Edible Water Bottles! by Maria Dorfner


Check out this hot way to keep cool and hydrated.  It may feel weird at first, but so did social media.
Water bottles you eat can revolutionize how you hydrate. 50 billion water bottles are used each year. Only 23% are recycled.


That’s just in America.  These biodegradable water bottles look like little breast implants or blobs. Not my nails, btw.
I haven’t tested them. Looks like they could be messy if you’re wearing a silk shirt, but they look small enough not to splatter.
And they’re good for the environment.  Ooho recently received a $22,500 sustainability award from the EU.

Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier from Skipping Rocks Lab in London created them.


They took a frozen ball of water, then encapsulated it in layers of a membrane made of calcium chloride, and brown algae.


Imagine drinking water without a plastic bottle to cart around or toss away.


The manufacturer is now trying to figure out ho make the outer membrane re-sealable.


These could make a splash when you’re at the gym or hiking, at the beach, in a car –or anywhere when you’re on the go.


They may even come in different colors and flavors. The plastic industry should be a little nervous right now.


It could be Bye-Bye to needing to carry water bottles in the future.


I still have a few questions:

1.  How many water blobs equal 9 fl. oz.?
2.  Can these water blobs break in your purse or pocket?
3.  Can these water blobs unintentionally heat up and be dangerous or is that only a worry with plastic?

4.  How many water blobs does a healthy active person need per day?

5.  When and where will they be available to consumers?

6.  Or will the huge plastics industry squash their ability to come to market?

7.  What is the anticipated price for consumers?

If anyone has answers to these questions, please comment or message me at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


Meanwhile, congratulations to the creators. I think it’s a hot health discovery!


Special thanks to Ellen Canderozzi, a friend from grade school, who reminded about this biodegradable water on Facebook.

Stay hydrated!  Stay healthy!  :-)


For more visit http://www.Smithsonian.com

Learning Is Healthy: The Italian Cultural Institute Presents 50 Years of Italian Breakthroughs


Join Me Opening Night at The Italian Cultural Institute of New York

The Italian Cultural Institute of New York Presents MAKE IN ITALY

50 Years Of Italian Breakthroughs: From The First PC To The First Space-Bound Espresso Machine 
Exhibition: Open to the public from November 13th – 25th, 2015
Monday – Friday 10am to 5pm
The Italian Cultural Institute
686 Park Avenue, New York, NY
Did you know the first personal computer was invented by an Italian? Make in Italy – The Exhibition, is an event focused on showcasing cutting-edge products, conceived and developed in Italy or by Italians, throughout the last half century. The exhibition takes its cue from 1965, when a prototype of the Olivetti Programma 101, considered the first personal computer, was presented at the World’s Fair in New York.

The exhibition is arranged by decades, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, and depicts each of them through objects – from typewriters to microprocessors, from the first personal computer to an Espresso machine that works in space. Historical documents, photos and other images will also be displayed to illustrate the social and economical background of the different periods.
Exhibition Highlights
The documentary, “Programma 101: Memory of the Future” by Alessandro Bernard and Paolo Ceretto, will be available for viewing to all guests of the exhibit

“I dreamt of a friendly machine, that anyone could use, would cost little, and would be similar in size to the other office products people were already familiar with.”

This was the revolutionary vision of P101’s inventor, Pier Giorgio Perotto. The first “personal computer” was not conceived in the garage of Steve Jobs, but 12 years before that in a villa in Pisa, in the suburb of Barbaricina by Olivetti, an Italian manufacturer of typewriters. The P101’s design was innovative – in line with company founder Adriano Olivetti’s philosophy: “Design is the spirit of a product.” The design of the P101 was well completed at the end of 1964 and the revolutionary machine was presented in New York in October ’65. The US market bought almost all of the 44,000 P101s made by Olivetti at $3,200 a piece. Hewlett-Packard alone bought a hundred P101s and copied the more innovative features, such as the magnetic card, for its own devices. 
The Intel 4004 was the first commercially available microprocessor, or “computer on a chip” in history. Developed in 1971 by Federico Faggin, a physicist working in Silicon Valley. At Fairchild, he invented the Silicon Gate Technology (SGT), which was crucial for the manufacturing of smaller, more reliable logic circuits. Then at Intel, Faggin used his SGT technology to create the microchip. Today microprocessors are used in everything, from the smallest embedded systems and smartphones to the largest supercomputers.
Last May, the first “made-for-space coffee” was tasted onboard the International Space Station (ISS) by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. This was made possible by ISSpresso, the first ever system for brewing espresso in extreme conditions, i.e. outer space. Crewmembers on long-duration space missions frequently miss the comforts of home, from favorite meals to a fresh cup of coffee. ISSpresso is an espresso maker for the International Space Station (ISS) that can be used to make tea, coffee, broth, or other hot beverages. Created by David Avino, founder of Argotec, an engineering and aerospace software company, specializing in astronauts’ training, and Lavazza, the family-owned leading brand in Italy, and a coffee manufacturer since 1895.The technology developed to provide food and beverages in a microgravity environment not only improves options for orbiting crewmembers, but could also lead to new or improved products for earthlings.
Inspired by the philosophy behind the P101- personal computer, Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino reads inputs – for example your finger on a button  – and turns them into outputs – like activating a motor. Created in 2005 by Massimo Banzi, and his four partners, for students of the Interaction Design Institute as an easy tool for fast prototyping for those without a background in electronics and programming. The name comes from the Antica Caffetteria Arduino, the cafe’ where Banzi and his partners spent many nights discussing the project. Now a worldwide community of students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals Makers use Arduino. 
Olivetti, the company that gave us the first personal computer, is reinventing itself, embracing the revolution of digital manufacturing and the digital philosophy of sharing and collaboration. Last month the company announced the launch of its first 3D printer, aimed at the small to medium companies that need a faster and cheaper way to make prototypes and develop new products.  The Olivetti 3D-S2 will be manufactured entirely in Italy, in the Canavese area, and all the technology used will be Italian. Developed jointly with Gimax, the Prato-based leader in industrial automation, the printer uses the potential of Arduino, the open source hardware and software platform which has revolutionized the world of manufacturing, from Ivrea, Italy.

Additional Information:

Opening Night Exhibit: November 12, 2015 at 6pm 
Panel Discussion, What’s Next for Italian Creativity in Technology? Moderated by Maria Teresa Cometto and Riccardo Luna, with:
  • Massimo Banzi, co-founder of the Arduino Project
  • David Avino, founder of Argotec
  • Riccardo Delleani, CEO at Olivetti
  • Alessandro Piol, co-founder at AlphaPrime Ventures

The Exhibition is a project by the Make in Italy Foundation cdb,
made possible through the generosity of Peter S. Kalikow in collaboration with: Lavazza, Olivetti, and with the Consulate General of Italy in New York, the Italian Heritage & Culture Committee of New York.

Laughter Is Great Medicine by Maria Dorfner


Recently, researchers Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Joseph A. Allen published a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology about the effects of group humor on workers.


Results proved laughter bolsters creativity, memory, problem-solving ability, and reduces anxiety, body pain and stress, helps with relaxation, elevates mood, increases self-esteem, optimism, hope and your energy.


In workers it leads to positive team performance, including question-asking, proposals of innovative ideas, new people speaking up and kudos given for jobs well done or problems solved.


If that’s enough, humor also promotes bonding and altruism, attracts connections and leads to happier partnerships.


That said, here’s a short true story to tickle your funny bone.  It’s called “The Briefcase.”



One afternoon while visiting my parents my Dad told my sister and I that he bought a new Mercedes, but he returned it because something was wrong with it. He boasts, “I walk into the dealership, I put my briefcase on the salesman’s desk and tell him to give me my money back or else!”  We ask, “Or else what?”  He yells, “Or else I open the briefcase!”

My sister and I ask, “What’s in the briefcase?!”  He yells, “Never you mind. The guy gave me my money back right away.”

Later that afternoon my sister says to me, “Wait a second. Since when does Daddy have a briefcase?”   I laugh and quip, “You’re right.” Dad is retired, but used to work in construction and in a restaurant. Neither requiring a briefcase. We laugh concluding he must have made up that story.

Flash Forward One Week Later

Sis calls me exasperated, “Oh my God…oh my God…OH.MY.GOD.  I tell her to calm down and ask what happened. She adds, “You’ll never believe this!  I am at Mommy and Daddy’s helping them take groceries out of the car trunk and I find an old, beat up briefcase from the 1940’s in there!”  OPEN IT!!!  She says she is trying, but it has a combination lock on it and it has something heavy inside of it.  She gasps, “OH MY GOD…I think Daddy has a gun!”


So, we decide to confront him together. When I get there, we place the briefcase on the dining room table and use our best “Law and Order” District Attorney stance and voice to demand he open it.


At first, he says no but we are relentless. We need you to open the briefcase NOW.


We watch intently as he turns the combination. He opens it.  Nothing.  Nada.  EMPTY.

We ask, “What was that noise?” He lifts a cloth layer and laying there is one single hammer.


We look at each other, then at Dad and ask, “What were you going to do…hammer the sales guy to death?!”


Dad matter-of-factly says, “Never you mind” as he locks the briefcase we never knew he owned.  OK Dad.  Take the hammer. Leave the cannoli.   :-D


Maria Dorfner can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Tea-rrific News

Anyone that knows me well knows I love my green tea.  I find it soothing and relaxing.  It’ my go-to beverage instead of coffee.


Andrew E. Carol recently published a delightful report on the health benefits of drinking tea in the New York Times.


Eleven studies with almost 23,000 people found for every 3 cups of green tea daily, risk of depression decreases 37%.


That’s good news as the season changes and some people suffer from unexpected sadness.


More cheerful news includes your risk of developing diabetes, stroke and other cardiovascular risk factors also decreases.


And research says it’s good for your body too.  I don’t drink any soda or coffee, which I liken to pouring mud into an engine.


My absolute personal favorite tea brand is YOGI tea.  I love it, and it comes in decaf and a variety of inspiring flavors.


I also love that a different cute fortune is attached to the end of each tea bag.


And I’m a fan of the company philosophy.


The bright varying tea packages can also be organized by color in a kitchen drawer.


If you have trouble sleeping you’ll love Yogi Bedtime for Sleep.


Soon it’ll be time for a roaring fireplace, so enjoy your soothing tea time because “a relaxed mind is a creative mind.”


Link to New York Time’s articlehttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/upshot/what-the-evidence-tells-us-about-tea.html

Link to Yogi Teahttp://www.yogiproducts.com

Stay healthy!  :-)



Maria Dorfner is the founder of Healthy Within Network and owner of NewsMD Communications, LLC.  This is her blog. Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


Must Read: 5 Hottest Tips to Prevent and Treat Cancer

If you read one article on cancer prevention and treatment prior to seeing a doctor, this is it.    -Maria Dorfner


About the Guest Author:  Gary Hyman, MD is Director at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, The UltraWellness Center and The Institute for Functional Medicine

A Functional Medicine Approach to Cancer by Gary Hyman, MD


Functional medicine empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working collaboratively to address the root causes of disease. It is an emerging, personalized model of diagnosis and treatment that better addresses the need to prevent and manage chronic disease. In a word, it is the medicine of WHY, not WHAT.

Functional Medicine doctors are like soil farmers. They create a healthy soil, so pests can’t come and weeds can’t flourish. A healthy soil means disease can’t take hold.

So with cancer, a Functional Medicine practitioner would say that yes, we still need radiation and other conventional approaches, but what else can we do? How can we properly cultivate a healthy soil?

Cancer results because of in an imbalance in the system. So many people are walking around with tumors and don’t know it. We can do something to prevent them from growing by maintaining a healthy soil.

Instead of dividing everything into diseases and labels, emerging science points to a different way of thinking about diseases. Rather than divide the body into organs, Functional Medicine approaches disease as a systemic problem, and we have to treat the system, not the symptom; the cause, not the disease. This completely redefines the whole notion of disease. The landscape of illness is changing.

How we label cancer is no longer synced up with what we know about the origins of cancer or the fact that two people who have cancer with the same name—like breast cancer—can have two completely different diseases which require different treatments. Just because you know the name of your disease doesn’t mean you know what’s wrong with you or what to do about it.

Classifying tumors by body site — lung, liver, brain, breast, colon, etc. — misses the underlying causes, mechanisms, and pathways involved in a particular cancer. What’s more, it gives us no information about how it manifested in a given patient. Two people with cancers in different parts of the body may have developed it for the same reasons.

Similarly, two people with cancers in the same part of the body may have developed it for different reasons. A patient with prostate cancer and one with colon cancer may have more in common with each other than two patients who have colon cancer.

We need to look under the hood and find out what caused the illness to begin with.

Cultivating a Healthy Soil

Numerous things can contribute to cancer. Studies show diet, exercise, thoughts, feelings, and environmental toxins all influence the initiation, growth, and progression of cancer.

If a nutrient-poor diet full of sugar, lack of exercise, chronic stress, persistent pollutants, and heavy metals can cause cancer, could it be that a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, physical activity,changing thoughts and reactions to stress, and detoxification might treat the garden in which cancer grows?

In other words, treat the soil, not the plant. It is a foundational principle of sustainable agriculture, and of sustainable health.

We can enhance immune function and surveillance through dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as nutrient and phytonutrient therapies. We can facilitate our body’s own detoxification system to promote the elimination of carcinogenic compounds. We can improve hormone metabolism and reduce the carcinogenic effects of too much insulin (more on that in a minute) from our high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet.

We can also alter how our genes are expressed by changing the inputs that control that expression: Diet, nutrients, phytonutrients, toxins, stress, and other sources of inflammation. And we can focus on less divisive and more generative thoughts that, in turn, create more uplifting emotions — all good fertilizer for the soil in the garden of our body.

The Number One Thing You Can Do to Prevent or Control Cancer

Diabesity, the continuum of health problems ranging from mild insulin resistance and overweight to obesity and diabetes, is the single biggest global health epidemic of our time. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease, dementia, cancer, and premature death in the world and is almost entirely caused by environmental and lifestyle factors.

This means that it is almost 100 percent preventable and curable.

Diabesity affects over 1.7 billion people worldwide. Scientists conservatively estimate it will affect one in two Americans by 2020; 90 percent of whom will not be diagnosed.

Obesity (almost always related to diabesity) is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world. The link between obesity and cancer is well documented and is driven by insulin resistance. Insulin, the fat storage hormone, also drives more inflammation, oxidative stress, and a myriad of downstream effects including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low HDL, high triglycerides, poor sex drive, infertility, thickening of the blood, and increased risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression.

The best thing you can do to prevent or control cancer is to control insulin levels with a high-fiber diet rich in real, fresh, whole foods and minimize or eliminate sugary, processed, insulin-raising foods.

Dr. Dean Ornish showed that after just three months on an intensive lifestyle program including a whole-foods, plant-based diet, over 500 genes that regulate cancer were beneficially affected, either turning off the cancer-causing genes or turning on the cancer-protective genes. No medication can do that.

5 Strategies to Reduce Cancer Formation and Growth

Cancer results from an imbalance in our system where the immune system can’t fight off tumors. We can do many things to prevent that cancer from getting to its full stage, and if you have cancer, you can make your body inhospitable to that cancer.


Eliminate food sensitivities. In a major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hidden gluten sensitivity was shown to increase risk of death by 35 to 75 percent, mostly by causing heart disease and cancer. By just this mechanism alone, more than 20 million Americans are at risk for heart attack, obesity, cancer, and death. Dairy and gluten are the most common triggers of food allergies that are linked to insulin resistance. Cutting them out of the diet allows the inflamed gut and an inflamed body to heal.


Reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the common thread connecting most chronic disease including cancer. In fact, out-of-control inflammation causes insulin resistance, which, as we now know, is the main factor in all these diseases apart from autoimmunity and allergy. The insulin resistance then creates even more inflammation, and the whole biological house burns down. Besides removing sugar and food sensitivities like gluten and dairy, we want to eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, including omega-3 rich foods like wild fish and flaxseeds.


Improve gut health. Cancer often originates in your gut. Not just colon cancer, but with many cancers. We are currently studying about the gut microbiome and breast and prostate cancers. Beyond avoiding inflammatory foods, adding in probiotics, prebiotics, and lots of phytonutrients, like curcumin (found in turmeric) and resveratrol (found in grapes), can reduce gut-based inflammation.


Reduce toxic exposure. The average newborn has 287 chemicals in her umbilical cord blood, 217 of which are neurotoxic (poisonous to nerves or nerve cells). The chemicals these infants are exposed to include pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. These chemicals have a broad range of negative effects on human biology; they damage the nervous system and increase the risk of cancer, and now they have been shown to contribute to obesity. Going clean and green means becoming more aware about how environmental toxins affect your health. I encourage you to visit the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to learn more.


Change your thoughts to change your immune system. Science is now proving what we all knew intuitively — that how we live, the quality of our relationships, the food we eat, and how we use our bodies determines much more than our genes ever will. There are numerous strategies to combat or prevent cancer, including getting sufficient sleep, controlling stress levels, and exercising regularly.

The important thing is to figure out what works for you and develop a plan to stick with it. That might involve working with a Functional Medicine doctor or a chronic disease specialist.


Whether you have been diagnosed with cancer or have become concerned about family and friends being diagnosed, the most important thing is mindset and not playing into fear.

While we all hope there will one day be a miracle cure for cancer, there are things that we know now will combat cancer or keep our quality of life high while our body is fighting the cancer.

The science of cancer genetics is changing. Two people who have the same cancer could be completely different in terms of how the cancer performs. That’s why I’m very excited about the work that Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is doing in California on the cancer genome and creating targeted therapies to treat the cancer in every patient individually. This and other emerging technologies, combined with the Functional Medicine approach to cancer, give me great hope about our ability to further prevent and treat this disease in the future.

I encourage you to think about cancer differently and more importantly, not lose hope.

Stay healthy, everyone! -Maria

MARIADORFNERBLACKANDWHITEHEADSHOT    Maria Dorfner (formerly Pallante Bianco) is the founder of MedCrunch, covering What’s Hot in Health.

At 24, she helped launch CNBC after working full-time at NBC for two years and part-time throughout college. She then joined Ailes Communications as director of research and producer for TV pilots successfully syndicated. She then co-anchored and senior produced several health series airing on CNBC for three years. She wrote, produced and directed medical documentaries for Discovery Health Channel and helped launch the Cleveland Clinic News Service.  She is the owner of NewsMD Communications, a full-service production company specializing in health content and distribution. She is the author of three books.  Her awards include an Outstanding Leadership Abilities and Commitment to the Advancement of Women in Media award from her alma mater and a Media Recognition Award from the American Heart Association for her “Heart Smart” series and a Medical Reporting Scholarship. Maria is in Who’s Who in American Women, 22nd edition, 2000/2001.  She is a native of Brooklyn, New York.  Her health blog is a division of Healthy Within Network, which is her existing labor of love.  It connects the dots in medicine, media and marketing.  Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Healthy National Walk Your Dog Week!

In honor of National Walk Your Dog Week, which kicks off October 1, 2015 I’d like to tell you about a Hot new product to keep you fit while walking Fido.


Rhonda Pinkerman, a full-time cardio thoracic nurse practitioner created a special fanny pack out of necessity.


As a television producer and active person, I’m a big fan of fanny packs. I love to be hands-free.


I’m not alone.  Pinkerman is an avid runner and was tired of holding dog waste on her runs.


So, she designed a convenient, reflective, stylish, water resistant hands-free leash. It’s the King Daddy of fanny packs.


It’s easy to pull baggies from outside of pack and then drop the poo into the stink proof sealed compartment.


No more walking around carrying a poo bag in your hand until you find a garbage can.


After testing the product on her runs, she realized she had created the perfect leash.  She started getting requests from friends for the dog leash and…Poo Doo Dog Leash was born.


In one year, without any advertising she made 10K.  That doubled to 20K in year 2 just from friend referrals.


She also created Poo Doo Portable Water bowls -collapsible water bowls that fold easily into back packet of Poo Doo Leash.


Rhonda has even created an exercise routine that can be done with your dog while utilizing the hands-free leash.




For more information or to purchase one, please visit:






To Book Rhonda for TV to demonstrate Exercising with Your Dog Using the PooDooLeash:

Call Rhonda at:  615-414-4490

The product can also be found in these following stores:

Crossroads Pet Store, Miss Kitty’s Bed and Bath, Safari Pet Resort, The Dog Spot, Deco Decorar

Happy National Walk Your Dog Week.  Walking daily keeps you and your pet healthy!

Send a photo of your dogs best Halloween costume to info@poodooleash.com to be entered in the dog leash giveaway!


doggie   Maria Dorfner is the founder of Healthy Within Network.  This is her blog. She can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Next Trillion Dollar Health Disrupter


Many A-list VC investors in HealthTech could use a lesson in Marketing and what’s on consumer’s minds.

I notice a lot of health apps are being developed by physicians. They are being funded by investors adding health to their portfolios.  Some of these physicians are still in or just out of medical school.  Some are mid-career. I wonder how much quality time these physicians have spent with patients.

Last time I checked, the average physician spends 20 minutes tops in clinical settings with each patient, ask all the wrong questions, write you a prescription and bill your insurance company an astronomical amount.  Medical mistakes account for a lot of misdiagnosis or mistakes leading to death. In fact, it’s the THIRD leading cause of death in the United States. That’s right.  Medical errors by physicians are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.  A whopping 98,000 people a year die in hospitals due to preventable medical errors.  The first leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart attacks, second is cancer. We hear more about the first two (from physicians!) than we do about the third –so much it drowns out numero tre.

Have any physicians created an app or gadget to address this little snafu?  If I were a physician passionate about saving lives — this is a problem worth solving.  Physicians know what goes on behind-the-scenes while a patient is under, so they are more qualified to address it.  It’s a far bigger problem than physicians trying to shrink people’s waistlines by creating ways for them to count their calories or steps. People can count. Counting, measuring and scanning doesn’t solve any underlying issues or the cause of why someone is overeating, so it’s not going to cure obesity in the world. That’s another blog.

Please let me know if an app to help physicians fix medical errors is out there as it would save almost 100,000 lives each year. Is anyone even researching it to find out why? Is there any common thread in these mistakes? Is there lack of training? Is it misdiagnosis? Is it human error?  Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes lead to learning, improvements, discoveries –good can come of it.  When mistakes kill 100,000 people a year…not good.  That’s not including deaths from deadly side effects from prescribed medications or deadly interactions. We’ve all heard the super-fast scroll in pharmaceutical commercials saying, “May cause suicidal thoughts…” but media will quickly report a gun was used making guns the issue before any investigation is done about what prescribed medications the person was taking at the time. The average person is on 12 prescription medications a day. If a gun is the weapon. The medication is the bullet with the side effect of suicidal thoughts being the trigger.  Pain meds are big business without anyone asking or caring about what is causing the pain in the first place. Physicians aren’t paid to care about you. They are paid to test you or treat your symptoms.

There are amazing, wonderful, compassionate physicians out there, and those are the ones you see people raving about or thanking on Facebook. Patient referrals by people you know and trust are the best way to learn about the great ones.

Great ones are in clinical settings seeing patients more than they are at conferences.  It may be prestigious to them to get on stage and talk in front of peers about their latest discovery. TEDMed was a great way to “spread ideas.”  But it’s a lot of different ideas.  Have they ever collectively put their intelligence together to figure out a solution to ONE big problem instead of a hundred little ones?  Imagine one brilliant solution that leads to reports that in year 2026 there were 2 deaths due to medical errors. That’s 1 billion lives saved in a decade.

Mid-career doctors make about 200K+ a year  –less if they’re female.  We’ve learned “some” physicians supplement their income by pushing pills on you. Some, not all. If a physician genuinely loves a product and is paid to be a spokesperson for it that’s fine as long as they disclose that.  Some accept free gifts, free trips, payola –AND they win the first place prize for being the profession with the highest addiction rate.  It’s so bad that patients should give their physician a drug test upon visiting them.  If they pass it they can then fill out a Questionnaire asking 1. Who do they have financial ties or agreements with? 2. Have they accepted any free gifts within the year? and  3. How much debt do they have?

I reckon honest ones will scribble “A LOT” 3 x’s  in illegible handwriting.  Now, Physician-Slash-Entrepreneurs and their investors are betting on YOU spending more time on your phone using their apps.

Ironically, a new study says people who spend more time on their phones are depressed.  They want to track your usage so as to identify who is depressed so they can treat you (write a prescription!) sooner.  If more phone usage means you’re depressed then why are they creating apps that encourage you to use your phone more?

Speaking of phones, poor people get the sickest and use Emergency Rooms more than healthier people. If you talk to people in poor communities they do not even have Smart Phones, if any phone at all. More than likely, they have pre-paid Trac phones, so all these apps don’t even help or reach the people that need help the most.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love doctors. I should have married one.  I digress.

Bottom line:  Too many doctors are figuratively and literally losing sight of the ME in Medical, which is the patient.  That’s short-lived, like sex without love. Meaningless.

Hookups are old news. The so-called “Hookup Culture” was a trend that was tried and it failed miserably.  Women, who make the majority of buying decisions decided it didn’t lead to a relationship. They felt used. Emotions get involved.  They’re over it.

They want quality.

They want commitments.

They want healthy.

If you’re passionate about transforming Healthcare, don’t invest in a short-term fad.  Invest in quality, long-term partnerships.  This partnership needs to value the patient.

So far, my picks for apps that could help people are (not in any particular order): HEALTHYOUT, ALLERGY FT, TALKSPACE, SLEEP CYCLE, GLOW, HEALTHTAP and iTRIAGE.  I have no ties to any of them.

HEALTHYOUT scans menus in restaurants for the healthiest choices (again, poor people left out), ALLERGY FT helps people with allergies detect allergens in menus in any country, TALKSPACE allows people to text a therapist 24/7 as a problem arises for $25/week, SLEEPCYCLE helps people track if they are getting enough deep sleep, GLOW helps women detect when they’re ovulating.  HEALTHTAP connects patients with physicians, iTRIAGE allows people to ask questions before going to Emergency Room to determine if they should go (again, those that need it most may not have the right phone and someone is usually in too much pain to fiddle with a phone when they need to get to an ER).

People may have privacy concerns with TALKSPACE.  So, all in all –nothing has revolutionized Healthcare.

23andME (kits to collect human genome to help predict genetic disease) received $80M in funding. Venture Capitalists and Physicians suddenly got interested in Health.  23and ME wasn’t started by a physician. It was developed by Anne E. Wojcicki.  She took the test for med school, but decided on research in biology instead. Sidebar: Anne’s sister was the CEO of YouTube and a former executive at Google. Anne ended up marrying the co-founder of Google.  They divorced two years later.

According to the World Health Organization in 2002, 7.1 million deaths are attributed to cancer each year.  In 2003, they stated that number would increase 50% in the next 20 years. That would bring us into 2023.  Yet, the World Health Organization itself states: “Studies have shown that the primary determinants of most cancers are lifestyle factors, such as tobacco, dietary and exercise habits, environment carcinogens and infectious agents, rather than inherited genetic factors. In fact, inherited cancer syndromes caused by high penetrance genes transmitted In fact, the proportion of cancers caused by high penetrance genes is low, about less than 5% for breast cancer and less for most other cancer types except retinoblastoma in children.”

Read the above again until it hits home.  Cancer IS preventable.  Just like mistakes are preventable. The focus and investment needs to be in prevention. Cancer can take 20 years to show up. By that time, you won’t recall the source and that’s what these companies bet on when they don’t inform  you of exposure.

Recently, I thought it odd that a lot of people that worked at the same workplace got cancer. I did some research and found a lot of others who worked there in the past also got cancer and died from it at a young age. They were all exposed to something I’m investigating further to find out if there is indeed a connection.  If there is one, other people are unknowingly being exposed to it right now.  Finding causes is a healthy step in prevention of that 50% increase of cancer in the next 20 years.

If you’re an investor or entrepreneur with a passion to transform healthcare –invest in prevention.  You make money in prevention from the Consumer. No one wants to get sick.  Longevity does not matter one iota if it is not a healthy life. I have heard sick people say, “Shoot me now.” They don’t want to live long. They can’t even afford it.

It’s almost like funding is for the elite. We are rich. We can afford wearables on our wrists and eyes and play with our phones all day. Poor people working 9 to  5 at minimum wage have to put their phones away or they will get fired. When they are done working the emotional energy it takes to survive doesn’t leave time or money for much else.

If you Google “Physician Entrepreneurs” a long list of articles appear including one from Forbes entitled, “Why Physicians Are Turning to Startups” or Medscape’s “A New Direction: Physicians as Entrepreneurs” and my personal favorite, a new Society for them to pay to join called, “Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.” They claim to have 4700 members who pay to once again talk to each other.  I bet these discussions last longer than 20 minutes or 90 seconds. Suddenly, they have time on their hands.

I notice physicians follow trends. There used to be a society called The National Association of Medical Communicators. I was a member. I was surprised how it was filled with physicians wanting to be on TV.  They all wanted to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.    Dr. Sanjay Gupta was a member. Well the physicians tired of it and the society no longer exists. Trends don’t last. All they do is make a quick buck from physicians who wannabe something else. Now, the trend is to be an entrepreneur.  I’m certain they’re getting flooded with invites to entrepreneurial meetings and conferences costing thousands of dollars.

The new Society of Physician Entrepreneurs formed a 501K and are also asking to raise 250K to “get ideas to patients” through education.  It doesn’t say how it will do that. It simply asks members to give them (physicians) money. Sounds like they’re coming up with all sorts of crafty ways to pay off their student loans and not have to be doctors.

If someone is passionate about transforming healthcare, the lengthy discussions need to be taking place with the healthcare consumer. What are their needs?  How can they be helped?  What are their experiences?  But that discussion is not happening.  You, the healthcare consumer are not invited to conferences around the world for Health 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 or Digital Health Conferences. You’re left out of the conversation because it isn’t about you.  Their passion isn’t in transforming healthcare. They’re leaving the clinical side to transform their own disillusions with the healthcare system.

They’re seeking an out of healthcare.  This will not bode well for investors or consumers. I wrote an article in the ’90s called, “Health News That’s Not Healthy.” It was published in BROADCASTING & CABLE Magazine.   I criticized the use of physicians to report medical news in media.  It began with the popular Dr. Art Ulene on the Today Show at NBC.

Journalists should be patient advocates questioning doctors on their behalf. Since the trend continued, consumers no longer trust on-air doctors.  The lesson keeps getting lost.

In Media, Medical and Marketing –it’s the consumer that comes first.

Once you lose the consumer’s trust –you’re done.  There is plenty of talent in the Digital Health Landscape.  It looks safe to invest in talent –someone who attended all the right schools and knows all the right people.  It’s a risk to invest in genius. The misfit. The crazies.

But that’s where the real disruption takes place. The next trillion dollar health idea will not come from a physician entrepreneur.  It will come from a healthcare consumer.

Content is no longer King.  It’s been dethroned.  TRUST is King.

Let’s look at Medical, Media and Marketing.  In Medical, medical students start out idealistic wanting to be excellent physicians, surgeons, researchers or scientists. Once enmeshed in the system, they find themselves walking on eggshells due to ties to Universities, Hospitals, Insurance Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Executives, CEOs, Shareholders, Boards, internal politics, Politicians and the list goes on. They learn the patient is a means to an end. The end being money. Get them in and out quick. Sell them this test, that scan, this drug, that therapy.

Then, there’s Media.  Journalists start out idealistic wanting to bring the public trusted news. Once enmeshed in the system, they walk on eggshells tied to advertisers, sponsors, executives, CEOs, internal politics, shareholders, Politicians, experts and the list goes on. Get the news out their quick and first. Sell them fear, products, hype and ratings.

Then, there’s Marketing. Medical PR is a multi-billion dollar industry. Practically every commercial within TV programming is health related.  Advertising firms being paid millions to create commercials and buy time during TV news programs and all other TV shows. Most are drugs from the Pharmaceutical Industry or Foods or Beverages that are bad for you.

Each network is competing for this Advertising dollars, which keeps them operating.  In news operations, the CEO makes the most and a handful of on-camera people. That’s it. The rest don’t get paid enough to think or speak up when they see an injustice.  They become part of the problem to keep their jobs.  In the end, no real journalist feels like one. No real doctor feels like one when they’re in the system.  Mainstream media is filled with fear and calamity.   It keeps viewers in a state of anxiety. Anxiety is at the core of all addictions and illness. Advertisers and Broadcasters know that.  They also know you’ll stop to watch a Train Wreck.  That’s why you’re seeing the overuse of “Breaking News” now when it’s not even happening at that moment.  It’s a game to keep you anxious, sick and glued to your TV.  It’s the power of the mind with a free entry into it whenever you turn on the TV. Politicians jumped on board after Clinton played the saxophone on late-night TV and ratings soared. Since politicians want to influence your mind and your money –they’ve jumped into the brainwashing game.

So who has YOUR best interest in mind, especially when it comes to your health. You can’t even trust studies or research anymore.  They’re paying off experts, physicians, researchers to publish articles that tell you to eat this or that or even make up ridiculous new diseases for your kids, pets, parents –you name it.  Images and articles flooding your phone and computer.

They bought content you trusted and turned it untrustworthy.

But consumers are wiser than they think. They will now follow who they TRUST.  And they will unfollow them if that trust is broken. Advertisers and Marketers need to wake up to the fact that consumers no longer trust physicians, government agencies, big charities, big PR firms.

They prefer to donate to individuals they know and trust, rather than large charities.  They prefer advice from trusted friends, families or referrals from them. They will trust Spokespeople and experts they trust.  They are sick of reality celebrities and news about them. They are sick of fashion models that don’t represent real people. They are sick of seeing the worst in humanity. They are sick of fake celebrities. Real people who actually love certain brands, products, services, physicians are the ones who Advertisers should put their money behind. Talk to the consumers.

If you want to sell something –let’s hear the pros and cons from real people that we know. Social media has connected everyone, but if you go to a physician’s Facebook wall –you see them talking to their circle of physicians, former classmates or family. I don’t see them talking to people with health concerns. In media, those physicians become more celeb like using their wall to self-promote stories that aired or will air.

There is room for something that can disrupt this Bermuda Triangle of Death.  It’s HEALTHY WITHIN NETWORK.

I don’t know all the answers to how to do it. But I know why it’s needed –more than ever.  Mainstream media can not continue to feed our minds with images and news that is unhealthy, one-sided, distorted or downright cringe-worthy if your kids or even your parents are in the same room. It’s disgusting.  I believe we will continue to learn how a positive mindset can actually heal the body. What is trending on social media is not an indication of what people want to read or see. It’s an indication of the dumbing down of America.  It’s an indication of what stories you’re being fed to incite fear, anxiety or simply distract you from truths.  No wearable in health will make you healthier. It will be a novelty like a piece of jewelry that will end up in a junk drawer one day.  Physicians can continue to high-five each other on getting funding from investors, but until you get a high-five from healthcare consumers, you’re in it for you –not patients.  Every one in the whole wide world is a patient because we’re all into PREVENTION.

The next trillion dollar health disrupter is the informed healthcare consumer.

Right now, one of the best things you can do for your health is turn off the TV.  You want to know the weather? Look out the window.  News?  If you must watch TV, limit it to one or two comedies if you must.  The rest will make you sick. I highly recommend something with Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David.

I don’t know why, but I trust them.  Jerry has too many cars, but I have too many baseball caps. It’s all relative.


Yes, the photo was click bait.

“Talent hits a target no else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” -Arthur Schoepenhaur

Stay healthy!  :-)

Maria Dorfner is a health journalist and the founder of Healthy Within Network.  This is her blog. Maria’s interest in health began as a child.  Her favorite subjects were Health, Science, English, Marketing and Art.  During college, she did an executive internship at NBC News.  She was hired full-time upon graduating in 1986 with national Sigma Tau Delta Honors. Three years later, she helped launch their cable station, CNBC. Three years later, in 1993 she developed and co-hosted Healthcare Consumers and other health programs. The series aired weekly on CNBC for 3 years before she joined NBC Miami as their medical producer. Upon a relocation to North Carolina for her then husband’s job Maria founded NewsMD Communications, an award-winning full-service production company specializing in Health. Her first client was Discovery Health and a Who’s Who in Medicine.  She worked out of Chapel Hill, NC and travelled extensively producing award-winning medical documentaries, segments and series, including 21st Century Medicine and The Cutting Edge Medical Report. She has interviewed pioneers in medicine who work tirelessly behind the scenes.  She also wrote and produced for the Journal of he American Medical Association and others. She is the author of 3 books.  Most recently, she won an Outstanding Leadership Award from her alma mater and continues to mentor students in journalism and health.  Maria is also a Certified Water Aerobics Instructor, Scuba Diver, Sailor and enjoys swimming, hiking, biking, and learning in her spare time.

She can be reached at: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com