Trending News Today: Digital Medicine Could Improve Chronic Disease Outcomes

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Digital medicine could help optimize chronic disease management and improve patient outcomes, recent studies suggest. According to The Wall Street Journal, approximately half of adults have 1 or more chronic diseases that account for 7 of 10 deaths and 86% of health care costs in the United States. New studies show that the use of digital tools—–which includes a combination of remote monitoring, behavior modification, and personalized intervention––overseen by physicians, could improve patient outcomes in chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart and lung disease. Digital medicine not only increases patient confidence that they can manage their condition, but it also allows physicians to obtain data regarding patient behavior and symptoms, the WSJ reported. “Digital medicine allows us to get into your life in a personal way, deliver interventions continuously, and inspire you to be healthy in a way an office-based practice can’t,” Dr Joseph Kvedar, a physician and researcher, vice president of connected health at Partners HealthCare, told the WSJ. Dr Kvedar noted that wide adoption of digital medicine could elevate patient care to the next level.

The more time fathers spend with their children reduces their child’s risk of becoming obese, reported The Washington Post. In a recent study, investigators examined how often dads participated in parenting activities, such as playing outside, making meals, and caregiving. Additionally, they evaluated the fathers’ participation in decisions regarding nutrition, health, and discipline when their children were between 2 and 4 years of age. The results of the study showed that children were 30% less likely to be obese at age 4 if their fathers increased their parenting time in the preceding 2 years compared with those who did not, the Post reported. As daily caregiving tasks were added, it was associated with an additional reduction in their child’s risk of becoming obese. According to the CDC, approximately 9% of children aged 2 to 5 years in the United states are obese, and approximately 18% of children aged 6 to 11 years are obese.

Texas-based hospitals are calling on the Trump administration to renew a Medicaid deal that brought the state an additional $6.2 billion per year in funding to help provide patient care to the poor, according to Kaiser Health News. Part of the funding is used to help hospitals finance care for uninsured patients, while the other half is given to hospitals and providers to test regional programs aimed at improving access and patient care, KHN reported. Texas legislators previously rejected federal aid to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act because they believed the program was broken; however, they are now hoping to win a 21-month extension of a 2011 agreement set to expire in December, according to the report.

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