Health With a Capital H
High Five for Health: May 2012
June 4, 2012
Contributed by Matt Grzeskiewicz, Digital Strategist
Photo: Joseph Sanford/USDA-ERS
With May just ended, we bring you our second installment of our High Five for Health blog series.
The initial public offering of Facebook stock dominated headlines this month; however, there also were major developments in the world of public health, health care, and technology that deserve some attention.
In This Month’s Mix-up
May brought us an effective call to action for mental health, important findings on food affordability, and several technological advancements in medical science and health care delivery.
Healthy Foods May Be More Affordable
The diet of most Americans falls short of Federal recommendations, especially when it comes to healthy choices such as vegetables and fruits. Aside from lack of access to supermarkets that carry such healthy foods, cost is the other barrier often blamed for this diet shortfall.
However, a new set of findings from the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) contradicts this common belief about cost. In their report, Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price, USDA researchers found that when measured by “price per edible weight” and “price per average amount eaten,” healthy foods are cheaper in price than unhealthy alternatives. Findings like this may be a small victory in the continuing efforts against obesity.
>>>Read on: What might this mean for nutrition in the United States? Read the USDA’s Blog discussing the report.
A Call to Action for Mental Health
More than 50 years ago, Mental Health America started their annual observance of “May Is Mental Health Month.” For 2012, they brought forth a simple, yet powerful, call to action, “Do More for 1 in 4.”
One in four Americans is living with diagnosable, and highly treatable, mental health conditions. With questions such as, “Does your 1 in 4 have an anxiety disorder?,” followed by helpful signs and information about mental health disorders, Mental Health America is empowering Americans to lend a helping hand to those around them who may be struggling from within. The only question that remains is: Do you do more for 1 in 4?
>>>Read on: Want to answer this call to action? Find the Do More for 1 in 4 Toolkit.
Tablets: Physicians New Best Friend
According to a new Manhattan Research study, from the series Taking the Pulse U.S. 2012, you might see your physician using his iPad during your next visit. The adoption of tablet devices by physicians is increasing at a much higher rate than predicted. In 2012, 62 percent of the physicians surveyed used a tablet for professional purpose, with half of these doctors using one at the point of care. This evolution has come faster than expected, meaning major stakeholders in health care and public health will have to evolve as well.
>>>Read on: Want the full report of Manhattan Research’s finding? Take a look at the full report.
Mobile Entering Medical School Training
As cited in the above example, mobile technologies are starting to change the way that medicine is practiced. So it should come as no surprise that Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, both leaders in the world of health research and practice, have initiated use of mobile technology in their curricula. This development should certainly erase any doubt that mobile health is transforming the landscape of health care.
>>>Read on: What are these universities doing? Johns Hopkins’ Use of Mobile Technology; Harvard’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine
Robots Are Going To Conquer. . .Paralysis?
Although years away from widespread practical use, researchers—with funding from the National Institutes of Health—built a device that may be the future of paralysis recovery. A woman, suffering from paralysis brought on by a stroke, was able to use a robotic arm to reach for and sip from a drink for the first time in almost 15 years. The technology linked the robotic arm to transmissions from her brain to accomplish the feat. This is the first successful trial that researchers hope leads to a full-body system that will offer a stable paralysis solution.
>>>Read on: Watch the inspiring video of this success!
If you hadn’t noticed, technology and health are joining together to become quite the impressive combination. Anything catch your eye this month? Share it with us and we’ll offer up a virtual high five!