Week In Review — August 1

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.


Google Seeks Human Guinea Pigs for Health Project

Google’s newest project aims to create a crowd-sourced picture of human health by collecting anonymous genetic and molecular information from users. The project, called Baseline Study, will start off by collecting data from 175 people, but Google hopes to expand that sample size to thousands more, the Wall Street Journal reports…The lead researcher, Dr. Andrew Conrad, said that part of detecting disease is getting a clear picture of how a healthy body works. “We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know?” he told the WSJ, which originally reported on this project. “You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.” Via TIME.

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Are Morcellators Worth the Risk? 

New numbers out this past week indicate the risk of uterine cancer has been severely underestimated for some women, but the research doesn't explore whether the error affected their prognoses. "This was really to identify the prevalence of cancer," said Jason D. Wright the lead author of the study and director of gynecologic oncology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "We don't know the ultimate impact on the outcome." Via NY Times.

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Report Says Big Changes Are Needed In How Doctors Are Trained

The way American doctors are trained needs to be overhauled, an expert panel recommended Tuesday, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs. "We recognize we are recommending substantial change," says health economist and former Medicare Administrator Gail Wilensky, co-chairwoman of the nonpartisan Institute of Medicinepanel that produced the report. "We think it's key to justifying the continued use of public funds." Via NPR.

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Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians

Eight youths, some armed with slingshots and machetes, stood warily alongside a rutted dirt road at an opening in the high reeds, the path to the village of Kolo Bengou. The deadly Ebola virus is believed to have infected several people in the village, and the youths were blocking the path to prevent health workers from entering. “We don’t want any visitors,” said their leader, Faya Iroundouno, 17, president of Kolo Bengou’s youth league. “We don’t want any contact with anyone.” The others nodded in agreement and fiddled with their slingshots. Singling out the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, Mr. Iroundouno continued, “Wherever those people have passed, the communities have been hit by illness.” Via NY Times.

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Generation of Tanners See Spike in Deadly Melanoma

Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973. The report blames a generation of sun worshipping for the $8 billion spent to treat all forms of skin cancer each year. Via AP.

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Nationwide Shortage of Blood Donors 

It's Andrew Nelson's fifth time donating blood at Mayo Clinic's Hilton building. "Three or four times a year, I think you can come in every three to four months," said Nelson…"One of the other reasons it's happening is because we are seeing a shift in the donor population," said the Medical Director of the Blood Donor Center at the Hilton Building. Via KAAL.

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Optum Labs Making Progress in Huge Data Collaboration – 40 Million Lives Worth

Optum Labs, an ambitious data-sharing effort between some of the biggest payers and providers, is picking up steam, gaining new partnerships that collectively could be a massive source of revealing information for nearly all corners of the healthcare sector. What started as a collaboration between Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, and the Mayo Clinic has attracted about 15 total partners just this year, and the mountains of data being examined will soon be applicable to the various disciplines, according to Dr. Paul Wallace, chief medical officer of Cambridge, Mass-based Optum. Via MedCity News.

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The Lessons Thus Far From the Transition to Digital Patient Records

No one thinks a modern health care system can cling to paper records. But the policy goal of the federal incentive program was to use digital technology to curb costs and improve care. The legislation was called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. And there are examples of health care providers that use digital patient records effectively — mostly large medical groups, like Kaiser Permanente, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and the Marshfield Clinic, that have worked with the technology for years. Via NY Times.

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Sequenom Enters Into License Agreement With Mayo Medical Laboratories

Sequenom, Inc., a life sciences company that provides innovative genetic analysis solutions, and Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML), the third-largest provider of esoteric laboratory services in the United States, have announced a license agreement for noninvasive prenatal testing patents and applications. Via MarketWatch.

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Announcing Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Online: Smart Technology Empowering Employee and Group Health and Wellness

Mayo Clinic announced today a new health engagement platform called Mayo Clinic Healthy Living online. Designed for employers and other groups to help members improve and stay healthy, the platform focuses on lifestyle areas where change can have the most beneficial effect on overall health. As a result, this new solution promises positive results, not only for the individual, but for the employer/client in terms of controlling health care costs and optimizing performance and productivity. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Topper: Importance of donating blood with Dr. Manish Gandhi

Main Topic: Dizziness with Dr. Neil Shepard


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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.