Launching a Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research

We are very excited that the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy has officially launched our Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research (CCHIR)! Like all undertakings of this magnitude, it has been in the works for some time and has benefited from tremendous support from many corners – in particular the Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. Below is a presentation outlining some basics about the Center. I look forward to working with its faculty and collaborators and steering the CCHIR toward many great developments in the future.

@kevinclauson

 

UPDATE: The dedicated site is up at www.CCHIR.com

Red Bull and Slow Cow – A Tale of Two Beverages

We just published an article titled “Effects of commercial energy drink consumption on athletic performance and body composition” in the April issue of The Physician and Sportsmedicine (@PhysSportsMed).  I collaborated with two other faculty members at my university on this review of energy drink literature.  We focused primarily on the effects of energy drinks (e.g. Red Bull, Monster, Rock Star, etc.) on weight loss and athletic performance enhancement.  However, we also provided a look ahead to the antithesis of the energy drink – the aptly titled anti-energy drink.  There are a number of products in this emerging market as well (e.g., Slow Cow, Drank, Malava Novocaine).  Slow Cow, in particular, seems to play off of the name of energy drink leader Red Bull – but its creator maintained he was otherwise inspired for the name. 

 It was an interesting review to work on and represents a natural progression from a previous safety-focused article on this topic.

@kevinclauson

Health Promotion, Mofongo, and Guarana

 

It has been an interesting week.  The week started with a short flight down to Caguas, Puerto Rico to attend the International Conference on Health Promotion.  It had a pretty impressive lineup of speakers, including representatives from health promotion, public health, and policy hailing from Canada, Chile,  Colombia, Ecuador, France, and Spain.  I was only able to attend the first day as I traveled the next day to collaborate and consult on a grant cultivating new HIV researchers on the island.  However, I was able to see several accounts of what has been done and what is being planned in the area of public health via survey results from Chile, a forward-looking global accounting from PAHO, and a fascinating history of the efforts towards health promotion in Canada.

On the food front – it struck me that this conference, like many others focused on health, offered only decidedly unhealthy options.  I can’t really say that *I* would have made a great choice anyway, as later I had my traditional meal of Mofongo & Medalla. 

At the conference as well as the visit the following day, there was substantial interest and openness about possibilities with mHealth and SMS patient reminders for public health initiatives as well as among HIV clinicians.  Apparently, even though mobile phone penetration there isn’t quite what it is on the mainland, it is significant enough to merit attention.

Upon my return I found a message from a columnist at the Wall Street Journal who was interested in doing an interview about guarana based on an article on energy drinks I wrote a few years ago.  The timing was just a little off as another article I helped write on energy drinks, including newer issues like toxic jock identity and anti-energy drinks, will be published next month in The Physician and Sportsmedicine.  Anyway, at this point I have done enough interviews to have relative comfort – but it is always an adventure to see what actually shows up in print.  I have found it beneficial to speak both with media savvy people in my shoes and others whose business it is like @CreativeFusion (oh Twitterverse, is there anything you can’t help with?).  In this case, it was pretty brief and straightforward and I even learned about Perky Jerky.

All in all, an interesting week.  I have stayed pretty close to my 2010 plan of hump day posts, but intend to take a ‘no excuses’ approach in the future by planning further ahead as necessary.  I’ll close with this delicious piece of proximal irony that I saw on my way home.

@kevinclauson

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