Thursday, January 28, 2010
TORONTO, January 28, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and PharmaTrust(TM) are pleased to announce a new partnership intended to enhance patient access to prescribed medications and make Ontario's prescription dispensing more efficient.
The OHA and PharmaTrust will collaborate on the installation of telepharmacy prescription-dispensing kiosks in hospitals across the province.
PharmaTrust MedCentre kiosks offer live video pharmacist counseling and quick and safe 24/7 access to prescription and over-the-counter medications, dispensed under the complete control of a pharmacist. The PharmaTrust MedCentre allows patients to simply insert their prescription, pick up the handset and interact live with a pharmacist who provides counselling via two-way video conferencing. The pharmacist is supported by integrated safety features to ensure prescription authenticity, accuracy and patient safety.
Patients at participating hospitals may choose to have their prescriptions filled on site, any time they need. For example, a parent having to take a sick child to the Emergency Department at night will no longer have to worry about finding a pharmacy that is open in the evenings, while someone in a cast or a wheelchair will no longer have to make the difficult trip of even a block or two to a drug store to get their medication.
"The OHA is working to build a high performing, integrated and sustainable health care system, and this new partnership with PharmaTrust MedCentre service will help hospitals provide improved patient access to needed medications and enhanced medication management support," said Tom Closson, President and CEO of the OHA.
Using video conference technology will allow pharmacists to spend more time with patients. "This technology allows pharmacists to do what they were trained to do - interact with and directly counsel patients," notes Don Waugh, CEO and Co-Founder of PharmaTrust. The MedCentre service will also be available in more than a dozen different languages (including American Sign Language).
Each time a medication is dispensed, the MedCentre will automatically send a record to the prescribing physician. Patients will also receive reminder notices to refill prescriptions. "These communications will help address issues such as adverse drug reactions and non-compliance," explains Peter Suma, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of the company. It is estimated that 10 per cent of hospital emergency room visits are due to non-compliance.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
from the White Mountain Independent
In the United Sates the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some advice for helping older people avoid hypothermia-when the body gets too cold-during cold weather.
Hypothermia is defined as having a core body temperature of 96 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and can occur when the outside environment gets too cold or the body's heat production decreases. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their body's response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and some medicines, including over-the-counter cold remedies. Hypothermia can develop in older adults after relatively short exposure to cold weather or a small drop in temperature, because they may be less active and therefore generate less body heat.
If you suspect that someone is suffering from the cold and you have a thermometer available, take his or her temperature. If it's 96 F or lower, call 9-1-1 for immediate help. If you see someone who has been exposed to the cold and has the following symptoms: slowed or slurred speech, sleepiness or confusion, shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs, poor control over body movements or slow reactions and a weak pulse, he or she may be suffering from hypothermia... read more
Friday, January 22, 2010
Image from the Guardian
by Bonnie Alter, London
Kraft Foods takeover bid of Cadbury Chocolate has been followed with great fascination by the business world and great trepidation by the Fairtrade community. The manoeuvring has been going on for months, with Hershey Chocolate in the bidding at one point as well.
Just last month, Cadbury's CEO urged shareholders to hold tight and go for sustainability because he believed that the company's strong ethical code was of significant value to both investors and consumers. That time is past, now that Kraft has upped their offer. The big question is whether Kraft will honour Cadbury's commitment to use only Fairtrade cocoa beans for its Dairy Milk brand.... read more at TreeHugger.com
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Conference to promote taking a proactive approach to privacy at a time of increased data collection: Commissioner Cavoukian
TORONTO, January 19, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - "In light of the proliferation of emerging technologies, a comprehensive and proactive approach is required to protect privacy - an approach in which both privacy and security are effectively built into the information eco-system, throughout the entire data lifecycle," Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian said today. "Categorically reject talk of trade-offs, instead, embed privacy into the system."
The Commissioner is announcing a special conference - Privacy by Design: The Gold Standard - being held at the Toronto Board of Trade on International Data Privacy Day, January 28. Jointly sponsored with the Toronto Board of Trade, this is the Commissioner's second annual Privacy by Design (PbD) event marking the special day.
To demonstrate the practical application of Privacy by Design, this year's conference focuses on the implementation of new technologies, business practices, and networked infrastructures, and how they deliver on the promise of PbD in a tangible manner. "Our theme - We did it ... so can you - builds on the practical successes that companies have achieved," said Commissioner Cavoukian.
Privacy experts will share their insights regarding a wide range of practices, including:
- the latest developments in privacy-protected video surveillance;
- the use of state-of-the-art encryption to protect personal
information on mobile devices; and
- the impact of ubiquitous computing on home healthcare;
"Headlining our list of distinguished speakers are two visionaries who will set the stage for future applications of Privacy by Design," said the Commissioner - Dr. Kai Rannenberg, T-Mobile Chair for Mobile Business and Multilateral Security at Goethe University, Frankfurt, who will speak on Privacy by Design in Mobile Applications and Location-Based Services, and N. Arthur Smith, Founder and CEO of GS1 Canada, part of a major international supply chain standards organization, who will share his insights on Managing Privacy in the Evolution of the Internet of Things.
A well-received feature of the first PbD conference was the compelling displays from exhibitors, with experts on hand to answer questions. Exhibitors with innovative privacy-related solutions this year will include CryptoMill Technologies, Nymity, Deloitte, and KMKP Engineering. Other exhibits will offer a look at the leading-edge, privacy-related work being done by a number of start-up companies working with Toronto-based innovation centre MaRS.
"A proactive approach is increasingly required to protect privacy today," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "Individuals are increasingly subjected to new forms of data collection from all kinds of organizations. The growth of privacy-invasive technologies such as biometrics, Radio Frequency Identifiers (RFIDs) and video surveillance has intensified the need to sharpen our focus on privacy and the best practices needed for data protection."
Privacy by Design is a term that Commissioner Cavoukian coined in the '90s when she began her campaign to enlist the support of technology to protect privacy, rather than encroach upon it. "The future of privacy cannot be assured solely by compliance with regulatory frameworks; rather, privacy assurance must ideally become an organization's default mode of operation," said the Commissioner.
....More information, including registration details, is available at www.privacybydesign.ca/. You can also follow the event on Twitter @embedprivacy.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
National Non-Smoking Week (Jan 17-23, 2010) - Ontario Lung Association Offers 4-D Success Strategies for People Setting Quit Dates
TORONTO, January 16, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - You watch your cholesterol intake, hit the gym fairly regularly and try to get enough sleep each night. You look after yourself by maintaining healthy habits - well, except smoking. Ridding yourself of tobacco for good is your next healthy step and Number One on your 2010 Bucket List. Same as last year, right? Except this year you will make quit happen. The Ontario Lung Association applauds your goal and offers 4-D success strategies for you and others wanting to quit smoking for good.
"The tobacco industry has created a product with a powerful addiction that once in its grip, makes it extremely difficult for smokers to quit," says Joanne DiNardo, Tobacco Control Specialist with Ontario Lung Association. "But The Lung Association encourages everyone to stick with it because the health benefits far outweigh the challenges, many of which are realized as early as the same day."
The four "Ds" to help you quit smoking:
1. Drink Water - Drinking water - especially with crushed ice helps flush out the nicotine and other chemicals from your system faster. Water also satisfies the oral craving for a while. Try using a straw with the same diameter as a cigarette.
2. Deep Breathing - This is good for you, as most people do not use their full lung capacity. Take 10 deep breaths and hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and blow out the match. Take a Deep Breath Break instead of a Smoke Break.
3. Delay - Each day, delay lighting your first cigarette by one hour. After the first cigarette, when you have your next craving to smoke, delay for another 15 minutes or half hour. Remember, as a smoker you were not in control of your behaviour. You smoked when your body needed nicotine. Now, by controlled delay, you are calling the shots.
4. Do Something Different - Don't smoke when you first experience a craving. Wait several minutes and during this time, change your activity or talk to someone. Get out of the situation that makes you feel like you want to smoke. Instead, try walking after dinner, skipping afternoon coffee or hanging out with non-smoking friends at a party. Change your activities and you will see quit happen.
Ontario Lung Association's certified respiratory educators are able to counsel anyone interested in learning successful quitting strategies. Call 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) and ask for one of our smoking cessation resources, including the acclaimed Making Quit Happen. Learn more by visiting www.on.lung.ca.
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." - Mark Twain
Sunday, January 10, 2010
by Erica Patino
Diagnosed with a mild to moderate hearing loss at the age of 5, blogger Erica Patino has worn hearing aids ever since. She says, "The more you know about a condition you're living with, regardless of what it is, the better you'll be able to manage it in everyday life."... read more at EverydayHealth.com
"What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to." - Hansell B. Duckett
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
from Rural Living Canada
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.
"Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughter's set theirs on the window sill to thaw."
Monday, January 4, 2010
Prevention, support and research can turn tide, reveals new Alzheimer Society report
TORONTO, January 4, 2009 /Canada NewsWire/ - A report released by the Alzheimer Society today to mark Alzheimer Awareness Month reveals alarming new statistics about the projected economic and social costs of dementia in Canada. Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, says that, if nothing changes the prevalence of dementia will more than double in 30 years, with the costs increasing ten-fold.
"Today, someone in Canada develops dementia every five minutes. In 30 years, there will be one new case every two minutes," says David Harvey, Principal Spokesperson for the Rising Tide project. "If nothing changes, this sharp increase in the number of people living with dementia will mean that by 2038, the total costs associated with dementia will reach $153 billion(1) a year. This amounts to a massive cumulative total of $872 billion(2) over this 30-year period."
Recognizing the urgent need to start turning the tide of dementia, the new report also outlines a series of potential interventions that could help minimize the impact of the disease. For example, one of the four proposed interventions looks at the benefits of delaying the onset of dementia in people by just two years, with a potential cost savings of $219 billion(2) over the 30-year period.
"Hope lies in making changes today that will lessen dementia's crippling effect on Canadian families, the health care system and the economy," says Richard Nakoneczny, Chair of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "More than ever, research is a critical contributor to this change. With an increased investment in research, we will learn more about prevention, possibly even discover a treatment to delay the onset of the disease and reduce its impact substantially."
Other findings from Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society include:
- Pressure on the health care system: In 2008, more than 103,700 people developed dementia. By 2038, 257,800 new cases per year are expected.
- Pressure on families: The hours of care delivered by unpaid family members are expected to more than triple, increasing from 231 million hours in 2008, to 756 million hours by 2038.
- Possible ways to alleviate pressure on families, the health care system and the economy:
Rising Tide proposes four hypothetical intervention scenarios, backed by current evidence that could become critical factors in reducing the impact of dementia. They include:
- The benefits of physical activity on reducing the risk of developing dementia
- The benefits of a combination of risk reduction strategies in delaying the onset of dementia by two years (a delay that could possibly also be achieved through the discovery of a new treatment);
- The importance of supporting family caregivers who are struggling with the overwhelming emotional and financial hardships of providing care, as well as easing further pressure on the health care system
- The importance of a "system navigator" to help families find the right services at the right time.
"This report highlights the dramatic impact of dementia and related diseases on Canadian society," says Dr. Rémi Quirion, Executive Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's (CIHR) International Collaborative Research Strategy for Alzheimer's Disease. "CIHR understands the crucial role of specialists, including researchers, specialized clinicians, and caregivers, and it supports efforts to improve and accelerate diagnostic and treatment capabilities."
As the national voice for people affected by dementia, the Alzheimer Society is at the forefront of efforts to help turn the rising tide of dementia
Friday, January 1, 2010
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto
National brands used to dominate grocery stores; house brands were considered cheap and second rate. Then in 1973 a grocery chain in Toronto introduced a new line of generic products and started a revolution. Clean simple yellow background, Helvetica type, good prices and very good quality, Loblaws No Name products were hot and flew off the shelves. Local suppliers were able to compete with and even displace the national brands. You could open kitchen cabinets and see nothing but wall-to-wall helvetica.
It was one of the clearest demonstrations ever of how design makes a difference. The designer was Don Watt, who started as an illustrator working on airplanes... Read the full story on TreeHugger