Meditation becomes part of normal treatment

At one Boston hospital, doctors give their patients an unusual instruction: meditate. "I recommend five minutes, twice a day, and then gradually more and more," says physician Aditi Nerurkar. She recommends meditation in the same way as medicine.

"I don't start high doses right away," she is quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal. But ultimately, patients who suffered from insomnia or irritable bowel syndrome, for example, should meditate for about 20 minutes, twice a day.

Studies have found that meditation can lower blood prere and help patients with chronic diseases manage pain and depression. In addition, meditation significantly lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke.


Tops upgrades store

To adapt to changing customer needs, Thailand's leading supermarket chain has transformed one of its flagship stores. Six special zones are to act as visitor magnets in the process.

Tops' Westgate store carries more than 40.000 products from around the world. The main focus is on six new areas: Baker's Oven, Healthifulis, World of Snacks, Looks, at Taste and Petster. Baker's Oven, in this case, is simply a shop-in-shop bakery with dine-in seating, offering Asian- and European-style baked goods and enjoying Coffee Arigato beverages. For the bigger appetite, at Taste is ready. Freshly prepared dishes are served in this zone.


Healthiful appears to be much more progressive, as Tops offers healthy products and foods in cooperation with the Institute of Nutrition at Mahidol University. Particular attention is paid to people with special requirements, such as food allergy sufferers. Tops had already opened its first Healthiful store in its Chengwattana market a month ago. As there, customers can consult nutrition experts from Mahidol University online with the new offering. Those who ask them a question via the official Facebook page should receive an answer within 24 hours.Healthiful finds its counterpart in the World of Snacks, which carries tasty snacks from over a hundred brands.


A lot of work for von der leyen

She wanted to become the Federal Minister of Health, but initially remained the Minister of Family Affairs, only to move to the top of the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry a month later. Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) has a lot of work ahead of her in her new job. Although the economic and financial crisis has bottomed out, the greatest burdens on the labor market are still expected to be felt.


E-card: fear of data misuse overshadows medical benefits

According to secret documents, the U.S. intelligence agency NSA has been able to read data from SIM cards in cell phones and smartphones since 2010. The company that manufactures these sim cards also builds the chips for the electronic health card (eGK) for 25 million people insured with the AOK, as well as card readers for doctors' offices. The action alliance "Stop the e-card" concludes that there can be no data security with the eGK and advocates the abolition of the card. The latest publications from Edward Snowden's documents show this quite clearly, the alliance informs us.

"After 11 years of unsuccessful planning, it should finally be stopped," said the spokesperson for the "Stop the e-Card" campaign, Silke Luder. According to the Snowden documents, the intelligence services of the U.S. and the U.K. succeeded as early as 2010 in overcoming security concepts of a smart card manufacturer and obtaining their security keys undetected until now.

"If until today this data leak has not come to the attention of the operators of the company, it means that internal controls must have failed completely. So there is no security with the electronic cards now being ied," said security expert Rolf Lenkewitz. "The potential impact alone calls for an immediate halt to the eGK and telematic infrastructure. The information obtained by the intelligence services could be the building blocks to compromise, at any time in the future, this largest IT project in Europe, and to access and abuse the most sensitive and protectable data of insured people."


Cell phone neck and mouse arm: computers make you ill

Sitting for long periods of time, straining to look at the computer screen, and little movement are all part of many people's daily work routine. In addition to the back, arms and hands are also subjected to high stress during PC work. "Monotonous motion sequences such as keystrokes or mouse clicks are responsible for the development of a so-called mouse arm. The first signs are loss of strength and sensations such as numbness or tingling in the affected arm or hand. Pain does not occur until later," explains Wiete Schramm, a health expert at TuV Rheinland. Regular breaks from typing and clicking and frequent switching between mouse and keyboard are the best preventions against mouse arm. Special hand rests and stretching exercises can also help, for example, stretching out the arm, leaving the hand loose and pulling it toward the body with the other hand.

Looking at cell phones also poses health risks. Many people look at the display with their heads down. In the long run, this unhealthy head posture leads to increased strain on the muscles in the neck and to head and neck pain. "To avoid the so-called cell phone neck, the user should hold the phone higher to keep the neck upright or use the PC for more extensive tasks," Schramm recommends. Another affliction caused by modern technology is the texting thumb. It is caused by the movements when writing messages on the cell phone keyboard. This puts stress on the tendons in the thumb joint, so it can cause tension in the hand and tendonitis. The only thing that helps here is to call more often instead of typing a message.

No improvement in working conditions without assessment "Company physicians and occupational safety specialists advise employers on assessing working conditions to identify potential hazards to the health and safety of employees," Wiete says. This is a fundamental task of occupational health and safety. Identified dangers can be eliminated or reduced by improvements.


Health insurance company wants to see data from health apps

In a specially prepared study, the Schwenninger health insurance company comes to the conclusion that at least half of all citizens are already prepared to forward health data obtained through apps to their doctor. She concludes in a press release that the goal should be to run this additional data through the telemetry system of the electronic health card. Health insurers and doctors can learn even more about their patients this way.

From the health insurance company's statement:

Half of Germans between the ages of 14 and 34 like the collection of personal body and fitness data via apps, smartwatches or activity trackers. Only just under one in five rejects digital health assistants. 62 percent would also make the data thus obtained available to their doctor, according to a study conducted by Schwenninger Krankenkasse and the foundation "Die Gesundarbeiter" under 1.000 young German citizens shows. Young adults run thereby the policy a large step ahead. The German government has now presented an e-health law, but Germany is still in the early stages of digital networking of the healthcare system.


Number of cyber attacks in healthcare on the rise

The risk of cyber attacks has increased, especially in the gaming, education and healthcare industries. In addition, attacks from the network are increasingly taking longer – up to weeks and months. This is reflected in the current situation report on IT security from Radware. The IT security specialist identified several major cyber threats for the coming year in its Global Application and Network Security Report 2014-2015 report.

The cyber attacks are taking longer and longer. Meanwhile, most attacks last several weeks. The most frequently cited attack duration in 2014 was one month. At the same time, 19 percent of the largest attacks were permanent. These findings are in stark contrast to the security situation in previous years, when never more than six percent of recorded attacks were classified as long-lasting. The increasing duration and severity of attacks poses a major threat primarily because most companies and organizations are not prepared for them. For example, 52 percent of companies are currently only able to maintain their defenses for one day or even less.

The threat situation has also worsened for healthcare and education companies in particular, as well as in mobile telecommunications, which have only been attacked comparatively rarely to date. In the coming year, their risk of attack is to be assessed as medium high.


Health minister bahr wants to look into compulsory vaccination

Health Minister Daniel Bahr to have options for mandatory measles vaccination reviewed. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of children and adults suffering from measles. In the current year, there have already been 1.070 infections reported. Most of them in Bavaria (478) and Berlin (400). In 2012, there were only 150. Measles is highly contagious and can also lead to death.

Health minister now reviewing whether unvaccinated children could also be excluded from classes if needed. Up to now, this regulation has only applied to children who have fallen ill. Furthermore, vaccination testing should be done by health departments before kindergarten enrollment, rather than at school enrollment.

If the vaccination rate does not improve within a year, the introduction of compulsory vaccination must be considered, vice chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group Johannes Singhammer (CSU) told the Rheinische Post newspaper. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach takes a similar view: the benefits of vaccination against measles far outweigh the possible risks and side effects, the SZ reports.


Grohe and schauble want to cut health insurance subsidies

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble (CDU) wants to increase the federal government's subsidy to the statutory health insurance (SHI) system by six billion euros shorter and is meeting with resistance from health insurers, social associations, unions and the opposition. Criticism also came from the SPD as well as health experts from the CDU/CSU. Federal Health Minister Hermann Grohe (CDU), on the other hand, described the money demand of his ministerial colleague as affordable. With reserves of 30.3 billion euros, the health insurance funds have a solid cushion. In addition, the money would flow back into the health fund starting in 2017.

The tax subsidy is set by law at 14 billion euros. With it Non-insurance benefits The SPD's health policy spokeswoman, Hilde Mattheis, said that the social insurance system would have to finance a number of benefits, such as non-contributory coinsurance for dependents, sick pay when a child falls ill, and benefits during maternity leave and pregnancy. The health insurance funds spend around 34 billion euros a year on such services.

There were already plans to cut federal funding for the current year by 3.5 billion euros, which would mean that the SHI would then only receive 10.5 billion euros from the federal government. In 2015, the amount is to be reduced again by 2.5 billion euros to 11.5 billion euros. The background is the high reserves.