What We're Reading: Healthcare Issues to Watch; e-Cig Flavor Ban; Google AI and Breast Cancer

January 2, 2020
AJMC Staff
AJMC Staff

Five issues in healthcare were spotlighted as key developments to watch; FDA to ban all e-cig vape flavors except for menthol and tobacco; Google AI system shown to improve detection of breast cancer through mammograms.

Healthcare Issues to Watch in 2020

FDA to Ban All e-Cig Flavors Except for Tobacco, Menthol

Google AI System Shown to Improve Breast Cancer Detection

In an article published by The Hill, 5 key issues relating to healthcare warrant extensive monitoring: drug pricing, surprise billing, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare for All, and vaping. All topics have become talking points throughout 2019, with drug prices and surprise medical bills serving as the focus of bipartisan talk but no major reforms have been initiated yet. The ACA is also a trending topic with the end of the past year seeing the law deemed unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. The FDA plans to ban all e-cigarette vaping flavors except for tobacco and menthol, according to The Wall Street Journal. The ban seeks to impede the teen vaping epidemic, with fruity vaping flavors such as bubble gum shown to attract teenagers and consequently lead to nicotine addiction. The ban will also exclude open-tank vaping devices, which allow users to mix their own nicotine liquids. The official announcement is expected to come tomorrow.A Google AI system was shown in a study to be as good as expert radiologists at detecting off mammograms which women had breast cancer and showed potential at reducing errors, according to Reuters. The study, published in the journal Nature, adds to research showing the promise of AI systems in reducing errors relating to diagnosing breast cancer, with radiologists shown to miss about 20% of breast cancers in mammograms.