STAT News: As social media ‘influencers,’ patients are getting a voice. And pharma is ready to pay up

STAT News: As social media ‘influencers,’ patients are getting a voice. And pharma is ready to pay up. “Anne Marie Ciccarella is not a doctor, though she spends a great deal of time with them. She’s not a researcher, though she routinely pores over scientific papers on cancer. And even though she spent most of her career at an accounting firm, she’s getting paid by drug companies for her opinions. Ciccarella is one of a growing number of people who have leveraged their experiences as patients and the loyal followings they’ve built on social media into a career, no matter how small their audience.”

Georgia Tech: Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs

Georgia Tech: Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs. “The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to information about patient outcomes with specific drugs, the open source tool could help clinicians chose the chemotherapy drug most likely to attack the disease in individual patients.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Sarah Kliff brings transparency to ER prices, one hospital bill at a time

Columbia Journalism Review: Sarah Kliff brings transparency to ER prices, one hospital bill at a time . “IT STARTED WITH A BAND-AID. A $629 Band-Aid. A medical bill emailed to Vox senior policy correspondent Sarah Kliff got her interested in emergency room facility fees—a widely applied, highly variable, and little understood cost in the healthcare system. The fees, set between hospitals and insurers, are the charge from the hospital for coming in for treatment. Last October, Kliff set out to learn more about these fees through one of the only ways she could think of to get the information: by collecting hospital bills.”

Smithsonian Magazine: Canadian Doctors Will Soon Be Able to Prescribe Museum Visits as Treatment

Smithsonian Magazine: Canadian Doctors Will Soon Be Able to Prescribe Museum Visits as Treatment. “A stroll through the galleries of Quebec’s Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) places individuals face-to-face with works of art by the likes of Rembrandt, El Greco and Rodin, as well as some 43,000 artifacts ranging from Chinese ceramics to Inuit sculpture. Visiting is undoubtedly an elucidating cultural experience, but a new initiative posits that a trip to the museum is more than just intellectually stimulating: As Brendan Kelly reports for The Montreal Gazette, beginning on November 1, a select group of local physicians will be able to prescribe museum visits as treatment for an array of ailments.”

Seattle Times: Seattle doctors, scientists fight superbugs that could kill millions

Seattle Times: Seattle doctors, scientists fight superbugs that could kill millions. “Catching an ear infection is uncomfortable enough, but imagine if the antibiotics a doctor prescribed didn’t work. It’s a problem that at least 2 million people in the U.S. face every year, when they catch infections that are resistant to antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That makes the phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, ‘one of the biggest public health challenges of our time,’ the agency said. AMR may cause 10 million deaths globally by 2050, based on rising drug resistance for six pathogens, according to a report commissioned by the British government in 2016.”

Global News: Quebec scientists preparing medical database for astronauts heading to Mars

Global News: Quebec scientists preparing medical database for astronauts heading to Mars. “A mission to Mars might seem only plausible on the big screen, but plans for the eventual journey are in the works. It might be another decade before human beings touch down on our neighbouring planet, but Canada is investing in research that could get things off the ground.”

STAT News: IBM’s Watson supercomputer recommended ‘unsafe and incorrect’ cancer treatments, internal documents show

STAT News: IBM’s Watson supercomputer recommended ‘unsafe and incorrect’ cancer treatments, internal documents show. This article is paywalled. “Internal IBM documents show that its Watson supercomputer often spit out erroneous cancer treatment advice and that company medical specialists and customers identified ‘multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations’ as IBM was promoting the product to hospitals and physicians around the world.”