When Spot’s pain pills go missing

Patients Take Opioids for PetsA new development is emerging in the country’s raging opioid epidemic: Addicts are siphoning pain drugs meant for their pets, which is often just smaller doses of the same medication prescribed to humans, the Boston Globe reports. Lawmakers and veterinary officials are addressing this issue — which is so new that there aren’t statistics available to quantify its effects — by planning an educational campaign to alert veterinarians of the problem. The campaign advises veterinarians to be vigilant to red-flag behavior in their clients, and to be aware of the behavior of people who live with them.

Back to the future for Alzheimer's patients

Alzheimer VillageThe horrors of Alzheimer’s are well-documented, and the drugs and therapies used to ease symptoms are continually growing. NPR recently interviewed the CEO of nonprofit organization George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Care Centers about its soon-to-be built 1950’s era San Diego town for Alzheimer’s patients that functions under the practice of reminiscence therapy. The village, set to be finished in 2018, will feature vintage cars, period music, payphones and even a movie theatre with films from the era, the report notes. Families and Alzheimer’s patients will be able to walk into pet stores and eat in '50s style diners with the idea of creating a familiar environment and connection for patients. Scott Tarde, CEO of the nonprofit, says in the report that reminiscence therapy has been shown to reduce agitation, improve mood and improve sleep quality. “This is an opportunity for individuals to do things that, honestly, they really don’t have the opportunity to do now,” said Tarde to NPR.

The doctor will see you now

Forward Future Doctor's OfficeWe’ve seen the power of technology to completely disrupt many industries. Amazon recently opened its first Amazon Go store that uses “smart” shelves to let shoppers grab items from the shelf with no humans or checkout required. Now a startup has created a futuristic doctor’s office that lets the office do a majority of work for the doctor, Business Insider reports. The office in San Francisco lets patients sign-in on an iPad at the reception desk, use a stand-up body scanner to measure biometric data and even place urine samples in a specially designed compartment in the bathroom that will close and deliver the cup to where it needs to be. But, the doc office of the future comes with a steep $149 monthly membership price tag.


I have no more sick days left

Flu at workSome people make odd choices when it comes to the flu and vaccinations, including the decision to go to work despite having the flu. A new survey of residents of New York City and Long Island, N.Y., found that 33 percent of respondents had gone to work when they had the flu, according to a news release from South Nassau Communities Hospital. And among those over 50 – perhaps an age when stubbornness is growing – 37 percent of men had worked when they had the flu and 28 percent of women had done so when they have the flu. “The flu is an example of a disease that annually causes tens of thousands of hospital and emergency department visits that often could be avoided if people took some simple preventative steps like getting the flu shot, washing their hands frequently and,” says Adhi Sharma, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for South Nassau, “staying at home if they have the flu.”