Thursday, June 27, 2013

REPOST: Study: 95% of People Don't Wash Their Hands 'Correctly'

This article from the Atlantic reveals that most people tend to take hand washing lightly, even though the simple act can help them avoid many diseases. Read the report here:

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PROBLEM: If you haven't consulted with the CDC's official guide to handwashing recently, you might be surprised to learn, as I was, that they don't distinguish between using warm or cold water. What is important, they say, is that you use soap, that you scrub well (including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails) for at least 20 seconds, and that you dry your hands afterwards. The CDC also officially recommends humming the "Happy Birthday" song twice through for an accurate measure of time.

METHODOLOGY: Since "research has established that people generally overstate the degree to which they wash their hands," researchers at Michigan State hid out in four different bathrooms to see what was really happening. More specifically, they deputized their research assistants to do so. The assistants, who were instructed not to draw attention to themselves (they entered data into their phones so it would look like they were just texting), categorized people as not washing their hands at all, as wetting their hands but not using soap, or as washing with soap. In addition, they timed how long each person spent scrubbing.

RESULTS: Of 3,749 people observed leaving the bathrooms, 66.9 percent used soap, while 10.3 percent didn't wash their hands at all. The other 23 percent of people stopped at wetting their hands, in what the researchers, for some reason, call "attempted washing" (as if maybe those people just weren't sure how to follow through). Although the researchers generously counted the combined time spent washing, rubbing, and rinsing, only 5.3 percent of people spent 15 seconds or longer doing so, thus fulfilling the requirements of proper handwashing. They average time spent was 6 seconds.

Other findings include: people were less likely to wash their hands in the evening and significantly more likely to use soap in the morning; women, at 77.9 percent, were much more likely to use soap than men (50.3 percent), as were people perceived to be older than college aged, and soap was used more frequently when the sinks were clean.

IMPLICATIONS: Two separate surveys that relied on self-reports found that 96 percent of people claim to wash their hands consistently. If what's going on around Michigan State is any indication, the opposite is in fact true. Handwashing, again according to the CDC, "is the most effective thing one can do to reduce the spread of infectious disease."

Satori World Medical is a leading medical travel services provider. Follow this Twitter page to find more articles on health and wellness.

Medical travel in Thailand: How the country sees the future of the industry

Although Thailand is still the number one medical travel destination in the world, it is concerned about the future of medical travel, thinking that the high number of medical travelers and the low cost of medical procedures may not be enough to sustain the continued growth of the industry.

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The affordability of medical travel is one of the biggest reasons why more and more people opt to fly overseas for their treatment instead of having their medical procedures done at their home countries. However, using the lower cost of overseas health care to entice people to come to Thailand for medical travel can be dangerous, especially if it prevents hospitals and agents from thinking ahead on how to attract more medical travelers without lowering costs further and sacrificing their profit margins.

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As lower profit margins can sometimes mean lower-quality services, Thailand should instead focus on adding more services and maintaining the high quality of medical care without reducing prices or sacrificing their bottom line. A recent Tourism Authority of Thailand survey confirms this. According to the survey, people still put experienced doctors, advanced technology, and high-quality facilities and staff ahead of lower costs.

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Steven Lash is the CEO of Satori World Medical, a San Diego company dedicated to providing affordable and high-quality health care to its clients. For more information about the premium medical travel services offered by Satori, visit the Satori website.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

REPOST: Soylent: Is the ‘Food of the Future’ Really a Nutrition Solution?

This article from sheds light on Soylent, which is advertised to be the future of nutrition. Read about it here:

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For the past five months, Rob Rhinehart has lived off Soylent, a milky mixture of vitamins and minerals he developed. He says it contains all the human body needs to be completely satiated and nutritionally balanced — and he believes it will change the way we eat.

“It started as a personal need for myself,” says Rhinehart, a 24-year-old software engineer based in San Francisco. “My diet before was pretty poor. I ate mainly convenient cheap foods because I wasn’t really that into food.”

For about a month, Rhinehart researched exactly what the body needs to survive, down to the biochemical level. His mixture is composed of lots of vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. Check out the full ingredient mixture here. He started testing Soylent on himself, and found it gave him more energy, he lost weight and always felt full. On a trip home to Atlanta, Rhinehart says he came across an elderly neighbor, who had become gaunt with age as he grew too old to continue properly cooking. He realized Soylent might have benefits for other people too.

“It seemed ridiculous that things have gotten so efficient and streamlined and we have come so far, but we haven’t figure out how to get healthy food to everyone,” says Rhinehart. “In San Francisco, the food and health differences between the poorer and more affluent areas are so clear. It’s not that people don’t know what things are healthy and unhealthy. They don’t have the means.”

Some of Rhinehart’s arguments for the adoption of Soylent won’t appeal to everyone. He argues current eating behaviors are inconvenient. “I think people’s relationship with food would be a lot healthier if it was more of an option. People should be working on their education and their career and their passion. If cooking is one’s passion then that’s great, but for a lot of people it’s not,” he says. Besides a few meals on the weekend, Rhinehart only subsists on Soylent.

But when I asked him about whether he sees any potential for Soylent to play a role in public health and combating hunger, he was well versed in the issues of food insecurity and how Soylent could be a part of a greater change. “I think diet has a lot to do with one’s overall health,” he says. “I think it has a lot to do with health care expenditure. I think this could really help preventative care by allowing a lot of the body’s natural mechanisms to keep up and [maintain] the energy it needs to make it a healthy system.” Soylent doesn’t spoil; all the mixture needs is water. So it could not only cut down on food waste but could be easily transported.

Although Soylent sounds like an elixir for good health, dietitians have serious concerns about the lack of evidence to support it.

“The claims he is making are not scientifically substantiated,” says Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman. “The composition of what he has made is not going to be nutritionally adequate. He has made a lot of assumptions, and it is not going to be sustainable by any means for a certain population or even for an individual.”

Nor is Soylent the yummiest thing around, notes Dubost. Many people who’ve tried it have not been fond of the tasteless drink. Taking the pleasurable experience out of eating is counterintuitive because savoring a meal helps release hormones that regulate satiety and suppression of appetite. “If you’re not enjoying your food, chances are, you are going to overeat or undereat,” says Dubost. “I think, in the long run, this isn’t setting someone up to be healthy.”

Watch Rhinehart and his colleagues explain the benefits of Soylent:

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Satori World Medical is a San Diego-based medical travel services provider. Follow this Twitter page for more interesting news on what’s going on in the healthcare industry.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Medical travel: Eliminating the risks that come with overseas healthcare treatment

Having medical treatment abroad offers rewards that many have taken advantage of through the years. However, medical travel, especially when the treatment is performed in an unaccredited hospital and by a less reputable doctor, does not come without risks ranging from being exposed to a new strain of virus and experiencing ethical dilemmas.
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Unfortunately, patients, like Orla Buckley, found out about this the hard way. Ms. Buckley, an American, was in Spain when she was involved in a soccer accident that shattered her kneecap. She underwent a surgery and spent about 10 days in a non-air conditioned ward that she shared with dozens of other patients. Ms. Buckley’s experience showed how American and overseas medical treatment differ in many aspects. And Spain is not even a country known to have backward medical practice.

Dr. Gary Brunette, a medical epidemiologist in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Travelers' Health Team, explains that Western Europe and other countries, like Australia, Canada, and Japan, give medical services that have a standard that matches that of the United States’. However, there are some regions in those countries where medical standards falter.

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Experts advise medical travelers to check on the following details before they board a plane and fly to their destination of choice:

• Finding the right doctor and hospital.

• Reading the fine prints of the medical insurance.

• Understanding what the doctors are saying.

• Being wary about the destination pharmacy.

• Using common sense.

With the growth of the medical travel industry, patients have more options of a suitable destination, facility, and other areas of concern.

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This Facebook page provides more information about Steven Lash’s work in helping Americans get safe and quality yet affordable treatment overseas through Satori World Medical based in San Diego.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blurring the distinction between medical and leisure travelers

The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s annual conference was just held recently, and medical travel in Asia was discussed as an important sector for Asian tourism. According to the key opinion leaders, long-term growth of the sector was expected to come from within the region. Attracting patients from other regions is still important, and the development of medical travel in Asia will have to take into account the needs and preferences of travelers from both faraway and near locations.

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For a time, Asian destinations were considered as a niche market for travelers seeking medical treatment. With the advancements in the quality of care in medical centers throughout the region, Asian destinations became recognized and eventually emerged as the preferred option for patients seeking high-quality care that’s cheaper than what is offered in their home countries.

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Currently, there have been many discussions regarding the future of the medical travel industry. Industry specialists expect that healthcare institutions will also respond to the need for lower cost of care, which will reduce the number of patients traveling overseas for medical treatment. Meanwhile, those in the medical travel industry see opportunities for growth in responding to the needs of patients who are also travelers. The long-term development of medical travel, therefore, is hinged on not just offering lower-cost healthcare options, but also on creating complete travel and medical treatment packages that encourage a patient’s quick recovery.

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Steven Lash is currently the president and CEO of Satori World Medical, a leading medical travel company based in San Diego. Find more news about the healthcare industry on

Monday, June 17, 2013

Spinal fusion: Surgically correcting an S-shaped spine

To date, there are seven million Americans who are currently suffering from scoliosis, and some of them aren’t aware of the treatment that medicine can afford them. Fortunately, the surgical procedure used to treat scoliosis is fairly accessible and is actually recommended by many orthopedists.

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For most orthopedic surgeons, age is an important factor to consider when performing any surgical procedure that aims to check scoliosis. In the event that a patient is deemed eligible for surgical scoliosis correction, he or she will undergo a procedure known as spinal fusion, a “welding” process that aims to realign and fuse the curved vertebrae (a basic problem in scoliosis) so that they can heal to form a single, solid bone. Once this is ensured, the growth of the abnormal segment of the spine will stop growing, hence preventing the worsening of the spine’s lateral curvature.

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In this procedure, a bone graft (a transplanted bone tissue) is used to fuse the bones together. Grafts are usually taken from other parts of the body—most commonly from the pelvic bone—while other grafts are taken from bone banks (allograft) or even synthetic substitutes. These small pieces of bone tissue are then placed in between the vertebral disks to promote fusion.

After bone graft placement, some fixators (usually metal rods, screws, plates, and cages) are installed to ensure the tight placement of grafts and ultimately the healthy growth of the spine.

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Satori World Medical, a company founded and managed by Steven Lash, offers spinal fusion surgery at affordable rates. Learn more by visiting this website.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Increasing the range of Taiwan's medical travel sector

Yearly, there are millions of tourists who come in from China, making Taiwan heavily reliant on the Asian giant with regard to tourism—precisely why there is a need for Taiwan to attract more tourists from other countries, and turning Taiwan into a premier medical travel hub might be the key. And in order to do this and encourage overseas medical investments, Taiwan seeks to open up more of its healthcare sector to foreigners.

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To attract foreign companies, the country established special economic zones that give tax, logistical, and economic advantages to foreign companies that settle there. These zones—which include Hsinchu, Taichung, and Kaohsiung, three major industrial parks—create thousands of jobs for the local populace. In order to open up more of its health sectors, Taiwan’s Council for Economic Planning and Development suggests giving foreigners more access to medical facilities in these locations.

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Most medical travelers come to Taiwan for medical check-ups and cosmetic surgery, and offering access to a whole range of medical and hospital services may greatly increase the number of medical travelers.

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Steven Lash wants you to get only the best care, which is why Satori World Medical in San Diego has all its facilities and doctors undergo a rigorous on-site inspection process led by Satori’s Board-Certified Chief Medical Officer. For more on how medical travel can help you save your hard-earned money, visit the Satori website.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Costs of stroke treatment expected to rise over the next few years

Stroke is currently listed as one of the leading causes of death among Americans. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that almost 1 in 25 Americans will suffer from a stroke, and stroke incidence is estimated to increase by 20% by 2030.

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Meanwhile, the AHA also reported on its journal Stroke that the costs of treatment may likewise surge from $72 billion to $183 billion. The annual cost of the illness due to the lack of productivity is also expected to sharply increase. The high cost of stroke is attributed to the fact that most of them lead to permanent disability. According to the AHA report, only 10% of stroke sufferers fully recover while 90% of the sufferers end up with some form of disability after the stroke.

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Making matters worse is that the people found to be at high risk of suffering from a stroke, among other heart-related conditions, were 45 to 64 year-olds. Individuals belonging in this age group may find more trouble with the cost of care because they are still too young for Medicare, and many of them tend to not have insurance.

Given these predictions, health experts are recommending a preventive approach to dealing with the problem. About 80% of strokes are preventable, and controlling factors like cholesterol and blood sugar levels early may allow a person to avoid the phenomenal costs later on.

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Steven Lash is a seasoned healthcare executive and entrepreneur. He is currently the president and CEO of Satori World Medical. Find more news about the healthcare industry at

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Breast augmentation results exceed women's expectations

A prospective outcome study conducted in behalf of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows that 98 percent of women who underwent breast augmentation surgery say the results met or exceeded their expectations. Participants narrated their satisfaction in several areas, including recovery time, complications, and psychological benefits.

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During recovery period, the women reported an average pain score of 5.9 in a 10-point scale. Generally, they used pain medication for just five days and started going to work seven days after surgery. All in all, the patients felt that they were back to normal within 25 days following the surgery.

In terms of complications, a number of the women said they felt numbness of the nipples, but only a handful confirmed that the numbness persisted. Additionally, the complication rate was only minimal.

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Psychologically speaking, the after-effects of breast augmentation included improved self-esteem and quality of life. In fact, 92 percent of the respondents affirmed that they’ve become more confident, and 64 percent reported a better quality of life.

Patient satisfaction is the most important gauge of success when it comes to breast augmentation and other types of plastic surgery. The ASPS study serves as an invaluable reminder that the patient’s perspective is as important as that of the surgeon’s.

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For more about plastic surgery and other news on health care, follow this Twitter page for Steven Lash, president and chief executive officer of Satori World Medical.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Better care for less money: Why more Australians are opting for medical travel

Many young people are not comfortable with how they look, which makes them opt for cosmetic surgery to correct their “flaws.” In Australia, many youngsters are turning to medical travel to fulfill their wishes of transforming their look.

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Cosmetic surgeries can be very expensive, especially in a developed country like Australia. This is the primary reason why many young Australians head overseas, most of the time to neighboring Asian countries, such as Thailand, India, and South Korea, to have their cosmetic procedures done, despite the anti-medical travel campaign that Australian doctors is waging to protect their bottom line. Medical travel surgeries overseas are affordable that, in fact, even with travel and accommodation costs thrown in, they are still cheaper than undergoing surgery in Australia.

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Overseas cosmetic surgery is a $300-million dollar industry in Australia alone. And with more and more people opting for medical travel not just for the procedure, but also for lower costs, medical travel truly is changing the face of health care around the world.

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Established by Steven Lash in 2008, Satori World Medical in San Diego aims to provide Americans with high-quality health care at a fraction of the cost. Today, it is one of the country’s largest and most respected medical travel services provider, with its International Centers of Excellence spanning eight countries across the globe. If you are interested in the services Satori offers, visit its website for detailed information about its services.