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Editors at large

David Payne at Health 2:0 Europe 2015

20 May, 15 | by BMJ Group

logo_conferencia_bcn_okIs the Uber minicab model fit for healthcare? Why are doctors terrible digital adopters? And can the medical workforce benefit from using applications which promise virtual doctors on demand?

These questions and others were debated at day 1 of technology conference Health 2:0, an annual event which profiles “international innovation in patient-provider communication, consumer health, data analytics, and more.” more…

Sally Carter and Emma Parish review Who Cares?

8 May, 15 | by BMJ

sally_carterA whirlwind of real voices from the NHS

by Sally Carter, technical editor, The BMJ.

“It’s a parade performance,” said the woman at the box office, “but some of it is outside so I’d keep your coat on if you think you might get chilly.” I had never been to a parade performance before and became nervous—any hint of audience participation and I’m ready to bolt from a theatre—but I needn’t have worried. It just meant I had to walk to different parts of the Royal Court Theatre in London that had been turned into hospital corridors, operating theatres, waiting rooms, and cubicles for the performance of Who Cares by Michael Wynne. It was an impressive transformation. more…

David Payne at WIRED Health 2015

24 Apr, 15 | by BMJ Group

David Payne29.20am: I’m in London at WIRED Health 2015, “exploring the future of healthcare.” Already I’ve bumped into a would-be investor and I’ve just had  a “power shot” of grapefruit juice spiked with chili. Now I’m browsing the exhibitor stands, which includes live demo of the elegant cream leather Tao chair which, according to its inventor and Tao Wellness CEO Viktor Kalvachev and its promotional blurb, is an “invisible gym in your living room” enabling me to work out different muscle groups while I sit at home. more…

General election 2015: The health and care debate live blog

21 Apr, 15 | by BMJ


The BMJ was live blogging from the Health and Care debate at the British Library.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, Shadow Heath Secretary, Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, and Julia Reid, UKIP Deputy Health Spokesman, answered questions at the debate chaired by Sarah Montague from the BBC. more…

David Payne: What would you ask a future UK health secretary?

14 Apr, 15 | by BMJ Group

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt

If you were in the same room as health secretary Jeremy Hunt, Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb, and UKIP’s Louise Bours, what would you ask them? Now is your chance. more…

Birte Twisselmann: From Harry Potter to Hippocrates—the medicinal garden at the RCP

10 Apr, 15 | by BMJ

BirteLast year we published the obituary of Arthur Hollman, cardiologist, medical historian, and plantsman, who looked after the garden of the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park in London. In 1978 he implemented a new garden scheme, linking its plants and trees with medicinal uses and British doctors. The college offers regular guided tours round its garden, and, with my interest piqued by Hollman’s life story, I decided to go along on 1 April 2015.

The violets and cyclamens were in bloom, although most of the vegetation was still a bit hesitant in the cold weather. The garden includes about 1000 plants with “medicinal” uses and some 200 that are named after doctors. One of the first things our guide, garden fellow Professor Michael de Swiet, told us about was the rather fantastical sounding “doctrine of signatures,” which states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of those parts of the body. Examples include lungwort and eyebright; the walnut resembles a human brain, the tomato with its four chambers a human heart, and the kidney bean, a kidney, and so on. more…

Juliet Dobson: Understanding Ebola in Africa

25 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

juliet_dobsonWhat has the recent Ebola outbreak shown us about West Africa’s development? Did it reveal Africa’s weaknesses or its strengths? On 23 March, Hans Rosling, from the Karolinska Institute, and Margaret Lamunu, the World Health Organization’s Ebola expert, discussed how West African health systems tackled the Ebola outbreak, and what we can learn from the response as part of a live radio broadcast for the BBC’s A Richer World season. more…

Elizabeth Loder: Has the American Board of Internal Medicine lost its way?

19 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

elizabeth_loderElizabeth Loder examines the emergence of organized US physician opposition to revalidation requirements.

Something remarkable is happening right now in American medicine. A unified physician movement has emerged that cuts across the varied interests of different specialties to focus on a specific cause of dissatisfaction. It has already forced concessions from one powerful organization, and it shows no signs of fading. The targets? None other than the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and other specialty certifying boards, including their umbrella organization The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). more…

Juliet Dobson: Breast may be best, but it’s also a huge challenge

19 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

DSC00570News of a new study published yesterday in Lancet Global Health, which shows that breast feeding is linked with higher IQ, was music to my ears. I am the mother of an eight month old, whom I am still breast feeding, and it was encouraging for me to hear that the many months of hard work have been worth the effort.

The Brazilian study looked at 3493 babies and found that those who had been breast fed for a year or more scored higher on IQ tests thirty years later. They also spent more years in education and had higher monthly incomes than babies who were breast fed for less than a month.  more…

Richard Hurley: Multimedia, interaction, gamification: what does tomorrow’s medical journal article look like?

19 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

rich_hurleyThe internet has made it ridiculously easy to access information. Traditional media outlets like The BMJ are having to compete even harder with each other for attention.

The internet has also made it ridiculously easy for everyone to share words, pictures, and sounds, and traditional outlets must also vie with citizen publishers for audience interest and time. more…

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