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#SmearforSmear - Cervical Cancer Awareness Week

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Jan 31, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

January 21st-27th was cervical cancer prevention week in the UK, where charities everywhere try to educate and raise awareness of cervical cancer, HPV vaccines and smear tests. We’ve written about cervical cancer and screenings for the disease before, so we won’t go into too many details about the symptoms and causes, but we did want to highlight the brilliant campaign that Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust have been running this year, called #SmearforSmear

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Could I have encephalitis? Symptoms, types and causes

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Jan 24, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Encephalitis is a rare, acute brain disease which affects around 1 in every 200,000 people each year. Anyone can contract encephalitis, but it is most common in children, the elderly and those with a lowered immune system. There are many different types of encephalitis, and it is difficult to treat, meaning prognosis varies. Some people make a full recovery, others experience small changes to their brain, memory, mood or physical capabilities. For a small amount of people, encephalitis has a severe impact on their day to day life.

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1 Minute Read - What is Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)?

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Jan 17, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

This disease, which shares many clinical features with similar spinal cord and brain conditions such as polio and Guillan-Barré syndrome, has had a rise in incidence in the US particularly. Sharing symptoms with similar conditions, as well as having only been categorized as Acute Flaccid Myelitis since 2014, this relatively new disease is easily missed in a differential diagnosis, or misdiagnosed. Furthermore, it is an acute condition that mainly affects children, so educating on the information known is paramount.

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Could I have glaucoma? Glaucoma symptoms, causes and treatments

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month in the US, an important time to spread the word about the world’s 2nd leading cause of blindness according to the World Health Organisation. Over 3 million Americans and more than 64 million people worldwide suffer from this sight-stealing disease, and worryingly the figures are moving the wrong way. The National Eye Institute predicts a massive 58% increase in the condition by 2030, due in part to the ageing population. Known as ‘the sneak thief of sight,’ in most cases there are no obvious symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of a person’s vision can be lost without the person noticing any prior symptoms. The disease also seems to be between 6 and 8 times more common in African and Latino populations. The condition can affect all ages, but most commonly is found in people of 45 years and over. While there is no cure for the disease, early detection is vital to stopping its progress.

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What is the future of health AI? Reflections and predictions for 2019

Posted by Jason Maude on Fri, Jan 04, 2019 @ 12:15 PM

It’s the start of 2019 and many exciting things are on the horizon for Isabel and the industry of AI in medicine as a whole. As we go into January we thought we would take a look back on the year that has passed, as we have done before, and reflect on the huge steps health AI has taken this year. We'll also look ahead to 2019 and beyond, predicting what we think will be the hot topics of the year ahead. Indeed, market research company Frost and Sullivan have predicted that health AI will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 66% over the next 4 years, so the future of health AI is certainly looking interesting.

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Winter Bugs - common cold, influenza and gastroenteritis

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Winter has arrived and with a combination of the colder weather which bugs thrive in, and the buildup for the holiday festivities,  there is an increase in winter illnesses at  this time. This leads to increased demand in Doctors’ offices, ERs and hospitals filling up with patients who are unwell.  Here are some of the more common winter illnesses which can present at this time of year.

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Could I have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) - or is it just Christmas?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

It’s no secret that the holidays can often be associated more with exhaustion than enjoyment. Presents to buy and wrap, relatives to visit, food to cook….the list is never-ending, so no wonder many of us feel overly tired and lethargic well before the first present has been opened. We can easily blame flu-like symptoms, sore throats or even memory problems on the pre-Christmas build-up. But sometimes these symptoms have another more serious cause and are still lingering long after the decorations have been stored away.

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How do we use symptom checkers? An Isabel Infographic

Posted by Jason Maude on Thu, Dec 06, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

At Isabel we are always pushing for more research and independent studies into symptom checkers and their use. Isabel has been around since 2000, but in the last few years the words symptom checker have become more and more commonplace, as the internet has been integrated into modern life. In our most recent white paper "Enabling Patient Engagement with a Symptom Checker" we discussed how many people now research their symptoms or diagnoses, and the responsibility we have to ensure they have the tools they need to do this with accuracy and efficiency, rather than researching with unvalidated resources.

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The different types of pancreatic cancer - Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) 2018

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

November has been Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM), where people all over the world raise awareness and promote research into this devastating disease with a current survival rate of only 5%. We’ve blogged about pancreatic cancer awareness before, back in 2016, talking about its characteristics, symptoms to look out for, and also the founder of the charity Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA), Ali Stunt. One of the main focuses of PCA is promoting research into early diagnosis, as this is the best way to improve survival rates. Ali Stunt herself survived cancer because of an early diagnosis, and this is the key to getting the right treatment fast and beating pancreatic cancer. There are a few different types of pancreatic cancer, and some of these have slightly different presentations, and all of which share symptoms with more common, less threatening conditions. It is for this reason that pancreatic cancer is often misdiagnosed. PCA believe that education, particularly in the medical community, is a big factor in improving diagnosis and survival rates, so this year for PCAM, we’re talking about the different types of pancreatic cancer.

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Could I have appendicitis? Appendicitis symptoms and removal

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Nov 22, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Appendicitis is an acute medical condition where the appendix becomes inflamed and can eventually burst. It requires urgent medical attention, and usually surgery to remove the appendix.

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