Lifestyle changes play a big role in determining our future health, and the first two we immediately think of are diet and exercise. While these are crucial to our health, a big aspect that isn't discussed as much is mental health — and similarly, using relaxation techniques to set the stage for better health later down the road.

In a new study out of the Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers found that people who took part in a relaxation response program used fewer health care services a year later, compared to their use a year before. It proves that learning how to relax — though often not a priority in our busy lives — can be as beneficial to our future health as exercise.

A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology assessment finds that, after viewing CT scan results, physicians in the emergency departments of four major academic medical centers made key changes in clinical decision-making for patients with symptoms frequently seen in emergency rooms. The study that has been published online in the journal Radiology adds important information to health policy debates regarding the appropriate use of CT scanning.

A recent study, lead by Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, while he was a researcher at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was mentioned in an August 27, 2015 Washington Post article.

Imagine you are diagnosed tomorrow with pancreatic cancer. The latest medical odds would give you a 6 percent chance of surviving more than five years. But if your doctor said you had prostate cancer — a disease with many more treatment options — then the likelihood of being alive in five years would skyrocket to 99 percent.

Clearly, the medical need is greatest for pancreatic cancer. So, you’d think that our regulatory system would adjust the drug approval process to raise the possibility of bringing life-changing drugs to patients.

You’d be wrong.

Katy Lowry, MD has been awarded a RSNA Research Resident/Fellow Grant for 2015-2016. Dr. Lowry's research will be centered around "Optimizing Breast Cancer Surveillance in Women with a Personal History of Breast Cancer". Dr. Lowry started her affiliation with the ITA while in medical school.