Chronic diseases affect the lives of millions of people around the world. Over 16 million adults in the U.S., for instance, have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammation of the lungs that obstructs airflow. And researchers estimate that 80 percent of people in the U.S. will experience back pain several times in their lives. Making matters worse, the treatments tend to be expensive — in 2010, the total annual cost of

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