How Artificial Intelligence Will Alter Your Healthcare Experience

Artificial Intelligence Will Change Healthcare as We Know It

By Adam C. Uzialko, Write. From Business News Daily

  • Machine learning and deep neural networks have spurred significant advances in artificial intelligence.
  • Major AI applications in healthcare include diagnostics, robotic surgeries and virtual nursing assistants.
  • Healthcare AI is projected to reach $6.6 billion in value by 2021.
  • Adoption of AI could save the U.S. healthcare industry $150 billion annually by 2026.

In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker is rescued from the frozen wastes of Hoth after a near-fatal encounter, luckily to be returned to a medical facility filled with advanced robotics and futuristic technology that treat his wounds and quickly bring him back to health. Of course, that’s the stuff of science fiction … for now.

The healthcare industry could be headed toward yet another high-tech makeover (even as it continues to adapt to the advent of electronic health records systems and other healthcare IT products) as artificial intelligence (AI) improves. Could AI applications become the new normal across virtually every sector of the healthcare industry? Many experts believe it is inevitable and coming sooner than you might expect.

AI could be simply defined as computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behavior, such as analysis and learning. It is a broad category at the cutting edge of technological development, growing and changing every day.

Machine learning is the foundation of modern AI and is essentially an algorithm that allows computers to learn independently without following any explicit programming. As machine learning algorithms encounter more data, the algorithms’ performance improves.

Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that functions in a similar way with a slight twist. Deep learning goes a step further, making inferences based on the data it has encountered before. In other words, deep learning enables an AI application to draw its own conclusions. It works through an artificial neural network, which is a set of machine learning algorithms that work in tandem. A neural network loosely resembles the human brain, with a series of “neurons” that “fire” when certain stimuli (in this case, data) are present.

“Conventional machine learning solutions aren’t cognitive; they are trained from data but lack the ability to leap beyond missing or broken data and build a hypothesis about potential actions,” said AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits. “Machine learning can be effective in detecting something anticipated, but it fails when confronted by the unexpected.”

To take artificial intelligence to the next level, Abdallat said, developers must emphasize both deductive and inductive reasoning, and emulate those cognitive patterns in the machines they design. A benefit of dynamic, deep learning solutions, he added, is that they can explain their reasoning and conclusions, a major benefit for complex decision-making.

AI is still a relatively new technology, especially in the healthcare industry where adoption remains in its infancy. As AI and machine learning tools become more sophisticated, their use cases have expanded; however, adoption of AI remains low, according to John Frownfelter, chief medical information officer at Jvion.

“We’re still in the hype phase where many organizations are trying to understand how it fits into an overall strategy,” said Frownfelter. “Early AI was seen … with more of an emphasis on pattern recognition for billing processes. It has evolved to a much more sophisticated use of deep machine learning and leveraging the power of big data.”

Modern AI applications include wide-ranging use cases, from cybersecurity to radiographic imaging, Frownfelter said. As AI applications continue to improve, the entire healthcare industry could undergo a shift. Here are some of the major ways AI is expected to shape healthcare in the coming years.

AI excels at categorizing data, especially once it has been exposed to large amounts of data on the subject. That creates great promise for AI when it comes to diagnostics – medical imaging analysis and patient medical records, genetics, and more can all be combined to improve diagnostic outcomes. Moreover, AI tools can use similar information to craft unique treatment approaches and offer recommendations to doctors.

“The really interesting developments are in the clinical arena,” said Frownfelter. “Clinical prescriptive analytics is probably the closest AI is getting to support direct patient care in 2019.”

Robotic surgeries allow surgeons to use smaller tools and make more precise incisions. Surgeons (and patients) could also benefit from AI by combining medical records with real-time data during operations, as well as drawing on data from previous successful surgeries of the same type. Accenture, a technology consulting firm, estimates that AI-enabled, robot-assisted surgery could save the U.S. healthcare industry $40 billion annually by 2026.

Think of virtual nursing assistants like an Alexa for your hospital bedside. These virtual assistants replicate the typical behavior of a nurse by assisting patients with their daily routines, reminding them to take medications or go to appointments, helping answer medical questions and more. Accenture estimates that virtual nursing assistants could be the second-largest source of annual savings for the U.S. healthcare industry, cutting as much as $20 billion in costs.

Naturally, medical practices, hospitals and other points of care result in a great deal of paperwork. In fact, it was consolidating and digitizing these records that led to the industry-wide adoption of electronic health records systems. AI has already started to make its way into these systems and can be used to streamline administrative functions as well. Accenture estimates that new efficiencies in administrative workflow due to emerging AI technologies could result in $18 billion in annual savings.

Already, automated scheduling and appointment reminders are commonplace, but the face of patient engagement could soon become more robotic (and yet, at the same time, more personal.)

“There has, rightly so, been a focus on how AI can be used to better diagnose and cure patients,” said Phil Marshall, co-founder of Conversa Health. “That’s important, but now we are seeing a shift to the ways AI can extend into the patient experience.”

For example, patients who are concerned about a specific condition or the side effects of treatment could query a chatbot at any time, even when their doctor is not available, Marshall said.

“Imagine a cancer patient undergoing radiation [who] is unfamiliar with what is a normal side effect and what isn’t. Now, instead of worrying through the night until the doctor’s office opens, the chatbot can let them know,” he said.

What is all this worth? Accenture estimates the top 10 AI applications in healthcare could save the industry $150 billion annually by 2026. The AI healthcare market itself is projected to be worth $6.6 billion by 2021, which represents a massive compound annual growth rate of 40% since 2014 but also a modest investment when compared with the anticipated savings directly related to the adoption of AI.

“Investment and adoption of clinical AI is still low, but that is beginning to accelerate,” said Frownfelter. “The most significant development in the next year is likely to be increased understanding and acceptance of AI.”

Eating Healthy, Taking Medicine & Exercising To Manage Obesity

By Ruben Castaneda, Staff Writer From US NEWS

A Patient’s Guide to Obesity


The obesity epidemic in the United States that’s affecting the health of tens of millions of people shows no signs of easing up. In 1990, about 15% of adults in most U.S. states had obesity, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. As of 2015-16, about 40% of adults nationally and more than 18% of children nationwide were considered obese, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

These figures were highlighted in a report, “The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” released in 2018 by Trust for America’s Health (a health policy organization based in the District of Columbia) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We are unlikely to see progress in combating obesity unless we pay attention to the social and economic conditions that have led to dramatic increases in its rates,” says John Auerbach, Trust for America’s president and chief executive officer. “We have to support policies that will modify neighborhoods, schools and workplaces in ways that make it easier to have a healthy diet and to be physically active.”

People who have obesity or are overweight face serious health consequences, says Dr. Garth Graham, a practicing cardiologist and president of the Aetna Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut. Being obese and being overweight are associated with a wide array of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, stroke, hypertension, reproductive dysfunction, psychiatric conditions and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, he says.

Obesity Is a Chronic Disease

Some people think that people with obesity lack willpower and discipline when it comes to their eating and exercise habits, but it’s important to keep in mind it’s a chronic disease, says Angela Golden, vice president of the Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council. Golden has authored numerous articles about obesity in peer-reviewed journals. Like other chronic diseases, obesity has clear signs and symptoms, and it’s also associated with other diseases and conditions, she says. “Obesity is a disease and is not just about behavior,” Golden says.

Obesity Diagnosis

There’s no lab test, like a blood screening, to diagnose obesity. A person is classified as being obese if he or she has a body mass index of 30 or higher, Graham says. Your height and weight determine your BMI. For example, an adult male who is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 174 pounds would have a BMI a little over 27, and would be considered overweight, according to the CDC’s adult BMI calculator.

The BMI measurement is widely accepted in the medical community, says Dr. Shailendra Patel, a professor and director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He’s also a clinician at UC Health in Cincinnati. The BMI measurement is universally available and inexpensive. There are other ways to diagnose obesity, but they are typically not covered by insurance, are not widely available and are used primarily for research, Patel says. For example, an MRI or a CT scan can measure the amount of fat inside a patient’s abdomen, which is an indicator of obesity. Specifically, health care providers can use an MRI or a CT scan to detect fat inside the abdomen, which is known as “bad fat.” This kind of fat is associated with health issues, like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease that are in turn linked to obesity. But those exams cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, aren’t available in every medical setting and would typically not be approved by health insurance companies to diagnose obesity, he says. Using a BMI to diagnose obesity is perfectly acceptable, though not perfect. That’s because some patients may have a BMI of 30 or higher without any health issues like high blood pressure or diabetes that are associated with obesity. Conversely, some patients may have a BMI lower than 30 but have large amounts of internal abdominal fat, which would suggest a more harmful form of obesity.

Symptoms of Obesity

Obesity is associated with a number of health issues, including:

  • Sleeping difficulties.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Joint pain.
  • Shortness of breath.

A Significant Increase in Obesity

Since she began practicing medicine in 2010, Dr. Rocio Salas-Whalen, a triple board-certified endocrinologist and the founder of New York Endocrinology in New York City, has seen the number of patients she treats who have obesity rise significantly. At the outset of her medical career, about 1 in 10 patients had obesity, she says. Today, about 1 in 3 of the patients she sees have obesity. “I have days where I just see patients for obesity,” she says. “And they’re younger than in the past. Before, most of the patients with obesity were middle-aged or older. Now, the majority are in their 20s and 30s.”

[See: 10 Unusual Weight-Loss Tips That Actually Work.]

There are three broad types of risk factors for obesity:

1. Behavioral.

Certain behaviors, consuming too many calories, eating the wrong types of foods and not exercising enough can lead to obesity, says Dr. Tirissa J. Reid, an assistant professor of medicine in the department of medicine endocrinology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. She’s also a staff physician at the Weight Control Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City. For example, eating a high-calorie diet that includes lots of processed, fatty and sugary foods can lead to being overweight or obese, she says.

2. Genetic.

Some people are genetically predisposed to obesity. “Your genes may affect the amount of body fat you store and where that fat is distributed,” Graham says. “Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercise.”

3. Environmental.

Where you live can have a significant effect on your risks for obesity and being overweight, Graham says. “Your ZIP code is more important than your genetic code when it comes to your overall health,” he says. “If you don’t have easy access to healthy foods, can’t walk around outside and are constantly surrounded by sources of stress, that can create a cycle that leads to obesity. Two Americans can live less than 10 miles apart from each other but face stark differences in life expectancy. Many social factors determine health outcomes, from stable housing and food security to employment opportunities and policy.”

Here are specific risk factors for obesity:

  • A high-calorie diet.
  • Low or no physical activity.
  • Stress.
  • A family history of being overweight or obese.
  • Race and ethnicity (African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics have higher rates of obesity).
  • Age (your metabolism slows as you get older).
  • Taking medications that promote weight gain (some antidepressants, antipsychotics and diabetes medications lead to an increase in pounds).
  • Poor sleep.
  • Certain medical conditions, like hypothyroidism, which decreases the body’s metabolic rate.

Strategies to Fight Obesity

There are a wide array of strategies available to fight obesity, says Lauren Merryman, a registered dietitian based in College Station, Texas. Merryman is the senior team lead for Cecilia Health, a New York City-based health tech services company. Cecilia Health partners with pharmaceutical companies, payers, accountable care organizations and self-insured employers to provide approaches to improve health outcomes for people living with diabetes and related chronic conditions. Here are 13 strategies for fighting obesity:

  • Get help from your health care provider.
  • Eat a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Develop a healthy sleep regimen.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Consider weight loss medication.
  • Explore switching medications that cause weight gain.
  • Beware of binge-watching.
  • Set small, achievable goals.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Consider bariatric surgery.
  • Manage food cravings.
  • Control your environment.

1. Seek help from a health care provider who specializes in obesity.

While it’s important for everyone to develop a good relationship with his or her primary care provider, many people who are obese would benefit from working with a doctor who specializes in obesity medicine and a registered dietitian who specializes in obesity and weight management, says Lisa Garcia, a registered dietitian based in Laconia, New Hampshire. “Obesity is a chronic disease,” Garcia says. Multiple risk factors – physiological, behavioral, environmental and emotional – can lead to obesity, she says. Health care professionals trained in dealing with those risk factors can help you develop eating and exercise strategies to achieve a healthier weight, Garcia advises.

2. Eat a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet.

Consuming a Mediterranean diet is a great tool for healthy weight loss, says Dr. Eric Pham, a bariatric surgeon and weight loss specialist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and lean sources of protein like fish and poultry. Those who follow it will avoid drinking beverages high in sugar, fatty meats and processed foods, like snack chips, he says. Such offerings provide lots of empty calories and relatively few nutrients. It’s important to keep in mind that the best eating regimen for weight loss is one you can follow. Find an approach that includes different kinds of healthy foods that you’ll stick with.

[See: 7 Ways to Hack Your Grocery Trip for Weight Loss.]

3. Manage your stress.

Prioritizing your mental health is key when it comes to losing weight, Graham says. “Stress can trigger loss of sleep, lead to unhealthy eating and can prevent you from losing weight, so managing stress – whether through exercise, mindfulness or another activity – can help you lose weight,” he says.

4. Develop a healthy sleep regimen.

“The amount of sleep you get can play a big role in managing your weight and your heart health,” Graham says. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of problems like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, he says. He notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults ages 18 to 60 get at least seven hours of sleep nightly.

5. Exercise regularly.

You can’t out-exercise a poor eating regimen, but if you improve your eating habits, exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off, Reid says. Walking, biking, swimming or working out at the gym – with or without a trainer – are good options, Reid says. Add small increments of exercise throughout the day, she advises. For example, take a 10-minute walk at the start of your lunch hour, and increase your exercise by getting off the train or the bus one or two stops earlier than usual, or by parking your car in the space farthest from the office. Get up to walk around the office for five minutes every hour.

6. Consider weight loss medication.

There are a number of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat obesity, Salas-Whalen says. Some weight loss medications keep your appetite and food cravings in check, while others boost metabolism. For example, Qsymia is an appetite suppressant and Saxenda mimics a hormone produced in the gut that decreases appetite and increases satiety, Salas-Whalen says. Talk to your doctor about whether such medications are right for you and discuss possible side effects.

7. Explore switching medications that cause weight gain.

Some antidepressants and medications to treat seizures, psychosis and diabetes can cause weight gain. If you’re taking one or more of these, ask your health care provider about alternative medications that won’t cause weight gain, Salas-Whalen says. “There may be a better option for you,” she says.

8. Beware of binge-watching.

The abundance of streaming and on-demand services has popularized the practice of binge-watching TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things.” It’s fine to watch your favorite shows, but space out the episodes, Garcia advises. Settling in front of your TV or laptop for marathon viewing can disrupt your sleeping regimen. Some people also consume more snacks when they spend long periods of time being sedentary. “The next episode you want to see will be there tomorrow,” Garcia says. “You don’t have to watch all the episodes at once. Make technology work for you.”

9. Set small, achievable goals.

Losing a large amount of weight can seem overwhelming at first, so it’s best to set small, achievable goals, Merryman says. Aim to lose a handful of pounds weekly, rather than trying to drop a large amount of weight in a short time. The same holds true for developing healthier eating habits. “For example, if you don’t currently consume vegetables on a daily basis, then it may not be realistic to meet the recommendation of (consuming) at least three cups a day,” she says. “Try starting with a half cup once or twice a day and go from there.”

10. Don’t skip meals.

Some people who skip meals think they’re cutting back on the number of calories they’re consuming, Garcia says. But if you skip a meal, chances are you’ll be hungrier than usual later in the day and make poor food choices. “If you eat regularly scheduled meals, you’re more likely to make good food choices,” she says.

11. Manage food cravings.

Craving particular foods is not the same as being hungry, says Stephen Benoit, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He practices at the UC Health Weight Loss Center in Cincinnati. Most food cravings are for a particular food, typically one that’s sweet or high in fat or salt and loaded with calories, he says. Remember that cravings come and go; when they hit, go for a walk, play a game, read, call a friend or do something else to distract yourself until the craving subsides, he says.

12. Consider bariatric surgery.

Bariatric surgery could be an effective strategy for a motivated person with severe obesity, Pham says. Surgeries like the sleeve gastrectomy, duodenal switch or gastric bypass not only restrict the amount of food a person can eat, but also change the patient’s hormones in such a way to promote weight loss, he says. He cautions that bariatric surgery patients can regain the weight they lose unless they change their lifestyle and eating habits.

According to the Mayo Clinic, in general, bariatric surgery can be an option for patients who:

  • Have unsuccessfully tried other ways to lose weight.
  • Have a BMI of 40 or higher.
  • Have a BMI of 35 or higher and another serious weight-related health problem, like diabetes.
  • Are teenagers who’ve gone through puberty and have a BMI of at least 45 and serious health problems related to obesity.

[See: 8 Weird Ways Obesity Makes You Sick. ]

13. Control your environment.

One way to cut down on eating unhealthy foods is to remove the temptation from your environment, says Lisa West-Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Department of Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She’s also director of behavioral health services at the UC Health Weight Loss Center in Cincinnati. Jettison offerings like sugary beverages, processed snack chips and meats, cookies, cakes and pastries in favor of healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats, she says.


Oh No The Warriors Kevin Durant Suffers An Achilles Injury!

Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury: Shock waves hit NBA free agency and beyond


Kevin Durant fell, clutching his lower right leg. The consequences were so grave, Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala left the court to ease his path to the locker room. And an entire league went into shock.

There have been a number of catastrophic injuries over the years, drastically changing a team’s fortunes. Such names as Bill Walton, Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Penny Hardaway, Bernard King, Yao Ming and Derrick Rose come to mind. But there hasn’t been anything like this. Today’s NBA is all about the summertime free-agent market, and everywhere you look, some carefully orchestrated plans just went up in smoke.

Only a few teams actually had a shot at signing Durant, in the event he chooses to leave the Warriors, but the trickle-down effect will be formidable, affecting all but a few franchises. And for purposes of this piece, let’s assume he decides to start a new basketball life in some other locale.

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Start with Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, the hottest free-agent story at the moment. He has no time to think about any of this — not with Game 6 of the Finals coming Thursday night at Oracle — but Durant’s departure weakens the Warriors, and the entire Western Conference, if he decides to head East.

Leonard has long fancied the idea of returning home to Southern California to play for the Clippers, who have an intriguing young roster and a smart, aggressive front office. All they need is a superstar, and Leonard would perfectly fit the bill. He easily could conjure up some championship dreams about an aging, fatigue-prone Warriors team finally giving up the throne.

If the Raptors win this series, bringing a first-ever title to the franchise, Leonard would have plenty of sensible reasons to stay. Blowing a 3-1 lead to the Warriors would crush Toronto’s festive mood, perhaps leaving Leonard believing he’s done all he can.

The Knicks have been the subject of Durant rumors for months, some sources claiming they’ve essentially wrapped up deals for Durant and Boston free-agent guard Kyrie Irving. The entire rumor mill is really just a pile of junk, with only a few odd kernels to be trusted, but now that Durant faces the prospect of missing an entire season, the Knicks need to look elsewhere.

(Always good for a tasteless back-page headline, the New York Daily News went with this Tuesday: “Knicks lose Game 5: Durant goes down with Achilles injury, ruining EVERYTHING as Warriors avoid elimination.”)

Worse yet for the Knicks, the crosstown Brooklyn Nets have privately expressed confidence about acquiring Irving. There’s also the looming presence of New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, who has made it clear that he wants to be traded. With Durant bound for the shadows, Davis can be a franchise-changer for several teams, with the Lakers and Celtics most likely to present the best offers.

Meanwhile, the free-agent hierarchy has undergone a major shakeup. Once Leonard makes his call, such names as Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, D’Angelo Russell and Khris Middleton will be more coveted than ever, with DeMarcus Cousins also in that mix and Washington’s Bradley Beal potentially available in trade.

What will the Houston Rockets have in mind? They’ve got their answer on Durant as far as next season, and that reported shakeup — perhaps involving expensive guard Chris Paul — might be put on hold. The idea of “running it back” already had gained credence with the recent reports that head coach Mike D’Antoni, believed to be heading into a lame-duck season with his contract expiring, is now back in negotiations for an extension.

Here’s the extent of Durant’s value and reputation: Even with his career in doubt, and next season probably lost, ESPN reported that three unnamed teams still would be willing to offer the maximum deal — four years, $141 million — to which he’s entitled if he leaves Golden State.

As for the Lakers, it seemed extremely unlikely that Durant had any interest. With the front office in chaos (too many voices, rampant distrust) and James approaching the end of his career, why would any of the other top free agents consider that team, especially with the Clippers on the rise? The Lakers have to push hard for a Davis deal — a package of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 overall draft pick would be hard to reject — or face another season of troubling irrelevance.

What was lost in Toronto on Monday night? More than anyone can accurately forecast. The Warriors were sent reeling into a state of depression, with tears all around. Durant’s career is in doubt, considering how many players couldn’t fully recover from an Achilles tear, which is what the Warriors are fearing it is. Such is the extent of the man’s greatness that he still might receive a max-contract deal from several teams.

In truth, though, nobody really knows anything. It’s stunning to realize that the clouds of uncertainty are about to blanket an entire league.

Bruce Jenkins is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: Twitter: @Bruce_Jenkins1 

Michael B. Jordan Takes Us Through His Day

For Research Purposes: Michael B. Jordan Walks Us Through A Day In His Life

  By Bossip Staff From Bossip

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Michael B. Jordan Takes Us On A Trip Through A Day In His Life

If you’ve ever wanted to know exactly what Michael B. Jordan does with his every waking moment, today is your lucky day. The Black Panther and Creed star sat down with Vanity Fair to break down just how he spends his 24 hours, even down to answering his overflowing inbox of text messages.

Whether you’re looking to better organize your own life or you want to know MBJ’s life as closely as possible so you can have something to talk about if you ever bump into him on the street, one thing is for certain–hearing everything this man accomplishes over the span of just one day will make most of us feel like we need to be more productive.

The actor starts his day by waking up at 5am, which already lets you know how productive the rest of his day is going to be. He also mentions that he generally sleeps around 4 hours a night.

Jordan gives himself some time in the morning to hit snooze for a couple minutes, then starts off the day by taking a shower and getting in some meditation.

After that, Michael is eating breakfast by 7am, and describes his ideal meal as one that consists of hashbrowns, breakfast tomatoes, home fries, turkey sausage, cheese grits, an english muffin, a bacon-egg-and-cheese croissant, and possibly some pancakes…yeah, this man is eating BREAKFAST breakfast.

It’s probably no surprise that after breakfast, Jordan heads to the gym…and then showers all over again.

Next, he’s dressed and out the door to talk a walk and getting something for lunch around 2pm. After that, he carves out some time to answer his almost 300 unread text messages.

He follows this up with another workout then filling his time with some reading, video game playing, or other “break” activities. The actor gets his dinner in at 6pm before rounding out the night relaxing and spending some time with himself.

Here all of that and more from Michael himself in his video with Vanity Fair below.

Congratulations Oprah For Losing 42 lbs 2019!

The media mogul talked about her “struggles with weight” and how it affected her health for Global Wellness Day

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey’s struggles with her weight are well-documented. But beyond fighting the number on the scale, the media mogul now reveals that she was also dealing with health problems because of her size.

Winfrey, 65, writes in a letter to WW members, shared exclusively with PEOPLE ahead for Global Wellness Day, that she had concerning blood sugar and blood pressure numbers.

“I haven’t shared with many, but I will share with you, that I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes before WW,” she says.

Winfrey adds that her blood pressure “is now stabilized and in a healthy range,” and as for her blood sugar — “I am proud to tell you those numbers are back to normal too!”

She also says that her mother Vernita, who passed away in November, “had type 2 diabetes and was dependent on insulin.”

But for Winfrey, WW “changed my life,” she says. Along with losing 42 lbs. in the four years since she became a WW shareholder, the program also helped her regain her health.

“Beyond the weight, WW has helped me make healthier choices and understand the real numbers that matter most,” she says.


“If I didn’t lose another pound, I still feel really fantastic,” she said. “I’m not trying to be skinny, not trying for a size. I’m just trying to be as healthy as my body wants to be.”

Now, Winfrey is celebrating Global Wellness Day and encouraging others to do the same. The annual initiative, focused on living well, began in Turkey in 2012 and has expanded to over 130 countries across the world.