May 17, 2020

Porn fuels increasing demand for 'designer vaginas'

designer vagina
Cosmetic surgery
procedure
increasing dem
Admin
2 min
More women are seeking a designer vagina
As part of Healthcare Global's 2011 review, we've revisited this story which originally made the headlines in August... The number of women see...

As part of Healthcare Global's 2011 review, we've revisited this story which originally made the headlines in August...

The number of women seeking genital cosmetic surgery in the quest for a ‘designer vagina’ has risen dramatically in the last decade.

In the UK alone, the number of women seeking the procedure on the NHS has increased by five times and it is believed thousands more could have had the operation privately.

Researchers found the average age of designer vagina hunters is 23, but most women only want to undergo cosmetic surgery for aesthetic reasons.

They have linked the interest in genital surgery to pornography and an increasing pressure for women to look perfect.

In a study of 33 women having vaginal surgery, 60 percent wanted to make their labia smaller to improve its appearance, despite the researchers saying they were normal in size.

Only three of the women were recommended for the procedure to address a significant asymmetry.

One of the researchers, Sarah Creighton from the UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute of Women's Health, said: “It is surprising that all of the study participants had normal sized labia minora and despite this nearly half were still keen to pursue surgery as an option.  

“A particular concern is the age of some of the referred patients, one as young as 11 years old.

She added: “Development of the external genitalia continues throughout adolescence and in particular the labia minora may develop asymmetrically initially and become more symmetrical in time."

Meanwhile, experts are warning doctors need to be issued with clear guidelines on when patients should be referred to hospitals for such surgery.

The results of the research have been published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Pierre Martin-Hirsch said: “Many women who are worried may have normal sized labia minora. Clear guidance is needed for clinicians on how best to care for women seeking surgery.”

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Jul 25, 2021

Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare

Data
healthcare
CloudComputing
Technology
 Joe Gaska
4 min
Getting ready for cloud data-driven healthcare
 Joe Gaska, CEO of GRAX, tells us how healthcare providers can become cloud-based and data-driven organisations

As healthcare continues to recognise the value of data and digital transformation, many organisations are relying on the cloud to make their future-forward and data-centric thinking a reality. In fact, the global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at approximately $18 billion and is expected to generate around $61 billion USD by 2025. 

At the forefront of these changes is the rapid adoption of cloud-based, or software-as-a-service (SaaS), applications. These apps can be used to handle patient interactions, track prescriptions, care, billing and more, and the insights derived from this important data can vastly improve operations, procurement and courses of treatment. However, before healthcare organisations can begin to dream about a true data-driven future, they have to deal with a data-driven dilemma: compliance. 

Meeting regulation requirements

It’s no secret that healthcare is a highly regulated industry when it comes to data and privacy – and rightfully so. Patient records contain extremely sensitive data that, if changed or erased, could cost someone their life. This is why healthcare systems rely on legacy technologies, like Cerner and Epic EHRs, to manage patient information – the industry knows the vendors put an emphasis on making them as secure as possible.

Yet when SaaS applications are introduced and data starts being moved into them, compliance gets complicated. For example, every time a new application is introduced into an organisation, that organisation must have the vendor complete a BAA (Business Associate Agreement). This agreement essentially puts the responsibility for the safety of patients’ information — maintaining appropriate safeguards and complying with regulations — on the vendor.

However, even with these agreements in place, healthcare systems still are at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements. To comply with HIPAA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 and other regulations that stipulate the need to exercise best practices to keep electronic patient data safe, healthcare organisations must maintain comprehensive audit trails – something that gets increasingly difficult when data sits in an application that resides in the vendor’s infrastructure.

Additionally, data often does not stay in the applications – instead healthcare users download, save and copy it into other business intelligence tools, creating data sprawl across the organisation and exposing patient privacy to greater risk. 

With so many of these tools that are meant to spur growth and more effective care creating compliance challenges, it begs the question: how can healthcare organisations take advantage of the data they have without risking non-compliance?

Data ownership

Yes, healthcare organisations can adhere to regulations while also getting valuable insights from the wealth of data they have available. However, to help do this, organisations must own their data. This means data must be backed up and stored in an environment that they have control over, rather than in the SaaS vendors’ applications.

Backing up historical SaaS application data directly from an app into an organisation’s own secure cloud infrastructure, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure, makes it easier, and less costly, to maintain a digital chain of custody – or a trail of the different touchpoints of data. This not only increases the visibility and auditability of that data, but organisations can then set appropriate controls around who can access the data.

Likewise, having data from these apps located in one central, easily accessible location can decrease the number of copies floating around an organisation, reducing the surface area of exposure while also making it easier for organisations to securely pull data into business intelligence tools. 

When healthcare providers have unfettered access to all their historical data, the possibilities for growth and insights are endless. For example, having ownership and ready access to authorised data can help organisations further implement and support outcome-based care. Insights enabled by this data will help inform diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans and more, which benefits not only the patient, but the healthcare ecosystem as a whole. 

To keep optimising and improving care, healthcare systems must take advantage of new tools like SaaS applications. By backing up and owning their historical SaaS application data, they can do so while minimising the risk to patient privacy or compliance requirements. Having this ownership and access can propel healthcare organisations to be more data-driven – creating better outcomes for everyone. 

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