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Study Looks Into The Added Benefits Of Breast Reduction Surgery

This article (full reference below) on the additional benefits an individual gains from having a reduction mammoplasty (RM) has been published online ahead of print.  The authors performed a systemic review of the literature focusing on functional outcomes after RM with regard to physical and psychological symptom improvement.

The authors performed a systematic review of the English literature using PUBMED for the period between 1977 to 2010. Studies were chosen that addressed the physical and psychological benefits of RM using a validated questionnaire.

The authors note that nearly eighty thousand breast reductions were performed in 2009.  For insurance coverage in the United States a woman seeking breast reduction must have complaints of physical symptoms (i.e., Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

NLM Launches Mobile-Friendly PubMed Search App

Recently, we reviewed six medical apps for the iPhone and iPad that promised mobile PubMed searches — an essential functionality since the website is extremely difficult to view on a smart phone. As of last week, this is no longer the case. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) just launched a mobile friendly version of last week.

The Web App they have created is currently in beta, and as of this publish date, if you go to on your smart phone’s browser you will still be directed to the original non-mobile friendly website. However, if you point your phone’s browser to the following URL,, you are presented with the mobile version of the site.

The National Library of Medicine states the significant increase in mobile browsing for medical content is one of the key reasons they released this mobile web app. The folks at the NLM already have a plethora of mobile medical web apps available, such as the recently added MedLine Plus.

Continue on to see pictures of the PubMed app in action. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

“Twilight”-Inspired Plastic Surgery: A “Vampire” Facelift?

I first saw mention of the “vampire facelift” two weeks ago as a news article listed in the July 9th issue of the Plastic Surgery SmartBrief“Vampire facelift” uses patient’s platelets and fibrin in dermal filler.”

The article begins:

Instead of a traditional facelift, patients are being offered another option to get rid of wrinkles. It’s called Selphyl or the “vampire facelift,” and it uses a person’s own blood to sculpt the face.

Selphyl, according to the company’s website:

The patented SELPHYL® System enables the safe and rapid preparation of an activated Platelet-rich Fibrin Matrix (PRFM).  A small volume of the patient’s blood is collected and the platelets and fibrin are concentrated during a simple centrifuge process.  The resulting product (liquid, gel or membrane) can be applied to a treatment area of the face or body to stimulate natural, new tissue growth.  SELPHYL® prepared PRFM has been shown to increase skin volume and rejuvenation.

SELPHYL® ensures a preparation of fibrin and platelets, with virtually no red or white blood cells. Studies have shown these platelets to be viable and intact.  Platelets will release proteins, which have been reported to trigger cell migration, proliferation and differentiation over time.

With over 45,000 procedures performed world-wide, this technology has been extensively used for soft tissue regeneration in plastic surgery, orthopedics and maxillofacial surgery.

So how does Sephyl create any face-lifting effect? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Defining “Health 2.0″ And “Medicine 2.0″

My good friends, Tom H Van De Belt and Lucien JLPG Engelen from the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, just published a great systematic review in the Journal of Medical Internet Research about the definitions of medicine 2.0 and health 2.0 It was time to collect all the available data about these terms. An excerpt from the abstract:

Objective: The objective was to identify unique definitions of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0 and recurrent topics within the definitions.

Methods: A systematic literature review of electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL) and gray literature on the Internet using the search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo was performed to find unique definitions of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0.

Results: We found a total of 1937 articles, 533 in scientific databases and 1404 in the gray literature. We selected 46 unique definitions for further analysis and identified 7 main topics.

Conclusions: Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0 are still developing areas. Many articles concerning this subject were found, primarily on the Internet. However, there is still no general consensus regarding the definition of Health 2.0/Medicine 2.0.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Medicine & Information Overload

index medicusImage by Nuevo Anden via Flickr

The growth of medical knowledge is difficult to visualize. One classic representation is the Index Medicus — a comprehensive index of medical journal articles — whose bound copies filled the shelves of medical libraries for 125 years. In 2004, however, the National Library of Medicine decided to stop publishing the Index. The first reason was practical: the Index Medicus had grown from 82 pounds in 1985 to an estimated 152 pounds in 2004. The second and more important reason was the widespread availability of the search engine PubMed — an electronic database of medical literature available for free via the Internet — which made the printed index obsolete. Compared to the Index Medicus, PubMed was more convenient, could be searched more easily, could be updated more quickly, and certainly weighed less. Copies of the Index Medicus are now a historical curiosity; many physicians now search the medical literature exclusively through PubMed.

The story of the Index Medicus and its successor, PubMed, illustrates three ideas.

First, the quantity of new medical information is more than any single physician can absorb, and keeping up to date with this expanding body of knowledge is challenging. As of April 2009, for example, PubMed contained information on 18,782,970 citations in the medical literature and was adding over 670,000 new entries per year. Doctors must not only absorb this flood of new ideas about treating, diagnosing, preventing, and understanding disease — deciding which information is relevant and which is not — but also learn how to apply and explain this knowledge to the patient sitting with them in the exam room or laying ill in a hospital bed.

Second, in parallel with this unprecedented expansion in medical knowledge, new media and technologies have emerged — of which PubMed is one example — which has made the task of searching, organizing, and retrieving relevant information easier. Potential sources of information for physicians include not only printed journal articles like those indexed in PubMed, but lectures, case conferences, and newer Internet resources such as reference tools (e.g., UpToDate), discussion groups, online expert systems, clinical resource tools, and podcasts.

Third, the expansion of medical information and proliferation of new technologies has required physicians to develop new skills and strategies to keep their knowledge current. Often, the availability of new knowledge overwhelms physicians’ ability to process it, a condition known as information overload. In physician’s offices, one symptom of information overload is the common spectacle of unread piles of medical journals stacked up on every available horizontal space.

While many medical schools now require classes on searching the medical literature and evidence-based medicine, few resources have been available designed to teach physicians how to learn and practice medicine more efficiently. (That’s why, over two years ago, I started writing The Efficient MD blog.)

Since then, I’m glad to report that online resources for physicians have proliferated. Ways of improving efficiency and reducing information overload are now common topics on medical blogs. For example, see recents posts in Life in the Fast Lane, Clinical Cases and Images, and Musings of a Distractible Mind.

Thanks for reading!

(Much appreciation to Jacque-Lynne Schulman, Stephen Greenberg, Margaret Vugrin, and Dean Giustini for helping me with an updated estimate of the weight of the Index Medicus. Any inaccuracies in this post are, of course, my own.)

(This post is also published on The Efficient MD blog.)

This post, Medicine & Information Overload, was originally published on by Joshua Schwimmer, M.D..

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