Five Ways AI Is Transforming Health Care

By Staff
Monday, June 24, 2019 5:36 PM AI is transforming the way we prevent, manage and treat illness in new ways. It will maximize efficiencies and harness an increasing volume of data and knowledge, but AI is different from human intelligence. It uses machines with algorithms to ingest and analyze complex data. What distinguishes AI technology from traditional techniques in health care is the ability to gain information and detect meaningful relationships in data sets—for actionable output. Health care organizations and payers are leveraging emerging technologies while also dealing with challenges like privacy, control of data, inequality and bias. Here’s a look at the top five AI health trends.

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Tied to Reduced Glaucoma Risk

By Staff
Monday, June 24, 2019 3:47 PM High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of developing glaucoma, but a study suggests taking statins to lower cholesterol helps to reduce this risk. The study focused on the most common form of the disease, known as open-angle glaucoma, which starts with gradual loss of peripheral vision. Researchers followed more than 136,000 healthy adults for over a decade, starting when they were 40 and had no signs of glaucoma. By the end of the study, 886 glaucoma cases were diagnosed. People with any history of high cholesterol were 17 percent more likely to develop glaucoma, researchers report in JAMA Ophthalmology. And every 20 milligrams per deciliter of blood increase in total cholesterol was tied to a 7 percent increase in glaucoma risk. In contrast, any statin use was associated with a 15 percent lower risk of glaucoma overall, the study found. People who took statins for five or more years were 21 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than those who had never used the drugs. Click here to read the full story from The Washington Post.

Long Workdays Could Raise Your Stroke Risk

By Staff
Friday, June 21, 2019 11:04 AM Being first at the office and the last to leave may help get you that promotion, but new research warns that working long hours may not be so good for your heart. And the longer you do it, the higher your risk for a stroke, French researchers said. The findings come from a review of self-reported work habits and heart health among roughly 144,000 French men and women between the ages of 18 and 69. Those who worked long hours had a 29 percent greater risk of stroke, and those who worked long hours for at least 10 years had a 45 percent greater risk of stroke, the analysis found. For the purpose of the study, "long work hours" meant working more than 10 hours a day for at least 50 days out of the year. Click here to read the full story from WebMD.

53 Women-Led Startups Disrupting Health Tech

By Staff
Thursday, June 20, 2019 2:46 PM Women dominate health care. Not only do they make up half of the world's population, but 90 percent of women are the primary health care decision makers for their households. Put simply, that’s an estimated 3.73 billion women who need access to the most effective health care solutions for themselves and their families. Women also comprise 70 percent of the health care workforce globally. But when it comes to funding women-led health-tech startups, funding is scarce. Only 9.7 percent of investor funding goes to health tech startups led by women. Leaving the world’s health care problems solely in the hands of men inevitably leads to the creation of products that are blind to biases. And these biases can be deadly. Click here to read the full story from Forbes.

Those Puppy Dog Eyes You Can’t Resist? Thank Evolution

By Staff
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:11 PM You know that face your dog makes, the one that’s a little bit quizzical, maybe a bit sad, a bit anticipatory, with the eyebrows slanted? Sometimes you think it says, “Don’t be sad. I can help.” Other times it quite clearly asks, “No salami for me?” Scientists have not yet been able to translate the look, but they have given it a very serious label: “AU101: inner eyebrow raise.” And a team of evolutionary psychologists and anatomists reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that dogs make this face more often and way more intensely than wolves. In fact dogs, but not wolves, have a specific muscle that helps raise those brows. Click here to read the full story from The New York Times.

June Is Fireworks Safety Month

By Staff
Monday, June 17, 2019 5:53 PM Although we typically view fireworks in July, June is actually fireworks safety month. On a typical Fourth of July, fireworks account for two of five of all reported fires. As Independence Day approaches, it's important to keep in mind some fireworks safety tips, including never lighting fireworks indoors, never relighting a "dud" firework, and keeping a bucket of water nearby to extinguish them. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 12,900 injuries were treated at U.S. emergency rooms in 2017, with more than two-thirds of those injuries occurring 1 month around the July 4th holiday. Injuries and incidents can be reported to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling (800) 638-2772 or filing a report on their website at http://www.cpsc.gov/. Read more from Prevent Blindness here.

CTA Unveils First U.S. Indoor Navigation Standard for People With Visual Impairments

By Staff
Monday, June 17, 2019 12:15 PM The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) recently unveiled a new standard for designing inclusive, audio-based indoor navigation systems—to better provide real-time wayfinding and location support for people who are blind or low vision. This CTA standard provides a universal set of guidelines for app developers and owners of indoor locations—such as railway stations, airports, convention centers and museums—to create an accessible environment for all. “The CTA standard will help us create the same set of audio instructions for accessing a metro train or bus whether the individual is in Washington, DC or Los Angeles,” said David Shaffer, access policy officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and member of the committee that established the standard.

Remote Workers Are Outperforming Office Workers—Here's Why

By Staff
Friday, June 14, 2019 3:19 PM Have you seen any of these gimmicky office designs? Candy dispensers in conference rooms. Hammocks and indoor treehouses. Tech companies tend to be the worst offenders with the startup favorites: beer taps and table tennis. Does all that money spent on gimmicks deliver anything meaningful for the people who work there? I have to wonder why company founders are trying so hard with these in-office "perks." I get that the goal is to create collaboration and fun. But I think this is doing more harm than good. One study found that the number of people who say they cannot concentrate at their desk has increased by 16 percent since 2008. Also startling: The number of workers who say they do not have access to quiet places to do focused work is up by 13 percent. Click here to read the full story from Inc.

Maximize Your Conference Schedule at Optometry’s Meeting

By Staff
Thursday, June 13, 2019 3:14 PM Optometry's Meeting is less than a week away and if you haven't started planning for all that your profession's premier conference has to offer, now's as good a time as any. Here's a quick look at how AOA member doctors can maximize their meeting schedule while still enjoying the many family-friendly destinations and activities that St. Louis affords.

Retailers: How to Integrate Technology Into Your Brick-and-Mortar Space

By Staff
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 3:19 PM Although retail shopping has dwindled in recent years, it’s far from dead. In fact, e-commerce reportedly accounts for less than 15 percent of retail sales in 2019, which means the vast majority of all purchases are still happening in store. E-commerce and technology have changed the way people shop. To capture more sales, savvy retailers have to adapt to how consumers shop in the digital age. One way to adapt is to integrate technology into your brick-and-mortar space. This isn’t just about bringing iPads into the store; it’s about using technology to solve real problems. Use technology in a meaningful way and you’ll not only help more customers but also have a positive effect on your bottom line. Click here to read the full story from Inc.

Meet Me in St. Louis: A Member-Approved Guide to the Optometry's Meeting 2019 Host City

By Staff
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 3:33 PM Optometry's Meeting offers plenty of opportunities to keep attendees busy, but if you find yourself with time to spare, venture beyond the America's Center Convention Complex and find out why Missouri is the Show-Me State and St. Louis has plenty to show. Whether you're looking for a tasty craft brew to wet your whistle, the perfect family day trip or a night on the town for some live music, AOA Focus has you covered. Here is the definitive locals' guide to St. Louis' sweet spots.

Alzheimer's Eye Test to Enter Trial Phase in Hopes of Diagnosing Before Symptoms Appear

By Staff
Monday, June 10, 2019 2:37 PM Melbourne researchers have developed a non-invasive, cost-effective eye test to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease. The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) will fast-track its research and begin clinical trials in August, after a $600,000 donation from a group of American philanthropists including Bill Gates and MacKenzie Bezos. The world-first eye scan trial will use technology like that used in NASA satellites, to look for abnormal proteins that build up in the brain through the retina. Peter van Wijngaarden from CERA said the new technology will test people who do not show any signs of memory impairment and detect abnormalities years before symptoms appear. Click here to read the full story.

8 Store Trends Poised to Reshape How You Shop

By Staff
Friday, June 7, 2019 2:55 PM It’s safe to say that all that talk about the retail apocalypse, whereby online shopping threatened to render brick-and-mortar stores virtually obsolete, turned out to be a tad hyperbolic. Despite Amazon’s ever-tightening grip on the retail industry and consumers’ smartphone-tethered, on-demand purchasing behavior, physical retail still commands nearly 90 percent of U.S. retail sales. Meanwhile, digital-first brands—from Casper mattresses to Allbirds footwear—are taking the brick-and-mortar plunge, opening 850 stores across the country over the next few years. Find out how retailers are redefining the store experience to woo today’s ever-connected shopper.

Should You Strive for Work-Life Balance or Work-Life Integration? It Depends on Your Personality

By Staff
Thursday, June 6, 2019 2:44 PM Work-life balance—or work-life integration—is a hot topic right now. Even employers are getting in on the trend, presenting work-life balance as a perk in job descriptions. There are certainly ways that the company you work for can destroy your work-life balance, hustle culture being a prime example. But there’s also research that suggests that achieving work-life balance has little to do with your job—it’s mostly driven by your personality. This feature from Fast Company, cites sociologist Christena Nippert-Eng who proposes that there are two types of people: segmentors who are able to draw clear lines between work and life, and integrators who struggle to separate work and life. Click here to read the full story.

Dr. Patricia Bath, 76, Who Took on Blindness and Earned a Patent, Dies

By Staff
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 12:23 PM Patricia E. Bath, an ophthalmologist who took a special interest in combating preventable blindness in underserved populations and along the way became the first black female doctor to patent a medical invention, a laser device for treating cataracts, died on Thursday in San Francisco. She was 76. Dr. Bath was an educator and researcher as well as a physician. When she was just out of medical school, working as an intern at Harlem Hospital and then at an eye clinic at Columbia University, she noticed discrepancies in vision problems between the largely black patient population at Harlem and the largely white one at Columbia. Her observations led her to document that blindness was twice as prevalent among black people as among white people — findings that instilled in her a lifelong commitment to bringing quality eyecare to those who might not otherwise have access to it. Click here to read her obituary in The New York Times.