Singapore healthcare provider breached, personal records of 1.5m people - including the Prime Minister - stolen

Singhealth, a Singaporean public health service, suffered the worst breach in Singaporean history, losing control of 1.5 million peoples' data; included in the breach was prescription data on 160,000 people, including Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong. Read the rest

60 Congressional Democrats form a Medicare For All caucus

When Bernie Sanders made a bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy in 2016 with a pledge of "Medicare For All," the party establishment (coffers fattened with money from the health insurance industry) claimed that the policy was a nonstarter that would never find popular support. Read the rest

Hackers say they stole tens of thousands of health records of Ontario home-care patients and they want to get paid

CBC reporters have verified health record files provided by hackers who say they acquired them by breaking into the computers of CarePartners, a company that contracts with the Ontario government. Read the rest

If there's a "gaming disorder", why isn't there a "smartphone disorder"?

The WHO proposes a "behavioral addiction pathology" for excessive video-game playing. But not one for a similar pattern of compulsive, harmful, endlessly looping use associated with smartphones and the internet in general. Ian Bogost writes that the proposed diagnosis reflects a desire to cast negative behaviors as the result of individual mental defects rather than more complex social, political, and economic factors at hand. The discrepancy between digital dependencies considered pathological and those considered perfectly normal may simply come down to pleasing lobbyists--or avoiding their displeasure.

But what about computers, smartphones, or the internet more broadly? Proposals for internet addiction have been advanced for possible inclusion in the DSM-V. In those cases, a similar reliance on the substance-abuse model persists, along with suspicions regarding the legitimacy of withdrawal and tolerance as diagnostic criteria. The WHO told me that it began evaluating the public-health implications of excessive use of computers, smartphones, and the internet in 2014, in response to concerns from its community. But despite those concerns, gaming disorder made it into the ICD-11 draft as the only “clinically recognizable and clinically significant syndrome” related to the broader category of computing and the internet.

Some researchers wonder if the WHO might be under pressure to codify gaming disorder. In 2017, an article in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice argued that two members of the WHO advisory group, Geoffrey Reed and Vladimir Poznyak felt political pressure to identify gaming disorder, particularly from member states where the consequences of excessive online gaming have been particularly extreme.

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Can an electric bandage kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

Can an electrified bandage really kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria (and make the wear not as smelly)? Chemical and Engineering News put one, made by Vomaris Innovations, to the test, and the answer seems to be yes.

Although the bandage is about a decade old, recent research has shown the technology can destroy hardy, antibiotic-resistant biofilms in pigs (Ann. Surg. 2017, DOI: 10.1097/sla.0000000000002504). Soon, the makers hope to prove the bandage’s efficacy in human clinical trials, and they also have their eyes on other commercial applications, including sportswear that fights smelly bacteria (shown). The latest episode of Speaking of Chemistry explores the science behind the bandages and puts their odor-fighting claims to the test.

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Teaching a banjo workshop while undergoing an EEG

Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "I had to go through a 25 hr EEG, but I didn't let the wires glued to my head stop me from posting my weekly frailing banjo workshop." Read the rest

Slashdotter: I've had a pillcam stuck in my gut for 12 weeks and counting

BeauHD, a Slashdot moderator, has Crohn's Disease, and he lives in an age of modern miracles, which means that he can have his small intestine surveyed by swallowing a tiny pill-sized camera, rather than having a scope threaded up his rectum or down his throat, or having his gut sliced open. Read the rest

It's often cheaper to pay cash for your prescriptions rather than the co-pay, but the pharmacy is legally prohibited from suggesting it

America's health care is totally screwed up, Part Ten Gazillion: in many cases, the medicines your doctor prescribes are cheaper than the co-pay your health insurance charges, which means that if you just buy the meds instead of charging them to insurance, you save money. Read the rest

Frozen Rat Kidney Shipping Container: The incredibly bounty of the NIH's 3D printables repository

The National Institutes of Health maintain a 3D Print Exchange, a kind of miniature Thingiverse for open-licensed, 3D printable objects for teaching and practicing public health. Read the rest

Which American cities have lowest herd immunity due to anti-vaxxers?

Parents of Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Provo, Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, Plano, Detroit, Troy, Warren, Kansas City and Pittsburgh: beware. Read the rest

The rich-poor obesity gap in kids is widening

A long time ago, obesity was often used as a shorthand for wealth, but over the decades obesity has become more and more correlated with poverty, both in culture and science (while wealth is increasingly correlated with being slim). Read the rest

Terminal breast cancer "cured" by injecting patient with billions of her own white blood cells

Researchers at the US National Cancer Institute have reported in on an experimental breast cancer therapy that achieved remarkable results, rehabilitating Judy Perkins from the brink of death (she had been given two months to live, had tumors in her liver and throughout her body) to robust health two years later. Read the rest

Sentimental coal-miners carried canary resuscitators to revive their feathered lifesavers

This Canary Resuscitator was manufactured in the 1920s by Siebe Gorman and Co.; it was carried by miners to revive the canaries that were used from the late 19th century until 1987(!) as early-warning signals for potentially lethal gas leaks. Read the rest

America is the world's first poor rich country

Americans' median income is $60,000 -- but the average American couldn't stump up $500 to bail themselves out of an emergency, and a third of Americans can't afford food, shelter and healthcare. Read the rest

Illinois votes to eliminate inmates' doctor visit co-pays, equivalent to one month's wages

Illinois lawmakers have want to end inmates' co-payments of $5 for each prison doctor visit -- the equivalent of a month's wages in the prison's $0.05/hour and under workshops; in Oregon, they're contemplating creating a $3-5/visit co-pay. Read the rest

Vanuatu will use drones to deliver vaccines across its remote chain of tiny islands

Vanuatu and UNICEF have issued a request for tender inviting drone companies to bid on a contract to deliver vaccines along the nation's chain of tiny, remote islands -- 83 volcanic islands strung along a 1600km atoll. Read the rest

Tell your parents: Trump is lying to them about Medicare

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, and the Medicare Rights Center have issued a joint statement condemning the 2018 edition of Medicare & You, the annual guide published by the federal government; the groups say that the Trump administration is lying to seniors in order to trick them into switching to privatized, HMO-run Medicare Advantage programs, away from the superior, publicly maintained Meidcare system. Read the rest

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