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What's the Best Time of Day to Drink Coffee? The U.S. Army Found the Answer...

Their new algorithm could soon tell you exactly when to consume caffeine.

If you love caffeine, you may think there's never a wrong time for coffee, but a new study says there is a right time to get the most out of your daily cup.
Researchers from the United States Army developed an algorithm that makes personal recommendations for timing your caffeine consumption, so you can drink the least amount of coffee to achieve the maximum level of alertness, LiveScience reported

The study found that the algorithm helped people improve their alertness by up to 64 percent — without consuming any more caffeine than normal. On the flip side, it found that with the right dosing schedule, people could reduce their caffeine consumption by up to 65 percent and still achieve peak alertness.
The researchers came to this conclusion by feeding their algorithm into a pre-existing computer model predicting how sleep deprivation, schedule, and caffeine impact alertness during different times of the day.

"We developed algorithms that work together, and they essentially allow us to determine, at the individual level, when and how much the individual should take caffeine to achieve peak performance at the desired time, for the desired duration," said study senior author Jaques Reifman, director of the DoD Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick, Maryland, according to LiveScience.

They'll also be offered online for anyone to use. Reifman's team plans on incorporating the algorithm into an already existing online tool, 2B-Alert. Currently, 2B-Alert predicts alertness based on how much caffine and sleep someone has had. According to LiveScience, researchers hope to add the algorithm to the online tool before the end of the year to help users determine the best time to drink their coffee.

As a real-world example, Reifman told LiveScience that students could use the algorithm to determine the best time to drink coffee so they're "as alert as possible during the exam." 

Until the algorithm is widely available, there are other ways to up your alertness — like with exercise. A study from 2011 revealed that people who worked out for 150 minutes a week slept better and were less groggy during the day.

Express Scripts invests in firm that makes self-serve pharmacy kiosks

Express Scripts made an investment in a Canadian health care tech company, MedAvail, that makes self-service pharmacy kiosks.

The investment was made through Express Scripts’ partnership with Clayton-based Lewis & Clark Ventures, which is led by general partner Tom Hillman. Express Scripts announced in 2015 that it would invest $25 million in a multiyear deal with Lewis & Clark Ventures, and the venture capital firm’s health care fund typically makes investments of between $3 million to $7 million in portfolio companies.

MedAvail, a Toronto-area company, is the developer of self-serve pharmacy kiosks called MedCenters, which dispense chronic, acute and over-the-counter medications under the supervision of licensed pharmacists in under 90 seconds on a 24-hour basis.

“Technology — and a culture shift — allow us the opportunity to evolve and simplify healthcare services to better accommodate our busy schedules, which in turn can lead to better adherence and outcomes,” said Dr. Glen Stettin, chief innovation officer at St. Louis County-based Express Scripts, in a statement. 

“Through our work with MedAvail’s prescription dispensing technology, we are examining how MedCenter, MedAvail’s self-service, pharmacist-supported, kiosk pharmacies can provide patients with safe and cost-effective pharmacy care close to where they live, work or get their medical care.”

A pilot program will begin in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., placing the kiosks in grocery stores, pharmacies and medical clinics. The pilot is expected to be expanded over the next year into new locations in Arizona and Illinois.

Express Scripts, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, is in the process of being acquired by Cigna for $52 billion. Express Scripts will keep its name and continue marketing and branding under the Express Scripts moniker, according to details included in a merger proxy. The combined company’s headquarters will be in Bloomfield, Conn., where Cigna is based.

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