Week in Review: April 1

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Google Search will soon let you book checkups and other medical appointments

Google announced Thursday it's rolling out a new feature in search that allows people to book health care appointments. Users looking to book a check-up or a same-day visit can use Google Search to see the availability of select health care providers in their area. Google is partnering with MinuteClinic at CVS to start. Via MSN

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Opinion: We Study Virus Evolution. Here’s Where We Think the Coronavirus Is Going

As scientists who study how viruses evolve, we are often asked about the future of the coronavirus. Will it go away? Get worse? Fade into the background of our lives? Become seasonal like the flu? Here’s what we know: The virus’s Omicron variant was significantly more infectious and more resistant to vaccines than the original strain that first emerged in Wuhan, China. There’s no reason, at least biologically, that the virus won’t continue to evolve. The coronavirus variants that have emerged thus far sample only a fraction of the genetic space that is most likely available for evolutionary exploration. Via The New York Times

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End of COVID may bring major turbulence for US health care

When the end of the COVID-19 pandemic comes, it could create major disruptions for a cumbersome U.S. health care system made more generous, flexible and up-to-date technologically through a raft of temporary emergency measures. Winding down those policies could begin as early as the summer. That could force an estimated 15 million Medicaid recipients to find new sources of coverage, require congressional action to preserve broad telehealth access for Medicare enrollees, and scramble special COVID-19 rules and payment policies for hospitals, doctors and insurers. There are also questions about how emergency use approvals for COVID-19 treatments will be handled. The array of issues is tied to the coronavirus public health emergency first declared more than two years ago and periodically renewed since then. It’s set to end April 16 and the expectation is that the Biden administration will extend it through mid-July. Some would like a longer off-ramp. Via Associated Press

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Mayo Clinic News

Walz signs ALS bill by senator with the disease

Gov. Tim Walz signed a $25 million bill to fund research into ALS that was authored by a veteran state senator from the Iron Range who has the neurological disease. Sen. David Tomassoni, 69, of Chisholm, took up the cause after disclosing last year that he had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease...The legislation gives $20 million to the Office of Higher Education to award competitive grants for research into the disease’s prevention, treatment, causes and cure. Eligible applicants are research facilities, universities and health systems located in Minnesota. Likely recipients include researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. Via Associated Press

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Local high school student working to fight Alzheimer’s disease competing in ISEF

Kristi Biswas wants to make a difference in this world. As a result, she has spent her middle and high school years researching various medical conditions. She spent about 300 hours in the lab at The Mayo Clinic last summer analyzing the types of proteins that can trigger Alzheimer’s disease in the brain…Kristi is a junior at Paxon School of Advanced Studies. She conducted her research as part of a program that connects local high school students with researchers at Mayo Clinic. Via News4Jax

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Health Fusion: A farm family's journey from tragedy to gratefulness through organ donation

A lot of people miss Eric. Last year at age 42, he suffered a head injury while loading grain into a truck in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Two of his four boys found him lying unconscious on the ground. While 15-year-old Seth called for an ambulance, Lucas, 19, began CPR on his dad — something his mom says no child should ever have to do…But at the time, when Chris arrived at Mayo Clinic's St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, she was not aware that Eric would not recover. Via Post Bulletin

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.