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Morning Read: Why one hospital CEO embraces Facebook

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Why one CEO embraces Facebook at his hospital: Far from a productivity drain, Facebook and other social media should be considered as important a business tool as the phone or e-mail,  writes prominent Beth Israel Deaconess CEO-blogger Paul Levy. Levy says he resists […]

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

Why one CEO embraces Facebook at his hospital: Far from a productivity drain, Facebook and other social media should be considered as important a business tool as the phone or e-mail,  writes prominent Beth Israel Deaconess CEO-blogger Paul Levy. Levy says he resists efforts by other leaders at his hospital to block Facebook from employee computers.  “Facebook is a useful communications tool, just like e-mail and telephones. The latter can be misused, too.  Besides, if you ban Facebook on computers, people will just use it on their iphones.”

The Singularity: The New York Times runs an engrossing six-page profile of The Singularity movement and its greatest advocate, inventor Ray Kurzweil. To the uninitiated, The Singularity is the point at which  “human beings and machines will so effortlessly and elegantly merge that poor health, the ravages of old age and even death itself will all be things of the past.”  Whatever you think of the concept, the movement has undeniably attracted the enthusiasm of some of the technology world’s wealthiest and most influential people.

Three years for med school: Several schools have instituted three-year medical school programs, which could make primary care a more attractive option for students looking to lighten their student-loan debt loads.

Transparency at the FDA: FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Joshua Sharfstein discusses the agency’s efforts to bring more transparency to the drug and device industries.

The unfulfilled promise of the human genome: When announcing the first draft of the human genome, then-President Clinton hailed the discovery as one that would “revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.” So far, not so good. In the 10 years since the statement, the field of medicine has yet to see the hype fulfilled.

FDA getting tough on DNA testing: The FDA ordered five companies that sell consumer-directed genome-sequencing tests to prove their scientific validity. The FDA said the tests, which scan a person’s DNA for gene variants associated with specific diseases, are medical devices requiring the agency’s approval. On the hit list: Navigenics, 23andMe, Illumina, Knome and deCODE Genetics.

Photo from flickr user benstein

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