Friday, 12 January 2018

Two schemes to help more seniors stay out of hospital

Post-discharge care programme Communities of Care has helped 3,000 elderly residents in Chinatown, Tiong Bahru, Bukit Merah, Katong and Telok Blangah stay out of hospital since its launch last April.

Patients with complex medical conditions requiring close monitoring are identified by a care team at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and receive home visits and calls from them. These patients may also face social issues, such as loneliness, lack of caregiver support and financial difficulties.

The other programme, Neighbours for Active Living, has halved the average number of days of hospitalisation per patient from 2.2 to one over a six-month period and reduced the duration of hospital stays from seven to four days for residents in the eastern part of Singapore, according to Dr Eugene Shum, chief corporate development officer at CGH.

Under the programme, volunteers check on elderly residents and alert the hospital if they spot any health issues. The programme was started by the Eastern Health Alliance and South East Community Development Council.


A more accurate way to diagnose liver diseases

A new imaging system that can automatically scan liver tissue samples to check for diseases - obviating the need for pathologists to do so manually - has been licensed for use in Singapore.

Called Laennec, it is the first such system to be approved for clinical use.

Its developer, local medtech company HistoIndex, is in discussions with three of Singapore's largest hospitals to introduce it.


Exercise can improve your gut's bacteria

Exercise may change the composition and activity of the trillions of microbes in our guts in ways that could improve our health and metabolisms over time, a new study has found.

The results provide novel insights into how exercise can affect even those portions of our bodies that seem uninvolved in workouts, perhaps providing another nudge to stick with our exercise resolutions this year.

In broad terms, our microbiomes tend to be relatively stable, most studies show. But our microbiomes can change as our lifestyles do. Diet clearly affects the makeup of a person's microbiome, as do illness, certain drugs, how much we weigh and other factors. Exercise also has been associated with variations in the microbiome. Past studies have shown that endurance athletes tend to have a somewhat different collection of microbes within their intestines than sedentary people do, especially if the athletes are lean and the sedentary people are not.