Website Provides Vaccine Facts, Helps Parents Track Kids’ Vaccine Schedule

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the week of April 21, 2012 to be World Vaccination Week. The purpose of the initiative is to spread information about the importance and safety of vaccines.

The Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition has developed a website called Immunize For Good, which provides parents with useful resources and factual information about vaccinations. Topics addressed on the website include information about vaccine safety, the number of vaccines given and the rationale for each, and vaccine side effects. Of particular importance, the site addresses whether parents should consider spacing out vaccinations in an attempt to reduce side effects or avoid “overloading the immune system.” While vaccinating on an alternative schedule has become popular in recent years, there’s no scientific evidence to support such an approach. From the website:

Vaccines are tested to work together to best protect your child’s health. The CDC vaccine schedule is designed to give your child the greatest protection possible… There is no medical benefit in spreading out vaccines. The alternative or delayed vaccine schedule will not decrease adverse reactions.

By 15 months, children on [a popular] delayed schedule are given 17 shots and visit the doctor’s office 9 times — almost twice as many visits to the doctor as compared to the CDC schedule.

In an effort to encourage parents to vaccinate on the CDC’s recommended schedule — and to make keeping track of vaccinations easier — the coalition has developed a web-based vaccine tracking program.

Create a vaccine schedule

Parents can access the vaccine tracking program from either a home computer or a mobile device. By logging in and providing information about their child’s age and vaccines the child has received, parents can get a personalized vaccination schedule that will keep their child up to date on all CDC-recommended immunizations.

Remember, vaccines save lives.

Source: Immunize For Good

Imagine the Future of Health and Medicine: TEDMED 2012

There’s one place where you can learn about the latest innovations in technology, science, health and medical research from some of the most influential thought leaders in their fields: TEDMED.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, is the world’s most famous conference on the ideas that shape the world. For the past three years, there’s been a special TED just for health and medicine — TEDMED — where passionate doers and thinkers go once a year to experience the power of new ideas, hear amazing and inspiring talks, meet innovative people, and leave transformed.

The annual TEDMED conference started today. TEDMED brings together 1500 thinkers and doers from a wide array of medical and non-medical disciplines. For the next three and a half days (April 10-13) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this uniquely diverse community will explore the ideas, innovations and challenges that will help shape the future of health and medicine for 300 million Americans … and the world.

TEDMED is hosting over 60 speakers this year, including Francis S. Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Joel Salatin, Polyface organic farmer and author; and Ivan Oransky, Executive Editor of Reuters Health.

TEDMED has no agenda and no policy prescriptions. Instead, the organization seeks to serve the nation — and the world — by creating a safe place where people with very different ideas can come together to talk, to learn and to celebrate the amazing world we live in.

MyHeartMap Challenge Inspires Pennsylvanians to Map AEDs

The University of Pennsylvania has been conducting a contest — the MyHeartMap Challenge — in which participants record locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the state. The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness about the importance and location of AEDs, and to build a statewide database of AED locations.

MyHeartMap Challenge

Drug Companies Collaborate to Fight Neglected Tropical Diseases

A global initiative to fight neglected tropical diseases launched in London this week. The so-called London Declaration calls for the eradication of 10 neglected tropical diseases by 2020. Experts are calling it the largest coordinated effort ever undertaken to combat diseases that affect 1.4 billion people in the world’s poorest countries.

Tropical disease

Microsoft Hosts Public-Private Partnership Innovation Forums to Help Build Healthier Communities

Tomorrow, Microsoft, together with Building Healthier Chicago and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, will kick-off the first of a new series of forums entitled “Innovation in Public and Private Collaboration.” The event will focus on cutting-edge and emerging business and public health collaborations among organizations in health, education, economic development and technology sectors. The keynote address will be presented by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin.

Microsoft - Innovations in Public and Private Collaboration

In the coming months, Microsoft will hold additional forums around the country to discuss additional drivers for facilitating public-private partnerships to improve health, economic, workforce and education outcomes. Future forums will focus on health modernization models, partnerships in healthcare and education, business and public health collaboration, technology innovation and health and economic development.

Since Microsoft is actively involved in many areas of healthcare, the company has a unique position from which to observe and participate in emerging public-private partnerships. Indeed, Microsoft works with both commercial and federal, state and local payers and providers, as well as life sciences, research and academic organizations and other community resources.

As part of an ongoing conversations with health decision makers across the country, William O’Leary, Executive Director, Policy, Health and Human Services at Microsoft talked with Dr. James M. Galloway, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General for the United States Public Health Services (who will facilitate the discussion on business and public health at the Chicago forum) and Claire Gregoire, chair of the Health and Wellness Coalition for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

From the interview:

The forum will also discuss cutting edge collaborations among health, education, economic development and technology. Regarding technology, we know that Congress, business and the health community are investing billions of dollars in health IT as a means to reduce health costs, facilitate access, as well as measure and improve outcomes.

These efforts leverage the Internet as a means to connect consumers, business and health care. For example, the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait helps users organize and share family health history. Government and business recognize that Internet access is a critical tool for improving health, education and economic development. As another example, Connect to Compete is a national public, private and nonprofit partnership announced by the Federal Communications Commission, which includes businesses such as Microsoft and Best Buy. The goal is to increase broadband adoption and digital literacy training in disadvantaged communities throughout the country.

You can read the rest of the interview at Microsoft in Health.