Health Buzz: GE, Intel Plan Home-Health Venture and Other Health News

10 reasons to get enough sleep; 4 autism treatments that might work.

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GE, Intel Enter Joint $250 Million Home Healthcare Venture 

General Electric and Intel Corp. are partnering to spend $250 million over the next five years to create home healthcare products that will allow doctors to remotely diagnose and monitor patients' conditions away from doctors' offices and hospitals, the New York Times reports. The two companies expect this field, already a multibillion-dollar market, to grow rapidly as populations get older in the United States and abroad. This type of remote technology—which is referred to as telehealth and home health monitoring—is a$3 billion market in North America and Europe, and it's projected to reach $7.7 billion by 2012.

The ability to monitor patients remotely can be a lifesaver in some cases. Learn whether a high-tech system could save your life.

Why You Shouldn't Skimp on Sleep

You may literally have to add it to your to-do list, but scheduling a good night's sleep could be one of the smartest health priorities you set, Sarah Baldauf reports. It's not just daytime drowsiness you risk when shortchanging yourself on your seven to eight hours. Possible health consequences of getting too little or poor sleep can involve the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. In addition to letting life get in the way of good sleep, between 50 million and 70 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder—insomnia or sleep apnea, for example—that affects daily functioning and impinges on health.

Consider these 10 reasons not to skimp on sleep and these 10 ways to beat insomnia and get better sleep. Also, explore how many hours you need for an ideal sleep.

Medical, Behavioral Autism Treatments Abound, but Do They Work?

Medicine hasn't come up with a cure for autism, the often-devastating developmental disorder that now affects 1 in 150 children, and one big reason is that doctors don't yet know what causes it, Nancy Shute reports. Parents frustrated by the lack of options often turn to the Internet for help, where dozens of medical and behavioral treatments are promoted. Unfortunately, most of the treatments out there have not been tested to find out if they work, making it tough for parents to figure out what might help. Therapies that have been rigorously tested so far have failed to measure up. A few, however, do offer legitimate hope. Explore 4 promising autism treatments, from vitamin B12 to the Alzheimer's disease medication Namenda.

Innovative programs are now offering young people with autism a vital choice—the chance to work, go to college, or even start a business, rather than go on disability and be consigned to a sheltered workshop. And a new animated DVD for children represents a new direction for autism therapy: a simple, inexpensive teaching tool that parents can use to supplement more intensive behavioral therapies that are the first line of treatment.

—January W. Payne

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