Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Using Your Smartphone to Lose Weight (and other interesting things you can do with a smartphone)

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

From the May 5, 2011  Cornflower blog item (The Blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region)

Today in Chicago, it is currently 48 degrees at 10:00 am.  Not exactly beach weather.  However, it will be soon time to take off those winter jackets and replace it with t-shirts and suntan lotion.  So, did you know you can use your smartphone to help you lose weight? (Not saying you need it! You look marvelous!) Duke University researchers are using Android smartphones and wireless weight scales for a weight loss study.  It’s not just that you connect with a scale wirelessly and it adds your weight to a chart on your phone; the app on your smartphone will keep track of your weight and depending how it is trending, send you messages.  Hopefully they aren’t messages like “lay off the cookies, Max!” Because I love cookies too much.  Anyway.  This article came out a few days ago and you may find it interesting: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2011/04/duke-researchers-android-phones-bluetooth-weight-scale/.

Sort of on the same wavelength about getting messages from your phone – there are a growing number of services that will communicate with you to remind you of appointments, to take medicines, or in the case above, maybe even give encouragement.  Some examples:

There is a Health Literacy Out Loud Podcast on this topic: http://www.healthliteracyoutloud.com/2011/04/26/health-literacy-out-loud-57-texting-important-health-messages/

Other developments:

  • In Denver, Co, the hospital group Denver Health has teamed up with Microsoft and EMC on a project to send patients text message reminders about upcoming appointments in a diabetes program that aimed to help patients better self manage their condition.  They ask patients to text in their daily glucose readings.  They hope that this will improve condition management, reduce admission rates and reduce costs.  Read more about this project.
  • Getting teens and tweens to be more complaint with eczema treatments with texting: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/texting.html

For more clinical research see the following:

There’s more where these came from in PubMed.

What is your organization doing with mobile technologies? Does your hospital have ER wait times available via a mobile device? What about appointment reminders?

P.S. Don’t forget about the NLM “Show Off Your Apps” Contest! http://challenge.gov/NIH/132-nlm-show-off-your-apps-innovative-uses-of-nlm-information

P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.?) Don’t forget about all of the mobile sites and apps available already from the NLM: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Fake Marijuana’ Users Showing Up in Emergency Rooms

HealthDay news image

Called ‘K2’ or ‘Spice,’ the drug is legal in many states

From a November 11, 2010 Health Day news item

THURSDAY, Nov. 11 –(HealthDay News) — A form of synthetic marijuana known as “K2” is sending young people to the hospital with racing heart beats, extreme anxiety and hallucinations, toxicologists warn.

In recent months, physicians and toxicologists say more young people have been showing up in emergency rooms after smoking synthetic marijuana. Despite the side effects, K2 is legal in many states, although many state legislators are rushing to pass legislation banning it.

Since the start of 2010, the American Association of Poison Control Centers has received nearly 2,000 reports of people who became ill after smoking K2, compared to about a dozen in 2009. Poison control officials described some of the symptoms as “life-threatening.”

K2 is often marketed as incense and sold in packets of herbs laced with synthetic marijuana at “head shops,” gas stations, convenience stores and online for about $30 to $40 per three-gram bag. The drug also goes by other names, including Spice, Spice Gold, Spice Diamond, Yucatan Fire, Solar Flare, K2 Summit, Genie, PEP Spice, and Fire n Ice, according to the U.S. Drug Intelligence Center.

While people who smoke K2 think they’re going to experience deep relaxation and euphoria, those who end up in the hospital report unpleasant experiences, said Dr. Anthony Scalzo, medical director of the Missouri Poison Center and chief of toxicology at St. Louis University.

“The classic symptoms are agitation, anxiety, racing heart beat, elevated blood pressure,” Scalzo said. “And some kids are having very negative psychotropic experiences. One said, ‘I felt like I went down to hell’.”

In some cases, the drug also causes vomiting, tremors and seizures, according to federal drug abuse agencies….

…The chemical makeup of the drug, which he called JWH-018 and JWH-073, was similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, only considerably more potent.

While THC is a cannabinoid, it’s one of many, Huffman said. There are many other substances that interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs, Huffman said….

…SOURCES: Anthony Scalzo, M.D., chief of toxicology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.; John Huffman, Ph.D., research professor, organic chemistry, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.

 

 


November 14, 2010 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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