Planned parenthood launches tool to help navigate state abortion laws

Planned Parenthood recently launched an Abortion Care Finder tool, which provides those seeking abortions with location-specific information relating to laws and regulations, nearby health centers and different medical options. It was designed in-house by Planned Parenthood’s Digital Products Lab after the team noticed an increase in searches on its website that were variants of “abortions near me.”

When a user inputs their age, location, and length of their pregnancy, the digital portal will allow them to locate the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic, and tell them whether in-clinic procedures or abortions via medication are available. The Care Finder will also update its information when states pass new laws.

If the nearest Planned Parenthood is more than 60 miles away, the tool refers users to a map created by the National Abortion Federation that includes independent providers. Though it offers more expansive results and describes abortion laws by state in greater detail, that organization’s map does not give customized results based on personal details or exact location.

The biggest barrier to creation was, and still is navigating the ever-changing state laws, which can be hard to parse. For example, in the first half of 2019 alone, states enacted 58 restrictive laws governing abortions.

Why it’s hot:
It’s simple. They built something based on need, not just because they wanted to ‘building something cool.’

3D Printing pushes the boundary by creating an entire rib cage

What can’t a 3D Printer do? A 54-year old Spanish man suffering from cancer — chest wall carcinoma it is called — had to have his entire rib cage removed as part of his treatment. But instead of a debilitated and crippled patient, the surgical team had another answer. The Spanish medical team sent his CT scan to a 3D-printing company called Anatomics in Australia.

Here is the story as told on the Doctor’s Channel and YouTube:

Why is this hot? As with so many technologies that are moving from concept to reality, 3D Printing has been a topic of high expectation and wide discussion in healthcare — when will it print skin, organs, how far can we take it? The other trend here is the globalization of healthcare. The digital revolution of communication allows for nearly instant connection between teams that may have never been able to benefit each other — let alone a patient!

Anatomics makes so many types of body implants, replacements, enhancements, it is like looking at the GE of 3D Printing.

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True, there is a Frankenstein question that one has to ask: how many of my body parts will end up being replaced as I age or get sick? But if you are the patient laying there wondering what life will be like, whether you will have a life at all, a manufactured set of ribs made in Australia seems like a moment of light in the darkness. In the end, all healthcare advances are the advancement of hope.

 

 

 

Walgreens Offers Virtual Doctor Visits Via App

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Walgreens has joined with MDLive to roll out virtual doctor visits through its already established telehealth services program. America’s largest drugstore chain launched the service this month for users in California and Michigan, offering customers 24/7 online access to U.S. board-certified doctors. They will continue to roll out to additional states in the months ahead. The feature is accessible via a mobile app which allows patients to video-chat with certified doctors via a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Why It’s Hot

It’s the latest push by Walgreens to provide its customers with digital health technology, offering access to doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The app which Walgreens claims are a “first-of-its-kind platform” is available for both iOS and Android devices and enables users to seek advice for non-emergency conditions such as earaches, sore throats, and upper respiratory tract infections. “For the first time, a drugstore’s customers and its mobile app users can share the convenience of accessing a board-certified doctor who can also e-prescribe medication when appropriate, via a secure, online video platform,” MDLIVE president Randy Parker said.

The virtual health specialists provide a platform that offers a secure connection between patients and healthcare professionals through voice, video and email. The system also links to patient medical records and lab results, as well as payment and insurance systems.

Walgreens’ virtual doctor service is a follow-up to their 2013 launched Pharmacy Chat, which currently averages 9,000 chats a week. The company’s new app is expected to deliver 2 million customers per day to MDLive which, according to their CEO, has 2,000 doctors on board.

Dr. Leider said the combination of an increase in numbers of people signing up for health insurance and a shortage of primary care physicians has created a growing market for telehealth services. A virtual doctor visit lasts 10 to 15 minutes and costs $49 with patients able to make appointments to suit their own schedules. Some insurance companies are now covering telemedicine services.

While this is the first partnership of its kind, Walgreens and its competitors are changing the healthcare field. CVS has said it is testing tele-health capabilities in 28 locations, using its nurse practitioners. Rite-aid just announced it was partnering with HealthSpot to test its in-store kiosks that connect customers to physicians for consultations. A recent report from IHS predicts a 10-fold increase in telehealth through 2018, with usage increasing from fewer than 350,000 in 2013 to 7 million in 2018, and revenues climbing from $440.6 million to $4.5 billion in 2018. Wearables are expected to play a key role in the expansion, it says, providing more digital data to help doctors monitor patients.