Science and Technology

Google has selected a Kansas City company to test Google Glass, the search giant's wearable computer device.
The Kansas City Star reports that Engage Mobile will join other Google Glass testers. The goal is to prepare Google Glass for launch next year.

IntelFreePress / Flickr

  Almost gone are the days when physicians collect your medical records in yellow manila folders stacked ceiling-high behind the nurses’ counter.

More and more medical professionals in the U.S. are using an electronic health records system to do things like store patient data, call up medical records and even prescribe medications. A Department of Health and Human Services survey found that in 2011, 35 percent of all U.S. hospitals have adopted an electronic health records system. It's a pretty rapid growthin 2009, only 16 percent of U.S. hospitals use the system.

Many of these electronic systems are so handy they even have decision-making software—a tool that helps physicians make treatment recommendations and diagnoses.

“The idea is that a physician can open one up and maybe use one to diagnose whether a patient has appendicitis and decide whether they want to operate,” said Victoria Shaffer, an MU psychologist who studies the decision-making side of the electronic health records system.

Not all patients like this high-tech diagnoses tool, though.

Every week, KBIA’s Health and Wealth Desk curates the week’s most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues

This week’s topics: guns in rural schools and how low health literacy affects rural cancer patients. 

Tony Webster / Flickr

There’s a certain allure to crime scene forensics. What else could explain the immense popularity of the CSI television franchise.

Missouri Capitol
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri’s Republican-led House on Tuesday struck down Democrats’ attempts to include Medicaid expansion in the state’s budget.

If that scenario sounds familiar to you, it’s because these rejections have happened a few times before. On Feb. 25, two House committees rejected Rep. Jake Hummel’s (D-St. Louis) bill to expand Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. On March 14, the Senate Appropriations committee voted down the Senate Democrats’ version of the expansion bill.

Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) was in one of the committees that struck down Rep. Hummel's Medicaid expansion proposal. Barnes has since introduced his own version of the expansion -- outlined in House Bill 700

Every week, KBIA's Health & Wealth Desk curates the week's most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues. 

Rural post offices in crisis

roxeteer / Flckr/Creative Commons

The City of Columbia is encouraging people to turn off the lights in their homes and buildings this Saturday in celebration of the annual Earth Hour event. Earth Hour is a global program that promotes energy savings, and Columbia has participated in it each year since 2008.

Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

Debbie Lose-Kelly says she spends her entire life in avoidance of the everyday chemicals like fragrances, shampoos or laundry detergents. She lives with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity — an illness that most in the medical community aren’t convinced is an actual disease.

Null Value / Flickr

If you’re a crime show junkie, you’re probably well-acquainted with Elliot Stabler’s temper (NSFW language), Jimmy McNulty’s attitude and Horatio Caine’s shades . But do you know how violent crimes really get solved?

Libby Burns / KBIA

This is the second in a two-part discussion about health literacy and the healthcare reform.  

Not knowing what the online health insurance marketplace looks like might be problematic for Missourians. 

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Missouri’s uninsured can choose to buy insurance from the state’s health exchange come October. The exchange is an online marketplace where anyone who isn’t already insured will be able to compare and purchase private insurance plans. Some uninsured Missourians would be eligible for help with the cost, too.  

Missouri has missed the deadline to create its own marketplace or start a state-federal partnership. So, the federal government is setting it up. The problem is, even though the marketplace is supposed to be open for enrollment in about six months, no one knows what it looks like yet.

“We’re losing time that could be useful in helping people understand and prepare [for the exchange],” said Catina O’Leary, the director of Health Literacy Missouri, a nonprofit group that’s working to make health care topics more understandable for Missourians. “It would be really great if we could manage people’s expectations and start training on what they’re going to need to know.”

But here's what we know so far: 

University of Missouri Health System opens new wing

Mar 19, 2013
MU Hospital
KBIA

University of Missouri Health System officials and UM System President Tim Wolfe officially opened the new patient care tower at the MU Hospital at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.

stephenjohnbryde / Flickr

   

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

Missouri Department of Tourism / flickr

Health officials are investigating the cause of an outbreak of illnesses during a recent gathering of the Missouri Coroners' and Medical Examiners' Association.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 40 to 50 members of the group became ill during a three-day conference at a Jefferson City hotel. About 100 members of the association attended the conference.

Every Friday, KBIA’s Health and Wealth Desk curates the week’s most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural health, wealth and society issues.

Osteopathic Physicians: An Answer To Rural Health Care Needs?

It’s no secret the U.S. is facing a shortage of primary care physicians – especially in rural areas, which is home to some 20 percent of all Americans, but only has 9 percent of all physicians. Compared to specialized medicine such as surgery and cardiology, primary care does not pay as well – and the average student loan debt for med school graduates is $161,290. Only about 24 percent of MD graduates lean to primary care. That’s not the case with recent osteopathic medicine graduates, though.  

Spencer Thomas / Flickr

This week, we'll hear about efforts to increase the amount of ethanol added to gasoline, and learn about out the potential benefits of owning a dog.

Annie Trout / KBIA

The University of Missouri Children’s Hospital celebrated the opening of a new waiting area for its newborn intensive care unit. Hospital officials said accommodating families for longer periods and overnight stays is an important aspect of neonatal intensive care units.

The new waiting room, located right next to the NICU, includes a living room, kitchen, two flat screen TVs and shower facilities.

On Tuesday evening, about 50 family members, supporters, and health care professionals got a preview of the new waiting area.

Harum Helmy / KBIA News

On this week's Health and Wealth Update, the first part of a discussion about health literacy and the healthcare reform. 

Mammogram
Dreamstime

University of Missouri researchers are developing a new procedure to detect breast cancer.

The new test looks for signs of breast cancer in fluid, found in breast ducts. Researchers say the test is more accurate and less invasive than current procedures, according to MU professor Thomas Quinn.

“It’d be nice if you could do this and have the confidence that you don’t have to go in and do invasive procedures like needle biopsies,” Quinn said.

Harum Helmy / KBIA News

The St. Louis-based nonprofit, nonpartisan group Missouri Foundation for Health held a community forum in Columbia at the ARC Monday night about the state’s Medicaid expansion debate. The foundation’s director for health policy Ryan Barker presented the pros and cons of the expansion to an audience of about 45 people, before opening up the floor to questions.

With the Rural Reads series, we’re trying something new. Every Friday, KBIA’s Health and Wealth Desk curates the week’s most interesting (or so we think) articles and reports on rural issues.

What’s in a definition? The eligibility for federal grants

In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that recommends defining ‘rural’ as areas with 50,000 or fewer residents - a number that's getting some strong reactions. The rural definition determines eligibility for USDA’s rural grants and programs. 

The excellent online news service The Daily Yonder is publishing a series of opinion pieces in response to USDA’s newest recommendation. Last week, Aletta Botts, a legislative staffer who helped draft the 2008 Farm Bill, wrote that the 50,000 size limit is too large and would hurt smaller communities that can’t compete with larger towns to win federal grants.  

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This week, we'll examine the Affordable Care Act's impact on farmers, and hear how one enzyme manufacturer was able to grow its business.

Alexandra Olgin / KBIA News

A recent study by researchers at Chicago’s Roosevelt University found that between 2007 and 2011, the number of deaths from heroin overdose in the state of Missouri more than tripled. In 2007, fewer than 70 people died from heroin overdose. In 2011, that number ballooned to 244. 

Studies show most accidental overdoses happen in the presence of others. KBIA’s Alexandra Olgin takes us to a rally in Jefferson City on Tuesday supports a bill that could encourage overdose witnesses to be a Good Samaritan and call 911.

Rachel Wittel / KBIA

The former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, is targeting youth specifically to find and act on low-carbon solutions to reverse climate injustice and secure a livable future world. Mary Robinson is also the former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.

Robinson spoke last night as part of a Columbia College lecture series titled, “Making Human Rights the Compass for All Ethical Globalization.”

dbking / Flickr

Eight passengers safely walked off a small aircraft Monday afternoon at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport after the pilot reported landing gear troubles.

The Missouri University of Science and Technology is continuing a tradition that began in 1908 when a group of Rolla students declared that St. Patrick was the patron saint of engineers.

The St. Patrick's celebration has grown to include more than a week's worth of events. The first is from March 4 through March 7 when students will club plastic snakes with large decorative sticks called shillelaghs. On March 13, a Missouri S&T student portraying St. Pat will arrive in downtown Rolla with his court aboard the traditional manure spreader.

401kcalculator.org

Barring a congressional miracle,  Medicare payments to health care providers throughout the country will see a 2 percent reduction come Friday. That amount might not sound like much, but rural hospitals and their surrounding communities are the ones that would feel most of the pinch.

Computer Chess LLC

Andrew Bujalski is a longtime filmmaker. This year, the True False Film Festival includes Bujalski’s latest film – Computer Chess. It’s a fictional movie set 30 years ago. It focuses on Chess Software Programmers competing in a weeknd tournament.

Bujalski is best known for creating the “mumblecore” genre with his 2002 film “Funny Ha Ha.”

Jeanine Anderson / Flickr

This week -- we’re hearing about the Medicaid expansion debate down in West Plains -- the seat of rural Howell County. A study by the Missouri Budget Project shows that Medicaid expansion would have its most dramatic impact in the state’s rural areas.

The charity Meals on Wheels delivers roughly 100 meals a day to the elderly and the disabled throughout Columbia. Inclement weather, like last week’s snowstorm, forces the charity to reorganize its efforts.

stethoscope
Vitualis / Flickr

Proponents of a Medicaid expansion will get their say at the Missouri Capitol — even if they don't get their way.

A House committee is scheduled to hear testimony Monday on a Democratic proposal to expand eligibility for the Medicaid health care program to an estimated 260,000 additional lower-income adults. The plan has the support of Gov. Jay Nixon and is called for by President Barack Obama's health care law.

But the Republican-led Legislature has generally opposed the Medicaid expansion.

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