Pubmed is LIVE on Social Media – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of July 21, 2014)

Pubmed Social Media Icons
PubMed Update: Social Media Icons Added. NLM Tech Bull. 2014 Jul-Aug;(399):b2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/ja14/brief/ja14_pm_social_media_icons.html

Have you been straddling the fence deciding whether or not social media is “a thing” in healthcare? Well, maybe this will tip the balance. Pubmed now includes social media sharing icons at the article level, as shown in the image above. This is in addition to NIH’s own active life on social media. Unfortunately, when I was testing it out, every now and then what it shared was not the link to the article, but a link to the search strategy from which I found the articles. Hopefully, they’ll get that fixed, but usually it was good. Here’s what it looks like when sharing something to Twitter.

Pubmed Social Media Sharing Example: Twitter

In honor of this noteworthy change, I thought I’d divert from actual hashtags to seeing what people are sharing from Pubmed this week. If you really want hashtags, take a look at what hashtags they are ADDING to the posts, since Pubmed doesn’t automatically add any.


First posted at THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/pubmed-is-live-on-social-media-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-july-21-2014/

[#makehealth] Where the Makers Are

Reposted from:
Health Design By Us: Where The Makers Are (Ann Arbor, MI, a hotbed for #makehealth activities) https://medium.com/@HealthByUs/where-the-makers-are-69288a0a6af3


White House Tweet on Maker Faire

Remember how I was completely blown away by the White House Maker Faire? I just couldn’t stop talking about it.

Afterwards. I was curious about their map, and where the makers seem to be. For the record, since this is all self-report for a single day, and it is measuring tweets, it’s not remotely scientific, and can not give an accurate estimate of maker communities or activity across the US. Really, what it is showing is who on Twitter was aware of the White House maker event in DC. Obviously, DC itself should be big. Since people also self-report their location, there are also strange results like people who just live in the “United States” or “California” but don’t have any other location. I’m not including them in this exercise. That all said, I don’t know of anything that does this better, so for now, it is a start.

#NationOfMakers – USA view
#NationOfMakers Redux

The top three were:
#1: Washington (257)
#2: New York (212)
#3: San Francisco (151)

Just for comparison, the top three cities in the United States by population are New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. What this hints at is that makers are apparently a separate sub-culture and not evenly distributed thoughout the US. And what it REALLY tells us is where to find a passion for making and the maker movement.

To get all of the top three cities by population included in the list of top cities for makers, but have to go a lot deeper.

1. Washington 257
2. New York 212
3. San Francisco 151
4. San Jose 95
5. Pittsburgh 72
6. Boston 70
7-8. Portland 62
7-8. Chicago 62
9. Chattanooga 51
10. Los Angeles 44

I was also interested in zooming in a little closer to home and seeing how we in Ann Arbor fit in.

East Coast view
Nation of Makers: East Coast

Michigan view
Nation of Makers: Michigan

Now, for comparison, Los Angeles has a population of 3,884,307 with 44 #NationOfMaker tweets. Ann Arbor has 117,025 with 22 #NationOfMaker Tweets (that is adding together those for A2 and those for UMich).

For every 10,000 people in the population, that gives these many tweeting makers who liked the White House Maker Faire:
Los Angeles: 0.11
Ann Arbor: 1.88

I know it doesn’t mean much, but what I’m seeing is a lot more passion for making in Ann Arbor, even though Los Angeles is in the top ten cities in the country for sheer numbers of makers, and top three in the country for population. So I’m calling this a Making Passion Score [(M/P)10,000] where M = makers and P = population of the city, adjusted by 10,000 and limited to 2 decimals. (Note 1: this does give a bias to smaller populations with a lot of excitement. Note 2: Just a hint – that tie between Portland and Chicago is going to look a bit different.) Let’s look at these again, but sorted by Maker Passion Score.

1. Washington 257 / pop. 646,449 = 3.98
2. Chattanooga 51 / pop. 173,366 = 2.94
3. Pittsburgh 72 / pop. 305,841 = 2.35
4. San Francisco 151 / pop. 837,442 = 1.80
5. Boston 70 / pop. 645,966 = 1.08
6. Portland 62 / pop. 609,456 = 1.02
7. San Jose 95 / pop. 998,537 = 0.95
8. New York 212 / pop. 8,405,837 = 0.25
9. Chicago 62 / pop. 2,718,782 = 0.23
10. Los Angeles 44 / pop. 3,884,307 = 0.11

That’s the top ten cities by number of #NationOfMaker tweets sorted by passion. If we look at it that way, Ann Arbor fits in right between Pittsburgh and San Francisco, in 4th place. Wow.

And if that isn’t persuasive evidence for the sheer passion in Ann Arbor for making, then look at this incredible list of community groups around the topic — 67 groups in categories like Coder Groups; Maker Groups; Technology Groups; Talks, Speaker Series, Un/conferences; Hackathons; Office Space, Infrastructure, Resources; Kids Hack Ann Arbor.

Josh Walker: Hack Ann Arbor: http://jshwlkr.github.io/hacka2/

What’s even MORE exciting is that Ann Arbor is just the tip of iceberg for Michigan Makers! There are active communities in Detroit, Jackson, Grand Rapids, the Upper Penisula, and much much more. For Make Health, we are reaching out to as many of these communities as we can in the time allotted. If you belong to one of these, or know someone who does, please share our contact information and help bring making for health together, so we can all help each other.

Here’s more info:

Make Health Fest
Saturday, Aug 16th, 2014
University of Michigan
Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Rooms

The Make Health Fest is a collaborative event for a local and virtual community interested in health, technology, and participatory design. Think of it as a mash-up of science fair PLUS Hands On Museum or Exploratorium PLUS do it yourself!

We are looking for both speakers and exhibitors for the event.

* If you’re gung ho and interested, please complete the official Exhibitor/Speaker sign-up form (http://bit.ly/MakeHealthExhibitorForm) to be a featured exhibitor and/or speaker at the event. Exhibitor and Speaker applications are due by Monday, July 28.

* If you’re interested, but on the fence about exhibiting or speaking just yet, complete the short interest form (http://bit.ly/MakeHealthSignUpForm).

With your help, we hope to promote learning, creating, and problem-solving through a combination of Show+Tell+Do! We’ll be featuring speakers, hands-on learning opportunities, and health innovators from across the community.

Learn More!

Make Health: http://makehealth.us/
Twitter: @MakeHealthUM
Google Plus: Make Health UM

A project of HealthDesignBy.Us
Twitter: @HealthByUs
Blog: https://medium.com/@HealthByUs/we-makehealth-fest-28ea6b472616

Trust & Health Information in Social Media – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of July 14, 2014)

BBC Radio4: Reith Lectures 2002: Onora O'Neill, Trust

The question of trust is not a new one — who we trust, how we trust, why we trust. All of these are known to be critical in healthcare, even more so now that we have the Internet and social media. In last’s evening’s #HCSM Twitter chat, a group of patients and doctors debated portions of this question. No new answers or solutions appeared, but there were some provocative statements and perspectives.


First posted at THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/trust-health-information-in-social-media-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-july-14-2014/

Fatigue in Healthcare – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of July 7, 2014)

Asleep in the Library

Each week the Healthcare Leaders chat (#HCLDR) is fabulous, covering relevant fascinating topics of great interest to me. I can’t highlight them every week, but I am often tempted to do so. This one was huge — how do we manage fatigue when it impacts on doctors, nurses, residents, students?


First posted at THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/fatigue-in-healthcare-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-july-7-2014/

Good Lord, People, 23andMe is NOT Dead!

Reposting from my personal genomics blog because I think it is important also for the audience of this blog.


23andMe

Good Lord, people, 23andMe is NOT dead! Or closed, or no longer taking orders, or anything like that. I hear this a lot.

“You know, I always wanted to get my genome tested. I was going to try 23andMe, but then the FDA shut them down. Oh, well, missed my chance. [sigh]“

NO! You did NOT miss your chance. Firstly, 23andMe is not closed for business. They still will take your money and your sample. They still will analyze the sample and give you results. From what I’ve been seeing in the results from folk I’ve been helping to look at their data, 23andMe seems to be running the test exactly the same way they always did, for the same SNPs.

They simply are, at this time, not offering their health reports to new customers. It isn’t the data that has changed – it iw what analysis is shared with the customer. Old fogies like me who got their tests done before the FDA folderol” still have access to our old 23andMe health reports, and they continue to improve them.

I have heard nothing to indicate that 23andMe are not working with the FDA to try to make it possible to release health reports again in the future. Issues around that get complicated and I’m going to save them for a later post. Right now, what if you wanted a test for some genetic health information? Can you do it? How long will you have to wait to find out the answers to your health questions?

You can still do it. It isn’t as easy as it was before, but it can be done. I’ve been spending a lot of time talking people through how to do this, and it is time to write it down. If nothing else, it will save me time. This will be the short short version, and I can answer more detailed questions and describe specifics, maybe give an example or two or three.

FIRST, THE DISCLAIMER

Risk is Not Just Genes

Making sense of genetic information is complicated even for experts, which most of us are not. Of course, part of the irony of looking at genetics for health conditions is that most of the time what causes the condition is not just the genetics, but genes PLUS something else. If you don’t find the genes for something, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it; if you do find the genes for something, it doesn’t mean you will get it. It is hardly ever a case of this=that.

What Does Risk Mean, Anyway?

There is also the challenge of figuring out how important the risk is, and whether or not to do something about it. So, my personal risk of celiac disease is over 4 times normal. Wow! That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But 4 times normal for celiac risk is still only 1 in 20 people, because normal is about 1 in a hundred. I know someone with celiac risk 17 times normal, which is 1 in 4 people. That’s getting to be pretty serious! But, while celiac is dangerous, it isn’t one of those conditions that is immediately deadly or painful. And my friend still has a 3 in 4 chance of NOT getting celiac, and that is a lifetime risk.

On the other hand, my risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is 1.5 times normal. That doesn’t sound like much does it? It’s higher, but only a little bit. So we don’t really need to worry about it, do we? Well, yes. VTE can kill you on the spot, and it is incredibly painful. And normal is 1 in 10 people for lifetime risk. For me, the risk is closer to 1 in 7.

Given that, according to 23andMe, my genetic risk of celiac is roughly 1/20 and my risk of VTE is 1/7, and adding in the comparative dangers of the two diseases, my docs got all excited about the VTE, and not terribly about the celiac. I hope you understand why now, and also a bit more about why genetic risk is complicated.

On Asking for Help

Last part of the disclaimer.

For both of these, celiac and VTE, 23andMe looks at SOME of the genes and SNPs known to be associated with the condition, but not ALL of them. So whatever 23andMe tells me about risk is only part of the picture. It looks at the most important genes, but is still only part of the picture. That’s why you need experts to put all the pieces together, and get more information to fill in the gaps from the 23andMe test.

Everyone always says, “Ask your doctor,” when it comes to finding something puzzling, confusing, contradictory, or worrisome in your genetic tests. I did, and found that most of my doctors didn’t have the expertise to make more out of it than I did. Some poohpoohed the 23andMe results, others made clinical decisions based on them without verifying with other tests, some asked for more medical tests to expand upon what 23andMe had, and one said, “You know more about this than I do, but I’m going to learn.” Here is a quote from an NEJM article a few months ago about the risks and benefits of trusting direct-to-consumer personal genomic services such as 23andMe.

“Clinicians will be central to helping consumer–patients use genomic information to make health decisions. Any regulatory regime must recognize this reality by doing more than simply adding the tagline on most consumer ads for prescription drugs: “Ask your physician.” That is insufficient guidance unless your physician has ready access to a clinical geneticist or genetic counselor.” Annas GJ, Elias S. 23andMe and the FDA. N Engl J Med 2014; 370:985-988. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1316367

Some of the personal genomics service offer phone-in access to genetic counselors. I tried that, and didn’t get helpful answers there, either. Even worse, one of the answers I got was blatantly wrong. It may have been just the genetic counselor who I happened to be talking with, so don’t judge the whole profession by that one person, but do be prepared to keep looking for info if needed. Where I found the most helpful information was in the 23andMe forums, BUT a lot of the info there was unreliable, and I had to sort out what was helpful and what wasn’t.

So, my recommendation is, absolutely DO ask your doctor, ask a genetic counselor if you can, but that might not be enough. You might need to do more research on your own, or find someone you trust to help you with this.

What Good Is It?

So, what good is it then? It gives you clues. Like a detective, you take the clues and look for more information, or ask for more thorough testing, or raise questions that weren’t being asked or addressed before. Some of the clues will be red herrings. Some of them may lead you to a prized solution. For me, these clues ended up dramatically improving my quality of life, and may have even saved my life.


So, now, the short short version. And PLEASE, if someone more expert than me with genomic data reads this and spots any errors, please say so!

PART ONE

1. Get your 23andMe test done.

Pic of the Day - PGenPGEN, Take 2

2. Log in at the 23andMe web site when you are notified that your results are ready.

23andMe

3. Click: Browse raw data.
23andMe: Getting to your raw data

It should look like this:

23andMe: Browse Raw Data

4. Click: Download raw data.
23andMe: Download Raw Data

5. Complete security procedure (log in again, answer security questions, etc.). It should look like this.

23andMe: Downloading Raw Data

6. Answer the question about what type of data and format you want. NOTE: I always choose ALL DNA, unless you have something else specifically in mind.

23andMe: Downloading ALL Your Raw Data Or ...

7. Find the file (which will be named something like genome_Firstname_Lastname_Full_12345678901234.txt)

PART TWO (A): Easier Way

Genetic Genie

Now you have choices. You can dig into the information the easier way, or the less easy way. Let’s start with the easier way.

1. Select a tool to do what you want with your data. There are LOTS of tools people have built to do useful things with 23andMe data files. One of my favorites is Genetic Genie, because it tells you about the MTHFR gene which has become so important in my life. I also am spending a lot of time with Promethease because it is so complete compared to most other 23andMe analysis tools. Lets start with these.

2. Go to the tool of your choice, such as:

Genetic Genie: http://geneticgenie.org/

Promethease: http://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Promethease

3. Follow the directions at the tool, but this almost always requires you to upload your 23andMe data file. Here are more details about doing this with Genetic Genie.

4. Last come what is always the tricky part — making sense of the information you get. That’s worth several posts, but for starters the main point to remember is that the 23andMe test is a place to start, not a final answer. In Genetic Genie, the code, analysis, and text are written by engaged amateurs, not by doctors or genetic counselors. They worked hard, collaborated with a lot of other people, and did a lot of research, but it isn’t going to say the same things your doctor might.

More Tools

23andMe: Tools for Everyone http://www.23andyou.com/3rdparty
NOTE: When 23andMe took out the health reports, they also edited this page to remove links to tools that provide health data from 23andMe data. So, this is interesting and useful, but not sufficient. You’ll have to look somewhere else for most tools.

23++ Chrome Extension: Get more from your data:
http://23pp.david-web.co.uk/getting-more-from-your-data/

Confessions of a Cryokid: Top 10 things to do with your FTDNA raw data (2011) http://cryokidconfessions.blogspot.com/2011/06/top-10-things-to-do-with-your-ftdna-raw.html

Genetic Genealogist: What Else Can I Do With My DNA Results: http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/2013/09/22/what-else-can-i-do-with-my-dna-test-results/

International Society of Genetic Genealogy: Autosomal DNA Tools: http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_tools

Resqua: Q: What should I do after generating my Gene variance report? http://resqua.com/100005927200207/what-should-i-do-after-generating-my-gene-variance-report

Think Exponential: Get SNPd! http://thinkexponential.com/2013/01/10/why-you-should-get-snped/

PART TWO (B): Less Easy Way

Linking Disease Associations with Regulatory Information in the Human Genome

Actually, there are a LOT of different “less easy ways.” You can open the raw data file in a text editor and search manually for specific pieces of information. Or, if you code, you can write a little program to do some of the hard work for you.

Basically, it comes down to doing a lot of research, the hard way, by hand. But, believe it or not, I am doing it. I’ve had a lot of help from people who offered tips or comments in the 23andMe or MTHFR.net forums, on Facebook, on Twitter, and comments on these blogs. I am NOT an expert, but like most readers of this blog, just someone who wants or needs to know more. This is what I’ve learned and figured out on my own, offered as an example, nothing more.

Critical Background

23andMe gives SNP-based data. SNP stands for single nucleotide polymorphism. Polymorphism means something that can be itself but in different ways, our eyes are eyes whether they are blue or brown or hazel or violet or any other natural eye color. I won’t give an introduction to genetics here, but there are several online resources that explain these ideas, with one of the best resources being Genetic Home Reference from the US government. Depending on how much you want to know, you may wish to take the Coursera courses Introduction to Genetics and Evolution (Duke U) or Experimental Genome Science (U Penn).

1. What SNPs do you want to know about? Check here:

RegulomeDB (Stanford): Linking Disease Associations with Regulatory Information in the Human Genome: http://regulomedb.org/GWAS/

I have also found SNPs of interest in research articles, PUBMED, and other places, but this is a good start. The SNP identifier (what you need) will look something like this:

rs2187668

2. Find out which polymorphism is the one considered “healthy” or “normal”, and which one is the one associated with risk of disease? These maybe called “risk alleles” or
simply polymorphisms.

For example, for SNP “rs2187668″ (one of the celiac risk SNPs) the risk indicator is (T), while the normal is (C).

3. Open your 23andMe raw data file in a text editor, like WordPad (Windows) or TextEdit or TextWrangler (Macintosh).

4. Search for the SNP you want to know about. The data will be in four columns:
– RSID
– Chromosome
– Position
– Genotype
You need to know about the first and last columns, RSID and Genotype. It will look a little like this.

rsid…..chromosome…..position…..genotype
… [many other rows of data] …
rs2187668…..6………32605884…..CT

So, this person (me) has for that SNP one risk allele “T,” (which I happen to know is from my dad, by comparing it to his scan) and one normal allele “C,” (which must, by default, be from my mom, since for every gene pair we have gotten one from each parent).

5. Repeat for all the other SNPs associated with the condition you are researching.

6. Search for more information and articles about those SNPs, the condition, and more. You can’t make sense of this without more information. And ask lots of questions.

More Tools

ENCODE:
About: http://www.genome.gov/encode/
Data: http://genome.ucsc.edu/encode/

ENSEMBL Genome Browser: http://useast.ensembl.org/

OpenSNP: https://opensnp.org/ OR https://opensnp.org/snps/

SNPedia: http://www.snpedia.com/

UCSC Genome Browser: http://genome.ucsc.edu/

[#makehealth] Connecting Making (Hacking, Tinkering) to Health

GO-Tech Meeting at Maker WorksAnn Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Detroit Maker Faire 2013

So, you’re a Maker, Hacker, Tinkerer, Inventor, DIYer, Code Monkey, or all around Geek, and you think this #MakeHealth Fest sounds interesting and fun. You’re thinking of getting involved, BUT … (and it’s a big “but”) you’re not doing anything exactly, well, health-ish, not that you can think of, anyway. That’s why I’m writing this — just to show how some of these ‘traditional’ maker activities can connect to health projects, can help real people, if you want, in accessible real world ways. I wish I’d had time to make this into a lot of smaller posts, but we’re sending out the #makehealth call for participation next week, and I want all of you to think about how you could be involved or what you’d like to see when you come. You are coming, of course. ;)


3D printing

3d printer printing

I talk about 3d printing a lot. You know, Robohand, Project Daniel, babies with new tracheas, men with new faces, and more. But those are the exceptional examples that make the news. There are so many ways in which 3D printing is helping in more mundane ways. I had a shoulder and wrist injury and was having trouble opening jars. I found I could 3D print a jar lid gripper. Engineering students and physical therapy students at University of Detroit Mercy collaborated on designing better spoons (which they 3D printed). People are using 3D printing to repair broken equipment, make equipment clips to hold wires out of the road, practical things like that. Healthcare students have been using 3d printing to modify or adapt their stethoscopes. There are so many possibilities. It doesn’t have to be earth shattering to be a useful skill.


Arduino Uno, Beaglebone & Raspberry Pi

Raspberry pi

Arduino Uno, Beaglebone, and Raspberry Pi are inexpensive computing hardware, often used as controllers (microcontrollers) to get other equipment or objects to do something you want. They are incredible for assistive technologies! Something a person wants to do, perhaps used to do, but which is hard for them to do — is there a way you could design an inexpensive object to help them do it? Maybe remote control lights, sound, monitors? Connect them with sensors or trackers to do something when the input reaches a particular level.

How does this connect with health? Many ways. Firstly, most maker techniques and tools can be used as assistive technologies. Try searching any of these with the word(s) assistive or “assistive tech” or “assistive technology”, and you will find a flood of applications.

Google Search: (“Arduino Uno” OR Beaglebone OR “Raspberry Pi”) assistive

Secondly, connecting this to sensors automatically makes possible a wealth of applications in the area of the Quantified Self movement – tracking data about your self and/or home or environment with a goal of promoting and achieving personal health goals. These have been used for personal cardiac monitoring, tracking ECG and pulse rate, blood pressure; it can be used for other types of sensors — GPS, saline levels, alcohol levels, whatever sensors you have; to create a home sleep lab; managing data from mobile phone apps or GPS, such as exercise and calorie expenditure for weight loss; taking prescription meds on time; and much more. These are such inexpensive tools that they really lower the barrier to entry for many folk to get engaged in more hands-on tracking and management to match their personal goals.


Coding & Code-a-thon, Hackerspace & Hackathon

ImageJ Code Sample

The hardware isn’t much use without code to tell it what to do, so these seem like obvious connections. Everything mentioned in the prior section apply here. Because coding need not be device specific, these can have broader impact, tying in to larger computers, mobile devices, and the whole internet. This broader context makes possible doing things beyond the immediate home environment: tracking air quality issues, localized car emissions, and environmental pollution; customizing or personalizing uses of data from hospital equipment or medical records. This is such a huge idea that there are enormous numbers of events and spaces around the idea of coding for solving healthcare problems.

Google Search: (hackathon OR hackerspace OR hacking OR codathon OR codeathon) (healthcare OR health OR hospital OR quantified OR self)

Maybe you’ve already done some home-gown coding projects to help you in your own life, but you didn’t think of them as being about health as much as just life hacks. There is a lot of interest in those types of home-grown solutions (and finding partners to code ideas other folk have) for exactly those types of projects. Planning, sorting, self-organization, reminders are all skills critical to executive functioning (a psychology jargon term describing these skills). These types of tools and fixes are being used and sought heavily in communities with ADHD, autism-spectrum disorders, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, memory loss, and more. What was a simple life hack for you might turn out to be just what someone else has been looking for. If our brains all worked the same way, we could build one self-organization tool that would work for everyone. Because we are all different, we need many different types of tools, in the hope that one of them will work for that particular person who needs it. At events like this, people who need tools like this might discover people who can build them, or already have.

Or maybe you are someone who has been hacking together bits and pieces of things to track or monitor or solve things for your or a loved one, or is using services like YouTube or Twitter in interesting new ways, but you aren’t sure if we’d like to hear about it. Well, YES! We don’t have unlimited space so we can’t promise a space to everyone with an idea, but we will surely try our best and can’t try unless we hear about what ideas you have.


Sewing

#UMSIMakerfest !!!

You might be surprised to find out that most makerspaces have some sort of sewing equipment and space. And you might not realize that sewing has much to do with health, aside from clinic robes and doctor/nurse uniforms. Well, there is a huge market in adaptive apparel, also called adaptive clothing. That’s just for starters.

Most of the adaptive clothing is focused on practical concerns, and sometimes people want to be attractive, too. There is a lot of room in the space of designing attractive and/or professional clothing that is easy to get in and out of for people with various abilities. The growing awareness of this is evident through recent fashion shows employing models with disabilities, and several projects focused on disability fashion.

Design and disability: fashion for wheelchair users

Disability Fashion: Does this wheelchair make my hips look big? Spinning in style! That’s how we roll …

The Disability Fashion Project

Fashion Without Borders Initiative

Stylishly Impaired — Well-Equipped Crips: disability, pop culture, fashion, technology.

For some people the concern is that they need help from someone else to get dressed, which presents one set of challenges. For other people, they have reduced mobility or strength or an injury, and need alterations to existing garment styles to be able to manage getting dressed on their own. Imagine not being able to get dressed by yourself, and you’ll quickly realize the importance of adaptive clothing for personal independence. I encountered this challenge myself last Fall when I had a shoulder injury. I had such little range of motion with my dominant arm that I could only get dressed with one hand. That meant I needed all front closures for all garments, and all garments needed to be (very) loose-fitting, but not so loose that they wouldn’t stay up. I had some clothes that fit the bill, but not the right mix to make for a practical work week wardrobe.

Whether with a temporary injury or a permanent health condition, the challenges of designing attractive and functional clothes presents some deeply intriguing opportunities for really creative people with some sewing skills. One of the most fascinating examples to me was of a coat for persons in wheelchairs. I was unaware that often they also have problems using their hands. The solution was to sew the coat with ‘mittens’ sewn onto the end of the sleeves, ones that could be zipped up when needed, and when not needed, unzipped and folded back to look like a cuff. How creative!


Wearable Technology

The Mystery of IdentityCool Toys Pic of the Day - Maker Movement Meets HealthcarePic of the day - Wearable Tech at #FoolMoon
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Cool Toys Pic of the Day - Maker Movement Meets HealthcarePebble Pals

The phrase “wearable tech” is fairly new, a few years old, but the idea of it is ancient. Eyeglasses are wearable tech. Slings for broken limbs is wearable tech. So are crutches and canes, in a sense. Wristwatches are, definitely! Now, we have smartwatches to go with our smartphones, and phones are wearable technology! You can add in sensors, like these to track heart beats, relative position, or location. Many folk I know think of wearable tech with GPS (global positioning system) as being for geo-caching games, but it is used possibly almost as much for tracking children or persons with dementia who’ve gone wandering. The possibilities here to connect tech to health and well-being are virtually infinite.


Wood Working

GO-Tech Meeting at Maker Works

Yes, woodworking. Like most of these, this goes two directions. Maybe you’d like to talk about how you designed a lightweight sturdy portable DIY wheelchair curb ramp, or a portable wheelchair ramp for homes. Or an extra gorgeous in home ramp. Or a custom shelving solution for accessing hard-to-reach or heavy items for someone with mobility challenges. Or a wall-mounted flip-up flip-down lockable railing for someone living in a small space with occasional balance issues. Or how you designed an accessible building from the ground up — maybe a “treehouse” or playground for a special kid, or maybe an entire house. Maybe smaller projects. Woodworkers and people working in 3D printing could easily collaborate on sharing or modifying patterns for simple assistive tech. Those assistive tech spoons and grippers being made on 3D printers aren’t terribly sturdy, but if you made them out of wood, they would be both sturdy and beautiful.

On the other hand, maybe you’d like to talk about what modifications and accommodations were needed to make a wood working studio accessible and usable and safe for a person with multiple sclerosis or in a wheelchair. Or what type of modified grippers you used for lathes and die jigs.


MORE!

You can take these ideas a lot further than I have here. Arts and crafts are therapeutic for stress reduction, but also can be used to teach core science and mathematics skills, probably health information and skills, too. Origami concepts have been used widely in health sciences from making more powerful flexible batteries (which could someday be used in bio-implants) to designing anatomical models, to folding of molecular processes and nanostructures. You can even make a microscope with paper crafting, and gaming VR systems! Sustainable gardening and urban foraging connect to public health through addressing diet, nutrition, access to healthy local foods. There are so many ways in which we can use the DIY approach to improve health, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our community.

GO-Tech Meeting at Maker Works

About Make & Takes for Health (#makehealth)

#UMSIMakerfest !!!

As people start to think about getting involved with the Make Health Fest, we are hearing a lot of three questions in particular.

1) What is a maker fest or maker faire?
2) If I want to have a booth, I’m supposed to have a Make & Take? What does that mean?
3) I’m a geek / tinker / hacker from way back, and I’d like to be involved, but I’m not sure if what I do connects with health enough to qualify. What do you mean, “relates to health”?

Last week we addressed #1 in a post by me and another by Joyce; this post is for question #2 on Make&Takes; and hopefully tomorrow will have a post for question #3, connecting making to health.

Part of the confusion with the phrase “Make and Take” might be that the phrase means one thing to folk in the maker community and something else to the world at large. After all, this is summer, and there are potlucks and backyard picnics galore! I picked up a magazine called “Make & Take” that was all about recipes for cooking for potlucks and picnics. You make the food, and then you take it to the party! Or the other “Make & Take” is planning for road trips with the kids — make games or guides or handouts to take for entertaining the kids in the family car while you drive somewhere on vacation, or for teachers or homeschooling. This is a little different.

What makes a maker event so very different from the usual science fair or health fair or vendor exhibit is the actual MAKING. Booths and demos and speakers all are not just saying, “I can do something cool,” or “I have information to share with you,” but rather, “Can I show you how to do this cool thing? Come here and try it yourself!” I always wish I had a month at each Maker Faire instead of an afternoon! I want to learn how to do everything!

The idea of “Make and Take” is to, (1), have something at the booth that people do with their own hands, beyond showing them how, and (2) have something they can take away with them. Ideally, the part they take away is something they actually made, but to be honest, that’s an ideal that is rarely achieved. Usually, people in the booths do a demo and give away a sample; or they give a handout on how to do what they showed you. Often, they’ll let you practice making something at the event, but you may or may not be able to take it with you. Here are some examples of “Make and Take” activities from other fairs and fests, and then I’ll share some examples of health-themed make and take ideas. Feel free to adopt one for our fest if you want, but even better, come up with your own idea!

TAKE

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014

Level one is to have something people can take away. That’s pretty easy, and most everyone can come up with examples: pins, buttons, stickers, labels, bookmarks, patterns, resource lists, stories, web links, open source code repositories, free apps to download later, free samples, how to and DIY guide sheets, … Remember! At the “take” level of “make & take” you really need to combine it with a live demo at the very least.

MAKE OR DO

Most of the examples I have are of “Make” or “Do” types of activities. That is the real focus in maker events. These are examples from maker events that were not focused on health, so think of them more as inspiration rather than direct models for what you might do.

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014

Learning models and toys, games to play that teach concepts or build skills, art and design both to create new things and also relieve stress.

#UMSIMakerfest !!!Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Skills building, stress relief, practical applications, comfort, building or designing your own tools.

#UMSIMakerfest !!!Maker Faire Detroit 2013Detroit Maker Faire 2013

Starting with LEGOs might seem frivolous, but it isn’t. Recently a high school student built a Braille printer out of LEGOs! Let kids start with various materials that appeal to them, and who knows what they’ll come up with! Let them test out using new tech and imaging uses for it. For the laser light show, the kids interacted with the system to make the show do what they wanted. Real hands on experience builds both skills and interest.

Detroit Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Lego blue heart

Sometimes it just isn’t practical to let folk take what they made with them, or the set up is complicated, messy, requires fancy equipment (like the weaving loom above), you don’t have very many (like the electronic musical instruments in the middle picture), or is costly (supplying every kid who walks in with all the LEGOs they want? Yeah, sure).

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Skills building. Say that three times. Training kits, tutorials, hands-on, basic skills.

MAKE AND TAKE

#UMSIMakerfest !!!Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

The “Make and Takes” where you actually get to make something and take it with you? That is totally the coolest, if you can manage it. Maybe you make part of it ahead of time (decorating cookies, anyone?). Or connect something people make (paper airplane) with something they do (turbo charged take-off!) and then let folk take the paper airplane with them. Or print off a paper model pattern and walk them through making one. Or do a demo of sustainable gardening, and let them have a taste of a salad with the same type of plants, or give them seeds to take home. You get the idea.

HEALTH MAKE & TAKES

Those were all examples of “Make and Takes” from Maker Faires usually more generally focused on science and technology. We were brainstorming ideas for “Make and Takes” more along the idea of health, and realized many of the same ideas work. Sustainable gardening connects with a lot of public health issues — diet, nutrition, food deserts, green living, etc. We took our ideas and clustered them into ideas that are clearly and explicitly medical in nature as well as things made with easy-to-find ingredients from around normal homes and schools. Then someone had the great idea of a Fix-It Booth for folk who want to tweak or repair their own medical devices at home (crutches, hearing aids, jar grippers, etc.). We don’t know which of these will happen, if any, because we’re still gathering volunteers, speakers, presenters, and so forth. But if you want inspiration for ideas for a booth, here are some that might give you ideas.

* Bee-safe wasp catcher
* DIY lip gloss
* DIY lotion
* Duct Tape for Health
* First Aid Kit Supplies
* Fruit fly catcher
* Home Cleansers & the Microbiome
* Kitchen herb garden
* Mechanical Paper Hand
* MEDIKit (Medical Education Design and Invention Kit)
* Melon Brain
* Miura Battery Fold
* Neck Pillow
* Origami DNA
* Origami Microcrope
* Radish Rose
* Seed bombs
* Soap-making
* Stethoscope
* Superglue Uses for Health
* Vegetable flowers
* Wine bottle garden
* Wrist brace/splint

Want more ideas? Here are some of the sources that inspired us.

Cari Young: Library Makerspace ideas on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cari_young/library-makerspaces/

DIY.org: https://diy.org/tags/medicine

Franklin Institute: Science DIY: http://www.pinterest.com/TheFranklin/science-diy/

Instructables: http://www.instructables.com/howto/health/

Little Devices: 7 DIY Medical Technologies You Can Build At Home: http://littledevices.org/research/7-diy-medical-technologies-you-can-build-at-home/

MakerNurse: http://makernurse.org

Naked Scientists: Kitchen Science: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/

Pakistan Science Club: http://www.paksc.org/pk/diy-projects

Wiki How: http://www.wikihow.com/Special:GoogSearch?cx=008953293426798287586%3Amr-gwotjmbs&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&q=health+OR+medicine&siteurl=www.wikihow.com%2FMain-Page