Health

34 stories
Researchers rely on website that tracks illegal Rx sales
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StreetRx is a website that lets people who illegally buy prescription drugs post the prices they paid, and how much they got, in different parts of the country. But it's not something dreamed up by users themselves — this website is a project of Epidemico, a health-data tracking company founded in 2007 by people from Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and MIT. Researchers hope to use the crowd-sourced data on drug trasnsactions to learn more about addiction, assess whether public policy is effective, and track how the illegal drug market evolves. Cops also use the site to help them keep tabs on the street prices and flow of drugs, particularly for undercover work.

On Friday, someone in New Bedford paid a dealer $2 for a 5-milligram hydrocodone pill, a price deemed "cheap" in the busy black market for prescription opioids. That same day in Winchendon, a person spent $5 on a 30-milligram Adderall, rated "not bad" for the popular stimulant. The sales are illegal.

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After cancer diagnosis, MIT student 3-D prints tumor, shares health data
Steven Keating , right, meets with his pathologist---Dr. Keith L. Ligon, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff)
Steven Keating’s appetite for knowledge may well be the reason he’s alive. In 2007, his high-minded curiosity drove him to get his brain scanned while studying mechanical engineering at Queens University in Canada. The scans revealed a faint abnormality near the part of his brain responsible for processing the sense of smell. But since his health otherwise seemed normal, Keating thought nothing of it. But seven years later, while a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Keating experienced an odd sensation: Several times he detected a whiff of vinegar — a phantom odor, it would turn out — but the feeling would quickly pass. With those earlier images in mind, Keating urged doctors to again scan his brain, and this time the results revealed a fist-size tumor. Within three weeks, Keating underwent a 10-hour surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where doctors extracted the tumor in golf ball-size chunks. Read More
doctors orders
Pill tracker app MediSafe can now log glucose levels, blood pressure
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A failure of habit ails patients with chronic conditions — a full 50 percent of them have trouble following their prescribed course of treatment. Boston firm MediSafe is among the groups trying to fight back that trend — the company makes an app that reminds people to take their pills on time. This week the company announced it is adding the ability to track glucose levels and blood pressure within the app, an addition that is expected to give its 1.5 million users additional incentive to follow their treatment regime. Read More
Get your Irish on
Just Add Cooking joins forces with New England Charcuterie, just in time for St. Patrick's Day
Joshua Smith's corned beef and cabbage recipe via Just Add Cooking.
Boston-based prepackaged meal site Just Add Cooking announced recently that it had partnered with Joshua Smith, the chef behind Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions in Waltham and New England Charcuterie, to bring its users curated recipes-to-go along with its meal kit delivery service. Read More
Ch-ch-ch-Changes...
Change Collective is trying to become the edX of health and wellness
Change Collective co-founders Derek Haswell and Ben Rubin
Are you trying to lose weight and finding your attempts unsuccessful? Or struggling to maintain your work/life balance or reach the zen of inbox zero? You might need some help rethinking how you're approaching your goals. Change Collective, a Boston-based startup that launched last year with $1.4 million in funding, is working to put informed health and life betterment programs as close as the mobile phone in your pocket. Read More
Lighter launches a better, more affordable way to eat healthy
The Lighter team. Sitting:  Christine Angela Dolendo. Back row (L to R) Kristie King, Lara Goodrich Ezor, Alexis Fox, Natalie Obermeyer Hunter, and Micah Risk.
When Micah Risk walked into a coffee shop to meet with Alexis Fox for the first time in 2013, she knew she was encountering a kindred spirit: The two women had already established themselves as up-and-comers in the worlds of both fitness and nutrition. Risk is an endurance athlete, Runner's World cover girl, and a nutritionist who graduated from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. Fox has fought for animal protection as an advocate and lawyer and recently served as the Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society of the United States. When they left the meeting, they had decided to be business partners, and had planted the seeds for a new kind of nutrition startup. And together they've launched Lighter, which delivers healthy, plant-based food along with a very organized, personalized weekly menu and recipes for each meal. Read More
To track a killer
Vecna tests Ebola technology in Monrovia
In Monrovia, Liberia, and neighboring Sierra Leone, Deborah Theobald is training health workers to use two tech tools. (Photo: Paul Amendola/IRC)
A Cambridge builder of health information systems is testing two pioneering medical technologies in West Africa that could help limit the transmission of Ebola from patients to doctors. An electronic health record system and a robot with a two-way communication system — basically an iPad on wheels — are among the tools Deborah Theobald, co-founder of Vecna Technologies, brought to Monrovia, Libera, in late November. Read More
Survey Says
Partners HealthCare announces new platform to help companies survey patients
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The Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare has created a secure survey tool to help medical product makers and investors get feedback from patients and customers. The new mobile app and Web-based survey tool called cHealth Compass will charge companies for the service and pay survey takers for their time. Read More