Archive: health

June 26th, 2013 | By Glen Hiemstra and Mallory Smith | Posted in Art & Society, Innovation | 1 Comment

Eating Healthy, And Other Ideas We Should be Sharing Globally

healthy eatingToday I searched the surprisingly niche Google topic “how online education improves healthy diets in the future”. I came across several American and UK publications, but very few publications from other places around the globe. One  related post  I found talks about the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Campaign. Its Healthy Lunchtime Challenge recognizes 54 children as winners who will attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama. The group will join The First Lady for a healthy lunch, featuring a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a visit to the White House kitchen garden.  This seems to me like a very inspiring event- kids getting governmental encouragement to eat and cook healthy meals.

I then came across  a blog from a Malaysian publication called The Star. The article talks about the importance of starting healthy eating at a young age, and it gives great tips to help parents implement a healthy diet for their children.  I posted the article to my social media channels and  realized I was surprised that this blog post was from Malaysia. Why? My search results, although unfiltered and open to any information on the internet, oftentimes come up with American, UK, and Canadian publications when I search for trends, innovative ideas and projects for the future. It’s hard to say if this is the internet’s fault, or foreign publications lacking presence online, but it got me thinking of how important it is to keep communication and ideas flowing openly on a global scale, and how it will only disadvantage us if we stick to reading and watching national news and publications.

Cross-posting blogs from different countries is a good thing. It promotes global communication. Here at Futurist.com we get visits from an average of 120 nations a month.  We know that this promotes culture sharing, but at the same time know this could be expanded greatly if we could put our site out in multiple languages, or at least set up SEO so that it searches better in other languages and regions. One need only travel internationally once to discover how insulated and isolated we tend to be, despite the reach of the Internet, and so using the net to foster international dialogue is an excellent goal. And most importantly we can do more to promote learning and sharing innovative ideas that cure global issues and inspire new inventions. The world will have 8 billion people before too long, and to make that work will require an ever-increasing level of international learning, cooperation, and innovation, if we are to live in relative comfort and peace.

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December 9th, 2011 | By Mallory Smith | Posted in Environment & Energy, Innovation, Science & Tech, Space | Comments Off

10 Best Innovations of 2011

Popular Science recently featured the 100 Best Innovations of the Year. Here are 10 of the most exciting and interesting ones.

Recreation:
Lifesaving Wetsuit
The Billabong V1 is more than just a wetsuit. This suit inflates a bladder in the back of the suit once an attached ripcord is pulled, helping the wearer float in case of an emergency. Learn more from Billabong.

Engineering:
Versabar VB10000
This rig remover can unearth an entire oil rig from under water in a few short hours and for a quarter of the price. The Versabar VB10000 is extremely necessary, as the U.S. has identified 1,800 rigs that have to be excavated within 10 years.

Green Tech:
Bio Soil Enhancers Forage Boost
These bio soil enhancers raise productivity and lower watering needs. Grass yields increase by 20% over standard fertilizer. Learn more about the inventors at AuroraAgra, LLC.

Wysips
The world’s first transparent photovoltaic film. Wysips turn almost anything into a power source. This film has thin strips filled with solar cells alternating with transparent areas, so it appears transparent has thousands of potential applications.

Health:
Diagnostics for All
All it takes is a drop of blood on a stamp-size paper chip and in 15 minutes a color will appear that indicates liver health. Diagnostics for All’s “chip lab” costs less than a penny to make and allows patients to pay about a nickel for treatment.

Avita/ReCell Spray-on-Skin
ReCell Spray-On-Skin grows cells quickly and applies new skin to a bad burn, helping it heal more quickly.

Aviation and Space:
Messenger
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab’s Messenger probe was the first spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit. The probe sent back the first close-up photos taken of Mercury since 1975.

Security:
Recon Scout XT
This bot is tough enough to be thrown into any environment, even through a window, beaming back to its handler live video footage.

Gadgets:
Eye-Fi Direct Mode
Eye-Fi SD cards do not need Wi-Fi to share photos and video from a camera on the Web. All you need is a location with cell service and you can download, upload and share through e-mail any photos you want.

Home Entertainment:
Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface
This 40-inch thin tabletop computer sees and responds to whatever gets placed on it.

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September 6th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society, Innovation | Comments Off

Saying No to Surgery: Heart Attack Victim Chooses Food over Technology

Is it wise to choose a better diet over surgery? The answer may be yes! After studying cancer and finding that certain cultures around the world do not get heart disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., a general surgeon, discovered that a strict diet can prevent heart attacks. In this case, the diet is difficult to abide by, but definitely possible. Dr. Esselstyn recommends no dairy, no eggs, no added oils and no meat.

This is not really new. Such diet ideas have been around for a long time, and are occasionally modified by new information. But, is the idea of intervening in your own health via diet becoming a significant future trend? The trend appears in the continued interest in and market for nutraceuticals – food supplements aimed at better health – and in the faster growing interest in organic, natural and local foods.

When the Institute for Systems Biology envisions the future of medicine, they propose that health care will become increasingly predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory. By participatory they mean that through better access to information individuals will take more charge of, and responsibility for their health. How you eat seems likely to become a key ingredient in participating in being healthy.

Watch the CNN video at this link to hear about one woman’s decision to save her life by making big changes to her diet.
Woman chooses food over surgery

We are on the cusp of what could be an absolute revolution in health — not dependent on pills, procedures or operations, but on lifestyle,” Esselstyn says.

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July 7th, 2011 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Art & Society | Comments Off

A Shift In Our Approach to Health Care

Early this year 1200 people crowded a ballroom in Singapore to begin the first ever conference in Asia on the subject of integrated health care. Here in the U.S. we tend to think that others have solved the health care challenges of the future. It is true that most other developed countries reached agreement on which model they would use for health care payments. Here in the U.S. the health care bill of 2010 attempts to nudge the U.S. toward a more cohesive system that covers more people. But innovations in health care payment do not really do all that much to bring down the growth curve of future health care costs. The secret to doing that lies in developing better care models, like integrated care, more innovation in health care delivery, much better focus on healthy life styles, and breakthroughs that dramatically impact chronic diseases that are associated with high costs.

In the Singapore conference several key lessons were highlighted. You can read about them in greater depth here. When you look at the list, I am sure you will be struck, as I was, by the similarity of global concerns to what we fret about here in the states. The lessons from Singapore:

  • Governments and providers need to invest resources to integrate care.
  • A number of successful models of better integration of care now exist around the world.
  • Technology will play a key role in enabling care integration.
  • With the increasing incidence of chronic illness, transitional care has emerged as key issue, as the
    hand-off between care providers tends to be the most vulnerable moment for patients.
  • The quality and scope of primary care has a great impact on integration of care.
  • A world-wide shortage of healthcare professionals plagues many countries.
  • There is growing evidence that support groups for patients, especially those with chronic illnesses are
    effective tools for improving care integration and outcomes.
  • The issue of “integrated end-of-life care” is just beginning to be seriously addressed, as much of the
    developed world faces rapidly aging populations, and the developing world sees people living much
    longer as well.
  • The bottom line, as I tell the health care related groups that I work with, is that the real work of improving health care and controlling the cost is just beginning, and goes well beyond the insurance issues that continue to be the focus of health care reform as we usually think of it.

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