Weekly MaxWellness - 6/20

The absolute latest in wellness, from #wearables to #mhealth.

What you need to know this week in the world of wellness, compiled by our in-house mobile wellness geek extraordinaire, Taylor Pechacek. If you want this automatically delivered to your email address once a week, go ahead and subscribe here.

Once again, U.S. has most expensive, least effective health care system in survey

  • A report released Monday by a respected think tank ranks the United States dead last in the quality of its health-care system when compared with 10 other western, industrialized nations, the same spot it occupied in four previous studies by the same organization. Not only did the U.S. fail to move up between 2004 and 2014 — as other nations did with concerted effort and significant reforms — it also has maintained this dubious distinction while spending far more per capita ($8,508) on health care than Norway ($5,669), which has the second most expensive system.

Opposing View: Flawed study ranks United States as the worst health care system

  • The first giveaway that something is amiss should be the fact that theUnited Kingdom ranks as the top health care system of those studied. As I reported in a feature last fall, the U.K.'s National Health Service is facing severe problems and has been plagued in recent years by cascading scandals involving horrific neglect of patients. In U.S. policy debates, liberal supporters of single-payer health care have even backed away from touting the NHS as a model to strive toward in recent years, instead pointing to systems such as France, which offers relatively more choice.

Latest wearable, Spire, measures respiration too

  • A San Francisco startup has developed a wearable device that monitors breathing patterns and a mobile app that suggests adjustments, promising to allow users to control stress levels or otherwise improve their states of mind.

Moving patients and doctors into a relationship of "shared accountability"

  • Health-care providers are giving patients more access to their medical records so they can help spot and correct errors and omissions. Studies show errors can occur on as many as 95% of the medication lists found in patient medical records.

From Accenture: 3 million U.S. employees enrolled in private insurance exchanges

  • Accenture’s analysis shows three-times as many people enrolled in private exchanges for 2014 benefits as the company originally forecast last year. And Accenture expects this trend to continue, projecting total enrollment in private exchanges will ultimately surpass state and federally funded exchanges, reaching 40 million by 2018.

WebMD now tracks health & fitness data from connected accessories

  • WebMD today launched “Healthy Target”, a feature within its iOS app that lets users track health data from a variety of sources like activity trackers, glucose meters, and other iPhone-connected health and fitness accessories. The feature lets users set goals, track habits, get easy to understand summaries of biometric data, and also provides progress reports and inspiration along the way.