Health Care

Drug ovedose deaths hit record in 2017

(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Last year saw a 10% rise in overdose deaths, totaling more than 72,000 people. The increase came largely from a spike in fentanyl and other synthetic opioid overdoses, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control.

Between the lines: The opioid epidemic has evolved from being primarily driven by prescription drugs and heroin into being driven by synthetics. However, trends vary across the country, with overdose rates dropping in some states and rising in others, per the New York Times.

FDA approves algorithmic contraception app

Pregnancy app
Photo: Natural Cycles

After clinical studies with more than 15,500 women, the FDA approved a pregnancy prevention app marketed as "a natural method of contraception powered by a smart algorithm" last week, reports WashPost.

The details: Designed by Swedish-based company Natural Cycles, the $80 app calculates the days of the month the user is expected to be most fertile based on information about her menstrual cycle and her basal body temperature. The app has a failure rate of 1.8% among women who use it perfectly, compared to failure rates of about 18% for condoms, 9% for birth control pills, and less than 1% for hormonal IUDs.