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The novel Coronavirus is a bizarre disease, which has baffled the medical community with its unusual pattern of spread, unpredictable clinical course, and its ability to affect almost any part of the human body. Silent hypoxemia, the phenomenon of having dangerously low oxygen levels without patients feeling very ill, is probably its most unique and deadly feature. Fortunately, it is also easy to identify at home — with the right equipment and knowledge.

Every cell in the human body needs a constant supply of oxygen. The lungs transfer oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, where red blood cells carry…

Even with the best precautions, many of us will be worried that we or a family member have caught Covid-19 this winter. But then what? Here’s the advice that I give my patients friends and family to see them safely through, including the essential piece of equipment you need to have and know how to use.

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Figure how if you (probably) have it

Testing is an essential part of the public health response to Covid-19, but it’s only helpful to individuals in specific situations. PCR tests, the nasal swabs used to diagnose active infection, are good, but imperfect. If you…

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The news and stock markets have been abuzz with Pfizer’s announcement that it’s vaccine is 90% effective in its initial phase 3 clinical trials. This is huge news — the FDA was willing to accept vaccines with even 50% efficacy. It’s the first vaccine trial to show such tangible results, and may herald a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s nowhere near the end of the road however, for several reasons.

The results are not final. This is a big trial, with over 40,000 patients. No serious safety issues have been reported to date, but the trial has…

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This is a back-to-school season like no other. While many colleges and universities have gone remote, millions of American undergrads have just moved back onto college campuses. Parents are always anxious about sending their children away, but this year Covid-19 has created a whole new set of obstacles to navigate. As a practicing emergency physician who was a Resident Advisor at an Ivy League college, I’ve put together a guide for how you can help your college student stay safe and well this semester and beyond.

Know your school’s policies and rules

Every school that brings students to campus has…

8 weeks ago the world was paralysed, petrified by the possibility of pandemic catastrophe, where the entire world looked like Wuhan writ large. We saw the images coming out of Bergamo and Queens, and much of the world mobilised to make sure other societies escaped the same fate.

The experiences of these past months have left us with as many new questions as they’ve given us new answers. Why has Sweden managed to get away with a relatively open and unchanged society, whereas the UK’s brief experiment with that model was a swift and utter failure? …

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning — Winston Churchill

With the biggest hotspots of the Covid-19 crisis, New York, Italy, and Wuhan, all starting to subside, and large parts of Europe and the US entering the process of reopening, there is a lot of talk about life returning to “normal.” VP Pence has predicted that “by Memorial Day Weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,” and his optimism seems to be reflected in the stock market’s jubilant bounce-back over…

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The mantra of the 21st century is “More Data is Better.” Advances in hardware, algorithms, connectivity and storage have transformed the way we shop (Amazon), travel (Uber), socialize (Facebook), and search for information (Google). And since the dawn of the internet era, we have been promised that healthcare would come next, with big-data and analytics fundamentally altering the way we diagnose, treat and study disease. But while former Google CEO Eric Schmidt insists that cloud analytics will be the “killer app” that solves healthcare’s triple nightmare of cost, quality and access, the reality is likely to be much slower and…

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In my last post I wrote about what the US healthcare system can learn from Sweden, from my experience as a physician, parent, and entrepreneur in both systems. And while I admire a system that provides universal coverage with a strong commitment to equity, it is by no means perfect - Sweden struggles particularly with getting its patients timely access to care. There are a few key principles the US healthcare system does get right, and which could help the Swedish healthcare system deliver on its promise of great healthcare for all.

Patients have a right to be seen. For…

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As an American physician living in Sweden for the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to compare the healthcare systems from a parent, clinician, and entrepreneur’s point of view. The experience has been fascinating, and opened my eyes to a number of innovations that could be of great value back in the US.

In many ways (at least in theory) Sweden represents the ideal of what US advocates for Value Based Healthcare see as the framework for an ideal healthcare system. As each region serves as a single payer for its inhabitants, cost awareness is a necessity for managing the…

Zayed Yasin

Emergency physician & digital health entrepreneur. Medical Director, medtigo Care.

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