TECHNOLOGY AND FUTURE

TECHNOLOGY AND FUTURE TRENDS

Remote Healthcare

Remote Healthcare depends on a wide range of technologies, including diagnosis and monitoring techniques, network approaches, such as cloud and fog computing, data and devices to be possible. With such technologies, the physicians and other medical personnel can acquire essential information while patients proceed with their daily activities, hence eliminating the need for regular visits to a healthcare facility for checkups and diagnosis. In this regard, technologically enhanced Remote Healthcare possesses immense potential to improve the outcome of medical services, especially by reducing the congestion in the healthcare facilities and the general wellbeing of patients, by enabling continuous monitoring and early diagnoses, hence treatment. However, providing healthcare services over a network of computers incorporates a wide range of challenges, including information security, resulting in substantial losses to healthcare facilities, system failure risks, which may lead to delayed services or even death and change management issues, especially in the absence of the necessary skills and knowledge of operating the involved equipment. Moreover, difficulties in operating machines and devices and efficiency of involved technologies and techniques can considerably reduce the accuracy of medical services (Hsiao, Hsu, Lee & Lin, 2017). Thus, healthcare facilities must conduct sufficient evaluations of each element of technology and techniques with regard to the risks and vulnerabilities involved and future trends before implementing them in Remote Healthcare services.

Medical Capabilities

PPG (Photoplethysmography)

Because of the increased importance of blood flow information in a broad range of diagnosis and treatment prescriptions, Photoplethysmography (PPG), a technique of establishing time-related information of the blood flow,  is one of the most essential and applicable techniques in remote healthcare. Introduced by Alrick Hertzman and colleagues, in 1938, PPG is a cost-effective and simple optical bio-monitoring method, which is utilized to non-invasively identify changes in blood volume that transpire beneath the micro-vascular layer of tissue beneath the skin. In general, PPG elements can offer essential information regarding cardiovascular systems. Although its single spot monitoring and the need of applying a PPG sensor on the skin considerably limit its deployment in practicality when free movement is needed, perfusion mapping and healing assessment, the underlying concepts of the technique possesses immense potential and applicability in the healthcare. Coupled with substantial advancements in microelectronics, integrated circuits, and signal/image processing methods, scholarly PPG research yielded some of the most improved biomedical and clinical applications, including Imaging Photoplethysmography, that are immensely applicable in physiological assessments.

Along with its improved versions, PPG has immense potential to improve Remote Healthcare services outcomes. According to Shea (2017), the only technique to accurately identify the absolute changes in blood volume in the extremities is by the use of chamber-plethysmography. Using F=dV/dt, the change in volume can be converted into blood flow. Nevertheless, in some instances, such as in the calculation of the heart’s pulsation rate, the only information that matters is the relative volume, which can be obtained from timing information rather than the amplitude or the shape of the signal details. In this regard, the electric photo-plethysmography PPG or impedance-plethysmography algorithm can be used to generate heart rate data. The overarching principle of photoplethysmography is the heuristic observation that the reflected light from or transmitted through the living tissue acquires a modulation in sync with heartbeat frequency.

Because of its tremendous cost efficiency and ease of use, PPG has been considered in a wide range of previous efforts to reduce the cost of healthcare services, including Remote Healthcare. The technology only requires two components, a source of incoherent light, including natural illumination, and a photo-receiver to deploy; hence, it is considerably cheaper to implement.  Moreover, PPG systems can be deployed along with a wide range of technologies, including smartphones; hence, they are considerably accessible to patients. However, the technology includes immense issues that are yet to be confirmed through empirical research. For instance, the impact of contact on the accuracy of results is yet to be verified through research. Moreover, regardless of its increased usability, the technology requires an understanding of the overarching principles, which may be considerably complex for patients. Thus, because such demerits can introduce significant accuracy, there is a need to focus on more efficient techniques.

Electrocardiography (ECG)

Compared to the PPG, ECG offers a more efficient in terms of accuracy and the number of possibilities, simple to use, but considerably expensive technique of monitoring and recording heart information. Electrocardiography, a procedure involving the amplification and recording of the heart’s electrical impulses, is significantly applicable in healthcare, especially in routine physical checkup for the middle age and the aged persons, and when heart conditions are suspected. The procedure is considerably simple to use and painless to the patient; hence, it can be used without necessarily demanding the help of technical assistance. The electrocardiogram, a record of the heart’s electronic impulses captured through the electrocardiography procedure, offers details concerning the part of the heart, sinus node or sinoatrial or the pacemaker, which triggers each heartbeat, the nerve conduction network of the heart and the rhythm and rate of the heart. In some cases, the electrocardiogram can enhance the diagnosis of some heart-related conditions, such as the blood vessel blockage, by indicating that the heart is receiving inadequate oxygen or high blood pressure when the procedure depicts an enlarged heart. Furthermore, electrocardiograms obtained during routine physical checkups, when the patient is healthy, can be used for comparisons with future ECG in the event of a heart disorder. Because unusual heart rhythms and insufficient blood flow to the heart muscles of the heart may happen unpredictably and briefly, it is essential to use a considerably prolonged monitoring approach, while a patient engages in normal routine (Hsiao, Hsu, Lee & Lin 2017). With mechanisms like continuous ambulatory electrocardiography and increased ease of use, ECG, therefore, has immense applicability in Remote Healthcare compared to the PPG.

ECG Procedure

In the process of obtaining an ECG (electrocardiogram), the examiner sets electrodes, minute circular sensors, which stick to skin, on the patient’s legs, chests and arms. Because these electrodes do not possess any hurting components, such as needles, they are painless to the patient. In the presence of thick hair, the process may begin with shaving the region of application. The electrodes capture the direction and magnitude of the electrical currents in the heart in each heartbeat. A tracing machine, linked to electrodes by a set of wires, generates a record for each sensor, which depicts the heart’s electrical activity from different angles. These tracings compose the ECG, which takes about 3 minutes to generate, with no risks involved.

Readings. Compared to the PPG, ECG is considerably easy to use, especially because of its considerably easy to understand concepts and simple output. An ECG depicts the electric current transmitted across the heart, which is triggered by a heartbeat. The current’s transmission is divided into components which are assigned an alphabetic designation in the electrocardiogram, as shown in figure 1 below. At the beginning of a heartbeat, the sinoatrial or sinus node, or the heart’s pacemaker triggers an impulse, which activates the atria, upper chambers of the heart. The P wave denotes the activation of the upper heart chambers. Then the impulse travels down to the ventricles, lower heart chambers, whose activation is denoted by the QRS complex (Shea 2017). Finally, in an opposite direction, the electrical currents scatter back over the ventricles in an activity referred to as the recovery wave and denoted by the T wave.

Apart from enhancing diagnosis through future comparisons, the ECG can reveal several previous abnormalities, including myocardial Infarction, heart attack, arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm, ischemia, insufficient supply of oxygen and blood to the heart muscles and hypertrophy, excessive thickening of the muscular walls of the heart. In this regard, compared to the PPG, ECG provides a higher number of capabilities, hence does not necessarily require immense information or skills to use. Unlike the PPG, which only provides heart information, the ECG can reveal specific abnormalities suggesting aneurysms, bulges, resulting from a heart attack and develop in weak regions of the heart’s walls. Furthermore, in the case of unusual heart rhythm, too slow, too fast or irregular, the ECG can reveal the specific source of the abnormality in the heart. With such details, it is easier for physicians to identify the cause and the most suitable treatment of a heart condition. Therefore, although the ECG devices can be considerably expensive to acquire, implement and use, especially because they are considerably power intensive compared to the PPG, the impact of their long-term benefits surpass the short-term drawbacks.

Figure 1:  an overview of an ECG output: Source (Shea 2017).

Remote Healthcare Enhancing Technologies

For Remote Healthcare to be possible there must be a means of linking the physician or medical personnel and the remote patient. Specifically, a computer network or technology is required to ensure that healthcare facilities can collect information from patients in the field. However, while there are numerous computer-network technologies, most of them include considerable vulnerabilities that can immensely impact the quality of HealthCare services offered. Moreover, specific computer network technologies possess significant weaknesses with regard to remote healthcare enhancements. For instance, while cloud computing may be beneficial to Remote Healthcare, because it significantly reduces the cost of computer security information and event management (SIEM), it may include considerably longer response time, hence leading to delayed medical actions, which in some instances, can lead to severe health impacts, including death. While there are enhancement techniques, a high number of them rely on the current immensely dynamic technology, hence become obsolete in the near future. Therefore, healthcare facilities implementing Remote Healthcare services must identify technological enhancements that can ensure maximum benefits and reduced drawbacks.

Overview of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is one of the recently emerged technologies which can significantly enhance the concept of Remote Healthcare services, especially because of its immense potential to lower computing costs, including that of data storage and network management. Based on the idea of shared resources and responsibilities, cloud computing enables the transfer of a significant portion of computer network operations and management activities, including security information and network availability management, to third-party services providers, hence allowing the contracting organization to maximize its focus on the achievement of the primary organizational goals and objectives. Moreover, the technology eliminates the need for implementing a sophisticated in-house IT (information technology) infrastructure, including immense equipment and personnel, hence considerably lowering the cost of deploying and running computer networks (Lounis, Hadjidj, Bouabdallah & Challal 2016). Furthermore, cloud computing offers access and use of data and application on a pay-per-request arrangement to significantly reduce the cost of information technology services, hence indicating that organizations can afford an extremely enhanced quality of services, including an increased period of data storage spanning months and years. Because cloud computing technology resources are hosted on the internet, facilities are accessible from anywhere around the globe provided there is internet coverage. However, because of the expansive geographical region, a high number of interconnected devices and amounts of data, and involvement of third-parties, the technology includes a plethora of information management issues, including information security breaches, reduced response time, use of sophisticated and complex Big Data Analytics and graphical dashboards that can be considerable complex to manage, operate and understand. Therefore, regardless of having immense potential to improve computing capabilities, cloud computing in its, current state, requires additional improvement to be applicable in Remote Healthcare.

Fog Computing

Fog computing is one of the techniques that can be used to overcome the challenges associated with cloud computing. The method involves the addition of a layer of computing power between the cloud and the device, by keeping critical analytics near the device to reduce the time taken from request to response. In this kind of arrangement, each device is transformed into a processing node, which can handle smaller and time-sensitive requests without necessary sending all data to the cloud. Because each device is converted into its small analytics base, they can process a wide range of narrowly defined process variety in milliseconds, hence leaving the cloud infrastructure free for large-scale analytics tasks (Thota, Sundarasekar, Manogaran, and Varatharajan & Priyan 2018). Compared to cloud computing, this technique maximizes the existing Big Data analytics resources, especially by withdrawing some jobs from the primary cloud storage queue and enabling them to be quickly processed. Cisco indicates that with fog computing, it is not necessary for every analytics action to involve back and forth movements from device to cloud. In this regard, unlike in cloud computing, fog computing devices have improved performance in areas without reliable broadband internet and significant bandwidth (Rahmani et al. 2018). Thus, this technology is significantly applicable in rural areas, which do not necessarily possess reliable internet connections. Moreover, fog computing can be used to overcome cloud computing challenges, especially information security, by acting as small centers for data processing that enhance data exchange between devices without involving the cloud.  However, HealthITSecurity (2018) indicates that the technology is not a replacement of cloud computing; hence, both techniques must be implemented together. Thus, implementing fog computing is more expensive than a purely cloud-based systems, but has an increased amount of benefits, which makes it one of the most favorable technology for remote healthcare services.

Future Trends

In the near future, the computing power, in terms of data processing speed, cost, and storage, is expected to significantly improve. With the invention and improvement of powerful techniques, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, analysis of Big Data is becoming less costly and more accurate. In this regard, cloud computing will significantly improve, especially by having a reduced response time and complexities in data representation. In this regard, while healthcare organization may, currently implement fog computing capabilities, because of its considerably high processing speed, they need to consider cloud computing in their plans to be able to access a vast geographical region and a prolonged node aggregation, hence improved accuracy of healthcare services output, in future. However, while the implementation of IoT systems, which introduce immense information security vulnerabilities, is projected to considerably increase in the near future, the anticipated growth in the cyber-security industry, hence techniques, does not seem to match the expected amount of information security risk (Gia et al. 2017). Because of such factors, cloud computing may significantly impact the outcome of healthcare provided using remote systems. For instance, increased information security breaches will possibly affect the accuracy of data processing output, by introducing errors or deleting some essential pieces of information, a considerable reduction in the quality of services or exposure of private information. Such drawbacks may discourage patients and facilities from adopting Remote Healthcare, while simple and cost-effective techniques, such as sensitizing patients, can significantly mitigate information security risks. Thus, large scale adoption of Remote Healthcare must be accompanied with the appropriate sensitization programs to ensure patients have adequate information concerning the manner in which to react in the event of information security incidences or difficulties in obtaining equipment readings. Without such approaches, implementation of Remote Healthcare services may considerably reduce the quality of the overall healthcare outcome.

Nature and categories of the existing technology 

Healthcare facilities intending to offer remote services must extensively evaluate the nature and categories of the existing technology to implement hence maximize benefits, while significantly reducing the number of drawbacks associated with information systems. While there are a myriad of modern techniques, a segment of them include considerable demerits, such reduced ease of use and ability to provide in-depth information that can substantially improve remote monitoring, diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, the current computer network technologies possess unique merits and demerits with varied implications for Remote Healthcare. For instance, despite enabling a global coverage and a reduced cost of resources and services, such as storage and computer network operations, cloud computing involves several issues of concern, which include a reduced speed of request processing, diminished information security and considerably increased amounts of data that are difficult to analyze. In this regard, healthcare facilities must implement alternative technologies to overcome the drawbacks associated with cloud computing. Fog computing, which significantly improves request processing speed from minutes, days and weeks in cloud computing, to milliseconds and sub seconds and simple to use analytics and graphical dashboards, can improve remote healthcare services. However, the technology has considerably reduced network coverage, because it includes local storage and processing of data. Therefore, towards the future, while computer processing speed increases and cost reduces, facilities must keep drifting towards cloud computing to significantly increase coverage and lower the cost data storage, but keep sensitizing patients on matters concerning Remote Healthcare to enhance the outcome of healthcare.

 

 

References

Gia, T.N., Jiang, M., Rahmani, A.M., Westerlund, T., Liljeberg, P. and Tenhunen, H 2015, October. Fog computing in healthcare internet of things: A case study on ecg feature extraction. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Computer and Information Technology; Ubiquitous Computing and Communications; Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing; Pervasive Intelligence and Computing (pp. 356-363). IEEE.

Hsiao, C. C., Hsu, F. W., Lee, R. G., and Lin, R 2017, Correlation analysis of heart rate variability between PPG and ECG for wearable devices in different postures. In 2017 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC) (pp. 2957-2962). IEEE.

Lounis, A., Hadjidj, A., Bouabdallah, A. and Challal, Y 2016, Healing on the cloud: Secure cloud architecture for medical wireless sensor networks. Future Generation Computer Systems55, pp.266-277.

Rahmani, A.M., Gia, T.N., Negash, B., Anzanpour, A., Azimi, I., Jiang, M. and Liljeberg, P 2018, Exploiting smart e-Health gateways at the edge of healthcare Internet-of-Things: A fog computing approach, Future Generation Computer Systems78, pp.641-658.

Shea, M. J 2017, Electrocardiography. Retrieved from https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/heart-and-blood-vessel-disorders/diagnosis-of-heart-and-blood-vessel-disorders/electrocardiography

Thota, C., Sundarasekar, R., Manogaran, G., Varatharajan, R. and Priyan, M.K 2018, Centralized fog computing security platform for IoT and cloud in healthcare system, In Fog Computing: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 365-378). IGI Global.

HealthITSecurity. (2018, December 17). How Fog Computing May Power the Healthcare Internet of Things. Retrieved from https://healthitanalytics.com/features/how-fog-computing-may-power-the-healthcare-internet-of-things

 

 

BREAKFAST

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Breakfast, comprising of the appropriate diet, amount and balance with regard to age and gender, provides essential energy and sustenance for all the day’s activities. Latest studies reveal that fifteen to twenty-five percent of daily energy intake, which is three hundred and seventy-five to six hundred and twenty-five calories for men and three hundred to five hundred for women, should be taken at breakfast to ensure proper physical, as well as psychological functioning throughout the day, hence it is regarded as the most important meal. Despite its reputation, there exist a plethora of factors raising immense and valid questions about the importance of the breakfast meal. For instance, the large number, which is about eighteen percent of adults and thirty-six of adolescents in North America, of people surviving without the meal raises immense skepticism about its reputation of being the best meal of the day. Nevertheless, previous scientific research has established strong links between breakfast and serious health concerns, such as coronary heart disease that is associated with total avoidance of and atherosclerosis which emanates from taking increased amount fats in the meal (uzhoval 1834). Therefore, breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, but it must comprise of an appropriately balanced, as well as adhere to the recommended amount of each component of diet to satisfactorily serve its purpose.

Importance of breakfast

Despite the existing fanfare about its importance, there exist a plethora of factors which highlight several areas of concern, hence can be used to castigate pro-breakfast sentiments. For instance, critics can highlight the high number of people who have been found to skip breakfast to express its reduced significance over other meals. Large-scale surveys conducted in North America reveal that eighteen to twenty-five percent of adults and about thirty-six percent of adolescents skip this putatively most essential meal of the day. Some questions regarding the importance of taking breakfast cannot be satisfactorily answered, because the difference between people who take and those who do not take the meal is not explicitly visible, while each side of the divide is well represented. Furthermore, a cultural variation, as well as significant changes in history regarding the contents, hence the nutrient value of the meal forms the basis of the tremendous doubts cast on its specified composition (Spencer 1). The lack of notable health differences between people across cultures and generations subscribing to different proportions and composition of breakfast can be used to make it seem less important.

Although compelling and seemingly answered queries about the need to take breakfast exists, an in-depth examination of the subject reveals immense importance of the meal. Nonetheless, it is essential to identify that breakfast does not necessarily possess obvious advantages of disadvantages, because most of them can be associated with other phenomena. For instance, coronary heart disease, which the meal has been credited to immensely help to avoid, can be caused by other factors, which include age and gender (uzhova et al. 1834). Thus, a more specific synthesis of the subject is required to identify some of the benefits of eating breakfast or drawbacks of skipping the meal.

Metabolism

As earlier noted, some of the benefits that make breakfast be termed as the most important meal of the day include good health and energy to support activities during the day. Breakfast launches metabolism, hence enhancing the body to burn calories during the day and providing the energy required to carry out activities, as well as improving focus at school or work. Numerous studies have associated eating breakfast with good health, including concentration and better memory, lower levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein cholesterols, and a reduced probability of getting heart disease, diabetes and being overweight (Rodgers 1789). Thus, people who take breakfast probably have highly productive days, as well as reduced health concerns.

Although it is difficult to establish whether breakfast can be linked to healthy habits or people who have it possess healthier lifestyles, skipping it can through off the body’s rhythm of eating and fasting. Immediately after waking up in the morning, the blood sugar required by the body to ensure the brain and muscles are working at best is ordinarily low. Failure to get it from food in the morning may cause an urgent feeling to replenish the energy, hence probably leading to overeating later in the day. In this regard, eating breakfast can supply the fundamentally important energy to improve performance during the day, as well as reduce chances of overeating, which can lead to health issues. Furthermore, eating breakfast offers an opportunity to get some nutrients and vitamins from healthy diets, such as grains, dairy, and fruits. Failure to have breakfast lowers the chances of getting all nutrients required by the body (Spencer 1). Therefore, people who skip breakfast will most likely exhibit unhealthy eating patterns, as well as have essential nutrient and vitamin deficiencies.

Eating breakfast is highly essential, because unhealthy eating patterns, which the meal substantially helps to discourage or avoid, is one of the most significant factors that lead to weight issues. Previous studies on this subject have established that people who eat breakfast are significantly thinner than those who avoid it, maybe because taking foods rich in fiber and proteins in the morning puts the appetite in check for the entire day. Moreover, recent research suggests that people who lose weight and keep it off take breakfast daily. However, a recent study comparing weight loss among people who take breakfast with those who skip never identified any substantial difference. In this regard, it is clear that although the meal can help in checking weight addition, it cannot offer any significant assistance to people who are already overweight. Nevertheless, failure to observe the amount, time and components of the food can lead to the undesired outcome. For instance, eating large amounts of breakfasts has been identified as one of the causes of overeating during the day (Wijtzes et al. 123). Therefore, breakfast is essential, but it must be taken in the appropriate proportions to ensure the desired outcome is achieved.

Proportions of the breakfast

Observing the correct proportions of the breakfast is highly essential to ensure that the intended benefits can be extracted while avoiding potential damages. For instance, it is highly vital to avoid eating a large meal for breakfast to reduce the chances of overeating later in the day. However, it is advisable to take something small, which can even be last night leftovers, within the first hour of waking up. Furthermore, it is essential to avoid doughnuts and pastry, because the flour used to make them is highly refined hence possess reduced fiber, but high amounts of carbohydrates which can easily raise the blood sugar levels. One of the best combinations includes foods with fiber, healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. While carbohydrates immediately provide energy, protein offers it later on and fiber helps in keeping hunger away. Low-fat milk, fruit and whole grain cereal, or the breakfast smoothie created from a teaspoon of bran, fruit and low-fat yogurt are some of the foods recommended for breakfast. Whole grain granola bars or nuts offer easy options as well, because they possess essential nutrients, including essential fats. Thus, with proper nutrients composition in adequate amounts, the body can derive the energy, as well as other nutrients it requires at the beginning of the day.

Although the breakfast cannot be explicitly termed as the most important meal, it is highly essential, but it must be taken in the correct proportions to be beneficial. Critics of the importance of the breakfast cite a wide range of factors, such as the lack of notable differences between people who take and those who do not eat it. However, it is essential to delve deeper into the subject to identify some of the benefits of the meal, because some of the areas where it helps include other impacting factors. For instance, although eating breakfast can immensely help in reducing chances of getting the coronary heart disease, other factors, such as age and gender play a huge in determining the probability of acquiring such heart conditions. Therefore, breakfast is probably essential than the rest of the meals, but there lack specific benefits of the meal that can be used to support the argument.

 

 

Works Cited

Spence, Charles. “Breakfast: The most important meal of the day?” International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, vol. 8, 2017, pp. 1-6. Accessed 25.01.2019. from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X17300045

Aijaz, Bilal. “Chapter-01 Coronary Heart Disease: Risk Factors.” Manual of Coronary Heart Diseases, 2014, pp. 1-37.

Uzhova, Irina, et al. “The Importance of Breakfast in Atherosclerosis Disease.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 70, no. 15, 2017, pp. 1833-1842. Accessed on 25.01.2019. from http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/accj/70/15/1833.full.pdf

Rogers, Peter J. “Breakfast: how important is it really?” Public Health Nutrition, vol. 19, no. 09, 2016, pp. 1718-1719. Accessed on 25.01.2019. from https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/8AAD69DC788838287F3BD6A6A045A755/S1368980015003705a.pdf/breakfast_how_important_is_it_really.pdf

Wijtzes, Anne I., et al. “Meal-Skipping Behaviors and Body Fat in 6-Year-Old Children.” The Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 168, 2016, pp. 118-125.e2. Accessed on 25/01/2019. From

https://repub.eur.nl/pub/82948/REPUB_82948_OA.pdf

 

 

The Sense of Smell

 The manner in which brain decodes and responds

The sense of smell is one of the most fascinating five senses in animals, particularly in human beings. Unlike in animals, the sense of smell in human beings is less developed, maybe because of its slightly less input in the survival of man compared to other senses, such as vision, and taste. Nevertheless, the manner in which the brain decodes and responds to different types of odor from a significantly less absolute thresh hold is immensely important and interesting. For instance, the brain interprets odor from most of edible matter, such as food, as good, and that from most of inedible substances, such as stale food and poisons, as foul is extremely. Notably, such categorizing is tremendously important to enhance an organism keep off dangerous substances and identify food. Therefore, the sense of smell is equally important as the rest of the senses, despite being seemingly underdeveloped in human beings compared to other animals, such as dogs and cats.

Olfactory system

A series of sensory organs, which form the olfactory system, are involved in the detection and processing of different categories and amount of odor encountered by an organism. In vertebrates, the olfactory system consists of the nose, the nasal cavities, the olfactory mucous membrane, nerve cells, acinous glands and the olfactory bulb, among other organs. The olfactory bulb receives neural signals regarding odors detected by the nerve cells in the nasal cavity. Smell receptor cells’ axons directly extend into the massively organized olfactory, which processes odor signals (Ray, 2018). Through transduction, the receptor cells convert detected chemical stimuli to electrical impasses, which can be decoded by the brain. The glomeruli tissue, found within the olfactory bulb, enhances passing of information to other segments of the brain. Axons of receptor cells, which respond to a particular chemical or a number of chemicals having structural similarities, converge on a single glomerulus in which they connect with interneurons through synapses. In this regard, even the impact from low concentrations of the stimulating chemicals detected by a few receptor cells is amplified in the glomerulus, hence the absolute threshold for the sense of smell is significantly lower than for the rest of the senses. Notably, the absolute threshold of chemical compounds can considerably vary depending on wide range of factors, such as molecular mass, polarity, shape and partial changes, as well as time of the day, environment, humidity and characteristics of an organism, among others. Thus, particular absolute thresholds for the sense of smell can only be determined through a series of lab tests.

olfactory system role in the sense of smell

The olfactory system plays an essential role in helping an organism to decode different categories of odor. Specialized receptor cells are stimulated by particular chemical compounds or by a group of compounds with a similar structure, hence enabling an organism to sense differentiated odors. Impact amplification that occurs in the glomeruli tissue enhances organisms to sense chemicals with reduced concentrations by lowering the absolute threshold. The brain reads and interprets odor signals from the olfactory system, as well as initiates an appropriate response. Therefore, with the help of the olfactory system, the brain can easily recognize an aroma, from food, and validate consumption or a caustic unpleasant smell from lethal chemicals, hence instigate contact avoidance.

 

 

References

Ray, M. (2018). olfactory system | Parts, Function, & Organs. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/olfactory-system

Unconscious Reactions

Unconscious Reactions

Process of decision making

The entire concept of unconscious reactions is overly captivating, because of tremendous potential to improve the process of decision making or judgment. In addition, the applicability of the idea, which spans from marriage to military issues, is immensely remarkable. Particularly, the thin slices theory that is used to explain the idea of unconscious thinking is highly applicable in matters regarding deriving of conclusions in psychology. Nonetheless, identification of meaningful patterns using the theory of thin slices seems to be increasingly complex and tedious as well. In addition, analyses based on the hypothesis involve increased use of the cognitive method of thinking. In this regard, the applicability of the method appears to be undefined, especially in the absence of basic details about a subject and may be more demanding than the conventional way of making decisions.

The human brain can identify patterns and respond to a certain issue before a person makes conscious decisions. For instance, sweating of the palms is an example of the unconscious reactions of the human brain to stress. According to Gladwell (2012), identifying such  means that the brain uses to express the initial understanding of an issue without engaging cognitive thoughts can immensely improve decision making especially in management matters that require immediate responses. Gladwell asserts that instincts can be used to make judgments with an almost near the same precision as compared to using the cognitive thinking based techniques. The connection of the concept of unconscious reactions and the theory of thin slices, which involve the unpremeditated processing of ideas by the brain, is increasingly interesting. Nonetheless, it is not clear, whether identification of such responses is less time consuming than cognitive thinking. In addition, to derive meaning from the unconscious reactions involves immense analyses that seem increasingly tasking. Therefore, the dependency of the thin slices technique on cognitive analyses significantly increases the time and effort required to derive conclusions, hence decreasing its usability.

Unconscious reaction can be an effective method of decision making especially in management and administration realms, because of the increased need of urgent decisions in the areas. However, the overly complexity required to make meaningful analysis while relying on such responses is a huge drawback associated with the method. In addition, the impacts of other factors, such as ‘first love’ on the final decisions are not well articulated in the book. Therefore, further analyses on the method are required to ensure that explicit benefits of using the approach can be identified.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Gladwell, M. (2012). Blink: The Power of Thinking Without [thinking]. CNIB.

Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D supplements are largely associated with increasing the levels of the nutrient in the body, but more information is required, including about deficiency causes and symptoms, to ensure appropriate use, as well as harness the expected benefits. Despite having immense importance, the concept of supplementing Vitamin D has always been misunderstood, especially because information limitation. For instance, vitamin D supplements have mistakenly been associated with increased protection from fractures, because of its essential role in the absorption of calcium. Nevertheless, a recent study revealed that after two years, people who consistently took Vitamin supplements did not possess increased bone density or a reduced risk of osteoporosis than those who never supplemented the nutrient at all (Weaver, 2016). In this regard, apart from bone health, firm and universal conclusions regarding the benefits of vitamin D as a whole cannot be drawn (LeBlanc et al., 2018). Therefore, people at an increased risk of deficiency, such as the the aged, as well as the purpose of use and specific amounts of vitamin D supplements must be identified for the realization of the intended specific benefits.

Sources of Vitamin D

Synthesis of the required amounts of vitamin D must occur to support essential processes, including cell growth and immune function. Vitamin D is produced within the body when the sun hits the skin surface through chemical reaction involving the synthesis of the cholecalciferol from cholesterols in the skin. Nonetheless, in some geographical locations or under some circumstances, sunlight can never be adequate to produce the required amounts of vitamin D. For instance, during the winter, and for extended duration of time spent indoors, sunlight can never be a reliable source of vitamin D, because of the limited exposure to sunshine. In this regard, people under such circumstances must consider secondary sources of the nutrients. Diet is the best source of the nutrients, but only few varieties of food possess sufficient amount of vitamin D. For example, men and women using the diet-only approach was found to fall short of the required amount of vitamin D in adults by about seventy percent. Thus, vitamin D supplements are needed to meet the threshold amount of the nutrient, which highly depends on individual requirements and objectives.

Uses

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients that facilitate essential functions in the body, including absorption of calcium, which is highly important for the development of healthy and strong bones. In addition, Vitamin D plays an important role, by enhancing cell growth, as well as boosting the immune system. In this regard, vitamin D supplements, which enhance attaining of the required threshold of the nutrient, serve an important role in supporting daily functions in the body. People without adequate exposure to sunlight can use vitamin D supplements to achieve the intended amount of the nutrient in the body, because very few food categories can serve the purpose. Nevertheless, because of having limited or misleading information, people misuse supplements. For example, some people take vitamin D supplements to improve their protection from fractures, while recent research indicates that a high intake of the supplement does not lead to high bone density. Therefore, while vitamin D lead to better bone health; supplements must be appropriately used, especially for the specific and realistic purpose, such as the immune function.

            Specific Requirements. Some sets of people are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially because of lifestyle and diet. For instance, many of vegans possess low levels of vitamin D levels, because of avoiding food rich in the nutrient, including egg yolks, meat, fish and vitamin D fortified dairy products. Previous studies regarding the nutrient deficiency have established about a thirty-five percent lower concentration of the vitamin D serum in vegan students compared to those eating dairy products and meat. Furthermore, research indicates that obese people may require supplements, because of lower intake of vitamin D in diet, especially among men with obesity, compared with non-obese women and men (Vanlit, 2013). Moreover, there is a possibility that obese people register low levels of vitamin D because of exposing less skin to the sun, hence leading to a reduced rate of absorption of the vitamin among victims of gastric bypass procedures and bariatric. Apart from the obese, the elderly possess a higher risk, because of spending significantly large amounts of time indoors, as well as less efficient processes of synthesizing vitamin D from food or sunshine, which are associated with advanced age. Another essential function of vitamin D supplements regards type 2 diabetes. Increased in-take of vitamin D through supplement assists in regulating the production of insulin by the pancreatic beta cells, as well as reducing inflammation, hence preventing the onset of diabetes (type 2) (Qato et al., 2016). Thus, people at a higher risk of developing such a condition demanding increased intake or at higher deficiency risk of vitamin D should consider utilizing supplements to achieve the intended threshold.

Dosage

The daily requirement of Vitamin D varies with an increased range of factors, such as the primary approach of sourcing the nutrient, as well as age, hence demanding a wide range of supplement dosage to satisfy unique requirements. In general, adults require six hundred IU (international units) of vitamin D every day, but people above the age of seventy years require about eight hundred International Units. Vitamin D is primarily sourced from sunlight, diet or supplements. However, Because, in certain climates, sunshine is cannot provide the required amounts while very few types of food can provide adequate levels, people use supplements to cover the deficit of the nutrient. Thus, in depth analyses, using varied specific sources and requirements, are required to establish the proper dosage of the supplement.

Men and women depending on diet alone as a source of vitamin D rarely exceed an average of two hundred and eighty-eight international units in a day, but after adding supplements, they get near the six hundred international units objective. In a previous study involving women between the age of fifty-one and seventy years, averaging one hundred and fifty-six international units through the diet-only method, a four hundred and four international unit average was attained after adopting the help of supplements. In this regard, the specific dosage of supplements for such adults, especially depending on the diet-only approach can be estimated to be about two hundred and eight international units. However, such estimations can never be generalized to serve all adults, because different categories of food provide different amounts of vitamin D, while the aged people have higher requirement of the nutrient. Therefore, proper analysis, including diet, age and the availability of sunlight, must be conducted to establish the particular vitamin D dosage for each a person.

The Best Sources of Vitamin D Supplement

Vitamin D3 has been recognized as one of the most effective categories of vitamin D, because of its high solubility in fats, hence is readily stored in the body. In this about four hundred to about eight hundred international units of vitamin D3 along with healthy fats, such as sliced avocado, to enhance absorption, are recommended per day. However, to identify the best type of the supplement can be highly problematic, because Food and Drug Administration does not include the realm (Geller et al., 2018). Moreover, previous studies gave identified that potency of supplements highly varies among brands with some possessing up to one hundred and forty-six percent of the expected dose. Supplements from a USP-verified bottle have been established to be some of the most accurate, while exhibiting less variability. Solaray Vitamin D3, Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw D3 and Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 are some of the recommended vitamin D supplements in the market. However, D3 has been recognized to largely come from animal sources hence making them unsuitable for people observing a vegan lifestyle and suggesting that vegans should look for D2 or D3 marked as vegan, including Vitashine Vegan D3 Supplement. Thus, because of varying potency of brands in the market and the specific individual demands, supplements should be carefully selected to enhance realization of the intended objective.

Safety and Side effects

Increased intake of vitamin D can be harmful, because the nutrient is fat soluble, hence stored in the body, hence can lead to hypervitaminosis or vitamin D toxicity, when its level gets too high. While using sunlight and diet to achieve the six hundred international unit threshold, there is no risk of overdosing. Nevertheless, mega doses, normally above ten thousand international units of supplement that are taken over a prolonged period of time immensely increase the risk of overdosing. Exceeding the ideal four thousand international units in a day can lead to anorexia, excessive urination, weight loss and irregular heartbeats (Chowdhury et al., 2014). Moreover, when overdosing leads to excessive absorption of calcium, the risk of developing kidney, heart and blood vessels tremendously increases. Some of the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include constipation, frequent urination, feeling weak, tired and confused, frequent urination and thirst. Therefore, once, such vitamin D toxicity symptoms are realized, it is advisable to make an immediate call to a doctor to avoid escalation.

Essentiability Vitamin D supplements

            Vitamin D supplements serve an essential purpose of ensuring that the required levels for the normal function of the body are met, but caution in use is necessary to ensure that the expected objectives are realized while avoiding overdosing. Vitamin D performs some highly essential functions in the body, which include absorption of calcium, as well as enhancing cell growth. In addition, vitamin D has been found to highly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by regulating secretion of insulin, as well as preventing inflammation. However, consuming amounts exceeding the ideal four thousand international units can lead to detrimental impacts including kidney and heart conditions, because of high calcium absorption. In this regard, users of vitamin D supplements must seek essential information regarding to usage and particular products or brands, as well as establish the correct purpose of use to avoid negative impacts, as well as realize their benefits.

 

 

References

Chowdhury, R., Kunutsor, S., Vitezova, A., Oliver-Williams, C., Chowdhury, S., Kiefte-de-Jong, J. C., … & Feldman, B. S. (2014). Vitamin D and risk of cause specific death: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational cohort and randomised intervention studies. Bmj348, g1903.

Geller, A. I., Shehab, N., Weidle, N. J., Lovegrove, M. C., Wolpert, B. J., Timbo, B. B., … & Budnitz, D. S. (2015). Emergency department visits for adverse events related to dietary supplements. New England Journal of Medicine373(16), 1531-1540.

LeBlanc, E. S., Pratley, R. E., Dawson-Hughes, B., Staten, M. A., Sheehan, P. R., Lewis, M. R., … & Chadha, C. (2018). Baseline characteristics of the Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes (D2d) study: a contemporary prediabetes cohort that will inform diabetes prevention efforts. Diabetes care41(8), 1590-1599.

Qato, D. M., Wilder, J., Schumm, L. P., Gillet, V., & Alexander, G. C. (2016). Changes in prescription and over-the-counter medication and dietary supplement use among older adults in the United States, 2005 vs 2011. JAMA internal medicine176(4), 473-482.

Vanlint, S. (2013). Vitamin D and obesity. Nutrients5(3), 949-956.

Weaver, C. M., Alexander, D. D., Boushey, C. J., Dawson-Hughes, B., Lappe, J. M., LeBoff, M. S., … & Wang, D. D. (2016). Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and risk of fractures: an updated meta-analysis from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis International27(1), 367-376.

 

 

 

Healthcare Services

Patient Management

Overall well-being and safety

The intent and purpose of effective patient management is to enhance patient overall well-being and safety. The focus of any initiated therapeutic measure should be aimed at attaining better health outcomes at affordable costs. However, in cases where treatment options for medical sequelae fail to achieve this objective, they raise serious ethical questions. It has been noted that “Mental health care is one of the areas in which one can notice a growing interest in evidence based approaches regarding the effectiveness and cost effectiveness analysis (CEA) of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatments” (Berghmans et al., 146). The economic issues in clinical practice are largely due to resource constraints faced by the healthcare system brought about by the increasing demand for healthcare services on one hand and decreasing resources on the other. In this context, clinicians are faced with several ethical issues, including making decisions whether to continue or discontinue costly treatment for patients with poor prognosis. In order to address this issue, a patient and his or her family should be involved in clinical decision-making regarding the best approach to treatment that is focused on palliative care and cost reduction.

Cultural practices

Cultural practices play a fundamental role in health outcomes of a given group of people or community. Treatable and preventable diseases continue to cause increasing morbidity and mortality worldwide and more so in developing countries. This disease burden has been attributed to the delayed access to treatment, and those who survive have an increased risk of developing long-term physical and psychological impairments which have negative impacts on the individual, family and the community at large (abubakar et al. 1). Notably, traditional practices and beliefs shape people’s perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge towards certain diseases and this is instrumental in their health seeking behaviors. In this regard, leaders and healthcare providers need to be aware of this fact so as to come up with appropriate disease preventive and health promotion strategies for improved outcomes. To this end, efforts should be made to engage the community in healthcare promotion initiatives. There is also need to widespread health awareness campaigns to sensitize people on their role in disease prevention and health promotion.

Entitlement to affordable healthcare services

Every citizen is entitled to affordable healthcare services, and appropriate access to medical care is essential in providing the support needed by individuals to sustain and improve their overall health in order to remain productive. Many countries have put in place appropriate policies aimed at attaining universal healthcare coverage. It has been noted that “access to effective preventive and curative interventions is one of the two components of universal coverage” (Xu et al. 1). There are three levels of healthcare access, namely potential, realized and equitable, and all play a significant role in health policy formulation and resource allocation. Potential access refers to the available opportunities for people’s health needs to be covered by medical insurance. Realized access involves the actual number protected by various health insurance schemes. In regard to equitable access, this is the provision of healthcare services to all citizens regardless of their race, age, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. Medical cover enables people to receive medical treatment and other services at a reduced cost; hence it ensures improved patient health outcomes. Therefore, access can be determined by establishing the number of people covered by medical insurance and those that are not under any medical cover.

Right to healthcare services

Every human being has a right to healthcare services provided they are within the acceptable standards. Arguably, most societies have increasingly recognized that access to appropriate healthcare is a basic right. It has been argued that “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition” (WHO par. 1). Similarly, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, a document whose provisions envision healthcare as one of the fundamental human right. For a society to sustain and develop itself, it requires that its members are healthy so that they can positively contribute its social, economic, and political progress. However, sometimes human beings have a proclivity to seek for services that can be harmful to their well-being. For instance, cases of people seeking extreme plastic surgery services are not uncommon, and this results in wasteful use of resources. Appropriate healthcare services should be those that seek to improve the overall health outcomes in any given society. In this regard, healthcare is a universal right that should be protected at any cost.

Healthcare rationing

Treatment paradigms and healthcare rationing can have serious ethical implications in a healthcare setup. The main objective of patient management is to promote better health outcomes while enhancing patient safety. It is important to note that not all treatment results in desired outcomes. For instance, patients with terminal illnesses have minimal chances of recovery or will eventually die. Patients on their deathbeds need to be treated with respect and dignity but this does not require the use of aggressive and costly medical treatment, especially if the patient will never recover (McLean par.4). Any medical intervention for such patients must be carefully weighed against the available resources so as to offer the best healthcare services on a case to case basis.

 

 

Works Cited

Abubakar, Amina et al. “Socio-Cultural Determinants of Health-Seeking Behaviour on the Kenyan Coast: A Qualitative Study.” PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 11, 2013, pp. 1-8.

 

Berghmans, Ron et al. Ethical issues of cost effectiveness analysis and guideline setting in mental health care.” Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 30, no. 2, 2004, pp. 146-150.

 

McLean, Margaret. “Is It Ethical to Consider the Cost of Treatment in Medical Decision Making?”

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, 1 April 2011,

www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/bioethics/resources/cost-of-treatment-in-medical-decision-making/. Accessed 8 March 2019.

 

WHO. “Health is a fundamental human right.” World Health Organization, 2017,

www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/fundamental-human-right/en/. Accessed 8 March 2019.

 

Xu, Ke et al. “Health financing and access to effective interventions.” World Health Organization, 2010, www.who.int/healthsystems/topics/financing/healthreport/8Accesstocare.pdf. Accessed 8 March 2019.

 

Type 2 Diabetes

 Healthcare Outcomes among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is a metabolic disorder that occurs as a result of the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar levels. There are three main types of diabetes: Gestational, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. The focus of this research is on type 2 diabetes (T2D), a progressive medical condition that is characterized by lack of adequate insulin due to beta cell failure which leads to decreased amount of insulin secreted, impaired insulin activity in the target tissues, or a combination the above (Khalid et al., 2013). This study is important because diabetes is increasingly becoming a major health concern due to its health complications as well as a burden to the healthcare systems worldwide.

Diabetes on the rise

The incidence of diabetes is on the rise in both developed and developing nations. According to the WHO (2016), the number of adults with diabetes worldwide was 108 million in 1980 compared to 422 million in 2014, a global increase of 3.8 percent. In addition, 1.5 people died from diabetes in 2012 while a further 2.2 million people died from cardiovascular complications and other diseases brought about by higher-than-optimal blood glucose. Many diabetic people, including adults and children suffer from type 2 diabetes (WHO, 2016). Failure to control high blood sugar usually leads to fatal health consequences. For instance, people suffering from type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing health complications, including micro-vascular complications such as cardiovascular disease and kidney morbidity, blindness, death, and prolonged hospitalization (Forbes & Cooper, 2013). In addition, there are related social and economic implications of the prevalence of diabetes among the general population. Therefore, there is need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards the prevention and treatment of T2D.

There is a correlation between gender, insurance, length of stay, and severity of disease and the healthcare disparities among patients with type 2 diabetes.

The findings of this study will enable all the relevant stakeholders in the healthcare sector to come up with appropriate approaches to the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Literature review

Type 2 diabetes is the commonest among the types of diabetes mellitus. According to Forbes and Cooper (2013), T2D contributes about 85% of the cases of the diabetes burden. This disorder arises as a result of reduced insulin secretion as well as diminished insulin sensitivity in the peripheral tissues. Notably, type 2 diabetes has been associated with more serious complications among the youth compared to adults. According to the American Diabetes Association (2013), despite receiving the current treatment options for diabetes and routine monitoring, young people with type 2 diabetes are experiencing rapidly progressing aggressive co-morbidities such eye illnesses, poor blood sugar level regulation, and cardiovascular and kidney disease than their adult counterparts. These complications notwithstanding, there are several factors that influence the healthcare outcomes of people being managed for type 2 diabetes, including gender, insurance, length of stay, and severity of disease.

Gender

A person’s gender plays an important role in the health outcomes of people with type 2 diabetes, including development, risk, and adverse effects. In their systematic review of available literature on PubMed, Arnetz, Ekberg and Alvarsson (2014) found out that the risk factors for type 2 diabetes complications affect men and women differently, the efficacy and adverse effects of pharmacological drugs used in the treatment of T2D show marked gender, and “men with T2D appear to suffer more microvascular complications, while women have higher morbidity and mortality in cardiovascular disease and also fare worse psychologically” (409). According to Kautzky-Willer and Harreiter (2017), research evidence has established that the differences in biology and psychosocial status between men and women affect the progression of T2D and its complications. In addition, there are gender disparities in terms of choice of therapy, health seeking behaviors, and adherence to medical interventions. Notably, the rate of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is higher in men at an early age and lower body mass index despite the fact that obesity, which is the commonest risk factor, if more prevalent in women. The gender differences observed in T2D vary from one country to another, and they are as a result of the biological, cultural, environmental, lifestyle, and socio-economic diversities.

Insurance

Poor glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes can lead to the development of medical complications, increased morbidity, and mortality. In their study, Fitch, Pyenson, and Iwasaki (2013) adopted stratified multistage sampling design to analyze two National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) series (2005-2006 and 2007-2008) to determine the prevalence of T2D and the risk factors in people who are commercially insured and those in covered under the Medicare plan. The researchers established that “better control of A1c, blood pressure, and lipids is associated with savings opportunities in commercially insured and Medicare patients with type 2 diabetes” (Fitch, Pyenson, & Iwasaki, 2013, p. 609). Arguably, having insurance does not guarantee appropriate glycemic control and a patient can still develop health complications associated with type 2 diabetes. The management of T2D is a costly affair, and people with health insurance cover are better placed to receive healthcare services aimed at control high blood sugar levels, hence better management of T2D (Hogan et al., 2015). Therefore, there is need to expand insurance cover among the general population in the efforts being made towards combating type 2 diabetes.

Length of Stay

Diabetes mellitus contributes to high rates of morbidity in the general population. A survey study carried out by Nawata and Kawabuchi (2015) found out that due to the health complications and co-morbidities associated with type 2 diabetes, patients aged between 75 and above experienced longer hospital stays. Invariably, longer hospital stays as a result of health complications leads to higher costs of healthcare service provision, lost productivity, increased morbidity and mortality, and other social and economic costs in society (Nawata & Kawabuchi, 2015). In order to reduce length of stay (LOS) of type 2 diabetic patients, the prevention of co-morbidities and proper management of hyperglycemia is recommended.  Since LOS affects the health outcomes of people with T2D, it is pertinent that all healthcare stakeholders are involved in appropriate policy formulation geared towards promoting patients’ health seeking behaviors, proper T2D management, and reduction of risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.

Severity of disease

The occurrence of co-morbidities and complications in patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes negatively affects their quality of life. Severe T2D is associated with prolonged hospital stays, re-admissions, increased costs of care, and indirect social as well as economic costs. In their survey study, Ahmed, Ahmed, Sharmin, and Quddus (2017) found out that patients with severe cases of type 2 diabetes develop various health complications and co-morbidities, including kidney disease, cardiovascular ailments, neuropathy, pulmonary conditions, stroke, dementia, diabetic macular edema, and retinopathy among others. People suffering from type 2 diabetes have poor quality of life as well as health outcomes. Thus, T2D presents several health challenges to both patients, healthcare professional, and the healthcare system that need to be addressed as quickly as possible.

Type 2 diabetes is a seriousness

From the literature review, it is clear that type 2 diabetes is a serious metabolic disorder that needs the collaboration of various stakeholders in the fight against diabetes mellitus. Gender, insurance, length of stay, and severity of the disease affect the health outcomes of people suffering from T2D. The medical complications and co-morbidities associated with this type of diabetes present various healthcare challenges in regard to its prevention and management. Therefore, it is pertinent that any effort made towards managing T2D should be aimed at preventing the development of complications and co-morbidities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing

Eclipse in the D Experience

The nursing profession

The nursing profession plays an integral role in the delivery of healthcare services to the citizens of any country. Notably, nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals and their knowledge and skills are increasingly being sought after in a variety of clinical setups. The delivery of better care to patients requires that nurses are trained in and exposed to different healthcare environments that take into consideration the diverse health needs of specific populations. In this regard, the “Eclipse in the D” program offers advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) students, I being one of them, a unique opportunity to work with underserved communities. My interest in serving the underprivileged populations in informed by various reasons, including gaining valuable professional experience, making a positive impact on other people’s lives in regard to health matters, and enhancing my cultural awareness in relation to the nursing practice.

Arguably, there is no better way to learn about people’s health challenges than first-hand experience. Consequently, working with marginalized populations “Not only will you have new experiences by providing care to underserved communities, you will also learn to empathize with those in need” (University of Texas at Arlington Academic Partnerships, 2019, par. 6). Providing healthcare for the socially disadvantaged populations nurtures a nursing student’s capacity to identify a patient’s unexpressed needs, ability to recognize disease patterns, willingness to promote patient welfare, readiness to interact with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds, and competence to care for patients with diverse medical needs. Therefore, the “Eclipse in the D” experience will help me to become an informed and well-rounded nursing professional.

Healthcare services

Nurses have a duty and responsibility of providing healthcare services that promote patient safety, minimize medical errors, and enhance better health outcomes. According to Van Vleet and Paradise (2015), “over 58 million Americans reside in geographic areas or belong to population groups that are considered primary care shortage areas” (par. 1). The members of these underserved communities find it extremely difficult to access healthcare services for a variety of reasons, including lack of medical insurance, low socio-economic status, transportation challenges, low education level, language barriers, and illiteracy in health issues (Yang, Zarr, Kass-Hout, Kourosh & Kelly, 2006; Hawkins, Kantayya & Sharkey-Asner, 2010; Flores, Abreu & Tomany-Korman, 2005). Through the “Eclipse in the D” program, I will get the opportunity to use my nursing knowledge and skills to help the underserved groups with their health needs. In this regard, helping the underserved communities will expand my nursing knowledge and understanding of the diverse health needs of these groups as well as make a positive impact on other people’s lives.

Lastly, underserved communities comprise of people from various cultural backgrounds characterized by differences in language, health seeking behaviors, and perceptions of illness and health among others. it is important to note that cultural factors can have a positive or negative impact on people’s health. In this context, the “Eclipse in the D” experience will provide me with an opportunity to learn about other people’s cultures and how it impacts their health.

My interest in the “Eclipse in the D” experience is based on the fact that it will give the opportunity to hone my professional skills, make a positive impact on the lives of socially disadvantaged populations, and become culturally sensitive to other people’s way of life and its impact on their health status. Working with underserved communities inculcates unforgettable experience that will be useful in my career as a nursing professional. Additionally, it will give the chance to address the heath challenges faced by marginalized groups. Lastly, it will be an opportunity to learn about other people’s cultures and how it affects healthcare service delivery.

 

References

Flores, G., Abreu, M., & Tomany-Korman, S. C. (2005). Limited English proficiency, primary language at home, and disparities in children’s health care: How language barriers are measured matters. Public Health Reports, 120(4), 418-430.

Hawkins, A. O., Kantayya, V. S., Sharkey-Asner, C. (2010). Health literacy: A potential barrier in caring for underserved populations. Disease-A- Month, 56(12), 734-740.

University of Texas at Arlington Academic Partnerships. (2019). Nurses can benefit from working with underserved communities. Retrieved from https://academicpartnerships.uta.edu/articles/healthcare/nurses-benefit-working-with-underserved-communities.aspx

Van Vleet, A., & Paradise, J. (2015). Tapping nurse practitioners to meet rising demand for primary care. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/tapping-nurse-practitioners-to-meet-rising-demand-for-primary-care/

 

Working in underserved communities

Underserved communities provide a unique opportunity to learn first-hand people’s healthcare needs and solutions to these problems. Working with underprivileged groups exposes a healthcare professional to a variety of health problems that the socially disadvantaged populations face on a daily basis. Nursing professionals are expected to be ready and prepared to work in different environments, and the underserved communities provide distinctive healthcare needs that nurses have to deal with in their careers. Therefore, these populations need healthcare services as a matter of urgency and I am willing to be part of the group that addresses their health needs.

Enhancing your career goals

Healthcare professionals do not have the luxury to choose where to work in future. A nurse must be ready to work anywhere and in different communities regardless of their race, sexual orientation, economic status, or religious beliefs. The experience gained with working with underserved communities will prepare me to serve people in different capacities within the nursing profession.

Plans for working with medically underserved community

I intend to fully immerse myself in working in areas where access to healthcare services is a problem. People who reside in medically underserved communities are the ones who need healthcare services the most, for it is every human being’s inalienable right to have access to healthcare in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore, after graduation I will purposely seek to join organizations that have goals that are aligned to mine in terms of helping the underserved groups.

Physical Health

The Impact of emotions and mental state on physical health

Physical wellness, emotional stability, and spiritual welfare

The overall health status of an individual encompasses mental soundness, physical wellness emotional stability, and spiritual welfare. The human body can be regarded as a system in which various sub-systems are interrelated to make the whole. Contextually, the destabilization of one sub-system leads to the disequilibrium of the whole body. Arguably, people’s emotions and mental status can either positively or negatively affect their physical health. For instance, positive psychological well-being promotes healthy beliefs, attitudes, and physical health. Similarly, negative psychological states are a precursor to poor physical health. Thus, one’s emotions and mental states can either positively or negatively affect their physical wellness in terms of enhancement of the immune system, promotion of physical performance, and recovery from diseases.

Occurrence of physical disorders

Psychological imbalances have been associated with the occurrence of physical disorders. Particularly, negative emotional and mental states have been linked to physiological malfunctions of the human body, whereas positive states are believed to lead to improved cardiovascular activities and strengthening of the immune system (Cho, Martin, Margrett, MacDonald, & Poon, 2011). For example, positive emotional and mental states have been associated with the secretion of protective antibodies such as IgA that protects the human body from common colds and upper respiratory infections. However, negative psychological states suppress the release of these antibodies andput a person at risk of infections. As a consequence, people’s emotional and mental state determines their physical health.

A person’s emotions and mental health have an effect on an individual’s physical performance. Notably, stressful situations that elicit negative emotions and mental status can have far-reaching consequences on a person’s overall well-being leading to decreased productivity. For instance, it has been established that negative emotions and mental conditions such as depression and anxiety may impair people’s driving performance and jeopardize their safety on the roads (Cunningham & Regan, 2016). On the other hand, positive emotional and mental statuses are associated with improved cognitive processes, which include decision-making, judgment, attention, and memory. When a person’s negative emotions and poor mental condition decreases his driving abilities and puts his or her life at risk of road accidents, then they have an influence on physical health.

Willingness and ability to embrace physical change

Emotions and mental status play a significant role patient management and overall health outcomes. For instance, it has been established that people who suffer from chronic cancer and do not share their feelings have higher mortality rates compared to expressive patients. Arguably, when patients become evasive and hold back their emotions, their immune systems becomes suppressed, which can lead to opportunistic infections. According to Cho, Martin, Margrett, MacDonald, & Poon(2011), people’s psychological status determines their willingness and ability to embrace physical change. Additionally, mental stability and good emotions enable patients to have positive outlook about their health condition, and this promotes quick recovery. In this regard, people’s emotions and mental wellness can determine a patients’ recovery path and physical health outcomes.

Physical health

A person’s emotions and mental health can have either positive or negative effects on his or her physical well-being. The premise that one’s psychological wellness affects his or her physical health is in support of view of the human body as a holistic system. Positive mental and emotional states have been associated with the production of protective antibodies that enable the human body fight infections. These antibodies strengthen the immune system, which in turn defends the body from foreign antigens that cause disease. In addition, it has been established that negative emotions and mental conditions such as anxiety and depression impair a person’s physical performance as they undermine the cognitive processes. Lastly, a patient recovery from chronic illnesses can be enhanced with positive emotions and good mental health which boost the immune system.

 

Learners

 Teaching strategies to suit  diverse learners

Nursing programs

Nursing programs attract a wide range of student diversity, including race, intelligence, cultural backgrounds, motivation, needs, prior knowledge, learning styles, language, interests, and skills. Instructively, nurse educators are required to harness these differences in order to help the learners reach their optimal potential. Towards this end, it is imperative that the educators take into consideration certain approaches that will enable them adapt their teaching strategies in a manner that meets the needs of the learners. According to Saravia-Shore (2008), these approaches include maintaining high standards and expectations for all learners, being sensitive to the each learner’s strengths and needs while at the same time sharing their dreams, hopes, and concerns, understanding the learners cultural backgrounds so as to have a better comprehension of their behaviors within and outside the classroom, actively involving the parents and guardians in the learning process, tapping into the learners’ backgrounds to boost learning, ensuring that curriculum and instructional resources recognize and appreciate the cultural contributions of the different ethnic groups, identifying and dispelling stereotypes among the learners, and creating a culturally conducive learning environment.

 Enhance the learning experience

Technology has been instrumental in supporting the achievement of educational objectives and goals. Arguably, educators cannot depend solely on classroom lectures given that today’s learners prefer to use technology as well as engaging activities (McKeachie, Svinicki & Hofer, 2011; Bean, 2011). In concurrence, it has been pointed out that “The next generation of students will not just be concerned about if technology is used, but rather how it is incorporated into the educational experience” (Malm & Defranco, 2012, p. 404). Therefore, technology has become an essential catalyst for students’ educational engagement.

To properly incorporate technology-based strategies requires that the educators themselves are well versed with the technological tools so as to properly guide the learners on its application. In addition, it is important that the choice of technology is supportive of the learning outcomes, for inappropriate use can hinder the learning process. Furthermore, it is pertinent that the learners are well acquainted with the technology itself otherwise lack of technological know-how will undermine its relevance in meeting educational goals.

Alternative strategies If technology fails

Technology has brought about positive impacts on education in terms of enhancing access to learning opportunities, providing learning resources, and supporting pedagogical processes. However, according to O’Brien (2018), it is prone to problems that can hinder the achievement of learning objectives and outcomes. Berge (as cited in O’Donoghue, Caswell, & Singh, 2000, p. 6) posits that virtual classrooms have their downside in that “a mismatch of interaction, syncronality and technology can lead to information overload, loss of attention, boredom and frustration.” In this regard, it is important that educators are prepared for such eventualities by having alternative strategies that will ensure that the learning process is not halted. Such strategies include use of lectures, conducting tutorial discussions, and encouraging self-direct learning.

 

Motivational strategies for learners

The motivation of learners is instrumental as it encourages them to work towards the achievement of learning objectives and goals. According to Chasteen (2017), it is extremely difficult to force students who do not want to engage in active learning and notes that an educator can use both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to motivate them. Intrinsic motivation strategies involve ensuring the learning materials are personally relevant to the reluctant learner and cultivating a sense of control and ownership of the learning process. In addition, educators should make the learner feel competent and capable, should avoid controlling behavior, and nurture a favorable learning environment. On the other hand, extrinsic rewards include holding the learner accountable and relying less on grading to incentivize the learners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom (2nd ed.).San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chasten, S. (2017). How can I help students feel intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to engage in active learning? Retrieved from https://www.physport.org/recommendations/Entry.cfm?ID=101220

Malm, E., & Defranco, J. F. (2011-2012). Toward a student-centered measure of learning management system utilization. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 40(4), 401-413.

McKeachie, W. J., Svinicki, M., & Hofer, B. K. (2011). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

O’Brien, C. (2018). Technology can hurt students’ learning, research shows. Retrieved from https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/technology-can-hurt-students-learning-research-shows-1.3385864.

O’Donoghue, J., Caswell, S., & Singh, G. (2000). Technology in education – A study into the effects of information technology in education. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.136.266&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Saravia-Shore, M. (2008). Diverse teaching strategies for diverse learners. In R. W. Cole (Ed.), Educating everybody’s children: Diverse teaching strategies for diverse learners (2nd ed.) (41-97). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.