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Mayo Clinic plans for drone assistance in 2025; New face-detecting brain circuit; Older Americans share top health care worry – Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in medicine today.

Morning Medical Update : © WESTOCK - stock.adobe.com

Morning Medical Update : © WESTOCK - stock.adobe.com

Mayo Clinic plans for drone assistance in 2025

Mayo Clinic is planning to update its at-home care model through integrating the assistance of autonomous drones, capable of making same-day prescription deliveries. The hospital system recently signed an agreement with Zipline, the world’s largest commercial drone delivery company.

The goal of the drones is to deliver medications directly to patients’ doorsteps by the beginning of 2025.

Jeff Williams, head of US operations for Zipline, said, “Anyone who has driven to a pharmacy while sick and contagious has wished for a better way to do things. It's a far more convenient experience, and it makes care more accessible for everyone: from people without reliable transportation to folks who are just too busy to take on another errand.”

New face-detecting brain circuit

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), scientists have discovered a brain circuit in primates that rapidly detects faces. These findings not only explain how primates’ sense and recognize faces, but could also have future implications for understanding conditions, such as autism.

The brain circuit engages an evolutionary ancient part of the brain, the superior colliculus, which triggers the eyes and head to turn for a better view. This view enables different brain areas in the temporal cortex to engage in more complex facial recognition.

Read more about this new face-detecting brain circuit, and the future of face recognition in patients with autism, here.

Older Americans share top health care worry

A new wave of research from the University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging asked people 50 and older about 26 health-related issues. Their top three concerns had to do with the costs of medical care, long-term care, and prescription drugs.

“Our poll sends a very clear message that older adults are worried about the cost of health care and will be looking to candidates to discuss what they have done or plan to do to contain those costs,” John Ayanian, director of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, said.

The cause for concern has been justified, as about 6 million seniors have incomes below the federal poverty level. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 rely exclusively on Social Security payments, averaging about $1,913 a month per person. Find more of the results of the study in this article.

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