Month: May 2016

Cinnamon and Your Health

download (12)“Cinnamon” has a close relationship with humankind from the very early stage. Ancient people used its aromatic, medicinal and preservative elements for various uses. Early and late Biblical records states that cinnamon has used for ointment preparation as well as fragrance. It was clearly mentioned in the Bible under articles related to “Mosses” as well as King Solomon’s songs.

Ceylon cinnamon is a major verity of cinnamon. This cinnamon is variety native to Sri Lanka, It was considered as a main trade spice in history. During the regiments of ancient Kings’, the best cinnamon was selected and traditionally trained workers only allowed involving in the peeling process. Even today the best cinnamon peeling secrets and techniques was inhabited from those generations and it is highly effecting for the quality of the Sri Lankan Cinnamon among other countries.

Mainly cinnamon has two verities depending on origin of the source. Both are from Lauraceae botanical family. The most recognized and valued verity is “Ceylon Cinnamon” – Cinnamomum verum / Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ). And the common and cousin verity is “Cinnamomum Cassia“. While Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, the cassia type is common in many countries do to the productivity of several countries.

  • Chinese Cassia – From China.
  • Indonesian Cassia – Especially Java & Sumatra regions of Indonesia.
  • Indian Cassia – North east part of India.

There are significant differences between these two varieties. Medicinal properties, aroma, taste as well as appearance are well recognizable if you know the characteristics of both varieties. If it is formed of sticks, Ceylon cinnamon is much more fragile and delicate while cassia is too hard and thick. Also cassia cinnamon is dark reddish in colour and Ceylon cinnamon is light in colour. The cassia type has a strong aroma and Ceylon cinnamon has a very sweet taste and pleasant aroma.

Comparing with cassia verity, Ceylon cinnamon has lots of medical elements which give a vast range of health benefits. According to recent research, it has lots of nutrients like Manganese, Calcium as well as Iron. Manganese is an essential nutrient for a healthy digestive system and bones and treatment for premenstrual complications.

Cinnamon has medicinal properties which can increase the insulin level; same time is good news for insulin resistance diabetic patients. In this case, Ceylon cinnamon plays a major part as cassia type is resulting more health complications in the human body from frequent use. Due to the low amount of Coumarin level, Ceylon cinnamon does not make negative effects on kidney or liver functions as cassia cinnamon. It is proved that, the type II diabetic patients can lower their blood sugar level from consumption of Ceylon cinnamon. Also, it is beneficiary for those who has a risk of future diabetics.

Ceylon cinnamon has food preservative elements. The anti-bacterial extracts of cinnamon are very useful for keeping food unspoiled after the preparation. Especially Asian cultures are wildly using cinnamon almost every food. It helps them to keep the food fresh without using refrigerators.

According to local Ayurveda categorization, Cinnamomum verum is considered as body heating spice. It is effect on your blood circulation and increase metabolism which is highly helpful in weight loss. Also researches states that the blood thinning aspects of Cinnamomum verum could give a positive effect in heart patients.

Cinnamon has medicinal properties which can fight against bacteria’s and yeast infections such as Candida. It is an ideal natural remedy for urinary tract infections as well as virginal Candida infections. Other than that it is active against oral infections and wounds. Cinnamon has natural compounds that help with rapid healing.

Instead of using medications with chemicals which caused lots of side effects, everybody can add some natural herb like Cinnamon into their foods and drinks which is healthier. But recognizing the “True Cinnamon” or the “Ceylon Cinnamon” is very essential in order to gain the exact health benefits from it.

 

Top 6 Emerging Trends in Medical Devices

download (11)1. Internet-of-things: According to MarketResearch.com, the healthcare IoT market is slated to be at $117 billion by 2020. As a disruptive technology, IoT facilitates real time capture of data through smart sensors and wearable devices, exchanges the captured information on Cloud and with BI/Analytical tools, analyzes the information streams much rapidly than conventional means. The massive use of embedded systems is ushering in a “connect everywhere – every time” culture along with parallel trends of home and industrial automation, and smart cities where GPS functionalities are weaved into every movement. The consequences are numerous: from remote monitoring to ATM-like machines which can dispense drugs after a check-up from providers thousands of miles away.

2. Increasing Use of BI and Analytics: Healthcare BI and analytics, a market projected to cross US$18.7 Billion by 2020, is undergoing a silent transformation as there is greater demand for tools and solutions which can plug the missing gap in visualizing real business challenges and solutions through existing healthcare data. According to a PwC survey, it was found that over 95% of CEOs in healthcare companies are looking for ways to harness data in a better way. Medical devices of tomorrow will be rendered incomplete if they cannot use historical data for predictive analysis and other data for solving existing challenges faced by providers. Tableau has risen to the fore as a very intuitive tool to visualize randomized data to see for patterns and anomalies.

3. Mobility: Increasing smartphone usage and dependence is fostering a condition where physicians and patients would require access to information on their mobile devices and tablets – the key focus is engagement. Many medical supply stores are focusing on delivering mobile healthcare solutions and apps which will continue to become more creative in future. In the long run, mobile devices in association with telemedicine, will facilitate complex operation procedures and medicine dispensing, allowing care providers to look after their patients from remote locations. The dispensation of 24-hour emergency care would become easier.

4. Increasing focus on security and surveillance: Considering the huge number of web-connected and Cloud-connected devices, secured access to data points would become a challenge in future. Medical devices should be equipped with affordable chips and sensors with ability to read biometric information, for instance, features which would allow greater security in access.

5. 3D printing: 3D printing technologies are increasingly becoming mainstream and even affordable. They have immense scope in medical devices industry as they can be used for everything from preclinical testing to new lab innovation (reducing verification time), improvised training and for sales demo.

6. Emergence of Multipurpose medical devices: Increasingly, medical devices will be expected to play multiple roles. For example, ambulance care units will have access to gadgets that combine defibrillators with suction kits, blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeters in one inflatable unit which can save time and space for administering emergency care.

From a consumer point of view, the increasing availability of latest trends as discussed above would translate into less frequent visits to the doctor, transferring the responsibility of effective healthcare directly to patients (although this, by no means, would mean patients should not access their providers directly).

 

How Good Are Health Articles?

download (10)Most people tend to appreciate that the internet carries a wide range of health article and related material, and most people would probably accept that some of this material is of a highly dubious quality.

The paradox of the internet is that anyone can access virtually any type of information about anything, and at the same time that anyone can produce any piece of information about anything.

Given the nature of health and people’s concerns and desire for information, trying to assess how reliable and good the health article is can be in fact very difficult. Anyone can write anything about any health-related issue, and publish it on-line with virtually no criticism or sanction or need to prove or verify any type of source.

Although in theory people can differentiate between different types of written material, it is also true that anything in print carries with it a degree of authority simply by virtue of it being print. This has always been acknowledged about books, newspapers and magazines, and is also true to a large extent about health articles on-line.

Health articles that are written in newspapers and magazines often appear to have a greater degree of authority by virtue of the quality of the newspaper or magazine they appear in. It is not necessarily the case, as a lot of newspapers or magazines will sensationalize a whole range of health related issues in order to gain readership and/or advertising revenue.

Trying to find out good quality health information about any specific issue can be a difficult process. It is often complicated by the fact that the individual looking for such information may have time restraints or other conditions that affect the nature of their search. It is quite likely that an individual will suddenly become aware of a health-related issue, and start looking for related articles or topics on-line to try and verify or validate their own knowledge.

There are a couple of guidelines about how to find an rely on good quality health articles on-line. It is possible to access a number of medical journals, or at least extracts from a number of medical journals that should carry quite a high degree of authority as they will be peer-reviewed. Some of them will be highly technical, but they will at least point to where good research has been done, and work as an indicator of where to go next.

If anyone is looking for information on a particular topic regarding health, one of the best places to go to is a discussion forum related to people who have experienced or are experiencing such a condition. If you want information about any particular condition, a good place to start is to talk to an individual who has such a condition. Obviously their views are going to be subjective, but someone who has a lived sense of an illness will be able to give individual many pointers. A discussion forum which retains a high degree of anonymity will help do that.

The other place to go for health-related articles on health are websites of associations or organisations of people who have a specific condition or illness. They take the value of a discussion forum one stage further, by combining the collective experience and insights of a number of people who have any type of condition or illness, along with the most recent research and good practice that exists that relates to that condition or illness.

There is an important caveat that any health article read on-line, or in any newspaper or magazine written by anyone should be assessed with a degree of caution. Certainly before acting on any advice contained within such an article independent verification of its merits should be sought.

Health articles themselves should be treated with the same scepticism as a lot of the advice that is often contained within them.

Peter Main is freelance writer who writes extensively about health, healthcare and health insurance with a particular focus on current issues and debates, such as the state of healthcare reform and how it impacts on peoples lives.

 

Healthcare and Prior Authorization

download (9)The term prior authorisation has a specific meaning within the concept of health care and health insurance, and has a fundamental effect on virtually all of the procedures and clinical assessments that an individual is likely to come up against in the context of their health insurance policy.

Health insurance differs from other types of insurance policies in a number of ways, but in the context of the term prior authorisation there is a fundamental difference that has to be appreciated. In most other types of insurance, an event or catastrophe occurs, and as long as such event is covered under the terms of the insurance policy, then the insurance company is liable to pay subject to terms and conditions etc. There is an implicit contract between the individual and insurance company, where the individual pays the company some money, and the company pays the individual money if and when an event that is insured against happens.

Health insurance is different. An individual pays the insurance company a premium, and if the individual requires any type of assessment, test or clinical procedure, they essentially have to have the approval of the insurance company before such tests or procedures are carried out.

The scenario can differ widely, depending upon the type of health insurance plan or policy that the individual has, but essentially it runs like this.

The individual will approach their primary care physicians, and together they will talk through whatever the issue or concern may be about the individual’s health. The primary care physician and individual may well have a number of ideas about how to proceed and what is involved.

However, before any actual test or procedure can be carried out the approval of the insurance company has to be sought. It is the insurance company that will determine whether or not they believe any test or procedure to be medically necessary, and if they do they will give prior authorisation to such test or procedure been carried out. If they do not believe it to be medically necessary then they are likely to decline the test or procedure, meaning that the individual will either have to pay for it themselves or cannot carry through their desired course of treatment.

As said earlier that are a wide range of scenarios where this applies, and there are often dramatic and highly intense debates, arguments, lawsuits etc about whether or not the insurance company is justified in agreeing or withholding a particular course of treatment. There is no easy answer to this, as insurers reserve the right to effectively decide or decline a particular course of treatment. From their point of view this is crucial in containing costs, and keeping some type of control over their claims expenditure. From an individual’s point of view it can be incredibly disheartening where a course of treatment is agreed between a physician and an individual, only for the insurance company to deny it on the grounds of it not being medically necessary. What becomes increasingly important in the context of prior authorisation is for the individual to be fully aware of what their rights are in terms of complaints procedures. The insurance company themselves should have very clear and specific guidelines as to how to appeal any decision, including specified limits as to how long such the process should take. In addition there may well be local or national legislation that gives the individual specific consumer rights that allows them to challenge decisions that may well affect their life, or quality of life.

Peter Main is freelance writer who writes extensively about health, healthcare and health insurance with a particular focus on current issues and debates, such as the state of healthcare reform and how it impacts on peoples lives.