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Random Thoughts

I like to find a unifying theme to my posts, but this one seems like a loose collection of thoughts.

The UK’s Times published a "Body and Soul" special issue on 6 September 2008 containing a few short articles which caught my eye.

First was a report on viral voltage. MIT says that viruses could reverse some of their poor reputation by powering tiny batteries in medical implants. At the US National Academy of Sciences Professor Angela Belcher reports her team has harnessed genetically engineered M13 viruses to produce a battery the size of a human cell. The battery could power tiny monitors in the body that might spot proteins given off by cancerous cells.

Yesterday I attended a meeting on the integration of health and social care. This is badly needed to address the likely increased prevalence of long-term conditions, such as COPD, epilepsy, asthma and diabetes, in the UK predicted to grow 23 percent in the next 25 years. One speaker argued passionately that lack of shared information was holding back progress. Staff were ready to work more closely but without shared information standards and governance this was being hindered. A multi-disciplinary care record was essential.

But writing in the same Times supplement health columnist "Dr Copperfield" (apparently a GP) tells us Electronic Care Records have “little to do with the health needs of patients and everything to do with politically driven focus groups”. Oh dear! I don’t know about you, but I prefer ex cathedra utterances to be backed by argument. Let’s give Dr. C. the benefit of the doubt, because the article is short. Nonetheless, so-called experts have a duty to give reasoning with their opinions or risk misinforming their readers.

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