The unexpected cost of living for a very long time

100 years ago, you could expect to live to 54. Our luxurious, 80-year-long lives come at a cost.

  • Medical advances have increased our longevity by decades, says Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. That benefit comes with an unintended disadvantage – high costs.
  • Bringing the overall cost of health care down is near impossible, as an increased life expectancy brings new diseases and procedures with it.
  • Reducing the out-of-pocket cost is a separate issue, however. It is possible and necessary to lower costs so they don't become a barrier to people seeking care.
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  • Chicago's South Side didn't have a trauma care unit until last year; the last closed in 1991.
  • Whether immediate trauma care or long-term mental health care, access to facilities is limited in minority neighborhoods.
  • Since the University of Chicago's Level 1 Trauma Center opened, there's been a seven-fold reduction in the disparity in the city's access to care.
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Vaccines in no way cause autism, massive new study finds

More vaccine-autism facts for the fact-averse.

(Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A massive new study finds absolutely no link between MMR vaccination and autism.
  • Some question the expenditure of yet more research money on convincing conspiracy theorists.
  • There are already 206 measles cases this year in the U.S., and the disease is up by 30% globally, despite previous near-eradication.
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Technology is revolutionizing health care — for better and for worse

The future of health care is high tech. That's good news — mostly.

  • Health care is at the forefront of technology and innovation. Telehealth, bioelectronic medicine, and big data improve the quality of patient care while reducing the cost.
  • As wearable devices and implants offering real-time health data to everyday people become staples of modern life, people will discover conditions that were previously undetectable. They will also perceive illnesses that aren't there.
  • This supposedly cost-cutting technology may become an enormous burden to health care providers.
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You have doppelgängers. They’re quietly influencing your life.

Companies refer to like-minded strangers when recommending products to you.

  • One way companies recommend products to you is by referring the purchasing tendencies of individuals who have bought similar items in past. When these individuals have many similarities, they are referred to as doppelgangers.
  • This can also work in medicine. When someone gets sick, professionals may refer to the patient's health doppelganger, who's had similar symptoms, and prescribe treatments that previously worked.
  • It's a powerful methodology and it gets more powerful the more data you have. That is, the more data you have, the more likely you're going to find someone in that data set who's "really, really" similar to you.