Tag Archives: #ahcj18

Skepticism is required when covering the science behind genetic tests

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJCharles Piller, Paul Raeburn and Christopher Robertson (left to right) discussed the science of genetic testing on the first day of Health Journalism 2018.

Health insurers struggle to understand whether genetic tests give physicians actionable information about how to diagnose and treat patients’ illness. If health insurers struggle, then journalists certainly will as well. For example, see this tip sheet that Beth Daley (@BethBDaley) wrote for AHCJ when she was at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

Genetic testing holds immense promise, but as speakers explained during the “Science of Genetic Testing” session at Health Journalism 2018, misuse and misinterpretation of these tests have undercut that promise. Continue reading

AHCJ celebrates 20 years with conference in the desert

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJDonald Warne, M.D., M.P.H., pointed out that American Indians aren’t broken out in most health data sets, which identify blacks, whites and Hispanics.

More than 700 people attended Health Journalism 2018, the 20th anniversary celebration of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Reporters, editors, producers, health policy experts, doctors and educators gathered in the scenic Phoenix desert to discuss emerging science, new trends in business, health information technology and more.

The conference kicked off with an engrossing and sometimes startling presentation about health in the Native American population. Continue reading

What to ask hospitals about medical device hacking preparedness

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJMay Wang, chief technology officer at cybersecurity firm Zingbox, said that connected medical devices often are not used efficiently.

It’s only a matter of time before a patient is harmed through medical device hacking, and journalists have many resources to probe whether their local health providers are able to prevent or respond to such an event, said a panel of experts at Health Journalism 2018 in Phoenix.

To date, there are no documented cases of patients harmed by medical device hacking, said panel moderator and independent journalist Mark Taylor. But reporters should be asking their local hospitals about this specific cybersecurity threat. Continue reading

Panelists look to the future of Alzheimer’s disease research

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease has not changed much in the past 25 years. However, new research may enable earlier diagnosis and treatment according to panelists at one Health Journalism 2018 session.

Alzheimer’s disease places an unacceptable and intolerable toll on people with the condition, their families, and the health system, noted experts in the session, “What reporters need to know about the changing scene of Alzheimer’s research.” Continue reading

Freelancers learn to maximize social media skills

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Why do some journalists have thousands of followers and others barely a handful? Is it better to tweet, ‘gram or Facebook? What about Snapchat? Should you have separate personal and professional accounts? What’s the best way to deal with trolls and negativity? Attendees at Health Journalism 2018 learned how to up their social media game from those who do it well — and how to avoid potential problems — at the “Freelance: Flex your social media muscle” session on April 14.

Continue reading

#AHCJ18 panel explores new ways to cover the health effects of climate change

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Photo: john curley via Flickr

At the Health Journalism 2018 panel session, “Is climate change a threat to public health?” the answer was a resounding yes – but in ways that reporters and editors might not yet realize.

Extreme weather events are making headlines all over the world with increasing frequency and journalists should be aware of the cascade of health issues that happen beyond the immediate calamities of these events, panelists said. Scientific research on these effects is just getting started. Continue reading