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Asleep at the National Safety Switch

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Three issues in particular threaten the future of our country - obesity, the national debt, and failing schools - are linked in an unexpected way. One solution can help fix all three.

Obesity now affects one-third of our population. Another one-third of our population is overweightand “headed toward obesity”. This hefty population contributes to our national debt because these two-thirds of our population add significantly to the rising cost of healthcare, much of which is paid by the taxpayer. An obese person averages $20,000 higher lifetime healthcare bills than a person of more optimal weight[1]. Excess pounds add $147 billion annually to our national healthcare expense[2]…

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The Coming Impact of Computers on Public Health 

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

There is an area of science that it is likely to take our current public policy debate about the appropriate scope of government regulations and raise the volume quite a bit. In my opinion this debate is not likely to capture the public's attention before the coming election, but as a futurist I believe the clash between science and the politics surrounding regulation will become louder in years to come. 

One drum being banged loudly this election cycle is that government has too many regulations. Some people claim regulations are stifling job creation, and the cure is to cut the budget of the agencies that make these burdensome regulations, or eliminate…

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Putting Light on a Taboo Subject

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

When was the last time all the clocks in your house said exactly the same time? Does the oven clock and the bedroom alarm agree? Is your computer agreeing with the Cable Box? Your car clock with the kids alarm?

If not, bad things begin to happen...kids miss the school bus, the crock pot does not start on time and dinner is late, the sprinkler system waters in the middle of the afternoon so the water evaporates before it helps the lawn...things go wacky.

Our bodies also have many individual "clocks". If these clocks don't all tell the same time, parts of our bodies do not coordinate well with others - our internal gears grind. These clocks are kept on the same time by the magi…

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When a Headache is a Good Thing

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Imagine that you had a child with  a mild headaches that lasted a few days, sometimes with nausea.  As a responsible parent, you take the child to the doctor.  Imagine the doctor finding a serious invisible disease.  Even though you are a good and observant parent, and watch over your family carefully,  you would not know of the serious illness until the slight headaches caused the doctor to investigate.

Without the headaches, the underlying disease would advance silently, causing mounting and irreversible harm (childhood leukemia is often first discovered when headaches prompt a visit to the pediatrician).   In many ways, your child's gettin…

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New Breed of First Responder Helps Solve America's Health Care Crisis

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Some of the most costly healthcare delivered in the United States starts with a call to 911. This triggers a expensive ambulance run, which usually results in an expensive emergency room visit. After recovery, the patient goes home. And often starts the cycle over again with another call to 911. 

One role model worthy of learning from in this arena is MedStar, a public utility model ambulance system serving 15 towns in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas area. i They have figured out how reduce the number of calls to 911, how to respond to them quicker, how to have a higher trained ambulance crew and how to improve patient care - all the wh…

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