A brigade of specially trained beagles is among the defenses US officials have deployed to prevent African swine fever virus from being carried into the country in pork products. The US is home to some 77.3 million hogs and is the top exporter of pork, and the virus would "destroy our industry as we know it," said veterinarian Dave Pyburn, senior vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board.
Playing fetch with humans is an advanced skill that many researchers thought was limited to domesticated dogs, but three untrained wolf puppies called that thinking into question when they retrieved a ball for behavioral ecologist Christina Hansen Wheat and her collaborators. "What we're seeing is that wolves can read human social cues if they choose," Hansen Wheat said, and the ability is probably among those that led to early canine domestication, says Evan MacLean, director of the University of Arizona's Canine Cognition Center.
The Colorado Legislature may consider a measure this session that would require insurance companies to cover a mental health checkup with no copay. The proposal would allow patients to see any licensed mental health professional annually.
Research suggests that leaders with high levels of discipline and love have better-performing teams and less turnover than leaders who try to please or rule over employees, writes John Eades, CEO of LearnLoft. "Leaders whose style is to elevate their employees report having high-performing teams at rates better than all other styles combined," he writes.
Blockchain technology can be useful in radiological practices because its capabilities to distribute and store medical images are similar to picture archiving and communication systems, radiologists Morgan McBee and Chad Wilcox wrote in an article in the Journal of Digital Imaging. McBee and Wilcox cited four areas where blockchain technology can be used: monitoring of medical devices, improving artificial intelligence tools, sharing of medical images and enhancing research capabilities.
Researchers developed a noninvasive and wearable sensor that detects low blood glucose levels using artificial intelligence and electrocardiogram signals by tracking a person's heart rate. Featured in the journal Nature, the new device was tested in two small pilot studies and was found to have around 82% efficacy in detecting hypoglycemia, and could be an alternative to finger-prick tests.
A measure from Democratic Alaska state Rep. Matt Claman would require school health curricula to include mental health instruction. The bill looks to foster discussions about mental health and erase the stigma.
A study in JAMA Network Open found implementing the Smart Snacks in School standards in 310 US public schools was associated with a mean decrease of 53.9 kilocalories per day from solid fats and sugars. Students in states with Smart Snacks in School laws consumed fewer kcals from solid fats and added sugars, compared with students in states that did not have laws requiring implementation of the program.
Federal Trade Commission member Christine Wilson told a Council for Affordable Health Coverage event that horizontal hospital mergers will be under scrutiny in 2020, and some mergers could get an after-the-fact review to see whether they achieved cost and quality goals. Wilson said the FTC will continue to focus on competition, including seeking the repeal of state certificate-of-need laws and flexibility in scope-of-practice laws.
PIH Health CFO Anita Chou says health systems will be forced to take on additional risk if they want to survive. "I believe solidifying partnerships with quality physicians and increasing our risk-based contracts with health plans is going to be the way of the future," Chou says.
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