Livingston Reporting

Microsoft Achieves Positive Results with Experimental Underwater Datacenter

In 2018, Microsoft deployed a datacenter 117 feet deep in the seafloor off Scotland’s Orkney Islands. For two years, Microsoft team members analyzed and monitored the servers’ operation and dependability. Now covered in algae, barnacles, and sea anemones, the datacenter is back on land.

The underwater datacenter was deployed in an effort to remedy equipment failure and provide a solution to internet availability throughout the globe. Microsoft team members were also aiming to improve the overall quality of datacenters in terms of reliability and function. Oftentimes, datacenters on land are susceptible to corrosion due to elemental factors such as humidity, oxygen, and temperature changes. After analyzing the underwater datacenter, the Microsoft team found that it performed exceptionally well.

Prior to the Orkney Islands datacenter deployment, the same Microsoft team proved the underwater datacenter concept was feasible in 2015 by deploying a different datacenter in the Pacific Ocean for roughly four months. Piggybacking off the Pacific Ocean datacenter’s success, the Microsoft team decided to test their concept even more in 2018.

Datacenters are a main pillar in cloud computing, containing networks of powerful computers that perform intricate tasks such as storing, processing, and transferring or allocating immense amounts of data. Datacenter proximity is a factor in speed and a reduced lag time for those who access the internet. The closer the datacenter, the quicker downloads, games, and Web browsers function.

Another factor in deploying the datacenters was to highlight environmental sustainability. The Orkney Islands were selected, in part, due to their renewable energy technologies. Their electrical grid is supplied 100 percent by wind and solar energy. “We have been able to run really well on what most land-based datacenters consider an unreliable grid, said Spencer Fowers, an integral member of technical staff for Microsoft’s Special Project research group. “We are hopeful that we can look at our findings and say maybe we don’t need to have quite as much infrastructure focused on power and reliability,” he continued.

To read more about the underwater datacenter, check out this Microsoft article. Want to improve your cloud setup or do you have a Microsoft product that needs a refresher? Contact Creative Programs & Systems today – we can help with all of your technical questions.

Founded in 1994, CPS provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; implement internet marketing strategies for enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Healthy Cardiovascular Health Also Promotes Good Eye Health

In a new study published by the American Journal of Medicine, investigators found that a healthy lifestyle – typically associated with cardiovascular health benefits – also lowered ocular diseases, particularly diabetic retinopathy. The conclusions suggest that attempts to prevent cardiovascular diseases might potentially counteract ocular ones as well.

Nearly 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from ocular diseases. The consequences of these diseases are vision impairment and blindness. About half of these cases are preventable; the leading causes of eye issues include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma.

“Earlier studies have observed associations between eye diseases and individual lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, or hypertension,” said lead investigator Duke Appiah, Ph.D., MPH, Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA. “It is known that these metrics of ideal cardiovascular health do not work alone and may interact additively to result in diseases. However, prior to our research, no other studies have comprehensively evaluated the association of all of the metrics of ideal cardiovascular health with ocular diseases.”

The findings show that practicing a healthy lifestyle and implementing beneficial habits are both factors in achieving cardiovascular strength. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma can all be minimized by having an active, healthy lifestyle. Those with optimal cardiovascular health had 97 percent lower odds for diabetic retinopathy than individuals who did not.

“Overall, we believe that primary prevention and early detection approaches of ocular diseases are important, considering that over half of all deaths from ocular diseases and cardiovascular diseases are known to be preventable,” commented co-investigators Noah De La Cruz, MPH, and Obadeh Shabaneh, MPH, both from the Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA.

At Rohr Eye & Laser Center, we strive to provide excellent customer service. We specialize in assisting patients with ocular diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataract by means of laser vision correction. Contact us today for more information.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Radiotherapy Market Revenue to Expand by Eight Percent by 2030

In 2019, the global radiotherapy market revenue was set at $7,222.4 million. According to a P&S Intelligence report, an increasing number of cancer cases will cause revenue to climb by eight percent to $17,194.4 million by 2030.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in humans, killing 9.6 million people annually, according to the World Health Organization. The American Institute of Cancer Research estimates that by 2030, around 25 million cancer cases will be diagnosed yearly.

North America’s high incidence of cancer makes it the largest radiotherapy market globally. Additionally, established radiotherapy system providers and highly developed healthcare infrastructure are factors in the market scope. Residents in Canada and the United States have a higher level of disposable income than other countries, which allows them to afford treatment more quickly.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the radiotherapy market is subsequently experiencing growth as the focus of healthcare shifts from chronic disease to remedying the virus. What once were cancer-specialty hospitals are now COVID-19 care centers. Despite the circumstances, several hospitals are reopening their cancer wards, thereby increasing radiotherapy treatments.

Companies providing solutions to the increasing radiotherapy market opportunities are collaborating by creating partnerships and other working agreements in order to gain distribution partners for their equipment, offer clinicians a joint resolution of image-guided radiotherapy systems and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) platform, develop innovative markers for pre and clinical neurological and oncologic purposes, provide hospitals with cutting-edge proton therapy capabilities, and advance the radiotherapy system motion-tracking and rectification technologies.

To learn more about the expanding radiotherapy market, read this article by Prescient & Strategic Intelligence. Need to service your Linear Accelerator or CT scanner? Contact Acceletronics today – we can answer any questions you might have.

Looking to update your CT scanner to a newer model? Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

PET/MRI Outperforms PET/CT in Cancer Scanning

German researchers conducted a study in an effort to investigate the difference between combining Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging compared to PET with Computed Tomography (CT).

The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, where they concluded that pairing (PET) with (MRI) is more effective at detecting lesions. This discovery yields a quicker, more effective use of centralized and whole-body staging in a single step. Moreover, it reduces the level of radiation exposure, making them ideal for younger patients.

PET/CT is typically the customary route in oncology imaging and staging due to its high sensitivity and resolution. However, PET/MRI offers higher soft-tissue distinction with lower radiation exposure. This combination has been prevalently dampened because there have not been enough significantly conclusive studies to exhibit both functionality and advantages.

The analysis was conducted by board-certified nuclear medicine physicians and radiologists who determined that PET/MRI made the process of discovering lesions and classifying them easier. Researchers noted that reduction in radiation exposure was perhaps the most significant advantage of PET/MRI over PT/CT.

Further studies are needed to improve the detection of nodules with PET/MRI; however, the scientists’ conclusions highlight the increasing potential of hybrid imaging with oncology diagnostics.

Read the entire study here. Looking to upgrade your linear accelerator or radiation equipment? The specialists at RadParts can answer your questions – contact us today.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Solar Panel Sales Soar as Price Continues to Drop

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), shipments of solar panels reached a record-high 16.4 million kilowatts (kW) in 2019. The former record of 13.5 million kW was set in 2016. Imports, exports, and modules produced and sold domestically all qualify as solar panel shipments; modules shipped for resale are excluded.

“These shipments have steadily increased since 2006, driven by significant price declines and policy incentives that encourage solar PV installations,” the report stated. In 2017 and 2018, policy reforms and import tariffs caused shipments to decline slightly.

Solar panels convert light particles – called photons – from the sun, transforming them into electricity that can be used to power electrical grids. They are used in a wide variety of settings, including both business and residential use.

Since 2006, the cost of solar panels has been steadily declining, thus helping propel the growth of shipments. The average price of a solar panel module shipment in 2016 was $3.50 per watt. In 2019, the price decreased to .40¢ per peak watt. The upsurge in residential solar panel demand is somewhat due to homeowner incentives such as the California Solar Initiative, the New York Megawatt Block program, and other state-level policies.

“Higher module efficiency, greater labor productivity, and lower supply chain costs are largely responsible for the declines in the average value of solar PV modules,” the report stated. The price of solar panel modules and components has declined due to both global surplus (reduced demand in China) and competitive costs within the industry.

A report published in February by Financialnewsmedia.com claims that demand for solar industry installations will double by 2023.

Read the entire report by the EIA to learn more about the record-high sales of solar panels.
 

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment, such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Reasons to Hire a Tiling Professional

Tiling is much more complicated than it might seem. Whether it’s a floor, kitchen backsplash, or bathroom wall, there are several factors to consider before you tackle this project yourself. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects can be a nightmare if you don’t have the proper tools, let alone experience. Moreover, installations vary by medium, materials, and square footage.

Many tiles are made from delicate materials and installing them correctly can make a significant difference in the finished product’s lifespan. Hiring a professional to install tile might seem unnecessary initially, but you will be thankful in the long-run. Read on to discover why hiring a professional to tile your home is a better bet.

  1. Design Options
    Since professionals install tiles daily, they are familiar with styles, textures, layouts, grout colors, and much more. Industry innovations and updates fluctuate – thus, licensed contractors can effortlessly adapt to changes and know best practices.
  • Speedy Installation
    It should go without saying, but here we are. Hiring a licensed contractor to install tile in your home will undoubtedly be much quicker than a DIY project, as you will have time restraints and schedules to follow. Additionally, an expert will lay tiles at a much faster rate since they are more familiar with the complex process.
  • Proper Equipment
    To install tiles, the tools sitting in your garage or basement probably won’t suffice. Specialists will not only come equipped with all of the right tools – they will also know exactly how to use them. It’s imperative to understand that tiling can be a messy job; letting someone else handle the mud, grout, and cleanup is the way to go. 
  • Reduced Waste
    Remember geometry class? No? Well, the contractor you hire to install your tile will be familiar with geometry to say the least. The progression of measuring, cutting, and fitting tile can be tremendously complicated. To lessen the amount of waste from your project, don’t DIY.
  • Home Protection         
    Hurdles will undoubtedly surface in nearly any home project. Tiling sounds fun and easy, but don’t forget about the dusty, dirty demolition. You might not have the capability to deal with unforeseen issues that arise in a DIY plan. Removing old tile, disposal, protecting trim and walls from damage, and closing off doors to contain dust are just a few of the extra precautions taken by professionals.

Thinking of re-tiling a floor, kitchen backsplash, or bathroom wall? Put the tools down, pick up the phone, and call the flooring experts at JFC Remodeling. Save yourself the headache and let us handle your flooring renovation from start to finish.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail: jfcllc@comcast.net, or visit us at: www.jfcremodeling.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Upcoming Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare

The annual enrollment for Medicare occurs from October 15 through December 7. Medicare health and drug plans make yearly adjustments to cost, coverage, and providers and pharmacies in their networks. During this time, it is possible for beneficiaries to alter their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to fit their needs better. The specific modifications are as follows:

  • Switch Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Return to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) if enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program
  • Sign up for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Supplement Plan if enrolled in Original Medicare

Medicare beneficiaries should always review their plan, examining the Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) materials included. If the plans are changing, beneficiaries should ensure the plan they are enrolled in will continue to meet their needs the following year. If they are satisfied that their plan will be sufficient for the next year, they do not need to make any adjustments.

Those who have Medicare supplements are able to change their program any day or time. If a beneficiary is new to Medicare, their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) occurs three months prior to their birthday. For example, if that person’s birthday were in June, their IEP would be from March until September. Special Enrollment Periods are open to those who qualify due to a life event such as moving or retiring; during this time, the beneficiary can sign up for Medicare or change their plan.  

Annual enrollment is typically a busy time for agents. Is your business prepared to handle the influx of beneficiaries during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period? If you need assistance, Omega Benefit Strategies is your number one resource to help prepare you and make confident Medicare decisions. Contact us today for advice on how to manage the rush.

Omega Benefit Strategies provides members belonging to credit unions, labor unions, and associations an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing package seamlessly integrates with existing branding strategies. We can help increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Erin Brockovich Claims the US is in an Unimaginable Water Crisis

In 2000, Erin Brockovich became the subject of an Academy-award winning feature film, which depicted her role in a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric. Portrayed by Julia Roberts, Brockovich is known for almost single-handedly bringing down the California-based power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. Through the years, she has continued to raise awareness concerning pollution and other environmental threats.

In an opinion article for The Guardian, Brockovich wrote, “We are in a water crisis beyond anything you can imagine. Pollution and toxins are everywhere, stemming from the hazardous wastes of industry and agriculture. We’ve got more than 40,000 chemicals on the market today with only a few hundred regulated. We’ve had industrial byproducts discarded into the ground and into our water supply for years. This crisis affects everyone – rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat. Communities everywhere think they are safe when they are not.”

“These issues start with tiny seeds of deception that add up over months and years to become major problems. Our resources are exhausted. Corruption is rampant. Officials are trying to cover their tracks. People are not putting the pieces together when it comes to the severity of this crisis. I’ve got senators and doctors calling me, asking me what to do,” Brockovich stated.

Brockovich stressed the importance of not succumbing to despair. No single person or entity can correct the issues solo; communities must work in tandem to remedy this issue.  In response to the countless calls and community outreach she has experienced, Brockovich created the Community Healthbook to allow individuals and community groups to “report and view health-related concerns and community environmental issues by geographic area and health-related topic.”

For more information or to read the entire article, check out The Guardian. Want to know what’s in your water? Call the water purification experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. at 800-572-9575. We test water quality and purification, install filters, and much more.

Reynolds Water Conditioning Co. was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in offering the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Ways to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel is prevalent in today’s society; people typically associate the syndrome with years of heavy typing, computer use, and other office tasks. However, Carpal Tunnel can affect anyone who performs repetitive hand movements. Approximately 500,000 people undergo surgery each year; it is one of the most common hand operations. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent Carpal Tunnel by reducing the amount of pressure on your hands and wrists.

  1. Stretch Often
    A few hand stretches per day helps to loosen up ligaments and tendons. Make a fist with your hand, then extend your fingers until they point straight out. Repeat this process ten times. To modify this stretch, you can also fan your fingers out horizontally as far as you can.
  2. Be Ambidextrous
    Try to use your non-dominant hand to pick up or transfer objects, open doors, hold drinking cups, etc. This helps reduce pressure on your dominant hand due to repetitive movements.
  3. Loosen Grip
    Most people don’t realize they are over-exerting their hands when they write/hold a pen or pencil, type on a keyboard, hold a steering wheel, use tools, and other everyday tasks. Try to loosen your grip on these objects.
  4. Stay Warm
    Cold climates or environments can contribute to pain and stiffness. If necessary, warm up your surroundings by turning up the thermostat, use a space heater, or wear fingerless gloves while working. The heat will help stimulate blood flow, thus improving circulation and keeping hands and wrists loose.
  5. Maintain Posture
    One of the simplest ways to prevent Carpal Tunnel is to maintain proper posture. When slouching, your shoulders pull your neck and shoulder muscles forward, which causes the nerves to tighten. This domino-effect also affects your hands and wrists.

Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms of Carpal Tunnel? Michigan Hand and Wrist specializes in assessing and consulting patients dealing with hand and other upper extremity issues. Check out our previous blog post to learn more about Carpal Tunnel.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand and upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy with therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

COVID-19 Sparks Regulatory Changes to Medicare

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Congress and the Trump administration implemented a record number of legislative, regulatory, and sub-regulatory changes to the Medicare program. These alterations allow for unprecedented flexibility to healthcare providers, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Part D plans. Some of the changes waived Medicare participation conditions, allowing patients to be treated in alternative care settings. Other changes allow for telemedicine services to be eligible for Medicare reimbursement to physicians and other healthcare providers.

Significant COVID-19 changes that include telecommunication reimbursement include telephone visits, physician supervision services, urban and rural areas, and new sites (including patient homes). Hospitals can now provide alternative services at locations, including other healthcare facilities, expansion sites (hotels or community facilities), and specific services at patients’ homes. Moreover, licensed providers can provisionally offer services outside of their enrollment state. 

Both the benefits and unintended consequences of these policy actions should be carefully analyzed by policymakers and stakeholders to provide patients access to healthcare, and so providers can offer high-quality care. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, stakeholder input and analyses should inform the regular rulemaking process to guarantee any permanent governing adaptations improve the Medicare program. The effects of these policies should be meticulously studied to determine the most efficient way to prepare for future public health emergencies.

Want to know more about the new regulations or need some assistance navigating through Medicare terminology, plans, policies, etc.? Look no further; Senior Health Medicare is here to help you find your path through the Medicare world. Click here to read more information about regulatory changes. 

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and re-evaluating for the client to stay in the most cost-effective coverage. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.