When influenza hit early and hard in the United States this year, it quietly claimed an unacknowledged victim: one of the cutting-edge techniques being used to monitor the outbreak. A comparison with traditional surveillance data showed that Google Flu Trends, which estimates prevalence from flu-related Internet searches, had drastically overestimated peak flu levels. The glitch is no more than a temporary setback for a promising strategy, experts say, and Google is sure to refine its algorithms. But as flu-tracking techniques based on mining of web data and on social media proliferate, the episode is a reminder that they will complement, but
Posted by Gary Schwitzer in Business of health, Health care journalism A report by The New England Center for Investigative Reporting - published by the Washington Post – is headlined, “Many health apps are based on flimsy science at best, and they often do not work.”“When the iTunes store began offering apps that used cellphone light to cure acne, federal investigators knew that hucksters had found a new spot in cyberspace.“We realized this could be a medium for mischief,” said James Prunty, a Federal Trade Commission attorney who helped pursue the government’s only cases against health-app developers last
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - It may not be the first quality that most programs evaluate in their applicants, but a new study suggests athletic achievement could be the best indicator of how well a doctor-in-training will do as a resident.
When residency programs evaluate medical school applicants for a few coveted spots, they typically consider grades, standardized test scores, recommendations and interviews.
But researchers from one head and neck specialty program found that a resident having excelled in team sports was a more accurate predictor of success in the program than any of those
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In an analysis of over 40,000 clinical trials registered in a government database, researchers found that many of those studies -- looking at the effects of drugs, devices or behavioral interventions -- were small and of inconsistent quality.
Those are the studies doctor groups rely on when it comes to setting guidelines about the best evidence for preventing and treating a given disease, according to a report led by Dr. Robert Califf at the Duke Translational Medicine Institute in Durham, North Carolina.
But if the evidence comes from small groups of patients in
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