Apple

How the Apple Watch Could Help Revolutionize Health Care

The next big political fix for our ailing health care system should be to get out of Silicon Valley's way.

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The Apple Watch |||

Before the Apple Watch was revealed on September 9, it was rumored to include several biometric sensors that could track the vital signs of the person wearing it. The first iteration of the device turned out to be disappointing in this regard: It has only a heart rate monitor. But future iterations of the watch will likely track our body temperature, glucose levels, tremors, oxygen, and hydration, helping patients stay out of the doctor's waiting room.

This is just one of many promising ways in which Silicon Valley is poised to remake the monstrously inefficient health care industry. But can the tech industry stop the government from strangling its emerging ventures?

Take the Palo-Alto based company Theranos, founded in 2003 by Stanford University sophomore Elizabeth Holmes. It's developed a new approach to phlebotomy that involves a simple finger prick. The company uses software to test a single drop of blood on the spot at prices that read like they're written on the menu board above a deli counter: Checking cholesterol levels costs $2.99. A glucose-tolerance test runs $8.85. Looking for the presence of a cancer antigen sets customers back $14.31. Holmes, now 30, tells the story of a diabetic who recently had several tests performed by Theranos for $34 that otherwise would have cost the insurance company $876.

Clinical labs like Quest Diagnostics, which booked $7.1 billion in revenues last year, aren't the only firms that need to watch out for Theranos. Patients don't need to bother with insurance companies when a test costs just $2.99. Holmes, whose board of directors is packed with former high-profile government officials, is passionate about changing federal health laws to empower consumers. In February, Theranos scored a victory when the Department of Health and Human Services issued a new rule allowing patients in all 50 states to view their lab results without involving a doctor.

Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes |||

Other ventures aim to help patients make use of all this health data. Curious, a health technology firm cofounded by Linda Avey (who also helped start the personal genetics firm 23andme), will start beta testing a new platform in November that synethesizes genetic information (collected by 23andme), microbiomic profiles (collected by a startup called uBiome), personal traumas and life events that users will enter manually (such as a fight with a spouse), and (eventually) biometrics collected by wearables such as the Apple Watch. It will then analyze the information in a way that helps users determine what's helping, causing, or exacerbating various ailments and conditions.

The company's cofounder and Chief Technology Officer, Mitsu Hadeishi, compares Curious to other peer-to-peer tech companies like Airbnb and Uber because customers will "anecdotally share things" with each other and the software will utilize its network to "look at patterns on a larger scale." As an example, Hadeishi cites reports that eating the root black cohosh helps mitigate hot flashes. Through Curious, users could track the treatment's effectiveness and share their experiences with other users. If black cohosh helps some participants and not others, the software would look at other aspects of their health profiles that might explain the difference. "It's not just people randomly saying things on message boards," says Hadeishi.

Ultimately, clinical studies will be necessary to establish links between treatments and outcomes, and Hadeishi sees Curious' software in part as a "hypothesis generation source." In the past, clinicians could come up with broad theories about what works simply by observing their patients, but in the future doctors need to develop treatments tailored to subsets of patients based on their unique physiologies, so patterns are harder to detect. Tools like Curious' software could help scientists develop testable ideas.

Medicine is in part about solving mysteries, and eventually Curious' software (or similar products by other tech firms) could be much more effective at diagnosing problems than high-priced specialists. Yet Curious, like any company seeking to enter this space, has to look out for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies don't need the agency's approval to market products that track and share raw information on patients, but they get into trouble with the FDA when they try and make "predictive claims," says Paul Howard, the director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress. Last November, the agency forced 23andme to pull its $99 personal genome test off the market for giving customers too much information about the implications of their test results.  

Curious is walking a fine line in this regard, and the FDA could force the company to submit to an expensive approval process that would likely put it out of business. (Curious has raised about $900,000 in seed funding to date.) But Hadeishi says he's fairly confident that his product won't require FDA approval, and he's been in touch with staffers in the office of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer—a position created by President Obama to cut red tape—who are "aware of the types of things we want to do" and "want to find a way to accommodate innovation."

HealthTap |||

Another way for patients to make use of all the health data available to them while avoiding costly and time-consuming office visits is through the burgeoning field of telemedicine. Doctors on Demand, which the Mercatus Center's Robert Graboyes wrote about recently in Reason, offers users 15-minute online video chats with physicians for a flat fee of $40—or about the price of a co-pay to visit a doctor's office under many insurance plans.

The Palo-Alto based HealthTap offers a similar service, with unlimited calls for $99 a month (plus $10 additional per family member), and participating physicians will call in prescriptions and examine physical symptoms photographed with a smartphone. A current limitation is that providers can't check a patient's pulse or temperature through a video call—but biometric data-gathering devices could change this, making telemedicine considerably more useful. A less surmountable limitation are state laws dictating that a physician licensed in one state can't treat a patient in another. 

In its efforts to Uber-ize health care, Silicon Valley's biggest challenge will be convincing states to repeal competition-killing licensing laws and working with the FDA to let software eat its way through our antiquated, expensive, and labor-intensive approach to patient care. There's reason for optimism: In recent years, the tech industry has become far more adept at navigating the regulatory terrain in Washington. The next big political idea to fix our nation's health care system should be to get out of the way.

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  1. I don’t want my vitals leaked to the public like so many Jennifer Lawrence cooch shots.

    1. Believe me, the public could care less…

      1. Couldn’t care less.

      2. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:01PM|#
        “Believe me,”

        Since you lie on a nearly constant basis, that’s a ridiculous request, asshole.

  2. is Apple paying the medical device tax?

    1. It’s a floor wax! It’s a medical device! It’s a PENALTAX!

  3. So, like government will mandate iWatches as… preventive medicine measures… and everyone will be forced to buy one because YOUNG INVINCIBLES/NO FREELOADERS, and the price of an iWatch will go up to $12,000. But insurance will have to cover it… because war on women… and it’s the only way to control costs.

    Oh, you think I’m joking?

    1. Does it come standard with a “kill switch” like the iPhone?

      1. The government version will come with a kill switch that decides when you’re too old to be useful, around age 75. Then the DeathPanel.app activates….

        1. It’s written in Java, it’ll never work.

      2. The”kill” switch aborts any unborn child arrived by the wearer.

    2. “Oh, you think I’m joking?”

      Joking? Nah.
      You are completely full of shit. Not joking.

    3. I can’t waits to get me my ObamaWatch.

  4. Who was it who made the comment that if the government would let companies data-mine medical records they could save 10,000 lives the first year?

    1. Corky from Life Goes On?

    2. Well, save or create, anyway.

    3. How does that tie in to the tens of thousands dying each year from medical mistakes made by corporations?

      1. Yeah, what craiginmass said!

      2. Craig – are you Corky from Life Goes On ?

      3. There you go confusing government and the private sector again. It’s the FDA that’s winning the war on life.

      4. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:02PM|#
        “How does that tie in to the tens of thousands dying each year from medical mistakes made by corporations?”

        Cite missing, asshole. And make sure the cite covers your entire claim; all of it, asshole.
        Or you could be honest and admit you’re a slimy leftist liar.

        1. Well, Sevo, all I can admit is that your research skills are worthy of a Kochsucker. Actually, it looks like I was off – it’s probably 100’s of thousands. Thanks!

          “In 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the famous “To Err Is Human” report, which dropped a bombshell on the medical community by reporting that up to 98,000 people a year die because of mistakes in hospitals. The number was initially disputed, but is now widely accepted by doctors and hospital officials ? and quoted ubiquitously in the media.

          In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.

          Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher ? between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.”

          1. How does hospitals making mistakes relate to companies finding correlations in various health conditions by data-mining medical records.

            You think it should be illegal for a company to warn you that you might be developing a heart condition because some unrelated person gave someone else the wrong medication?

      5. You mean the corporations lie the Veteran’s Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency?

        Or perhaps the people who’ve died because of mistakes by corporations like every single law enforcement agency in the country?

        Or the people being killed by the corporation known as the FDA.

        Would seem to me that *all* the corporations in the US kill fewer people than the non-military agencies of the government.

      6. Yeah, the corporation that did my recent root canal was really, really big and scary. What a fucking dolt ye be craigo…

      7. Actually, the medical mistakes are made by doctors, not corporations. Doctors make those in government run hospitals and private hospitals, but in government run hospitals, their liability tends to be very limited. Saves costs you know.

        1. “Actually, the medical mistakes are made by doctors, not corporations.”

          Most doctors are part of corporations these days…you cannot separate the two. Many of the mistakes have to do with germs in the hospital facilities, etc. – not really the doctor’s fault!

          I’ve seen a lot of hospital bills for family, friends, etc. and never seen any that said government owned or run.

      8. So… we should ban people from analyzing data because they might make mistakes with the knowledge?

        Wow. I guess we should shutdown the NIH then.

  5. So the FDA is going to end up regulating the Apple Watch. Great.

  6. staffers in the office of the U.S. Chief Technology Officer?a position created by President Obama to cut red tape?who … “want to find a way to accommodate innovation.”

    Well, that’s big of them.

    The future and its enemies, indeed.

    1. He wants to find a way to accommodate innovation? Pick me! Pick me! I know how, I know how!

      *Waives raised hand frantically*

    2. I’m imagining the Ministry of Technology’s office looks a bit lime something out of Brazil.

  7. “….Silicon Valley is poised to remake the monstrously inefficient health care industry, writes Reason’s Jim Epstein. But can the tech industry stop the government from strangling its emerging ventures?”

    The health care industry is monstrous, and monstrously inefficient, for exactly the same reasons that the government is. It exists for its own sake, to wet the greatest number of beaks possible and to feed it’s insatiable appetite for money and power. So, I am gonna guess the answer is no.

    1. The health care is only monstrously inefficient because it has government-guaranteed monopolies and revenue streams: FDA, AMA, patents, ACA, and lots more. Without that, prices would quickly come down.

  8. “But future iterations of the watch will likely track our body temperature, glucose levels, tremors, oxygen, and hydration,” sending more panicky patients into the doctor’s waiting room.

    Wanna bet?

    1. It would be a hypochondriac’s dream. “But doctor, look at what my watch says!”

  9. Wow man I think that makes a LOT of sense.

    http://www.Crypt-Tools.tk

  10. “can the tech industry stop the government from strangling its emerging ventures?”

    GASP! it almost implies that *corporations* are forced into the business of paying off politicians because otherwise they’d be strangled by bureaucracy??

    CLEARLY THE SOLUTION IS MOAR REGULATION

    1. Are you kidding? The big corporations love regulation, no force necessary. Apple would cream its pants if the iWatch’s medical functions became subject to FDA regulation — they spend more in stock buybacks in a week than it would cost to comply. The ones getting strangled would be their upstart competitors.

  11. This could be a mixed blessing. Health care is one of the few employment areas for unskilled labor that’s been holding its own in the Obama Depression.

  12. Samsung is already on it:

    http://tech2yantra.blogspot.co…..pulse.html

  13. I never cease to be amazed at the level of naivety Reason writer exhibit when faced with technical or scientific issues. Apparently, all it takes is a special “app” or “device” and all humanity is saved. Never mind the the REAL issues related to rising healthcare costs or technical challenges associated with the purported claims. If its “new” to them, it MUST be great…

    1. it MUST be great…

      Well it would be great for Tim Cook and the federal government when everyone has to buy their government mandated iWatchYou device.

      1. when everyone has to buy their government mandated iWatchYou device.

        AKA the ObamaPhone.

        1. The new ObamaWatch. In addition to monitoring vital signs, it also monitors who you vote for and whether you make ammunition purchases.

          1. The new ObamaWatch. In addition to monitoring vital signs, it also monitors who you vote for and whether you make ammunition purchases.

            And checks your Good2go log when detecting signs of sexual arousal.

    2. Never mind the the REAL issues related to rising healthcare costs or technical challenges associated with the purported claims.

      You mean rent seeking and corruption?

      The point is that technology is making it harder and harder to regulate and restrict things.

      An iWatch or Samsung Gear doesn’t do anything new, but it does what it does much cheaper than medical devices, and it gets rid of the doctor as the gatekeeper.

      1. The point is that technology is making it harder and harder to regulate and restrict things.

        But yet strangely funner and funner. It’s like one of those chinese puzzles for legislators. They’ll sit there for hours crafting new laws that will cover these new emerging technologies.

        1. At the same time, he added, it ensures “invisible guns” can’t be brought onto airplanes.

          Uhm *how would you know if an undetectable gun got through your detection apparatus?

          These people are simply insane. Not a lick of rational thought between them.

          1. And furthermore, no one mentions how you’d get the fucking BULLETS IN!

            1. Caseless man, caseless.

              Or maybe black powder ball and cap (which I guess is *technically* caseless).

          2. What this country would do to itself if there was another major terrorist attack or a series of attacks does not even bear thinking about.

    3. Lotsa rubes here ready to swallow this kind of hucksterism. Those ankle bracelets bad men are forced to wear – don’t they already measure and broadcast vitals? Alcohol and drug levels etc….

      1. mtrueman|9.25.14 @ 10:02PM|#
        “Lotsa rubes here ready to swallow this kind of hucksterism.”

        I believe this is called projection; ‘rube’ isn’t a bad description of someone who proudly claims to lie if it supports a view.
        Right, trueman?

        1. Wrong. You really need to ask?

          1. mtrueman|9.26.14 @ 12:03AM|#
            “Wrong. You really need to ask?”

            No I don’t, lying rube.

            1. Got your health care revolutionizing Apple Watch yet? Better than your ankle bracelet?

    4. Indeed. If people want to self-medicate and self-diagnose, that’s their business, but it’s pretty absurd to think they’ll do it well. As a personal anecdote I have a co-worker who got a lab test which tells him that he’s “gluten-primed”, i.e. he doesn’t have Celiac, but if he keeps eating gluten he just might get it! This kind of homeopathic crap will only become more prevalent in the iWatch world. Allowed? Yes. Smart? No.

  14. So your 12k government mandated iWatch notifies you at 6pm that your BAC is 0.22%, and also notifies HHS.

    At 9pm your iWatch notifies you that your blood pressure is 170/110 and directs you to the emergency room.

    You fail to respond

    At 3AM the SWAT team breaks down your door, shoots your dog, terrifies your family and hauls you off to the emergency room and then jail for ignoring your iWatch commands, for your own safety.

    It’s a truly bright future, comrades.

    1. And then bills you for the ‘services’.

  15. The real issue related to healthcare costs are related to people’s chosen behaviors more than anything such as diet lack of exercise etc.

    The CDC believes the majority of healthcare costs are due to choices we make regarding diet exercise smoking etc

    Everybody looks to a magic pill for the cure to their ills instead of lifestyle changes

    God for bid the government is going to help here when they are the kind of people historically behind the food pyramid, low fat diets and other such rubbish

    Look for mostly private solutions to these problems

    1. “The CDC believes the majority of healthcare costs are due to choices we make regarding diet exercise smoking etc”.

      Odd that the only thing the nanny state believes you have personal responsibility for is your health.

      1. Really? I argue to the contrary

        The nanny state is famous for absurd food many laws as documented here and elsewhere

        San Francisco banned happy meals for Pete sake and New York City banned trans fat’s and big sodas

        I’m buying a happy meal tonight as a personal form of protest before I sit down to watch South Park

        1. “The nanny state is famous for absurd food many laws as documented here and elsewhere’

          That’s funny!

          You call the laws absurd but fail to mention that obesity has risen 50% since the rise of fast food and is a virtual epidemic along with diabetes and other such diseases.

          Yeah, given the choice, people would be smart enough to avoid that crap food – but 100 million+ Americans prove that common sense is not at play here. Instinct is.

          Enjoy your protest. Personally, I think it’s absurd that we accept such epidemics among our fellow countrymen and human beings.

          1. I do not accept it

            However I do not think nanny state restriction of liberties is the answer to the problem

            There are plenty of private market and other incentives that can help fix the problem

            Broad brush government prohibition and food fascism is not the answer

            One thing btwthat disgusts me to no end is how we allow police officers to get obese and refuse to enforce strict fitness standards

            Government has no place in forcing fitness standards or food fascism on private citizens

            Government has every rational authority to mandate fitness standards for police firefighters and the military

            Police officers should not have the right to get out of shape

            That’s a right that belongs to individuals in general but not people who choose to serve as a peace officer

            I support mandatory fitness standards incentive pay for exceptional fitness performance and remedial training for cops who fail to meet fitness standards

            For cops who can’t correct the problem after some remedial training they should be fired

            This needs to be part of the contract when they first sign-on in order to make it legally enforceable

            I fully support body autonomy for police officers in regards to non-obtrusive tattoos piercings sexual activity etc. etc.

            But they absolutely should not have any right to allow themselves to become out of shape

          2. Help me, Government, you’re my only hope! Personally, I think it’s disgusting that people like you exist even if I acknowledge your right to do so.

            1. Government should not be a refuge for fat asses and other unhealthy people

              The solution and incentives should be within the private sector churches private schools community groups etc. but government should stay out of mandating what people eat etc.

              And food bans are 100% unacceptable and it anti liberty

              Government shouldn’t even be prohibiting the drugs we put inside our veins let alone the food to be put in our mouth’s

              Government food Fascism is one of those non-effective cures that is much worse than the underlying problem it attempts to remedy

              1. “Government food Fascism is one of those non-effective cures that is much worse than the underlying problem it attempts to remedy”

                Please explain in very simple terms how a healthy individual citizen is harmed when 64 OZ. single serving soft drinks at a 7-11 fountain are discouraged?

                Or when calories have to be stated on a menu?

                They are not prohibiting the food! To use your drug example, they are simply saying that a single pill of oxy should be a certain “normal” size. You can take 2 of them if the pain is really bad.

                Reason seems to have left the room.

                Next thing you will be saying is that when the gubment regulates the size of cars and their pollution output it’s fascism. We should all be able to drive Hummvees that get 6 MPG and spew smoke out….right?

                Think. Reason. Logic. You act as if we don’t live in modern times with 310 million other people in this country!

                1. Unlike many people here I have no problem with government imposed labeling.

                  Labeling does not restrict consumer choice it only arms citizens with information without limiting their freedom

                  Big soda bans happy meal bands transfat bans etc. substantially limit liberty and are absolutely never acceptable from government

                  If you can’t see how bans on 64 ounce soda should absolutely be beyond the scope of government authority and how such bans restrict people’s liberties I don’t know what to tell you

                  Maybe somebody here more eloquent than me can explain to you why these type of bans are so awful and so clearly should be outside the authority of government to impose at all

                  I’m not just saying that government should not impose such bans. I am saying that in my opinion such bans are completely unlawful unconstitutional and such power should never be ceded to government and should be fought every turn.

                  We become subjects not citizens when we allow government to micromanage the most private choices we can make in our lives which it involve food choices drug choices and sexual choices

                2. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:40PM|#
                  “Please explain in very simple terms how a healthy individual citizen is harmed when 64 OZ. single serving soft drinks at a 7-11 fountain are discouraged?”

                  Asshole, what I choose to drink is none of your fucking business.
                  Is that clear?

          3. Yes! Thanks to you, O Brave Knight, for saving our townsfolk from the Dire Shadow Dragon that haunts the land!

            Sure, saving the village entailed locking its inhabitants in the Dungeon Infernal, but since you have THE SHINIEST ARMOR, we’re sure that that won’t backfire.

            Almost certain. 70% at least.

            TL;DR You’re an arrogant, self-involved asswipe the literally thinks he knows what’s good for everyone else. Die in a fire.

            1. Yes anybody who looks to government to help them change their illness producing behavior patterns is a fucking putz and desires subjecthood not citizenship

              Government should be there to protect a free marketplace of food choices whether they be trans fat happy meals or kale and super foods

              Just as we need a free marketplace of ideas and us government should not be allowed to censor even the most abhorrent hate speech, we need a much freer food market where people are free to make their choices without the heavy hand of government interference, let alone SWAT raid’s on raw milk farmers etc.

              Government absolutely needs to let people make choices for better or worse. It is up to private organizations churches community groups taboos and other private marketplace factors to try to influence people to make the right choices

              And sure people make who make bad choices will tend to suffer ill effects. That’s true whether you’re talking bad food choices or resisting arrest.

              It is not governments job to insulate people from making bad decisions or suffering the consequences of same

              1. “Yes anybody who looks to government to help them change their illness producing behavior patterns is a fucking putz and desires subjecthood not citizenship”

                Consider the Bell Curve. A majority of Americans probably cannot even read or comprehend what you are saying.

                After that we get to the instinct question. That is “do what your body and mind tell you to do” means sucking up fat and sugar whenever it it available.

                The fight against obesity is one of humans trying to avoid their base instincts. How many here would easily stop looking at a nice ass or rack? How many could refrain from wanking?

                It’s the same deal with food….not as easy as you suggest.

                1. Well if you need someone to point a gun at producers and retailers of food because you have no self control, why not just sign up to be thrown in prison for eating off your allowable diet? That way you’re only oppressing yourself. That’s win-win for me and you. But we both now you prefer win-lose interaction.

          4. Enjoy your protest. Personally, I think it’s absurd that we accept such epidemics among our fellow countrymen and human beings.

            And you’re going to bring God to the heathens!

          5. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:18PM|#
            “The nanny state is famous for absurd food many laws as documented here and elsewhere’
            That’s TRUE!’

            Fixed, asshole.

          6. You call the laws absurd but fail to mention that obesity has risen 50% since the rise of fast food…

            …Great Society programs were established

            …television gained mass appeal

            …the Surgeon General declared cigarettes a health risk

            etc etc

    2. The CDC believes the majority of healthcare costs are due to choices we make regarding diet exercise smoking etc

      So do lots of other people. The difference is that the CDC wants to mandate insurers to pay for expensive statins and “treatments”, whereas it is more reasonable to let people face the choice between their behaviors and the costs they entail.

      1. I certainly agree that when the government works to minimize people having negative consequences for bad choices they disincentive people from fixing themselves to make better choices

        People who make bad food choices bad exercise choices bad smoking and drugs choices etc. Tend to pay a cost in health well-being quality of life etc.

        That’s how nature works and it’s a good thing because it incentivizes people to change their behavior to get better results

        Private groups churches and all sorts of social institutions should be and in some cases are at the forefront of helping people change their behavior make better choices and fix themselves

        However government should not be imposing liberty restrictions in attempts to force people to make these changes especially when these liberty restrictions tend to substantially limit liberty of people who are completely responsible in their choices

        Bans like transfer bands happy meal bans etc. restrict everybody’s liberty whether they are disgusting fat asses who should suffer negative consequences from NATURE so they can learn to fix their behavior or healthy people who enjoy these things as an occasional treat and suffer no ill effects whatsoever from them

    3. “hen they are the kind of people historically behind the food pyramid,”

      Actually, it’s PRIVATE corporations such as the meat and dairy industry who did all that stuff. Given the choice, corporations don’t want you buying 50 lbs bags of oats, rice and potatoes (just saw 50 lbs for $8).

      They want you to eat steak…..much more profitable.

      1. Potato growers don’t want you to eat steak (unless it’s with potatoes). Thankfully we have somewhat of a market and competition that provides for choice.

      2. The food pyramid was consistently supported in a broad variety of government programs and government documents

        You are wrong if you think that the government did not play a huge part in food pyramid propaganda dissemination

        For example it was consistently taught in public schools as part of health class etc.

        1. “The food pyramid was consistently supported in a broad variety of government programs and government documents”

          Actually, I remember all the BS when they were coming out with the new one. The dairy and meat industry didn’t like it and forced them to change it by power of the purse (lobbies).

          Oh, yeah, and the Kochs own ranches too…..

          “”The pervasive, overriding influence of the meat and dairy lobby at the USDA is so powerful that it is understood that guidelines cannot talk negatively about specific foods,” says Walter Willett, chair of the Harvard School of Public Health’s nutrition department. “Thus, they cannot say that we should eat less red meat, cheese, or butter; instead the guidelines talk abstractly about eating less SOFAS, which only dietitians know means less solid fat and added sugar. (Only) deep in the text of the guidelines, in a footnote, does it say that solid fat is found in meat and dairy products.”

          1. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:45PM|#
            …”Actually, I remember all the BS when they were coming out with the new one. The dairy and meat industry didn’t like it and forced them to change it by power of the purse (lobbies).”…

            So the government pulled the gun and the victims convinced your thugs to give ’em a break, right?

            1. “So the government pulled the gun and the victims convinced your thugs to give ’em a break, right?”

              No, the Koch’s told them to suck their dicks, which just about anyone will do for enough money. Money greases the skids and therefore the corporations dictate what people are “sold”.

              Period. The Gubment simply cannot compete with the Free Market unless it too decides to purposely lie.

              1. Who has the men with guns and a monopoly right to initiate violence? The “free market” or the state?

          2. And the food pyramid is to blame for unhealthy diets. If we just get rid of the Koch Bros, all will be righted.

            I recall that coconut oil is a solid fat. Highland beef has very little.

      3. Given the choice, corporations don’t want you buying 50 lbs bags of oats, rice and potatoes (just saw 50 lbs for $8).

        But wait, I’ve been told, repeatedly, by semi-literate douchebags, that eating healthy is TOO EXPENSIVE!

        I’m glad you noticed the same thing I called a Seattle Times reporter on some years ago. Eating healthy is cheap, cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap.

      4. corporations don’t want you buying 50 lbs bags of oats, rice and potatoes (just saw 50 lbs for $8).

        Even the oats, rice and potato corporashuns. The corporashuns are so cunning and coordinated!

        1. I mean for fuck’s sake. It’s more profitable to brainwash people into eating high cost food? Why not brainwash the masses into loving oats and charging $10/lb? Do you know how profit works, son?

          1. “Why not brainwash the masses into loving oats and charging $10/lb? Do you know how profit works, son?”

            Another award for stupidity – this is probably the 3rd most idiotic thing ever posted on here!

            Hint: The full cost to grow a lbs of oats is about 1/20th what it is to create a pound of beef – in energy, land, processing, etc.

            Oats are almost infinite being as just about anyone could grow them. Beef – well, that takes vast gubment subsidies, vast land tracts, feed, fertilizer, slaughterhouses, refrigeration, etc.

            Do yourself a big favor. Consider the following parable. Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool then to speak and remove ALL DOUBT….

            Next think you will tell us is that firewood is as hard to create as heating oil….and burning coal is just like using uranium!

            1. If oats are ubiquitous and foolproof, why aren’t the nation’s hungry growing and “rolling” their own instead of taking tax dollars and going to Burger King?

              And next thing you are going to tell me is that electric cars aren’t powered by the burning of coal!

      5. Actually, it’s PRIVATE corporations such as the meat and dairy industry who did all that stuff.

        No, private corporations only proposed it. It was the government that taught it in schools and made it official.

        It’s rent seeking. You can’t blame companies for trying, you have to blame politicians for giving in.

        1. “It’s rent seeking. You can’t blame companies for trying, you have to blame politicians for giving in.”

          What came first, the chicken or the egg?

          I would argue that money in politics – that fine Citizens United and all the other crap you folks support – made it so pols and the gubment have no choice but to listen to the $$$.

          Of course, they do have one choice – and that’s to not hold office at all.

          1. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

            Well the politicians couldn’t be renting out the use of power that they don’t first possess. So if you increase the power of the state, you necessarily increase the amount of power to be rented and abused.

      6. Carbs may be cheap, but aren’t that healthy.

        Why do you want to encourage people to eat more rice, potatoes, and grains?
        You realize that, while not as bad as sugar, excessive consumption of carbs can also lead to diabetes, right?

        1. “Why do you want to encourage people to eat more rice, potatoes, and grains?”

          Yes, after all, just look at Vietnam, China, etc……which have 1/3 the amount we do.

          Proof Positive!

          1. Proof that they don’t contribute to diabetes? Uh, false.

  16. In other gov’t reg news, the ‘mobile app’ cabs have taken a 65% bite out of the gov’t-approved cabs in SF.
    We can’t have services that haven’t paid the vig doing that, can we?

    “S.F., L.A. threaten Uber, Lyft, Sidecar with shutdown”
    […]
    “The district attorneys’ move is the latest volley in the ongoing battle between local government, which by its nature regulates many things to ensure safety,”…
    SURE it does!
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/…..781328.php

    1. I like the “by its nature” part.

      1. ‘Which by its nature regulates many things to attempt control’

        ftfy

        We are talking SF here, home of peakSmug(tm) and Happy Meal bans

      2. Then you’ll also like this:

        The district attorneys accused Uber and Lyft of engaging in two additional unlawful practices. One is failure to be regulated by the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture’s weights and measures division,

        We accuse you of “failure to be regulated”!

        1. Mark22,
          That 65% drop-off in cab use is gonna cost the city some dough; they’re not about to sit there and just watch it with so many straws yet to grasp!

          1. Failure to be regulated! J’accuse!

  17. ‘… tests performed by Theranos for $34 dollars that otherwise would have cost the insurance company $876.’

    And this right here shows how we might be able to prevent the FDA and other regulators from blocking this technology.

    The insurance companies are one of the biggest lobbies in Washington, and the internal lobbies of the Government insurance agencies (Medicare, Medicaid, Government Employee Insurance, &tc;) have a lot of pull as well. If we can set them against the FDA and others whenever proposed regulations come up, then we might actually have a chance of keeping the market relatively free.

    It’s a difficult and risky strategy, I know. But a lot of Government power grabs and protectionist policies throughout the years have been stopped by similar infighting.

  18. FDA getting out of the way of non-prescription “medical devices”? Really? Any time soon? GOOD LUCK with that!
    Just the other day, I tried to market, for FREE, a new “app” I wrote? Just snap a picture on your I-Phone and have the app analyze the picture you just took? And it SOLVES that age-old “bane” of husbands and boyfriends everywhere! “Does this dress make me look fat”? ? “Well honey, I dunno, let’s see what my I-phone and the ‘Does this dress make me look fat’ app has to say” SNAP and go!!!? Your opinion is taken OUT, you are OFF the hot seat!
    As publisher of this “app”, I was charged with “diagnosing obesity, a medical condition, w/o a Doctor’s License”. I am writing this post to you, Beloved Reasonoids, from jail? I apologize for my crimes?

    1. I guess the guy next to you in the cell must have wrote that “ugly or not” app which looks at your face and gives you the sad word.

      1. Well actually, my cell mate? You think MINE was a huge crime against humanity, wait till you hear of his or hers (he-she-it deserves his/her privacy, we all know the townspepples will be out there with pitches & torches if / when they hear of his / her crimes? ) He / she BLEW ON A CHEAP PLASTIC FLUTE W/O A DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION! This is no joke, the FDA who made this “lung flute” be by-prescription, are the joke? Go search for “lung flute” in my web site for details, at http://www.churchofSQRLS.com ?

        1. “Go search for “lung flute” in my web site for details”

          I thought you were using one of the flutes you put over your weiner to pump it up bigger. That should be regulated as you may pump hard enough to damage yourself and the big bad gubment would have to fix you up.

  19. Information is power and when people know more about their bodies and behaviors effect on their lifespan it is likely to result in better compliance with healthier choices.

    And, no, I don’t expect it will change everyone or even the majority. However, it’s pretty much proven that interventions of this type (knowledge) work. As an example, those who read calorie labels on foods eat less.

    It’s a tool. As with any tool, how you use it is largely up to you.

    I think it will take about 5 years for much of this to permeate the market – but, I am optimistic that the combination of advances (yes, even the ACA included) will at least flatten the cost curve and eventually actually send it down (at least as a percentage of income and GDP).

    For relatively healthy people I think doctors are rarely needed. Very rarely. I haven’t been in a hospital in over 50 years (for myself).

    We need to stop the consumer culture of medicine – that is, stop fee for service (in most cases) and pay for better results, not more expensive and ineffective procedures.

    I’m only optimistic because there is not much choice. We have already broken the bank with 18% of GDP spent for poor medical care.

    1. “And, no, I don’t expect it will change everyone or even the majority. However, it’s pretty much proven that interventions of this type (knowledge) work. As an example, those who read calorie labels on foods eat less.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Try again:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..singlepage

      1. Ah, a Reason article…..might as well discard all my other bookmarks now, eh?

        Here is some science:
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..084813.htm

        “The team found very significant differences between consumers that read labels and those that do not.”

        “The results indicated that the body mass index of those consumers who read that label is 1.49 points lower than those who never consider such information when doing their food shopping. This translates as a reduction of 3.91 kg for an American woman measuring 1.62 cm and weighing 74 kg.”

        “After 18 months, customers of taco restaurants consumed fewer overall calories and customers of coffee establishments consumed fewer calories from beverages. Those results may be due to “customization,” Krieger said?people can decide whether to put additional calories of sour cream or guacamole on a taco, for example. In coffee houses, customers choose the size and the additives for a drink. “

        1. Body mass index is one of the stupidest nonscientific and ridiculous proxies for health that was ever invented

          Anytime you see a study and God knows it’s often in government publications that uses BMI as a proxy or any sort of useful metric in health discussions is fucking void from the start

          BMI does not distinguish muscle weight from fat weight nor take into account bone density or any of the Myriad number of factors that make it a completely useless metric

          BMI is often spouted by the same type of idiots who spout ken cooper center standards for ‘fitness’ same having been a disgusting nonscientific pernicious influence on cultural understandings of what fitness means and of course has been lapped up by the government.

          Even the idiotic Dr. Cooper has to some extent change his tune in recent years but his contribution to the field of fitness and health is right up there with the contribution of phrenologists

          When the govt was listening to cooper et al and spouting food pyramid nonsense etc. They were ignoring the UFO erasmus’ etc.

          1. “Anytime you see a study and God knows it’s often in government publications that uses BMI as a proxy or any sort of useful metric in health discussions is fucking void from the start”

            Might I point you to the science of statistics which would make it highly improbably that a BMI decrease would correlate with reading labels unless the population who did so weighed less or were healthier.

            Once again, you fellas fall back on what the meaning of “is” is so you don’t have to accept the truth.

            Of course, there is one obvious truth involved here. Men are 95% of the posters here and MEN are less likely to benefit from reading labels. I have to assume this is because men are more likely to be Ideologues and always know better than science.

        2. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:50PM|#
          “Ah, a Reason article…..might as well discard all my other bookmarks now, eh?”

          Well, asshole, your brain leaked out long ago, so who cares about your bookmarks?

        3. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:50PM|#
          “Here is some science:
          http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..084813.htm”

          From the link, brain-dead:
          “These included various questions on whether participants read the nutritional information in supermarkets and how often.”
          Self-reported data asking thin people ‘do you read the labels?’
          Yeah, that’s data you can take to the trash can.

        4. I’m into fitness.

          BMI is bull shit but to clowns like you it’s the be all end all.

          You’re completely incapable of abstract thought it’s frightening.

          1. “You’re completely incapable of abstract thought it’s frightening.”

            If “abstract thought” means Kochsucking and buying the BS written by Fiction Writers and those on the John Birch payroll, count me in.

            I think for myself – as opposed to getting paid for being a propagandist. If stuff works, I’m for it. If it doesn’t, I discard it. After 40+ years as a adult, I’ve figured out some of it…

            1. Being a fake Indian works so you’ll continue to support Warren.

              Not taking responsibility for not responding to being notified of security problems at Logan that could have allowed the 9/11 hijackers to get through works so you will continue to support Kerry.

              Losing 200+ kids in DCF but not having “kid glove” Globe call him out on this works so you will continue to support Duvall Patrick.

    2. result in better compliance with healthier choices.

      “Compliance”

      Interesting word choice.

      1. Nice catch

    3. craiginmass|9.25.14 @ 10:11PM|#
      …”For relatively healthy people I think doctors are rarely needed. Very rarely. I haven’t been in a hospital in over 50 years (for myself).”

      Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    4. As an example, those who read calorie labels on foods eat less.

      Maybe in the universe where communism works and the Catholic church is an agents of peace. In this space time continuum, not so much.

    5. Information is power and when people know more about their bodies and behaviors effect on their lifespan it is likely to result in better compliance with healthier choices.

      Compliance:
      1a : the act or process of complying to a desire, demand, proposal, or regimen or to coercion

      b : conformity in fulfilling official requirements

      2 a disposition to yield to others

    1. covering the spectrum from Democrats to progressives?

      What ‘spectrum’ is that?

      1. This one, I believe.

    2. “It’s an inventory scheme. It’s a vector marketing scheme,” said Mr. Murphy, who teaches ecoliteracy in city preschools.


      …..

      Preschool which California has tried to make mandatory.

  20. OT: Jeter’s final at bat at Yankee Stadium? Walk-off single:

    http://espn.go.com/newyork/?topId=11589492

  21. “prechool ecoliteracy”… Fuck me running, now I’ve seen everything…

    1. “”prechool ecoliteracy”… Fuck me running, now I’ve seen everything…”

      Yeah, next thing you know they’ll be teaching preschool empathy. What a world…

  22. my classmate’s mother makes $73 hourly on the computer . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $15449 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    over here ====== http://WWW.JOBSFISH.COM

  23. But can the tech industry stop the government from strangling its emerging ventures?

    No.

  24. U.S. Chief Technology Officer?a position created by President Obama to cut red tape

    I’m impressed by your ability to write that with a straight face.

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