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Pfizer Introduces Robot to Better Analyze Patient Responses

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Pfizer has recently announced that it will begin a one-year pilot program with a robotics company called Catalia Health. Catalia Health has created a home-robot called Mabu. Mabu will help patients maintain their health and educate them about the use of their prescription drugs. The main goal of the one-year program is to help patients adjust to any significant health issue and to allow them to take their medication appropriately. 

Conversational AI allows Mabu to utilize voice interactions. This feature can help reveal a patient’s mood, treat symptoms, and record meaningful data. The information can then be related to medical staff who can assist the patient accordingly. Also, Mabu can predict a patient’s emotional state and deliver a personal response by using affective computing

After initial trials with Kaiser Permanente, 84% of patients are more likely to manage disease symptoms more effectively when they maintain regular interactions with the robot.

To learn more about this topic, please visit https://venturebeat.com/2019/09/12/pfizer-launches-pilot-with-home-robot-mabu-to-study-patient-response-to-ai/ 

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Excessive Training Can Hinder Athletes’ Brains

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Researchers discovered that after multiple weeks of overtraining, the brain demonstrated decreased activity in areas about decision-making. Overworked athletes were found to be less willing to exert themselves for long-term rewards. This finding could potentially shed some perspective on diminished athlete performance when overworked, which is a phenomenon known as overtraining syndrome

The research study involved 37 male triathletes who participated in a training program. Half of the athletes continued with their original workouts, and the other half increased their training by 40%. Participants had their brains scanned, which revealed that there is less brain activity near the prefrontal cortex. They were also asked a series of questions regarding choosing instant gratification or a long-term reward. The researchers determined that overtrained athletes’ responses indicated a desire for instant gratification.

As an athlete increases his or her training, the brain reassesses goals and starts to prioritize them differently. When fatigue increases, the brain shifts from one goal to another as part of a built-in-mechanism. This could mean achieving a goal that will help the athlete recover rather than win. 

What do you think of overtraining, and have you experienced any cognitive deficits with it? Let us know in the comments below. 

Source: 

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/26/764604968/too-much-training-can-tax-athletes-brains

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Remote Monitoring of Medical Condition can Enhance Patient Care

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The University of Manchester’s Connected Health team recently developed a smartphone app that would allow rheumatoid arthritis patients to input their symptoms. The data is embedded with the EHR and the results are presented graphically. Researchers discovered that when patients input their data on an app, they can see short and long term trends. Clinicians can then see flares in symptoms that may have been previously overlooked. They can then make more informed, data-driven decisions about the best course of treatment for patients. Mobile app platforms can also further support evidenced-based provider and patient communication.

What do you think the role of technology will be in patient care? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. 

Source: 

  1. https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/daily-remote-monitoring-rheumatoid-arthritis-patients-can-improve-doctor-consultations

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States That are Working to Improve Mental Health For Students

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Students across the United States are increasingly facing mental health issues in this day and age. Here are a couple of states that have taken steps to improve mental health for the student population. 

Oregon: In July 2019, Governor Kate Brown approved mental health days for students, meaning that schools will excuse student absences that relate to mental and behavioral health. Students who petitioned the bill intend to remove the stigma around mental health, especially in Oregon, where suicide rates are disproportionately high. In fact, suicide was found to be the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds. 

Florida: The Florida State Board of Education will require public-school students in sixth grade and above to learn more about health through a minimum of five hours of mental health education yearly. The educational curriculum includes information regarding how to seek help from others, address peers that have mental health disorders, and interpret signs and symptoms. 

What would you like to see in schools to address the mental health crisis?

Sources: 

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/18/us/florida-to-require-mental-health-education-trnd/index.html
  2. https://www.today.com/health/oregon-passes-law-letting-students-take-mental-health-days-t159385
  3. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/22/us/oregon-schools-mental-health-days-trnd/index.html

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