Aviva has launched a new smartphone app exclusively for its International Solutions customers. The UK-developed app gives users access to their securely-stored medical records, details on how to make a claim, and immediate access to emergency services and health advice.
The app is designed to give clients peace of mind that when they are abroad they can quickly and safely access and share their medical records. A range of medical details can be added such as allergies, medications, immunisations and test results. Pictures of X-rays and scans can also be uploaded to the app.
Health officials in Tokyo have confirmed 19 new cases of dengue fever, bringing the total to 34 in the country’s first domestic outbreak since World War Two. The disease was found in individuals living in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures. None of the victims has been abroad recently, but all had visited Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.
Officials said the disease was probably carried by mosquitoes found in and around the park, one of central Tokyo’s major green spaces. The disease is transmitted via Tiger mosquitoes which are endemic to Japan, though dengue fever was effectively eradicated from the country after the Second World War.
International health news
- E-cigs’ second hand smoke worse than traditional cigarettes’ - Researchers have found the second hand smoke from e-cigs contains increased levels of toxic metals.
- Ebola vaccine 100% effective – The only clinical trial performed with the ZMapp drug shows it’s 100% effective, even in later stages of the disease.
- Ice bucket challenge raises $100 million – People tipping ice water on their heads have raised over $100 million for ALS Association, a 3,500% increase on last year.
The World Health Organisation has urged countries to impose tougher regulations on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes. It cites concerns over the unknown health risks, recommending a ban on indoor use and prohibiting sales to minors.
Since the indoor ban and increased prices of conventional tobacco products in many countries, e-cigarettes have grown in popularity. They work by using batteries to power a heating element which vaporizes a liquid solution containing a mixture of compounds, including nicotine and flavourings. You can also buy e-cigarettes which release a flavoured vapour without nicotine.
New research suggests using two types of polio vaccine is more effective than using just one. The research team found administering an injection of the inactivated polio virus (IPV) alongside the oral dose of activated poliovirus vaccine (OPV) boosts patients’ immunity. It’s hoped the findings could help speed up the eradication of polio.
Currently, the oral vaccine is leading the battle against polio but this new research from India may change the way we fight the virus. The findings, which World Health Organisation calls “truly historic”, will potentially lead to a total eradication of the disease which is now widespread in only three countries.
International health news
- Botox could be used against cancer - The toxin could be used to fight stomach cancer as studies show it slows tumour growth and improve chemotherapy results.
- Double polio vaccines could speed up eradication – While the oral vaccine is the most widely used, trials show injecting the inactivated virus as well boosts immunity.
- How safe are your medical records? – If your records are stored electronically, and they probably are, how secure are they and what are the benefits?
Excessive sodium consumption is putting the world’s health at risk, and placing a large burden on health systems, warns a new study. It is estimated that 1.65 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year are linked to consuming too much salt on a regular basis.
“That’s remarkably high, that’s almost 1 in 10 of all cardiovascular deaths around the world,” Dariush Mozaffarian, study author told NPR.
Allianz Worldwide Care has launched a mobile app which allows members to submit claims faster and easier than ever before. The new MyHealth app allows users to make a claim simply by entering the details with a photo of the medical bills, and pressing “submit”.
If users need to stop half-way through the submission process, the app stores the information already entered for later use. In addition to submitting new claims, users can also track the progress of claims already made, and review the details of previously paid claims.
International health news
- Depression and Parkinson’s linked - Doctors may be missing the signs of depression in patients in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, says new research.
- Obesity linked to 10 common cancers – Overweight and obese people are at greater risk of developing 10 common cancers, with cancer of the uterus the number one threat.
- Alopecia cure in sight – A drug usually used for a bone marrow condition has completely reversed alopecia related hair-loss in five months, says a recent study.
Four new health-related projects are to be completed over the next two years as part of the government’s Economic Vision 2030 plan, reports the Gulf Daily News. Over the next decade health care in Bahrain is set to be upgraded with several new initiatives aimed at improving and expanding current services.
The Health Ministry is targeting Bahrain’s growing diabetes rate with specialised clinics to be opened in all health centres across the country. In addition, dedicated sickle cell anaemia services will also be added to health centres.