Issue 9: IKEA Pregnancy Test, IV Gatorade, LunaDNA, and more

Why IKEA Wants You to Pee on Their Ads
Swedish furniture giant and in-store couples arguments leader IKEA is making a splash with their newest ad. They want women to pee on it and if they are pregnant the ad will change color to indicate a positive pregnancy. If the ad is positive women can bring it into any IKEA store for a 50% discount on a trendy crib for their precious new little bundle of joy. Let's hope they don't come out with any ads that test for lower GI bleeds. The ad, which is currently limited to Swedish women's magazine Amelia, reads "Peeing on this ad may change your life". Well played IKEA. The advert changes color based on the presence of the hormone hCG, which is the same technology that powers traditional pregnancy tests.

iFART Therefore I am
RMIT University electronic pill
Researchers in Australia have developed an electronic pill that can analyze and detect the formation of gas as the pill passes through the GI tract. The scientists believe that the data will better allow mankind to understand the gut microbiome and of course also help us avoid foods that can cause explosive gas. The electronic pill is roughly the size of a multivitamin and transmits data such as temperature, CO2, H2, and O2 levels to a smartphone device. Cheekily the scientists may call their invention iFart, which in case if they have't checked has already been taken.

Brave New Bowel 
Already investigators have used the pill on several human subjects to discover some interesting findings. In six healthy individuals they discovered that on average it took 20 hours for the pill to traverse the entire GI tract with 4.5 hours in the stomach, 2.5 hours in the small intestines, and 13 hours in the colon. In addition throughout the pill's journey researchers took continuous gas measurements which showed that O2 levels dropped precipitously in the colon, which makes sense since that's where the anaerobes hang out. The Aussie scientists also changed up how much fiber they gave participants to see what would happen. Interestingly in low fiber groups the pill took more than THREE days to pass through with 13 hours in the stomach, 5.5 hours in the small intestines, and 54 HOURS in the colon. Holy Sh!t. The scientists are currently eyeing commercial applications. Some industry watchers are predicting that it won't be long in which a typical doctor's appointment involves vital sign measurement as well as a request to swallow a pill.

Shortage of IV bags Leads to More Hospital Gatorade 
Image from ABC News. Nurse administering IV Gatorade
The US currently has a shortage of IV bags. The reason why relates to the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico that occurred back in September. 75% of PR's manufacturing exports are medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Just one company, Baxter International Inc, produces 44% of IV bags used in the US. Unfortunately Baxter's plant was hit hard by the hurricane. Another company based in PR, B. Braun Medical, produces an additional 10% of the IV bags so in total more than half of the US's IV bag supply comes from PR. Nurses at such major hospitals as Mass Gen are being forced to get creative and substituting IV saline for Gatorade administered via IV push. The FDA says that the shortage should improve in the first few months of 2018. We hope that the recovery happens faster.

YC Biotech Startups
OG Silicon Valley tech incubator, Y Combinator, is looking to plow more money into biotech. They recently launched a YC Bio track that will offer early stage biotech companies anywhere between $500k to $1 million for a 10-20% ownership of the company. Why should I care? Cause YC has a rep. They backed AirBnb, Dropbox, and Reddit just to name a few. YC will provide new life-sciences companies with free lab space and advice from industry experts. YC first started investing in biotech in 2014 and has gotten increasingly bullish on the space since then. For a list of some of the cool biotech companies that they invested in 2017 go HERE. You can see that YC has funded everything from personal maternal health kits to electric stimulation belts that treat urinary incontinence.

Sell Your DNA for Crypto?
Image from CoinTelegraph
Companies like 23&me that provide genetic testing and ancestry results have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Over Thanksgiving weekend alone 23&me sold 1.5 million kits. However, what the general public may not know is that once 23&me has your data they can sell it to biotech research companies for huge sums of money, which sounds sketchy AF. One company wants to put a little more selling power in your hands by allowing you to personally sell your genomic data for cold hard crypto. Zenome, which is based out of Russia, wants you to upload your 23&me results to its blockchain powered platform. Then large pharma companies can request the data. If your data is in the aggregate and you agree to sell you get a share of the payday. The company completed an ICO last October and is currently in beta mode. They're not the only ones in the game though. Another company called LunaDNA has a similar platform that will reward genome uploaders with their own crypto called Luna Coin, the value of which has increased more than 1000% in the past MONTH.

My Doctor Works at... 
Getting the best employees is tough. That's why some companies are offering on site healthcare as a perk. The WSJ reports that Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley tech companies are paving the way by having specialists such as orthopedic surgeons set up shop directly on their campuses to avoid having their precious employees take time off to go to the hospital. Got a crooked neck from bundling CDO's and crashing the housing market. There's a doc that can help with that. Industry experts predict that by 2018 (THIS YEAR!) 50% of businesses both large and small will have their own on site clinics staffed with PCP's and specialists. Some of the clinics are even swagged out with massage rooms, personal life coaches, and vegan chefs.

Image from Esquire Magazine
Our commander in chief Donald Trump loves his fast food and it apparently is catching up to him. Trump's medical data recently came out cause apparently HIPPA doesn't apply to the POTUS and the results were less than perfect. He got a coronary calcium CT scan reading with a value of 133. Anything greater than 100 indicates calcified plaque build-up and the presence of heart disease. Also of note his LDL was elevated at 143 and his BMI was 29.9. Not great considering normal LDL needs to be <100 and a BMI of 30 constitutes as being obese. The analysis of Trump's health by leading cardiologists such as Dr. Eric Topol contradicts white house MD Dr. Ronny Jackson's earlier account that Trump had "excellent cardiac fitness". Cue awkward turtle memes.