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China issues plan to prevent chronic diseases

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-15 09:23

BEIJING - China's State Council has published a medium and long-term plan to prevent and treat chronic diseases in the next five to 10 years.

The plan, made public on Tuesday, aims to improve people's health, lower the onset risks of high-risk populations, and improve the patient quality of life.

The plan made lowering the premature mortality of major chronic diseases a core target, saying that by 2020 and 2025 the premature mortality rate of cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer and chronic respiratory diseases among the groups aged between 30 and 70 will drop by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared with 2015.

The plan put forward eight areas to be improved, including health education, standard diagnosis and treatment, health insurance and aid policies.

Xinhua . “China issues plan to prevent chronic diseases.” ChinaDaily ,
   www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-02/15/content_28203880.htm.

Telemedicine for Today's Workers

Logging on for care can be a boon for busy employees—with a few caveats.
By Jessica Harper

Thanks to telemedicine—a telecommunications capability that allows employees to consult with their doctors via two-way video, text, or E-mail—many medical experts say that workers can receive some of the care they need from the comfort of their office desks. More than 36 million Americans have used telemedicine in some way, and as many as 70 percent of doctor visits can be handled over the phone, according to a recent study by the Affiliated Workers Association, a network of professionals dedicated to empowering everyday employees.

Glenn Hammack, president and chief executive officer of NuPhysicia—a medical services company that offers telehealth capabilities to businesses—says telemedicine's convenience value is its key selling point.

"Probably the most powerful aspect of telemedicine is improving access and improving the convenience of a lot of elements of healthcare," says Hammack. "So, whether you're talking about folks [who] would have a hard time getting to a specialist or whether you're talking about someone who is in a jam and needs to see a doctor before they go on a business trip, telemedicine clinics are very valuable."

Here are six of telemedicine's greatest benefits, according to the experts:

1. Convenience. Penciling in a lunch-hour visit with your physician can prove challenging, especially when a can't-miss conference call absorbs the bulk of your afternoon. Telemedicine eases this problem. Through video, Web chat, or phone, workers can follow-up on a prescription or diagnosis with a physician they've been seeing for years. The goal of telehealth is to create an experience that closely mirrors a traditional doctor visit.

2. Less time in the waiting room.

3. Cost-efficiency. An increasing number of doctors are charging less for a telemedicine consultation than they would for an in-person visit. Rural families who would normally travel hours out of their way to access key health services can do it from the comfort of their couch.

4. Expedited transmission of MRIs or X-rays for a second opinion. One of the beauties of telehealth is that it can improve communication between patients and their medical practitioners. In-person visits and postal mail are no longer the only options for receiving and sending medical documents.

5. Privacy assurance. Telemedicine complies with HIPAA laws, which aim to prevent private or secure medical documents from being leaked

Rules regarding privacy and confidentiality apply to a telehealth setting as much as they do to one that's face to face. But telemedical consumers should be especially mindful that any information transmitted online—particularly audio, video, and images—can fall prey to hackers. It's incumbent on telehealth users to learn how to operate the technology correctly and to know their legal rights when it comes to protecting their identities online. And be respectful to your coworkers during a video visit.

So, what's the bottom line? Aim to visit with your physician in-person whenever possible. But if you absolutely can't visit the office physically due to unbreakable work commitments, consider a telemedical option. Contact your primary care physician or insurance company to find out if and how these services might be available to you.

Harper, Jessica. “Pros and Cons of Telemedicine for Today's Workers .” USnews, 12 July 2012,
    health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/07/24/pros-and-cons-of-telemedicine-for-todays-workers