Tips for safe eating

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  1. Snack with raw vegetables instead of potato chips.
  2. Add fruits in breakfast.
  3. Prefer juice instead of a usual coffee, tea or soda.
  4. Wash fruits and vegetables with water and scrub with a dish brush when appropriate.
  5. Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and cabbage.
  6. Peel and cook when appropriate, although some nutrients and fiber may be lost when produce is peeled.
  7. Avoid fruits and vegetables that look brownish, slimy or dried out. These are signs that the product has been held at an improper temperature.
  8. Wash cutting boards with hot water, soap and a scrub brush to remove food particles.
  9. Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially fresh whole fruits and vegetables and raw meat, poultry and fish. Clean under fingernails, too.

Text of the speech delivered at Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik on 25th May, 2015 by Dr Jayshree Ben Mehta

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Ladies and Gentleman

It gives me immense pleasure in participating in this notable inaugural session of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, and UNESCO sponsored 3T Bioethics Training Programme, which in my opinion is a significant event of consequence and relevance alike.

In order to understand the concept of ‘Bioethics’ it is imperative that we are clear and loud about the core contours of ‘Ethics’. The dictionary definition of Ethics bring it out as ‘a set of principles of right conduct, or a theory or a system of moral values or the study of the general nature of morals or the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.

This brings us to a material question that if ethics are the study of morals and the philosophical process of considering what is moral and what is not then what exactly are the concrete ethical convictions underlying the bioethical evaluation process? The answer to the same is the objectivist view that ‘any action that willingly and directly benefits the well-being of a conscious human being is ethical, as long as it doesn’t willingly and directly harm any other conscious human being.

Society demands general respect for the human body and its parts. Human tissue should not be used at will or abused. Increasing public concern has been expressed over a number of ethical issues raised by the uses of human tissue ever since 1980s and continues till date. As such, it has turned out to be imperative that there is an important and urgent need to consider, clarify and where necessary, strengthen the ethical and legal framework within which the clinical and research usage of human tissue take place.

This is required to be evaluated in the context of the material fact that ethical question in medicine and life sciences are the subject of not one but two relatively new academic fields namely ‘bioethics’ and ‘health’ and human rights’. The growth of these fields has stimulated further attention to important moral questions in medicine and biology. Although this is to be welcomed there is also much to be regretted about the route bioethics has taken and about the very emergence of health and human rights as distinct academic field. More specifically, bioethics suffers from some serious quality control problems, while health and human rights seems to be in violation of a disciplinary version of Occam’s razor which proscribes the proliferation of discipline or fields beyond necessity. In other words, health and human rights, as an academic field does not seem to do anything that cannot be done either by bioethics, if the rights in questions are moral right, or by the law if the rights are legal rather than moral.

Bioethics per se can be understood in a broader or narrower way. Following the broader way, bioethics includes not only philosophical study of ethics of medicine, but also such areas as medical law, medical anthropology, medical sociology, health politics, health economics and even some areas of medicine itself. On the narrower side, it is limited to an area of philosophical enquiry.

The field of bioethics operationally has addressed a broad arena of human enquiry ranging from debates over the boundaries of life, surrogacy, the allocation of scarce health care resources to the right to refused medical care for religious or cultural reasons. However, the scope of bioethics has expanded with advancement in biotechnology including cloning, gene therapy, life extension, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space, and manipulation of basic biology through proteomics. These developments are bound to affect the future evolution and inevitably need new principles that address life at its score, such as biotic ethics that values life itself at its basic biological processes and structures and seeks their propagation.

One of the first areas addressed by modern bioethicists was that of human experimentation. The national commission for the protection of human subjects of biomedical and behavioural research was initially established in 1974 to identify the basic ethical principles that should underline the conduct of said research involving human subjects. However, the fundamental principles announced in the ‘Belmont Report’ in 1979 pertaining to autonomy beneficence and justice have influenced the thinking the world over across a wide range of issues.

In the context of multifaceted development an advancement worldwide and further as the 21st Century advances new and expanding areas of research will require increasing attention to their related ethical aspects. Neuroethics as one of the significant area pertaining to knowledge about human brain holds much promise and offers much needed hope to those who suffer from disorders of brain and mind. The relative accessibility of the brain through biochemical, electrical, and magnetic stimulation as well as surgery, makes neurological intervention tempting of knowledge as brain structure writing and chemistry grows. However, there has been very little systematic analysis of the ethical implications of the revolution in the brain sciences. So is the situation with reference to the ‘essence of personhood and identity’ in the context of relation between physiological structures and higher functioning in the domain of ‘mind or self’. Similar is the situation in the context of eugenics and also ‘when should a person die’.

In the quagmire of the said scenario, the initiative undertaken by Maharashtra Universities of Health Sciences, Nashik and UNESCO is laudable which is bound to give a new fillip to the face and facet of this vital arena in all its dimensions and manifestations.

I record my appreciation for the laudable initiative and hope and expect that it will definitely generate its own imprints on the stands of time.

Thank you,
Jai Hind

Dr Jayshree Ben Mehta

15 Game-Changing Wireless Devices to Improve Patient Care

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  1. An ECG in your pocket: The device, a one-lead ECG, attaches to a smartphone and records accurate ECGs and heart rate in 30 seconds.
  2. Monitoring inpatients when you’re not in the hospital: The new device can retrieve and display a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, CT scans, ultrasounds, labs, radiographs, medications, and more—including electronic health record (EHR) notes—on a doctor’s tablet or smartphone.
  3. Checking all your diabetic patients at once: A new device connects over 30 nonwireless glucometers to patient smartphones, transforming them into wireless devices that enable syncing of blood glucose readings, integrate food and lifestyle data, and allow for real-time connection between patients and providers.
  4. A foolproof medication compliance monitor: A sensor, which costs less than a penny, is placed on a pill. It gets activated by stomach juices when it’s ingested. A digital signal is then sent to a monitor worn on the patient’s arm.” This records the medication taken, ingestion time, heart rate, body temperature, body position, and rest and activity patterns.
  5. A symptom tracker for patients with asthma or COPD: A device that fits onto an inhaler and wirelessly syncs with a smartphone app to record trending data.
  6. An advance in insulin administration and glucose monitoring: A noninvasive, wireless monitoring system for people with diabetes. A pen-like skin preparation device administers insulin via pain-free transdermal skin permeation rather than a needle. A biosensor is then placed on the administration site, much like a Band-Aid; it wirelessly transmits the patient’s blood glucose level every minute to a remote monitor, which tracks glucose levels and rate of glucose change. Visual and audible alarms are triggered if levels move beyond the target range.
  7. Precise monitoring of cardiac patients with frequent symptoms: The new device including a wearable peel-and-stick sensor and a wireless transmitter is designed for patients with frequent symptoms that require short-term cardiac monitoring for up to 30 days.
  8. A scale that measures much more than your weight: A Bluetooth device monitors fat mass, lean mass, and body mass index with FDA-cleared bioelectrical impedance analysis. It also monitors your pulse (with an accompanying blood pressure cuff), records your standing heart rate history, and measures temperature and carbon dioxide to assess air quality. A companion smartphone app tracks running, weight loss, activity and calorie levels, and cardiovascular fitness.
  9. A smart way to monitor cardiac patients: This wireless device has been designed to continuously monitor a patient’s heart rate, R-R interval, respiration rate, ECG, activity level, position, and posture while in the hospital, in transition, or at home. A wireless module snaps into a holder held in place on a patient’s chest by two disposable standard ECG electrodes, making it easy for patients to stay remotely connected to a care team without cumbersome wires or hard-to-use devices. Vital signs, updated every minute, can be monitored in a special Web portal.
  10. A wireless system to improve seniors’ health and wellness: This tablet-like device improves quality of life for nursing home residents or enables elderly patients to remain at home. The simple software interface includes medication schedules and reminders, as well as lifestyle assessments and care coordination notes that wirelessly let family members and professional caregivers exchange information. The tablet mates with a variety of wireless devices available from the firm—a scale, pulse oximeter, glucometer, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, motion sensors, contact sensors (for doors and windows), and pressure sensors (for bed and chair)—with readings viewable in an online portal.
  11. An early warning system for monitoring inpatients: The device eliminates the need for cumbersome devices, replacing them with a tablet-like sensor inserted under the mattress of the patient’s bed. This device wirelessly monitors heart rate, respiration, and body movement. Computer monitors placed in prominent locations and handheld devices alert nurses of a change in patient status, enabling early detection of patient deterioration.
  12. A real-life Tricorder: Physicians and nurses of a certain age will remember a hit TV series from the 1960s, Star Trek, in which the Starship Enterprise’s resident physician, Dr Leonard McCoy, relied on something called a “tricorder”—a fictional scanning device—to measure the body temperature, heart rate, and just about every other physiologic function in his mostly human patients. Now a Chinese company, as created virtually the real thing.
  13. Patient-generated eyeglass prescriptions: A plastic eyepiece that clips onto a smartphone screen. A patient views the screen through the eyepiece, sees several parallel lines, and presses the phone’s arrow keys until the lines overlap. This is repeated with the lines at different angles, at which point software loaded onto the phone generates the prescription data. The process takes 2 minutes.
  14. The sole of a new machine: World’s first wireless sensor insole. As thin as a normal insole, it wirelessly transmits data on a patient’s plantar distribution of pressure to a smartphone app. This is useful for clinical research and sports science, particularly for training analysis and optimizing rehabilitation after a foot injury.
  15. Reducing pressure ulcer risk in bedridden patients: An app-device combo automates wound assessment; simplifies wound treatment; wirelessly enables care team communication; and identifies bedridden, at-risk patients before pressure ulcers can develop.

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