The Health News – 26 September 2016

Overview:
•  The iECG replaces a traditional ECG machine to detect atrial fibrillation, which is responsible for one third of all strokes in Australia.A pilot program run by the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney is trialling the technology in far western New South Wales to create the first snapshot of atrial fibrillation rates in Aboriginal people.

• Closing the gap on health inequality would mean tackling the disproportionate distribution of global wealth, epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot, the president of the World Medical Association, has argued in his latest Boyer Lecture. For Indigenous Australians, both poverty and ill-health are so entrenched and have existed for so long that Sir Michael said one could be forgiven for wondering if things can change.

• Fly fishing which involves a fishing rod and an artificial fly as bait, has been used as a form of breast cancer therapy in the United States since the mid-1990s, and is now benefiting West Australian women. Georgina Di Ciano was among a dozen women who took part in the retreat, hosted by Breast Cancer Care WA and Recfishwest.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  26th of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-25/new-app-set-could-revolutionise-outback-health/7876040

A new smartphone app could revolutionise the way health care is delivered in the outback.

The iECG replaces a traditional ECG machine to detect atrial fibrillation, which is responsible for one third of all strokes in Australia.

A pilot program run by the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney is trialling the technology in far western New South Wales to create the first snapshot of atrial fibrillation rates in Aboriginal people.

One of the benefits is that it can be carried out by local healthcare workers with minimal training and effort.

Daniel Kelly is an Aboriginal Health Education Officer at the hospital in Brewarrina in north-west NSW and said it was less daunting for patients who were sometimes scared of hospitals.

At the heart of the research is community consultation.

The programs and rollout have been designed with local people on the ground because they are more in touch with what the community needed.

One of the Aboriginal health officers, Helen Ferguson, said it was so easy, some of the patients thought they were joking.

The patient places their fingers on connectors and holds on for 30 seconds.

The file is processed by an app on the phone, which gives results almost immediately.

Once an abnormality is picked up, the patient is referred to a specialist in Sydney or they can book an appointment with visiting specialists who come to the area about once a month.

It is the beginning of a new way of treating people in remote and inaccessible areas.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-24/wealth-inequality-threatens-egalitarian-dream/7872760

Closing the gap on health inequality would mean tackling the disproportionate distribution of global wealth, epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot has argued in his latest Boyer Lecture.

Sir Michael, the president of the World Medical Association, says Australia’s claim to be an egalitarian country has always relied on ignoring the plight of its Indigenous population.

Now, he says, the egalitarian claim of Australia’s non-Indigenous population — and that of other developed countries — is also dangerously under threat.

In Australia, the Indigenous life expectancy rate is 10 years lower than that of the general population.

Elsewhere, life expectancy gaps of 20 years exist within countries, and between countries, there are inequalities of up to 30 years.

Behind all of these issues, Sir Michael argued, looms the spectre of vast inequality.

For Indigenous Australians, both poverty and ill-health are so entrenched and have existed for so long that Sir Michael said one could be forgiven for wondering if things can change.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-24/fly-fishing-weekend-in-wa-aids-recovery-from-breast-cancer/7839876

There are a number of different treatments and therapies available for people recovering from breast cancer, but not many women would expect to find fly fishing on the list.

However the sport, which involves a fishing rod and an artificial fly as bait, has been used as a form of breast cancer therapy in the United States since the mid-1990s, and is now benefiting West Australian women.

When recovering breast cancer patient Georgina Di Ciano was invited to a weekend of fly fishing at Clover Cottage… in the state’s southwest, she had initial reservations.

But after the weekend, the 42-year-old oil and gas industry employee had a vastly different view.

“I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.” [she said]

Ms Di Ciano was among a dozen women who took part in the retreat, hosted by Breast Cancer Care WA and Recfishwest.

In the mid-1990s, a breast cancer surgeon in the US realised the motions involved in fly-casting were similar to the exercises she was suggesting to her post-operative patients.

 

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