Dr. Mark Johnson, emergency department physician at Cass County Health System in Atlantic, was among 11 Iowa Hospital Heroes recognized at the 2019 IHA Annual Meeting in October. Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1984. After completing his residency at the Broadlawns Family Medicine Residency Program, he returned to his hometown of Atlantic in 1987. After many years of working at Atlantic Medical Center and the emergency department (ED), he transferred full-time to the ED in 2012, where he still works today.

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Health products powered by artificial intelligence, or AI, are streaming into our lives, from virtual doctor apps to wearable sensors and drugstore chatbots. AI can help doctors interpret MRIs of the heart, CT scans of the head and photographs of the back of the eye, and could potentially take over many mundane medical chores, freeing doctors to spend more time talking to patients. Yet many health industry experts fear AI-based products won’t be able to match the hype.

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“Healthspan,” a coinage now gaining traction, refers to the years that a person can expect to live in generally good health — free of chronic illnesses and cognitive decline that can emerge near life’s end. Although there’s only so much a person can do to delay the onset of disease, there’s plenty that scientists are learning to improve your chances of a better healthspan.

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