Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals breast cancer diagnosis, calls for universal health care

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2017 Emmy Awards earlier this month.
Image: FilmMagic

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced Thursday that she has breast cancer, sharing a heartening post on Twitter that also calls for universal health care.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” her statement begins. “Today, I’m the one.” 

But ever one to use her platform for good, Dreyfus’ statement also called on her followers to demand universal access to health care.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal care a reality.”

Her announcement prompted an outpouring of sadness and love from fans, most notably from fellow actress and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate, who immediately offered her support.

Her Veep co-star Tony Hale also posted a heartfelt message about the news:

Dreyfus is an 11-time Emmy award winner. She took home her latest, for her role as President Selena Meyer on Veep, earlier this month.

HBO issued the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time. We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.

The company also offered support on Twitter.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-statement/

Magic mushrooms ‘reset’ depressed brain

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A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin.

Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a “lubricant for the mind” that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms.

But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

Image copyright Getty Images

The team at Imperial performed fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after (when the patients were “sober” again).

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed psilocybin affected two key areas of the brain.

  • The amygdala – which is heavily involved in how we process emotions such as fear and anxiety – became less active. The greater the reduction, the greater the improvement in reported symptoms.
  • The default-mode network – a collaboration of different brain regions – became more stable after taking psilocybin.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, said the depressed brain was being “clammed up” and the psychedelic experience “reset” it.

He told the BBC News website: “Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”

However, this remains a small study and had no “control” group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans.

Further, larger studies are still needed before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression.

However, there is no doubt new approaches to treatment are desperately needed.

Prof Mitul Mehta, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.

“This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies.”

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41608984

Trump tweeted 80 times since Maria hit Puerto Rico. Guess how many were about the storm?

Since the outer bands of Hurricane Maria began whipping Puerto Rico on the evening of Sept. 19, President Trump has published 80(!) original tweets. The vast, vast majority of them — as you may have guessed — were not about the deadly storm or his administration’s response to it.

To get a better sense of the president’s priorities, I’ve collected every original tweet he’s published since Maria hit the island (for the sake of simplicity, I’m not including retweets). The storm wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, leaving over 3 million people without power and wiping out nearly its entire agriculture industry.

As the hurricane hit, he shared a fairly appropriate presidential message of solidarity.

But his attention there didn’t last long.

Eight minutes later, he was tweeting about U.N. business.

Two minutes after that, he thanked a random follower.

Another eight minutes went by as he typed out a message slamming the Emmys.

(It sounds like he’s still bitter about never winning one.)

The next morning, Maria continued racing toward Puerto Rico. From Trump’s tweets, you wouldn’t know it.

He was back to the U.N., blasting Hillary Clinton, and praising Fox News.

At the same time Trump began these early morning tweets, Maria’s center was a mere 50 miles southeast of Puerto Rico’s populous capital, San Juan. 

Later that day, Trump tweeted about the GOP’s latest harmful, unpopular piece of health care legislation and dissed Rand Paul.

He took time to tweet a plug for his stop in Alabama to stump for Senate candidate Luther Strange.

At about that time, experts estimated it would take several hours for the hurricane to pass over all of Puerto Rico, given how slowly the storm is moving (10 mph) — which was not a good sign.

He also updated followers on his recent chats with foreign leaders.

Shortly after Trump tweeted that, the whole island of Puerto Rico lost power.

He tweeted photos from a luncheon with African leaders, conveniently leaving out the fact that he made up an African country to praise its health care.

Even after Puerto Rico went dark, Maria’s wind speeds remained dangerously fast, topping out at 115 mph. Still no word from the president, though he did take time to wish Jewish Americans a happy new year.

Around the time the National Hurricane Center reported there was “catastrophic flash flooding” across Puerto Rico, he went on an Alabama health care bender (again).

About 16 hours after Maria made landfall, Trump’s attention finally returned to the natural disaster and he again expressed solidarity with Puerto Rico.

Two minutes later, he went back to sharing more self-congratulatory videos and pics from his U.N. meetings.

He bragged about polls.

He published another vague teaser tweet about the U.N.

He blasted Rand Paul (again).

He called Kim Jong-un a “madman.”

He accepted a compliment.

He ranted about “fake news,” Russia, and Clinton.

He promoted his Alabama rally. Again.

He shared a U.N. video that seemed more like a movie trailer.

He thanked American Airlines for helping Hurricane Maria victims…

…but failed to specify how the federal government would increase efforts to do so and said nothing about helping Puerto Rico.

He went on and on about Alabama and Arizona.

He put more pressure on Paul (again) and went on and on about Alabama and Alaska.

Four days after Maria hit, Trump was busy attacking Stephen Curry and the NFL.

He boasted about Melania Trump, criticized Iran, and roasted John McCain.

By the time he was attacking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for not condemning the #TakeAKnee protests, more and more aerial footage from Puerto Rico was being released showing complete disaster across the island.

Still, no formal statement from Trump himself addressing the destruction.

He called Kim Jong-un “Little Rocket Man.”

He turned his attention back to pro sports.

He then segued to health care…

…before going back to the NFL.

He talked about making America scared — er, safe.

While Trump was randomly praising NASCAR fans, the complete devastation Maria brought to Puerto Rico came into full view.  

But the president still hadn’t publicly addressed how his administration would help. He went back to attacking the NFL again.  

He talked about tax cuts.

He talked about the NFL.

Finally, six days after Maria first made landfall, he — wait, sound the alarm — tweeted about Puerto Rico! Except…

He didn’t so much update Americans on what’s being done to help those in need, as much as he seemingly blamed hurricane victims for their poor infrastructure and mounting debt.

Because time is a flat circle, he then went back to blasting McCain.

And talking about Alabama.

And attacking athletes.

And more Alabama.

And more Fox News.

He thanked San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for essentially thanking him…

NFL. Alabama.

Added a few pics from inside the White House…

…and gave a shoutout to Nikki Haley to cap it off.

All in all, just six of Trump’s 80 tweets since Hurricane Maria began pummeling Puerto Rico had to do with the crisis itself. Six.

As The Washington Post reported, it’s really not complicated: Trump is more interested in the NFL than saving Puerto Ricans.

The president has a lot of responsibilities, of course. But saving American lives in the wake of natural disaster should be a top priority.

Maria was the third-strongest hurricane ever to plow into a U.S. territory. It’s killed at least 16 people in Puerto Rico thus far (but officials fear that number will likely rise). Nearly the entire island still has no electricity or cellphone service. Hospitals are barely functioning.

After facing a barrage of criticism pointing to his lack of response (or, evidently, interest), Trump confirmed on Tuesday that food, water, and other supplies were being shipped to the island and that he plans on visiting next week to assess the damage. One reason his administration was slow to respond? Puerto Rico “is in the middle of an ocean,” he explained. “It’s a big ocean. It’s a very big ocean.”

Puerto Rico needs us now. Here’s how you can help supply aid to Puerto Rico.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/trump-tweeted-80-times-since-maria-hit-puerto-rico-guess-how-many-were-about-the-storm

Daily Show’s Trevor Noah thinks it’s finally time to talk about guns in America

Image: Dennis Van Tine/Sipa USA

In the wake of a mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 520 people hurt, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is a time to unite as a country.” 

Well, The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah thinks that’s BS. On Monday night, he called out politicians and members of the media who claimed right now is not the time to talk about gun control. 

“I feel like people are becoming more accustomed to this kind of news,” he said, noting there have been 20 mass shootings in the two years he’s lived in the United States. 

After the latest shooting — in which a gunman fired at a country music concert from his Las Vegas hotel room — pundits even turned to hotel security as a possible culprit. Instead of, you know, sane gun laws. 

“We seem to do everything to avoid talking about guns,” Noah said. 

The talk show host pointed out that Congress was still considering the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which would make it easier to buy silencers and armor-piercing bullets.

“I can only say I’m sorry,” Noah told the people of Las Vegas, “sorry that we live in a world where people would put a gun before your lives.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/02/trevor-noah-daily-show-las-vegas-shooting/

This anti-bullying PSA acts out online comments in real life. It’s an uncomfortable watch.

Bullying is just as wrong when it happens online as it is in person. So why does one seem to be so much more acceptable than the other?

A new anti-bullying campaign and PSA called “In Real Life,” spearheaded by Monica Lewinsky, takes actual insults people have said online and brings them into the physical world. While actors portray the bullies and their victims in the video, the reactions of unsuspecting onlookers are genuine.

A collection of actual insults people posted online that were acted out in person as part of the In Real Life PSA. Screenshot from In Real Life/YouTube.

The PSA opens with a pleasant scene that quickly turns jarring. Two men are sitting together in a coffee shop, when a stranger walks up to their table. “Gay people are sick, and you should just kill yourselves!” he tells them.

This kind of interaction is not something you see that often in the real world (though it does happen). On the internet, however, that type of comment from a stranger isn’t just normal, it’s actually kind of tame.

Later in the video, a woman gets screamed at for being a “fat bitch” and a Muslim woman gets called a “terrorist.” In all of the scenarios, bystanders — who were not involved in the social experiment — look on with horror.

Screenshot from In Real Life/YouTube.

A number of studies show why people who wouldn’t bully someone to their face feel emboldened to do it online.

Anonymity, the ability to say or do whatever you want with little or no consequence for your actions, plays a role, but it’s far from the only reason people engage in cyberbullying. The performative nature of online harassment also encourages others to pile on the target, whether they have a stake in the conversation or not. Mob mentality dictates that the more people go in on the target, the less any single person might feel responsible for negative outcomes. More than anything else, though, the barrier of the internet between bully and victim creates an empathy gap.

On the internet, regular people — your neighbors, coworkers, friends, acquaintances, and even family members — are all susceptible to becoming bullies, making it that much more important to think critically about the effects of our actions and behaviors online.

Screenshot from In Real Life/YouTube.

Online harassment is so much more than being “just the way the internet is.”

“One thing people don’t necessarily realize about being threatened or dog-piled online is how much it can undermine your real-world sense of safety,” author Sady Doyle explains in a Twitter direct message. Doyle has experienced escalating bullying and harassment online for years, especially during the 2016 election season, in response to her writing on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Threats of physical violence and stalking across online platforms became normal to Doyle. Once an influential Twitter user took aim at her, to win that account’s approval, their followers would engage in a game of one-upmanship harassment. Doyle began to worry more and more about how it would end. Scheduled book readings brought on a new sort of anxiety, as she feared that any of her online tormentors would be able to easily confront her in person. Thankfully, it never happened.

“I think that lost sense of safety is really what the impact is,” she writes. “There’s mental health stuff, obviously — anyone with a tendency to depression, which I have, will internalize certain mean comments and play them back in a low moment — but it’s mostly the realization that there are people out there that want to hurt you, or your loved ones, and that you can’t necessarily recognize those people on sight, that is so damaging.”

People shouldn’t have to live in fear, and that’s why campaigns like “In Real Life” are so important.

“It’s a stark and shocking mirror to people to rethink how we behave online versus the ways that we would behave in person,” Lewinsky told People magazine about the project.

Saying that while “there are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions” of insults that have been written about her online and in print, personal confrontations were much, much less common. “When you are with someone, when you see someone face to face, you are reminded of their humanity.”

Lewinsky’s powerful 2015 TED Talk on “The Price of Shame” helped establish her as a major voice in anti-bullying activism. Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images.

Unlike Doyle, you probably don’t have to worry about online harassers showing up at scheduled appearances, and unlike Lewinsky, you probably aren’t an internationally known political lightning rod of the late ’90s. Even so, the lessons contained in this video — not to say things online that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face, to remember that real people are on the receiving end of every online comment, and more — are applicable to all of us. Online bullying isn’t the exact same thing as the physical playground-style bullying we’ve heard about all of our lives, but its effects on the target’s sense of well-being is every bit as real.

Whether you’ve been the bully, the bullied, or just a bystander, there are lessons we can learn from this powerful PSA, which you can watch below.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-anti-bullying-psa-acts-out-online-comments-in-real-life-its-an-uncomfortable-watch

Trump Officials Dispute the Benefits of Birth Control to Justify Rules

When the Trump administration elected to stop requiring many employers to offer birth-control coverage in their health plans, it devoted nine of its new rule’s 163 pages to questioning the links between contraception and preventing unplanned pregnancies.

In the rule released Friday, officials attacked a 2011 report that recommended mandatory birth-control coverage to help women avoid unintended pregnancies. That report, requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, was done by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine — then the Institute of Medicine — an expert group that serves as the nation’s scientific adviser.

“The rates of, and reasons for, unintended pregnancy are notoriously difficult to measure,” according to the Trump administration’s interim final rule. “In particular, association and causality can be hard to disentangle.”

Multiple studies have found that access or use of contraception reduced unintended pregnancies. 

Claims in the report that link increased contraceptive use by unmarried women and teens to decreases in unintended pregnancies “rely on association rather than causation,” according to the rule. The rule references another study that found increased access to contraception decreased teen pregnancies short-term but led to an increase in the long run.

“We know that safe contraception — and contraception is incredibly safe — leads to a reduction in pregnancies,” said Michele Bratcher Goodwin, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. “This has been data that we’ve had for decades.”

Riskier Behavior

The rules were released as part of a broader package of protections for religious freedom that the administration announced Friday.

The government also said imposing a coverage mandate could “affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way” though it didn’t point to any particular studies to support its point. A 2014 study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found providing no-cost contraception did not lead to riskier sexual behavior.

The rule asserts that positive health effects associated with birth control “might also be partially offset by an association with negative health effects.” The rule connects the claim of negative health effects to a call by the National Institutes of Health in 2013 for the development of new contraceptives that stated current options can have “many undesirable side effects.” 

The rule also describes an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality review that found oral contraceptives increased users’ risk of breast cancer and vascular events, making the drugs’ use in preventing ovarian cancer uncertain.

Federal officials used all of these assertions to determine the government “need not take a position on these empirical questions.”

“Our review is sufficient to lead us to conclude that significantly more uncertainty and ambiguity exists in the record than the Departments previously acknowledged.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-06/trump-officials-dispute-birth-control-benefits-to-justify-rules

    The Shirk Report Volume 443

     

    Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

    20 IMAGES

    Friday!
    I’ve squandered my life
    This new caption changes everything
    “Forget about the saw Jim we got it”
    When the Crossfit gym is closed for the day
    Today you become a man
    No Reward
    Reminds me of Thesaurus, the wordy dinosaur
    This guy’s pockets are tiny jeans
    Gotcha!
    That shirt is perfect
    Please do not season the birds
    I’m a simple man
    When your cat is disappointed with your life choices
    This would have been a great boomerang
    Guy gets into release party with a receipt
    When Mom says you can’t play until you’ve hung the laundry
    When Dad’s your hero
    Faceswapping parents with their babies will always be acceptable
    Until next week

    10 ARTICLES

    Against the Travel Neck Pillow
    How Norms Change
    Almost 90% of edible tomatoes thrown away based on appearance – research
    “Making It” at Rolling Stone
    How Steve Kerr revolutionized the Golden State Warriors’ offense on a charcuterie board
    The Inside of Every iPhone Ever
    Elephants mourn. Dogs love. Why do we deny the feelings of other species?
    The world’s first “negative emissions†plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone
    Is Tribalism a Natural Malfunction?
    The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics

    5 VIDEOS + meatballed

    HERE’S TO VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS THIS WEEKEND

    Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2017/10/the-shirk-report-volume-443/

    How America has silently accepted the rage of white men

    (CNN)In the wake of one of the worst massacres in modern American history, our government’s highest leaders will be silent about why things like this keep happening. “Warmest condolences” will be tweeted to families of those who lost their lives, minutes of mourning will pass and murmurs of mental health issues and lone-wolf actors will taper into silence. Taming homegrown terror and tightening gun control will be dismissed as inappropriate or unnecessary politicizing of a tragedy and quickly become secondary to more pressing issues on the administration’s agenda. America has been here before.

    In fact, America has been here 273 times in 2017 alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles deaths and injuries from shooting incidents and defines a mass shooting as any incident where four or more people are wounded or killed. According to their tally, there have also been 11,698 deaths as a result of gun violence so far this year. Between 2001 and 2014, 440,095 deaths by firearms occurred on US soil, while deaths by terrorism during those years numbered 3,412. Today, America faces approximately one mass shooting per day on average.
    Mass shootings are a violent epidemic that have been met with fatal passivity for far too long. If mass shootings were perpetrated mostly by brown bodies, this would quickly be reframed and reformed as an immigration issue. If thousands died at the hands of black men, it would be used to excuse police brutality, minimize the Black Lives Matter movement and exacerbate the “raging black man” stereotype. If mass shooters identified as Muslim, it would quickly become terrorism and catalyze defense and security expenditures.
      But this is a white man’s problem. According to an analysis by Mother Jones, out of 62 cases between 1982 and 2012 (a time period that would not include the actions of Dylann Roof or Stephen Paddock, among others), 44 of the killers were white men and only one was a woman. Since 1982, mass shootings in the United States have been committed by white men who are often labeled “lone wolves” or “psychologically impaired.” As a result, the government that would otherwise be mobilizing its institutions to bring about reform remains a stalwart of the Second Amendment and mass shootings’ greatest ally. An over-affinity for guns among white men, dangerous against any other backdrop, gets defended as patriotism by many conservatives or even as white pride by those on the alt-right.
      In fact, according to a 2014 poll conducted by Fox News, nearly seven in 10 Republicans believed that gun ownership is patriotic. If espoused by other groups, this sentiment and this number might be considered threatening. Instead, it is welcomed in a way that many believe gives tacit encouragement to potential mass shooters.

      Join us on Twitter and Facebook

      Make no mistake: this is war culture that has dressed up as Uncle Sam and embedded itself into the American psyche. Any other path — let’s say, for example, abortion or foreign-born terror — that led to the destruction of life on this level would be attacked as violently opposed to American values. But because this culture is embraced by the race and party that controls the government, it continues to be celebrated and defended in the spirit of love of country.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/03/opinions/mass-shootings-white-male-rage-modan-opinion/index.html

      Yes, The U.S. National Tick Collection Is A Thing That Exists. You’re Welcome, World

      Growing up in the woods, my siblings and I knew that we always had to check for ticks before going back inside.

      Having the bloodsucker attached to your body is terrifying enough, but there’s also the huge risk of contracting the diseases that ticks carry around with them. I’ve seen quite a few of these insects in my life, but it never occurred to me that there must be people out there who love studying them.

      Enter the U.S. National Tick Collection. Yes, you read that right. It’s a collection, and it’s actually pretty fascinating.

      Part of the Smithsonian Institution and housed at Georgia Southern University, the U.S. National Tick Collection has preserved more than a million ticks.

      They have about 96 percent of the world’s 900 tick species, and that includes all of the ones found in the United States.

      The collection was first formed in 1905 when scientists realized that ticks could transmit illnesses.

      They have some advice for anyone living in tick-heavy areas. “One of the important things we tell people when they want to remove ticks is, don’t break the tick,” curator Dr. Lorenza Beati says. She explains that if you do so, any bacteria in the tick could end up on your skin. Always disinfect!

      (via CNN)

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/tick-collection/

      Automated telemedicine is coming, for everyone

      When people without health insurance experience suspicious symptoms, they often rely on an internet search to decide whether the situation is dire enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room.

      However, by the time they seek help, the condition may have advanced to the point where care is complicated and expensive. Or, those without urgent need may end up wasting valuable emergency room resources to perform a screening service that could have been done elsewhere for a fraction of the cost.

      The irony of strict regulation is that while it drives up the quality of care, it also drives up costs, making it unreachable for those without health insurance. The fact that few for-profit screening services exist outside of health insurance ecosystems suggests the cost of FDA approval makes it prohibitively expensive to develop low-cost solutions. This leaves no options for the poor.

      But in many ways that is changing. GYANT, a San Francisco-based startup, recently launched a free app that can screen patients for the Zika virus, based on symptoms. It does not perform tests, or analyze images of the patient, but rather asks questions such as: “Have you traveled internationally in the last four weeks?” Or “Are you experiencing a fever?” After a few  questions, GYANT, rather than diagnosing, gives a percentage in which the patient’s symptoms match those of a Zika virus-affected patient.

      Prior to GYANT, most developers launched digital health apps on private, secure portals so they could control the flow of patient information. GYANT found a way to launch its app on Facebook’s Messenger. They now have more than 450,000 users and claim to have accumulated the world’s second-largest set of Zika data. The company recently took the technology a step further and can now help identify approximately 350 common health concerns.

      Another San Francisco company, Lemonaid, offers prescriptions for straightforward conditions, like urinary tract infections. The $15 process is almost entirely automated, using questions and a picture of the patient. A doctor confirms the prescription, which is sent to a pharmacy for pick up.

      While the automation powering these apps is not yet accurate enough for clinical diagnosis, their power lies in screening. Those facing financial difficulties may affordably check their symptoms or obtain standard prescriptions without signing up for an expensive health plan. The technology could sweep a large portion of patients away from emergency room doors, and perhaps even slow the spread of infectious diseases.

      However, there may be some significant regulatory hurdles for these apps. While the FDA has issued extensive guidance for mobile medical applications, many, if they provide a diagnosis, are still categorized as medical devices. For instance, while the 21st Century Cures Act excluded certain administrative health IT software from the category of “medical device,” anything related to the “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of a disease” may still be included. Additionally, the FDA currently administers the open-ended rules on a case-by-case basis that is hard to predict. While the FDA is in the process of developing a more concrete risk-based framework, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding health IT applications is likely cooling investment in this sector.

      Scott Gottlieb, the new head of the FDA, published an article in 2014 advocating for a streamlined approval track for healthcare apps that meet concrete safety standards. He argued that the benefits of increased patient awareness from these apps outweigh the risks of faulty information influencing patient decisions. Even with apps like GYANT, where the screening is based purely on questions and answers, the information is far more helpful than guessing at the severity of symptoms using a Google search.

      On July 27, Mr. Gottlieb announced the FDA’s new Digital Health Innovation Action Plan that includes a pilot program to pre-certify health IT software. Its proposed extensive guidance documents may bring the needed predictability in the U.S. market to unleash a flood of these apps. The benefits for patients far outweigh the risks.

      Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/22/automated-telemedicine-is-coming-for-everyone/