The opioid crisis is profitable. Blockchain tech can end that.

A tech-minded approach to drug fraud could squash those who enable the deadly opioid crisis.

  • The same way blockchain technology could end the blood diamond trade, it could also stop those profiting from the opioid crisis by removing the traditional opportunities for drug fraud, explains Hyperledger's Brian Behlendorf.
  • "I tend not to blame the drug taker because I think they're just medicating to meet their needs, it's really the distributors and those writing fake prescriptions and others who are enabling a lot of this crisis, and I think distributed ledger technology can help us understand where there might be abuses in that system."
  • Blockchain technology could also revolutionize health information systems — from harnessing the IoT to ensure patients take their medication at the right time and often enough (drug adherence is a big problem), to checking the credibility of doctors, and not having to cart around a small filing cabinet of your life's medical records every time you change doctors or providers.

Scientists create 10-minute test that can detect cancer anywhere in the body

The quick test would be a breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Adding healthy DNA to the pink water full of gold particles turns it blue, but when cancerous DNA is added, the water remains pink (University of Queensland).
  • Australian researchers find 3D nanostructures that are unique to cancer cells.
  • These markers can be identified using technology that may be available on cell phones.
  • Human clinical trials are next for the team.
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Walgreens teams up with FedEx to offer next-day drug delivery service

Walgreens now competes with Amazon and CVS in the race to dominate the prescription delivery market.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
  • The service will cost $4.99 per drop-off.
  • Same-day delivery will be available in some markets.
  • As the population ages and rates of online shopping continue to rise, companies that can capitalize on the drug delivery market stand to earn billions.
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Scientists find a horrible new way cocaine can damage your brain

Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.

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  • Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
  • Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
  • Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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How the global health community is fighting the rise of superbugs

Here are the leading solutions to antibiotic resistance, the next major global health threat.

  • Antimicrobial drugs are losing their effectiveness because pathogens change and find ways to resist the effects of antibiotics, leading to the development of superbugs.
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) causes 700,000 deaths annually across the globe, a number that is projected to skyrocket to 10 million by the year 2050 if new interventions are not developed.
  • Antibiotics are crucial in treating minor infections and curing serious infectious diseases, enabling minor and complex surgeries, as well as managing illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.
  • Pfizer is committed to help lead the fight against AMR. It sponsors ATLAS, one of the largest AMR surveillance programs in the world, which sources global bacterial susceptibility data and makes it freely available to the public.
  • Vaccines play a beneficial role in the reduction of AMR, as they prevent infectious diseases and reduce antibiotic use.
  • Other tools in the fight are good stewardship and global policy leadership. Through advocacy and training around the globe, Pfizer helps ensure patients receive the correct antibiotic only if needed and for the right duration.
  • Individuals can also take action against AMR superbugs by practicing good stewardship and basic sanitation. Jill Inverso shares simple things the everyday person can do to fight antibiotic resistance.