Maintaining Standards in Biomedical Animal Testing is Crucial
My Life or the Mouse’s: No Contest
Testing of drug therapies and performance of biomedical experiments on animals are givens in the worlds of scientific and medical research. Public outcry and violent attacks compel the enactment of laws and regulations defining limits and appropriateness in biomedical animal testing and experimentation. Nevertheless, the work continues in corporation and university laboratories across the world because the public highly values relief from pain and suffering and saving human lives more than it values animal welfare. Still, scientists and members of the public who are sensitive to the ethical and humane treatment of animals are uneasy about animal research.
Pharmaceutical companies, government health agencies, commercial medical businesses, and military defense agencies, among others, fund animal testing and experiments. If their labs do not set and maintain standards of animal testing, they risk sanctions, plus public outcry, that can damage company reputations. Because this issue affects sales and marketing, handling it requires thoughtful strategizing.
Hospital Food Needs an Upgrade
Anybody spending days in a hospital knows mealtime is a highlight, but the hospital food is the low point of the experience. Hospital food is no laughing matter; it has become a meme in patient lore.
A good appetite is a sign of recovery. Eating nutritious, tasty, satisfying food aids in the healing process. Good food perks up the patient, contributing to a better attitude, while poorly prepared and unappetizingly presented food exacerbates patient depression, retards the pace of healing, and sometimes sparks violent outbursts.
The work of staff nutritionists and food preparation workers is just as important to recovery as that of physical therapists, respiratory specialists, and the aftercare from physicians and nurses. Food quality at hospitals, nursing centers, and rehabilitation facilities qualifies as a public health problem.
3D Printers are Changing Patients’ Lives
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), involves processing layers of material by computer control to create an object of almost any shape. There are 3D scanners that can make virtually any object from modeling software. Futurists call it the next stage of the industrial revolution.
Customized 3D printing is already transforming healthcare. Here are two examples:
* In 2015, doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center implanted a titanium lower jawbone 3D printed by a dental implant company for a Syrian refugee whose injuries prevented him from speaking and eating; he was doing both one day after the implant.
* In 2016, a 64-year-old Israeli was one of the first cancer patients in the world to receive a 3D printed custom-made jaw necessitated by a metastatic tumor. Doctors made an exact replica by size and shape of his original jaw and printed the new one for a perfect fit, so he was able to eat the day after the surgery!
Medical Tourism is Becoming Commonplace
Medical care in many countries is not affordable. Government and third-party insurers do not cover the costs of many procedures, choosing to tag them electives, so that patients must pay out of pocket. Additionally, high-quality medical care and special procedures are not available in many developing countries.
Medical tourism is the appellation for people traveling to another country for medical and dental treatment. The three most popular treatments are surgeries, fertility work, and dental care. Medical tourism is estimated by People Beyond Borders to reach $70 billion annually. Some 1.4 million Americans are expected to travel outside the United States in 2016 for medical care, and the market is growing 20 percent annually.
Outsourcers can Help Navigate the Legal Aspects of MC
Medical marijuana (MMJ) is now part of the fabric of prescription medicine. It has been rebranded as medical cannabis (MC) to distinguish a medicinal treatment modality from recreational use. Hospital administrators and medical practitioners now have to learn the laws, rules, and regulations associated with prescribing MC and the differences among strains of the plant because product demand is surging.
People who store, prescribe, and dispense MC are under close scrutiny of local law enforcement and federal executive agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, the Medicaid Fraud Controls Unit, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. There are a growing number of outsourcing companies that can help write policy guidelines, prescription criteria, product applications, and compliance procedures.
Telehealth and Chronic Care are a Match Made in Medical Heaven
Chronic care conditions impact the lives of over 50 percent of Americans and consume over $850 billion a year in health-care expenditures; it can be said that telehealth and chronic care management (CCM) are a match made in medical heaven.
By its very constitution, many of the benefits of telehealth—one of the industry’s most recent and revolutionary forms of health-care delivery—are a natural fit in meeting the needs of patients living with long-term or chronic conditions.