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Everything You Need to Know about Red Light Theraphy

We do not have the hardware to perceive near infrared light (as used in infrared light therapy), just as we do not perceive other wavelengths of EM radiation such as UV, Microwaves, etc. It has recently been proven that the eye can detect a single photon.   Like elsewhere on the body, eyes are made up of cells, specialised cells, all performing unique functions. We have rod cells to detect light intensity, cone cells to detect colour, various epithelial cells, humor producing cells, collagen producing cells, etc. Some of these cells (and tissues) are vulnerable to some types of light. All of the cells receive benefits from some other types of light. Research in the area has increased significantly in the last 10 years.

How we see light. Graph showing the wavelength perception range of the light sensitive cells in the human eye. Note that the green cones can detect light in the orange/red range.

Beneficial light for eyes

Most of the studies that point to beneficial effects use LEDs as the light source with the vast majority around the wavelength of 670nm (red). Wavelength and light type/source are not the only important factors though, as the light intensity and exposure time affect the results.

How does red light help the eyes?

Given that our eyes are the primary light-sensitive tissue in our body, one might think that the absorption of red light by our red cones has something to do with the effects seen in the research. This is not entirely the case.

Cells in the eye’s retina are especially abundant in mitochondria

The primary theory explaining the effects of red and near infrared light therapy, anywhere in the body, involves the interactions between light and the mitochondria. The core function of mitochondria is to produce energy for its cell – light therapy improves its ability to make energy.

The eyes of humans, and specifically the cells of the retina, have the highest metabolic requirements of any tissue in the entire body – they require a lot of energy. The only way to meet this high demand is for the cells to house many mitochondria – and so it is no surprise that cells in the eyes have the highest concentration of mitochondria anywhere in the body.

Seeing as light therapy works via interactions with the mitochondria, and the eyes have the richest source of mitochondria in the body, it is a reasonable assumption to hypothesise that the light will also have the most profound effects in the eyes compared to the rest of the body. On top of that, recent research has shown that degeneration of the eye and retina is directly linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. So a therapy that can potentially restore the mitochondria, of which there are many, in the eye is the perfect approach.

Best wavelength of light

670nm light, a deep red visible type of light, is by far the most studied for all eye conditions. Other wavelengths with positive results include 630nm, 780nm, 810nm & 830nm. Laser vs. LEDs – a note Red light from either lasers or LEDs can be used anywhere on the body, although there is one exception for lasers specifically – the eyes. Lasers are NOT suitable for light therapy of the eyes.

Laser light (even if it is red) can be hazardous to the eyes. The laser beam can be focused by your eye’s lens into a tiny point of intense energy – leading to burns and scars. Red LED light doesn’t pose the same risk and so is not hazardous.

This is due to the parallel/coherent beam property of laser light, which can be focused by the lens of the eye to a tiny point. The entire beam of laser light can enter the eye and all of that energy is concentrated into an intense tiny spot on the retina, giving an extreme power density, and potentially burning/damaging after just a few seconds. LED light projects out at an angle and so does not have this issue.

Power density & dose

Red light passes through the eye with over 95% transmission. This is true for near infrared light and similar for other visible light such as blue/green/yellow. Given this high penetration of red light, the eyes only require a similar treatment modality to the skin. Studies use around 50mW/cm2 power density, with quite low doses of 10J/cm2 or less. For more information on light therapy dosing, see this post.

Harmful light for eyes

Blue, violet and UV light wavelengths (200nm-480nm) are bad for the eyes, being linked to either retinal damage or damage in the cornea, humour, lens and optical nerve. This includes direct blue light, but also blue light as part of white lights such as household/street LED bulbs or computer/phone screens. Bright white lights, especially those with a high colour temperature (3000k+), have a large percentage of blue light and are not healthy for the eyes. Sunlight, especially midday sunlight being reflected off water, also contains a high percentage of blue, leading to eye damage over time. Luckily the earth’s atmosphere filters out (scatters) blue light to some extent – a process termed ‘rayleigh scattering’ – but midday sunlight still has a lot, as does sunlight in space seen by astronauts. Water absorbs red light more so than blue light, so the reflection of sunlight off lakes/oceans/etc is just a more concentrated source of blue. It’s not just reflected sunlight that can do harm though, as ‘surfer’s eye’ is a common issue related to UV light eye damage. Hikers, hunters and other outdoorsmen can develop this. Traditional sailors such as old navy officers and pirates would almost always develop vision issues after a few years, mainly due to sea-sunlight reflections, exacerbated by the nutritional issues. Far infrared wavelengths (and just heat in general) can be harmful for the eyes, as like with other cells of the body, functional damage occurs once the cells get too warm (46°C+ / 115°F+). Workers in old furnace related jobs such as engine management and glass blowing always developed eye issues (as the heat radiating from fires/furnaces is far infrared). Laser light is potentially harmful for the eyes, as mentioned above. Something like a blue or UV laser would be the most destructive, but green, yellow, red and near infrared lasers can still potentially cause harm.



Must Try Diet With These ‘Millennial’ Foods

If you are ready to experiment with new healthy foods and recipes in the coming year, it may be time to eat like a millennial.

Take a few cues from the way the younger generation eats, cooks and grocery shops, and you may be inspired to change what’s on your plate without compromising your diet or derailing your weight-loss plans. Don’t be afraid to tap into an internet full of creative recipes to figure out new ways to cook and diversify the ingredients you work with.

What do millennials eat?

“(Millennials) want what they call ‘clean’ food. What they really mean is that they want ‘real’ food,” said Anne VanBeber, professor of nutrition at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. “They are interested in how the preparation of the food, the packaging, and the storing of the food impacts the environment.”

To eat clean means choosing whole foods such as fruits and vegetables instead of processed snacks and ready-made meals with a list of ingredients that are impossible to pronounce,

The younger generation (late 20s and early 30s) tend to choose beverages such as sparkling water, green tea and kombucha over sugary drinks like soda. And instead of buying groceries at big box or multipurpose stores such as Walmart or Costco, they look for more specialized grocers such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, which sell options that are more ethically sourced and contain less processed ingredients, according to a study of 12.5 million millennial social media posts by CBD Marketing.

As you begin your nutritional and weight-loss journey in 2021, consider experimenting with new ingredients and cooking methods that will prevent you from getting bored with your food intake. To get you started, we asked nutrition experts about nine foods from a definitive list of 60 millennial foods by Buzzfeed, a website that reaches nearly 83 percent of millennials, according to Nielsen Holdings.

1. Avocado toast, perhaps the most obvious “millennial” food because it appears on restaurant menus and is a staple of weekend brunch, can make for a nutritious breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are heart healthy and serve as a good fat replacement for butter. The fruit (yes, avocados are a fruit) also contains 10 to 11 grams of fiber per avocado, said VanBeber.

“Pairing a third of an avocado with one slice of 100 percent whole grain bread can provide between 15 to 20 percent of daily fiber needs for adults over 50 years of age,” said Elizabeth Spencer, a registered dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Center DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois.

However, be watchful. One medium avocado packs between 250 and 300 calories, so it may be too many calories for a meal or snack, especially when combined with other food items. Older adults often need fewer calories and higher amounts of specific vitamins, minerals and protein, she added.

2. Cauliflower is a vegetable common to many household crispers that has taken on new popularity as a carb replacement in the form of cauliflower crust and rice. For those looking for a savory alternative, there are also versions of cauliflower “wings” and cauliflower “steak.” These are lower in calories and carbohydrates than their starchy meaty counterparts and, obviously, work for vegans and vegetarians.

“Replacing rice with riced cauliflower or wheat in pizza crust with cauliflower can significantly cut down on carbs while retaining fiber, leading to feelings of fullness, as well as increasing daily veggie servings,” said Spencer. “Cauliflower is also a rich source of choline, which aids in muscle movement, metabolism, and nervous system and brain health.” So, clearly, it’s good for people of all ages.

However, cauliflower pizza and snack foods don’t pass as healthy when combined with piles of cheese and pepperoni, which can increase calories and bring up levels of sodium.

“As with other processed foods, the best rule to follow is ‘fewest ingredients is best,’” said Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition in Ohio.

3. Kale has been a darling of leafy green lovers for years now. It provides nutrients that are important for healthy bones, heart, brain and the gut, says Smith.

It is versatile and can be used in salads and soups, or cooked as a side dish on its own. Most recently, millennials have transformed the ingredient into kale chips, burrito wraps, and juice — another great way to cut the carbs.

However, because it is a cruciferous vegetable (meaning that it contains a sugar called raffinose) it often is left undigested in the gut until bacteria ferments it, leading to gas and bloating, said Spencer. Cooking kale may alleviate the problem.

“Kale also contains a high amount of vitamin K, which helps our blood clot,” said Spencer. “Older adults on blood thinners should be mindful of their vitamin K intake and work with their doctor and registered dietitian to safely fit kale into a healthful eating pattern.”

4. Kombucha is a fermented unpasteurized tea that offers healthy probiotics which can battle inflammation, improve gut health and digestion, said Smith.

It has a vinegary taste, a byproduct of the fermentation process, but has a complex flavor from the sweetness of fruits and other botanicals that often are added to it. Meanwhile, its fizz resembles that of soda, which may be why millennials are drinking these trendier cola alternatives.

But, kombucha can be high in added sugar, with some brands containing up to 4 to 7 teaspoons of sugar per bottle (which is still less than a soda). For reference, the recommended intake of sugar for an entire day is 6 teaspoons or less, said Spencer.

Because it is not pasteurized, it is important to purchase kombucha through a reputable company with quality control, Smith said.

5. Matcha, meaning powdered tea, is made from steamed green tea leaves that are ground into a powder that can make elegant drinks, baked goods or creamy desserts. The benefits of green tea are legend but “matcha kicks it up a notch” due to its processing techniques, said Smith.

It contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that protect cells from damage that can promote disease. Matcha may even give an extra boost for your brain. Thanks to its caffeine and a compound called L-theanine, some studies have associated matcha with improved reaction time, memory and attention span.

For those sensitive to caffeine, matcha can cause an increased heart rate. It is also a natural diuretic, which — for older adults — can advance the risk of dehydration, said Spencer.

6. Oat milk is made from whole grain oats blended with water. It has more fiber than any milk product and is dairy free. Unlike cow’s milk, oat milk is more sustainable for the earth, another characteristic millennials seek in their food choices. You may find it as a “milk” option at the trendiest of coffee shops. Like cow, soy and almond milk, it is fortified with vitamin D and calcium, all important nutrients for older adults to monitor, said Spencer.

Not that oat milk has less protein than cow or soy milk. It can also have more calories and carbs, making it important to stick to the suggested serving size. Flavored or sweetened varieties also will yield higher calories and sugar, she added.

7. Overnight oats have millennial appeal for the sometimes stylish look, often appearing on foodie Instagram accounts in a mason jar, complemented with layers of colorful fruit. Still, this one-dish, no-cook breakfast provides lots of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar and provide vitamins like calcium and magnesium, said Smith.

Steel cut oats are often used for overnight oats, while rolled oats (that are cooked) provide similar nutrition.
“Overnight oats don’t even really have to be cooked. You can just add your liquid of choice to the oats, stir it together, and put in the refrigerator,” said VanBeber. “Overnight, the oats will absorb the liquid and soften. You can eat them cold or warm.”

You can customize your oats by making them with Greek yogurt, milk or soy milk. Then add preferred additions such as fruits, nuts, seeds or spices such as cinnamon.

8. Poke bowls, like sushi, contain raw marinated fish (typically tuna) with an assortment of fresh vegetables and rice. The traditional Hawaiian dish is a low-calorie, low-fat meal option that provides lots of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals (defined as plant chemicals, and noted for their relationship with lower risk of cancer), said VanBeber.

It is highly customizable to match one’s personal taste. However, you may want to avoid sauces with the word “sweet,” as they may have up to 6 teaspoons of sugar in a 2 ounce serving. Choose options that include brown rice, quinoa or a salad mix, said Smith.

9. Quinoa is a whole grain superfood that supplies a plethora of nutrients such as magnesium, B-vitamins and fiber. It is gluten free and notably high in protein compared to other grains, said Smith. There are not many other grains that resemble its lightly translucent appearance and fluffy yet crunchy texture.

Quinoa is a nutritious whole grain that can be a star player of a healthy diet. It promotes digestive health and lowers the risk for diabetes and cancer, she said. “Be sure to buy prerinsed quinoa or rinse yourself in a fine mesh strainer for a minute or so to remove a naturally bitter substance, saponin.”

Although it is low glycemic, it is not a low-carb food. For those following a low-carbohydrate diet or those who have diabetes, carbohydrates in quinoa still need to be accounted for to maintain blood sugar levels, Spencer added.



Simple Tips for Healthier Life in 2021

Health and Fitness Tips

Even 30 minutes of exercising daily is known to balance hormones, manage stress, and manage weight to the best, says by top Doctors.

As an ever-increasing number of individuals are getting into a distressing ways of life, occupied timetables, flighty profession alternatives, and enthusiastic issues, the wellbeing hazards are expanding as well. With the harm done by contamination, shoddy nourishment, undesirable way of life, substance misuse and so on just expands the dangers related with wellbeing.

In this trouble a solid life, the executives of feelings, stress and emotional well-being is far overlooked. It makes destruction on your wellbeing and way of life. In some cases it can likewise bring unsafe wellbeing dangers and sicknesses which can’t be dealt with! A restorative way of life takes you through a way of associating back to the nature and turning your life around for more beneficial decisions.

Here are 10 different ways you can re-establish your body’s wellbeing (Health):

  1. Cleanse your body
  2. Exercise daily
  3. Maintain Daily Diet
  4. Follow healthy sleeping patterns
  5. Address your feelings
  6. Yoga and meditation
  7. Practice gratitude
  8. Probiotics
  9. Quit smoking and drinking
  10. Drink more and more water

1. Cleanse your body

The initial step to re-establishing your wellbeing is to clean your body. Your body needs detoxification to toss out the hurtful poisons. To do this one needs to follow a perfect eating regimen of new products of the soil while eliminating flavors the most. This cleans the circulation systems and cut down on poisons making the body lighter, more advantageous and mended. When the amass poisons are lost, your body is prepared to re-establish its wellbeing (Health).

2. Exercise daily

Move your body continually to develop your wellbeing (Health). A solid exercise routine has the ability to de-stress you and delivery any disappointment off your body. Regularly individuals with unfortunate eating regimen and stoutness issues gripe of stale wellbeing, sluggishness, weakness, uneasiness, disappointment and stress. Enjoying a sound exercise routine brings positive energy, recuperating, detoxification, and newness into your life. Indeed, even 30 minutes of practicing every day is known to adjust hormones, oversee pressure, and oversee weight to the best.

3. Maintain Daily Diet

Subsequent to having gone through a whole day shuffling between the gatherings, unpleasant circumstances, food propensities, and getting things done, it is critical to unplug and energize your own energy. Furthermore, accordingly following a solid resting routine gets appropriate. Practice on setting up a devoted opportunity to rest and conceal on in any event 8 to 10 hours of rest each night to allow your body to revive and energize from the everyday injury. The more number of profound rest hours brings wellbeing and joy into life. It re-establishes body wellbeing (Health)!

4. Follow healthy sleeping patterns

Eating right is critical to give your body the sustenance it requires. Eating right deals with the body needs and addresses the medical problems better. Dodge low quality nourishments, bubbly beverages, caffeine and sweet beverages to spare from the unfortunate augmentations to the body. Eating enough organic products, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and so on invigorates and advance body working.

5. Address Your Feelings

Rather than covering your sentiments somewhere inside you, begin perceiving what your heart, body and psyche lets you know. It isn’t generally when you feel drained, tipsy, despondent, bothered, or feeling awkward. There is consistently a hidden explanation behind what you feel. Furthermore, if these aren’t tended to well, they become purposes behind nervousness, stress and sadness which contribute a dominant part of wellbeing related issues. Mend your body and psyche from awkward feelings by looking for treatments. Tuning in to music, conversing with companions, composing diaries, filtering body, reflection, standing up to with the individuals, and so on help in discovering answers for enthusiastic mending.

6. Yoga and meditation

Yoga is self-care, recuperating, practicing and everything in the middle. Yoga is a craft of interfacing the psyche, body and soul in a string. The examination has indicated that yoga matched with reflection is in reality a ground-breaking expansion to wellbeing as it improves living and recuperates one from inside. Moreover, it brings plenty of hormonal changes, real changes, and energy in life which helps in better recuperating from maladies and diseases. Individuals rehearsing yoga are known to be better at battling with pressure, sorrow and so forth while having a solid invulnerability framework, hormonal equalization, body quality, and adaptability. Thinking improves one’s intellectual prowess and makes your musings conform to (Health) wellbeing.

7. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is all about giving yourself and the people around you some positive affirmations. Glide into the ritual of writing you little notes of happy feelings and feel them enough to believe. Write down three happy things happening in your life every single day and you life improves to provide you with more reasons to be happier in life. Gratitude is the feeling of deeply being honored to receive what you already have. When you start accepting positively what you have, you start creating more things around you happily!

8. Probiotics

For a healthier body, healthy gut is important! It is the most important network of the body after the brain. And it is the gut that improves your digestive system by bringing in good bacteria. These help build up a strong immunity system, mental health, heart and even treat a variety of allergies in the body. Research has shown that probiotics contribute to losing body fat, optimising health and even treating mental health conditions like anxiety and depression alike!

9. Quit smoking and drinking

Smoking and drinking is a lifestyle habit that a majority of the millennial and Gen Xers are habituated to follow. The social influence, peer pressure, situations and emotional turmoil often force people to resort to some sort of relief that comes with consumption of alcohol or tobacco. But these substances do the most harm to the body bringing health, emotional and mental issues altogether! Quit smoking and drinking to restore your hormonal balance, immunity and body energy.

10. Drink more and more water

Water is detoxifying and there is no alternative to water. For optimum functioning of the body, our body needs proper hydration. And the single most productive aid to this is water. Drinking at least 16 glasses of water daily is essential to maintain a healthy digestive tract, energy and balance. Keep drinking throughout the day and catch up on hydration for your body to heal naturally and flush out the toxins. It’s a natural healer. Restoration of body health is a journey that is nurtured with healthy habits. It is when you believe in healthy choices as a medicinal lifestyle that you can truly attain a healthier life!



Tips on How to Build Indoor Fort for Kids

Building a fort or tent indoors might seem redundant, but anyone who’s played in one as a kid knows just how special they can be. Now that you’re grown up, why not share that delight with a new generation? There’s no limit to what a child might imagine while inside or what that simple structure might become — spaceship, time machine, enchanted castle. The real magic, though, lies in the memories you’ll be helping your child create.

Choose Your Site and Materials

Decide how long you plan to keep the structure around. A fort or tent using the kitchen table may be an easy one to make but will probably last only until the table is needed for dinner. On the other hand, a fort built in an out-of-the-way area, such as an unused room or a child’s bedroom, can stay in place for a whole weekend — or even an entire season.

The most essential materials for a fort are large, draping linens. Raid closets and shelves with your child to find what’s available. King- or queen-size blankets, sheets and light bedspreads are best, but any size will work — just pin them together to make them larger. Beach towels and large bath towels are also good. Fitted sheets are especially useful when building a fort because you can easily anchor them to large foundational supports, like sofas and tables.

Building Your Structure

The structural foundation is the bones of your fort, but — as is always the case when children are involved — make safety a priority. Be certain the chosen structural support is sturdy, that it won’t break or topple over and hurt someone. To be extra safe, check that there are no fragile or costly items in the vicinity at all. If little ones don’t break something while protecting the fort from dragons or thieves, the wild tear-down at the end may do some damage.

One structural support choice is to buttress from the ground up. Chairs are a favorite for this. Arrange several — facing outward for more room — throw your linens over them and you have a basic fort. Arrange the chairs near a table, bed or couch and use both as support. You can even wrangle some boxes from a warehouse store. Cut out doorways, add pillows or sofa cushions as side walls, cover everything with linens and you have a grand fort with hallways and multiple rooms.

The from-above approach is more unconventional. This style uses ropes, clips, rods, hooks — anything that provides elevated structure. Suspend clothesline cord from door hinges and removable hooks. Or try a shower curtain tension rod in a back hallway. Throw linens over the cord or rod and arrange them into an unexpected indoor tent. Some fort architects have even been known to bring a patio umbrella and stand indoors. Toss a variety of sheets and linens over the umbrella and you’ll have a tent worthy of Aladdin.

As with anything loose and draping, holes are a distinct possibility. Don’t allow pirates or super-villains to exploit these weaknesses and get the upper hand. Clothespins and safety pins easily close up those gaps. Pillows work well, too — especially if the gaps are low. A pillow inside a Personal Creations personalized Alphabet Pillowcase is ideal, serving as a warning to all who come near of exactly who’s in charge of the fearsome fortress.

Make it simple or make it spectacular, but make an entrance to your lair. The easiest approach is to just leave a gap open. You can also use the juncture between two sheets: fold back one side, then clip or pin. A more exciting option is to make an entrance your child has to crawl through to reach the inside of the fort. Use a hollow object, like a box or tunnel toy, and drape or tuck linen around it.

Make it Cozy and Personal

Relaxation is essential for daydreaming, so create a cozy and comfortable interior. Lay the Personal Creations Baby Alphabet Quilt on the floor for your child to stretch out on. Bring in toys, some crafts or coloring books and a flashlight or glow stick. If you plan to keep the fort up for a while, fill the inside with drawings and hanging stars, electric candles and fairy lights. For safety, avoid using actual candles or house lamps in your fort.

Help your little one name the fort and make a sign with the name on it. Hang it on the fort or above the entrance. Include any necessary supplemental information, like “Private!” or “No monsters allowed!” Let your child draw pictures and pin them around the outside of the structure. If the fort will be up for a while, help him create decorations, such as pompoms or stars. String them together like garland and hang them on the fort and in the area around it.

Let the Fun Begin!

Now that the fort is built, furnished and decorated, the time has come to enjoy it. Offer your child ideas: She can sprawl on her blanket and imagine great adventures, have a tea party with her Personal Creations Soft and Snuggly Lamb or read a story to her plush friend. She might invite some friends to share in the fun. They can dress as space travelers and defend their spaceship from aliens or just enjoy some popcorn and a movie inside the secret hideaway.

Tell Us Your Stories

Did you build an indoor fort or tent when you were a child? If so, what sort did you make? Leave a comment and describe it and who you shared it with, the games you played and the adventures you imagined. Do you plan on making a fort or tent with your child or grandchild or have you already done so? Tell us all about it.



Guide on Choosing the Best Web-Based Reporting Tool

online reporting

It’s no secret: we live in the era of big data. It’s a time dominated by datasets, dashboards, statistics and sophisticated algorithms. Analytics nowadays are the true driver of performance.

The ability to perform complex analysis of large amounts of data to extract actionable insights has become the most critical ability modern organizations must have.

However, trustworthy analytics largely depend on accurate reporting. Manually filling Excel spreadsheets is not sufficient anymore.

Companies who want to stay relevant in the next decade must embrace web reporting and invest in the right reporting system. However, there is a wide range of tools to choose from, so how do you know which one is the best for you? Let’s figure out together.

Free Guide: Customer analytics. Turning dark data into a success story

Web Reporting vs Traditional Manual Approaches

Many organizations still create company reports manually, though this approach is costly and outdated. Traditional reporting requires the involvement of several employees, who end up spending a lot of time and energy to create and constantly update reports.

Online web reporting platforms, on the contrary, offer a much more efficient approach to reporting by automating large parts of the process. Through automation, this approach allows for new and more complex uses of a firm’s data.

Web reporting platforms automatically pull data and produce reports that are essential for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive business intelligence strategy.

Further, because these platforms store data and reports ‘in the cloud’, users have access to a vast repository of data anywhere and anytime they want and, as such, are able to use corporate data much more efficiently and effectively.

Last, taking a cloud-based approach to reporting is key to implementing real-time decision making. In some industries, this translates into finally being able to decide on issues that were previously challenging to act on. So far, real-time data is already being used to improve customer service, enhance inventory management and quickly detect anomalies and frauds.

Benefits of web reporting

Whether you need reports for your asset management strategy, for administration purposes or simply to keep track of your website analytics, online reporting tools offer many advantages.

1. No software installation required

Web-based reporting tools are hosted in the cloud, which offers several advantages:

– they don’t require any hardware or software installation, only an internet connection;

– software vendors take care of all backups, updates, patches, and upgrades. As updates occur online, you don’t need to go through each user’s device to install the latest version of your tool. Your IT department will definitely appreciate having more time to focus on more critical issues.

2. Cost-effective

Web-based reporting tools are cheaper than traditional approaches because:

– they allow you to subscribe to a monthly plan as the companies selling them usually implement SaaS pricing strategies;

– they allow companies to cut costs as they require less resources (paper, stamps, printers…), time and employees to accomplish the same work;

– the market offers many free tools, some of which are open source. If your employees already have good reporting skills, you should absolutely consider these options, as some are pretty good.

3. Simple

Web reporting makes it much easier to create and modify reports. It allows employees to make copies of each report so they can modify it based on their needs without harming the job of other departments or colleagues. It also makes it easier to share information, especially from remote workplaces.

4. Quick

Web-based reporting allows companies to collect, analyze and use data in real-time. It’s like live streaming your data. Further, as real-time data gives an accurate overview of your daily operations, these tools help identify issues before they occur and empower firms to intervene proactively.

5. Flexibility and scalability

Web reporting allows companies to customize records according to their own preferences. Further, since users only need internet access to use these tools, companies can easily implement scaling strategies and adapt their tool to their current needs.

6. Security

Cloud-based reporting tools are cheaper, easier to use and more flexible than traditional approaches. This doesn’t mean they are less secure. Only authorized users can access the cloud by using their assigned credentials.

7. Improved decision-making and Increased Productivity

Web reporting ensures information is consistent, accurate and up-to-date, thus improving a company’s analytical capabilities. It also simplifies the creation, alteration, sharing and comprehension of corporate reports, which in turn fosters internal collaboration. Summing up, constantly having access to corporate reports drives productivity and boosts decision-making processes

How to choose the right web reporting tool

When looking for the right reporting tool, companies have loads of options. You may have heard of SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) from Microsoft, SAS Web Report Studio or IBM BigFix. Capterra lists the reviews of 183 reporting softwares, 143 of which are web-based. So how do you identify the best web reporting tool for your company?

Step 1 – Think about your needs

Do you need some specific type of reports? Like for marketing, or sales, or finance? Or are just looking for a way to track your web traffic and website metrics? Having a clear perception of what you need and what you don’t is paramount in your decision-making process. Since you are reading this, you probably already have an idea.

Step 2 – Focus on ease of use

Online reporting allows for more complex uses of data, allowing companies to achieve better results and identify more opportunities for improvement. However, complexity can be a barrier as well.

Make sure users can easily navigate through the platform, access the reports and get the insights they are looking for. Employees be able to adapt to the new reporting tools smoothly and quickly even without a specific training.

Step 3 – Think of mobile use

The performance of your reporting tool on mobile is critical if you want to make the most out of your data. Employees must be able to access the reports they need anywhere they want, when they want, especially when travelling. Mobile web reporting fosters communication and collaboration, so make sure to choose a tool that is optimized for mobile usage as well.

Summing up

Web reporting tools offer many advantages. By offering a simpler, faster, cheaper, flexible, scalable and secure approach to business reporting, these tools can have a very big impact on the way a company stores and uses information, ensuring consistency and boosting decision-making and productivity.

When choosing the best web reporting tool for your company, make sure you focus on your employees’ needs and your corporate goals and find a balance between complexity and usability that ensures you maximize the value of your data.



Tips to learn on How to Become a Software Engineer

There’s no doubt that software engineering is one of the most developing fields in the globe today. Did you know it has a constant flow of new languages, lifesaving tools, and ground-breaking frameworks being launched every year?

The blazing-fast iteration cycles and the bias of the tech sector towards open-sourcing innovations could suggest that even the most forward-thinking programmers risk seeing their capabilities being out of date. That’s especially true if they do not take care to remain on the cutting edge.

Most software developers today are open to their preferred programming blogs, niche coding publications, and tech news aggregators to keep ahead of the game. The landscape of famous software engineering blogs is extremely varied, continuously changing, and sometimes, taste-dependent. It can often be challenging to navigate for seasoned developers and new programmers alike.

Are you one of those software engineers who want to get your programmer career started on the right track? Fortunately, we have gathered top blog sites for software engineers of all levels to keep updated on the best the sector has to provide.


In this software engineer blog, you will explore articles and posts when it comes to object-oriented programming. Continuous delivery, agile, refactoring, and microservices, among others, are currently hot blog topics you will see in Martin Fowler.


Joel on Software is one of those highly sought blogs for software engineers. Other software engineer-related blogs mentioned in the site might have more focus on technical stuff. However, the blog page provides useful insight into the business side of software firms. That includes a great explanation of everything from apprehending of new software concepts to selling customer-ready software.


This software engineer blog is loaded with well-written, insightful, and sometimes funny posts. You have probably come across this blog if you are a software developer with some experience.
Jeff Atwood founds coding Horror, which is the co-creator of Stack Overflow. Jeff concentrates on human aspects of programming and offers a remarkable page on suggested reads for programmers.


The blog authors at Toptal Engineering are some of the globe’s finest software engineers. In fact, for you to become an author, you need to pass a strict screening process. Total Engineering is more about a general software blog. Nevertheless, the quality of their posts is so extraordinary that weekly tech niche aggregators syndicate every article. How awesome is that?
Blog posts boast superior level tutorials on advanced language and programming tips. It also covers common mistakes for even the pro developers to prevent, a plethora of code snippers, technology innovations, and so much more.


Most of the posts of Scott Berkun highlights design and creativity that are very practical for engineers out there. The author himself has spent a few years at and Microsoft, which allowed him to obtain some engineering wisdom. Did you know that he has written a few books too?
Two of the must-read blogs for software engineers out there include “The top mistakes UK designers make” and “Are designers more creative than designers?”


This blog for software engineers offers content from the entire team, from senior to junior staffers. The platform takes pride in sharing amazing posts on present challenges as they scale and build the engineering organization. This platform is one of those companies that is continuously growing and transforming.
The culture of Slack Engineering is composed of growth, impact, and mentorship.


Next on our list is Sentry. Did you know that this blog site offers open-source error tracking? It supports development teams track and solve crashes in real-time. Some of the topics their blog covers include technical challenges to the tech industry.
It is an excellent read for anybody who is seeking to receive more visibility in the realm of coding.


On the other hand, we have It is an open-source forum for software engineers and programmers, allowing them to share their expertise and questions about the field. You will love for concise and interesting articles are.


You might find Pinterest as irrelevant in this post. However, their engineering blog is a place for a veritable cornucopia of coding and engineering ideas and insights. On top of that, did you know that the platform is designed on a Python tech stack? That’s so cool.


Meanwhile, the blog of Facebook Code is an excellent resource for those people who wish to remain abreast of the current team updates, open-source project releases, as well as future events from Facebook Engineering.
One of the best posts you can check on this software engineering blog is their “React 16: A look inside an
API-compatible rewrite of our frontend UI library.” It stood out last year. For sure, you will be amazed by the rigorous, comprehensive updates on the pulse of React.js changes and developments.


Ultimately, we have RudderStack Blog as well. This blog for software engineers offers practical approaches and tips for software development, integrating, and testing, among others. Here, you will explore news trends, tips, tricks, status reports, journals and entries, and announcements.

Bottom Line

You see, the World Wide Web is loaded with a plethora of software engineering blogs of all forms and sizes. Therefore, building a rotation of weekly publications, dependable blogs, and news aggregators is necessary for motivated developers out there. That’s especially true if you wish to stay on top of your field.

These programming blogs are for each type of reader, from students who want to enter the industry or to seasoned programmers who love reading about the best and latest tools and frameworks.

That is our list of the best software engineering blogs! Follow some of the content these blogs publish, and for sure, you cannot help yourself learn a thing or two.

Do you enjoy this list? What other software engineering blog do we miss? We’d love to know! Please share your thoughts with us by leaving your comments below!



Tips to Learn How to Become a Web Developer

The rewarding field of web development comes with many perks, but it’s one of those jobs that require habitual learning and self-improvement. With the sheer amount of programming languages in use, staying ahead in your career can be tough. It’s also a field that’s constantly changing. Whether the industry calls for new standards or an important development tool gets an update, you need to be aware of the changes.

In this post, we’ve rounded up a list of 20 of the best web development blogs to bookmark in your browser. Our list includes web development blogs brimming with coding tutorials and examples that are suitable for front-end, back-end and full-stack developers.

We’ve also included some that deal with general themes in the industry, as well as how to tackle the difficulties that developers face everyday. Read on, you will!


If you’re in the web development business, you can take it that you’ll never be done learning. In fact, even the best around admit that there’s always something new to learn. Sounds daunting, right? That doesn’t have to be so.


Due to the nature of a web developer’s job, it pays to stay on top of all the latest trends and developments (no pun intended!) in the industry. An easy way to do this is to follow web development blogs. Blogs are especially helpful if you’re freelancing it, to ensure the services you offer your clients are continuously based on the latest solutions on the market.

It’s also a great idea to see how other professionals dealt with similar challenges that you may face in your career. After all, what’s better than learning from others who’ve “been there and got the t-shirt”?


Furthermore, being a developer isn’t just about knowing how to code – it’s about knowing how to use the tools of the trade, specifically developer tools. Reading tutorials and learning about all their different features could also help you get ahead in your career.


Lastly, web development is one of those disciplines that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” definitely rings true. It’s one of those areas where, if you’re willing to put in the work, the rest usually takes care of itself.

Whether you’re an experienced developer, or a newbie, there’s always something new to learn or practice. Among the best out there is David Walsh, who works for Mozilla. David places practice above theory in order of importance. He believes that developers should never fear experimentation and always be willing to dabble in unknown areas. He’s also a stern believer in the fail-fast Agile methodology. We’ve actually included his blog in the list below!

You can become more adventurous by reading up on all subject matters relating to the art of web development. And trust us when we say there’s plenty of free material on the web!


The question is where to start. The sheer variety of content out there can leave one feeling perplexed and nonplussed about where to start. Is it better to read blog posts? Is it better to follow blogs that offer more tutorials? Or more freebies? Is it better to watch and learn from videos?

The rewarding field of web development comes with many perks, but it’s one of those jobs that require habitual learning and self-improvement. With the sheer amount of programming languages in use, staying ahead in your career can be tough. It’s also a field that’s constantly changing. Whether the industry calls for new standards or an important development tool gets an update, you need to be aware of the changes.

In this post, we’ve rounded up a list of 20 of the best web development blogs to bookmark in your browser. Our list includes web development blogs brimming with coding tutorials and examples that are suitable for front-end, back-end and full-stack developers.

We’ve also included some that deal with general themes in the industry, as well as how to tackle the difficulties that developers face everyday. Read on, you will!


If you’re in the web development business, you can take it that you’ll never be done learning. In fact, even the best around admit that there’s always something new to learn. Sounds daunting, right? That doesn’t have to be so.


Due to the nature of a web developer’s job, it pays to stay on top of all the latest trends and developments (no pun intended!) in the industry. An easy way to do this is to follow web development blogs. Blogs are especially helpful if you’re freelancing it, to ensure the services you offer your clients are continuously based on the latest solutions on the market.

It’s also a great idea to see how other professionals dealt with similar challenges that you may face in your career. After all, what’s better than learning from others who’ve “been there and got the t-shirt”?


Furthermore, being a developer isn’t just about knowing how to code – it’s about knowing how to use the tools of the trade, specifically developer tools. Reading tutorials and learning about all their different features could also help you get ahead in your career.


Lastly, web development is one of those disciplines that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” definitely rings true. It’s one of those areas where, if you’re willing to put in the work, the rest usually takes care of itself.

Whether you’re an experienced developer, or a newbie, there’s always something new to learn or practice. Among the best out there is David Walsh, who works for Mozilla. David places practice above theory in order of importance. He believes that developers should never fear experimentation and always be willing to dabble in unknown areas. He’s also a stern believer in the fail-fast Agile methodology. We’ve actually included his blog in the list below!

You can become more adventurous by reading up on all subject matters relating to the art of web development. And trust us when we say there’s plenty of free material on the web!


The question is where to start. The sheer variety of content out there can leave one feeling perplexed and nonplussed about where to start. Is it better to read blog posts? Is it better to follow blogs that offer more tutorials? Or more freebies? Is it better to watch and learn from videos? Fear not. We’ve lined up this great list of web development blogs by some of the best in the industry. In the list, we’ll walk you through some of the content they have on offer to save you time and help you narrow down what you need. Sound good?

Then read on to discover 20 of the best web development blogs on the internet. Grow your skillbase, you will!



Envato tuts is an educational web development blog that contains over 1,220 courses and tutorials along with over 170 ebooks that cover an extensive range of topics from coding and web design, to 3D design and motion graphics. The “Guides” section on this web development blog provides plenty of in-depth content about API, accessibility coding, JavaScript, Python and many more. It also features many guides on other aspects of development, such as tools to help improve workflow.



Tips to Learn How to Become a Data Scientist

While data scientists can (and do) perform data analysis, they do so within the realm of building and deploying predictive models which often incorporate machine learning and deep learning protocols. Data scientists must also have a meta-level understanding of which models are the best fit for the data being analyzed. Since all models are approximations of current and future environments, they require fine-tuning which, in turn, relies on the data scientists’ mathematical expertise. Although data scientists are not data engineers, they should (ideally) have some knowledge of how databases are constructed, and how to pull data from an organization’s preferred database management system (DBMS). Due to the extensive knowledge requirements, including academic and professional training and/or experience, companies, research organizations, and governmental agencies are scrambling to find qualified data scientists.

This guide provides a basic overview of some of the opportunities in this emerging field and lists the steps required to become a data scientist. For informational purposes, a detailed job description, salary information, and the data science job outlook are included.


Step 1: Preparation

Future data scientists can begin preparations before they even step foot on a university campus or launch themselves into an online degree program. Becoming proficient with the most widely used programming languages in data science such as Python, Java, and R  — and refreshing their knowledge in applied math and statistics — will help aspiring data scientists get a head start. In fact, entering college with an already established skillset frequently improves a student’s learning rate. But, also, early exposure to data science knowledge requirements is helpful for determining whether a data science career is the right fit.

Step 2: Complete undergraduate studies

The most sought-after majors for data science are statistics, computer science, information technologies, mathematics, or data science(if available). Minoring in one of the aforementioned fields is also recommended. Continue to learn programming languages, database architecture, and add SQL/MySQL to the “data science to-do list.” Now is the time to start building professional networks by looking for connections within college communities, look for internship opportunities, and ask professors and advisors for guidance.

Step 3: Obtain an entry-level job

Companies are often eager to fill entry-level data science jobs. Search for positions such as Junior Data Analyst or Junior Data Scientist.  System-specific training or certifications in data-related fields (e.g., business intelligence applications, relational database management systems, data visualization software, etc.) might help when looking for entry-level data science jobs.

Step 4: Earn a Master’s Degree or a Ph.D.

Data science is a field where career opportunities tend to be higher for those with advanced degrees. The in-demand graduate degrees for data science include the exact same specifications for an undergraduate degree: data science (if available), computer science, information technology, math, and statistics. However, many companies also accept STEM degrees such as biotechnology, engineering, and physics (among others). Also keep in mind that data scientists need to understand how to use enterprise-grade data management programs and how distributed storage and computation operate (e.g., Hadoop, MapReduce, and Spark) in relation to model building and predictive analytics.

Step 5: Get promoted 

Additional education and experience are key factors that lead to being promoted or becoming a data scientist in high demand. Businesses value results. Coupling strong technical skills with project management and leadership experience will generally chart a course towards more significant opportunities and higher compensation.

Step 6: Never Stop Learning

Staying relevant is crucial to the ever-evolving field of data science. In this age of constant technological innovation, continuing education is a hedge against shifts in the career market. This is also the case for data science since the field isn’t as established as other statistically and technologically focused careers. A career-oriented data scientist is always learning and evolving with the industry. Continue to network and look for educational and professional development opportunities through boot camps and conferences.


As described above, data scientists must have expertise in several different disciplines. Summarily, data scientists must possess the statistical knowledge and computer skills that are needed for solving complex problems. Using descriptive, predictive, inferential, and causal models, they can explore and anticipate problems then work to model a solution based on a multitude of factors.

Data scientists are part mathematician and part computer scientist. Their skill set encompasses both the business and information technology sectors, which is why they are highly sought after.

Data science is deep knowledge discovery through data exploration and inference. This discipline focuses on using mathematical and algorithmic techniques to solve some of the most analytically complex business problems. In doing so, they leverage troves of raw data to figure out the hidden insight that lies beneath the surface. The core of the field centers around evidence-based analytical accuracy and building strong decision capabilities. However, data scientists must also verbally and visually communicate their findings to stakeholders who may or may not understand the statistical jargon. Thus, data scientists must be excellent communicators.


Essentially, a data scientist extracts meaning from the varying types of data (e.g., structured, unstructured, semi-structured) that flow into the enterprise. On any given day, a data scientist may be extracting data from a database, preparing the data for various analyses, building and testing a statistical model or creating reports that include easily understandable data visualizations. There is a data science cycle which isn’t a set of rules as much as it is a heuristic:

  • Data collection
  • Data preparation
  • Exploratory data analysis (EDA)
  • Evaluating and interpreting EDA results
  • Model building
  • Model testing
  • Model deployment
  • Model optimization

The above is iterative, meaning a data scientist will be in “evaluation mode” throughout the entire process. Or, perhaps, after the EDA phase, they find that the data doesn’t fit the problem they are trying to solve (or the question they are attempting to answer). They may need to start over or carefully choose which portions of the data that does apply, then go back and collect additional data. Such is the reason they need a higher level of combined skills including research design.


While data science projects and tasks may vary depending on the enterprise, there are primary job functions that tend to be common among all data science positions such as:

  • Collecting massive amounts of data and converting it to an analysis-friendly
  • Problem-solving business-related challenges while using data-driven techniques and tools.
  • Using a variety of programming languages, as well as programs, for data collection and analysis.
  • Having a wealth of knowledge with analytical techniques and tools.
  • Communicating findings and offering advice through effective data visualizations and comprehensive reports.
  • Identifying patterns and trends in data; providing a plan to implement improvements.
  • Predictive analytics; anticipate future demands, events, etc.
  • Contribute to data mining architectures, modeling standards, reporting and data analysis methodologies.
  • Invent new algorithms to solve problems and build analytical tools.
  • Recommend cost-effective changes to existing procedures and strategies.


  1. Experience and Fluency in many of these computer/coding programs: SAS, SPSS, MATLAB R, Python, Java, C/C++, Hadoop Platform, SQL/NoSQL Databases.
  2. Business Savviness: Data scientists need to understand the business sector they are working in and create solutions to complex problems that align with business logic/objectives.
  3. Communication skills: A data scientist can clearly and fluently translate their technical and analytical findings to a non-technical department. They must also be able to understand the needs of their non-technical departments (such as business development or marketing teams) in order to analyze the data correctly. A data scientist must empower the business to make decisions by presenting robust and verifiable information.
  4. Expert Technical skillsin the following:
    • Math (g., linear algebra, calculus, and probability)
    • Statistics
    • Machine learning tools and techniques
    • Data mining
    • Data cleaning and munging
    • Data visualization and reporting techniques
    • Unstructured data technique



Ideas for Creative People To Make Art

Every year, people declare their new year’s resolutions and are determined to make the coming 365 days their best yet. Many think about hitting the gym or getting their finances in order. But as a creative person, you might have different goals. If you’re struggling with what to focus on in 2021, we’ve got new year’s resolution ideas that artists, photographers, designers, and crafters can easily adopt.

One of the most important resolutions you make this year is to list and keep track of your goals. Doing this, especially at the beginning of January, will give you a clearer picture of what you want to accomplish. But it’s not enough to just write down a few ideas and leave them be. Make a commitment to revisiting these goals from time to time—whether that’s weekly or monthly—to see how you’re progressing towards them and what needs to change.

Get more new year’s resolution ideas for creatives by scrolling down.

Looking for new year’s resolution ideas? Scroll down for 13 of our suggestions that are specifically for creative folks!

1. Make a list and keep track of your goals. Studies show that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. But while big dreams are nice, tackling them can also feel overwhelming. Journals like Ink + Volt and the SELF Journal marry daily productivity with long-term plans to help you move towards your goals each day in a manageable way.

2. Make more time for your art. Whether it’s five minutes, an hour, or even more—extra time can lead to more creative projects. Try limiting your time on social media with an app, or better yet, taking a social media break to inspire you to buckle down on a project you’ve been wanting to try.

3. Finish a small project. Everyone has to start somewhere, so even if your resolutions list is full of large-scale projects, try including a small one to start so that you’ll feel encouraged to bring it to completion.

4. Network with creatives IRL. Join a professional networking group or attend events where you’ll be with other like-minded creative souls. (Creative Mornings is a great place to start.) Think networking is scary? Try going with a friend or meeting people online first. Just make sure you branch out while you’re there! (This may be harder to do at the moment, due to safety precautions. But once we’re back to “normal,” do your best to take that step forward.)

5. Explore a new facet of your field. Is there something in your field that you’ve always wanted to try? Learning a different approach or technique isn’t just fun, but it can be beneficial, too. Once you know it, you could integrate it into your current work and take your portfolio to places you never thought it would go.

New Years Resolution Ideas
Stock Photos from Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

6. Make a dedicated space for you to work in. If you’ve got room, do some rearranging and make a space dedicated to creating your artwork. Even so much as having a desk is a great way to get you in the mindset of creation.

7. Attend more galleries, craft markets—anything that’s within your field. Get out of your studio and see what other people are making and doing. If you’re a painter, challenge yourself to attend more gallery shows. For makers, it’s always helpful to attend craft markets to see how other people are marketing their wares. (Both are a great opportunity to network!)

8. Show your work to someone. If you’re an artist that’s starting out, or a student fresh out of school, make it your goal to start showing your work to the world. This can be in person, or on social media platforms like Instagram, Behance, and even Twitter (where many artists are feeling more and more emboldened to share their work).

9. Look for inspiration offline. Scrolling through Instagram can be inspiring, but it can also give you some serious envy of other people’s projects and careers. Put down your phone and tablet, close your laptop and look for inspiration offline—whether that’s in a museum, exploring the urban jungle, or going on a hike. Notice what catches your eye and think about how it can inspire your work.

10. Read more books. In addition to finding inspiration offline, another resolution idea is to read more books. They could complement your creative practice or be totally unrelated to it—who knows, you might glean some knowledge you can use in your work.

New Years Resolution Ideas
Photo: Stock Photos from Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

11. Join a Facebook group for people in your industry. This is another form of networking, albeit digital, that can help you form meaningful connections from other people in your industry. Facebook has thousands of groups for all types of creatives. My Modern Met even has a few you can join: Art, Design, Photography, and Drawing Club; Creative Marketplace: Buy & Sell Art; and DIY & Crafts: Ideas and Projects.

12. Attend a conference. Conferences can be a financial commitment, but if you can swing them, they are valuable (and fun) opportunities to meet like-minded people, learn the latest techniques, and understand the issues that are affecting your industry. (Like networking IRL, this may be difficult to do in person with the current state of the world, but there are virtual options as alternatives for the time being. And once we’re back to “normal,” take advantage of the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals face-to-face.)

13. Be afraid and do it anyway. There are a lot of ways you can talk yourself out of taking that next step in your creative practice. One of the biggest is that “it’s just not the right time.” We hate to break it to you, but there will never be a “right time,” so it’s best to just start. You’ll be glad you did.


Resources of the Physician and Advanced Practice staffing

It’s easy to get the latest healthcare news from newspapers and magazines online, but sometimes it can be refreshing to read what actual doctors have to say. Here are five of our favorite blogs, all written and managed by physicians:

  1. — When Kevin Pho created KevinMD back in 2004, he had no idea how popular the site would become. KevinMD now has more than 1,000 regular contributors (including primary care doctors, nurses and surgeons) and receives more than 1 million monthly page views. The site includes resources for both doctors and patients and includes a wide variety of topics, including policy, technology, social media, medication and education.
  2. — Want to learn more about how social media affects medicine? Check out 33Charts, a blog by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Vartabedian writes brief posts almost daily about how the role of doctors is changing, along with his thoughts on current events in the medical field.RELATED: Tips for Staying HIPAA-Compliant on Social Media
  3. Dr. Shock MD, PhD — Dutch psychiatrist Dr. Walter van den Broek has more than 20 years of clinical experience and posts frequently about neurostimulation as a treatment for depression, as well as other current events in psychiatry and medical education. He also shares healthcare-related videos and articles and maintains an active presence on Twitter.
  4. Academic Life in Emergency Medicine — Edited by Dr. Michelle Lin, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of California San Francisco, this blog includes posts from doctors, residents and other healthcare providers and provides educational pieces about best practices in emergency medicine and medical education in general. Lin also frequently promotes FOAM (Free Open Access ‘Meducation’).
  5. Better Health Blog — Dr. Val Jones became famous for her blog “Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason” and now anchors the Better Health blog with other frequent contributors. reform, research, science and patient care, the Better Health blog is a resource for healthcare bloggers and patients alike. Dr. Jones also has experience as a medical cartoonist and frequently shares her latest drawings on the blog. She currently travels across the country working as a locum tenens physician with various agencies.While the devastating neurologic effects of Parkinson disease are well understood, startling disparities remain in the data when it comes to who is affected by this condition. It’s a knowledge gap that Allison Willis, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology and Director of the Translational Center of Excellence for Neuroepidemiology and Neurology Outcomes Research, is working to overcome. By capturing data on underrepresented segments of the population, Dr. Willis is hoping to flip the narrative on Parkinson disease so that all patients receive better care and improved outcomes.

    Multiple studies have demonstrated that being male is an independent risk factor for Parkinson disease. “The sex difference is thought to be based on a biological component that is still undefined,” explains Dr. Willis. “Women appear to have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s unless they have their ovaries removed before menopause. In that case, their risk is similar to men. Gender-based differences in occupational exposure to potential neurotoxicants, such as pesticides, may also play a role.”

    However, age is the strongest risk factor for developing Parkinson’s, and since older women outnumber older men in the U.S., the actual number of women diagnosed with this disease is close to the number of men. Yet, most Parkinson’s research is based on the experiences of college or graduate-school-educated white men.

    Dr. Willis received funding from the NIH to lead a research program focused on understanding how Americans with Parkinson disease were receiving care. She found that women, minorities, and rural-dwelling Parkinson’s patients were overwhelmingly less likely to be treated by a neurologist or participate in research.

    This disparity directly affects outcomes. People not treated by a neurologist were more likely to be hospitalized for adverse drug events or Parkinson disease-related conditions, more likely to suffer hip fractures, more likely to spend time in a long-term care facility and had lower survival rates.

    “It’s clear that more research is needed to understand the drivers of these disparities,” Dr. Willis says. Partnering with the Parkinson Disease Foundation, Dr. Willis was the physician-scientist leader of a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded effort to develop a national research network of academic centers focused on understanding the barriers to women in receiving Parkinson’s care and participating in research. As part of this national effort, women nationwide were asked about their experiences accessing Parkinson’s care and research.”

    Women reported multiple barriers, including competing demands as a care giver for children, grandchildren, parents and spouses/partner, difficulty accessing transportation, and less social support. Another shocking piece of data revealed that women reported they simply weren’t asked to participate in research.

    “Patients overwhelmingly stated that, if they had been asked, they would have said yes,” says Dr. Willis.

    Dr. Willis and her colleagues now have a better understanding of the driving factors behind the gender disparity and are creating ways to deliver equal care and opportunity to this half of the Parkinson’s population.

    We’ve identified a number of meaningful targets for intervention,” Dr. Willis says. “We are standardizing our methods of approaching patients to participate in research, finding ways to perform this research in patient homes via telehealth, and considering ways to support the ability of general practitioners to initiate guideline-adherent care for neurological conditions.”