The United States finished dead last in an analysis of health care quality across several wealthy nations, ranked either the worst or close to worst in categories like affordability, administrative efficiency and the health of the overall population. A report from The Commonwealth Fund, a private, American-based foundation focused on health care issues, compared the country to seven others in Europe -- France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom -- as well as to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Those other 10 were found to spend significantly less on care while enjoying better health, after the foundation inspected 72 "indicators" throughout the health care systems of each nation, which included gathering data from patient and doctor surveys as well as from the World Health Organization and other agencies. "Based on a broad range of indicators, the U.S. health system is an outlier, spending far more but falling short of the performance achieved by other high-income countries," the report said. "The results suggest the U.S. health care system should look at other countries' approaches if it wants to achieve an affordable high-performing health care system that serves all Americans."
The 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to Professors Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and British scientist Dr Richard Henderson. The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences said the trio's method, called cryo-electron microscopy, allows researchers to'freeze biomolecules' mid-movement and visualise previously unseen processes. The technology both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules and has been credited with moving biochemistry into a new era. Scottish chemist Dr Henderson is a researcher at Cambridge University, Professor Dubochet works at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, while Professor Frank studies at New York's Columbia University. The trio's prize was awarded for developing cryo-electron microscopy.
One in five people with motor neurone disease (MND) waits more than a year to see a brain specialist for help with diagnosis, a snapshot survey suggests. The MND Association report, based on responses from 900 patients in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, says the delays stop people getting early care. While the charity accepts a diagnosis can be "notoriously difficult" to make, it urges GPs to be vigilant about MND. GP leaders have worked with the charity on a scheme to improve diagnosis. About 5,000 people in the UK have motor neurone disease.
After revolutionizing various industry sectors, the introduction of artificial intelligence in healthcare is transforming how we diagnose and treat critical disorders. A team of experts in the Laboratory for Respiratory Diseases at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, trained an AI-based computer algorithm using good quality data. Dr. Marko Topalovic, a postdoctoral researcher in the team, announced that AI was found to be more consistent and accurate in interpreting respiratory test results and in suggesting diagnoses, as compared to lung specialists. Likewise, Artificial Intelligence Research Centre for Neurological Disorders at the Beijing Tiantan Hospital and a research team from the Capital Medical University developed the BioMind AI system, which correctly diagnosed brain tumor in 87% of 225 cases in about 15 minutes, whereas the results of a team of 15 senior doctors displayed only 66% accuracy. The introduction of technologies such as deep learning and artificial intelligence in healthcare can help achieve more efficiency and precision.
In the three and a half decades since HIV/AIDS was discovered, the deadly disease has killed 35 million people. While drugs now allow patients to live long lives with the virus, only one man, an American named Timothy Ray Brown, otherwise known as the "Berlin patient," is believed to have been cured. Now, it appears he's no longer alone. This week, a team of British scientists from the University of Cambridge claimed to have successfully treated an HIV-positive man from London with the same stem-cell technique that Brown's doctors used a decade ago. It involved transplanting the patient with bone marrow from a donor who had a naturally occurring mutation in a gene called CCR5.