If you feel you can’t breathe, don’t expect virtual assistants to call for help

(Reuters Health) – Virtual digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant could potentially provide users with reliable and relevant information during medical emergencies, but their current incarnations aren’t quite up to the job, a new study suggests.

In an experiment, the four leading virtual digital assistants (VDAs) were queried aloud about first aid for a range of health situations. Even when the virtual assistant understood the question, the answers were often off the mark, researchers report in BMJ Innovations.

The technology is promising and improvements are being made daily, said coauthor Matthew Douma of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Pilots, flight attendants demand flights to China stop as virus fear mounts worldwide

CHICAGO/PARIS (Reuters) – Pilots and flight attendants are demanding airlines stop flights to China as health officials declare a global emergency over the rapidly spreading coronavirus, with American Airlines’ pilots filing a lawsuit seeking an immediate halt.

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Airbus A321 plane takes off from Los Angeles International airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

China has reported nearly 10,000 cases and 213 deaths, but the virus has spread to 18 countries, mostly, presumably, by airline passengers.

Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer’s

Latest Alzheimer’s News

News Picture: Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer'sBy Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Older adults who regularly consume a group of antioxidants called flavonols may have a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

The compounds exist in many fruits and vegetables, with the richest sources including green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli, apples and tea.

The researchers found that of over 900 older adults they followed for six years, the one-fifth with the highest flavonol intake were 48% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the one-fifth with the lowest intake.

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Remaking Medicaid — Maybe


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The Trump administration is trying to achieve a goal for Republicans that dates to the 1980s — allowing states to obtain at least some of their funding for Medicaid as a block grant. The trade-off for states is that, while potentially getting less money from Washington, D.C., they would be free of some federal rules and requirements for the program. Advocates for patients warn it could mean less care for fewer people.

A Guide To Following The Health Debate In The 2020 Elections

Health has been a top issue in the presidential campaign during the past year: Not only do the Democratic candidates disagree with President Donald Trump, but they also disagree among themselves.

First U.S. person-to-person coronavirus spread reported as WHO panel meets

BEIJING/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission of a fast-spreading new coronavirus on Thursday, as a World Health Organization (WHO) panel met to reconsider whether the outbreak that has killed 170 people in China should be declared a global emergency.

The vast majority of the more than 8,100 cases detected globally, according to the latest official data, have been in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.

Virgin Atlantic suspends Shanghai flights over coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A Virgin Atlantic aircraft comes in to land at Heathrow Airport, in London May 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) – Virgin Atlantic has suspended its daily operations to Shanghai for two weeks from Feb. 2 due to the outbreak of coronavirus and a declining demand for flights, it said on Thursday.

“Flights to Hong Kong continue to operate as scheduled,” it said.

British Airways has cancelled all its flights to mainland China for a month.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

Research project moves one step closer to personalized treatment of rheumatic diseases

When a patient is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or spondyloarthritis, prescribing the correct type of medicine is a case of trial and error. It is simply not possible to predict which medication will work for the individual patient, and it is therefore a matter of trying the different treatment options: glucocorticoids, low dose chemotherapeutic drugs or newer biological drugs. Until now!

Terminally Ill, He Wanted Aid-In-Dying. His Catholic Hospital Said No.

Last summer, Neil Mahoney was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Mahoney had to spend his last days fighting to find doctors willing to help him end his life.(Heidi de Marco/KHN)

GOLDEN, Colo. ― The call came the last week of September, when Neil Mahoney could still stagger from his bed to the porch of his mobile home to let out his boisterous yellow Lab, Ryder.

Rodney Diffendaffer, a clinical pharmacist in Longmont, 45 miles away, had left a message.

Your prescription is ready, it said.