10/14/16 This Week's Must Read Women's Health Articles

By Eva Martin, MD of Elm Tree Medical Inc.

I'm trying out a new feature for the Friday blog post this week in the hopes that I can pack more cutting edge women's health updates into your inbox! Four times a day I feature highlights from the top women's health stories on Twitter @elmtreemedical. Here, I'll feature the top 5 most interesting and loved stories from the week with a brief summary for your skimming pleasure. This week's topics include: over-screening risks of mammography, acupressure for labor induction, no-strings-attached prenatal financial support, Kaiser's quiet digital health revolution, and timing of delivery for vasa previa. I hope you enjoy the new format!

1. Mammograms and Over-Screening

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this article highlights the surprising finding that for every 1 life-threatening breast cancer that mammography detects, 4 women are over-diagnosed. The lead author, Dr. Welch, provides an informative video explanation, and STAT offers a great summary of the findings.

2. Acupressure for Labor Induction

162 pregnant women were randomly assigned to three groups- acupressure, fake acupressure, and no intervention- to see which could induce labor. There was no difference in labor onset in the three groups.

3. Prenatal Financial Support

This study comes from our neighbors to the north. Low-income women in Manitoba, Canada, were given a no-strings-attached income supplement during pregnancy. Compared to low-income women who did not get this extra money, recipients had fewer preterm births, delivered fewer low birth weight infants, and breastfed more.

4. Kaiser Permanente & Telehealth

KP CEO Bernard J. Tyson revealed an amazing statistic in his speech at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference:  52% of Kaiser’s appointments were completed virtually (smartphone, videoconference, kiosk, etc). To put that into perspective, Kaiser patients interacted with their doctors over 110 million times last year. That’s tens of millions of digital interactions!

Photograph from Fortune Article on CEO Tyson

Photograph from Fortune Article on CEO Tyson

5. Vasa Previa Delivery Timing

Vasa previa is a rare and deadly condition in which fetal blood vessels run over the cervical opening, thereby blocking the infant’s exit from the womb. If diagnosed ahead of time, outcomes are dramatically better since OBs can safely deliver the infant by Cesarean before labor starts. But- when should doctors perform that Cesarean? It’s a hotly debated topic amongst MFMs, but a new study in AJOG supports the current practice of delivery at 33-34 weeks gestation.

As always, please comment below and let me know what you think of the new feature!