viernes, 31 de agosto de 2012

Bluetooth publishes standards for running, cycling sensors

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 30, 2012    

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Bluetooth SmartThis week the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which is responsible for developing technical standards for the short-range wireless technology and evangelizing its adoption, announced the finalized standards for Bluetooth Smart sensors that measure speed and cadence for running and cycling. The standards are for devices that use the Bluetooth 4.0 low energy standard branded as Bluetooth Smart.
According to Bluetooth SIG, Bluetooth technology is already enjoying “significant momentum” in the sports and fitness market where Nike+ FuelBand, Polar heart rate monitors, and other popular devices have already adopted it as a means for connecting fitness data back to other Bluetooth-enabled devices like smartphones, smart watches, or cycling computers.
The Bluetooth SIG expects these new standards to accelerate the development of wireless-enabled fitness devices. According to ABI Research, shipments of Bluetooth-enabled sports and fitness devices will grow ten-fold between 2011 and 2016, to total 278 million. ABI sees that momentum being driven by a trend away from proprietary connectivity technologies and toward Bluetooth Smart.
As MobiHealthNews reported late last year, CardioMapper claimed to be the very first iPhone app to leverage Bluetooth Smart in December. The app works with Bluetooth Smart-enabled heart rate monitors to continuously stream heart rate data to a user’s iPhone.
While they won’t likely make use of the two standards finalized this week, IMS Research predicts a bright future for medical devices that leverage Bluetooth Smart, too. According to a report announced in June, IMS predicts that 4.7 million Bluetooth Smart-enabled consumer medical devices will ship in 2016 and some 10.3 million will ship between now and then.
“Intel sees the approval of the Running and Cycling Speed and Cadence specifications as an important milestone in the transition of low-power wireless fitness sensors from proprietary to a standards-based solution using Bluetooth 4.0,” Eric Dishman, fellow and general manager of health strategy and solutions at Intel stated in the Bluetooth SIG announcement. ”Intel is proud to have played a part in this effort, which we believe will improve the experience and benefits of using fitness devices equipped with these important health- and fitness-sensing capabilities.”

jueves, 30 de agosto de 2012

Oxitone launches crowdfunding campaign for innovative wrist-worn pulse oximeter

Post image for Oxitone launches crowdfunding campaign for innovative wrist-worn pulse oximeter Tel Aviv-based Oxitone has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its wrist-worn pulse oximeter, which could put an end to the traditional bulky and obtrusive ”crocodile clip” monitor.
The company is seeking $50,000 for its “Flexible Funding Campaign”, which means the company receives all the funds committed regardless of whether they reach their fundraising goal.
The pulse oximetry and heart rate information is displayed on a device screen in real time. A Bluetooth-connected smartphone/PC application obtains, analyzes the information and alerts the treating physician or medical call center in emergency situations.

The company’s OxiWear technology exploits coherent light speckle technology to produce a signal from the pulsatile blood flow. By integrating the company’s novel blood flow sensor with conventional photoplethysmography, Oxitone has developed a  method of optical signal acquisition and processing that is resistant to motion artifacts.

The smartphone/PC dashboard application unwinds the patient daily health profile, which is being continuously uploaded to a cloud. The information can also be securely shared by the patient with the family or community members, offering the patients and caregivers peace of mind.
Founded in 2010 by Leon Eisen as an “incubator startup”, Oxitone has successfully completed a proof of concept in a clinical setting.
In addition to eliminating the obtrusive and annoying “crocodile clip” which most pulse oximeters on the market utilize, Oxitone also offers a cloud-based patient record service and automated physician alerts when data captured indicates a problem with the user’s vitals.

Estimates on the total size of the pulse oximetry market range from $200 million to $1 billion with an approximate 6-11 percent compound annual growth rate. Target customers for a device like Oxitone’s are the 5000 sleep labs, 16,100 nursing homes and approximately 30 million patients in the US and EU suffering from sleep disorders, pulmonary diseases and congestive heart failures.
Oxitone has a patent pending for its photoplethysmography device which describes in considerable technical detail how they use light absorption rates to determine oxygen saturation in a subject.
Check out the video below to see a brief demo of the Oxitone technology and contribute to the Oxitone campaign on IndieGoGo.
Below the video you can see what your contribution will earn you.
$25 “Innovator”
Innovator-backer will receive an awesome Oxitone beverage mug with the Oxitone logotype and personal thank-you e-mail.
$50 “Enthusiast”
Enthusiast-backers will become the proud owner of our Special Edition Oxitone T-shirt, a garment that will inspire you to become an Oxitone watch advocate. Also, you will receive Oxitone Enthusiast Card which will allow purchasing Oxitone watch with the discount of 25%. Please, add minimum $5 to cover additional postage and handling.
$100 “Passionate Backer”
Passionate backers will find their name in a list of VIP Oxitone watch advocates, will become a proud owner of our Special Edition Oxitone T-shirt. Also, you will receive Oxitone Enthusiast Card which will allow purchasing Oxitone watch with the discount of 50%. Please, add minimum $5 to cover additional postage and handling.
$200 “Early Bird”
Early Birds backers help us to prove that people actually interested in our wrist-worn health monitor. You are pre-ordering Oxitone watch which will retail for $249. Also, you will receive Oxitone Early Bird Card with the 25% discount for all our services and our Special Edition Oxitone T-shirt.
$400 “Early Bird Platinum”
You are pre-ordering two Oxitone watches which will retail for $249 plus participation in beta-device validation program and free Oxitone server space to daily health records for one year. Plus Special Edition Oxitone T-shirt.
$1,000 “Hero Backer”
You are our hero! All of the above, plus five Oxitone watches and five places in beta-device validation program. Also, free Oxitone server space for daily health records for life. Plus Special Edition Oxitone T-shirt.

miércoles, 29 de agosto de 2012

Seven Themes for the Coming Decade

James Lee's picture
Understanding long-term trends is an important tool in identifying opportunities and risks.  STEEP analysis looks at the world through five different perspectives – Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political. 
The following are the major themes that are presently shaping the future...
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1)  Go East!  
The economic center of the map is shifting once again – this time toward the East.
A report by the McKinsey Global Institute says that in 1,000 A.D., the economic center of the map was in central Asia, just west of China.  At the turn of the last century, it shifted to northern Europe, due to the influence of the industrial revolution.   By 1950, it had reached its westernmost point.  This was a reflection of America’s dominance in manufacturing and agriculture.
In the past decade, the world’s economic center has shifted to northern Russia.  By 2025, it may return to central Asia – just north of where it was a thousand years ago.
Economic center of gravity.png
From Urban World: Cities and the Rise of the Consuming Class. (Calculated by weighting national GDP by each nation’s geographic center of gravity.)
Implications:   The fastest-growing sources of demand for consumer products are now outside of the U.S.   Look for opportunities in both the Asian and Latin American markets.   Similarly, as these countries increase in relative affluence, changing dietary preferences and energy needs may put inflationary pressures on commodity prices.
2) Urbanize
Every week throughout the world, 1.3 million people are leaving subsistence farming to become urban dwellers.    China’s rate of urbanization is occurring ten times more quickly than it did in the U.K. a century ago.  The country is now creating megacities (pop. 10 million+) at of rate of one per year.
Urbanization is an important trend for sustainability because it partially defuses the population bomb.  For agricultural societies, there is plenty of room, and children are helpful assets – this is simply not the case for urban areas.   The birthrate of new urban dwellers quickly drops to replacement levels (2.1 children per household) and sometimes continues to decline.   Higher levels of urbanization typically result in improved levels of education and literacy – also a major factor in reducing family size.
There is a significant inverse relationship between population density and transportation-related resource consumption.  This mitigates some of the pressures of global resource consumption and may offset some of the demands of rising affluence.
Population models suggest that the global population will level off at 8.1 billion by 2040.   By mid-century, 80% of the world’s population will be urban, mostly in the developing world.
Implications:  In the near-term there are significant demands for infrastructure-building materials (copper, cement, steel).  As the urbanization trend matures, look for a demand shift toward consumer goods, education, and other services.
3) Good to the Last Drop
Over the coming decade, there may be increased scarcity of basic commodities resulting from resource depletion and increasingly volatile weather patterns.  Growing affluent populations in emerging countries will add further pricing pressure on commodity prices.
Forty countries currently face food shortages.  The UN estimates that more than 30% of fish stocks have collapsed entirely.  Corn prices have surged based on drought conditions throughout the U.S. and political turmoil in the Middle East has caused episodic spikes in cotton prices.
While 41% of the global population is experience some form of water stress (i.e., lack of clean water and adequate sanitation), population growth forecasts estimate that another three billion people will need water access by 2050.
It appears that worldwide oil production has plateaued.  Since 2004, prices have more than doubled, yet global production has only increased by 4%.  Oil production has already peaked in 54 out of the 65 largest oil-producing countries, including the United States.  The world is not running out of oil, just cheap oil.
Implications:  While productivity during the industrial era aimed at producing more goods with less labor, the future of productivity will focus on total output per unit of physical resources.  One result of this may be an increase in systems and lifecycle design thinking.
4) Digitize Me
We are seeing a shift away from mass consumption towards mass communication.  Whatever can become digital will become digitized.   The contents of entire rooms (libraries, offices, etc.) have been condensed into a footprint the size of a single laptop.
Expect major changes in the consumption patterns of today’s youth – particularly in America and Europe.  Younger generations are becoming less interested in accumulating debt for the purchase of cars and housing.  Renting and sharing are becoming more common arrangements for large physical assets.   Economics is becoming less about ownership and more about access.
Implications:  A growing portion of product value will come from informational content (design) rather than material content.
One possible outcome of this trend may be a more mobile, dynamic, and flexible culture.   Digitization also makes it possible to sustain economic growth within the context of increasingly limited physical resources.
5) Smarter, Faster, Stronger
The rate of technological development is accelerating throughout the world.  Humanity, as a whole, is more connected, educated, and healthier than ever – and this will lead to sustained innovation.
Several technologies worth watching:
  • 3D Printing:  Additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, 3D scanning and design software will create a new industrial revolution.  Look for some basic types of manufacturing to came back to the U.S.  Supply chains for physical goods will become shortened and factory production will become democratized.  We experience a renaissance in product design as a result.
  • Graphene: The discoverers of this carbon-based wonder material received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.  By volume, graphene is six times lighter, two times harder, and ten times stronger than steel.   Graphene is also super-conducive, self-cooling, anti-bacterial, anti-corrosive.  While costs are currently quite high, this material may revolutionize multiple industries -- including surface coatings, electronics, transportation, healthcare, and energy.
  • Robotics:  Robotics will continue to displace human works in manufacturing and agriculture.  The recent acquisition of Kiva Systems by Amazon has brought robotics into the logistics business.  Drones are now deployed by all three major branches of the U.S. military.  While robotics have been used as an alternative sources of physical labor, artificial intelligence agents will gradually replace white-collar professionals in areas such as customer service.  We may also see fully autonomous vehicles in mass-production by 2025.
  • Energy Storage:  Improvements in electric batteries and fuel cells will make energy storage devices more powerful and portable.  Localized generation of power using natural gas will also minimize the distance that electricity needs to travel through the grid  – resulting in reduced power losses during transmission.  By combining these advances with improvements in superconductive materials and the proliferation of smart-grids, we will get even better at energy distribution and efficiency.   
  • Polymer Electronics:  Cheap, ubiquitous, printable devices will increase in number and become more communicative, effectively creating an internet of things.  OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) will be a key technology – first for electronics requiring energy-efficient displays (cell phones, laptops), and eventually making their way towards larger applications (interior lighting, television, smart walls).
6) Stuck in Neutral
Persistently high levels of government debt will result in low levels of real economic growth, for at least the next five years.    The U.S. has recently exceeded a 100% debt-to-GDP level, suggesting that we may eventually face some difficult policy choices.
There are two potential paths – austerity and inflation.  One involves sharply lowering government spending and raising taxes.  This increases the risk of creating a domino-reaction of defaults.  The other alternative devalues the debt and while debasing the currency.
Our government’s short-term response has been to keep interest rates artificially low and add to the existing debt burden.   In essence, it gives us time to consider the options.
Implications:  Political gridlock has kept the difficult questions from being asked.  A lack of clarity regarding future government policies has created an environment of economic uncertainty and doubt.  The looming risk of collapse in some industrialized nations may open the doors for radical elements.  One potential response to this threat would be the pre-emptive increase in government authority.
7) Gray Boom
The Institute on Aging reports that there are 17 million American between the ages of seventy-five and eighty-five.  That figure is expected to double by 2050.  Half of all Americans born today will eventually celebrate their 100th birthday.
The industrialized northern countries will continue to grow slowly with mature, aging populations.  Meanwhile, the southern hemisphere will remain  comparatively youthful and experience rapid economic growth.
Implications:  In the U.S. and Europe, people are extending every phase of their life cycle.   Young men are spending more time in adolescence and are now waiting until their late 20’s and early 30’s before getting married and starting families.  Children are living at home longer before moving out, and adults are delaying retirement.
We expect a rise in second careers and a shift toward part-time employment and small business.  The “career ladder” has been replaced by a “patchwork quilt” of work opportunities.
Here we examine how some of these trends interact to create secondary trends.  These tend to be slightly more specific, yet speculative in nature.
Digitize Me + Good to the Last Drop + Stuck in Neutral = Glocalism
The information economy becomes increasingly global while the physical economy becomes more local.
Digitize Me + Good to the Last Drop + Urbanize  = Less is More
Look for a scaling back of consumption patterns, including slightly smaller homes.  Cities will grow in popularity, as they allow for a greater interaction between people and opportunities.
Digitize Me + Stuck in Neutral =  Electronic Schoolhouses
Government budget cuts and rising education costs will make online education an imperative.
Digitize Me + Less is More = Sharing Economy
Less ownership, more access.
Gray Boom + Stuck in Neutral = Retooling
Slow economic growth combined with great longevity suggests that people will be working for far longer than originally anticipated.
Gray Boom + Go East = Medical Tourism
Sharply rising medical costs in the U.S. will trigger a boom in medical tourism, in particular for anti-ageing treatments and elective surgery. 
Gray Boom + Era of Uncertainty + Go East! + Digitize Me = Telemedicine
Although doctor office visits will never disappear, telemedicine may become increasingly common over the next few decades.  Also, there may be a sharp rise in home-heal monitoring as a temporary alternative to assisted living communities.
Gray Boom + Smarter, Faster, Stronger = A Better You
Innovations in medicine will not only offer cures for some diseases but also reverse some of the signs of aging.  An improved understanding of epigenetics will allow for pre-emptive healthcare interventions. When all else fails, bio-printing of replacement organs from the patient’s own cells will solve compatibility issues for transplants (but not until the 2020’s at the earliest).
Era of Uncertainty + Digitize Me = Homeland Insecurity
“Big Data” projects are rapidly being deployed by the government to monitor civilian activities.  Knowledge is power, and power means control.  Predictive analytics will lead to the ability to not only anticipate terrorist and criminal activity, but also identify protestors and dissenters.
Stuck in Neutral + Good to Last Drop = Homesteading
In some parts of the U.S., look for the American dream to shift away from the concept of affluence to resilience and self-sufficiency
Smarter, Faster, Stronger + Homesteading = Prosumers
Prosumers are productive consumers – endlessly creating, modifying, and building new products.  This occurs from both economic necessity and intellectual curiosity.
Smarter, Faster, Stronger + Urbanization + Sharing Economy = Transportation on Demand
Self-driving vehicles will enter into public usage sometime around the mid 2020’s, extending the usefulness of the existing highway infrastructure.  It will also allow greater worker productivity and mobility for young people.
Smarter, Faster, Stronger + Good to the Last Drop = Smart Grids
We are going to be monitoring energy consumption and delivery far more closely, leading to higher levels of efficiency and distribution./strong/strong

miércoles, 22 de agosto de 2012

Club Gertech (beta): Kaiser Permanente shares their vision of the future of Healthcare at NASA mHealth conference

Club Gertech (beta): Kaiser Permanente shares their vision of the future of Healthcare at NASA mHealth conference

Coming Next: Using an App as Prescribed

Steve Ruark for The New York Times
Anand K. Iyer, president of WellDoc, which is marketing the DiabetesManager app.

Before long, your doctor may be telling you to download two apps and call her in the morning.
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Lee Perlman, left, and Benjamin Chodor of Happtique, developer of a medical app that can facilitate the writing of prescriptions.
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
The Happtique medical app.
Smartphone apps already fill the roles of television remotes, bike speedometers and flashlights. Soon they may also act as medical devices, helping patients monitor their heart rate or manage their diabetes, and be paid for by insurance.
The idea of medically prescribed apps excites some people in the health care industry, who see them as a starting point for even more sophisticated applications that might otherwise never be built. But first, a range of issues — around vetting, paying for and monitoring the proper use of such apps — needs to be worked out.
“It is intuitive to people, the idea of a prescription,” said Lee H. Perlman, managing director of Happtique, a subsidiary of the business arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association. Happtique is creating a system to allow doctors to prescribe apps, and Mr. Perlman suggested that a change in the way people think about medicine might be required: “We’re basically saying that pills can also be information, that pills can also be connectivity.”
Simple apps that track users’ personal fitness goals have already gained wide traction. Now medical professionals and entrepreneurs want to use similar approaches to dealing with chronic ailments like diabetes or heart disease.
If smartphone-based systems can reduce the amount of other medical care that patients need, the potential benefit to the health care system would be enormous; the total cost of treating diabetes alone in 2007 was $174 billion, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But unlike a 99-cent game, apps dealing directly with medical care cannot be introduced to the public with bugs that will be fixed later. The industry is still grappling with how to ensure quality and safety.
One of the pioneers in the prescription-app field is a company called WellDoc. Its DiabetesManager system, which patients can use through a smartphone app, standard cellphone or desktop computer, collects information about a patient’s diet, blood sugar levels and medication regimen. Patients can enter this data manually or link their devices wirelessly with glucose monitors.
DiabetesManager then gives advice to a patient, perhaps suggesting the best food after recording a low midday blood-sugar reading. It also uses an algorithm to analyze the medical data and send clinical recommendations to the doctor.
WellDoc says that in a clinical trial, DiabetesManager was shown to reduce significantly the blood sugar levels in diabetes patients.
Those results persuaded the Food and Drug Administration to give the system clearance to operate as a medical device. At over $100 a month, the cost is more akin to diabetes drugs than to most smartphone apps. But two insurance companies have already agreed to pay the bill for patients whose doctors ask them to use the system when it is available early next year, said Anand K. Iyer, the company’s president. He declined to name the companies.
When Mr. Iyer began planning an app for WellDoc, he had something simple in mind. But as the company pursued it he realized that it would have to build something much more ambitious, in a process that ended up taking years and millions of dollars in investment.
“As I learned more and more about the health care system, I realized that the way to monetize this wasn’t as a 5-cent app in the app store, but as a high-value system,” he said. “It wasn’t going to be a quick ride.”
The app is one of fewer than 10 to date that has gained clearance from the F.D.A.
Sailesh Chutani, the co-founder of MobiSante, which created a smartphone-based ultrasound system, said that his company initially considered marketing it as a veterinary tool, or selling it only overseas, to avoid an expensive vetting process. But the company chose to ask to be regulated, in part because it made it easier to attract investment. Last year the F.D.A. approved the system, which includes an app and an ultrasound device that connects to the phone.
“Suddenly you’re sending a market signal that you have been vetted and cleared by the toughest regulatory agency in the world,” Mr. Chutani said.
It is still not completely clear how far regulation over medical apps will extend. The F.D.A. plans to release guidelines later this year outlining its approach to apps, while other agencies will be in charge of privacy and data security.
Continua Health Alliance, an industry group, is also working on standards so that medical apps collect data in compatible formats, allowing patients to move their data from one app to another. There are also questions of what happens when a prescribable app is available only on certain types of phones.
At the same time, many apps being marketed as medical tools are being designed to skirt federal regulation, in part by piling on the disclaimers. Still, there is wide acknowledgment that many apps violate current regulations by making dubious or untested medical claims. The F.D.A. has shied away from going after such apps until its guidelines are in place. The agency, which does not want to choke innovation, will regulate only applications that act as medical devices by making clinical or diagnostic decisions, said Bakul Patel, an F.D.A. policy adviser.
Mr. Perlman of Happtique says he believes that doctors will soon prescribe both clinically tested apps and more modest apps, like those that track physical activity or remind patients to take their pills. The company has established its own set of guidelines to determine the quality of health care-related apps, and helps doctors integrate them into their medical practice.
The company evaluates apps in several areas — diabetes, cardiology, rheumatoid arthritis and physical therapy — and allows doctors to prescribe apps to their patients from selected lists. It monitors whether the patient has downloaded the app, and can send automated reminders to those who have not done so. The company is opening its system to doctors this week.
Skeptics, including John Moore, a physician at the M.I.T. Media Lab’s new media medicine project, say that Happtique is ahead of its time, since there are relatively few apps that are worth prescribing.
“Making a clearinghouse for apps today is a tough job because you’re just filtering through a lot of stuff that doesn’t do much,” said Dr. Moore. “But as a long-term vision, it’s an interesting idea.”
But the company says that it is setting up a framework so that it can persuade insurance companies to pay for apps that doctors recommend. It is also lobbying federal regulators to allow patients to use flexible spending accounts to buy prescribed apps through its system.
“This is the transition from something that is superficial to serious health care delivery,” Mr. Perlman said. “The health care system is going to need somebody to help organize this.”

lunes, 20 de agosto de 2012

Una app avisa de una emergencia próxima a la ubicación del usuario


JWT Singapore ha desarrollado una app que permite registrarse a cualquier usuario y a profesionales de la salud, de forma que cuando alguien tiene una emergencia, el usuario sólo que tiene que pulsar sobre el icono de la aplicación y, mediante tecnología GPS, todos los profesionales de la salud y el resto de usuarios registrados al sistema que se encuentren cerca del lugar de la emergencia, recibirán un aviso para poder atenderla.
Si quieres acceder a la aplicación, haz clic aquí.


Club Gertech (beta): THE COST PROBLEM

Club Gertech (beta): THE COST PROBLEM

Tecnología y reflexión crítica

Las actuales herramientas tecnológicas mejoran la vida, pero pueden crear un pensamiento espasmódico y fragmentado

SI no es fácil pensar el impacto que tiene el avance de la tecnología en la vida contemporánea es porque carecemos de perspectiva para pensar los fenómenos en tiempo real, es decir, en el momento mismo en que están ocurriendo.
Podría afirmarse, sin embargo, que como Jano, el mitológico dios romano de dos caras, el impacto que genera la tecnología en la vida contemporánea tiene aspectos positivos y negativos, y trae mejoras inmensas para la vida de las personas, así como riesgos potenciales, que no deben ser olvidados. Una actitud equilibrada frente a la tecnología supone apreciar lo que nos ofrece y estimular su avance, a la vez que permanecer alertas frente a sus efectos indeseados.
La tecnología ha mejorado nuestra vida en casi todos los órdenes, en particular en la medicina, en el comercio, en la industria, así como en numerosos campos de la actividad humana.
En forma complementaria, hay que recordar, como señala el pensador francés Paul Virilio, que inventar un objeto técnico significa inventar su propio accidente. El tren inventa la catástrofe ferroviaria, la electricidad da lugar a la electrocución, la energía atómica produce la bomba atómica.
Desde esta óptica, pueden analizarse algunas de las tecnologías que dominan la escena contemporánea, como es el caso, por ejemplo, de Internet y de las redes sociales. En efecto, éstas han permitido extender hasta límites inimaginables la capacidad para ponerse en contacto con los demás, han facilitado la vida de relación, y han permitido, como en el caso de Facebook, conectarse con gente a la distancia de una manera nunca vista antes.
También han permitido participar de espacios de afinidad, compartir intereses y definir grupos de pertenencia. En el caso de Twitter, a su vez, nos mantiene también conectados con gente a la que no tendríamos acceso de otro modo, nos permite generar nuevos vínculos e interactuar con la comunidad, independientemente del lugar en el que estemos. Esta herramienta ha posibilitado, a la vez, a los pueblos defenderse de los regímenes autoritarios y organizar su resistencia de manera efectiva.
Pero lo que hay que tener en cuenta es que la tecnología, más allá de ser un extraordinario instrumento, tiene también el poder de modelar subrepticiamente al hombre que la usa. En efecto, también estas tecnologías están comenzando a afectar la manera como pensamos. Y con ello puede estar cambiando de a poco la forma de ser del hombre frente al mundo.
La generación que ha crecido en estado de inmersión en Internet muestra, como efecto indeseado, un pensamiento de tipo espasmódico y una atención excesivamente fragmentada, que va minando la capacidad de las personas y, en particular, de los jóvenes, para concentrarse en una actividad que requiera un esfuerzo sostenido, sea una lectura larga o un análisis profundo de un texto. Porque aquellos formatos tecnológicos generan un acostumbramiento del cerebro a ser nutrido por pequeños fragmentos de comunicación y por el estilo multitarea, cosa que, adicionalmente, puede tornarse adictiva. Y las redes pueden convertirse en grandes consumidores del tiempo de los más jóvenes.
En la época que nos toca vivir es necesario no confundir la conectividad con la compañía, ya que nada reemplaza los vínculos directos con las personas. Y es necesario mantener la lucidez que nos permita siempre distinguir la información del conocimiento, y a su vez, el conocimiento de la sabiduría.
No sólo en los casos mencionados, sino en general el impacto de la tecnología es paradojal. Depende del uso que le demos, aprovecharemos todo lo bueno que trae, minimizando sus riesgos. Para ello es necesario mantener alerta el pensamiento, que es lo que tiende a permanecer rezagado frente al avance técnico, para que la tecnología siga siendo una herramienta de la cual nos sirvamos, y que no se convierta imperceptiblemente en una forma de deshumanización.
No es cuestión de mostrarse acríticamente favorables a la tecnología ni tampoco de convertirnos en críticos infundados de ella. Es necesario incorporar lo que nos traen los nuevos tiempos, acompañados siempre de una reflexión crítica..

Undergraduates’ Cellphone Screening Device for Anemia Wins $250,000 Prize

July 24, 2012
Media Contact: Phil Sneiderman
Office: (443) 287-9960; Cell: 410-299-7462
Could a low-cost screening device connected to a cellphone save thousands of women and children from anemia-related deaths and disabilities?
This conceptual image illustrates how the HemoGlobe anemia screening device would connect with a health worker’s cellphone.
That’s the goal of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates who say they’ve developed a noninvasive way to identify women with this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations. The device, HemoGlobe, is designed to convert the existing cellphones of health workers into a “prick-free” system for detecting and reporting anemia at the community level.
The device’s sensor, placed on a patient’s fingertip, shines different wavelengths of light through the skin to measure the hemoglobin level in the blood. On their phone’s screen, community health workers will quickly see a color-coded test result, indicating cases of anemia, from mild to moderate and severe.
If anemia is detected, women would be encouraged to follow a course of treatment, ranging from taking iron supplements to visiting a clinic or hospital for potentially lifesaving measures. After each test, the phone would send an automated text message with a summary of the results to a central server, which would produce a real-time map showing where anemia is prevalent. This information could facilitate follow-up care and help health officials to allocate resources where the need is most urgent.
Soumyadipta Acharya, an assistant research professor in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Biomedical Engineering and the project’s faculty advisor and principal investigator, said the device could be an important step in reducing anemia-related deaths in developing countries. International health experts estimate that anemia contributes to 100,000 maternal deaths and 600,000 newborn deaths annually.
“This device has the potential to be a game-changer,” Acharya said. “It will equip millions of health care workers across the globe to quickly and safely detect and report this debilitating condition in pregnant women and newborns.”
The HemoGlobe student inventors have estimated their cellphone-based systems could be produced for $10 to $20 each.
At the recent Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development competition, the potential public health benefits of this device won over the judges, who awarded a $250,000 seed grant to the Johns Hopkins students’ project. The event, which attracted more than 500 entrants from 60 countries, was sponsored by prominent global health organizations, including the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Only 12 entrants received seed grants.
“When we thought about the big-name corporations and nonprofit groups we were competing against, we were amazed and surprised to find out that our team had won,” said George Chen, 19, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., a sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering. Chen attended the July 14 announcement ceremony in Seattle, along with Acharya and team members Noah Greenbaum and Justin Rubin.
For a biomedical engineering design team class assignment, a group of students spent a year brainstorming and building a prototype. The seed grant will allow the team to refine their technology, as well as support field testing next year in Kenya by Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins affiliate that provides global health training and services for women and their families. Jhpiego sponsored the HemoGlobe project through a partnership with the university’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design.
Team member Greenbaum, 21, of Watchung, N.J, a senior majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering, has continued working on the anemia system this summer. “The first year we just focused on proving that the technology worked,” he said. “Now, we have a greater challenge: to prove that it can have a real impact by detecting anemia and making sure the mothers get the care they need.”
The student inventors were looking for a new way to curb a stubborn health problem in developing nations. Anemia occurs when a person has too few healthy red blood cells, which carry critical oxygen throughout the body. This is often due to a lack of iron, and therefore a lack of hemoglobin, the iron-based protein that helps red blood cells store and release oxygen. Anemic mothers face many complications before and during birth, including death from blood loss associated with the delivery. In addition, a baby that survives a birth from an anemic mother may face serious health problems.
Health officials in developing countries have tried to respond by making iron supplements widely available. But, according to Acharya, the problem of anemia remains intractable. “So we looked at it from a different angle,” he said.
In places where medical care is easily accessible, doctors routinely test pregnant women for anemia and prescribe treatment, including routine iron supplementation. But in developing regions where medical help is not always nearby, the condition may go undetected. However, community health workers with limited training do serve these areas.
“The team members realized that every community health worker already carries a powerful computer in their pocket—their cellphone,” Acharya said. “So we didn’t have to build a computer for our screening device, and we didn’t have to build a display. Our low-cost device will use the existing cellphones of health workers to estimate and report hemoglobin levels.”
A provisional patent covering the invention has been obtained through the Johns Hopkins Technology Transfer office.
In addition to Chen, Greenbaum and Rubin, other Whiting School of Engineering students who have participated on the team are Guilherme Barros, William Chen, Judy Doong, Phillip Oh and David Yin.
Color graphics of the invention are available; contact Phil Sneiderman.
 Related links:
Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering:
Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design:
Whiting School of Engineering:
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viernes, 17 de agosto de 2012

Docphin is your medical library journals all in one app

Post image for Docphin is your medical library journals all in one app App Reviewed: Docphin (Ver. 1.0)
Goals of Review:
  • Review Docphin’s platform for use among health professionals as a way to manage medical literature and media
  • Assess Docphin’s new app for ability to provide easily accessible medical literature

What is Docphin?

I would like to introduce today a new platform on the computer and at the palm of your hands to help keep abreast with medical news and research.
Founded by a group of physicians in 2010, Docphin (Docphin – the Personalized Health Information Network) seeks to address the need of medical professionals to keep up-to-date on the medical literature in a easily accessible form. In essence, Dophin is a platform that is integrated with a Hospital/Institution’s library.
What this means, is that instead of utilizing a browser to search the online library for articles and papers, Docphin serves as an integrated portal to help access those papers for you, without utilizing a web browser or going through different logins or journal portals.
This cuts down time and speeds up access to the medical literature.

How does it work?

Docphin’s website allows a user to register for free and create a profile, provided they are a member of one of the current institutions working with Docphin. If you cannot find your institution is a collaborator yet, you can request Docphin to reach out and invite the institution to join.
Currently, Docphin has greatly expanded and is enrolling multiple institutions in its short time of operation. This can be followed closely with their blog.

After registering with Docphin, the user may then customize the website to fit their needs. This includes selecting pertinent medical journals and news media sources that the user would like to primarily concentrate on. Options are broken down into different medical specialties (e.g. general medicine, cardiology) with associated medical journals. Twitter also is integrated with Docphin to allow a stream of updates on a certain area of interest to be viewed, which is also broken down by specialties.

Users may then look for articles or read papers of interest. Choosing an article will then bring it up from the library that the user is associated with. This can then be read or downloaded as a PDF. Articles can also then be favorited and stored on the user’s profile. In order to help manage their collection, users can create and tag articles for their own searches in the future.
For example, if I am looking through my collection of papers for something dealing with sports medicine, I can look for all articles that I had tagged with ‘sports’ or ‘sports medicine.’