Archives for the category: Health Issues and SMS Alerts

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July 15, 2011

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer or Not? The Latest Answer Is No

braincell.jpeg Bryan Walsh rounds up the latest studies on cell phones linked to cancer for TIME Healthland.

The answer (today) is they do not. But the bottom line? We still don't know.

quotemarksright.jpgYour own judgment about the risks of cell phone use will come down to your personal prejudices. If you believe cell phones are guilty until proven innocent — and if you believe cell phone companies have something to hide — you'll be wary. If not, you'll likely be comforted by the studies that show little indication of harm. But what you'll almost certainly never get is an absolute answer from medical science.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 1:58 PM | permalink

July 13, 2011

Reading the small print - on your smartphone

Smart phone users reading text messages and internet pages hold their devices at a closer distance than they would for printed text—which may have important implications for prescribing vision correction, reports a study in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

quotemarksright.jpgOptometrists should pay attention to the "working distance" at which patients hold their smart phones and perform appropriate testing at those distances, according to the study by Mark Rosenfield and colleagues of SUNY State College of Optometry, New York.

... The new study suggests that patients tend to use handheld devices at closer distances compared to printed materials, which could have important implications for vision correction. ... Especially for older patients, changes in lens design may be needed to meet the visual demands of smart phones and other new technology.

Further research is needed to investigate eye's response to prolonged smart phone use.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Press release.

emily | 1:45 PM | permalink

July 2, 2011

Evidence "increasingly against" phone cancer risk

Despite a recent move to classify mobile phones as possibly carcinogenic, the scientific evidence increasingly points away from a link between their use and brain tumors, according to a new study on Saturday. Reuters reports.

quotemarksright.jpgA major review of previously published research by a committee of experts from Britain, the United States and Sweden concluded there was no convincing evidence of any cancer connection.

It also found a lack of established biological mechanisms by which radio signals from mobile phones might trigger tumors.

... The latest paper comes just two months after the World Health Organisation's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decided cellphone use should be classified as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Mobile Phones, Brain Tumours and the Interphone Study: Where Are We Now? - Anthony J. Swerdlow, Maria Feychting, Adele C. Green, Leeka Kheifets, David A. Savitz, International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Standing Committee on Epidemiology.

emily | 10:49 AM | permalink

June 30, 2011

Text Message Support for Smokers Doubles Quit Rates

Smoking while using mobile phone - Copyright: Photolibrary.jpeg Mobile phones could hold the key to people giving up smoking after a program involving sending motivational and supportive text messages to smokers doubled quit rates at six months. Cellular News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe findings of the txt2stop trial, which was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by the Medical Research Council, are published in The Lancet today.

The study examined the long-term effects of specially-designed text messages by testing the levels of cotinine (a chemical found in tobacco) found in participants' saliva after they reported they had stopped smoking for six months.

A total of 5,800 smokers were randomly allocated to the txt2stop programme or a control group. The txt2stop group received five text messages a day for the first five weeks and then three per week for the next 26 weeks with a personalised system which also allowed people to receive instant messages at times of need by texting the word 'crave' or 'Lapse'.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 9:16 AM | permalink

June 17, 2011

Survey Shows U.S. Consumers Have Little Concern Over Cell Phone Cancer Risk

Over eighty percent of U.S. consumers surveyed by TNS, report being aware of the recent news released by the World Health Organization that extensive cell phone use can increase possible cancer risk. Yet, despite having this knowledge, less than twenty percent will adjust their current behavior.

[via Cellular News]

emily | 10:38 AM | permalink

June 16, 2011

Text Message Alerts Get Standardized with Free Public Health Tool Kit

To support emergency managers following a disaster, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a tool kit of prepared text messages that deliver public health information to citizens’ cell phones. Emergency Management reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAvailable on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, emergency managers and public health officials can download the tool kit and distribute the text messages using their existing cell phone message distribution system.

The messages are limited to 115 characters or fewer including spaces and can be customized by the user agency. Kane said having standardized messages reinforces information from other sources, like public service announcements, and can save officials valuable time during and after an emergency.

Agencies can register with the HHS to get updates to the tool kit by e-mailing their contact information to quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:37 AM | permalink

June 14, 2011

Smartphone Used as Electrocardiogram Viewer at Clinic

Ohashi Clinic at the Medical Center of Toho University and The Medical Bank Corp established a system that enables medical doctors to check the electrocardiographic records of their patients by using smartphones at any place in a hospital. Tech-On! reports.

quotemarksright.jpgBy using a smartphone, it becomes possible to check the electrocardiographic records of patients. The data is stored in a server located in the clinic. And smartphones are used to read out the data. The BlackBerry, Android-based handsets, the iPad 2, etc are compatible with the system.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:10 PM | permalink

Personalized text messaging in healthcare is the new antidote to healthcare costs

Cliff Haas, Sr. Director of Connectivity and Partner Management North America at Clickatell talks about how personalized mobile messaging can become a new horizon in healthcare and show us how it’s done (including some sample code). The Health Care IT Guy reports.

quotemarksright.jpgPersonalized text messaging in healthcare is the new antidote to healthcare costs, patient waiting times and patient’s general health maintenance, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute.

The reasons for the success of this new communication medium are clear. Statistics show that a staggering 71% of the global population or 5.3 billion people own a mobile handset*, in contrast, only 2 billion people are connected to the Internet. The store and forward nature of messaging makes this medium more convenient than a voice call and it is also far less intrusive than having to accept or return a phone cal. This convenience gives patients the ability to read messages in privacy at a suitable time.

Perhaps the greatest advantage to implementing an SMS-based solution in healthcare is that the benefits are realized by both the patient as well as the health care provider.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 5:37 PM | permalink

June 8, 2011

Mobile health offers hope to patients in Africa

mHealth.jpg Mobile phone technology to increase access to healthcare could open up a new frontier to improve patient care in poor countries. The Guardian reports.

quotemarksright.jpgExperts gathered for Africa's first mobile health summit on Tuesday hailed the use of phone technology as a new frontier in improving patient care in poor countries. But a government minister in South Africa, which is hosting the summit, called for caution over issues of regulation, confidentiality and cost to patients.

The debate came as the World Health Organisation released a major report (pdf) charting the worldwide use of mobile phone technology in healthcare. It finds that 83% out of 122 countries surveyed use mobile phone technology for services that include free emergency calls, text messaging with pill reminders and health information and transmission of tests and lab results.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:51 PM | permalink

June 7, 2011

Cell phone use is way up. So why did brain cancer rates fall?

imabrain.gif Despite a 500-fold increase in radiation exposure from cell-phones since 1990, brain cancer rates have fallen. CNNMoney reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... While the link between phones and tumors may have seemed certain to grow, a strange thing happened. Beginning in 1991 the rate of brain cancer incidence reversed course and began to slowly fall. By 2008, the last year for which the National Cancer Institute has data, 65 out of every 1 million Americans got a brain cancer diagnosis annually.

During two decades, the radiation beamed by phones into American brains increased about 500-fold, in proportion to the wild growth in cell phone use. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:13 PM | permalink

A Clinical Drug Trial Via Phone, Computer

trial study.jpg

According to The Wall Street Journal, Pfizer Inc is conducting a drug trial in which patients participate from their homes using computers and smartphones rather than visiting a clinic. Future participants can sign up onine.

quotemarksright.jpgThe company plans to compare the results to those obtained from a previous, traditional trial of the same drug. The study involves the company's overactive-bladder drug Detrol.

If successful, the methods used in the study might eventually be used to help drive down the high cost of bringing new medicines to market.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Watch video of doctors presenting this reasearch study.

emily | 8:09 AM | permalink

Piercing the Fog Around Cellphones and Cancer

do-cell-phones-cause-brain-cancer.png Tara Parker-Pope in the Health section of The New York Times answers some common questions about cellphones and health, after cellphone safety was reignited once again last week when a panel of the WHO declared that it was “possible” the phones could cause cancer.

Bottom line, as always, the votes aren't in on exposure to children.

quotemarksright.jpgDespite the reassuring data from scientists, it’s important to remember that all of the humans studied so far began using cellphones as adults. With an entire generation having now been exposed to cellphones since childhood, nobody knows the health effect of a lifetime of exposure.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


-- Cell-Phone Magnetic Emissions May Cause Cancer, WHO Agency Says in Study.

-- WHO Report: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic.

emily | 7:07 AM | permalink

June 1, 2011

Cell-Phone Magnetic Emissions May Cause Cancer, WHO Agency Says in Study

do-cell-phones-cause-brain-cancer.png Mobile phones may cause brain cancer in humans, a World Health Organization agency said, citing a review of studies. Bloomberg reports.

quotemarksright.jpgExposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from handsets is greater than that from mobile-phone towers and base stations, Robert Baan, the senior scientist in charge of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s report on the subject, said on a conference call with reporters yesterday. The fields are “possibly” carcinogenic, the same category as diesel fuel, chloroform and working as a firefighter, according to the IARC, based in Lyon, France, which classifies cancer risks based on research it conducts and coordinates.

This is the first time an agency working group has surveyed research on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to make a definitive recommendation, the IARC said. The agency didn’t issue guidelines for cell-phone use and said more study is needed after some evidence for an increased risk of glioma, or brain cancer. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

Press Release: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic: WHO has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.

emily | 9:47 AM | permalink

Dangerous Bacteria Found on Patients' Cell Phones

MRSA - Pfizer.jpeg Cell phones used by patients and their visitors were twice as likely to contain potentially dangerous bacteria as those of healthcare workers (HCWs), according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, by a team of researchers from the Department of Medical Microbiology at Inonu University in Malatya. Infection Control Today.

Interesting, a previous study by another Turkish university reported by in March 2009, showed similar results.

quotemarksright.jpgThe types of bacteria that were found on the patients’ MPs and their resistance patterns were very worrisome," state the authors. "Some investigators have reported that MPs of medical personnel may be a potential source of bacterial pathogens in the hospital setting. Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients’ companions and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen colonization than those of HCWs. Specific infection control measures may be required for this threat.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


-- Cell phones help spread hospital superbugs

-- The Average Mobile Phone Contains More Bacteria Than A Toilet Seat

-- Bacterial Paranoia And Device Handling

-- Cellphones-home to deadly bacteria

-- Dirty keyboard cause infections in hospitals

-- Cell phones carry germs in hospitals

Related to Cleaning Devices:

-- Cellphone bug killer

-- New Motorola Phone Fights Dirty Germs

-- Phone Clean is "the world first mobile cleaning system

-- Patents for hygiene treatment of cell phones on the rise

-- A mobile-phone charger with a sterilization function

-- Sterlize your cell phone while having an ice cream

emily | 9:25 AM | permalink

May 24, 2011

Cellphones may harm memory, pregnancy, brain cells -- in rats, mice and rabbits. Maybe.

Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey. The Los Angeles Times reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... The Istanbul meeting, convened by the Environmental Health Trust and Gazi University, comes a day before the International Agency for Research on Cancer -- an agency of the World Health Organization -- is to meet to decide whether research has demonstrated that radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are potentially cancer-causing.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:53 AM | permalink

May 19, 2011

Yet Another Study on Cell phone use reducing male fertility

sperm.jpeg Feels like 2005 again. Yet another new study claims mobiles phones have a negative impact on men's fertility.

quotemarksright.jpgMen who have been diagnosed with poor sperm quality and who are trying to have children should limit their cell phone use. Researchers have found that while cell phone use appears to increase the level of testosterone circulating in the body, it may also lead to low sperm quality and a decrease in fertility.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article in Science Daily and click here for similar studies published in textually over the years.

Also: Clothing manufacturers take no chances:

-- Smart pants for Cell-Phone users - Singapore-based garment manufacturer Crocodile International, will be launching smart pants or "Radiguard' specialty trousers" for cell-phone buffs.

-- Not-so-hot pants keep cell phones cool - Levi Strauss announced the launch of a new Dockers' model with anti-radiation-lined pockets.

emily | 7:29 PM | permalink

May 15, 2011

Compared to asbestos, a ban on mobile phones and wireless networks in schools is proposed by European leaders

A Council of Europe committee examined evidence that the technologies have "potentially harmful" effects on humans, and concluded that immediate action was required to protect children, reports The Telegraph.

quotemarksright.jpgIn a report, the committee said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognise the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol.

Fears have been raised that electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless devices can cause cancers and affect the developing brain.

... The conclusions contradict advice from the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health, which says exposure to electromagnetic fields poses little or no risk to human healtquotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Council of Europe full report:The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment

emily | 8:07 AM | permalink

May 12, 2011

Cellphones Cause Bees to Swarm to Their Death, Says (Yet) Another New Study

honey_bee.jpeg According to the Daily Mail via Gizmodo, researchers placed mobile phones in bee hives under controlled conditions and monitored the results. They found the phone signals confused the bees who begin to fly erratically before dying suddenly.

quotemarksright.jpgDr Favre, a teacher who previously worked as a biologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, said: 'This study shows that the presence of an active mobile phone disturbs bees - and has a dramatic effect.

... But British bee expert Norman Carreck of Sussex University said: 'It's an interesting study but it doesn't prove that mobile phones are responsible for colony collapse disorder. If you physically knock a hive, or open one up to examine it, it has the same result. "And in America many cases of colony collapse disorder have taken place in remote areas far from any mobile phone signals.'quotesmarksleft.jpg

Related articles:

-- "Cell phones killing off bees" in the news again, this time according to a Punjab University study (2010)

-- Are Cell Phone Towers Honey Bees' Next Big Threat? New Study Says Yes. (2009)

-- Disappearing bees may not be linked to cell phones - but a virus (2007)

-- Are mobile phones wiping out our bees (2007)

Image from Impact Lab

emily | 8:31 PM | permalink

May 6, 2011

S.F. puts cell phone radiation law on hold

The city's first-of-its-kind mandate - requiring that retailers display the radiation levels alongside each phone for sale - has been placed on indefinite hold, and a watered-down version is likely to be passed in its place. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe CTIA, a trade group representing cell phone companies, sued the city over the law, saying that all phones marketed in the United States are considered safe by the FCC. The association also warned that the city could have to pick up the trade group's legal fees if the city lost.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


-- San Francisco Votes On Cell Phone Radiation Labels

-- San Francisco mayor backs mandatory cell phone radiation labels

emily | 10:01 AM | permalink

May 1, 2011

Red Cross Haiti launched Malaria prevention campaign by SMS

redcrosslogo.jpeg The Haitian Red Cross has launched a prevention campaign against malaria in throughout the country, with the sending of SMS to more than 3.5 million people. The messages include information such as how the malaria is transmitted, how to recognize symptoms, treatment options and the simple steps for prevention.

[via Haiti Libre]

emily | 5:51 PM | permalink

April 29, 2011

Cell Phone Radiation Could Interact With Human Tissues in a Never-Before-Considered Way

Cell phone signals’ effect on biological tissue surfaced again today via a Los Alamos researcher Bill Bruno who says the microwaves emitted by cell phones can interact with human tissues in an entirely new way that has yet to be taken into account. PopsSci reports.

quotemarksright.jpg... This doesn’t mean that microwave photons are necessarily scrambling your neurons, but it does add another wrinkle to the debate and is cause for concern and further evaluation. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Bill Bruno's paper

emily | 8:23 AM | permalink

April 22, 2011

Smart Diaphragm sends SMS re collagen levels in cervix

Pre-term births can result in dangerous deliveries for mothers and life-long medical problems for children. Currently, one in ten babies are born prematurely, but a new project called SMART Diaphragm is working to change this through an early detection system. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgSMART Diaphragm is an early warning system for high-risk pregnancies. Pregnant women insert a sensor-enabled diaphragm that monitors decreasing collagen levels in the woman's cervix - an indicator of impending pre-term labor. The results are wirelessly transmitted via bluetooth-enabled phones to a cloud data storage system.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 6:09 PM | permalink

April 18, 2011

Tanzania rolls out "SMS For Life"

SMSForLife.jpg Tanzania has announced the nationwide roll-out of a unique malaria treatment access initiative. Africa Science News reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe “SMS for Life” pilot launched in 2009 ran across three districts in Tanzania, ensuring access to essential malaria treatments for 888,000 people. 99% of health facilities involved avoided stock-outs of the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), one of the main anti-malarial medicines.

“SMS for Life” will now be deployed across 5,000 health facilities in 131 districts in Tanzania, covering a population of over 40 million.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:06 PM | permalink

April 15, 2011

Do Cellphones Cause Brain Cancer?

On Jan. 21, 1993, the television talk-show host Larry King featured an unexpected guest on his program. A young man from Florida, David Reynard, who had filed a tort claim against the cellphone manufacturer NEC and the carrier GTE Mobilnet, claiming that radiation from their phones caused or accelerated the growth of a brain tumor in his wife. The New York Times reports.

According to USA Today in 1999, Reynard and his lawyer didn't have much of what you might call evidence, which is why they didn't get very far in the courts. But the issue has hung around as a media fascination. Television shows and news reports can, in a matter of moments, leave a lasting impression.

emily | 8:59 AM | permalink

April 5, 2011

UCF Student Turns Cell Phone Into Mobile Microscope to Detect Malaria

A group of college students at the University of Central Florida have figured out how to turn smart phones into virtual microscopes that can detect malaria from a digital snapshot of a patient’s blood sample. UCF Today reports.

quotemarksright.jpgInstead of placing a blood sample under a microscope in a lab, a doctor or nurse working in remote parts of Africa would simply snap a picture of the sample with a cell phone camera. Then an image analysis algorithm – devised as a phone app that Gibeau created – calculates and detects where the malaria clusters are based on blood cells’ location and staining.

The only special preparation a field doctor would have to do is place a drop of a dye that stains for the malaria parasite in the blood sample – the same way it’s done in a lab.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:10 PM | permalink

Study: SMS reminders up flu vaccine adoption

A physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital found that sending text messages to predominantly Spanish-speaking, urban, low-income parents increased the chances those parents would bring their children in to receive a flu vaccine.

[via mobihealthNews]

emily | 8:15 PM | permalink

April 4, 2011

Safety Adovcate launches Lab Rat 4 SAR

Cell phone radiation safety advocate and FCC regulatory watchdog Cynthia Franklin has announced the launch of a consumer information website. Called "Lab Rat 4 SAR", the site provides facts and commentary about the outdated federal policies and unfettered industry practices regarding cell phone radiation (SAR).

Read full press release.

emily | 6:31 PM | permalink

April 3, 2011

Africa turns to cellphones for better health

banner-mdnet.png Africa is poor in landlines and hospital beds but rich in cellphones, which is why mobile health - mHealth - offers opportunities for providing care at a low cost, say experts. The AP reports.

quotemarksright.jpgIn west Africa, 2,200 doctors in Ghana and all of Liberia's 143 doctors have signed on to anti-poverty group Africa Aid's MDNet network, allowing then to call or text other physicians for free. In Ghana, a national directory helps find the number to call.

... Seventeen years after being torn apart by genocide, Rwanda is trailblazing the use of technology to overcome challenges in a country with one doctor for every 18,000 people.

... Marcha Neethling of the Praekelt Foundation in South Africa, which developed txtAlert, says it costs roughly 14 US cents per patient per month to receive the reminders.

"There is no other technology that can reach people in such masses. For the bang for your buck - the amount that you would spend to reach one person - it is by far the cheapest technology," she said. "It's so obvious to us that it's making a massive impact."quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.


- Africa Aid's MDNet Program: A doctor-to-doctor mobile

emily | 9:00 PM | permalink

March 24, 2011

Cell Phone Exposure May Cause Bone Weakening

Now cell phones are being blamed for bone weakening, according to a new study study in the March Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

Add this to the wide variety of afflictions - such as making children fat, affecting brain activity - but not in a good way, hurting your vocal chords, harming your body cells and damaging your DNA, bringing on RSI, giving a headache or an earache, triggering the onset of Alzheimer, creating an addictive disorder, undercuting male fertility, encouraging teenage promiscious sex or leading to sexually transmitted diseases and my favorite, using a cell phone while pregnant 'can lead to behavioural problems in children' - to name just a few.

But back to this new study. According to Newswise, "men who routinely wear their cell phone on their belt on the right side have reduced bone mineral content and bone mineral density in the right hip, according to the study by Dr. Fernando D. Sravi of National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina."

Actually, this is not new. A study by Turkish researchers, published in the September 2009 issue of the very same Journal of Craniofacial Surgery and reported by Health US News, suggested that "electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones may have a harmful effect on bone density".

emily | 6:53 PM | permalink

February 27, 2011

Device linked to smartphone helps diagnose cancer

The future of cancer detection may be in your pocket, according to The Boston Globe.

quotemarksright.jpgResearchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have built a $200 portable device that can hook up to a smartphone and analyze a tiny amount of tissue to determine in an hour whether a patient’s cancer is malignant and likely to spread.

In a paper published February 23 in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a team described the device they built and an early clinical test of 50 people who had their abnormal stomach tissue biopsied.

By looking at a combination of four biomarkers in the samples, the researchers correctly predicted whether 48 of the patients had benign or malignant cancers.

The technology is still at a very early stage and has yet to go through rigorous clinical testing. But it has shown promising early results and can produce a result in an hour, instead of in the days it might take with traditional methods.

The device can display its findings using the monitors on mobile phones.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Listen to Podcast from Science Translational Medicine, a conversation with Ralph Weissleder, who talks about his miniature micro-NMR machine operated by smart phone technology that can detect cancer cells in tissue biopsies from patients in less than an hour.

emily | 9:28 AM | permalink

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