Stress is a health crisis that, over the years, has been more destructive than most. While we may not get the daily reports of casualties, there are undoubtedly a high number of people who are impacted by its health implications. Dealing with your stress is one of the kindest things you can do with your body. One way to approach this health management is to better understand the connection between your mind and your gut and the never-ending cycle of influence between each.
First, we should look at how stress impacts your body and your gut. Then, it is essential to understand how these physical issues exacerbate stress and how control over your lifestyle could create a positive rather than negative cycle.
How does stress impact your body?
When faced with a stressful situation at work, our bodies release hormones that help us deal with the threat. As our brain’s protective systems have not evolved so much from early man, these hormones evoke a fight, flight, or freeze reaction. In short, your body is primed to have a fight or run away with an apex predator.
Cortisol is released to encourage your heart rate and blood pressure to rise, sending blood to the muscles that will help you with your battle. Your muscles will tense as your body is made alert for the action it will take.
Failure to release this cortisol causes quite toxic effects on your body.
How does stress impact your gut?
As the mind and gut are intimately connected, this stress response has an intense impact on your intestine, bowel, and rectum. When you are in heightened stress, these muscles tense too, and blood flows to other parts of the body needed for survival. In short, stress is a destructive force on the gut.
It need not be surprising that you feel much of your intuition in your gut. When you are nervous, you feel butterflies, and when you are scared, you experience nauseousness. Taken to an extreme, stress can cause physiological changes to your gut, including severe inflammation and other gastrointestinal tract illnesses.
This problem becomes cyclical because your diet and intake of nutrients directly impact your mental health. Therefore, people with conditions like irritable bowel system are also prone to anxiety and depression. The mental health concerns then feed into the hormonal changes to the body that exacerbate the gut’s condition.
How can you use this mind-gut connection to your advantage?
Maintaining your gut health is a way to break this negative cycle. Managing what you eat can relieve the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems and provide the nutrients you need to feel mentally stronger.
Therefore, a simple step of eating a more plant-based diet could help your gut. You will consume a diverse amount of microbes that will feed the good bacteria in your stomach. You should also eat probiotic foods, which add more live bacteria to your stomach and can be found in live yoghurts, raw cheese, and fermented foods. You should also increase your fibre intake, eating vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains, and use extra virgin olive oil as your fat of choice.
It is also about moving away from foods that unbalance this system. Highly processed foods may be tasty, but they wreak havoc on your gut health, which in turn will make your stress levels worse.
How can your lifestyle help to control this stress?
You can be more proactive still by making lifestyle choices that break the negative cycle between your mind and gut. For instance, choosing to meditate or practise mindfulness can calm the mind, which will reduce the creation of cortisol. You are using your senses to move your brain from an analytical mode where it intuits a threat to a feeling of being present and grounded. Yoga is an excellent way of doing this, too and offers other physical benefits.
You can also seek to release endorphins and dopamine into your system, both of which literally eat up cortisol. Exercise is one of the most efficient ways of doing this and is why doctors suggest this to manage stress levels.
Finally, you need to get the right amount of sleep. Our mind needs sleep to process our experiences and to recuperate the mind and body. Without this ability to rest, recharge and rebuild, your stress levels will escalate – which in turn will impact your gut – which will cause your stress levels to increase even more.
The important message
Our body and mind are interconnected systems. You cannot hope to look after one without caring for the other. Therefore, taking care of your gut will help you cope with stress. Allowing stress to damage your GI tract will exacerbate negative emotions. Using all the tools available to you to break this cycle will help you cope with work-based stress.
Clinical Trials Day is a day to recognize those involved with clinical research, but this year is distinct as we recognize frontline heroes of the pandemic. In 2021, the ACRP is raising awareness of clinical research under the theme of ‘we rise’. Rising up to the challenge is exactly what clinical researchers, participants, research sites, pharma sponsors, and contract research organizations did during a year where there was no business as usual, and the need to pivot was stronger and more urgent than ever. 2020 was a refining year for everyone involved in clinical trials, one that pressurized and galvanized, ultimately resulting in stronger and more innovative trials.
COVID-19: Impact on Clinical Trials and the Rebound of Research
From participant to sponsor, clinical trials were affected in all facets throughout the course of the pandemic. According to a survey from the Society for Clinical Research Sites (SCRS), 78% of research sites reported an increased workload due to COVID-19. Not only were hospitals, doctors offices and university settings shouldering additional burden due to COVID, but their employees faced health concerns when treating participants. Even so, there have been so many examples of those who rose to the challenge. Additionally, participants faced challenges related to job loss, changes to transportation availability, and the need for childcare with school closings, resulting in lower participant retention rates. Any of the changes made to enable clinical trials to continue came with associated costs. Sites experienced new costs related to remote monitoring, PPE, home visits, and medication shipments. Sponsors had to find quick and effective ways to support their sites, with consequences in efficacy and enrollment.
What did it take, exactly, for clinical trials to continue through a year like 2020? It took an ‘all in’ attitude, quick shifts in regulation, adoption of technology, and the mobilization of thousands of participants – for COVID-19 studies and beyond. The mechanisms of patient interaction largely changed, and telehealth saw its moment. Of site respondents in a 2020 site survey by Greenphire, 69% said they are leveraging technology for at-home patient care. This included virtual health visits and the delivery of medication to homes. Sites and sponsors were intentional about paving the way for participants to be able to remain in trials, by increasing the removal of financial and logistical burdens to patients, like transportation, and costs associated with participation.
Technology Enables Trials of the Future
Technology and new approaches were the key to enabling clinical trials to continue. In a survey by the Society for Clinical Research Sites, 62% of respondents indicated they did not pause operations during the pandemic. It has been proved that trials can continue in the current environment, and as this becomes increasingly clear, enrollment is picking up and clinical trial activity has recovered, now hitting historically high levels.
Of course, this all works in tandem with the endless dedication of sites. In a site survey that Greenphire conducted, we learned that study investigators have worked diligently to ensure that patients remain engaged, with regular phone calls, emails, and text messages. As one respondent noted, “I’m proud to say that as Study Coordinator I have been in weekly contact with each of our enrolled families either by phone or email to reiterate the importance of their involvement in our research and our desire to return to normal operations as soon as possible.” Personnel also reported giving out personal cell phone numbers and making themselves more available to participants.
The pandemic has been a proof test for clinical trials. What is evident is the added value to patients, sites, and sponsors of using technologies that accommodate flexibility and reduce patient inconvenience. Sponsors, CROs, and sites have implemented automated payments, provided simplified and pre-paid transportation for participants, and have taken additional steps to facilitate participation. Accordingly, 86% of pharmaceutical sponsors say that they are actively seeking to increase the use of technology to better support decentralized trials. In 2020, many studies employed at-home monitoring devices coupled with patient micropayments to ensure compliance of study activity outside of the clinic.
Hybrid trials were already a topic of conversation pre-pandemic and now that this dynamic has proven successful, this trend will no doubt persist in the future. Technology designed to improve the site and patient experience can increase retention in these scenarios, and a solid financial infrastructure will remain essential.
Healthcare Innovation: Fueling Hope for the Future
While we see this being year unlike any other which celebrates and recognizes those involved with clinical trials, rising to the challenge embodies the core of trials themselves. Clinical research assesses ongoing diseases, conditions, issues, etc., and seeks to root out causes and pursue treatment options, forging new treatment options for healthcare as a whole. On this Clinical Trials Day, we thank all of those who rose to the challenge of COVID-19, and who continue to rise each day to pursue a brighter future for us all.
Welcome to the 2021 Q1 edition of Global Health & Pharma Magazine, providing you with all the latest news and features from across the healthcare and pharmaceutical landscape.
Whilst 2020 may have proven to be a very difficult year for many, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry was certainly pushed to its limits. Yet, just over twelve months on from the start of the pandemic and national lockdowns, there is sign of reprieve and hope that life can begin again. The rollout of vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 has proven to be a success, healthcare and pharmaceutical staff have given everything to help others, and the world is slowly but surely showing signs of returning to normal.
Speaking of returning to normal, many people will be yearning to get back to their hairdresser or barber and see to it that their hair is restored to its former glory. For those who have struggled with hair loss, be it genetic or simply pulling it out at the thought of an extended lockdown , the work of Juvida Clinics represents the same kind of hope for people who want their hair back. Juvida Clinics may not be able to bring back the last twelve months, but it can inspire youthfulness and life in its clients, helping them get ready for a return to life as normal with friends and family.
There is plenty more success stories such as this one to unpack within these pages, with each company featured delivering its own success through insightful knowledge and fantastic innovation in abundance. For now, we hope that you are staying safe and enjoy reading this latest issue of Global Health & Pharma.
Personal training is becoming more popular as a career path as the years go on. This is because individuals are looking for hints of encouragement to help them on their weight loss journey and fitness goals. Even in some circumstances, there have been stories of individuals loving the experience with their personal trainer course so much that they are encouraged to become a personal trainer themselves. These trainers are essentially in place to help individuals achieve their fitness goals and provide them with successes they can be proud of. Interested in becoming a personal trainer? Keep reading to find out some more about what the role consists of and how to go down this career path.
Keeping fit and healthy
Experts recommend that personal trainers are a fantastic, reliable and affordable resource to help you along with your fitness goals. Trainers are also generally recommended by doctors and physiotherapists as they provide so much help for their clients to reach where they want to be. They have a very inclusive knowledge and understanding of general health and fitness and take a non-judgemental approach to work.
Many of these instructors are very positive in their mental and physical outlook and believe anything is possible for their clients if they are ready to put the work in. Sometimes calorie deficits and walking the dog is not enough to get to where you want to be; this is when personal training courses come into play to help clients reach their ultimate goals.
Clients tend to opt into hiring a personal trainer for many different reasons. These include and are not limited to: if they are not seeing results, if they generally don’t know where to start and need a push, they need to be challenged and, if they have an illness or injury and need specific exercise for their requirements. One of the best resources that trainers provide is that they hold their clients fully accountable for their training plans and provide maximum motivation, so they see results fast. A lot of the time, individuals don’t have the necessities within them to reach their goals on their own. This is nothing to be ashamed of because it might just be their boring old exercise plan weighing them down. Personal training courses are a great investment for beginners, those who want to keep fit and for those who are even training for an event.
What is personal training?
If you don’t already understand what personal training is, let’s go into some more detail. So far, this article has discussed what personal training can do for the client, however, it is also necessary to understand what personal training is. If a client has hired a trainer and opted into a personal training course, they will receive a package entirely worth their money. A trainer will ultimately cater an exercise plan, diet plan and lifestyle package to their client. They are flexible in helping their client choose their end result and how they would like to get there.
In terms of the work involved, there is no single job description set for every personal trainer across the globe. As mentioned previously, this is generally because clients need to have a training package suited to their needs and wants. There are fundamental skills that trainers have that are required across clientele. They push their clients, help them stay motivated, hold their clients accountable to reach their goals, teach their clients how to exercise and, set a reasonable challenge for them. Personal trainers essentially act on their client’s behalf, keeping them accountable.
One of the main tasks posed to trainers is creating personal training courses for all of their clients. These programs act as a guide for exercise and eating whilst setting a schedule for working towards their goals around their daily life. There is clearly a lot to be gained from hiring a personal trainer. The benefits are also two-fold – personal trainers gain as much out of it as their clients as they are doing what they love.
How to become a personal trainer
If you love helping people and exercise sparks some joy in you, then personal training might be exactly what you’re looking for. In short, it is wholly possible to make personal training a full-time career. This becomes possible if you are willing to put the work in and do what it takes to maintain effective outreach services and client satisfaction. It is also possible to do personal training part-time as it can be done flexibly around another job or studies. This is what attracts many students to the job as it can be done rather easily if enough preparation has gone into it.
There are multiple ways to become a personal trainer. You can enrol yourself in private training courses – like this one with TRAINFITNESS – or enrol yourself in course at an educational institution. It is never too late to start if you have decided to train as an older individual; you just need to have that motivation and skillset required to push you along the way. It’s also important to consider that you need to work around the lives of your clients, so there may be some late nights and early mornings ahead.
Training courses to help you become a personal trainer are a fantastic, all-encompassing option that helps you fall neatly into the industry. This is because you finish these courses with recognised qualifications, and you are trained to meet the standards set for your industry in whatever country you reside in. When you enrol in a private training course, you are usually connected with a tutor to help you train in the practical elements of the course. These tutors can also help you with your course material as you make your way through what is provided by the private company.
Some educational institutions also offer the option to qualify as a personal trainer. With this, you should expect an educational setting with lectures, seminars and featured training programs. At times, educational settings require previous experience as a pre-requisite for a personal training course. This is why many people tend to opt for private courses instead as they can generate these qualifications through training with their chosen business.
Where do I choose to train?
Choosing where to train is completely your choice. Take this discussion into consideration when making your decision as you may already have the qualifications and resources required to fast track yourself and enrol a course. You should also take time out to research the courses you are interested in as your experience getting your certification may affect your general outlook and motivation toward the job. Consider the reviews of the establishments you are considering training with and be aware of your finances at all times.
Are you still asking yourself if personal training is a full-time career? Experts can guarantee you that it is – you just need to have the motivation and understanding to make your clients happy and get to where you want to be. Choose where you obtain your qualifications from closely as this can truly set your experience aside from others. Be your own boss and do what makes you happy.
Diabetes has had an enormous impact on the health systems of countries around the world in the last few years. Effective diagnosis has made many people aware of it, but few know how to handle the impact effectively. The team at Gendius have found a way of allowing people to actively track and monitor their condition. We take a closer look at how they’ve managed to achieve this formidable feat.
Tracking and monitoring the state of someone’s diabetes is no easy feat, but that’s what the team at Gendius have managed to do. With care and attention, this innovative digital health start-up and mHealth innovator have designed Intellin®, a way of seeing how the body is working and collecting data that can be used to improve this in the long run.
Intellin® came about thanks to the work of Rory Cameron and Chris Genders. Chris was an experienced sales director in the Pharmaceuticals scene as well as a diabetic. Bringing to the table an intimate knowledge not only of what it is like to have diabetes, but also how to improve the condition of others, he partnered up with Rory to bring Gendius into life. Rory brought an exceptional track record of success starting up businesses in the Pharmaceutical scene, allowing Gendius to quickly grow into one of the market leaders in mHealth.
The team’s flagship product is Intellin®, designed specifically for those who have diabetes. While there are many apps available on the market, Intellin® stands apart as a way of highlighting not just the symptoms of diabetes, but the risk profile a person falls into. In this way, Intellin® works as an advisor for many, guiding them to a healthier lifestyle.
The power of data has risen exponentially in many different fields over the last few years, but healthcare is an area in which this information could be utilised to make a real difference to people’s lives. The challenge has always been two-fold, firstly to collect accurate information about an individual and secondly to translate that information into an action plan that the individual can carry out.
To achieve this goal, Intellin® is made of two separate systems, each intertwined for the betterment of health. Firstly, there is the app. This end is handled by the person with diabetes, gathering data and information. The other end of Intellin® is a secure dashboard for the healthcare team. Because both are designed by Gendius, it is possible for the data collected from the individual to be transformed into personalised, tailored, clinically-validated educational content. Everyone’s experience of diabetes is different, and using the latest systems is the only way of ensuring that suggestions are thoroughly bespoke.
No one would consider arguing with the impressive systems that have made this process possible. Intellin® uses a proprietary smart algorithm to assess and interpret users’ comprehensive healthcare information. The collection of this data can be done in a number of ways, either through manual input, a direct link to a patient’s medical records or automatic syncing with a connected smart device. This data is then processed to highlight the most likely areas for diabetes complications, with reference to a clinical healthcare team.
Tracking and monitoring the state of someone’s diabetes is no easy feat, but that’s what the team at Gendius have managed to do. With care and attention, this innovative digital health start-up and mHealth innovator have designed Intellin®, a way of seeing how the body is working and collecting data that can be used to improve this in the long run.
The app is then used to provide tailored, medically approved educational content. Finding this content, information that can be practically applied and is medically accurate, lies at the heart of the Intellin® operation. If managing this challenging condition is down to finding the right resources, the team at Gendius have opened people’s eyes to a new way of working and living their lives.
Of course, Intellin® is by no means unique in its position as a diabetes app. The team have taken steps to ensure that they operate in a way that is thoroughly unique. For years, the ability to track blood glucose and blood pressure has been the key to the service these companies have provided, but the addition of clinical advice adds an element of urgency to what Intellin® offers. Instead of just being a collection of data, the data is proactively used and extrapolated. Instead of being a basic medical record, Intellin® is an app which acts as a diabetes ‘sav-nav’, helping people to plan for their futures.
Having something solid to hold onto is a lifesaver for those with diabetes. It is so easy to be bombarded with a wealth of information, often out of context and with no easy way of applying it. The validation processes that are championed by Intellin® means that any information from the app is medically approved, backed up by internationally recognised accreditations such as ISO27001 and NHS DSPT, as well as the team’s rating with the mHealth reviewer ORCHA.
Of course, one of the aspects that really sets Intellin® apart is its enormous compatibility. The app has been designed to work closely with more than 150 apps and connected health devices, ranging from Fitbit and Garmin devices, to blood glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs and continuous glucose monitors (CGM). The team know that the use of wearable technology to monitor the body has increased rapidly over the last few years, particularly amongst those people who have chronic health conditions. Ensuring that everything was compatible was a key part of the design process for Intellin®, therefore. It has proven to be one of the most appealing aspects of the app.
The firm has been proud to partner up with some of the most influential Pharmaceutical companies in the world. Many have yet to fully embrace the potential of mobile apps, such as those offered by Gendius, but the team have recently signed an agreement with AstraZeneca to integrate Intellin® into their educational platform, initially across the Gulf region. This impressive achievement is one more step towards breaking barriers between patients and healthcare providers.
Another recent partnership with digi.me will allow the firm’s users to automatically connect their NHS health records to Intellin®. Once connected to digi. me, Intellin® will automatically the health record data into its analysis engine. It is also an exciting development for Gendius’s work with the NHS, as this will allow the team to work with NHS CCGs and Trusts much more effectively.
This impressive record of growth is a credit to the team, and will not be slowing down any time soon. The recent partnerships that the team has championed have allowed for extraordinary results, but are not the only tack that Gendius has explored. Crowdfunding has proven to be incredibly popular, and the team leveraged this in a campaign of their own. In an impressive move, they managed to raise over £380,000, which was more than 700% of the original target. This added money can now be used to invest in bigger and better projects that will bring in an extraordinary return.
The growing interest in Intellin® is a credit to the way in which the team operates. It shows not only that the app has a future, but that it is filling a necessary niche for those with diabetes. That it does so in such an effective way is a reflection on the foundation of the business, with co-founders Rory Cameron and Chris Genders providing much needed focus on the three different aspects that have made the business a success, namely their expertise with the medical industry, their ability to sell a product and the personal knowledge that allowed them to create a product that people were interested in.
What Intellin® offers is something that simply hasn’t been on the market before. It’s the reason that in the rapidly growing mHealth space, the team have been able to ensure 300,000 downloads worldwide, with more than 60,000 monthly active users. Only 7% of health apps manage to gain more than 50,000 active users, and the team at Gendius have achieved this level within a year of operation. It’s clear that when it comes to diabetes management, the demand is there, and the demand is huge.
With such high demand comes a degree of responsibility to ensure that the information imparted to users is of the highest quality. The medical field is obviously one that is not static. It is in constant flux. This means that the team are in contact with leading industry experts to advise on any new information for the Intellin® app that could be of benefit.
Some members of the board have been specifically appointed to act in an advisory capabity. Two of the latest additions are Debbie Hicks and Mike Farrar CBC. Debbie is a leading voice in Diabetes health and co-founder of TREND-UK – an award-winning group of diabetes nurses, while Mike is the former Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. Having these resources to gather information from ensures that Gendius is always one step ahead of the competition. Few other companies could claim with such confidence to be at the forefront of innovation in diabetes management and digital health.
Of course, it’s not just medical practitioners who make up the Intellin® app a great resource. The feedback from users has been invaluable when it comes to incorporating new features and updates to the process. It’s a process that has enabled the team to connect more closely with their users, ensuring that their product continues to deliver the service that is expected of them.
Looking ahead, the future for Gendius seems incredibly exciting. The success of the Intellin® platform has opened many doors to the team that had not previously been considered. At the moment, the team are in detailed talked with global partners as they look to expand the reach of their product. The importance of mobile health apps has become increasingly obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic and is a service that can be scaled across borders incredibly effectively.
In the UK, there has been a huge reduction to the usual support services available for people with diabetes, making the remote management apps into a vital resource for patients of all sorts. This could well be the tipping point of huge structural changes to healthcare systems around the world, with large-scale reorganisation of healthcare towards remote management and supporting patients with long-term conditions at home. There can be no doubt that mobile apps will be at the centre of that change, with companies like Gendius at the forefront.
The team are also exploring the potential of their algorithm, working with a data scientist to develop and refine what it can offer. This is a large-scale data project that will require significant investment, but generates extraordinary opportunities. Using the data that is already to hand will allow the team to refine the Intellin® risk management algorithm so it can have a greater effect on users.
Alongside this, is the way that Intellin® constantly uses user data to improve itself. By knowing not only how people use the app, but what keeps them coming back to it, the team are able to drive their own development as a firm. This continued reflection that pushes the platform forward is what has allowed the team to support people around the globe with their remote diabetes management needs.
It goes without saying that Gendius offers a truly unique service. It’s a service that is based not on monitoring, but on action. These actions are guided by datasets and medical professionals, who are ensuring that people with diabetes are finding the best way forward for themselves. Often, it’s confusing to tackle an overwhelming amount of information. What the team at Gendius have developed is a way of synthesising that information down so that an individual knows what path to take. This is why they are leading the way when it comes to medical applications, and why they will continue to lead the world forward for years to come.
Helen Dempster, founder of healthcare tech start-up Karantis360, tells us more about her innovative solution to a familiar problem she and her family experienced.
In the UK, there are 12 million people over the age of 65, many of whom would like to stay in their own homes in later life or when receiving care. This option, however, is not always viable.
Karantis360 is an automated personal monitoring and alerting system specifically designed to promote independent, home living for older or infirm people, particularly those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia or to enable early release from hospital for clients where monitoring is required.
Having struggled to help her family look after her grandad in old age, company founder Helen Dempster looked at how technology could make the experience easier for others. She explains exactly what the firm offers and how its unique product ensures that Karantis360 stands head and shoulders above competitors within the industry.
“Using a non-intrusive system of sensors and machine learning, Karantis360 flags exceptions to a person’s normal routines and habits, such as whether they got out of bed, are sitting in a chair, have boiled the kettle, are moving around the home, etc,” she begins.
“By analysing activity data and comparing it to expected patterns, the system identifies when a person’s activity is out-of-the-ordinary and sends an immediate alert to a carer and/or family member, allowing them to respond quickly and effectively to any potential emergency.
“Using cloud and Internet of Things technologies, Karantis360 has created an app that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to monitor the care of older people in their own home, allowing them to live independently for longer and enabling caregivers to provide increased care when and where it’s needed.”
Recently, Karantis360 has announced a significant development in the form of its partnership with Lifelight, a company which provides contactless measurement of vital signs using a standard smartphone or tablet, with no additional hardware.
“The partnership means that we can now incorporate real-time clinical observations into our alerting system – with completely contactless measurement of vital signs in just 40 seconds using just a standard smartphone or tablet,” embellishes Helen. “The technology works by detecting tiny changes in facial skin colour that occurs each time the heart beats – including heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and oxygen saturations. The solution delivers clinical grade accuracy and is the only rPPG platform built to rigorous medical grade ISO 13485 and IEC 62304 standards.”
The solution provides a real-time view of a person’s wellbeing – allowing not only for timely interventions, but also the appropriate clinical actions based on real-time behavioural and physiological data.
The solution will provide reassurance to caregivers and family members by delivering a complete picture of the wellbeing of the person in a care setting. Any changes in normal daily routine or vital sign readings – which could point to a potential problem – will be indicated via automated alerts sent to the care provider and family members.
It is clear that Helen has a passion for her work and is dedicated to listening to both patients and caregivers to ensure continued customer satisfaction. However there are significant challenges within the industry that Karantis360 continues to face.
“Social care needs to undergo a rapid and long term transformation, but this can’t be achieved nor sustained by simply finding more capital to fund the same broken system,” she states. “Investing in technology can provide a solid foundation for transforming the delivery of social care through a more joined up and holistic approach throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem.
“Adopting technology to monitor individuals’ health in their own homes not only provides a safeguarding solution, but also enables behavioural and biometric patterns to be learned. The solution can therefore identify problems such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), for example, at the earliest onset to begin treatment immediately. Early identification and diagnosis minimises risk of an infection escalating to a critical point that requires a visit to A&E, and possible hospital admission – saving the NHS money and reducing bed blocking.
“We are now working with several partners in the UK and overseas on large scale implementations to bring the benefits of smart, assisted living to as many individuals as possible.”
It is no secret that we spend a lot of time in our cars. Commuting to work, weekends away with the family, and ‘big shops’ to the supermarket mean that the car almost becomes a second home for many of us. When lockdown was introduced, tighter restrictions were placed on where and when we can go out, so you would assume that we’re using our cars less, right? But for many, the parked car outside the house has become a solitary get away from the busy outside world, even if it’s stationary and in full view of your family and friends. Here, Autowise’s Russell Gardner explains the reason why so many of us have chosen to retreat to the car, and why it’s connected to the current pandemic.
‘Despite the amount of time we spend behind the wheel, many of us actually enjoy it. True, the congestion and traffic aren’t on anyone’s Top 5 things about driving list, but when people think about cars, then instinctively think about the freedom it gives them. Typically, we tend to spend a whopping 63 hours a year commuting to work, 35 hours driving to meet friends and family, and 33 hours traveling back and forth from the supermarket (motorists spend 293 hours a year in their car). So why are more and more people during Lockdown choosing to spend extra time in their cars?’
‘Before lockdown, 59% of drivers claimed that driving offered them a greater opportunity to think on things, and lockdown has only increased this, with 67% of drivers stating that their car is their personal happy space. Because of the stress of lockdown, and the claustrophobic nature of being stuck indoors all day, more than 20% of drivers are finding new uses for their parked cars, from listening to music, watching films, or just relaxing with some quiet time. The parked car has almost become the new shed at the back of the garden – a getaway space where you can retreat and be left alone, except a car has speakers and heating. That’s not to say that everyone who wants to escape to their car hates their home life. People tend to crave their own space, and with everyone working from home and getting in each other’s ways, it’s understandable that everyone needs a bit of alone time.’
‘For many working from home, the living room has become a new office space. For 8 hours a day people are working in the location that that was once considered a relaxing zone. I’m not going to claim it’s forever tainted, and you’ll never been able to destress on your sofa again, but there is a reason that 22% of people are cleaning their cars more regularly during lockdown – for a lot of people, it’s their new comfort zone. A place where you can collect your thoughts when on a break from the spreadsheets and videocalls.’
‘Originally the phenomenon of sitting in a parked car was due to non-essential travel being restricted, so why has it continued while travel bans have been lifted? Well, it seems cars are hugely significant to our lives, whether we’re driving them or not, and for many, they’ve become a part of us. A car signifies freedom, a sense that you can go anywhere if you wanted, so sitting in it puts you back in control (or back in the driving seat) during a time when many people have had their control taken away from them. Sitting behind the wheel brings an air for familiarity to an uncertain time, and that’s probably the why reason car sales are up 27% following the most extreme months of lockdown’.
Google trend data states that the search term, am I drinking too much, has received a 9.400% rise in UK searches between September + October 2020. Such data reflects the nations desire to still enjoy the months ahead that will inevitably be indoors. Here, PT and health practitioner Jason Briggs at the health and fitness brand Shoe Hero reveals the impact alcohol has across various age groups and how the body’s tolerance differs from 18 years old – 60+.
18 – 30
At the ages of 18-30, many can feel invincible. It is likely to be your social calendars busiest time with after work drinks, weekend beer gardens and late-night bar crawls. The current climate may see us less likely to socialise however, drinking at home has risen by 38% in the UK alone.
‘Regardless of your age or the location of your drinking, alcohol works in the same way, it is just its impact that differs’, says Briggs. ‘Alcohol is a poison that works as a diuretic. Inevitably, it empties the body of moisture leaving it dehydrated. The body holds the hormone vasopressin, an antidiuretic. The consumption of alcohol suppresses the production of vasopressin seeing that you lose moisture from the body and go to the toilet more. It is essential that you frequently drink water alongside your alcoholic drink. This will aid in restoring the moisture in the body and even limit a hangover.’
‘When alcohol is consumed, the enzymes in the liver transmute to acetaldehyde, which the body then works to break down and convert to the substance acetate,’ states Briggs. ‘Essentially, this metabolizes the alcohol to reduce its impact on the body’.
‘The younger you are, the quicker the body can process alcohol, which is somewhat good news for the 18-30s. However, that does not mean that you can drink carefree. Research suggests that the human brain is not fully developed until a person is in their 20’s, some scientists even propose that full development of the brain is not reached until ones 30’s. As a result, excessive alcohol consumption in your 20s-30s could see that the development of the brain is impaired. Fortunately, it is impossible for alcohol to destroy brain cells. However, it does disturb the link between the neurons that impact motor coordination.’
‘As boring as it may sounds, it is wise to drink responsibly in your 20s and early 30s’, advises Briggs. ‘The body is still developing, and frequent binge drinking will lead to long term effects in the future’.
We have all heard the age-old comment, ‘my hangovers are worse now that I am older. Unfortunately, this is not an old wife’s tale, it is somewhat fact. If you frequently found yourself binge drinking in your 20s, it is likely to catch up with you post 40. However, depending on the regularity of your drinking, you may begin to witness its impact as early as 30.
‘As we age, the body’s ability to process alcohol decelerates and the body’s ability to heal itself slows.’, says Briggs. ‘Over time, the liver develops fatty tissue that hinders its ability to metabolise alcohol and process essential nutrients. Consequently, it is inevitable that you will experience the dreaded 2-day hangover. The significant reduction in the body’s power to metabolise alcohol also means that you are more likely to feel the impact of the alcohol (i.e. ‘get drunk’) quicker. This is why many believe that as they age they evolve into more of a ‘light weight’.
‘It is no secret that drinking alcohol impairs our ability to make rational decisions. This is a result of alcohol harming the brains frontal cortex, the area that is responsible for making judgment calls. Whilst this is obviously affected when we consume alcohol, when we reach our late 30s/early 40s, its impact can last several days. If that is not bad enough, alcohol also slackens the neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible mood. As we age, this can lead to low feeling post drinks for several days. Worst case scenario, frequent binge drinking can pave the way to long term anxiety and depression’.
‘Sleep is vital at any age. It plays an instrumental role in the healing of the body, especially the heart. It reduces inflammation, increases cognitive function, and reduces stress. As we reach our 40’s sleep becomes increasingly vital. It becomes harder to get through a day on less sleep and we can really feel its impact on the body. A common misconception is that alcohol tires you and therefore you oversleep. This is not true. Yes, alcohol is a sedative however, it stifles REM sleep, the stage in our sleep cycle that is crucial for its restorative properties.’
Alcohol is laden with sugar. Whilst white wine, cocktails and syrup-based mixers may be the worst culprits, all alcohol charts high on the glycaemic index. ‘The glycaemic index is used by health practitioners to determine how quickly foods impact the body’s blood sugar levels’ says Briggs. ‘As alcohol is high in the glycaemic index, blood sugar levels rapidly spike. As they spike so quickly, they fall just as rapidly. This leads to inflammation. Those that are aged between 45-60 and consume alcohol on a regular basis often experience redness of the skin along with skin conditions such as Rosacea and broken capillaries. As the skin is well into the ageing process, the impact alcohol can be very apparent on those between this age bracket.’
‘The current climate has shone a global spotlight on our health as individuals, with a particular focus on the immune system. Speaking very generally, the healthier the person, the quicker they can dispel general illness such as cold and flu. Alcohol effects the cells of the immune system. An example of the harm this can cause is the effect it has on the lungs. Alcohol damages the cells as well as the fine hairs that clear the pathogens within the airway. If the lining of the airway is damaged as a result of regular alcohol consumption, viruses can easily gain entry to the body as the damaged immune cells struggle to fight the infection. As we age, we are likely to experience what I call ‘wear and tear’. Inevitably, the body will not function in the same way that it did in our younger years. It is wise to limit alcohol consumption and be mindful of how often drinking takes place as well as the volume consumed’.
‘People are often surprised to hear that alcohol effects the digestive system’, state Briggs. ‘This is not immediately apparent; however, its symptoms can appear as we age and ultimately when the damage is done. Alcohol damages the tissues that make up the digestive tract, preventing the intestines from digesting food whilst absorbing essential vitamins and nutrients. Excessive drinking into older years can even lead to stomach ulcers. The tell-tale signs of damage to the digestive system is abnormal bloating, diarrhoea and excessive gas’.
According to Briggs, even the smallest consumption of alcohol can have quite the effect on those who are 60+. ‘As we age, our hearing, vision and response timings tend to deteriorate naturally. Combined with the intake of alcohol, the deterioration can be extreme. For this reason, even if a person of this age group is within the legal limit to drive, they may not be competent.’
‘The most common consequence of alcohol consumption in those 60+ is the fact that it is likely to aggravate pre-existing health conditions. For instance, stomach ulcers, heart conditions and of course liver diseases can all be worsened as a result of drinking alcohol’.
‘At the End of The Day, the slightly boring motto of ‘everything in moderation’ has never been more relevant when it comes to alcohol. Everyone can enjoy alcohol should they want to but listen to your body and be mindful of how often your drink’.
We live in a world where medication can fix just about anything. At least, it seems that way. In reality, there are a number of times when medication doesn’t work. Even after multiple different attempts, you may find that your problems aren’t being solved by pills. Luckily, you have other options. Here is what physicians offer patients when medication isn’t working.
1. Healthy Lifestyle
It may seem overly simple, but a healthy lifestyle can greatly improve your health in a wide variety of ways. Start by eating right. Instead of eating processed foods or foods full of empty calories, focus on vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. You should also go to the gym or find other ways to get exercise. Find something you enjoy so that you are more likely to work out. Finally, you should work on quitting bad habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking that could damage your body even more.
CBD is a substance found in the cannabis plant. It’s a cousin to another substance found in the cannabis plant, THC. However, unlike THC, CBD does not produce psychedelic effects. Rather, it does produce a calming effect without hindering a person’s ability to function. There are numerous products induced with CBD nowadays, including food and beauty products. Find the product that works best for you and use it consistently. While there are very few side effects, it is possible to do too much and feel uncomfortable. CBD has been correlated with lower depression and anxiety, better sleep, and even reduced chance of cancer. Many claims still require more evidence.
This is used for people with severe depression when medication isn’t working. The transcranial magnetic stimulation approach is a non-invasive way of stimulating certain areas of the brain using magnetic energy. The process stimulates the production of neurotransmitters that help regulate emotions. While the process may sound somewhat scary, it is a noninvasive procedure with proven results. A transcranial magnetic stimulation session is non-invasive and typically takes less than an hour. You can start feeling the effects rather quickly.
Stress is often known as “the silent killer”. This is since it can increase blood pressure and heart rate. It can also cause sleep problems. Many doctors suggest patients that suffer from high levels of stress to try yoga and meditation. Both yoga and meditation have been shown to help reduce stress levels and clear the mind.
5. Herbal supplements
Most people don’t get the nutrients they need every day. If you don’t get all of the nutrients you need, your body may not be able to prevent certain illnesses and diseases. You should make a point to take effective supplements to keep your body functioning at top capacity. Look for a natural herbal supplement designed to offer everything you need for the day. This will make up for any nutrients you don’t consume throughout the day.
Medication is usually one of the first options when trying to cure a medical problem, but that might not be the best solution. Try these alternative methods if your medication doesn’t work. They can also work in conjunction with your medication to produce the best results.
Climate change is perhaps the most complex issue facing
modern society, affecting every aspect of human life including our health.
a Lancet report, spending on climate
change adaption is falling way short of the $100 billion a year commitment made
under the Paris Agreement. And of this spending, less than 4 percent is
channelled into health despite climate change threatening to undermine the last
It’s true, there will be beneficial health impacts from
milder winters which could help to reduce the winter-time peak in deaths. Hotter
than average summers could also help to limit disease-transmitting mosquito
populations, for example.
However, scientists agree that most impacts will be adverse,
with some declaring a public health emergency…
The effect of climate change on health
There are many health implications of climate change, but
many are still little understood.
This lack of understanding is fuelling under preparedness,
with the effects becoming magnified in specific regions such as Africa, where
more than half of nations fail to meet core requirements set by International
Small changes in temperature and precipitation are already
increasing the transmission of vector and water-borne diseases like malaria,
dengue fever and cholera. We can also expect an increase in tick vectors such
as Lyme disease, flea vectors which carry diseases such as the plague, and fly
vectors which can transmit leishmaniasis.
As accelerators of global warming, many air pollutants such
as methane, black carbon and sulphate aerosols are contributing to what experts
are calling “a silent public health emergency”, resulting in an increasing
number of recorded respiratory illnesses and early deaths.
What’s more, aeroallergens are on the rise due to climatic
change, such as mould spores indoors and pollen spores during spring and summer,
which could mean respiratory conditions like asthma become more common.
Extreme weather events, such as droughts, typhoons,
hurricanes and snowstorms are also putting food supply at risk and increasing
the prevalence of malnutrition and starvation, affecting people’s ability to
fight off and recover from a range of illnesses. The effects are already being
felt across Asia, South America and Africa in regions which have historically
suffered from low incomes, poor sanitation and food shortages.
Even for those living in less-affected areas, the uncertainty
of the Earth’s future is likely to have an adverse effect on millions of
people’s mental wellbeing. So much so, the term
“eco-anxiety” has been coined by doctors to describe
a new psychological disorder where people worry (to an extreme) about the
In the words of the young climate change activist Greta
Thunberg, “I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want
you to panic”.
Pharma is both part of the problem and the solution
Pharma, as one of the largest global industries, is both part
of the problem and the solution when it comes to minimising the adverse effects
of climate change.
In fact, the pharmaceutical sector is far from green. A first-of-its-kind
study by environmental engineers at The University of
Ontario, found the pharmaceutical industry is significantly more
emission-intensive (13 percent more) than the automotive industry despite the
sector being 28 percent smaller.
It’s not an overstatement to say that a level of opacity still
exists in big pharma which can make it difficult to see the collective impact
of the pharmaceutical supply chain on the environment.
However, there are many trailblazers in the industry who are
leading the way in changing the status quo and creating a more sustainable
pharma supply chain.
There are multiple ways pharma can help reduce their carbon
footprint and work towards an end goal of carbon neutrality.
Let’s focus on pharmaceutical waste continues to be a huge
problem. To eliminate non-biodegradable and single-use plastics from the supply
chain, more research is taking place around bio-based PET. It’s made from
ethylene derived from sugarcane which has a negative carbon footprint, using
CO2 and releasing oxygen when cultivated.
Researchers are now testing pioneering technology which
converts PET waste back into virgin grade material to be used again. Cutting
edge manufacturing methods like 3D visualisation and printing are also helping
to reduce waste by eliminating the need for multiple prototype designs.
with a hybrid partner, pharma companies can design or redesign their product’s
primary and secondary packaging to support compliance and make it easier (and
cheaper) to transport, while simultaneously reducing the amount of materials
used overall or facilitate a switch to more eco-friendly alternatives. A
virtuous circle if you will.
These cost-saving and efficiency gains
will help the industry fulfill its social responsibilities, including the need
to both pioneer more sustainable manufacturing processes and produce more
effective and safer medicines the entire world can afford.
Keeping supply chains moving is key
benefits aside, there are huge social impacts and environmental benefits of
creating a more efficient pharma supply chain and as the importance of these
issues grow, these benefits will only increase. Now, more than ever,
environmental management is key.
A pharmaceutical supply chain that’s fit
for purpose today and tomorrow is one
that’s not just reactive, but proactive. It will anticipate and accommodate
current and future trends, driving forces and challenges presented by
the climate crisis.
Whether it be a fast-developing public health emergency
caused by an extreme weather event, or a slow but steady increase in
respiratory diseases from worsening air population levels in urban populations,
the pharma industry needs to have the agility to respond quickly and support
the effective functioning of healthcare systems.
The pharma and biotech industries are no stranger to the
chaos caused by extreme weather on their research and manufacturing
capabilities. In 2017, Pfizer’s
manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico were
wiped out during a devastating hurricane season, resulting in a loss of an
estimated $195 million in inventory.
Investment in sites’ resilience is key to preparing for
extreme weather in advance and patching vulnerabilities which could close
plants, such as flood barricades, emergency power generators, and keeping
critical digital infrastructure on higher floors.
Governments and regulators may start to enact policies to
force big pharma companies to geographically diversify the locations of their
production facilities, particularly for products that are lifesaving and have
no substitutes, as well as carry heavy inventory to protect against supply
Keeping global supply chains moving in the aftermath of a
large-scale climate event is also vital.
To facilitate the new pharmaceutical
landscape, a fresh and agile approach is needed, one which leans towards an
all-in-one solution which isn’t restricted to one manufacturing location or
field of expertise.
Teams on the ground need to be capable
of creating any solution, to any problem, anytime, and anywhere. However, at
the moment, it’s common for multiple teams to be managing multiple
international supplier sites.
Consolidating the supply chain under one
roof brings a large range of benefits including, but not limited to: reduced
risks and overheads, greater innovation, assurance of supply and compliance,
tighter quality control and local availability via regional distribution sites
on a global scale.
While COVID-19 pandemic continues, and we all continue
to avoid public transport yet try to remain mobile, bicycle retailers across
the nation have experienced a wave of new sales, with many seeing customers
lining up around the block for hours just to grab a new set of wheels.
Meanwhile, as many retailers suffer trade collapses
thanks to the Coronavirus and the restrictions its imposed on our otherwise
daily lives, other retailers are overwhelmed by a spike in demand.
The bicycle industry is one of those, which has
created the perfect opportunistic excuse to get fit by riding a bike, without
worrying about breaching any social distancing rules.
Around the nation, bicycle retailers and repair shops
have welcomed the opportunity to continue trading during the lockdown after the
government deemed them an essential service beside supermarkets and pharmacies.
With people wanting to jump back on their bicycles,
whether for a sense of independence, as a new way to get active or simply to avoid
using public transport, bicycle retailers are now experiencing a sudden boom in
sales, seeing a healthy outcome from the Coronavirus crisis.
The Case of Retailer “99
Bikes” in Bondi Junction
In Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, bicycle shop 99 Bikes has witnessed a
huge surge in bicycle sales during the COVID-19 outbreak, with queues winding
out the door over the last several weeks.
Based in Bondi Junction, the queues are partly attributed to
social distancing rules, but more significantly, the lockdown restrictions have
created a demand for novel ways to exercise and get about.
“We’ve got people dusting off old bikes, we’ve
had a lot of people who have been thinking about getting a bike for a long time
who say they may as well do it now,” Mr Johns said.
“We’ve also had a lot of people spending time
with their family which is really good to see, buying kids bikes. We’ve even
had a few families come into and buy all bikes [for the whole family].”
According to Mr Johns, it was clear to see that
families are now spending more time together and more people are getting active.
“They’ve got the choice if
they want to get fat and be alcoholics or get fit and love their family, that’s
how I see it. Sorry I’m blunt,” he said.
Across Australia, 99 Bikes has 47 stores. The bicycle retailer
is jointly-owned by Flight Centre, Graham Turner – who cofounded the Flight Centre travel
agency network – and employees.
In order to cope with the increased demand for bicycles arriving
with the coronavirus outbreak, the company has employed approximately 50 extra
Of these, about half are staff from Flight Centre who have been
With the rise in use of bicycles, whether to maintain
independence, get fit or avoid public transport, it’s also caused an increase
in importance for us all to be aware of the legal obligations as a cyclist in
A General Outline on the Road Rules Around Riding a
Bicycle in Australia
As sales kick into a different gear for bicycle stores
amid COVID-19 restrictions, so too does the number of cyclists on NSW roads.
And why not?
Riding a bicycle is a safe way to travel given the
Even better, it’s environmentally friendly and a cheap
way to get around.
But what you may not realise is that in recent years,
the laws for bicycle riders have reformed around the country and it is actually
quite easy to get thumped with a fine.
Here’s what you should know:
Rule 15 of Road Rules 2014 considers a bicycle as a vehicle, which means
that the same road rules shared by motorists on the roads equally applies to
As such, bicycle riders in the state must obey the road rules.
They must stop at red lights and stop signs, give hand signals when changing
direction, and give way as indicated by road signs.
The following is a summary of some main things to know if you’re
riding a bicycle:
Bicycle riders on roads or
road-related areas must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and
fastened on the head. This applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age.
A passenger on a bicycle is
also required to wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened
on the head.
A bicycle rider over 16-years of age
is not permitted to ride on footpaths that are designated for the use of
The rider is an adult and is
accompanying a child under 16 who’s riding on the footpath and the child’s
under the rider’s supervision; or
The rider’s an adult and is
accompanying a child under 16 who’s riding on the footpath under the
supervision of an adult and the rider is also under the supervision of the
The rider’s a postal worker who’s
riding the bicycle in the course of duties as a postal worker; or
The rider’s carrying a person under 10
as a passenger on the bicycle or in or on a bicycle trailer towed by the
bicycle and the bicycle is not a pedicab.
Bicycle riders aged less than 16 are
permitted to ride on a footpath unless the footpath specifically prohibits it.
Paths that are designed for
both cyclists and pedestrians will always be signposted, and when riding on a
shared footpath, bicycle riders must keep left and ride at a speed suited to
Bicycle riders are not allowed
to hold onto another vehicle while the vehicle is moving, nor ride on a bicycle
that’s being towed by another vehicle.
People celebrate many exciting milestones as they get older. You throw
a party when you get your driver’s license, graduate college or get your first
big promotion. You may have raised kids with your partner or traveled the world,
and now you find yourself dealing with new challenges as you get older.
Society can make aging look like it’s something to dread, but as you
age, it becomes clear that there are still new things you can be proud of. Even
if you don’t have the same mobility or independence you once had, you can
always cherish the journey you’re on.
Read on to learn more about the beauty of aging in place, which is a
graceful act transforming how people embrace becoming older. You can use these
tips to appreciate your vitality, resilience and optimism about your future.
1. Enjoy More Happiness
Your perception is a big part of what dictates your reality, so help
yourself grow by maintaining a positive attitude. It’s easy to focus on the
negatives in life, especially if you’re just starting to cope with less
mobility or independence.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed with what you wish would change,
acknowledge things like medical conditions and assistance needs, and think of
them as things that will help you get more out of life. Accepting your new
reality will help you make peace with it and result in more happiness.
2. Learn About Self-Care
When you’re busy rushing to work or taking care of kids, it’s hard to
find time for yourself. Now life is slowing down, and you can use this time to
learn about self-care. An act of self-care is anything that helps you feel
comforted in healthy ways. You might pick up a new hobby, start a skincare
routine or learn how to meditate, a practice that reduces stress and enhances
3. Rediscover Exercise Routines
You may struggle with less mobility than you once had, but that allows
you to discover new exercise routines as you age in place. Boost your endurance
with walking, swimming, tennis and raking leaves. Work on your balance with
activities like yoga or standing on one foot. You can also make your muscles
stronger by using a resistance band or lifting weights. You may fall in
love with a new form of exercise and feel yourself continuing to grow.
4. Get What You Need
In earlier years, you may have spent money on necessities like your
kid’s college funds or car repairs. Now you have the independence to spend
money on yourself like never before. Think about what could make life more fun
and splurge on yourself. You might buy a new adjustable mattress or look into
installing an elevator to avoid taking achy trips up and down the
stairs. You deserve something special, and now is the perfect time to determine
what will make you happy.
5. Learn New Skills
Sitting around for hours on end in your home gets boring and lonely.
Stimulate your mind by learning new skills. Check out online or local classes
that will help your personal development, like art or computer programming.
Maybe you’d enjoy learning how to swim or studying a new culture. Think about
your interests and find courses that nurture them.
Make Peace With Yourself and Aging
Once you find peace in your new lifestyle, you’ll enjoy the beauty of
aging in place. Splurge on yourself, learn something new and rediscover
exercise to age with grace.
Global Health & Pharma Magazine looks to keep readers and web users updated with the latest innovations and advancements within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.