How You Think Is Everything
When one thinks of the current status of the overall health of the world. we see that there is a rise in overall chronic disease and heart related problems. This is driven by the everyday choices and behaviors most of us chose to practice when it comes to lifestyle. The vast majority of coronary heart disease can be avoided with diet, exercise, and raising awareness in driving healthier communities.
Coronary heart disease is one of the results that stems from poor lifestyle behaviors. It results in blockage of our heart vessels and this results in damage to the heart itself. There is a lot of money spent in the procedures and medical testing that goes into this disease. Although there has been improvements in this area of health care, there is also a lot more ground to cover and fortunately innovative companies addressing this issue. In this article, I will touch on a coulple things in relation to this:
- Coronary heart disease by the numbers
- Heart Flow - a company working to improve the way coronary disease is detected
By the Numbers
- This is the most common type of heart disease and kills about 380 thousand people per year.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men.
- Overall heart related deaths account for 1 in every 4
Accounts for 1/3 of the deaths in those over the age of 35
- 1/3 of Deaths over 35 years old
- At risk
- 1/3 of Deaths over 35 years old
- At risk
Heart Flow - Innovators in Care
One example of work that is looking to saving the health care costs going into heart disease is aptly named Heart Flow. The company is using imaging software to lower the amount of people that may either not know they have disease or about to undergo invasive procedures. The image is a digital 3D representation of your arteries based on CT scans and then runs computer based algorithms that assess the extent of blockages within the vessels. The goal is to provide your physician with another layer of information to help guide the decisions that impact ones care and their experience.
Estimated Cost Savings
- Individuals may avoid invasive procedures
- Improved quality of life from increased patient experience and knowledge of heart health
- Cost savings to the health system
With one more month remaining for being being able to contribute to your Roth retirement account, now is the time to ask yourself 3 fundamental questions to gauge your retirement readiness and re-enforce your conviction for reaching your goals. This is an important exercise to regularly engage in as survey's show that by in large the general public is often overconfident when it comes to their readiness but when they run the numbers find retirement may not be as rosy as they think it will be.
In a survey done by USA today, 45 to 65 year olds where questioned about their readiness for retirement with roughly 59% of responders thinking they were indeed ready. However, when further probed for how much they had saved for retirement only 1/3 had saved $250,000 with another 1/3 having saving less than $100,000.
The Three Questions to Ask yourself:
Will you be able to have income during retirement that covers your current standard of living in retirement?
These question will be different dependent on how you want to spend the time and your geographic cost of living. Thus there is no right or exact number that you must absolutely have in terms of portfolio size, however when you factor in how you want to live and consider your current standard of living it provides a good benchmark of at minimum what you may want to expect. If time is on your side, it is best to live lean and when you are able max out. This helps build in the consistency and overcome the belief that you will always have time or be able to catch up down the road. Additionally, as with most things in life the only constant is change, so it is very likely that your planned retirement may shift and expand as it approaches on the horizon.
Do you have age appropriate mix of investment allocations?
The general rule of thumb here is youth gives you room to be more aggressive in terms of risk when starting out and shifting to more conservative mixes as you grow. As Vanguard Group founder Jack Bogle puts it simply "buy stock index funds and own your age in bonds". The other important aspects to keep in mind are maintain low fees and be diversified. In your youth however, I also like Warren Buffet't view on taking the time to find fundamentally sound businesses that you understand and if it is a good company go ahead and buy the company directly.
What do you plan to do in your retirement? The possibilities are endless:
Whatever you decide just keep in mind now is still time to contribute to your retirement:
- With this years contribution max being $5500 for those eligible, Roth contributions can help build up your next egg. The beauty of which, can allow you to potentially receive your distributions tax free under the right circumstances. The Roth also allows you to make contributions even after you have reach 70 and a half years old. Which is a great factor as many people are living much much longer than they did in the past. However, any contributions you make will not be able to be considered as deductions when filing your taxes.
An update of progress for our MSF readership:
MSF is now a year into providing our readership and community health and wealth related articles. In the coming year, we continue to focus on our goal of adding value to your reader experience by providing insightful and thoughtful articles.
Now that the site has reached over a year in publication, it provides a basis on which to measure our progress going forward. It also allows for an opportunity for insight into how we continue to keep you the reader in mind in all that we do. The site and its success to date is due to those of you who are now regular readers of the site and to our new readers welcome and thank you.
The metrics we track internally and follow as a measure making sure the mission of the site is being executed, and the vision upheld are in the areas of growth, efficiency, and readership. This translating to growth in in readers reached, operating margin for the site, and value add content shared. As we also see an increase in our global readership presence, we will try to look at topics pertinent to our globally changing landscape. Another area of increased exposure to expect in the coming month and for the 2017 calendar year will be looking at innovation more closely as it spurs the way we think and approach not only our finances but our world.
You will also notice, a change in the layout of the site which should provide ease for navigation and reading of content as well. Let me know what your thoughts are about the change. In summary, as we continue to be financially and physically healthy I am optimistic of continued growth in terms of being selective in the investments we make and maintaining an aggressive focus on elimination of debt as we achieve optimal financial health.
Remember that what you think is everything and always maintain focus on your personal mission and vision as you work towards making strides in 2017!
In the quest to cure disease and learn more about the body, a san Francisco based company raises $12 million in series A funding as they work to perfect growing cells outside the body. Their goal is to advance the culturing of cells so that researchers, drug developers, and providers can better care for patients.
The company’s name is Xcell Biosciences, and their stated mission is to democratize the culture of primary cells starting with labs. Their flagship product is the Avatar; built to mimick the physiological environment created by the body. It allows for various cells to be grown, ranging blood or solid tissue. There is also potential for broad disease applications with the work taking place looking at circulating tumor cells, stems cells amongst others.
This technology is timely as the recent passage of the 21st century cures act aims to increase funding aimed at advancing research and improving the drug development process. It will be interesting to see how the avatar technology develops with time, as there is always difficulty in working to replicate the naturally occurring processes within our intricately complex bodies.
The work looking at circulating tumors cells is interesting as medicine seeks to improve the level and time of detection of cancers as they grow or potentially reduce the use of invasive biopsy. This should result in a better patient experience as long as the level of detection can approach that of our current standards of care. What is intriguing is the potential opportunity to directly interact with growing cancer cells at very early stages with targeted efforts to better understand not only how the environment plays a role in the cancer, but more importantly what can be done to intervene at an earlier time point.
Although this technology, currently looks to advance the information we have about the body’s cells and how it is studied. It may offer a glimpse of how health care innovations are being shaped and the acceleration of bench top eventually to bed side improvements.
The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on the fabric of American society and the globe. Opioids are addictive pain killers that have effects on various receptors of the brain to minimize pain. In the last decade the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) has estimated a drastic uptick in the number of deaths associated with these pain killers. In a prior article, on the cost of pain, the prescribing recommendations by the CDC are highlighted. As the opioid epidemic continues to be at the forefront of our health system areas for care improvement, we revisit the topic.
The growth in opioid prescriptions has increased alongside the overall increase of opioid related overdoses and the untimely death of many. It is observed that greater than 500,000 visits to emergency departments is related to the misuse of opioid medications. The impact to the cost of care is estimated at nearly $100 billion USD.
Opioids refer to addictive medications that relieve pain by having their effect on various receptors in our brain that are involved in pain. These includes prescription medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone , morphine, codeine but also illicit drug use such as heroin.
As health systems continue to deploy resources and innovative solutions to improve pain management, the principles of the triple aim are key factors in these efforts. In the next error of health care, patient experience, population heath, and reduced per capita cost of care are three pillars that provide a broad lens with which to see the needs of patients. It is important that providers continually address the questions of how better to improve how patients are monitored and improve not only appropriate prescribing but medication adherence by those within their care.
In the US, current population estimates looking are approximately 320 million people. This breaks down to about 24% of people suffering from pain whether that is acute or chronic. Most pain societies make that distinction at about the 3 month mark, as at this point tissue healing from acute trauma by and large should have occurred under normal circumstances.
The issues providers face is that the growth in synthetic opioids as well as illicit drug use makes providing optimal care for those who need it most difficult. The ability of the system itself to test for the many forms of potential chemicals that can be present for a given patient at current is virtually impossible. The mainstay of testing is done with urine drug testing, however negative results do not necessarily mean there is no drug use, it may be due to inadequate detection due to the limitations of the test.
The legal efforts from states like Florida, have worked towards implementing safeguards of opioid prescribing to pain specialists, limiting the percentage of pain patients for a given practice, mandatory drug prescription monitoring, and limiting first time scripts to 7 days. States like Washington have limited doses to 120mg of morphine equivalent doses per day.
Improved testing methodologies are imperative as this epidemic also has wide reaching implications in regards to patient safety both in the inpatient and outpatient setting. There are also issues of mental health and the interaction of drugs leading to potentially worsening symptoms. As the next era of health delivery and innovation is underway, curbing of the opioid scourge will be imperative from both a clinical as well as a public health perspective.
Top 5 most admired companies:The companies that make up the top 5 list are Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, Berkshire Hathaway, and Disney. As a company Apple continues to maintain their market leading ability to garner anticipation for novel innovations and useful products for their established user base. Amazon, with their online platform has changed the way we shop, consume and expect timely service from the comfort of our homes. Starbucks, by and large leading the charge for the caffeine fueled world that many have made a customary part of their day. Berkshire's admiration stems from buffets steady hand and leadership over the years that have resulted in building the firm into what it is today. The number 5 company that rounds out the list is Disney. Disney's prowess stems from their ongoing ability to capture the imagination of its young demographic and still maintain it as those same individuals grow and have families of their own.
Points of consistency:A common element that resonates across the top 5 companies that is quickly apparent is their leadership consistency. If not in the individual at the helm, at the very least how they have succeeded in spurring a culture of innovation that continues to move their institutions ahead. These companies also reshape the status quo not as a means of need, but as a matter of business as usual. The third aspect of consistency is stamina in upholding the beliefs behind the why of their vision. An example is apple's statements made by CEO Cook:
We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and thats not changing. We are constantly focusing on innovating.
Originals moving the world:How are these companies moving the world. It is obvious that large numbers of individuals believe in the products their are bringing to the market. However, it is in how they have changed the expectations society has from global companies in shaping the very nature of what is to be expected from corporations. In terms of consistency, leadership, and thought leadership that inspires one to view the world and the possibilities that could be.
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- How 3D pictures of your heart are saving lives and money
- 3 questions for gauging retirement readiness?
- February MSF Update Letter
- $12 million for a company growing cells outside the body
- The Opioid Scourge
- Reflections on the Worlds Most Admired Companies
- Changing Habits For The Better
- Why it pays to be resilient
- Clarifying your goals and measuring success
- The triple aim and what would you do differently?
- Saying “Goodbye” to your debts using debt snowball and avalanche method
- Innovators in Care: Healthcare Bluebook
- Taking A Financially Savvy Vacation
- On The Road To Prevention and Wealth
- What Does Financial Empowerment Mean to You?
- 4 Rules To Learn From Business
- Looking Ahead, Strategies For Goal Completion
- Navigating the GI Bill and Higher Education Debt
- Lessons In Leadership: Effective Leaders Journal
- While Waiting On Your MacArthur Genius Grant, Public Service Loan Forgiveness Is A Good Option
- What Does Financial Empowerment Mean to You?
- On The Road To Prevention and Wealth
- 4 Rules To Learn From Business
- How the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction program is addressing HAIs
- The Health and Wealth Connection
- Your Financial Success Might Just Depend on Your Credit Score
- Top Reasons why to Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA
- How to Manage Educational Debt
- What is the best thing to do with my tax refund?
- 4 Steps To Avoiding Late Loan Payments