friday through Sunday, offering physical exams, flu shots, acupuncture, massages, teeth cleanings, tooth fillings and extractions, eye exams and prescription glasses. Congdon said her organization plans to open another free California CareForce clinic in two thousand eighteen, but does not have the dates set yet

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/09/25/meth-laced-7up-found-in-mexico-prompting-u-s-health-officials-to-issue-travel-warning.html

Mexican officials are reportedly investigating how SevenUp soft drinks laced with methamphetamines made their way onto shelves in Baja California, sickening several and killing one. The health department of Baja California has issued a statement confirming that SevenUp products in the Mexicali region — where the contaminated soft drinks had originally been reported — have been pulled from stores as a precaution. The manufacturers have also been notified of the issue, and more than seventy seven thousand individual containers of SevenUp have been secured at a Mexican plant belonging to PepsiCo.

The Attorney General of the State of Baja, California also shared a Facebook post further confirming that at least eight people were sickened by the tainted soda, and at least five had improved and been released as of last week. U.S. health officials in Arizona, too, have since issued a warning to any travelers to the Mexicali region, advising them to remain “vigilant” and be wary of any possible symptoms. “It is important to check that the seal for any food and drink consumed is still intact and show no signs of tampering,” Doctor Daniel Brooks, the medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, said in a statement to Banner Health. “If you notice any difference in color, taste or smell, throw it out.”

According to Banner Health’s statement, possible symptoms of methamphetamine poisoning include: an “abnormal” taste; burning sensations in the esophagus or abdomen; nausea or vomiting; and irregular heartbeat or difficulty breathing. Anyone who experiences such symptoms should promptly contact poison control, adds Banner Health. Meanwhile, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, which manufactures SevenUp in the United States, tells AZ Central that American consumers should not be worried of similar contamination. “None of the 7Up products sold in the U.S. are affected by the issue being reported in Mexico,” said spokesman Chris Barnes. He added: “Dr. Pepper Snapple owns and licenses the SevenUp brand only in the U.S. and its territories. We do not market, sell or distribute the brand internationally.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/25/amazon-alexa-not-yet-hipaa-compliant.html

Amazon’s voice technology Alexa has a lot of opportunity to be used in healthcare, whether it’s for remote monitoring of sick patients or in helping doctors take notes during patient visits.
But there’s one big problem. Alexa is not yet HIPAA-compliant, meaning it doesn’t meet the federal rules that protect patient privacy when it comes to their personal health data.
Not all health app developers will be subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, but the law requires that “covered entities,” such as doctors and health plans, as well as their business associates, are compliant.

That means that health developers can build Amazon Alexa skills around things like recommending nutritious food, but not to record patients’ lab results or other types of health information in a clinical setting. Amazon acknowledged this problem on Monday at an event called the “diabetes challenge,” where it worked with a series of partners to promote use-cases for Alexa for patients with diabetes. The finalists include a personal assistant or coach for patients with diabetes, and a virtual nutrition assistant.

It’s worth noting that it took some time for Amazon Web Services, its cloud service, to become compliant so it could work with covered entities that manage personal health information. But now, it is the dominant cloud provider for health care.

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