Turn Therapy into Theraplay

A quick Google search for speech and hearing activities will turn up hundreds of blogs, websites, and storefronts with ideas, kits, and books to turn therapy into fun. Playtime does more than engage a child. Research has proved that play is a child’s work.

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Medical Technology that Used to be Science-Fiction

by Tera Tuten on March 10, 2014

A few weeks before Star Trek: Into Darkness hit theatres, we looked at “23rd Century health technologies that already exist.”

At the time, it was amazing to see how many futuristic devices we see in the movies (and not just that saga, but in the Marvel universe, Star Wars, and others) that are quickly becoming reality.

For medical professionals and aspiring super-heroes, here’s a look at some more medical sci-fi that’s here today

3D printing of prosthetics and bone/joint replacements (The Fifth Element)

Ever see that beautifully-crafted sci-fi action movie in which Bruce Willis has to find-and-assemble people/stuff from different planets to save the Earth?

…Let’s try this again: Ever see that pre-Resident-Evil movie where Milla Jovovich jumps off a futuristic 900-floor building wearing nothing but a bandage designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier? (OK, awesome.)

Before that scene in The Fifth Element, said actress’ character is “resurrected” from a tiny bit of ancient DNA that gets re-built in seconds in a robotic chamber that can build anything, including people. Sound far-fetched?

Not only can 3D printing technology already create objects that stand-in for missing body parts (like prosthetics) but it can even “print” objects that could be used inside humans, such as replacement bones, joints, and other pieces of us, and perhaps soon, even living replacements using human stem cells as the “ink.” [click to continue…]

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How to Ride the ‘Quality-of-Life’ Care Wave

by Tera Tuten on March 4, 2014

Roughly 75 percent of America’s annual $2.6 trillion-dollar health care budget is spent on chronic illness care.

In the interest of being proactive about stemming the tide of chronic illness, we’ve measured what sociologist Morris David Morris called The Physical Quality of Life Index, which looks at basic literacy, infant mortality, and life expectancy.

It wasn’t until 2006, though, that researchers started looking at a more refined measuring stick  for quality-of-life, or QOL (not-to-be-confused with standard-of-living) to try and better predict and prevent chronic illness.

That’s when the Happy Planet Index (HPI) – an index of human well-being and environmental impact – was introduced by the London, UK-based New Economics Foundation.

Like other modern QOL references, the index challenges well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI).

Instead, more progressive models like the Happy Planet Index might be just as concerned with literally how “happy” a patient is, or how well they fit in with their peers…how well they’re able to keep up with their children, or innovate at work. [click to continue…]

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A Look at the Personal Care Job Explosion

by Tera Tuten on February 25, 2014

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an American “Baby Boomer” turns 65 every 13 seconds…that’s 10,000 new seniors every day.

At that rate, it’s estimated that there will be 70 million senior citizens in America by 2030: twice the present-day number.

This, in addition to rising rates of age- and non-age-related ailments, is poised to see a veritable explosion in additional positions in the personal care industry.

One partner at a Dallas-based recruiting firm has said, “My guess is that there could be some 20 million new jobs when it’s all said and done because of seniors.” [click to continue…]

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Designed for Healing

by Tera Tuten on February 18, 2014

hospitals designed for healing patientsThe concept of color, light, design, and layout having an actual effect on patient health and well-being is not a new one. It dates back to the ancient Chinese discipline of feng shui, which studies how best to direct energy flow through habitats. It’s no surprise, then, that a growing number of professionals are becoming interested in the field of healthcare interior design, and just how a space is decorated and arranged can have measurable results on a patient’s comfort and healing process.
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From physiologists simulating new methods of different mountaintop breathing conditions for training skiers to sport psychologists helping prime the brains of elite athletes to be more like those of figure skaters to win, the Olympic Games are often prime-time for health science researchers to generate funding for studies that would otherwise be difficult to fund.

While there are thousands of scientists and medical professionals around the world working on Olympic-related research because in-anticipation of Sochi 2014, we found five studies from current and past Olympic Games that have forever changed health research: [click to continue…]

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