Top 5 Reads of the Week

How Health Policy and Technology Will be Affected in a Trump Presidency:

Experts say the technology sector may grow under a Trump Presidency, but that the Affordable Care Act and World Health Organization face uncertain futures. U.S.-made products and technology may be emphasized, causing exports to be favored over imports. However, Trump’s views on digital privacy, especially regarding Apple’s standoff with the FBI, worries  cybersecurity experts. And according to the CommonWealth Fund, switching to Trump’s health care plan “could add $41 billion to the deficit, while 20 million could lose health care coverage.” (PBS)

Mail-In Abortion Pills Offer Hope for Improved Access:

A study conducted in Hawaii, New York, Oregon and Washington is determining whether mail-order abortion pills combined with telemedicine could help increase access to abortions. Participants in the study were provided with the pills and consulted with doctors regarding the process. Researchers hope implementing this system could increase access at a time when five states only have one clinic, although 19 states have made it illegal for telemedicine to be used in abortion procedures. (Kaiser Health News)

Balloon Capsules Help Shed Twice the Amount of Weight than Diet, Lifestyle Changes Alone:

According to a recent study, the FDA-approved Obalon balloon system helped obese patients lose twice as much weight as diet and lifestyle changes alone. The system contains three capsules, each holding an inflatable balloon bound to a catheter. Patients are to swallow these capsules, giving three weeks in between each capsule. The procedure then consists of the balloon being filled up, the catheter being removed and the patient keeping the balloon in his/her stomach for six months, until it is removed through a minimally-invasive surgery. Studies demonstrated that patients were also able to retain their weight loss with 89.5 percent of the average total weight lost being maintained six months later. (CNN)

Video Game Experiment Demonstrates Decline in Sense of Direction Among Aging Population:

A video game experiment which collected data from 2.4 million people showed that a person’s sense of direction starts to decline after his/her teenage years. Scientists received data from around the world and found a decline in navigational sense as one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Nordic countries outperformed the other countries in their navigational sense – a factor the researchers are exploring further. (BBC)

Microorganisms and Molecules on Cell Phones Provide Blueprint of Users’ Lives:

Researchers at University of California – San Diego discovered that germs and chemical compounds found on the surface of smartphones can provide clues about a user’s lifestyle. They were able to determine whether a user was wearing “high-end cosmetics, prefers beer over wine, is being treated for depression, likes spicy food,” among other findings. Pieter Dorrestein, the senior author of the study, said that this can be useful various areas including forensic science and tracking patients’ medication usage. (MedlinePlus)

Karishma Desai

Karishma Desai

    Karishma B. Desai is an emerging broadcast journalist interested in covering health, international and public interest stories. Desai is currently studying her M.S. in Journalism at Boston University. She also freelances as a web producer at New England Cable News. She hopes to use her skills in journalism to shed light on issues regarding mental health and disparities in health outcomes. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, chugging coffee, reading, writing and exercising.

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