In much the same way that genomic technologies are changing the landscape of biomedical research, the ethical issues these technologies generate are setting today’s agenda of ethics research. The distinct ethical issues concerning the management of incidental findings represent a serious challenge that has occupied the minds of
Western bioethicists for a while, but has yet to capture due attention from specialists in the Muslim world.
Incidental findings are generally defined as results that arise although they were not part of the original purpose of the research project or clinical test. Ethical management of these findings is not a simple matter, because while they can be lifesaving, they can also lead to harmful consequences for the individual and community at large, and at other times lack any clear significance.
Much of the global burden of disease arises from unhealthy behaviors, which people struggle to change even if they have the awareness, intention and ability to do so.
The new report ‘Applying behavioral insights: simple ways to improve health outcomes’ will be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).
The Behavioral Insights Forum will present groundbreaking, evidence-based research showing how citizens’ health can be improved through a better understanding and application of the latest research. Led by a UK government-owned social purpose company, The Behavioral Insights Team, this research studies the factors that influence human behavior thereby producing evidence that can prove vital to improving the health of populations.
Most countries have well-established mechanisms to pay for medical treatments. However, many innovations – telemedicine, use of community health workers and lower-cost versions of treatments – are inadequately reimbursed, if reimbursed at all.
Payment systems are often slow to support new care models, and understandably so: additional payments for innovations create fiscal concerns; innovations may not be cost-effective unless integrated appropriately with other services; and existing institutions may lack experience or clear authority to support new services. Accountable care can help to overcome such barriers.
Since the turn of the century, global achievements in scientific research have enabled us to realise a new era of healthcare delivery and treatment. Diseases are becoming better understood, even at their most detailed level, which has allowed scientists to develop new drugs, therapies and preventative techniques to combat problems in very specific ways. A new form of healthcare delivery, one that is determined by a patient’s genetic and personal characteristics, has become possible.
International efforts to achieve global development goals in health have raised concerns about the availability of a well-trained and effective health workforce. As a result, the health workforce has been the focus of many global initiatives in the last decade that have called for urgent action to overcome the so-called ‘health workforce crisis’. Despite some progress, the health workforce challenges remain a critical bottleneck in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals in most countries.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders emerging during early childhood and interfering with a person’s ability to socially relate to and interact with others.
As of 2010, there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASD worldwide, representing a substantial increase over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the economic impact of ASD in the United States (US) alone – based on direct medical, direct non-medical and productivity costs – reached an estimated $268 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to rise to $461 billion by 2025. ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders also affect the quality of life of those with the conditions, as well as of their families and caregivers.
By Nikita Rathod, Communications and Events Assistant, Institute of Global Health Innovation
Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Historically, the date of the 25th of November was designated as an awareness day in December 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly through resolution 54/134. The aim of the day was to increase worldwide awareness and create opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions.
By Dr Enrique Castro Sanchez and Dr Bryony Dean Franklin, Centre for Patient Safety and Translational Research (PSTRC), Imperial College London
In the last few months we have seen increased attention and alliances around the world to develop interventions to address the challenge presented by drug-resistant infections. For example, a landmark declaration at the United Nations General Assembly on the matter of Antimicrobial Resistance was signed by 193 countries, providing a historic opportunity for experts, governments and citizens to collaborate on a global response to this worldwide threat to patient safety. Only the fourth time in history that a health topic had been at the centre of attention at the UN, the meeting supported commitment of adequate resources to guarantee a much needed sustained and robust response.
By Dr Olga Kostopoulou, Reader in Medical Decision Making and Professor Brendan Delaney, Chair in Medical Informatics and Decision Making at Imperial College London
Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is high on policy agendas internationally. One of the key means advocated is judicious antibiotic prescribing. Over 80% of all NHS antibiotic prescriptions are issued in primary care, where despite numerous campaigns, mandates and financial incentives, rates have fallen only slightly in the past year. Acute respiratory infections and associated complications, such as pneumonia, are the commonest justification for primary care antibiotic use, despite strong evidence of small to modest symptomatic benefits.
By Eve MacKinnon, PhD candidate at University College London
To mark World Toilet Day on Saturday 19 November, guest blogger Eve MacKinnon takes a look at the developing innovation in sanitation.
In 2015 Google held a technology festival in South Africa aiming to develop ways to digitify billions of people in the continent, who as yet unconnected are a significant potential new market for their products and therefore hugely valuable for future growth.