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Healthcare Key Findings: January 2013

New V-chip Card Uses Single Drop of Blood to Perform 50 Tests

New V-chip Card Uses Single Drop of Blood to Perform 50 Tests

Blood drops

Studies show that per capita U.S. health care costs are high compared to peer countries such as Japan and the U.K. In fact, a recent Forbes article says that healthcare costs in those countries are about half of ours and achieve equally good results. Consequently, it’s no mystery why efforts continue in the area of developing technologies that will reduce those costs.

One new device may do just that and more. Thanks to scientists at Houston’s Methodist Hospital Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center, an elegant new device could soon radically simplify and streamline blood testing, circumventing expensive lab equipment and wait times. Early tests of the V-chip, a device the size of a business card that costs about $10 to produce, promise to bring accurate and inexpensive blood tests to patients’ homes, remote areas and other point-of-care locations. The technology uses two thin pieces of glass sandwiched together, a series of wells and microfludics to display blood test results as easy to read bar charts directly on the device. Having to give vials of blood and waiting weeks for lab results to get a diagnosis from your doctor may soon be a thing of the past.;


  • Employees who exercise three or more times per week earn 6 to 9 percent more money than those who do not exercise. (2012 study by Vasilios Kostease, PhD, Cleveland State University)
  • Adults who frequently engage in mentally stimulating activities are 63% less likely to develop dementia than those who rarely do such activities, a New England Journal of Medicine study discovered. A University of Michigan study found that adults who play a mentally challenging game every day for several weeks can dramatically improve their memory. (
  • Job stress is estimated to cost U.S. industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity and medical, legal and insurance costs. And 52 percent of Americans report that they have considered workplace stress a significant factor when looking for a new job, declining a promotion or leaving a job altogether. (
  • Researchers found that sedentary people placed on an exercise program voluntarily began smoking less, drinking fewer alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, and eating healthier. They also did more household chores, used their credit cards less often, and kept up more diligently with study and work obligations. (

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