Welcome to the twelfth issue of Inside Medicalchain, our monthly newsletter to keep our community up to date.
If you missed the eleventh issue, you can catch up by clicking here.
Want to help? Give us feedback!
As always, please continue to download our iOS version of MyClinic.com and let us know your feedback on our current version by sending in your comments to [email protected].
The team have been working hard to negotiate a large-scale pilot in the NHS, UK to cover 30 clinics and 250,000 patients. We are still in deep discussion, and we are hoping to be able to share more details with you on this shortly.
Welcome to the eleventh issue of Inside Medicalchain, our monthly newsletter to keep our community up to date.
If you missed the tenth issue you can catch up by clicking here.
Want to help? Give us feedback!
Please continue to download our iOS version of MyClinic.com and let us know your feedback on version 1.0 by sending in your comments to — [email protected]
The team have been working hard to negotiate a large scale pilot in the NHS, UK to cover 30 clinics and 250,000 patients. This is currently in deep discussions and we are hoping in the coming months to share this information in more detail with you.
You will also be excited to hear that V2 of the MyClinic.com application is almost ready for release — along with an updated MyClinic.com website — we will be sharing this with you shortly!
Medicalchain —who are building a decentralised platform utilising blockchain technology to store and share health data securely and Better by Marand — a vendor-neutral data solution provider, announce a partnership to leverage the development of the new version of MyClinic.com, a telemedicine application that utilises blockchain technology to connect patients with their doctor through a convenient and secure video consultation platform. Read more
Figures published by NHS Digital show that by 31 March 2017, the percentage of eligible women (aged 25 to 64) who were recorded as screened adequately was 72.0%. This compares with the 72.7% at 31 March 2016 and 75.4% at 31 March 2012 who were screened.
Given this decline in uptake, Public Health England has decided to launch a national cervical screening campaign in March of 2019. This is to raise more awareness around the subject of cervical cancer and known causes such as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and related diseases to get more women participating.
This edition marks the start of the new year, so from all of us at Medicalchain — we would like to wish you all a happy new year!
We look forward to the upcoming months as we will see our plans come to fruition, to be able to present the MyClinic.com 2.0 app, and also the initial release of the HealthPassport application. Read more
In the last article, I wrote about some of the issues surrounding alcohol; including fitness, calories, cancer, the brain, and even sex and reproduction. In this second part on the subject of Dry January, I will delve into five more:
The effects of alcohol on the cardiovascular system are widely researched and include the following:
Increased heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Weakened heart muscle
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading result of excessive alcohol consumption and leads to many less than desirable consequences, such as heart attack and stroke. Read more
The turn of every new year brings with it a barrage of resolutions and a surplus of best-intentioned gym-goers.
The new year also has another health-related tradition, that of the “Dry January” challenges. This is a campaign designed and promoted by Alcohol Change UK to raise awareness of the effects of alcohol.
The event started back in 2004 and the idea is as the name suggests — to go alcohol-free for the full 31 days of January. This can be done in promotion of the charitable organisation or simply as an acknowledgement to your own wellbeing.
The subject of alcohol and health is quite extensive, so I’ll break this up into two parts and will try to cover the majority of the topic within these. First of all is the effects of alcohol on physical activities. Read more
William James, an American psychologist was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century and one of the most influential U.S. philosophers. Labelled as the “Father of American psychology” he wrote back in 1890 —
“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will.”
Social skills are formed through face-to-face interactions with others from birth, such as infants with their parents and siblings, and children with their peers at nursery and school. But there is a growing concern that the use of social media is effectively displacing the way the new generation is developing their peer to peer social skill-set throughout adolescence. The question is whether these digital stimuli have the potential to influence the risk of behavioural addiction.
University College London psychiatrist Dr Michael Bloomfield states: “Adolescence is a critical period for a person’s development, particularly as our brains go through important changes during our teenage years.”
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, which is a peer-reviewed medical journal covering research in psychiatry and neurology, released an in-depth article into the Maturation of the adolescent brain. It stated:
“It is well established that the brain undergoes a “rewiring” process that is not complete until approximately 25 years of age… The nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain’s reward system located within the limbic system, is the area that processes information related to motivation and reward. Brain imaging has shown that the nucleus accumbens is highly sensitive in adolescents, sending out impulses to act when faced with the opportunity to obtain something desirable.”
Part of the appeal for these attention-seeking businesses are the ‘rewards’ they offer; push notifications of the number of ‘likes’ on the user’s post for example. These are types of rapid reward cycles which reinforce the habit-forming actions of their users, guaranteeing they keep coming back time and time again.
An opposing opinion is that perhaps it is not the general use of digital media but more the content and context that is influential since some uses of digital technologies actually do improve multitasking skills, working memory, and fluid intelligence- which is one’s problem-solving ability.
Whether we use the technology to connect with loved ones throughout the day for that familial interaction and support, or if our usage is related entirely to our curiosity and inclination to compare our lives to the often highly filtered and sheltered lives of others, there is a stark contrast to the online environment we expose ourselves to. With the more astute and measured perspective of an adult, these potentially negative factors may not be such an ‘influence’ (as these ‘influencers’ are named). But for younger, less pragmatic users, these issues will have a much greater impact on their self-esteem and value.
A study into the issue was conducted by University at Albany psychologist, Julia Hormes. She led a team of three researchers in assessing the addictive nature of social media — specifically Facebook. She states that-
“New notifications or the latest content on your newsfeed acts as a reward. Not being able to predict when new content is posted encourages us to check back frequently,”
The big players profit from their user-base through targeted advertising which means this genuinely becomes an economy driven by control over our attention. The value of our attention is enhanced by its finite availability, thus the demand and need for those in this market to compete.
With the emergence of these critical communication technologies, there is bound to be some fraction of users who will show addictive behaviour. If someone is displaying unbalanced behavioural habits, whose responsibility is that?- It would certainly be in the platform provider’s interest to afford some safeguarding within their services since they know exactly how much you are using their product and the detrimental effect of reliance on them.
Alex Marshall CPsychol, Forensic Psychologist, provided an overview of the subject when he observed-
“There is a lot of research into adolescents being vulnerable to entrenchment in a particular lifestyle that otherwise would be adolescence-limited, but failure to integrate (amongst other factors) prolongs behaviour or steers them off onto a trajectory that they otherwise weren’t destined towards biologically or socially.”
Ultimately, nobody knows the consequences these digital media phenomena will have on modern life and to some level, we are all part of a long-term social experiment to find the answer.