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Latest Posts

Can You Diagnose A Cough By Its Sound?

DiscoveryNews is reporting on a Bedford, Massachusetts company developing software that can detect the difference between a typical cough and one caused by a cold, flu, COPD, or a number of other respiratory diseases. STAR Analytical Services is working with a database of pre-recorded coughs to determine signatures that point to underlying conditions.

The final 100 to 150 milliseconds of the cough contains the distinctive sounds that could help doctors and nurses remotely diagnose a cough as the common cold or more serious pneumonia.

Even with a limited amount of data, scientists can distinguish between a healthy, voluntary cough and the involuntary cough of a sick person. Healthy people have slightly louder coughs, about 2 percent louder than a sick person. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

More Answers About H1N1 Flu Vaccines

Information on the H1N1 swine flu vaccine continues to mount, and questions linger.

In a recent post, H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Fears Addressed – Single vs. Multi-Dose, Adjuvants, Thimerosal and More, Bruce B. Dan, MD, a specialist in infectious diseases, answered a series of questions related to the H1N1 flu vaccine.

Our readers have a couple additional questions and our expert, Dr. Bruce B. Dan answers them to help alleviate your fears.

Our Reader, Arly Helm writes:
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*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

The Wrong Way To Convince Employees To Get The Flu Shot

to inject or not to inject, that is the question

To inject or not to inject, that is the question

Last week I took my wife and children for our yearly family flu vaccination.  The one Elysa used to call her ‘flea shot.’  Lord knows we’ve had enough fleas; if that would work, I’d consider it.  But I digress.

The same day, I went to work and found that the employee health/infection control folks were offering H1N1 vaccines.  I was told that as long as I took it in the opposite arm, I could go ahead and have mine.  So, possessor of two punctured arms, I went back to work and felt fine.  In fact, that was four days ago and I still feel fine. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Questions And Answers About H1N1 Flu Vaccine Safety

The questions and concerns continue to swirl regarding the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, and health consumers continue to fear the safety of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

Many health consumers are asking if there are adjuvants in the vaccine, should they receive the vaccine if there’s thimerosal, and what’s the difference between a multiple dose (multi-dose) and a single dose.

Others are asking if they have certain health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, lyme disease, bipolar, etc.) should they receive the H1N1 vaccine.

I constructed a series of questions based on information you are looking for and medical expert, Bruce B. Dan, MD, a specialist in infectious diseases addresses your concerns and helps relieve your fears. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

The Dirt On Doctors

bathtub I was hesitant to post this photo because it is an image of my girlfriend’s bathtub in New York City. I’m sure she wouldn’t want me to post this, but I figure it’s ok because I didn’t reveal her identity and also, she doesn’t read my blog.

My girlfriend is a physician. She is friendly and smart and well-groomed. Her bathroom, on the other hand, is pretty scary. It’s not unlike other bathrooms I’ve seen in New York – which means this could be partially a cultural phenomenon. She knows it needs cleaning – I guess.

She invited me to stay at her place during a recent visit – instead of a hotel – and I gladly accepted. We planned to have a nice dinner and drinks out on the town. She showed me to my room and casually mentioned that she needed to get some Draino for the bathroom. I wondered what exactly that might mean, and was surprised by her use of understatement in this case. Read more »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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