Posts tagged with "Dr"

What’s Snoo? It’s a responsive bassinet that saves infants’ lives—in and out of the hospital

Febraury 17, 2021

Dr. Harvey Karp may not have been able to predict the pandemic, nor the extent to which it would complicate the usual challenges of parenting a newborn—but he is not surprised that his invention has been a tremendous source of relief during this time.

The Los-Angeles-based 70-year-old pediatrician, baby sleep expert—and founder of the Happiest Baby empire—is behind the Snoo, the world’s first responsive baby bed, which launched in 2016 to rave reviews, high-profile clients, and financial backing from two-time parents Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake, Fortune reports.

Indeed, during the past five years, the Snoo Smart Sleeper Bassinet has become the most awarded baby product in history. Recently, it was accepted into the FDA’s Breakthrough Devices Program, where it is undergoing review as the first device to prevent the leading causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)—nationwide annually.

While the smart bassinet is largely known as an at-home item used in the first months of a baby’s life, it also has become a critical tool for hospitals—particularly at understaffed maternity wards where nurses and doctors continue to be hit by record numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Currently, more than 75 hospitals are using Snoo—including Boston Children’s, Mount Sinai, Jefferson Health, and UCSF medical centers—some as part of research trials; others, as a result of the company’s bed and appliance donations, worth more than $100,000, to alleviate the heavy burdens on medical workers, Fortune says.

The Snoo, which retails for $1,495 or $30 per month as a rental, automatically responds to a baby’s cries and excessive squirming by rocking and activating low-level white noise. When the baby quiets, the bed detects the change and slows to a swing.

The bed—itself a beautiful Wi-Fi–enabled object designed by Yves Béhar of Fuseproject with an organic cotton mesh outer layer, sleek wood paneling, and hairpin legs—is the physical application of the “5 S’s,” a series of cues outlined in Dr. Karp’s bestselling book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, to ensure quality sleep. A mix of swaddling, positioning the baby on her side or stomach, shushing, swinging, and sucking is key to replicating the calming trance babies experience in utero.

“Babies are exposed to a symphony of sensations in the womb. The sounds are louder than a vacuum cleaner, and there is constant movement,” Dr. Karp tells Fortune, adding that “newborns need rhythmic stimuli as much as they need calories. It soothes them to sleep.” And longer, better-quality sleep for babies means more rest for parents.

Dr. Lauren Pioppo, chief resident in Internal Medicine at Rutgers Health RWJ Medical Center, whose department has been participating in a research study for trainees and fellows, trialed the bed after the birth of her first child last May. She insists it’s nothing short of a game changer.

“As both physicians and parents, we tend to be on the paranoid side. It gave me a lot of peace of mind knowing that my daughter was strapped in and I didn’t have to worry about her rolling or flipping or potentially having her face against the side,” she says. Babies are secured safely on their backs in the Snoo’s swaddle, while their heads remain free to move. If the wings of the swaddle aren’t properly locked in, the bassinet will not turn on. “It really took the place of me in the middle of the night. After feedings, she would fall back to sleep in less than two minutes. I only had to worry about feeding and changing her; there was no anxiety around sleep and how it would impact my shifts at work.”

According to Dr. Karp, the data drawn from 42,000 infants using the Snoo demonstrate they will sleep an extra hour or two on average from their first days of life. Being able to rely on a tool that responds to an infant’s needs has proved invaluable during the pandemic, as hospitals have been forced to limit nurse exposure to newborns and mothers as well as forgo volunteer cuddle programs (which provide comfort and skin-to-skin contact to premature babies and drug-exposed infants), and new parents go without at-home caregivers owing to social distancing—an additional burden.

Based on a company survey of 56 nurses across nine hospitals conducted from April 2020 to June 2020, the Snoo saves nurses 1.7 hours per shift each day, allowing them to focus on other tasks. What’s more, it reduces the rate of infection as well as the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) required for a patient’s stay.

 “It’s true, you have to be a bit well-off to buy one,” Dr. Karp admits, adding that a night nurse would still cost more. “But that’s why we knew from the beginning that we’d go into rentals: to reach the largest number of people.” As of now, half of all Snoo consumers in the U.S. are renters, and more than 50 major companies subsidize the product as an employee benefit, including FacebookActivision Blizzard, and Snap, where it is considered a top new parent perk. The next step is getting insurance companies to cover the cost entirely.

“Babies are the same everywhere,” says Dr. Karp, matter-of-factly. “I truly believe this has the potential to change the world.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

‘Not tonight’: Study finds no ‘sexual heat,’ as people monitor fevers during COVID-19 lockdown

May 19, 2020

It turns out that a global pandemic doesn’t serve as much of an aphrodisiac—and certainly not as an incentive to start a family, researchers at the University of Florence recently discovered.

Many have speculated that couples who are stuck at home 24/7 would spend at least a little of their time “schtupping”— leading to an influx of new births over the coming year.

However, the academic researchers conducted 1,482 online interviews on parenthood desires and beliefs during this pandemic, according to a report by Study Finds—and over 81% of respondents said they are not looking to conceive while COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe.

But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t considering starting a family before the virus struck: Moreover, 268 of the respondents admitted that before COVID-19 emerged on the world stage they had been planning on having a new child. Now, however, 37.3% of that group have shelved that idea for the time being.

Fully 58% are worried about the future economy and another 58% expressed concern about possible coronavirus-related pregnancy complications.

The survey, which comprised 944 Italian women and 538 Italian men, was carried out during the southern European nation’s third week of lockdown. All respondents were between the ages of 18 and 46, and had been in a stable heterosexual relationship for at least one year.

Dr. Elisabetta Micelli, the study’s main author, speculates that mental health is playing a big role in many peoples’ decision to delay having a child.

“The impact of the quarantine on general population’s perception of their stability and peacefulness is alarming. In our study sample, the majority of participants gave significantly higher total scores to their mental well-being before the pandemic, while lowest scores were reported in the answers referred to the COVID-19 period,” she says in a statement. “We aimed to evaluate if pandemic-related concerns and worries are affecting the desire for parenthood in couples who were already planning to have a child or if quarantine is encouraging reproductive desire.

“Interestingly, although almost half of the people referred no interruption in their job activity and no variations of salaries, probably due to the ‘smart working’ adapting strategy, over 40% of participants reported a worrying reduction of monthly profits. Remarkably, the fear of imminent and future economic instabilities led those who were searching for a pregnancy to stop their intention in 58% of cases,” she explains.

To be fair, of the 268 people who said they were planning on having a child, 60% are still trying to conceive. The research team theorize that fear of infertility in the future is probably why that group hasn’t allowed COVID-19 to stop their immediate dreams of starting a family.

Additionally, just because most people don’t want to have a child right now, that doesn’t mean they’ve dropped the idea altogether. In fact, 11.5% (140) of respondents said they want to have a baby in the future more than ever before. Most of that group was female, and when asked why they want to have a baby more than before the pandemic, 50% cited “the will for change” and 40% said “the need for positivity.” However, only 4.3% of those 140 participants are actively trying to become pregnant during lockdown.

“Again, fear of consequences on pregnancy in addition to the economic impact on families are probably the reasons why almost the whole group of couples who unexpectedly started to express a desire for parenthood during quarantine did not translate this dream into a concrete attempt,” comments study co-author Dr. Gianmartin Cito.

What about overall sexual activity? Are couples spending more time between the sheets these days? For the most part, it seems sex frequency has gone unchanged; 66.3% of respondents who were not interested in having children before or during this pandemic indicated that their bedroom habits haven’t changed

Research contact: Study Finds

Could acne treatments be causing acne?

July 26, 2019

There’s a reason why Dr. Pimple Popper of TLC and YouTube fame gets almost 5 million views per video or show.

As Dr. Amy Wechsler, a New York physician who is board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, recently told the TODAY Show audience, “There are so many people out there who like to pop their own pimples—they’re usually smaller than the ones that are on these videos—and they get satisfaction out of seeing something come out from the body that they feel like doesn’t belong.”

In fact, a recent story in Medium’s health section, Elemental, reports that acne appears to be “more prevalent than ever”—among both teens and adults.

The Elemental story also cites a statistic from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: Roughly one-third of adult women have acne, while only one in five men do.

Could that be attributed to the fact that many women have more complicated skin care routines—involving the application of multiple over-the-counter and prescription acne medications?

The dermatologists with whom author Markham Heid spoke for the article suggested that some of the most common and popular acne medications, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, might in fact be affecting the skin microbiome in such a way that acne bacteria is then encouraged to flourish.

Harsh cleansers might do the same thing, they said, as might certain antibiotics and foods. “What we put on our skin can improve or disrupt the survival of these [skin] microorganisms,” said one dermatologist.

“This is something we didn’t know before, but we’re paying attention to now.”

So maybe your next skincare routine should be … just water?

Research contact: @Medium

Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway select CEO for joint healthcare venture

June 21, 2018

The nonprofit joint healthcare venture announced by JPMorgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway in January has hired a CEO—Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and at Harvard Medical School—who will start on July 9 at the headquarters of the independent company in Boston.

Gawande is described in the venture’s June 20 press release as “globally renowned surgeon, writer and public health innovator who practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”

He also is founding executive director of the health systems innovation center, Ariadne Labs, which he and a team of leaders created in 2012 “to find solutions to some of the most complex problems in healthcare, including life-threatening errors in surgery, maternal and neonatal mortality; failures in end-of-life card; and fragmented and ineffective  primary healthcare systems.” Gawande will transition from his current position at Ariadne to chairman, after a new professional is recruited to take his role.

In addition, he is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and has written four best-selling books—the most recent among them, Being Mortal

“I am thrilled about this opportunity as it aligns perfectly with my personal mission,” Gawande said. “I have devoted my public health career to working with colleagues to build scalable solutions for better health care delivery in the United States and across the world. Now, I have the support of these remarkable organizations to pursue this mission for their employees and families in ways that incubate better models of care for all. And I will be able to do so while maintaining my own voice and continuing to enable Ariadne Labs’ powerful and complementary work.”

The three companies that are collaborating to create better healthcare for their employees in the absence of a fully government-funded solution actually already are self-insured employers, according to a report by Business Insider.

They have commented that they intend initially to focus on using technology to simplify care, but have not elaborated on how they intend to do that or bring down costs. One of the people briefed on the alliance said the new company wouldn’t replace existing health insurers or hospitals

“We’re already the insurance company, we’re already making these decisions, and we simply want do a better job,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Business Insider in February.

The venture will be geared toward employees of the three companies rather than healthcare consumers nationwide, although Dimon said all Americans stood a chance of benefiting.

“We said at the outset that the degree of difficulty is high and success is going to require an expert’s knowledge, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in the statement. “Atul embodies all three, and we’re starting strong as we move forward in this challenging and worthwhile endeavor.”

A recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that a 51% majority of Americans support a national health plan, also known as a single-payer plan, while 43%t oppose it.

Research contact: pr@amazon.com