Tag Archives: Health

How ’Crowdsourcing’ involves experts and patients to define research missions: Broken Bone, anyone?

What if patients and clinical experts could spark and define the direction of multidisciplinary science projects without knowing the scientific literature? The Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) — a Austrian research organisation located in Vienna — is currently experimenting with Open Innovation in Science to systematically steer missions for their future research groups. Open Innovation in Science has been a vital part of innovative R&D units in large companies, however the science side of things are just starting to develop. LBG is currently at the forefront of this development. Read more [...]

The future is now: FDA approves first pill with digital sensor

The Internet of Things has been a big buzz word in technology for a couple years now. The Internet of Things refers to how everyday devices are becoming connected or digitised with technology. Who would have thought that pills could be digitised and that prescribed medicines could become part of The Internet of Things? It happened this past November when the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the first pill with a digital sensor. What does this mean for medicine? It means that the prescribing doctor can be notified when a patient takes their medication; or maybe even more importantly, if they didn’t take their medication as prescribed. Read more [...]

How to involve patients in health research?

Patients are the end users of health research; however, they are still rarely implicated in health research. In the 80’s HIV patients have revolted against this position and have invited themselves to scientific conferences and they have contributed to a major change in patient involvement in HIV research. How have other fields of biomedical research, like rare disease research or cancer research, been inspired by this unique experience? Read more [...]

Increasing awareness of researcher mental health

Recently, there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the mental health of researchers. Research is an activity that aims to confront the boundaries of human knowledge: it demands excellence from all researchers, who aim to publish in peer-reviewed publications, submit grant applications, achieve tenure or defend a PhD thesis. Researchers identify with and are dedicated to their work to a very great extent. A recent report noted that researchers simultaneously demonstrate high levels of job satisfaction and high levels of stress and depression. Nevertheless, hard work does not have to lead to suffering. Read more [...]

Noise pollution: give citizens the means to reclaim their peace

Airport runways have the potential to cause long-term noise disturbance for those living in their vicinity. Associated health problems could also affect these neighbours. In the past 14 years, an EU Directive designed to measure the level of environmental noise and mitigate its effects on people's health has been in place. However, its implementation in each Member States has watered down the provisions designed to empower citizens to force further noise reduction measures. EuroScientist investigates what could be done to give citizens living near noisy transport environments the means to get back an acceptable level of peace. Read more [...]

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How citizens’ feedback can shape health research

Experts will discuss the latest research on healthy populations at the forthcoming EuroScience Open Forum event to be held in July 2016 in Manchester. The trouble is, until recently, often people who may be impacted by health research did not have a say in it. Several session organisers share their views on the new avenues that are explored to improve the link between health research and citizens. Read more [...]

Health Policy

The shift towards prevention or wellness has now been operated a few years ago in health policy. Particularly in the field of chronic diseases, which is the focus of our independent coverage in this issue and of a campaign orchestrated by the REIsearch project. This has led to a number of policy experiments over time. As yet, there is no magic bullet to entice people to try and take greater care of their health. It appears that a combination of voluntary actions by citizens, with prevention campaigns from interested groups, and regulations can help. But too much of any of these ingredients may affect the fragile dynamic between them. Read more [...]

Human nature thwarts wellness

As Easter is looming, some of us already know that eating large amounts of chocolate eggs will be too much of a temptation to resist. This Easter chocolate binge is symptomatic of our approach to health. And to preventing chronic diseases that may affect us later in life. Until we actually see the damage done by such often irresponsible behaviour, we are not going to change. Clearly, we are our own worst enemies, when it comes to keeping ourselves in good health and taking preventative steps. Read more [...]

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More and better data for greater health

Data is the currency of today’s digital economy. Collected, analysed and moved across the globe, personal data has acquired enormous economic significance, with the value of European citizens’ personal data on track to reach €1 trillion per year by 2020. If we want to better understand, manage, and prevent chronic diseases, then more and better data is vital. In particular, policy makers need data to inform their healthcare decisions and initiatives. Read more [...]

Sweet tooth: countering one of our most lethal addictions

Sugar is one of the next targets of health policy makers in Europe. It features as one of the ingredients in the latest food reformulation roadmap, just published by the European Commission. This ingredient has crept up in European diets unprecedented levels. As a result it could have serious consequences for the heath of European citizens, reflected in the increase of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Today, sugar has become very political. And the debate rages on between those concerned for public health and those in favour of preserving consumer choice, avoiding nanny states interventions and protecting the food industry's market share. Read more [...]

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Diabetes prevention requires multiple concerted strategies

Diabetes is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. On a global scale, there are an estimated 415 million people aged 20-79 with diabetes. These include 193 million who are undiagnosed. A further 318 million adults with impaired glucose tolerance are also at high risk of developing the disease. In 2015 alone, diabetes and its related complications will have caused 5 million deathsand cost 12% of the global healthcare spend. How can we slow, stop, or reverse the diabetes epidemic? Read more [...]