The healthcare industry should take design cues from Lyft and Airbnb


In 1966, when life expectancy in the United States was 70 years, nearly three-quarters of Americans said they had great confidence in medical providers, but by 2012 this number had fallen to just one-third of Americans—even though we had gained another eight years of life on average over that time.

No doubt this mistrust has little to with medicine itself and everything to do with economic anxiety.

Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy for American households. We get far less for our money in the United States for medical treatment compared to other countries, while at the same time being required to navigate a confusing bureaucracy that demands we unravel Kafkaesque intricacies of insurance enrollment, FSAs, HSAs, co-payments, and pre-existing conditions to get the services we need.

It’s hard to have confidence in an inefficient system that threatens to leave you destitute if you take advantage of its benefits.

Source: The healthcare industry should take design cues from Lyft and Airbnb

History Is About Stories. Here’s Why We Get Them Wrong | Time


Many animals have highly developed mind-reading instinct, a sort of tracking-device technique shared with creatures that have no language, not even a language of thought. It’s what they use to track prey and avoid predation.

We needed to improve on this instinct just to survive when we emerged on the African Savannah at the bottom of the food chain in an environment of mega-faunal predators. This innate mind-reading instinct and language co-evolved, as spoken grunts and visual gestures invaded conscious experience, turning our genetically hard-wired mind-reading instinct into a quite different theory of mind that made cooperation and collaboration possible.

That moved us up to the top of the Savannah food chain.

Source: History Is About Stories. Here’s Why We Get Them Wrong | Time

Could Cats and Dogs Feel the Same Emotions We Do?


I made an appointment, first, with a pet behavior specialist and, five months later, when her initially helpful suggestions didn’t change Lucas’s behavior, with a vet.

The vet described Lucas’s condition as “anxiety” and prescribed fluoxetine, a generic for Prozac that’s often prescribed for animals. While I had felt a mixture of frustration and pity toward Lucas, in that moment I experienced a surprising stir of recognition.

Over a decade ago, during six months in college, I had panic attacks every other day. I was given a similar diagnosis—panic disorder being a major anxiety disorder—and was prescribed a similar medication.

Source: Could Cats and Dogs Feel the Same Emotions We Do?

Office space: The health and productivity nexus | EURACTIV.com


According to various studies, people spend on average around 90% of their time in their homes, places of work and transportation. In Europe, more people than ever are working in offices, as over 80 million of us ply our trade behind desks.

Tools like the Healthy Homes Barometer (HHB) have used these potentially shocking statistics to raise awareness about the impact things like leaky roofs, damp, bad lighting and inadequate heating have on our physical and mental health.

In the past, reporting and studies on this impact have focused on our homes but now offices and factories are under the spotlight too, particularly since there is a link between our general well-being and how productive we are at work.

Source: Office space: The health and productivity nexus – EURACTIV.com

Health Equity Not Just About Race – It’s Also About Place | US News


Healthiest Communities findings released this week show that when it comes to health and the drivers of health, we are far from equal.

The analysis measured race and ethnicity in relation to overall community health and well-being and to specific social determinants of health such as area economy, education and natural environment, and indicates that living in a community that’s more heavily black or Hispanic means an unhealthy life is more likely than for those living in a community that’s mostly white.

Source: Health Equity Not Just About Race – It’s Also About Place | Healthiest Communities | US News

A Harvard study finds a better way to design bike lanes


Many city leaders are looking for ways to combat climate change, such as reducing the number of cars on the road.

These goals should be factored into cycle track design. For example, highway engineers should ensure that cycle tracks are wide enough for bicyclists to travel with enough width to pass, including wide cargo bikes, bikes carrying children, or newer three-wheeled electric bikes used by seniors.

Climate change is increasing stress on street trees, but better street design can help trees flourish. Planting trees in continuous earth strips, instead of isolated wells in the sidewalk, would enable their roots to trade nutrients, improving the trees’ chances of reaching maturity and ability to cool the street.

Source: A Harvard study finds a better way to design bike lanes

Hurricanes Hit Everyone, But the Poor Have the Hardest Time Recovering | US News


.. when it comes to escaping, surviving and recovering from a natural disaster, it’s the poor who suffer the most, experts say. And with the extreme weather patterns and storms associated with climate change, the economic divide will only accelerate, they predict.

“The rich can survive well, and the poor don’t,” says Columbia University professor John Mutter, author of “The Disaster Profiteers: How Natural Disasters Make the Rich Richer and the Poor Even Poorer.”

“And it continues to separate us.”

Source: Hurricanes Hit Everyone, But the Poor Have the Hardest Time Recovering | The Report | US News

How Communities Manage Hazards During Natural Disasters | Pacific Standard


These types of events not only highlight the potential of harm to humans and the environment due to this type of uncontrolled pollution, but also the linkage between environmental regulations and the risks communities face when natural disasters occur.

The decisions communities make when managing a range of hazards, including industrial waste siting, are a key factor in a community’s vulnerability during a disaster—a dynamic we’ve seen play out in many ways in our work in disaster policy and management. Such choices also help explain why disaster damage is so costly and disaster recovery so complex.

Source: How Communities Manage Hazards During Natural Disasters – Pacific Standard

Europe Must Target Demand To Fight Sex Trafficking | Social Europe

Sex trafficking is big business. The ILO estimates that global sex trafficking generates $99 billion in profits every year for traffickers.

The overwhelming majority (98% to be exact) of persons trafficked for sexual exploitation are females. This is because commercial sexual exploitation is demand-driven.

Put simply, there is a sexual demand for women and girls from male sex buyers who want to pay as little as possible.

Source: Europe Must Target Demand To Fight Sex Trafficking • Social Europe

Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues but Has Slowed | World Bank

The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting steady but slowing progress, World Bank data show.

The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.

Source: Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues but Has Slowed: World Bank