Apple's Move Toward Chronic Pain

The saying goes, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away. But the tech giant Apple is inching closer to the health market after its acquisition of personal health data startup Gliimpse, Fast Company reports. Gliimpse allows Americans to collect, personalize and share a picture of their health data via the startup's personal health platform which is geared toward those with chronic pain, like patients with cancer and diabetes. Couple that with Apple’s hire of a top endocrinologist who developed a HealthKit app for teens with type 1 diabetes, and this deal may hint at a move toward the chronic pain corner of health care.

EpiPen Prices Skyrocket

It’s no wonder drug manufacturers like Mylan often make headlines for all the wrong reasons. The average list price of its EpiPen emergency allergy-treatment drug has skyrocketed by 548 percent since it began selling the drug in 2007, The Wall Street Journal reports. A pack of two EpiPens lists for $608.61 and with millions, including many children, depending on the drug in the event of an adverse allergic reaction, the company has received an intense (and well-deserved) backlash over the price hikes. Since then, the company has said it would expand access and increase benefits programs to help consumers afford the drug, but that would not have any effect on the price insurers and employers pay.

The Importance of Cleaning Musical Instruments

An article in the journal Thorax, attributes the death of a 61-year-old bagpipe player to an inflammatory lung condition nicknamed “bagpipe lung.” Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is caused by continually breathing in mold and fungi, which was found to be growing inside the man’s bagpipes. Other cases have been reported in saxophone and trombone players, but this is the first fatality linked to fungal contamination in an instrument. “Clinicians need to be aware of this potential trigger for developing HP and wind instrument players need to be aware of the importance of regularly cleaning their instruments to minimize risk,” Nazia Chaudhuri, researcher at the University Hospital of South Manchester in England, wrote in the article.

The Comedic Side of Health Care

Businesses have long tapped into the genius of improv training as a means to develop creative thinking in their employees. Now, the comedic tactic is gaining a foothold in health care for how it can revitalize communication.

Last month, H&HN reported on how University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics CEO Alan Kaplan, M.D., used improvisation to brush up on public speaking and team building. A recent story in The Atlantic illustrates how the quick thinking inherent in improv can help physicians communicate with patients better: Honesty and spontaneity can rub off at the bedside.

The concept has gained so much traction, in fact, that Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine offers a seminar in improvisational humor and medicine.

Orlando Hospital Won't Bill Nightclub Victims

Orlando Health and Florida Hospital won’t bill survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting for out-of-pocket medical expenses, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday. Forty-nine people died in the massacre. Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Health’s main hospital, treated 44 of the victims who needed immediate medical attention. Nine died after arriving at ORMC, and their families will not be charged. Florida Hospital, part of the Adventist Health System, will not bill the victims’ insurance for treatment and will not bill for follow-up surgeries that any of them might need. “It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” the Sentinel quoted Florida Hospital President and CEO Daryl Tol. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.” Orlando Health President and CEO David Strong said, “During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward.”