Nov 30, 2016

Google timelapses offer a 32-year look at Earth's history

As static as it may seem, Earth is a lively planet that changes almost constantly -- and Google just offered a clever way to see that development with your own eyes. In a partnership with Time, it's introducing a dramatically improved version of Goog...

from Engadget

Nov 7, 2016

Elon Musk: We Need Universal Income Because Robots Will Steal All the Jobs

Spacentrepreneur Elon Musk thinks we’ll eventually need a basic universal income because of “automation.”


from Gizmodo: Top

Oct 4, 2016

Using Twitter as a Data Source for Studying Public Communication about Cardiovascular Health

Person-to-person communication is one of the most persuasive ways people deliver and receive information. Until recently, this communication was impossible to collect and study. Now, social media networks, such as Twitter, allow researchers to systematically witness public communication about health, including cardiovascular disease. Twitter is used by more than 300 million people who have generated several billion Tweets, yet little work has focused on the potential applications of these data for studying public attitudes and behaviors associated with cardiovascular health.

from eHealthNews.EU Portal / All News

Jul 27, 2016

Providers argue true digital health reimagines the patient experience

Those working in digital health should be careful not to mix up technology and innovation, speakers at the mHealth and Telehealth World Congress advised attendees in Boston this week. Technology by itself won’t affect culture change, and technology won’t achieve positive outcomes unless it’s deployed in a smart way that re-imagines care, with an emphasis on ease of use for the patient.

from mobihealthnews

Jul 12, 2016

Patient Monitoring: On the Road of Continuous Transformation

The healthcare industry underlines the need for complete care & not mere simplification of technology

Undoubtedly, ‘Real-Time Monitoring’ of the physical condition of the patients is the latest buzzword doing rounds in the Indian healthcare system. In order to ensure delivery of ‘continuous care’, both wireless and with lesser human intervention, many innovators and service providers are now betting heavily upon the entire idea of portable home-based patient monitoring devices, even for critical care. In the Indian healthcare system, including an ever-growing ageing population, such an approach beyond a reasonable doubt has been unanimously welcomed by all as the right discourse to be followed. However, stakeholders continue to wonder whether such a calculated risk is based on the objective of delivering larger benefits through cost-effective solutions or can be simply considered as a money-minting strategy for short-term gains.

eHEALTH Magazine, as the voice of Indian healthcare system, wanted to investigate whether the deluge of portable home-based patient monitoring devices in the market is merely the result of random thoughts lacking conviction or a goal-oriented innovation to ensure ‘Complete Care’ by monitoring vitals, such as blood pressure, body temperature, heartbeat, etc. With fair players in the fray, patient monitoring devices can definitely enhance the better decision-making capacity. As every game has rules, similarly there is a need to define guidelines and rules for the players in this race to address the needs of patients. The healthcare industry feels that service providers should not splutter away their ideas after registering a windfall.

In order to understand the challenges and benefits of such innovations in the patient monitoring segment, following questions:

  • What is the future of patient monitoring with numerous scalable and portable home- based monitoring devices in the market? Do you think it will enable in meeting the challenges of patient monitoring in terms of clinical efficiency and decision-making?
  • How can patient monitoring can be made more effective and real time to ensure lesser medical errors and delays? Please provide details.

Here are the excerpts:

  • There are many portable home-based monitoring devices in the market, but very few of them are successfully thinking about the complete patient experience. It’s not sufficient anymore to just have a device that can collect vital signs, which has been solved years ago. The future of patient monitoring is the detailed design of the full workflow. Device designers have to consider everything from how the doctors prescribe this technology to how the care plan will be followed by the end patient. Even more difficult is to ensure the right data gets to the right person at the right time. Clinical efficiency and decision-making will come from solving these problems, not simply scattering devices in the hospital and home.
  • Patient monitoring needs to be simplified and better analysed to become more effective. Most sophisticated doctors know that adding today’s monitoring solutions generally means more nursing staff, more information overload and more headaches. Innovative companies need to focus on how more monitoring will reduce the clinical load on doctors and nurses. An effective patient monitoring system will allow doctors to half the time monitoring twice the number of patients. There is no point adding monitoring if no caregiver knows when and how to use the surplus of information.


  • The future looks bright with connected patient monitoring devices and smartphone pairing. Costs are significantly lower than what they used to be. Personally, I do think that better, cheaper devices will help tremendously in addressing the challenge of access and accuracy. In a lot of cases, they will help in giving data where no data existed previously. However, I don’t think it’s enough, especially in the out-of-pocket markets. Clinical efficiency requires better data, better analytics, and timely and accurate decision-making to enable better patient outcomes. To ensure better decision-making, all information to be structured in a comprehensible manner.
  • Patient data today is sporadic & patchy. For it to be efficient and real time, it must be made continuous where possible and more frequent where not. Better patient experience demands artificial intelligence that learns and adapts to users’ habits and behaviour, and triggers actionable messaging like notifications on smartphone apps to achieve the highest probability of patient response. These apps should be comprehensive and engaging. The main driver towards efficient and real-time data is changing the role of the patient. The patient must become an active member in this process. In order to reduce errors, the complete data has to reach the clinician at the right time, with a decision support system and analytics to equip the clinician to take better decisions.


  • The integration of communication technologies into patient care has provided clinicians with a game- changing solution to deliver better care, improve patient safety and enhance clinical outcomes. Portable and scalable patient monitoring equipment plays a major role in meeting the increasing demands of an ageing population, as well as in reducing hospitalisation cost and duration. These portable home-based monitoring devices are readily integrating information management and clinical decision support systems. In the coming future, with the advancement in patient monitoring equipment and integration of wireless and mobile technologies, such as the ability to store a significant amount of information on a mobile device, radio-enabled watches and a grid of body sensors, will facilitate better patient care. This will allow accessibility of critical medical information, such as blood group, allergies, and past and existing medical conditions, to be used in delivering urgent and suitable medical care. Hand-held devices will sense one or more vital signs and transmit alert messages to hospitals, ambulances and healthcare providers for getting urgent care services. In the long-term, affordability, portability and reusability of wireless technologies for patient monitoring and preventive care will also reduce the overall cost of healthcare services. However, due to several limitations, including unpredictable and spotty coverage of users by wireless networks, the quality and reliability of patient monitoring equipment would be a major concern.
  • In my opinion, the most effective way to ensure lesser medical errors or delays can be achieved with continuous upgradation of knowledge of nurses/caregivers about the patient psychological condition, technological updation and learning the efficient manner of data interpretation to enhance clinical decision-making. Providing nurses or caregivers with information about the patient’s physiologic status in a manner that is easy and fast to interpret will be helpful in reducing the time needed to detect any abnormality.

from eHEALTH

Jun 2, 2016

Facebook’s new DeepText AI categorizes everything you write

If Facebook knows what your status update is about, it can show it to people who care about that topic. If it understands the difference between “I just got out of the taxi” and “I need a ride” messages, it can ask if you want an Uber. If it detects that you’re trying to sell something in a status update, it can automatically format post with the price and item details. And if Facebook can determine what kinds of comments on celebrities’ posts are interesting and not just “OH MY GOSH I LOVE YOU”, it can surface ones you’ll actually want to read.

Facebook Deep Text Ride GifThese are the big applications for Facebook’s newest artificial intelligence system called “Deep Text”. 400,000 new stories and 125,000 comments on public posts are shared every minute on Facebook. Deep Text will help Facebook analyze several thousand per second across 20 languages with near-human accuracy.

One of the first obvious applications for Deep Text will start rolling on Messenger. When Deep Text identifies a sentence it thinks means you need a ride, it will suggest you use Messenger transportation integrations with services like Uber and Lyft. Recognizing “I need a ride” is easy, but it should also be able to pick up on things like “Should I call a car?”, “I can pick you up in 20”, or “I’ll get an Uber”.

Facebook Deept Text Analysis

With Deep Text and its other image recognition AIs, Facebook could make huge improvements in how it routes content from authors to viewers. That could give it a leg-up over other social networks like Snapchat or Twitter without the know-how or product design to aggressively filter what people see. If every News Feed post looks interesting, you’ll spend more time on Facebook, you’ll share more text there, Deep Text will get smarter, and the Facebook AI feedback wheel will spin faster and faster.


from TechCrunch

May 21, 2016

Reshaping human health and changing lives through gene editing

Gene editing is going to fundamentally change our lives and how we traditionally think about health throughout the first half of the 21st century.

Gene editing is going to change the way people are treated by curing the roots of diseases instead of merely treating the symptoms. It’s going to change the way we think about what we put into our bodies, as gene editing will put healthier food on our plates without polluting the planet. This food will not only be safe to eat, it will also meet the environmental challenges related to sustainable growth and climate change.

As a result, people will no longer focus on whether or not we should engage in gene editing from an ethical standpoint. The question isn’t “When will gene editing become a significant reality for the majority of the world?” The truth is, this is neither science fiction nor a prediction — gene editing is happening now, as evidenced by the first cancer patient having been treated by TALEN®-based gene-edited T-cells. Additionally, this fall, fields across the United States will harvest TALEN®-based gene-edited soybeans and potatoes. There are even gene-edited pigs and hornless cows that are currently walking around the barnyard.

The landscape in gene editing is anything but clear, but the recent emergence of new gene-editing technologies, with new players in the space, has led to an inevitable ethical debate.

For example, three early clinical-stage startup companies, all based on CRISPR technology, have struck major alliances with big pharma and biotech companies: Editas Medicine (Juno Therapeutics), CRISPR Therapeutics (Vertex and Celgene) and Intellia Therapeutics (Novartis).

While these alliances are important, the long-term successes of these companies depend upon their ability to deliver on their promises. Turning CRISPR innovations into approved and effective drugs is a core focus, and it will still take years of more hard work before an effective, approved drug will result from these efforts — if at all.

Additionally, Sangamo BioSciences and Precision BioSciences are two other well-established companies that operate in the gene-editing space. Precision Bio, which has so far used its ARCUS gene-editing technology to advance the research efforts of its biotechnology partners, is now aiming to use its technology to develop its own products.

Sangamo is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is researching ways to commercialize Zinc finger nucleases, which modify a cell’s DNA at a location, thereby correcting or disrupting a specific gene. Its lead therapy, SB-728, is a potential functional cure for HIV/AIDS, and recent published data further support the company’s ongoing progress, which has been described as a major step toward immunological functional control of HIV.

All of this brings us to the subsequent ethical debate, which centers on the potential threat of gene editing, specifically gene-edited humans.

The fear of gene editing — and the concerns around what people could do through gene editing — isn’t based on any kind of rational fact.

It’s important to remember that animal transgenesis took place more than 35 years ago through a process that was immediately transposable to humans, and this has not led to any wave of transgenic humans. The same goes for the ability to knock out genes in human embryonic stem cells, cloning humans after Dolly the Sheep technology or using human iPS cells to create new clones. The fear of gene editing — and the concerns around what people could do through gene editing — isn’t based on any kind of rational fact.

People often ask: “What is gene editing? Should I be concerned about this. What happens if ill-intentioned people get their hands on this technology?”

The answer is complicated. Technologies such as cell phones and social media have fundamentally changed global society. For the vast majority, these changes have been for the good, even if bad people misuse them.

Gene editing is similar to this; it is a fundamental change in the way we look at the basic building blocks of life. It provides us with the ability to rethink how we treat diseases, how we grow our food and how we think about ourselves as humans.

The ultimate act of civilization was initially thought of as growing plants and breeding animals, hence genetic selection and cloning. Cloning, or selecting the best breeds, was initially done to improve survival. Since then, humans continued to perfect this technology.

With a population that’s close to reaching more than 9 billion humans on the planet, much of our survival may depend on the strength of gene editing. Furthermore, who cares today if a person is the result of in vitro fertilization? Do you remember the debate on this in the 1970s? This is no longer a debate.

2015 was a pivotal year, and gene editing is now transforming our lives in very real ways. The first leukemic patient — who could not be saved by any other therapy — was injected with a gene-edited CAR T-cell product candidate at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in the United Kingdom. She was the first patient helped by gene editing.

According to experts at the European Medicine Agency, this is the most complex product they have ever seen. It is the result of very sophisticated reprogramming of T-cells — adding some genes while suppressing others — to convert T-cells into a powerful cancer-killing machine.

This product can be produced by the thousands, stored long-term, provided to hospitals around the world and given to any patient who is in medical need. Today, this may be complex to produce, but it is simple to administer to patients. Tomorrow, it has the potential to become a standard in medicine.

2015 was an equally positive year for commercial agriculture, as gene-edited harvests across the United States were abundant, making it conceivable for gene-edited potatoes and soybeans to make it to consumer plates within two years. For the previous 50 years, the focus of plant breeding was increasing yield that resulted in greater productivity but included increased use of herbicides and pesticides. Until recently, the health of consumers was not a focus, resulting in a negative impact of mass agriculture and the rise of organic agriculture.

Today, organic agriculture represents less that 10 percent of current U.S. production. Nevertheless, with a growing population and an ever-diminishing cultivation space (not speaking about global warming, sustainability or equitable growth), a strong demand for healthier products and respect of nature is a paradox that can be solved either by economic shrinkage or technology. This upcoming harvest is the first step to finding an answer to this margin squeeze, and sets the stage for a new route to human expansion and sustainable development.

Again, it is not a question of if or when gene editing will happen; rather, it’s whether or not we would like to be the first to make it happen. As President Obama stated in his most recent State of the Union address: “Let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.” This came one day after the launch of the Cancer MoonShot 2020 effort, led by big pharma and biotech companies. But we don’t have to wait until 2020 to administer a treatment that eliminates cancer cells. We are well on our way with gene editing.

Featured Image: Bryce Durbin

from TechCrunch

May 7, 2016

Your Next Phone Might Have a Holographic Glasses-Free 3D Display

Holograms are still mostly science-fiction fodder, but researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab have developed a prototype smartphone that uses holographic technology to display dynamic 3D images without the need for head tracking or annoying glasses.


from Gizmodo

May 6, 2016

The Best Data Visualizations of the Year Are Absolutely Incredible

The winners of the inaugural Data Stories Competition, which highlights some of the most creative and fascinating scientific data visualizations of the past year, have just been announced.


from Gizmodo

May 3, 2016

Did Pharma Really Spend $3 Billion on Internet Advertising in 2015?

According to FiercePharma Marketing, "Digital ad spending last year was just shy of $60 billion, with pharma accounting for about $3 billion of that, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual ad revenue report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers" (read "Mobile Ad Spending Up, But Pharma's Share Remains Small"). Here's the data from IAB/PWC from which this conclusion was drawn:

Click on image for an enlarged view.

Without looking at the devil in the details, you might be impressed by that number considering that according to Kantar Media, pharma industry spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising (excluding Internet DTC spending) totaled $5.4 billion in 2015 (read "Annual Spending on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising Ties an All-Time High"). That would mean that pharma spent a total of $8.4 billion in 2015 and 36% of that was devoted to digital/Internet.

But the devil in the details puts the kibosh on that conclusion.

Read more »

from Pharma Marketing Blog

Apr 16, 2016

We should be worried about job atomization, not job automation

atomization In the future, machines will do tedious, repetitive work for us, and do more of it than humans ever could, simultaneously increasing economic output and liberating humans everywhere from drudgery. We all know what that means: Disaster! Dystopia! Catastrophe! Everybody panic, the robots are stealing our jobs! We’re dooooooomed! Read More

from TechCrunch

Apr 8, 2016

Emergency room doctors used a patient's FitBit to determine how to save his life

The same Fitbit model reported to have saved a man's life in the emergency room. [photo:]

Many of us wear fitness trackers to motivate ourselves to be more active. But after a 42-year-old man in New Jersey had a seizure at work, some very smart emergency room doctors used data they saw on his Fitbit Charge HR to decide on the best way to treat him. They decided to reset his heart rate with electrical cardioversion. His Fitbit may have saved his life.


from Boing Boing

Mar 28, 2016

Open Source Version of Studio Ghibli’s Animation Software Is Now Officially Ready to Download

FYI: Early last week, Colin Marshall gave you a heads up that Studio Ghibli, the animation studio behind Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away, was preparing to release an open source version of the animation software used to create its films. This weekend, the software–called OpenToonz–officially became available for download. And we can now tell you where to […]

Open Source Version of Studio Ghibli’s Animation Software Is Now Officially Ready to Download is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

from Open Culture

Jan 3, 2016

Top 10 TED Talks That Could Change Your Life

Top 10 TED Talks That Could Change Your Life

There’s no time like the present to grow or refine ourselves a little bit more, and few resources are as helpful as TED talks. In that vein, here are the top 10 TED talks we’ve featured on Lifehacker or that have been popular on TED.

The summaries for all of the videos below are just quick introductions to the subject. They can’t really do these speakers’ talks justice, so hopefully you’ll have about 20 minutes to spare for each video (or come back to watch the rest later).

10. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Change your posture, change your life. Amy Cuddy explains how even faking powerful body language can reduce stress and make you more confident. Adopting a power pose is such a small thing but could make all the difference when you’re in a high-stress situation like a job interview or negotiating a raise.

9. The Power of Vulnerability

We all feel vulnerable and fearful of uncertainty at times, but these situations can be powerful paths to growth. Dr. Brene Brown’s research on human connection finds that happier people tend to accept the unknown and also that being vulnerable made them feel better and beautiful.

8. The Mathematics of Love

Still looking for that special someone? Mathematician Hannah Fry dishes up several math-based tips to find the perfect partner, including not using the perfect online dating photo.

7. Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid

Psychologist Guy Winch argues in his TED talk that too many of us don’t care for our emotional and mental health with the same diligence that we take care of our bodies (and things like brushing our teeth). Loneliness, guilt, and other psychological “injuries” could be even more dangerous than physical traumas. Try to think of emotional wounds as you would physical ones.

6. I Am the Son of a Terrorist. Here’s How I Chose Peace.

“It takes a lot of energy to hold hate inside you.” That’s the message from Zak Ebrahim’s moving TED talk, his story of choosing a different path than the violence and bigotry he was raised in. Though his story is about a very specific subject of terrorism and bullying, Ebrahim shares a few important lessons: You can use your experience to develop better empathy, actually getting to know people of different walks of life will expand your own life, and whatever your environment or family’s ideology, you are not them.

5. How to Speak So That People Want to Listen

Everybody wants to be heard when they speak—not just heard, but listened to. Part of it is we could all use to become better listeners, but another part of it is changing how we communicate with others. Sound consultant Julian Treasure offers the HAIL method of talking to others so they’ll trust what you say and pay attention: Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love.

4. How to Make Hard Choices

You can’t go through life without making difficult decisions. Philosopher Ruth Change helps us make life-changing decisions by looking within yourself—it’s an opportunity to decide who you want to be.

3. Why We Do What We Do

What motivates you and makes you do the things that you do? What drives you today? Tony Robbins says that “emotions are the invisible force of internal drive.” We all have great minds and think intellectually, but it’s our emotions that makes the difference in the quality of our lives. Fulfillment, Robbins says, is an art and it’s all about appreciation and contribution. (Watch it at least 5:30-5:40 for the Al Gore high-five.)

2. You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here’s How

Who doesn’t want more active brain cells? Neurocscientist Sanrine Thuret points out three things you can do to grow new brain cells through neurogenesis: Learning, sex, and running. Sounds good to us.

1. My Stroke of Insight

Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor’s description of how the brain works and her experience after having a massive stroke is one of the most emotional TED talks you could watch. It’s about self-awareness, a near-death experience, and, most importantly, that we are all energy beings connected to the energy all around us—including each other. Whether or not you appreciate the spiritual undertones, Dr. Taylor’s note that “we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world” is powerful advice.

from Lifehacker