Healthcare Digital news roundup: menopause & medical devices

This week at Healthcare Digital, we discussed the menopause, AI saving lives, reprocessing of medical devices & Top 10 health centres & wellbeing retreats

Jennifer Young explores supporting women in the menopause

Jennifer Young is the Founder of Beauty Despite Cancer, an online resource for those with cancer. She is also the Founder of the Jennifer Young Training School, which teaches therapists to support those living with cancer and those living beyond it through touch therapies. Having supported women in medical as well as natural menopause for many years through her oncology work, in 2021 she launched The Menopause Plus, providing evidence-based holistic support for women in menopause through natural skincare products and hormone balancing spa treatments.

“We have been 'celebrating' World Menopause Day for years, so we can see a very clear path in its growth,” she says. “Now we’ve established that the menopause needs to be talked about, the focus has to be on meaningful solutions and support – not simply making noise or slapping 'menopause' on product labels for marketing purposes.”

 

Encord’s Andreas Heindl & Eric Landau on AI saving lives

Over the past few years, the world has been stunned by what the healthcare industry has gone through. Healthcare professionals are quitting in high numbers and they aren’t all being replaced, adding more pressure onto those who remain. One thing that may be able to support healthcare workers during such times is the advent of AI.

“AI can help healthcare professionals by assisting with patient diagnostics, such as triaging, in which patients who require immediate medical attention are placed at the front of the line,” said Andreas Heindl, Machine Learning Product Manager at Encord. 

Encord is a data-centric AI startup that offers users a platform to annotate, manage collaborative labelling and, ultimately, support control workflows. 

 

Daniel J. Vukelich on the reprocessing of medical devices

Even before COVID-19, hospitals were (surprisingly) a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions. More patients in hospitals just made matters worse. 

Though healthcare professionals likely engage in some sustainable behaviour at home – recycling, for example – in the world of healthcare, many medical devices are only used once then, due to contamination fears, are thrown away. Post-pandemic, it’s time to push the healthcare sector to recycle in the workplace.

Some healthcare organisations are starting to fight back against this waste. The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) is one such organisation focused on reprocessing used medical equipment for environmental benefit, with Daniel J. Vukelich, Esq., President and CEO of AMDR, on a mission to reprocess used medical devices.

“We collect, decontaminate, clean, repair, functionally test, disinfect, sterilise (when required), package and return, among other steps, select ‘single-use’ devices to a majority of US hospitals,” explains Vukelich. “By reprocessing with FDA-regulated vendors, hospitals reduce cost, reduce waste and emissions, and build resilience into the supply chain by extending the life of these medical devices.”

 

Top 10 health centres & wellbeing retreats

COVID-19 ravaged hospitals and healthcare supply chains back in 2020. Ever since, however, the wellbeing industry has been riding a wave of post-pandemic popularity. 

Telehealth was primarily used by doctors for physical ailments prior to the pandemic, but, under persistent lockdowns and ongoing uncertainty, many found that their mental health needed some support, too. This led to a rise in digital support for mental wellbeing, with the 10 biggest English-language mental wellbeing apps seeing an increase of 2 million extra downloads in the period between January and April 2020. 

But for those who want to get back out into the world, wellness travel may be the answer. Luxurious retreats offer opportunities to restore the mind, body and soul, while award-winning wellbeing centres allow space for nurturing personal growth. 

Here’s our Top 10…

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