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Health Check-ups: A Family Affair - Making Healthcare a Priority for Your Loved Ones

15/01/2024

Making healthcare a priority for your loved ones is not just an individual responsibility; it's a collective effort that involves the entire family. Health check-ups, when viewed as a family affair, become a proactive approach to ensuring the well-being of every family member. This shared commitment to health not only fosters a culture of wellness but also strengthens the bonds within the family. Preventive Care for All Ages Health check-ups for the family encompass preventive care tailored to different age groups. From pediatric check-ups focusing on growth, vaccinations, and developmental milestones to screenings for chronic conditions in adults and comprehensive assessments for seniors, family health check-ups address the diverse needs of every family member. Creating Healthy Habits By making health check-ups a routine for the entire family, you instill the importance of preventive healthcare as a lifelong habit. This establishes a foundation for healthy living, emphasizing the significance of regular medical assessments, screenings, and lifestyle choices that contribute to overall well-being. Early Detection and Intervention Family health check-ups serve as opportunities for early detection and intervention. Regular assessments can identify health issues at their initial stages, allowing for timely interventions that prevent the escalation of conditions. This proactive approach is especially crucial for managing chronic diseases and preventing potential complications. Fostering Open Communication Making health a family affair encourages open communication about health concerns. Family members feel more comfortable discussing their well-being, sharing any symptoms or changes they've noticed, and seeking support or guidance from one another. This open dialogue is essential for addressing health issues promptly. Mutual Support and Accountability When health check-ups become a shared family commitment, there's a built-in support system. Family members can encourage and remind each other about upcoming appointments, share experiences, and offer emotional support during health challenges. This mutual accountability strengthens the family's collective commitment to health. Educating the Next Generation Involving children in family health check-ups not only addresses their immediate health needs but also educates them about the importance of proactive healthcare. Children learn from the example set by their parents and older family members, fostering a health-conscious mindset that they can carry into adulthood. Enhancing Family Bonding Participating in health check-ups together can turn what might be seen as a routine medical visit into a family bonding experience. Whether it's accompanying a family member to an appointment or discussing health goals together, these shared moments strengthen familial connections. By making health check-ups a family affair, you prioritize the collective well-being of your loved ones. It's a shared commitment to health that not only contributes to better individual outcomes but also fosters a supportive, health-conscious family environment where everyone plays a role in promoting wellness. To find out more about the health check-up services we offer, visit our check-up center. *image credit: George Zheng on Unsplash

Corporate Wellness Programs: The Role of Health Check-ups in Employee Health

12/12/2023

Corporate wellness programs have evolved into comprehensive initiatives that prioritize employee well-being. Health check-ups are a cornerstone of these programs, playing a pivotal role in promoting and maintaining the health of employees. They serve as proactive measures to assess and address potential health concerns, contributing significantly to the overall success and effectiveness of corporate wellness strategies. Health check-ups within corporate wellness programs offer employees a structured approach to monitor their health status regularly. These check-ups typically include screenings, physical examinations, and assessments conducted by healthcare professionals. They provide employees with insights into their current health conditions, empowering them to make informed decisions about their well-being. One of the primary benefits of incorporating health check-ups into corporate wellness programs is the early detection of health issues. Identifying potential health risks or conditions in their initial stages allows for timely interventions. Early detection through these check-ups can prevent the progression of health concerns, reducing the likelihood of more serious illnesses that could lead to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity. Moreover, health check-ups encourage a proactive approach to health among employees. By participating in regular assessments, individuals become more aware of their health status and are motivated to adopt healthier lifestyles. These check-ups often include counseling or educational sessions that provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other health-related topics, empowering employees to take control of their well-being. Corporate wellness programs that integrate health check-ups contribute to a positive work environment. Employees feel valued when their employer invests in initiatives that prioritize their health. This fosters a culture of well-being and shows that the company is committed to supporting its employees beyond work-related matters, leading to increased job satisfaction and morale. Furthermore, health check-ups within corporate wellness programs can result in cost savings for both employees and employers. Early identification and management of health issues can prevent more extensive medical treatments, reducing healthcare costs. Additionally, healthier employees are generally more productive, leading to lower absenteeism rates and higher work efficiency, which benefits the company's bottom line. These programs also serve as a preventive measure against chronic conditions. Regular health assessments enable employees to track their health metrics over time, allowing them to make proactive choices to prevent the onset or worsening of chronic diseases, ultimately reducing the burden on the healthcare system and improving overall public health. In essence, health check-ups are integral components of corporate wellness programs. They promote a proactive approach to employee health, encourage healthier lifestyles, foster a positive work environment, and contribute to cost savings for both employees and employers. By prioritizing employee well-being through regular health assessments, companies can create a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. To find out more about the health check-up services we offer, visit our check-up center. *Image courtesy of Emmy E via Pexels

Telehealth and Wearable Devices: Empowering Patients in Self-Care

20/06/2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, telehealth has emerged as a transformative force, changing the way patients receive care. Coupled with wearable devices, telehealth offers a powerful combination that empowers patients to actively engage in their own self-care.  This article explores the intersection of telehealth and wearable devices, highlighting their impact on patient engagement, monitoring, and overall healthcare outcomes. The Rise of Wearable Devices Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and medical wearables, have gained significant popularity among consumers. These devices provide continuous monitoring, real-time data collection, and insights into individual health metrics. They have increasingly found integration into telehealth settings, allowing for remote patient monitoring and personalized healthcare delivery. While wearable devices offer numerous benefits for patients in self-care, challenges related to data accuracy, device interoperability, and user adoption must be addressed to fully harness their potential. Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Telehealth platforms seamlessly incorporate wearable device data for remote patient monitoring. This integration enables healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients' health metrics and vital signs in real-time. Continuous data collection and analysis through wearable devices facilitate proactive interventions, allowing for improved chronic disease management and preventive care. Real-life case studies have demonstrated the successful integration of wearable devices into telehealth programs, showcasing positive patient outcomes and enhanced healthcare experiences. Empowering Patients through Self-Monitoring Wearable devices play a pivotal role in encouraging self-monitoring and promoting healthy behaviors among patients. By providing real-time feedback on physical activity, sleep quality, and other health metrics, wearable devices motivate individuals to engage in regular exercise, maintain good sleep hygiene, and adopt healthier lifestyles. Patients can track a wide range of health parameters, including physical activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate, and blood pressure. Furthermore, wearable devices leverage gamification elements and personalized feedback to enhance patient motivation and engagement, resulting in improved self-care adherence and long-term engagement. Enhancing Chronic Disease Management Wearable devices, when integrated with telehealth solutions, offer significant benefits for managing chronic conditions. For instance, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices enable remote monitoring of patients with diabetes, facilitating timely adjustments in medication or lifestyle interventions. Wearable blood pressure monitors assist in managing hypertension, while smart inhalers help monitor asthma symptoms and medication usage. These devices also improve medication adherence through reminders and alerts, reducing the risk of complications. Continuous monitoring of health metrics allows healthcare providers to detect early signs of health deteriorations, enabling timely interventions and preventing adverse events. Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Preventive Care Wearable devices act as powerful tools for promoting healthy lifestyles and preventive care. They track physical fitness, weight management, stress levels, and other factors contributing to overall well-being. Integration with telehealth platforms enables personalized health recommendations and interventions based on collected data. Wearable devices can facilitate early detection and prevention of diseases by continuously monitoring health metrics and analyzing trends. By empowering individuals to make positive lifestyle choices and adopt healthier habits, wearable devices contribute to proactive health management and reduce healthcare costs in the long run. Final Thoughts Telehealth and wearable devices have revolutionized patient self-care, offering a personalized and proactive approach to healthcare. By incorporating wearable devices into telehealth practices, patients have the means to actively engage in their health management. However, privacy, security, and ethical considerations must be prioritized to ensure responsible use of wearable devices in self-care. As technology continues to advance, the integration of telehealth and wearable devices holds immense potential to improve patient outcomes and transform the future of healthcare. At France Surgery, we can help you get in touch with a clinician from our network of medical experts in France. Contact us today to find out more. *Image by FitNishMedia from Pixabay

5 ways to ward off health issues

12/01/2023

As they say, “prevention is better than cure”, yet many people only visit their healthcare physician when they feel significantly unwell. Sometimes, sadly, depending on how long they have left it, their treatment options and prognoses can be more limited. Early detection and intervention of health issues can have several benefits. Some of the main reasons why it's important to identify health issues early include: – Increased treatment options: If a health issue is detected early, there may be more treatment options available, and the treatment may also be less aggressive and more effective. – Improved outcomes: Early detection and treatment of health issues can lead to better outcomes, such as a greater chance of recovery or remission. – Reduced risk of complications: Early detection can help to reduce the risk of complications from a health issue, such as the development of chronic conditions or secondary illnesses. – Increased chance of survival: For some health issues, such as certain types of cancer, early detection can greatly increase your chance of survival. – Cost savings: Treating health issues in their early stages can be less expensive than waiting until they are more advanced and harder to treat. This can also reduce the burden on the healthcare system. Overall, early detection is crucial for preventing or minimizing the consequences of a disease, which is why preventive screenings, regular check-ups, and being aware of potential health concerns are important. Here are 5 ways you can ward off health issues: 1. Eat a balanced diet: Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to keep the body healthy and ward off disease. 2. Get regular exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve overall health, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and promoting longevity. 3. Get enough sleep: Getting adequate sleep is essential for maintaining good health and can help to improve immune function and prevent chronic disease. 4. Manage stress: Chronic stress can have a negative impact on overall health, so it's important to find ways to manage and reduce stress, such as through meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques. 5. Preventive health screenings: Regular check-ups and screening tests can help to detect and prevent health issues in their early stages, when they are more treatable. This includes tests like blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer screening,and sexual health checks.

5 hours or less sleep could put older adults at risk of multiple chronic conditions

19/10/2022

Older individuals who regularly sleep for five hours or less could be putting themselves at risk of developing multiple chronic conditions, new research suggests. According to the research, the findings of which are published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, people aged 50 and over who sleep for five hours or less per night are at greater risk of developing more than one chronic disease compared with their peers who sleep seven hours. In fact, at age 50, those who slept five hours or less had a 30 percent greater risk of multimorbidity compared with those who slept seven hours. “Our study showed that sleep five hours or less is associated with 30 to 40 percent increased risk of onset of multimorbidity,” says lead author Severine Sabia, PhD, of Université Paris Cité, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and University College London. The association remained in each decade of life, whether sleep was measured at 50, 60, or 70 years old, says Dr. Sabia. When considered alongside previous research into the importance of sleep, the present study highlights why older individuals should prioritise this aspect of their lives. “Sleep is important for the regulation of several body function such as metabolic, endocrine, and inflammatory regulation over the day, that in turn when dysregulated may contribute to increase risk of several chronic conditions and ultimately death,” Sabia said. *Image by เดชาธร อมาตยกุล from Pixabay 

Telehealth consultations via drone could soon be real

31/03/2021

Telehealth services have really come into their own during the coronavirus pandemic, offering a way for patients and clinicians to have consultations without the need for a face-to-face meeting. Now, a group of inventors at the University of Cincinnati (UC) want to take telehealth consultations to another level by facilitating them to be performed via drone. The technology aims to fill the gap in telehealth delivery among those who do not own or have access to the devices, such as smartphones, computers and internet connectivity, that are required for telehealth consultations. Inventors Victoria Wangia-Anderson, Manish Kumar, Seung-Yeon Lee and Debi Sampsel from three colleges at UC collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous prototype that can be dispatched right to people’s homes. The drones are capable of carrying certain medical equipment and supplies, but remain agile enough to navigate the tight spaces found in homes. A variety of health assessments can be conducted using the telehealth drones, including taking temperatures and measuring oxygen levels. The drone kits also include patient-friendly devices, and the clinician will be able to instruct patients on how to use them. Patients who require assistance can also seek help from family or other caregivers during the drone sessions. Speaking about the telehealth drones, Debi Sampsel, director of telehealth at UC’s College of Nursing, said: “We can perform all kinds of functions: chronic disease management, post-operative care monitoring, health coaching and consultations,” she said. “And in the health care arena, there is no age limit. Telehealth services are useful from birth to death.” Find out more via the University of Cincinnati website. *Image courtesy of Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand for the University of Cincinnati

More health benefits of Mediterranean diet discovered

18/02/2020

The Mediterranean diet, which features plenty of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains, has long been lauded for its heart health benefits. But now a new study shows that it could also improve brain function in elderly people, even when only eaten for a year. According to the research published in the BMJ, following a Mediterranean diet for just 12 months can inhibit production of inflammatory chemicals in elderly individuals that can lead to loss of cognitive function, as well as prevent the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis. For the study, 612 elderly people from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom has their gut microbiome analysed. Then, 323 of them were put on a special diet, based on Mediterranean principles, for one year, while the rest were asked to eat as they normally would. After 12 months, all of the study participants had their gut microbiome re-analysed. Those who had followed the Mediterranean diet saw beneficial changes to the microbiome in their digestive system. The rate at which bacterial diversity was lost slowed and the production of potentially harmful inflammatory markers was reduced. Furthermore, there was also a growth of beneficial bacteria linked to improved memory and brain function. So-called “keystone” species, critical for a stable “gut ecosystem”, were also boosted, helping to slow signs of frailty, such as walking speed and hand grip strength. “Our findings support the feasibility of changing the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier aging,” the study authors said.

How much fiber should you be eating to prevent disease?

15/01/2019

The health benefits of eating fiber have long been hailed, but how much fiber should we all be eating to prevent chronic disease and premature death? A new study reveals just that… Commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), the research is the culmination of a meta-analysis of observational studies and clinical trials that took place over almost 40 years. The results appear in the journal The Lancet. One of the objectives of the research was to help in the development of new guidelines for dietary fiber consumption, as well as discover which carbs protect us the most against noncommunicable diseases. So how much fiber should we be eating? Well, the research found that a daily intake of 25–29 grams of fiber is ideal. People who consumed this amount of fiber each day were 15–30 percent less likely to die prematurely from any cause and had a 16–24 percent lower incidence of stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. The researchers also say that consuming more than 29 grams of fiber per day could lead to even more health benefits. Speaking about the findings of the study, Professor Jim Mann, of the University of Otago, in New Zealand, said: “The health benefits of fiber are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology, and effects on metabolism. “Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favorably influence lipid and glucose levels. “The breakdown of fiber in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer.” Fiber-rich foods include vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and pulses, such as beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Are you consuming enough fiber?

Drinking alcohol affects the bacteria in a person’s mouth

26/04/2018

Individuals who routinely drink more than one alcoholic beverage every day have an overabundance of bad bacteria and less good bacteria in their mouths, a new study has found. Compared to their non-drinking peers, drinkers have less good, such as Lactobacillales that help protect your gums, and more bad bacteria, such as certain Actinomyces, Bacteroidales, and Neisseria species that can lead to gum disease, heart problems and even some cancers. [Related reading: Regular excess drinking found to shorten life expectancy] Publishing their findings in the science journal Microbiome, the study authors said the acids found in alcoholic drinks could make the oral environment hostile for certain bacteria to grow, hence the lower number of so-called good bacteria. For the study, a group of more than 1,000 individuals had their saliva tested. The group included 270 non-drinkers, 614 moderate drinkers and 160 heavy drinkers. The results show that the drinkers had more Bacteroidales, Actinomyces and Neisseria species of bacteria, all potentially harmful, as well as fewer Lactobacillales, a family of bacteria associated with a reduction of gum inflammation. Talking about the findings of the study, Jiyoung Ahn, the study's senior investigator and an epidemiologist at the NYU School of Medicine, said: "heavy alcohol intake is a known risk factor for multiple chronic diseases, including cancers (head and neck, esophagus, colon and breast), liver disease and cardiovascular diseases."

Risk of chronic disease increases with just 14 days of physical inactivity

23/05/2017

While the association between a lack of exercise and an increased risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, is well-established, new research shows that just 14 days of physical inactivity can increase a person's risk such conditions. A study by the University of Liverpool found that young, healthy adults who switched from moderate-to-vigorous activity and then to near-sedentary behaviour for just 14 days experienced metabolic changes that could raise their risk of chronic disease and even premature death. Presenting their findings at the European Congress on Obesity 2017 in Portugal, Study leader Dr. Dan Cuthbertson and colleagues said that reducing physical activity for just 14 days led to a loss of skeletal muscle mass in the participants. However, the reduction of physical activity for 14 days also led to an increase in total body fat. Furthermore, said body fat was most likely to accumulate centrally, which the team notes is a significant risk factor for chronic disease. Current guidelines recommend that adults aged 18-64 undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity every week. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that fewer than 50% of adults meet these exercise recommendations. Are you doing enough exercise each week? Even just small lifestyle changes can make a big difference when it comes to your risk of chronic disease.

People are getting fatter, but fewer than ever are trying to lose weight - study

09/03/2017

Despite the fact the number of people who are overweight or obese has risen over the past 30 years, fewer people are actually attempting to shed weight, according to a new study, the findings of which were published in JAMA. Around two thirds of the adult population in the United States are obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. However, new research has found that even though there has been a significant rise in the number of people who are overweight or obese since the 1980s, the percentage of U.S. adults who are trying to lose weight has fallen. For their research, study co-author Dr. Jian Zhang and her colleagues from the Georgia Southern University, analysed the data of 27,350 U.S. adults aged between 20 and 59 years. The analyses revealed that the rates of overweight and obesity increased by 13%, from 53% in 1988-1994 to 66% in 2009-2014. Furthermore, the researchers also found that the percentage of people who attempted to lose weight over the same period actually dropped by 7%, from 56% in 1988-1994 to 49% in 2009-2014. At present, people are deemed to be overweight or obese depending on their body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 25 to under 30 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or above is considered obese. A healthy diet and regular physical activity are proven to help curb weight gain, which is why we should all make a conscientious effort to watch what we eat and exercise more. [Recommended read: BMI Wrongly Labelling People Unhealthy, Finds New Research]

Survey: wellbeing improves as people approach 70

01/03/2016

According to a new survey, people are generally happier in their 60s as they approach the end of their seventh decade, despite many of them having at least one chronic disease. Researchers at University College London, on behalf of the Medical Research Council in the UK, followed more than 3,000 Britons since birth and monitored their health and wellbeing over the years. They found that a person's average wellbeing improved as they approached the age of 70, even though many of them were suffering from diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or hypertension. For the study, participants were asked how confident, cheerful, relaxed and useful they felt while still in their early 60s. They were then asked again aged 68 to 69. Dr Mai Stafford, programme leader at the Medical Research Council's unit for lifelong health and ageing, said that people's wellbeing definitely improved as they neared the end of their 60s, but the reasons were still unclear. She said: "We found that one in five experienced a substantial increase in wellbeing in later life, although we also found a smaller group who experienced a substantial decline. "The benefit of using a cohort study like this is that we can look at how individuals change over time. "We hope this will allow us to pinpoint which common experiences may be linked to an improvement in wellbeing in later life." So while many of us will be anxious about growing older, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel as we approach 70.

Gum Disease Found to be Associated with Kidney Disease Deaths

23/02/2016

A new study has uncovered further evidence that a close link exists between oral health and chronic diseases; specifically that patients with chronic kidney disease and severe gum disease have a greater risk of death than those with healthy gums. Led by the University of Birmingham in the UK, the study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, found that oral health definitely isn’t just about teeth, again highlighting the importance of good oral hygiene. Iain Chapple, senior author of the study and a professor in periodontology, said: "The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums." For the research, Chapple and his colleagues analysed data from some 13,734 individuals in the US, of which 6% were found to have chronic kidney disease. The team then assessed the link between severe gum disease and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease. They found that over 10 years, the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease was increased by 9% if they also had periodontitis (severe gum disease). Professor Chapple said that the most worrying fact is that people with periodontitis often don’t know they have it. A little bit of blood when they brush their teeth is often dismissed as normal, but if they don’t have it checked out further they could be risking problems in the rest of their bodies.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

09/12/2015

According to the US-based Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects more than 50 million people in the United States alone, which means that one in five American adults have some form of doctor-diagnosed arthritis today. But while osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease and, therefore, the one that most people have heard of, rheumatoid arthritis should definitely not be overlooked or underestimated. Estimated to affect around 1.5 million Americans, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of the joints, which usually strikes after the age of 40 and affects three times more women than men. It’s classified as an autoimmune condition and people with the disease experience pain and inflammation as their bodies mistake the lining of their joints as foreign objects and attack them. While research has shown that smokers and people with a family history of the disease are more prone to developing it, the exact cause remains unknown, as is the case with many autoimmune conditions. The small joints in a person’s hands and feet are usually the first to be hit and the linings become inflamed and eventually the joint is eroded away. This is in contrast to osteoarthritis where the cartilage that covers the end of a bone is worn away due to wear and tear. Common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include deformed joints and loss of function; numbness and tingling in hands and feet caused by nerve pain and a low red blood cell count. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also one of the complications that can arise from rheumatoid arthritis and surgery is often the only way to cure it.

Bariatric

05/06/2014

What is weight loss surgery about? Obesity is a chronic disease. It can lead to difficulties in everyday life. It may also be affecting your general health and cause diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea ... Obesity surgery, often referred to as bariatric surgery, has been developed to help you lose weight permanently and control the diseases caused by obesity. However, to have surgery is an important decision and should only be made once all alternatives have been assessed. The Hospitals and clinics that are partners with France SURGERY are all recognised European Centres of Excellence in bariatric surgery by the EAC-BS European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric (fr)

17/04/2014

What is weight loss surgery about ? Obesity is a chronic disease. It can lead to difficulties in everyday life. It may also be affecting your general health and cause diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea ... Obesity surgery, often referred to as bariatric surgery, has been developed to help you lose weight permanently and control the diseases caused by obesity. However, to have surgery is an important decision and should only be made once all alternatives have been assessed. The Hospitals and clinics that are partners with France SURGERY are all recognised European Centres of Excellence in bariatric surgery by the EAC-BS European Accreditation Council for Bariatric Surgery.

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