Tech giants dream big on curing diseases, but realities of healthcare may drag them down

Stat looks at three diseases that technology companies are attacking — and how they might fail. In other public health news: a gene-editing breakthrough, type 2 diabetes in teens and kids and homeopathic teething tablet dangers.

Stat: How Apple, Google, And Other Tech Titans Aim To Shake Up The Way We Treat Disease
Silicon Valley has audacious plans for shaking up the way we diagnose — and cure — disease. But the life sciences are far more challenging than the tech titans of this world might realize: There are countless regulatory hurdles, health care delivery obstacles, and — most of all — the challenge of untangling the extraordinarily complex biology of the human body. Still, giants like Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft are charging ahead. (Keshavaan, 4/13)

Los Angeles Times: Type 2 Diabetes, Once Considered A Disease For Adults, Is Increasingly Common In Tweens And Teens
For years, health experts have bemoaned the rise of childhood obesity in the United States. About 17% of kids and teens in the U.S. are now considered obese, a figure that has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report in this week’s edition of the New England Journal of Medicine lays out one of the consequences of all this excess weight: a corresponding increase in childhood cases of type 2 diabetes. (Kaplan, 4/14)

Stat: Homeopathic Teething Tablets Tied To Infant Seizures Recalled
One of the nation’s largest homeopathy companies announced Thursday that it was recalling all of its infant teething tablets at the request of US regulators, following reports that the tablets had caused seizures and other severe complications in hundreds of infants. The company, Standard Homeopathic, said it was recalling the tablets at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, which had concluded that they contained inconsistent amounts of belladonna, an herb known colloquially as “deadly nightshade.” (4/13)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. 

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