Muscular dystrophy treatment shows promise in cells, animals

University of Alberta-led team develops synthetic molecule that stops production of toxic muscle-killing protein

Muscular dystrophy treatment shows promise in cells, animalsResearchers have designed a potential new treatment for one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Toshifumi Yokota, professor of medical genetics at the University of Alberta, led a team from Canada and the U.S. to create and test…

Your mother was right – wash your hands

While we wait for science to put a stop to COVID-19, we can all do our part in the simplest of ways

Your mother was right – wash your handsModern medicine has at its disposal a vast array of technologies that can be used to identify, track and predict the risk and potential impact of emerging infectious diseases. Bioassays, genome sequencing and molecular technology can identify a novel pathogen. Computer modelling (in real-time) can provide us with an instant status report showing how much…

How robots could help injured workers recover

Training robots to guide people through tasks could improve return-to-work evaluations and treatment: U of A researchers

How robots could help injured workers recoverTraining robots to guide injured workers through simulated tasks could make return-to-work evaluations and treatment programs more effective and accessible, according to researchers at the University of Alberta. In a review of scientific literature on efforts to use robotics for occupational rehabilitation, the researchers reported that robots with machine learning capabilities have the potential to…

COVID-19 lessons can improve health, legal systems

Client interfaces in law and medicine are as moribund as they were a century ago. It’s time to use technology to better advantage

COVID-19 lessons can improve health, legal systemsIn the time of the 1918-19 Spanish flu, the world was very different. Of course, there was no Internet, TV or social media. In fact, there wasn’t even any radio until a few years later. All the news was provided by the newspaper and almost all long-distance transportation was by rail or ship. We’ve come…

Some doctors forced to sit on sidelines during pandemic

For too long, Canada has failed to embrace many foreign-trained physicians. COVID-19 has exposed serious flaws in the system

Some doctors forced to sit on sidelines during pandemicA corner has been turned in the COVID-19 pandemic, even if serious questions linger. Although we still don’t know how long the pandemic will last, we’re beginning to see more ideas on what the world will look like once we’ve put this behind us. When that will be or how we will get there is…

Canada’s hospital system ill-prepared for COVID-19 crisis

Canada’s hopelessly dysfunctional and dangerous government-monopoly health-care system one of the least prepared in the world to deal with the crisis

Canada’s hospital system ill-prepared for COVID-19 crisisThe Liberal government’s plan to use Canada’s “fiscal firepower” to help Canadian families and businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic has been appropriately termed “a measured well-targeted response” by the Fraser Institute. But no amount of cash can change the terrible reality that Canada’s health-care system is one of the least prepared to deal with the…

Canada mishandling mental illness crisis

Thousands of patients are on wait lists. Meanwhile, the human and economic costs of mental illness keep rising

Canada mishandling mental illness crisisFor the past decade, Bell Canada has used the month of January to support awareness of mental health issues. Its extensive media campaigns have encouraged Canadians to talk openly about mental health and break the uncomfortable stigma that still tends to hover over such conversations. There’s plenty of data to document the prevalence of Canada’s…

Turning data into health-care efficiencies

Turning data into health-care efficienciesWant to strike fear into the heart of any Canadian? Just mention wait times. We’re all really proud of our universal, single-payer medicare system, especially when we compare it to the situation in the United States. However, it’s not quite perfect. A major imperfection is the length of time between becoming aware of a need…

The grim reality of Canada’s medicare is in the details

Idyllic descriptions of medicare do not fairly represent the challenging realities that are the day-to-day experiences of many Canadians

The grim reality of Canada’s medicare is in the detailsAs the title suggests, The American Prospect article What Medicare for All Really Looks Like claims to describe the realities of Canadian medicare to our southern neighbours. So, it is both ironic – and disappointing – that a careful reading reveals it to be remarkable only in its unwillingness to examine these realities in any meaningful…

Rethink restrictions on private health insurance

Rethink restrictions on private health insuranceIn its sole reliance on government providing first-dollar coverage of medically necessary services, Canada’s health-care system is unique among high-income countries with universal health care. It also offers inferior service as a result. Virtually all high-income countries – including Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands – allow residents to use private insurance to pay for…

How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practice

It’s no easy feat in the often-intractable and rigid Canadian health system, but the payoff can be immense for patients and care providers

How to put Canadian health-care innovation into practiceBy Clare Liddy and Erin Keely University of Ottawa It all started when the two of us sat down over a cup of coffee. As a family physician and endocrinologist, we stand on opposite sides of a large chasm called patient wait times, and we both started seeing more and more of our patients swallowed…

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her baby

Postpartum OCD is frequently misdiagnosed and misunderstood – but it is treatable, help is available

When a new mom has disturbing thoughts about hurting her babyBy Gina Wong Athabasca University and Nicole Letourneau University of Calgary In January of 2018, a new mother in California became part of a viral Facebook post that described her baby’s four-month postpartum checkup. As a result of the thoughts she shared with her health-care providers, the police were called and she was escorted to…

Prevention cuts demand on the health system

Increased spending has entrenched an inefficient system that has inflated the cost of getting the same outcomes. It’s time for change

Prevention cuts demand on the health systemCanada has doubled health care spending since 2005 – and what did we get? We certainly haven't improved access to care, nor improved health outcomes. Increased spending has, instead, entrenched an inefficiently organized system that has inflated the cost of getting, at best, the same access and outcomes. The alternative to spending to meet rising…

Patients deserve access to timely medical care

The B.C. government’s claim in the court challenge to medicare that waiting lists don’t harm patients is nothing short of ridiculous

Patients deserve access to timely medical careAfter years of political debate and public frustration, it seems the future of Canadian health care may now depend on the outcome of a decade-long legal battle that’s now in the hands of a B.C. Supreme Court justice. The plaintiffs are Dr. Brian Day, the private Cambie Surgery Centre and four British Columbians who have…

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medications

By thinking twice before prescribing and talking with patients about the risks of medications, clinicians are tackling overuse

More isn’t always better when it comes to prescription medicationsBy Karen Born and Wendy Levinson University of Toronto Canadians are living longer than ever and we are also taking more medications than ever. And this can make us sicker, not healthier. A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that one in four seniors in Canada take 10 or more medications. That’s…
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