MDK’s Deliver Better and Quicker Health Care
Medical personnel and government officials want people taking more personal responsibility for their health care. Digital age technology is making that possible with wearables and self-testing diagnostic kits.
The digital age and growing consumer health-care self-awareness are spurring the plethora of medical diagnostic testing kits (MDKs). The market for MDKs is $30 billion worldwide. Their benefits include the following:
* Results are often available within thirty minutes compared to twenty-four to thirty-six hours from laboratories
* Consumers can go to a doctor if they suspect they are pregnant or have a MDK-diagnosed illness for treatment and early intervention
* Rapid MDKs cost a small percentage of the fees charged by labs
* MDKs provide privacy to consumers who can use them at home
* Doctors using MDKs in their offices substantiate a diagnosis, order more sophisticated testing if necessary, and begin treatments sooner than if they had waited for patients to present with advanced conditions
Costs of Geriatric Care are Stressing Resources
Most countries face shortages of residential-care facilities, geriatric specialists, home health-care caregivers, medical facilities, and doctors trained to treat the elderly. The world population is aging rapidly: In Japan, 26.3 percent of citizens are over 65 years old. The over-65 population of Italy is 22.4 percent, followed closely by Greece, Germany, Portugal, Finland, and Sweden. In the young country of Israel, the elderly approach 15 percent of the population.
Vitamins and Health Supplements are Not Necessarily Healthful
In the height of my middle-age years, a good friend implored me to start taking 400mg Vitamin E supplement daily. He argued that Vitamin E cuts the toxins lurking in my body, prevents free radical damage, cataracts, and diabetes related to aging. Its greatest benefit is as a preventive “medicine” against forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s disease.
Years later, I researched the topic, after my wife became captivated by the plethora of articles in women’s magazines and health newsletters touting how taking supplements can make a woman’s skin less wrinkled, her hair more rich and manageable, and lead to other attractive conditions. Her physician recommended a few, like Vitamin C for battling colds and flu, and Vitamin D to improve her absorption of calcium for keeping bones strong and to prevent bone loss. Then I heard a physician’s dismissive response to a question about Americans taking supplements, saying that our diet is so rich in vitamins and nutrients that supplements are unnecessary.
Many Strategies to Reverse Childhood Obesity Have Been Unsuccessful
A couple of pediatricians were asked how they know when a child is obese. Do they measure weight-to-height according to body mass index (BMI) standards? They both shrugged, and one said, “You know it when you see it.”
These doctors treat, and a plethora of studies confirm, the negative health effects from childhood obesity: emotional and psychological stress and depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and liver disease, sleep problems, cancer, early onset of puberty, skin infections, asthma, and early mortality linked to carotid arteries in adulthood. Lifetime medical costs for obese ten-year-olds is about $14 billion; unobservable costs include government disability payments.