The Vicious Cycle of Winners and Losers

Ask any Public Health Practitioner what the biggest public health success story is and they will mention the eradication of smallpox. Across the globe, this accomplishment is seen as the biggest contribution public health brought onto society and a sort of proof-of-concept that illness can be dealt with even before onset. Yet if you ask the Public Health Community what the current most pressing public health concern should be, you will never get consensus. Infectious disease connoisseurs will bring forward the re-emergence of infectious diseases, chronic disease experts will point to the majority of top 10 leading causes of death (in the US) as being chronic. HIV/AIDS researchers will underline the fact that HIV/AIDS can lead to other infectious/chronic diseases, yet diabetes researchers could state the same. Continue reading…

Health Information Exchange: The Long Road

In a recent entry in Health Affairs, the Office of the National Coordinator released some information on the strategy for advancing the exchange of health information over the next years. We start with the obvious: most health information today is not shared electronically, with fax and mail still being the major exchange method. Because of this, health information remains largely in the hands of providers, with little to no info following the patient along their path to care. Continue reading…

The Health Currency – Part I – Happiness

Health (as a currency) is the internal, intrinsic concept that, believe it or not, we all choose to ignore. If you do a quick Google search to find what makes people happy, you’ll find many articles that mention social relationships, gratitude, forgiveness, family and friends, having a meaningful and rewarding job. Yet not many writings mention health as a contributor to our overall happiness. In fact, health (and more specific, physical health) seems to only marginally affect our overall happiness. To put it a different way, the LACK of health makes us sad, yet the presence of good health is most often taken for granted.

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