Today, the chronic pain market is driven by money-driven prejudice that often favors procedures that are expensive or that don’t necessarily work. Perhaps not surprisingly, chronic pain is still a major health issue in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that 1 out of every five American adults (20.4 percent) suffer from it.

But technology means we can evaluate data without these extreme biases. And that paves the way for us to take three big steps to solve chronic pain within the 2020 decade.

1. Determine the best provider type

Patients have many different medical professionals they can choose from…

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When you visit the doctor, one of your most basic expectations is that you’ll get some type of diagnosis. Once you’ve got that, you can get treatment to feel better and, if needed, get the right paperwork in to your insurance company to pay for your care. Diagnoses often are specific — that is, your doctor can tell you an exact cause or pathology for what’s happening to you. But in many instances, you might get a “non-specific injury” diagnosis. We need to eradicate these as soon as we can if healthcare truly is going to be effective.

What does “non-specific injury” mean, and why is it such a problem?

“Non-specific injury”…

No surgeon can do his or her job effectively without complete and confident knowledge of anatomical landmarks. However, when it comes to the unique physiology of real patients, there’s a big difference in knowing where something should be, and knowing where it actually is.

Enter intraoperative navigation. The technique can dramatically help surgeons, which in turn dramatically helps patients. It’s an exciting medical breakthrough with very real benefits.

Intraoperative navigation is made possible by two complementary technologies: 3-D imaging of the patient’s anatomy and surgical field, and real-time, computer-based tracking of instruments and implants. …

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From hospitals and pharmacies to dental clinics and alternative care providers, every corner of the healthcare field amasses new data almost constantly. Data collection is generally beneficial to both providers and patients, but the sheer amount of it presents a problem: What do we do with it all?

For years, providers have adopted new technology to collect, process, and organize this data — but data management has fallen far behind, and is currently failing to live up to its potential.

The healthcare industry as a whole has more than enough information at its disposal to improve patient care while decreasing…

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Instead of testing your patience, I’ll tell you the answer right from the start: How much responsibility should employers take for injured workers? As much as possible. Again, that’s as much as possible. But maybe you want to hear the rationale for that argument, so here goes:

When an employee gets injured, it is in their employer’s best interest to take all possible steps to ensure their full recovery. This is true even for injuries that occur off the job. That may sound radical, but here’s why I say it:

According to the National Safety Council, the total estimated cost…

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Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and obesity — all are painful and debilitating health conditions for the individuals suffering from them, and a major thorn in the side of national economies. They have something else in common, too: they’re all in the spotlight. We all know about these epidemics, and are aware of the many publicly-funded initiatives to find cures or raise funding for research to combat them.

Other health crises don’t get the same treatment, despite wreaking havoc on their victims. One of these is the growing problem of chronic wounds. …

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Amazon has a history of near-continuous expansion into new marketplaces. Currently, it owns some of the biggest niche brands in the world, from home security technology to shoes and apparel, from pharmaceuticals to live streaming and media production companies. Over the past few years, the company has also expanded more rapidly into another, even bigger, global industry — healthcare.

In January of 2018, Amazon teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase as part of a non-profit joint venture. …

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Privately-held digital health company eTectRx has spent years working on a technology that could revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry — not just what medicines we take, but how we take them, how much, and how often. That technology is called a “digital pill,” and here’s how it works:

An ingestible wireless sensor is embedded within a basic capsule, which a patient then swallows. The sensor gets activated by chemicals within the stomach, then emits a radio frequency that gets picked up by another wearable device worn by the patient. …

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When considering the most important aspect of delivering quality healthcare, your mind might go to cost, access, technology, or training. In reality, it’s something more fundamental — and yet connected to all the above. It’s ethics. In fact, while everything has changed about costs, access, technology, training, and more (many, many times over the years), the common denominator in healthcare — ethical delivery — has changed very little.

Case in point: the Hippocratic Oath. First composed in ancient Greece, the Hippocratic Oath is a fundamental part of the process of becoming a physician; its pronouncement is a rite of passage…

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

I remember walking through a Super Walmart many years ago (before internet shopping took off), thinking Walmart was going to become a place where people would go for all their needs. In addition to groceries, clothing, electronics, and consumer goods, this particular store also had a hair salon, pharmacy, eyeglasses store, garden center, and several fast-food restaurants inside. It wouldn’t be long, I thought, before you’d even visit Walmart for your dental checkups, tool rentals, and community college courses.

Walmart hasn’t gotten quite that far yet (not for lack of trying), but in some ways other companies have. Amazon, for…

Jeffrey A Cronk, DC JD

Nationally-recognized expert and thought leader on spinal ligament injuries | CEO of Spinal Kinetics |

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