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In 1996, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its report Telemedicine: A Guide to Assessing Telecommunications for Health Care. In that report, the IOM Committee on Evaluating Clinical Applications of Telemedicine found telemedicine is similar in most respects to other technologies for which better evidence of effectiveness is also being demanded. Telemedicine, however, has some special characteristics-shared with information technologies generally-that warrant particular notice from evaluators and decision makers.

Since that time, attention to telehealth has continued to grow in both the public and private sectors. Peer-reviewed journals and professional societies are devoted to telehealth, the federal government provides grant funding to promote the use of telehealth, and the private technology industry continues to develop new applications for telehealth. However, barriers remain to the use of telehealth modalities, including issues related to reimbursement, licensure, workforce, and costs. Also, some areas of telehealth have developed a stronger evidence base than others.

The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) sponsored the IOM in holding a workshop in Washington, DC, on August 8-9 2012, to examine how the use of telehealth technology can fit into the U.S. health care system. HRSA asked the IOM to focus on the potential for telehealth to serve geographically isolated individuals and extend the reach of scarce resources while also emphasizing the quality and value in the delivery of health care services. This workshop summary discusses the evolution of telehealth since 1996, including the increasing role of the private sector, policies that have promoted or delayed the use of telehealth, and consumer acceptance of telehealth. The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment: Workshop Summary discusses the current evidence base for telehealth, including available data and gaps in data; discuss how technological developments, including mobile telehealth, electronic intensive care units, remote monitoring, social networking, and wearable devices, in conjunction with the push for electronic health records, is changing the delivery of health care in rural and urban environments. This report also summarizes actions that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can undertake to further the use of telehealth to improve health care outcomes while controlling costs in the current health care environment.
At a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals--often referred to under the umbrella acronym LGBT--are becoming more visible in society and more socially acknowledged, clinicians and researchers are faced with incomplete information about their health status. While LGBT populations often are combined as a single entity for research and advocacy purposes, each is a distinct population group with its own specific health needs. Furthermore, the experiences of LGBT individuals are not uniform and are shaped by factors of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographical location, and age, any of which can have an effect on health-related concerns and needs.

The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People assesses the state of science on the health status of LGBT populations, identifies research gaps and opportunities, and outlines a research agenda for the National Institute of Health. The report examines the health status of these populations in three life stages: childhood and adolescence, early/middle adulthood, and later adulthood. At each life stage, the committee studied mental health, physical health, risks and protective factors, health services, and contextual influences. To advance understanding of the health needs of all LGBT individuals, the report finds that researchers need more data about the demographics of these populations, improved methods for collecting and analyzing data, and an increased participation of sexual and gender minorities in research.

The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People is a valuable resource for policymakers, federal agencies including the National Institute of Health (NIH), LGBT advocacy groups, clinicians, and service providers.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are serious, debilitating conditions that affect millions of people in the United States and around the world. ME/CFS can cause significant impairment and disability. Despite substantial efforts by researchers to better understand ME/CFS, there is no known cause or effective treatment. Diagnosing the disease remains a challenge, and patients often struggle with their illness for years before an identification is made. Some health care providers have been skeptical about the serious physiological - rather than psychological - nature of the illness. Once diagnosed, patients often complain of receiving hostility from their health care provider as well as being subjected to treatment strategies that exacerbate their symptoms.

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome proposes new diagnostic clinical criteria for ME/CFS and a new term for the illness - systemic exertion intolerance disease(SEID). According to this report, the term myalgic encephalomyelitis does not accurately describe this illness, and the term chronic fatigue syndrome can result in trivialization and stigmatization for patients afflicted with this illness. Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stresses that SEID is a medical - not a psychiatric or psychological - illness. This report lists the major symptoms of SEID and recommends a diagnostic process.One of the report's most important conclusions is that a thorough history, physical examination, and targeted work-up are necessary and often sufficient for diagnosis. The new criteria will allow a large percentage of undiagnosed patients to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care.

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will be a valuable resource to promote the prompt diagnosis of patients with this complex, multisystem, and often devastating disorder; enhance public understanding; and provide a firm foundation for future improvements in diagnosis and treatment.

The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), for disabled individuals, and their dependent family members, who have worked and contributed to the Social Security trust funds, and Supplemental Security Income (SSSI), which is a means-tested program based on income and financial assets for adults aged 65 years or older and disabled adults and children. Both programs require that claimants have a disability and meet specific medical criteria in order to qualify for benefits. SSA establishes the presence of a medically-determined impairment in individuals with mental disorders other than intellectual disability through the use of standard diagnostic criteria, which include symptoms and signs. These impairments are established largely on reports of signs and symptoms of impairment and functional limitation.

Psychological Testing in the Service of Disability Determination considers the use of psychological tests in evaluating disability claims submitted to the SSA. This report critically reviews selected psychological tests, including symptom validity tests, that could contribute to SSA disability determinations. The report discusses the possible uses of such tests and their contribution to disability determinations. Psychological Testing in the Service of Disability Determination discusses testing norms, qualifications for administration of tests, administration of tests, and reporting results. The recommendations of this report will help SSA improve the consistency and accuracy of disability determination in certain cases.

Physical inactivity is a key determinant of health across the lifespan. A lack of activity increases the risk of heart disease, colon and breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression and others diseases. Emerging literature has suggested that in terms of mortality, the global population health burden of physical inactivity approaches that of cigarette smoking. The prevalence and substantial disease risk associated with physical inactivity has been described as a pandemic.

The prevalence, health impact, and evidence of changeability all have resulted in calls for action to increase physical activity across the lifespan. In response to the need to find ways to make physical activity a health priority for youth, the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment was formed. Its purpose was to review the current status of physical activity and physical education in the school environment, including before, during, and after school, and examine the influences of physical activity and physical education on the short and long term physical, cognitive and brain, and psychosocial health and development of children and adolescents.

Educating the Student Body makes recommendations about approaches for strengthening and improving programs and policies for physical activity and physical education in the school environment. This report lays out a set of guiding principles to guide its work on these tasks. These included: recognizing the benefits of instilling life-long physical activity habits in children; the value of using systems thinking in improving physical activity and physical education in the school environment; the recognition of current disparities in opportunities and the need to achieve equity in physical activity and physical education; the importance of considering all types of school environments; the need to take into consideration the diversity of students as recommendations are developed.

This report will be of interest to local and national policymakers, school officials, teachers, and the education community, researchers, professional organizations, and parents interested in physical activity, physical education, and health for school-aged children and adolescents.
The death of a child is a special sorrow. No matter the circumstances, a child’s death is a life-altering experience. Except for the child who dies suddenly and without forewarning, physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel usually play a central role in the lives of children who die and their families. At best, these professionals will exemplify “medicine with a heart.†At worst, families’ encounters with the health care system will leave them with enduring painful memories, anger, and regrets.

When Children Die examines what we know about the needs of these children and their families, the extent to which such needs areâ€"and are notâ€"being met, and what can be done to provide more competent, compassionate, and consistent care. The book offers recommendations for involving child patients in treatment decisions, communicating with parents, strengthening the organization and delivery of services, developing support programs for bereaved families, improving public and private insurance, training health professionals, and more. It argues that taking these steps will improve the care of children who survive as well as those who do notâ€"and will likewise help all families who suffer with their seriously ill or injured child.

Featuring illustrative case histories, the book discusses patterns of childhood death and explores the basic elements of physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical care for children and families experiencing a child’s life-threatening illness or injury.
Drug development can be time-consuming and expensive. Recent estimates suggest that, on average, it takes 10 years and at least $1 billion to bring a drug to market. Given the time and expense of developing drugs de novo, pharmaceutical companies have become increasingly interested in finding new uses for existing drugs - a process referred to as drug repurposing or repositioning.

Historically, drug repurposing has been largely an unintentional, serendipitous process that took place when a drug was found to have an offtarget effect or a previously unrecognized on-target effect that could be used for identifying a new indication. Perhaps the most recognizable example of such a successful repositioning effort is sildenafil. Originally developed as an anti-hypertensive, sildenafil, marketed as Viagra and under other trade names, has been repurposed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Viagra generated more than $2 billion worldwide in 2012 and has recently been studied for the treatment of heart failure.

Given the widespread interest in drug repurposing, the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health of the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop on June 24, 2013, in Washington, DC, to assess the current landscape of drug repurposing activities in industry, academia, and government. Stakeholders, including government officials, pharmaceutical company representatives, academic researchers, regulators, funders, and patients, were invited to present their perspectives and to participate in workshop discussions. Drug Repurposing and Repositioning is the summary of that workshop. This report examines enabling tools and technology for drug repurposing; evaluates the business models and economic incentives for pursuing a repurposing approach; and discusses how genomic and genetic research could be positioned to better enable a drug repurposing paradigm.

From 1962 to 1971, the US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of US base camps and outlying fire-support bases. Mixtures of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), picloram, and cacodylic acid made up the bulk of the herbicides sprayed. The main chemical mixture sprayed was Agent Orange, a 50:50 mixture of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. At the time of the spraying, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic form of dioxin, was an unintended contaminant generated during the production of 2,4,5-T and so was present in Agent Orange and some other formulations sprayed in Vietnam.

Because of complaints from returning Vietnam veterans about their own health and that of their children combined with emerging toxicologic evidence of adverse effects of phenoxy herbicides and TCDD, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was asked to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange, other herbicides used in Vietnam, and the various components of those herbicides, including TCDD. Updated evaluations are conducted every two years to review newly available literature and draw conclusions from the overall evidence.Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012 reviews peer-reviewed scientific reports concerning associations between health outcomes and exposure to TCDD and other chemicals in the herbicides used in Vietnam that were published in October 2010--September 2012 and integrates this information with the previously established evidence database. This report considers whether a statistical association with herbicide exposure exists, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiological methods used to detect the association; the increased risk of disease among those exposed to herbicides during service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era; and whether there exists a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the disease.

In response to the concerns voiced by Vietnam veterans and their families, Congress called upon the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the scientific evidence on the possible health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides. This call resulted in the creation of the first NAS Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides in 1992. The committee published its initial findings in the 1994 report Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam.

This report is the result of a 1999 request from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) under the aegis of the Veterans and Agent Orange research program. Specifically, DVA asked the committee to examine evidence regarding the association, if any, between Type 2 diabetes and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides used in Vietnam.

Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes reviews the scientific evidence regarding the association, if any, between Type 2 diabetes1 and exposure to dioxin2 and other chemical compounds in herbicides used in Vietnam. This report examines, to the extent that available data permitted meaningful determinations, (1) whether a statistical association with herbicide exposure exists, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiologic methods used to detect the association; (2) the increased risk of the disease among those exposed to herbicides during Vietnam service; and (3) whether there is a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the disease.
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