Week in Review: July 15


The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

How Virtual Reality Can Improve Patient Experience in Health Care

The global market for Virtual Reality (VR) in health care is projected to reach $3.8 billion by 2020 driven by technology advancements in healthcare IT, which would undoubtedly expand its use into more diverse applications and medical disciplines while also increasing the demand for rehabilitation and simulation VR-training in hospitals and clinics. VR technology continues to gain ground and visibility as a potential diagnostic tool in the form of fully immersive 3D-simulation in the treatment of phobias, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and severe pain cases. Via HIT Consultant.

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Health Spending to Grow by Nearly 6% a Year through 2025

Spending on health care is projected to increase 5.8% per year during 2015-2025, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said. That average "remains lower than the average over [the] previous two decades before 2008," which was nearly 8%, the agency noted in a press release. Overall, national health expenditures are estimated to have reached $3.2 trillion in 2015. In a press release, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt attributed the slower growth in part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). "Per-capita spending and medical inflation also remain at historically very modest levels, demonstrating the importance of continuing to reform our delivery systems," he said. Via MedPage Today. 

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The CDC and WHO Are Teaming Uu to End the "Contagious Disease" of Child Violence

A study published in January in the journal Pediatrics puts that violence into stark perspective by estimating that as many as half of the world's 2 billion children experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence in the previous year. The trauma can inflict a physical toll as well as a psychological one. Research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente in 1995 and 1997 found that those who experience violence in childhood are at higher risk as adults for a diverse range of conditions including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Via Washington Post.

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Superbug Gene Detected in a Second Person in the U.S.

Researchers have found bacteria resistant to the antibiotic of last resort in a sample from a second patient in the United States, according to a study published. The patient had surgery at a New York hospital last year, researchers said. The news comes after researchers reported in late May that a patient in Pennsylvania carried a strain of E. coli bacteria that was resistant to the antibiotic colistin, the antibiotic that doctors use to treat patients who have infections that don’t respond to other drugs. In both cases, the bacteria carried a gene, known as mcr-1, that allows the organism to withstand colistin. Via Boston Globe.

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Medical Marijuana Linked to Reduced Prescription Drug Use

Legalization of medical marijuana in some American states has reduced the use of prescription drugs, equating to a saving of more than $165 million in 2013. This is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Health Affairs. As of last month, a total of 25 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana to treat certain health problems, such as neuropathic pain and spasticity, though doctors in these states can only recommend its use, not prescribe it. Via Medical News Today.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic Scientists Develop New Combination Therapy for Advanced Cancers

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have figured out a new way to beat metastatic cancer in a mouse model using a combination therapy that targets the immune system. The therapy is now being pursued in clinical trials and may hold promise for patients with advanced cancers such as pancreas, breast, colorectal and melanoma. The co-authors of the study, Peter Cohen, M.D., and Sandra Gendler, Ph.D., published their findings in the journal Oncotarget. “It appears very likely that each round of treatment stimulates the bone marrow to churn out freshly activated monocytes, which distribute throughout the body, spare normal cells, and find and kill cancer cells,” said Gendler. Via Fierce Biotech.

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Heart Failure after Heart Attack Tied to Cancer Risk in Study

People who develop heart failure after a heart attack may also face a higher risk of cancer, a new study suggests. And, they may be prone to cancers affecting the lungs or the digestive system, according to the researchers. "Patients with cardiovascular disease experience a high burden of other diseases and should be followed with that awareness in mind," said study co-author Dr. Veronique Roger, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Via HealthDay.

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Using the Web or an App before Seeing a Doctor? Caution Is Advised

A few years ago, doctors from the Mayo Clinic tested the wisdom of online health advice. Their conclusion: It’s risky. According to their study, going online for health advice is more likely to result in getting no advice or incomplete advice than the right advice. The doctors assessed the quality of advice on the top sites returned from Google, Yahoo, and Bing for searches on common health complaints — like “chest pain” or “headache.” No site they examined listed all the necessary symptoms so that a user could obtain an accurate triage — whether to rush to the emergency room, call the doctor or treat the condition at home. Via NY Times.

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Borrelia mayonii Discovery: An interview with Dr. Bobbi Pritt

Outbreak News Today spoke with Bobbi Pritt, M.D., with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, on the February 14, 2016, airing of the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show about the recently published discovery of a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease in people. Via Outbreak News Today.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: Addiction and Overdose Fuel Opioid Crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overdose deaths from opioid pain medication has quadrupled over the past 15 years. Some common medications involved in the overdoses include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine. Mayo Clinic pain medication expert W. Michael Hooten, M.D., says there is an opioid crisis in the U.S. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.


I am not sure how to approach this subject without risking being too blunt, providing too much information, or otherwise my interests being handily dismissed.

I am a 47 year old male, with 4 decades of ‘self-medication’ in all manner and fashion. With a rather casual to the point of a highly questionable diagnosis of Bi-polar II, I exhibit few if any of its clinical symptoms. Self-conscious to the point of sometimes sheer agony, the early discovery of altering one’s consciousness became as if the obvious and possibly only hope for a “normal” human existence. Though admittedly possessing a limited formal education, I am well read on all manner of subjects, as “the solution” must surely exist, whether through psychology, philosophy, or dare I risk the introspective analysis found in MDMA or other psychedelics.

I am from a “good” family, well respected even revered in my community. MAPS.ORG and similiar global organizations lead me to needing to reach out to you in these matters. Obviously unable to be truly objective in such powerful and compelling subjective natures, I can assure you I posses introspective qualities to the point of agony. “Normal” human interaction and relationships have proven all but impossible. It seems everyone wants to take 200mg of MDMA or other powerful tools to “instantly solve” all their problems. I do not delude myself into such preposterous considerations, while left unable to deny their potentials.

However, I am in effect “done” with the whole thing.

Substance use/abuse has reached a sort of end of the road for me. I fear that I am going to die alone, without a woman, or otherwise positive human relationships in my life. PTSD-like symptoms, being overly self conscious and truly desperate in ‘thoughtful’ pursuit of any meaningful aspects of life.

The ultimately realized futility in substance use/abuse has reached its end. Admittedly, some alcohol consumption finds itself the sort of ‘liquid Valium’ that I suspect it is for everyone. I find no enjoyment in it, only the tragic facts of its sad futility.

Relationship wise, I have long abandoned the “party” that I truly knew was over by the age of 15 or so. I have not so much as held a woman’s hand in as many years. Desperation and pity are understatements. Despite being an attractive, well-learned man, amd obviously modest, (just kidding) I have even considered prostitution or pursuing sexual therapy. Despite their not being “my style” at all, I exist in desperate and painful isolation. Money virtually no object, I must find closure/resolution in human contact.

I had previously mentioned MAPS.ORG. I have utilized MDMA three times, twice before it was prior to the 1985/86 ban. There is something of great significance to it, though hardly a “holy grail” or simple solution, of course.

I have achieved/came to great terms and acceptance in the use/abuse of psycho actives as viable coping skills. I can effectively take them or leave them, though as one psychotherapist pointed out to me, the risk/reward ratio hardly negates the fact that they have had become the viable coping skills which I did just mention.

I sometimes feel I would be justifiably suicidal, if not not for being so stubbornly determined in personal resolution.

Is there no ‘higher’ approach or tier in psychotherapy? I find no solace and in fact deep insult in the so common in my region christian approach of “soon you’ll be dead, and everything will then become perfect!” Pardon my cynicism, but that is nothing short of sick.

Is there no available potential hope for me? It seems these matters are of the precise nature you and many others specialize in!

Please help direct me in these issues, awaiting the aforementioned peace “through eventual death” closure. There are worse things than death, and I am so tired of knowing them so very well.

I appreciate your time in these matters.


John C. Bumgarner

“A comment”

Hi John, we strongly urge you to seek professional help. Please call 1-800-273-8255, which is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Also, if you would like to connect with an online community where you can share your experiences, find support from people like you, and receive trustworthy information from Mayo Clinic experts, visit: http://connect.mayoclinic.org/. Thank you.

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