Gas Prices: How Your Driving Behavior Impacts Costs at The Pump

On Thursday, the national average retail price for regular gasoline surged to another record high, hitting $4.41 per gallon.

While you may not be able to control the prices at the pump, you can control how you drive. Certain driving behaviors can actually help consumers save significantly when it comes to filling up at the pump, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told FOX Business.

It’s the “easiest” thing to do when trying to combat those rising fuel costs, he said. Keep your tachometer as low as possible. De Haan says drivers should keep feet light on the gas when accelerating. The heavier you are on the accelerator, the more fuel your engine is using, he said.

The tachometer should be used as a gauge for drivers to see how much fuel they’re actually using, according to De Haan.  The tachometer measures the working speed of an engine in RPMs, or rotations per minute. It is located next to the speedometer on a vehicle’s instrument panel.

“The higher the needle goes, the more gas your engine is guzzling,” De Haan said.  The objective is to keep your tachometer as low as possible and not to “bash on the pedal,” De Haan added.

Cars crowding the turn lane into Murphy Express at Beal Parkway and Racetrack Road as gas lines started popping up at numerous gas stations around the Fort Walton Beach area in Florida. (USA Today Network via Reuters Connect / Reuters Photos)

It’s also important to keep the speed of the car under control because speeding increases fuel consumption. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage will decrease “rapidly at speeds above 50 MPH.”

The best way to control speed is using cruise control. Although cruise control may not be useful in some congested parts of the country, like New York or Chicago. However, the feature can be “more effective and efficient than a human trying to maintain the same pressure on the gas pedal,” according to De Haan.

Maintenance: Make sure your check engine light is not on If you have a check engine light on, especially if it’s flashing, it should be checked as soon as possible. A lot of sensors on cars are critically important, but the check engine light is the “most critical,” according to De Haan. When the light is flashing, “it’s basically telling you that it’s in distress,” De Haan said.

The car essentially goes into “limp mode,” which means “the car has lost some critical sensor or something is critically wrong and … is basically using up to twice as much fuel to protect itself from catastrophic damage,” De Haan added. Another thing motorists should be checking is tire pressure.

A man checks gas prices at a gas station in Buffalo Grove, Ill., March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh / AP Newsroom). When a tire loses air pressure, there is more friction between the tire and the road. That increase in friction will lower a car’s fuel efficiency, according to De Haan.

Removing access weight

Leaving heavy objects in the back seat or truck of a car can also hurt fuel efficiency. In fact, every hundred pounds will reduce fuel efficiency by one to two miles per gallon, according to De Haan.

Racks that sit on the roof of cars, typically in the summer or winter months, are also working against drivers. Those racks will “absolutely destroy the aerodynamics of your vehicle” and drive down fuel efficiency by 25 to 35%, De Haan said.

“They’re just like a mattress on your roof,” he said. “Your car is working harder to offset that object on the top of your car.”

Keep an eye on your AC this summer

When the air conditioning is running in your car, “you’re generally putting more of a load on your engine. You’ll burn a lot less fuel if you crack a window instead, according to GasBuddy. 

MYTH: It takes more gas to restart your car

That may have been true 30 years ago, “but that’s why vehicles have adopted that start stop technology,” according to De Haan. In fact, if you’re going to be sitting in traffic more than 10 seconds, it makes more sense to shut the vehicle off.

Source: Gas prices: How your driving behavior impacts costs at the pump | Fox Business

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Palladium Steadies After 5% Jump on Russia Supply Risks

Palladium steadied after jumping as much as 5% on Monday on supply concerns following a recent suspension on trading of the metal sourced from Russia in the London hub, while gold was buoyed by inflation fears.

Palladium was steady at $2,425.04 per ounce by 2:14 p.m. ET (1814 GMT) in choppy trading, having earlier scaled a peak since March 24 at $2,550.58. Platinum fell 0.2% to $973.40.

Newly refined Russian platinum and palladium was suspended from trading in London from Friday, denying access to the metals’ biggest trade hub because of the Ukraine war. read more

“The underlying fundamental support of concerns about supply disruptions remains the main focal point of the market,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,947.80 per ounce after hitting its highest since March 14 at $1,968.91. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.1% at $1,948.2.

Gold gave up some gains after Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans signalled he would not oppose getting interest rates up to a neutral setting, which would require a couple of 50 basis-point rate hikes at the central bank’s upcoming meetings. read more

“The real question is are (the Fed) truly going to take a strong enough stance against these inflationary pressures to stave off potentially what we believe is still a very supportive gold market?” High Ridge’s Meger added.

While gold is considered a hedge against inflation, rate hikes increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion. Focus was now on the March U.S. consumer price report due on Tuesday, with traders expecting further rises due to the impact of the Ukraine war on energy costs. read more

“The war is continuing and without a clear solution and it’s becoming evident it’s becoming a long term matter,” supporting gold, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external market analyst at Kinesis.

Spot silver rose 0.5% to $24.87 per ounce.

By

Critics:

By: Edward Spence & Ranjeetha Pakiam

The airspace closure is disrupting exports of Russian palladium,” said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Group AG’s global wealth management unit. “Further price support is likely coming from investor-and-consumer-led buying trying to secure physical palladium.”

Putin said again on Sunday the war will continue until Ukraine accepts his demands and halts resistance, dimming hopes for a negotiated settlement. The U.S. is now considering an embargo on Russian oil supplies as it tries to ratchet up pressure on the Kremlin.

“With low above-ground inventories, palladium, which was under-supplied for nine years until 2020, is very sensitive to supply disruption risks,” Staunovo said. Already premiums on sponge palladium — used by industrial users — are surging.

One buyer was paying as much as $15 an ounce over the spot price last week, according to a person familiar with the matter Still, shipments from Russia. Spot palladium climbed as high as $3,442.47 an ounce, surpassing a previous record set in May. The metal traded up 10.3% at $3,322.14 an ounce at 12:09 p.m. in London. In other precious metals markets, spot gold topped $2,000 an ounce for the first time since August 2020.

Bullion is extending gains after posting its biggest weekly advance since July 2020 amid mounting concerns that the raft of penalties against Russia could dim global growth and further stoke inflation. Silver steadied and platinum advanced.

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Covid Year Three Will Be Better, Experts Agree, Unless Rich Countries Ignore The Pandemic Elsewhere

It was March 2020 when the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic hit home in the U.S. When the NBA suspended its season, it seemed to give permission for other closures and stay-at-home orders, and they quickly followed. At that point, there had only been around 3,000 confirmed cases of the disease and about 60 confirmed Covid deaths.

Fast-forward two years, and the numbers are staggering. According to estimates from Johns Hopkins University, as of Wednesday there have been over 79 million confirmed Covid cases and over 960,000 deaths. Several million have been hospitalized and millions more have reported symptoms that linger for weeks or even months, with unknown consequences moving into the future.

“It’s massively higher than I thought,” says Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “Particularly when in November 2020 the announcement came out that we had a vaccine that was 95% effective.”

Amanda Castel, a professor of epidemiology at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, said in an email that she’s also surprised that the pandemic is still going, compared to her initial expectation. “In retrospect, I think I was hopeful that it would be more self-limited, like the SARS pandemic.”

The worst of the pandemic is behind us, experts told Forbes, in part because the first two years provided valuable tools for the continued fight against both Covid and future disease epidemics. Ignoring the pandemic in lower-income countries, they say, could mean new variants making their way back to the U.S.

One lesson the experts didn’t expect to learn was how polarizing the response to the pandemic could be, especially as time went on. “I was surprised and alarmed to see how politically polarized Covid-19 responses have become, with some U.S. states (most recently Florida) promoting public health policies that directly oppose the science (and common sense),” Steffanie Strathdee, associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego, said in an email.

The depth and intensity of political anger against public health officials was also jarring, says Castel. “To think that many public health leaders at the local, state and national level received death threats and lawsuits because of the evidence-based guidance they issued is appalling.”

“It’s tragic, because the outcomes of that were that hundreds of thousands of people died, who would not have died, if the response had been less political and more governed by the best science,” Wachter adds.

Wachter also says it’s hard to fathom the size of anti-vaccine sentiment based on what things looked like before the pandemic. “The anti-vax movement was previously pretty small and fringe,” he says. “And it was as likely to come from the left as the right—maybe even more likely to come from the left.”

The worst of the pandemic is (probably) behind us

“Years three and four will, hopefully, see a transition of Covid-19 from an emergent condition to an ongoing public health challenge with significantly less morbidity and mortality,” Anand Parekh, chief medical advisor for the Bipartisan Policy Center, says in an email. But not if it’s left to itself, he’s quick to add. “This would require easy access to prevention, testing and treatment.”

“I think the likeliest path will be a version of where we are now,” says Wachter. “With small surges that will not be overwhelming and be regional, partly related to seasonality, maybe partly related to vaccine status in different regions.”

The biggest unknown about this prediction, of course, is whether a new Covid variant emerges, which Strathdee warns is an increased risk if high-income countries choose to ignore the pandemic in the rest of the world. “If we don’t ensure that new medical advances such as vaccines and therapeutics reach the lower- and middle-income countries, new variants will emerge that threaten us all.”

Long Covid will have a potentially long impact

A potentially bigger challenge than surges of new infections in pandemic year three, says Wachter, are the still mostly unknown impacts of long Covid. If it turns out that, as some preliminary estimates suggest, as many as 10% to 20% of people experience lingering symptoms, “that’s tens of millions of people, and that’ll have an impact on the workforce and that’ll have an impact on economic performance.”

Long Covid will take a potential toll on the healthcare system as well, adds Castel. “Until we learn more about how to prevent and treat long Covid, we can anticipate a large burden on the healthcare system for the near future.”

“The high prevalence of long Covid stands to cause significant disability,” Strathdee says. “which affects both mental and physical health, including quality of life. I don’t think we’ve got a good handle yet on how big this problem may be.”

One major concern, says Wachter, is that unlike most respiratory diseases, early studies are warning that Covid may cause long-term health problems. A recent study said that people with even mild Covid showed more incidents of brain damage compared with those uninfected. Another finding: People infected with Covid have higher rates of heart attack and strokes. “If that turns out to be real, you’re talking about a new risk factor in almost 40% of the population,” he says. “A risk factor that may be as potent, as if people have high blood pressure or if they smoke. And that’s a very big deal.”

The tool kit for the next disease surge

Health experts agree that Covid-19 is likely to be around for a long time, and it’s also not going to be the last pandemic. The past two years, they say, have provided a lot of insight into what needs to be done to prepare for the next deadly disease surge.

When it comes to respiratory viruses like Covid, “We need to keep good-fitting N95 face masks, HEPA filters and good old soap and water,” says Strathdee.

“Masks should have been consistently recommended early on in the pandemic, as other countries did,” Parekh agrees. Castel concurs. “Masks are simple to use, relatively easy to obtain, and have proven to be effective in both protecting the wearer and those around them.”

Another key tool for combating future epidemics is testing, Wachter says. “We clearly made a terrible error early on in not working hard to get good tests out there more quickly,” he says. “And particularly, I think we were very late on home testing, both developing them and distributing them.”

One crucial factor that emerged to combat Covid, says Esther Krofah, executive director of FasterCures and the Center for Public Health at the Milken Institute, was research collaboration between scientists, companies and governments to produce vaccines and therapeutics quickly. That’s something she hopes doesn’t go away. “We need to ensure we build sustainable infrastructure to continue such collaboration,” she says, “and move forward efforts to change the culture in medical research to align with the urgent needs of patients.”

Experts do suggest rethinking one of the most contentious aspects of the pandemic response: school closures. “One of the real lessons learned is the negative impact of school closures on kids,” says Wachter. “And I think it will influence our response the next time.”

“Virtual schooling, while necessary intermittently, will need to be more closely considered in the future taking into account the virus’ epidemiology, risk to students and staff, and considerations for childcare/parental workforce,” says Parekh.

Hospitals need to be better prepared for future surges

Covid-19 hit hospitals extremely hard, overworking doctors and nurses to the point of burnout during pandemic surges, as intensive care units and other departments were pushed to capacity and beyond. This means that hospitals will need to work on building their surge capacity, experts say.

“Stockpiling and distributing critical medical material, deploying surge medical staff and ensuring that healthcare systems through federal grants are exercising their response plans are all critical,” Parekh says.

A major challenge for hospitals, says Wachter, will be getting extra capacity in place without breaking the bank. “Nobody’s going to be able to afford to keep a lot of excess bed capacity available, or a lot of excess nursing and doctor capacity,” he says. However, what hospitals can do is better stockpile equipment and protective clothing for healthcare workers. “The things that are not wildly expensive but you do want to have in the basement.”

In addition to better preparing for surges, hospitals also need to be better at identifying threats early so public health measures can be put in place, says Strathdee. “Public health departments and hospitals need to be better equipped to conduct surveillance, which includes systems for timely reporting.”

Castel encourages closer communication between hospitals and public health officials. “Hospitals are often sentinel sites and the first place that persons infected with these illnesses seek care, therefore they must have the capacity to work closely with public health to assist in the timely detection of emerging infectious diseases.”

Rebuilding trust and fighting apathy is critical

“An effective response to a pandemic requires three things: political leadership, national unity and timely resources,” says Parekh. Those first two have been hard to come by since 2020, with one expert confiding to Forbes their concern that political polarization “has significantly impaired the ability of public health authorities to enact countermeasures in the future.”

Another challenge that health experts have seen during the course of the pandemic isn’t just politics but also apathy. “On May 24, 2020, the New York Times covered its whole front page with a story headlined: ‘U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An Incalculable Loss.’ It listed names of the dead, as the paper did after 9/11. In December 2020, shortly before vaccines became available, we approached 300,000 dead, though the Times did not (and still has not) run a similar story,” Krofah says. “I’m afraid we have become numb to these numbers.”

Wachter notes that if a new surge of Covid comes in the next few months, it may be hard to galvanize a public response. “Everybody is so cognitively over this,” he says. “And the idea that you would have to hunker down again? It’s going to be awfully hard to convince people to do that.”

Other experts agree that separating politics from public health is going to be essential in order to move forward in combating future epidemics. A crucial aspect of that is rebuilding trust in institutions, repaid in kind with clear communication rooted in science. But it’s also, several say, something that has to happen between people’s everyday interactions with each other.

For Castel, what’s needed is that sense of community seen early in the pandemic when “neighbors volunteered to help older, more vulnerable people get groceries, or to make masks, or to donate food to overworked medical personnel,” she says. “Without this sense of community, we would not be where we are today and I can only hope that if faced with another pandemic, that we would all come together again in a united effort to protect and support each other. “

I’m a senior editor at Forbes covering healthcare, science, and cutting edge technology. 

Source: Covid Year Three Will Be Better, Experts Agree, Unless Rich Countries Ignore The Pandemic Elsewhere

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Why Fears Of A ‘Government Crackdown’ On Bitcoin Are Overrated

A consistent thread about bitcoin has been that if it succeeds, it will inevitably invite government legislation and regulation to shut it down. This has been a backhanded critique of sorts advanced by investors like Ray Dalio who are “on bitcoin’s side”, but worry about its success attracting the attention of the state powers that be.

This isn’t an altogether surprising or irrational fear. We live centuries after the establishment of the nation-state as all-powerful welfare state, military, and taxation hub. It’s clear that state powers are often only reined in by “political” constraints (rather than physical or technical ones). Could governments shut down bitcoin if they wanted to?

This is probably a lot harder than one might think. Bitcoin is somewhat resilient to government crackdowns because of its origin, and the way the network is built. While states, if focused enough, could probably inflict some damage to bitcoin if it was a central state objective across the board, there are many factors for why a “government crackdown” on bitcoin is overrated for destroying the network.

1- It requires large-scale coordination among many different multilateral bodies and states

Since bitcoin is internationalized, it would require consent and coordination among almost every nation-state in order to effectively crack down on bitcoin. While the major world powers (such as the United States and China) have a bloc-like effect, and whereas there has been more coordination (often US-led) on issues such as climate change and corporate tax rates, when you look at issues as diverse as COVID-19 and the tit-for-tats of “strategic rivals” and Olympic boycotts — it is still difficult to see countries focusing on bitcoin in unison.

Large-scale coordination would be required to shut down the network in any meaningful way: otherwise, people could transact and support the bitcoin network in other nations or even in space. A slow nation-by-nation ban can affect the network: at an extreme, an unlikely state-led ban in the United States might choke off bitcoin from American-led financial systems and markets with near-total global reach. Yet, so long as bitcoin was trans-actable across other states, a “global ban” could not be accomplished nor a “government crackdown”.

2- There is no central node that states can really pressure

One of the most unique points about bitcoin is that there is no central leader figure to pin down. Satoshi’s disappearance, and Hal Finney’s untimely death, have led to a situation where there isn’t a “company CEO” or some other central leader to go after. While there are pressure points nation-states can use to pursue their objectives (for example, physical concentration of miners, key technical contributors still constrained by borders), there isn’t a central one, but rather a set of diffused ones.

We saw this when the Chinese state banned bitcoin mining in its territory: did that spell the end of bitcoin? No: miners simply shifted their equipment elsewhere, and within a few months, hash rate was as high if not higher than what it was before.

States are not used to dealing with organizations like this: they are used to dealing with multinational corporations to a certain extent, but there are usually a set of central pressure points and leadership that a state can lean on to get that corporation to adhere to certain rules and regulations. That, due to bitcoin’s unique creation story, is very unlikely to happen with any attacks on the bitcoin network.

3- Code is speech

In the United States, code is regarded as “protected” speech — software source code which powers bitcoin is protected by the First Amendment. In order to attack the distribution of code that powers bitcoin, countries like the United States would have to fundamentally change themselves and subvert long-held covenants of limited powers and the rule of law. This is not impossible (bitcoin, over a decades and even centuries long time horizon is a bet that (some) technical constraints are better than purely political ones for maintaining rule of law) but would be very out of character, and probably politically untenable.

4- States can be induced by bitcoin for commercial and other reasons

The Internet may never have been encrypted at all — export controls were initially placed on encryption, and commercial uses were seen skeptically. However, states partially relented when the commercial possibility of the Internet became clear. Now encryption powers communications as well as online banking and e-commerce sales.

This is not something states like: the Five Eyes and allied countries want to subvert end-to-end encryption and authoritarian states like the Chinese state either have backdoors or other mechanisms to promote social control. Yet it shows that, when faced with something that might threaten national security, the need for states to show GDP outcomes and to deliver wealth to their peoples might override their preferences in other areas.

As more and more countries adapt bitcoin in some fashion, this pressure will become larger until perhaps one day, we might see a bitcoin-friendly bloc of nations emerge similar to the Cairns Group for agriculture. Some will find that their domestic power-generation is more efficiently parsed through open-source bitcoin rather than supporting the fractional reserves of other countries. The more states are turned over to supporting the bitcoin network, the harder it will be for other states to attack it.

5- Bitcoin’s threat model has long included state-level powers

The way bitcoin is implemented makes it (more) prohibitive for any centralized collection of computers to disrupt the system. With more than 170,000 PH/s of hash rate securing the system (as of the date of writing) from a coordinated 51% attack (where an attacker could take over the system and propogate invalid spends in order to down the system for legitimate users, or to benefit monetarily from it), a projected security budget of around $45-60mn a day, and enough stakeholders .

(From investors, code contributors, analytics firms, miners and businesses — and now governments — that accept bitcoin) who have placed their financial livelihoods on monitoring the chain such that bitcoin could be secure beyond its fundamental dynamics — bitcoin is large enough to warrant significant resources for any attack, resources that wouldn’t be available for just any nation-state, and which would have to be continually deployed in a way that would make it hard to obscure who the attacker was.

We live in a heady time where “magic Internet money” has suddenly become the concern of Clausewitz readers around the world. As bitcoin grows more prominent, the possibility that it attracts state powers to disrupt or fully coopt it grows — yet those who play some part in the network, either from investing, transacting or supporting its infrastructure, can rest assured that the system has some inherent properties that make it more resilient than you might expect to even the strongest of attacks.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I was one of the first writers in 2014 to write about the intersection of cryptocurrencies in remittance payments and drug policy with VentureBeat and TechCrunch.

Source: Why Fears Of A ‘Government Crackdown’ On Bitcoin Are Overrated

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How Connected Life Sciences Devices Lead To Continuous Care

With connected medical devices, apps and data, life sciences organizations can bridge long-standing gaps in healthcare and deliver a more continuous care experience, says Brian Williams, Cognizant’s Chief Digital Officer for Life Sciences.

Global health systems have traditionally delivered services episodically, by focusing on acute, critical care rather than individual health and well-being. It should come as no surprise, then, that life sciences companies often deliver their solutions following that same model of care.

Sadly, this leads to gaps in data and service alignment, not to mention significant disconnects with the broader healthcare ecosystem. Consumer devices and wellness apps, for example, often exist within their own individual siloes — causing organizations to miss out on valuable data that could inform patient diagnosis, management and treatment.

This lack of orchestration produces sub-optimal outcomes at significant expense to providers, payers and patients alike. It is also at direct odds with patients’ increasing digital expectations when using medical devices and when taking drugs and therapies. Whether they are participating in a clinical trial, living with a chronic condition or recovering from a procedure, patients expect to be informed and cared for with seamless digital experiences on par with what they receive when shopping or banking online.

However, the emergence of integrated, connected devices, apps and data has opened new possibilities for treatments and clinical trials. This new level of connectivity helps bridge a longstanding gap in wellness: the disconnect between an individual’s everyday health behavior and their episodic healthcare. These experiences generate valuable data insights, creating new commercial opportunities and the promise of better patient outcomes.

The impact of life sciences connectivity

Drawing from our recent series on healthcare IoT, here are three stakeholder groups within the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem that stand to benefit greatly from this new level of connectivity and the more continuous, predictive and preventive care it enables.

  • Patients with chronic conditions. Chronic diseases are often accompanied by additional conditions, such as depression, that can impede effective treatment. Consequently, information about an individual’s behavioral health status has become increasingly important in treatment decisions, as has information about the individual’s relationships with the people around them.
  • Wearable IoT devices that monitor fitness and health conditions can pair with an ever-growing set of apps for health, wellness and nutrition monitoring. Over time, a baseline of physiological indicators such as an individual’s heart rate and blood pressure, as well as activity, diet and sleep patterns, will develop. When additional data from clinical encounters, including diagnostic imaging, lab tests, genomics, stress tests and physician notes, is integrated with that baseline, it increases the ability to predict how an individual may respond to any particular treatment.
  • Elderly patients. Quite often, the most effective tools for early detection of a developing condition in elderly patients are not implants or biometric monitors, but devices that monitor changes in activities of daily living (ADL).
  • For example, the onset of congestive heart failure can be detected through reduced use of the bed, as patients with trouble breathing when lying down switch to sleeping semi-upright in a recliner. Changes in toilet flushes, meanwhile, can detect a urinary tract infection or incipient dehydration. Moreover, while one in four Americans over 65 falls each year, only half tell their doctor.
  • Passive infrared motion detectors, pressure sensors in beds and chairs, sensors for CO2 concentration, sound (vibration) and video — anonymized as necessary for privacy — can all be used to first establish a baseline of normal variability, and then be applied to detect significant deviations from that baseline. This continuous and nearly invisible sensing can be surprisingly effective in assisting in care.
  • Hospital clinicians and support staff. Healthcare is increasingly a team enterprise — including not only physicians, nurses, allied health staff and technicians but also AI-enabled equipment. The point of care is also expanding, with shortened hospital stays and more care delivered in outpatient facilities and in-home settings.
  • Connected sensors enable every member of the team to access to real-time data relevant to their task. Smart hospitals with a real-time health system (RTHS) can leverage sensors to collect data widely, distill and analyze it — and then quickly distribute curated findings to users. When captured remotely, this eases the transition in care from the hospital to other settings, allowing a more continuous and participatory level of care that extends long past a patient’s physical stay in a healthcare facility.
  • An RTHS can improve operations, clinical tasks and patient experience. For example, providers that boost operational effectiveness typically rely on a wide range of IoT-enabled asset management solutions that locate mobile assets, monitor equipment operating conditions and track inventories of consumables, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This optimizes equipment utilization, reduces waste, increases equipment uptime and ensures optimal inventories.
  • Once clinicians and support staff can view how long various steps take in their workflows, where delays occur and what patients experience as a result, they can then evolve solutions based on a combination of their intimate day-to-day knowledge and data on how that workflow interacts with or is used by other functions.

From episodic to continuous care

Too often, the life sciences industry has delivered a one-size-fits-all approach to clinical trials and patient care that may not represent real-life, individual situations — situations that require tailored engagement that wrap therapies and interventions in end-to-end, digital solutions.

This can and should change. Device connectivity and access to data are impacting every aspect of healthcare and life sciences, moving the industry away from acute, episodic care, to a system that is more participatory and predictive.

For example, a patient may be walking a mere 24 hours after a typical hip surgery and could be discharged from the hospital a day or two after the procedure. However, that episodic care experience belies a much longer recovery and rehabilitation period spanning weeks or months.While that care experience today takes place largely outside the purview of the orthopedic surgeon, better device connectivity can enable patient monitoring — and even patient services — to be extended well beyond the length of the initial hospital visit.

Rather than relying on spotty reporting from physical therapists or the patients themselves, an orthopedist can continuously and seamlessly track a patient’s progress, and then decide when and how to intervene if things aren’t going as expected. Zimmer’s mymobility application, which supports patient engagement and monitoring outside the hospital following surgery, is a good example of what this looks like in practice.

A fully orchestrated ecosystem

Sensors and instrumentation — and the hundreds of APIs that connect them — can provide accurate and timely data about many parameters of the human condition. When this is all properly orchestrated, we can better understand how diseases progress and how bodies respond to various interventions.

That’s the intent behind our alliance with Philips and its HealthSuite Digital Platform, which is built on AWS and designed to simplify and standardize device connectivity, data access, identity management, and structured and unstructured data management within a high-trust, HIPAA and GDPR-compliant environment.

We believe that life sciences companies can derive true value from this influx of new data. Not only can the resulting insights inform new services, drugs and therapies and inspire new models of continuous engagement; they can also improve adherence to treatment and patient health.

To learn more, visit the Life Sciences section of our website.

Brian is Cognizant’s Chief Digital Officer for Life Sciences and is responsible for designing digitally enabled solutions to facilitate care access and delivery. He is also the Global Life Sciences Consulting

Source: How Connected Life Sciences Devices Lead To Continuous Care

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Related Contents:

M. Birkholz; A. Mai; C. Wenger; C. Meliani; R. Scholz (2016). “Technology modules from micro- and nano-electronics for the life sciences”. WIREs Nanomed. Nanobiotech. 8 (3): 355–377. doi:10.1002/wnan.1367. PMID 26391194

“What is Biomonitoring?” (PDF). American Chemistry Council. Archived from the origin(2005-04-08). Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-203-50820-6.

National Human Genome Research Institute (2010-11-08). “FAQ About Genetic and Genomic Science”

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