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Is Your Computer Killing You?

Computers.

You’d think that they’re harmless pieces of hardware. But what you may be surprised to find out is that it has the capability to kill you.  No, it’s not the “rise of the machines” Terminator-style kind of carnage, but a more subtle one.

Using your computer extensively actually contributes to poor health. Bad posture leads to chronic pain, you can get addicted to games, it can make you fat from the lack of physical activity. All of these problems can be caused by that computer in your home office. So take heed and lead a healthier lifestyle – and turn your back from your computer from time to time. More →

Google Helps Out in Fight Against Flu Outbreak

You know what they say? It ain’t over till it’s over. That line goes through for last year’s most dreaded outbreak that spread on a worldwide scale – the H1N1. It’s a good thing that the outbreak was short-lived. The bad news is, it might not be over yet. A second strain might attack us anytime soon. This is what during the 1957 strain of influenza that hit the United States.

So, aside from prevention what could possibly be the best way to cushion the effect of another flu outbreak? Help people to understand the spread of flu. And that’s what Google is trying to do via its city level flu estimates of  121 cities in the United States.

Google Flu Trends, tracks the popularity of Google search queries relating to flu or influenza and then estimates the level of flu in near real-time in specific places. Google updates this daily and even provides early detection warning of any flu activity. Although experimental by nature pending validation from official data, the Google Flu Trends estimates were derived from U.S. national estimates, so there is still some degree of validity.

Google Flu Trends is a very useful tool and illustrates again how web tools can be used for the common good of mankind. Hopefully, the second strain of influenza that might happen soon is not as bad as the first strain. Better yet, let’s just hope that the second strain does not happen at all.

HealthCentral acquires Wellsphere creating largest online health and wellness community

HealthCentral, the website that collects online condition-specific consumer health and wellness experiences, has acquired Wellsphere, a health technology company, adding nearly four million monthly unique visitors to HealthCentral’s audience.

The acquisition combines HealthCentral’s high-quality, condition-specific interactive experiences, content and audience with Wellsphere’s aggregation of over 1,500 health and wellness bloggers and unique Health Knowledge Engine technology that deciphers highly specific health information. HealthCentral also will leverage Wellsphere’s health community enterprise technology which powers Stanford University’s BeWell@Stanford to deliver valuable health information and wellness tools for Stanford employees. The deal raises HealthCentral’s audience of its owned properties to ten million unique visitors per month, and makes the company the largest organic aggregation of online health and wellness communities.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

VideoMD.com hits milestone with 2,500 patient education videos

VideoMD.com, a new website that focuses on physician-generated video health information, has reached a milestone of 2500 patient education videos. VideoMD.com would like to thank all of the physicians, health care providers, and institutions that have helped to contribute to this milestone.

“We are quickly building the most comprehensive library of health information videos on the web. All of our featured videos are reviewed by physicians for medical content. We want the health information consumer to know that our video library is up to date, and trustworthy. We have videos from your own trusted physicians, as well as some of the preeminent specialists in their field of medicine,” said Dean Heller, MD, President of VideoMD.com.

In addition to providing a portal for all health information consumers, VideoMD.com serves as home for physicians to better educate their own patients. Health care providers can post educational videos for their own patients on their individual page of VideoMD.com.

Dr. Andrew Weil launches daily updated blog

drweil Dr. Andrew Weil launches daily updated blogTime-crunched? Who isn’t? But there’s no reason why a busy schedule should keep you from getting the essential natural health information you need to make smart health choices.

That conviction inspired Andrew Weil, M.D. to begin Dr. Weil’s Daily Blog. Regularly updated, Dr. Weil’s Daily Blog provides practical advice that Americans living in today’s busy world want and need. Topics include:

  • Fundamentals of Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • How to get the most out of vitamins and supplements
  • The most effective exercises
  • Stress-relief tips
  • Green-living guidelines

The new blog will complement Dr. Weil’s existing web sites, each of which provides a unique focus. The flagship site, DrWeil.com, features more than 5,000 pages of detailed and comprehensive information on all aspects of natural health. In addition, Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging explores how to minimize and manage age-related health conditions naturally, and Dr. Weil’s Optimum Health Plan takes plan members through an eight-week program that optimizes the health of body, mind and spirit.

LifeScript relaunches women’s health site

LifeScript announced the redesign and relaunch of LifeScript.com, a site dedicated exclusively to women’s health.

“This launch is the latest step toward our goal of creating the largest, most popular online health destination for women,” LifeScript CEO Ron Caporale said.

With a hip new design, intuitive channels, interactive tools and 40,000 pages of engaging content, LifeScript now provides the online health experience women want and need.

New site features include:

Daily Fix: Start the day with news you can use – the latest health alerts, diet advice, inspirational tips, weather, horoscopes and more.

Smart Health Search: Get quick and relevant results on everything from HPV to haircare using our intelligent search engine.

Women’s Health Centers and Condition Index: Worried about an itch down there? Get the 411 on top female conditions in our 13 women’s health centers. Look up thousands of women’s conditions, treatments, natural remedies and drug interactions with our easy-to-use encyclopedia.

Expert Advice: Learn how to keep a food diary or zap a zit. Browse 5,000 original articles, Q&As, how-tos and tips, written and produced exclusively for women by leading physicians, experts and LifeScript editors.

Healthy Recipes: Diet die-hards won’t go hungry with more than 3,000 healthy and easy-to-make dishes from our award-winning partners Eating Well and Food Fit.

Self-Help Quizzes and Tools: Watch a breast cancer video, see a food slideshow, calculate body fat, or test your health, heart or libido with one of our 500 healthy quizzes.

Healthy Community: Take a poll, rate a recipe, ask an expert, tell your story, comment on an article, or share your favorite LifeScript web pages using our new social networking tools.

Year to date, the site has attracted more than 4 million unique visitors a month, an increase of 49% over the previous 12 months. Subscriptions to the company’s 6 daily e-newsletters grew to 13 million during the same period, an increase of more than 98% since 2007.

New Google Health app helps users find patient assistance programs

PatientAssistance.com, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing information on thousands of patient assistance programs to help users better manage and reduce prescription drug costs, announced today the release of a new integrated service on the Google Health platform. The new application enables users to automatically search for patient assistance drug programs they are eligible for based on the medications included in their Google Health profile.

Patient Assist helps users do just that – save money on prescription drugs by finding available patient assistance programs. A patient assistance program is a service offered by pharmaceutical companies to help low-income, under-insured, or uninsured individuals and families afford necessary medications, with reduced-cost or free prescription drugs.

In addition to displaying a list of available patient assistance programs for medications in a user’s Google Health Account, PatientAssistance.com also offers a discount drug pricing feature to show users the cost of their listed prescription drugs in their local area.

Livestrong.com chooses A.D.A.M. content to support its community

A.D.A.M., Inc. announced that Livestrong.com has licensed its health content for its new health, fitness and lifestyle web portal. Livestrong.com is an online destination designed to encourage social conversations around health, while inspiring people to change their lives by offering online tools and relevant content from both experts and the community.

Livestrong.com users will now have access to A.D.A.M.’s accredited, physician-reviewed health content to help them better understand their health and educate themselves on various health topics including information on symptoms, treatments, and diseases and conditions among 3,600 articles and over 2,000 illustrations. Mmembers will also be able to use this content to share their own experiences and find other members dealing with similar health issues and situations.

As more consumers turn to the Internet for their health information, they are faced with the twin challenges of determining if their source of information is credible and trustworthy, and how to best make use of that information. A.D.A.M.’s health content enables consumers to access medically accurate text and illustrated content to promote better understanding and informed decision making about their own health and wellness.

About.com Health expands with Calorie Count Groups

About.com Health announced the launch of Calorie Count Groups, a free online social dieting network that allows members to connect and communicate about topics of interest, and motivate each other to achieve health and weight goals.

Using Calorie Count Groups, members can also create their own public or private groups and connect with people who share similar interests, live in nearby neighborhoods or have common goals. Thus far, approximately 26,000 Calorie Count members have joinedmore than 300 Groups in categories such as Motivation and Challenges, Foods and Cooking, and Losing or Gaining Weight, among others.

HealthiNation raises $7.5 million in funding for expansion

Digital health video network HealthiNation has raised $7.5 million in Series B funding led by Intel Capital. The new funding will support the company’s growth in programming, ad sales and operations for its core media network along with new offerings for health literacy environments such as employer health programs, hospitals, and health clinics.

Previous investor MK Capital also invested in the round. In addition, HealthiNation announced an expansion in its online video network, including partnerships with LifeScript, UCompare Healthcare, Parade Magazine, Lee Enterprises, and Guideposts Magazine.

HealthiNation’s premium quality video programs are created for consumer audiences, delivering unbiased, medically-reviewed content delivered in short entertaining episodes. HealthiNation’s experts are featured in each episode, covering a wide variety of diseases and conditions like diabetes and heart disease, along with everyday health topics like nutrition, first aid, and family health.