What we’ve been reading: Week of March 16, 2015



Scientists Call for a Summit on Gene-Edited Babies (MIT Technology Review)

Tools like CRISPR could give us the power to alter humanity’s genetic future. A group of senior American scientists and ethicists have called for a moratorium any attempts to create genetically engineered children using these technologies until there can be a robust debate.

Meet the healthcare company that won Mark Cuban’s heart at SXSW (MedCity News)

CareaLine, founded by the parents of a young girl who died of cancer, won over audience members’ hearts and investors’ wallets during SXSW 2015’s Impact Pediatrics competition.

Questioning the Value of Health Apps (New York Times Well blog)

You can find more than 100,000 health apps in the iTunes and Google Play app stores. But there’s a real risk that many of them won’t help you maintain or improve your health. Done wrong or used improperly, some could potentially cause harm.

Three out of four patients want easy data sharing between physicians (MobiHealthNews)

About 75 percent of U.S. adults in a 1,000-person survey think it’s very important that hospitals, physicians and others in the healthcare system be able to easily share patients’ health information.

Your Body Is a Race Car. McLaren Wants to Optimize Its Performance (IEEE Spectrum)

At SXSW 2015, a speaker from McLaren—yes, the Formula One race care company—laid out three principles for using wearables, personal data and analytics for tuning people for peak health and performance, based on their experience working with British Olympians and the UK national rugby team.

MIT Study: Cancer drug costs have skyrocketed. Survival rates? Not so much. (MedCity News)

Since 1995, the cost of cancer drugs—in terms of the cost per life of year saved—has jumped about 10 percent every year. Increases in survival times, though, haven’t kept pace. Are incremental gains worth the cost? And are we just getting used to paying more for small improvements in outcomes?