No Screen Time for Little Ones, Says WHO
This week, the World Health Organization, issued guidelines that children in their first year of life should get no screen time at all. The organization advises that children between ages 2 and 4 should spend no more than one hour per day in front of a screen.
In its reporting, the Washington Post noted that 95 percent of families with children under the age of 8 have smartphones, according to the nonprofit Common Sense Media, and 42 percent of children under 8 have access to their own tablet device.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines suggest that occasional video chatting is OK, as is occasional viewing of videos for those closer to age 2. The Post quoted the AAP, saying parents should “prioritize creative, unplugged play time for infants and toddlers.” Click here to read more.
Bungee Cord Recoil Collapses Man’s Iris
In Taiwan, a patient underwent successful surgery to reshape his iris after a bungee cord on his motorcycle snapped back and hit him in the eye. The iris collapsed; some U.S. doctors reported seeing infrequent but similar cases. It’s a great reminder to patients to be careful with fishing equipment, exercise bands and bungee cords. Click here to read more.
Fewer Blind Mice
Neuroscientists have now developed an alternative to electronic eye implants for patients with retinal degeneration: gene therapy that, in tests, restored vision in blind mice. University of California, Berkeley scientists inserted a gene for a green-light receptor into the eyes of blind mice and, a month later, they were navigating around obstacles as easily as mice with no vision problems. They were able to see motion, brightness changes over a thousand-fold range and fine detail on an iPad sufficient to distinguish letters. This new therapy could be ready for clinical trials in three years. Click here to read more.
Just a Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down?
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP are working with Israeli and German partners to develop long-wearing contact lenses that can release medicine. The active ingredient is encapsulated in liposomes and bound to the inside of the contact lenses. This enables it to remain in the eye for longer. Sugars are added to make the contact lens particularly comfortable to wear. Click here to read more.
Patients Struggling With Deductibles; Ripple Effect Hits Doctors
Research predicts that by 2020, 95 percent of patients will fail to pay off their full medical balance. Michael N. Brown, CEO of Fellow Health Partners, says, “Recently, as part of our due diligence for clients, we did a deep dive into trending statistics about medical billing and discovered some worrisome and, at the same time, some positive trends,” he said. “Physicians, surgery centers, and hospitals are under a lot more pressure today as insurance companies raise deductibles, which more and more patients have trouble paying off. In just five years there was an 88 percent increase in hospital revenue attributed to patient responsibility. Today, 83 percent of smaller physician practices (under 5 practitioners) said that slow patient payment on high-deductible plans is their top collection challenge.”