Health trends

Making telemedicine more inclusive

As coronavirus cases multiplied, many medical offices and clinics shifted to seeing patient virtually through telemedicine. While its value quickly became obvious, virtual visits are not optimal for everyone who needs health care. Awareness of limitations can help care providers improve access to their services.

Global mental health in the time of COVID-19

The singular focus of health care services on COVID-19 has disrupted mental health care, and people with new or existing issues are having difficulty accessing much-needed care. A global initiative launched at Harvard Medical School aims to rectify this situation and transform global mental health.

The doctor will “see” you now: Teledermatology in the era of COVID-19

Doctors are increasingly turning to telemedicine as a way to safely treat patients during the COVID-19 crisis. Dermatology is well-suited for telemedicine, though there are limitations due to the limits of technology, and certain conditions that must be seen and treated in person.

And now for some good news on health

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Good news on health –– which seems hard to come by right now –– includes declines in the rates of six out of 10 major causes of death in the United States.

Dopamine fasting: Misunderstanding science spawns a maladaptive fad

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in the body’s system for reward and pleasure. A recent trend has people avoiding stimulating activities in the belief that doing so allows the body to reset from being overstimulated, but the original idea has been misunderstood and wrongly applied.

Brain-based devices: How well do they work?

Srini Pillay, MD

Contributor

Brain-based devices claim to offer all kinds of enhancements and improvements, but how can consumers interested in such a device separate legitimate science from mere hype?

Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions

The drug ketamine is a promising treatment for some people with major depression. It can be given as an IV infusion or a nasal spray. Because it works quickly, it could be an important tool in helping people who are suicidal.

The latest deadly superbug — and why it’s not time to panic

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Infections from a drug-resistant fungus have been occuring around the world for the past decade. It’s not cause for panic, but it’s wise to understand the facts and ways to protect yourself.

Inducing labor at full term: What makes sense?

Toni Golen, MD

Contributor

A large study of first-time mothers compared inducing labor with waiting for labor to begin. Under certain circumstances, it found inducing labor may be safer for some women. A pregnant woman considering induction should discuss the option with her doctors and providers.

A soaring maternal mortality rate: What does it mean for you?

Since 1990, the maternal mortality rate in the United States, while still relatively low, has risen by 50%. Meanwhile, many other women experience pregnancy-related conditions that cause serious injury, and thousands more struggle with illnesses and a lack of support.