Click-on bionic arm could help amputees do the simple things

VIENNA (Reuters) – Edmund Rath, a 53-year-old from Austria, wants to do simple things such as brush his teeth and slice bread.

Edmund Rath shows an artificial hand prosthesis during the Ottobock media day in Vienna, Austria October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Most people take such activities for granted but not Rath, who lost his arm just below the shoulder in a truck accident last year that ended his career as a builder. That bad luck was followed by a stroke of fortune.

France investigates reports of babies born without arms in rural areas

PARIS (Reuters) – France has launched a nationwide investigation into why some two dozen babies have been born without hands or arms in a handful of rural areas since 2000 after several new cases were reported this week, the health minister said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: French Health and Solidarity Minister Agnes Buzyn attends the Congress of the National Union of Communal Centers of Social Action in Nantes, France, October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

A separate investigation has also been opened into reports that calves and possibly chickens have been born without limbs in the same three heavily agricultural areas, an official told Reuters.

Individuals with integrated medical, behavioral, and pharmacy benefits are more engaged in their health, well-being

A study by global health service company Cigna Corporation shows that individuals whose medical, behavioral and pharmacy health benefits are connected and administered by Cigna are more engaged in their health and well-being than those whose benefits are not fully integrated across medical, behavioral and pharmacy. As a result, people experience improved health and employers experience cost savings.

“A person’s physical and mental health are connected, and health care is best delivered – and produces the best outcomes – when it is connected as well,” said Scott Josephs, M.D., national medical officer at Cigna. “The results of this study demonstrate the value of our integrated, holistic approach to health care, and we’ll continue to advocate for more integration on behalf of the people we serve.”

With One Hand, Administration Boosts ACA Marketplaces, Weakens Them With Another

In the span of less than 12 hours last week, the Trump administration took two seemingly contradictory actions that could have profound effects on the insurance marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act.

First, officials issued guidance Monday morning that could weaken the exchanges set up for people who buy their own insurance. The new approach makes it easier for states to get around some ACA requirements, including allowing the use of federal subsidies for skimpier plans that can reject people with preexisting conditions.

Long-lasting HIV injection is a step closer after second GSK study

The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen on top of GSK Asia House in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera

LONDON (Reuters) – A once-monthly injection to control HIV proved as effective as daily pills in a second study by GlaxoSmithKline, paving the way for a new regimen that could be simpler for some patients to be filed with regulators.

The experimental two-drug injection of cabotegravir and rilpivirine was shown to suppress the HIV virus in a cohort of adults who had not been on a long-established daily three-drug oral regimen, GSK’s majority-owned HIV unit ViiV Healthcare said.

Kids’ apps may have a lot more ads than you think

(Reuters Health) – Those cute little apps your child plays with are most likely flooded with ads – some of which are totally age-inappropriate, researchers have found.

A stunning 95 percent of commonly downloaded apps that are marketed to or played by children age five and under contain at least one type of advertising, according to a new report in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. And that goes for the apps labeled as educational, too, researchers say.

Baby ‘sleep sacks’ might be safer than blankets

(Reuters Health) – Infant sleeping bags, or sleep sacks, are at least as safe as other bedding in preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and might be safer, a new analysis concludes.

SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby younger than 12 months. While little is known about the condition, factors like putting a baby to sleep face down, or using soft bedding, have been found to increase the risk of SIDS.

WHO says air pollution kills 600,000 children every year

GENEVA (Reuters) – Air pollution kills an estimated 600,000 children every year and causing symptoms ranging from loss of intelligence to obesity and ear infections but there is a limited amount parents can do, a World Health Organization report said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference after an Emergency Committee meeting on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Trump Adds A Global Pricing Plan To Wide Attack On Drug Prices, But Doubts Persist

President Donald Trump’s new pledge to crack down on “the global freeloading” in prescription drugs had a sense of déjà vu.

Five months ago, Trump unveiled a blueprint to address prohibitive drug prices, and his administration has been feverishly rolling out ideas ranging from posting drug prices on television ads to changing the rebates that flow between drugmakers and industry middlemen.

Thursday, Trump proposed having Medicare base what it pays for some expensive drugs on the average prices in other industrialized countries, such as France and Germany, where prices are much lower. The proposal is in the early stages of rule-making and awaiting public comments.

Gun Store Owner Marshals Voters To Expand Medicaid In Idaho

BOISE, Idaho — Standing outside the gun shop she co-owns, next to her SUV sporting “NRA” on the license plate, Christy Perry pledges full support for President Donald Trump.

Christy Perry, a gun store owner in Boise and an Idaho legislator, is helping lead the campaign on a voter referendum to approve Medicaid expansion in the state. (Phil Galewitz/KHN)(Phil Galewitz/KHN)

“He’s doing a good job,” said Perry, a four-term Republican member of the Idaho legislature who has voted for a litany of conservative causes, including weakening labor unions, restricting abortion and boosting charter schools.