December Healthcare News

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CVS Health and Aetna close $69 billion merger

Nearly one year after agreeing to merge in a bid to reinvent healthcare for Americans, CVS Health and Aetna sealed the deal on (11/28/2018), bringing together one of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains and one of the largest health insurers. The $69 billion merger scored approval from U.S. Justice Department antitrust enforcers and insurance regulators in 28 states, despite warnings from provider groups, patient advocates, economists and antitrust experts that the combination could harm competition and patients. […] The companies say they will together offer better, cheaper integrated healthcare. CVS walk-in clinics would become community healthcare hubs where pharmacists would manage patients’ care and counsel them between primary care visits.” read

1 in 3 Parents Won’t Get Kids Flu Shot

“The National Poll of Children’s Health from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 34 percent of parents said their children would not get the vaccination for the 2018-2019 flu season. When it comes to making their decision, almost half of parents, or 48 percent, said they follow the recommendation of their children’s doctor, and a majority of parents, at 77 percent, said their doctor strongly or mostly recommends the vaccine. Only 2 percent said their doctor recommended against the flu vaccine.” read

Machine Learning Can Help Healthcare Workers Predict Whether Patients May Require Emergency Hospital Admission

“Machine learning — a field of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques to enable computer systems to ‘learn’ from data — can be used to analyse electronic health records and predict the risk of emergency hospital admissions, a new study from The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford has found. The research, suggests that using these techniques could help health practitioners accurately monitor the risks faced by patients and put in place measures to avoid unplanned admissions, which are a major source of healthcare spending.” read

New Artificial Joint Restores Natural Forearm Rotation in Amputees

A new artificial joint restores important wrist-like movements to forearm amputees, something which could dramatically improve their quality of life. A group of researchers led by Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have published their research in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering. […] An implant is placed into each of the two bones of the forearm – the ulna and radius – and then a wrist-like artificial joint acts as an interface between these two implants and the prosthetic hand. Together, this allows for much more naturalistic movements, with intuitive natural control and sensory feedback. read