New FDA guidance urges restaurants and food manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt in processed, packaged, and prepared foods, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Georgia, and Maryland.
- California: According to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Apple is studying potentials way to turn AirPods into a health device, including adding features such as body temperature readings, hearing assistance, and posture monitoring. Currently, the Apple device with the most health-related functionality is the Apple Watch—but these plans suggest Apple has ambitions to expand health and wellness features into other products. (Winkler, Wall Street Journal, 10/13)
- Georgia: CDC provisional data released Wednesday showed the agency recorded more than 96,000 deaths from drug overdoses in a 12-month period ending in March 2021. While CDC said many of the reported deaths will require "lengthy investigation" to confirm a cause of death, this provisional data reflect an almost 30% increase in reported deaths from March 2020. Regina LaBelle, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, "It is important to remember that behind these devastating numbers are families, friends, and community members who are grieving the loss of loved ones." (Garfinkel, Axios, 10/13)
- Maryland: FDA on Wednesday issued new guidelines setting voluntary limits on sodium for more than 160 categories of processed foods to help consumers decrease their average daily salt intake from 3,400 mg to 3,000 mg. This new guidance aims to reduce average daily sodium intake by 12% over the next two and a half years. (Jacobs, New York Times, 10/14; Aubrey, "Shots," NPR, 10/13; Firth, MedPage Today, 10/13; Farrow/Evich, Politico, 10/13)