Category Archives: Tech

#ADA25! Tech + Touch + Targets: Part Two, “Our New Technology”

#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y

To continue the series on “what I did for #ADA25,” I’d like to talk about the very exciting event here in town last week, in which Ann Arbor sets the stage for a national high speed rail system, and access for persons with disability is at the core of making this possible.

#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y

AMTRAK

The event was the ribbon cutting for the new disability-accessible platform at the Ann Arbor Amtrak station.

“New disability-accessible platform opens at Ann Arbor Amtrak station” http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/07/new_disability_platform_opens.html

The event started out with the mayor, Chris Taylor, describing the importance of the University of Michigan Health System and hospitals in providing advanced health care to the residents of the State of Michigan, and how critical accessible rail transport is for supporting this.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley noted, “Acceptance & awareness are important, but inclusion is a game changer.”

Richard Bernstein, Judge of the Michigan Supreme Court, waxed eloquent, clearly joyful and delighted with this innovation. You can hear his full remarks on Soundcloud.

Joe McHugh (Amtrak’s Senior Vice President) described this as “the flagship of our new technology,” continuing with the vision and possibilities that would come from this.

Joe really meant technology, too! The new boarding platform is retractable, and extends toward the train when in use. The Amtrak press release describes it as “The platform mechanically extends toward the train, bridging the gap created when a level-boarding platform is needed. This next generation of passenger-focused technology will allow America’s Railroad® to deliver a modern passenger railroad that is accessible to all.” That wasn’t the limit of the tech, either. In addition to designing the platform, the interactive portions of the tech, they also had to design manual tech to support the process in case of problems with the automated portions or for situations that require special extra support.

#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y

As with all ribbon-cutting events, the actual story started long long before. Or stories, I should say. This event sprang from the intersection of many stories, many people’s experiences. There are the local folk who fought for a better way to take the train, and helped make people aware of the reasons why it should start HERE. There were wheelchair passengers who complained about being put on a jack, hoisted into mid-air, and left dangling in the rain while the station staff try to get the logistics sorted out. There were the Amtrak staff who helped people with luggage, moms with strollers, elderly folk climbing the narrow stairs into or out of the Amtrak cars.

The story that resonated most powerfully with me was told by Richard Devylder, the U.S. DOT’s Senior Advisor for Accessible Transportation.

#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y

Richard was born without arms or legs. The combination of his experience, his intelligence, his connections with the community of persons with disabilities all help to inform his position and influence change. And when the opportunity presents itself, he absolutely will go for the brass ring.

That’s kind of what happened one day a few years ago. Richard described a room full of transportation higher ups. He asked, “Well, do you want to see high speed rail in the United States?” Yes, yes, yes, they all did. The next thing Richard said? “Then you have to find a way to let people like me board the train in less than 15 minutes.” BOOM.

That was one story. He had another good one. Richard described one day when he was trying to get on the train, and a ramp had been set up to allow him to board. But he couldn’t even get on the ramp because it was so crowded with people. Elderly with walkers. Parents with strollers. People with heavy rolling bags of luggage. Part of him thought, “Hey, why are all these people blocking my ramp?” Immediately he realized it is because all of them also needed a ramp, and the one provided for him was the only one there. BOOM #2!

We need ramps for boarding trains absolutely as much as we need curb cuts. The next ADA25 story I’ll be telling is about a group of people in virtual worlds. They were pretty impressed when I told them about this new Amtrak platform. Then they asked, “But why did it take 25 years? And why is there only ONE in the entire United States?” More on that in the next post.

The actual ribbon cutting, with Gary Talbot as the honored local person who pushed the hardest to make this happen.

And then people could board!

#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y
#ADA25 Amtrak New Accessible Technology #a11y


Updated to include Gary Talbot’s name.

#ADA25! Tech + Touch + Targets: Part One, “I couldn’t type a hug.”

Screenshots from the White House video of President Obama Celebrating ADA25

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act. I want to describe three technology events that happened around the theme of celebrating this milestone! These three stories include high speed rail, robots, assistive communication devices, virtual worlds, web accessibility, exoskeletons, 3d printing, and more. That’s the tech. But the touch is just as important, if not more so, and the question of what’s left that needs doing is the idea of defining and meeting our targets. Let’s get started.

WHITE HOUSE

First, President Obama celebrated, of course, with many people. One was Haben Girma, the first deaf-blind graduate of the Harvard Law School. The President would type words to talk with her, and she would listen with her hands on a machine that translated the typing into Braille. “I couldn’t type a hug,” he said.

Screenshots from the White House video of President Obama Celebrating ADA25Screenshots from the White House video of President Obama Celebrating ADA25

Alice Wong, of the Disability Visibility Project, attended the event through her telepresence robot, and wrote about it later, here.

Screenshots from the White House video of President Obama Celebrating ADA25

The White House has made available both the highlights video (under 3 minutes) and the complete event (about 1.5 hours).


President Obama Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the ADA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZCQT-DYVNY


President Obama Speaks at the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUI-TUFlteU

Towards the end of his remarks, President Obama described the how his father-in-law’s experience with multiple sclerosis helped to shape his passion for reducing barriers for persons with disabilities, and his awareness of how access to necessary resources can help people grow into their potential, and how that helps all of us.

“And just an aside on this, for a long time, he would not get a motorized wheelchair because he had gotten this disability at a time when they weren’t available and it was expensive, and they weren’t wealthy, and insurance didn’t always cover it. And it just gave you a sense of — Michelle and I would talk sometimes about how much more he could have done, how much more he could have seen — as wonderful as a dad as he was, and as wonderful as a coworker as he was, he was very cautious about what he could and couldn’t do — not because he couldn’t do it, but because he didn’t want to inconvenience his family and he didn’t want to be seen as somehow holding things up.” Remarks by the President on The Americans With Disabilities Act https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/20/remarks-president-americans-disabilities-act

Tech Trends VIII (#mlanet15)

Part 2 of a series of blogposts I wrote for the recent Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association.


#MLATTT #MLANET15

The event so fondly known as MLATTT is a gathering of a panel of medical librarians who describe new and emerging technologies in what has become, by a kind of traditional, highly entertaining and engaging ways. For many, it is a not-to-be-missed highlight of the annual Medical Library Association meeting. This year was no different, and if anything topped previous years for sheer blistering hilarity. When the video becomes available, this is a must watch. I plan to watch it again, and I was there!

#MLATTT #MLANET15

Eric Schnell gave a talk that had the older members of the audience guffawing with laughter as he extolled the pleasures of emerging technologies from the perspective of the 1980s and 1990s. There were some younger folk asking, “Mosiac? Atari?” It was extremely well scripted and supported with links and images, and delivered completely deadpan.

#MLATTT #MLANET15

The quantified self section presented by Jon Goodall was great fun for me, and I particularly enjoyed how he engaged the audience in reviews of some of the highlighted technologies. It was interesting to see who had used various tools, and whether they worked for them or not.

#MLATTT #MLANET15

Kimberley Barker was incredibly dynamic, personable, and knowledgeable, as she sprinted through a rapidfire, high energy delivery of examples of tools, technologies, and trends relative to what’s happening with the Internet of Things.

#MLATTT #MLANET15

Jason Bengtson gave a candid, rollicking walk-through of some of his thoughts and experiences while creating the engaging information skills tutorial, Zombie Emergency. I was really impressed with how clearly he described the challenges of integrating education goals and content with gaming. Rachel Walden expressed well what I was thinking, when she commented on how impressive it was that Jason coded this, and is giving away the code for free in Github, as CC-licensed. You can find the actual quotes in the Storify, listed at the end of this post.

#MLATTT #MLANET15

J. Dale Prince might have been last, but far from least, as he wittily recounted his tales of being a new Apple Watch owner, pros, cons, and maybes. By the way, if you decide to buy a gold Apple Watch, Dale is willing to trade. 😉

Here’s the Storify, with much much more detail.

An archive of the tweets is available here, through Symplur. Almost 400 tweets in one hour?! That should tell you how much fun folk were having!

http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/mlattt/

Emerging Tech, Healthcare & Comics for World Book Day #WorldBookDay

Bedroom Books, Unread, Part 1

One book, two books,
Red books, blue books,
Fat books, thin books,
Old books, new books.
This one has a gold leaf spine,
This one sings a little rhyme.
I could read books all the time!
(a Dr. Seuss parody by yours truly)

Let’s just say I sometimes WISH I could read books all the time. And a great deal of my house looks like the photo. For today, World Book Day, I want to just mention a few (a VERY few) books I’ve been reading lately which may be of interest to readers of this blog.

First off, some that connect directly to healthcare social media, emerging technologies, accessibility, disability, and health literacy — some of my favorite topics!


Digital Humanitarians
Digital Humanitarians, by Patrick Meier: http://www.digital-humanitarians.com/

I love the #SMEM community and #SMEMchat. SMEM stands for Social Media Emergency Management. Think of it as how we use social media for disaster and crisis response. I’ve touched on these topics here before, and will again. When I saw that a book had come out specifically on this, I was delighted. And it had even more — the roles of open data, open source software and tools, citizen science, and crowdsourcing. So HUGELY exciting. I couldn’t wait for the library to get a copy, I had to borrow it interlibrary loan. Then I listened to the webinar with Patrick, hosted by NNLM. Then I didn’t want to give back the copy I’d borrowed, so I had to buy a copy. And then I made SURE the library bought a copy. Well worth reading, in case you haven’t guessed.


Digital Outcasts
Digital Outcasts: Moving Technology Forward Without Leaving People Behind, by Kel Smith: http://digital-outcasts.com/

I’ve been raving about Kel Smith’s book, Digital Outcasts. Kel does a brilliant job of not just look backwards at the intersection of disability, accessibility, and technology, but looking forward. He forecasts new technologies arising and some of the new ways in which they will create barriers to access for people. This one the library has, and they have it electronically.


Conquering Concussion
Conquering Concussion: Healing TBI Symptoms With Neurofeedback and Without Drugs, by Mary Lee Esty & C. M. Shifflett: http://conqueringconcussion.net/

Another one I bought for my own collection is Conquering Concussion, which got a rave review from Kirkus and then was listed as one of the top indie published books of 2014. Let’s just say that I have had enough concussions of my own for this to be personally relevant. Then it turned out that the authors are friends of a friend. Small world. Good book.


The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch
The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch, by Bertalan Mesko: http://themedicalfuturist.com/

Berci and I have known each other through social media since he was a med student. And now he’s NOT a medical student anymore, is a world recognized expert on emerging technologies and social media use in healthcare, a highly sought after public speaker, and he writes books. This one I bought as an e-book, because I wanted to highlight like crazy, and be able to download all my highlights in a nice tidy lump (something made much easier by reading the book on a Kindle!).


Last but not least, I’m brainstorming how we might make a webcomic about health literacy skills. Sounds like a really boring topic, eh? But the books I’m reading to do research on the idea are anything but boring.

Wrinkle in Time, Graphic Novel
A Wrinkle in Time, a Graphic Novel, by Madeleine L’Engle and Hope Larson: http://www.hopelarson.com/portfolio-item/a-wrinkle-intime/

This one isn’t remotely medical. Instead, it’s a book I’ve read over and over throughout my life, for which I own multiple editions in various formats, and Hope Larson went and turned it into a graphic novel (ie. comic book). You would not believe how much trouble I’ve had wrapping my head around how to tell a story in a comic. It’s not like I don’t read comics. It’s more like, well, brain freeze. This book got me over the first hurdle. Because I know the book so well in other forms, I could more easily understand how the story changed and stayed the same as it morphed into a more visual format.

On Purpose
On Purpose, by Vic Strecher: http://www.dungbeetle.org/

I’ve known Vic Strecher professionally for many years, probably almost as long as I’ve been working here at the University of Michigan. When I heard that Vic’s daughter had died it was like a punch in the gut, even though I’d never met her. I couldn’t imagine. I’m a mom, and there is no more terrifying thought than that something like this might happen to one of my kids. When Vic wrote a comic book about his experience, and how this became, for him, an opportunity for personal growth, I had to get a copy. And this book is what helped me see how a personal story can become a universal story. Seeing how this transformed into a comic book / graphic novel helped me to see opportunities in my own life for stories that could possibly be transformed into comics.

Oh Joy, Sex Toy (review)
Comic Reviews: Oh Joy, Sex Toy (by PF Anderson) http://www.graphicmedicine.org/comic-reviews/oh-joy-sex-toy-2/

Last month I was asked to review a copy of Erika Moen’s new nicer-than-average comic book on sex toys and sex education. You know. Oh Joy, Sex Toy? Trust me, most of the college age folk already know about it.

Erika Moen
Erika Moen

You can read my review for the basics about the book (which is printed with nice ink on absolutely gorgeous paper, if you’re into that sort of thing). For me, the most exciting part of the book was in the appendix, where Erika did a funny little comic about one day in her life, sketching one panel for each hour. LIGHTBULB! Now, I can see how all the pieces fit together: comic formatting, personal experience, and story telling. Next, I’m hoping to find time to actually make one. I’m nervous. Wish me luck! And inspiration!

Hashtags of the World (HOTW): #WhatIfResearchKit / What If Research Kit … ?

Apple ResearchKit
Apple ResearchKit: https://www.apple.com/researchkit/
ResearchKit for Developers: https://developer.apple.com/researchkit/

Last week, while I was deep in the throes of a family crisis, Apple announced “ResearchKit.” I noticed it, but obviously had no time to do anything with it. I’m looking forward to exploring that. I mean, really, it’s getting a ton of press!

9to5Mac: ResearchKit did in 24 hours what would normally take 50 medical centers a year – Stanford University

Bloomberg Business: Thousands Have Already Signed Up for Apple’s ResearchKit

CNBC: Apple’s ResearchKit: Gamechanger for digital health care?

Forbes: Apple’s Open-Source ‘ResearchKit’ And The Future Of Medical Research

MacWorld: First medical apps built with Apple’s ResearchKit won’t share data for commercial gain

MacWorld: Stanford’s ResearchKit app gained more users in 24 hours than most medical studies find in a year

TechCrunch: ResearchKit An “Enormous Opportunity” For Science, Says Breast Cancer Charity

TedBlog: mPowering the Apple ResearchKit: How Max Little put a Parkinson’s app on the iPhone

TheVerge: Apple’s new ResearchKit: ‘Ethics quagmire’ or medical research aid?

TheVerge: Apple’s new ResearchKit lets iPhone users participate in clinical trials; It could help researchers recruit from more diverse populations

Wired: Apple’s ResearchKit is a New Way to do Medical Research

Here is what Apple and it’s current group of partners are envisioning for how ResearchKit might be used. It sounds pretty inspiring already, with a nod to some of the complicated ethical and privacy issues poised to emerge.


ResearchKit – how iPhone is transforming medical research https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyY2qPb6c0c

In the meantime, several of my friends and colleagues on Twitter have begun discussion their visions for what could be done with ResearchKit. This group includes patients as well as researchers, and this, I suspect is the demographic, the community creating collaborations where the most profound and productive changes will be found. Here’s what they are saying, so far. Why don’t you join in?

Why stop there? What other possibilities could come from widespread adoption and use of ResearchKit?

#WhatIfResearchKit helped monitor the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Like a more official version of what was seen in ‘Still Alice’?

#WhatIfResearchKit helped improve treatment and intervention for depression through passive activity tracking?

#WhatIfResearchKit apps were developed in collaboration with the patient community? If these apps aren’t used, there’s no data to analyze.

What if Apple released a tool so anyone could make a #ResearchKit connected app. True citizen science. #WhatIfResearchKit

What if a community of translator helped translate #ResearchKit studies and consent information into other languages. #WhatIfResearchKit

#WhatIfResearchKit was rolled into the #PrecisionMedicine initiative and the NIH took a more open-source mentality to data collection.

That #WhatIfResearchKit already exists recalls @rufuspollock: “The best thing to do with your #data will be thought of by someone else.”

#WhatIfResearchKit tracked child development so that children with autism could be diagnosed quicker and provided with skills

Catching up on two rich threads: #bcsm + #WhatifResearchKit Who says we can’t cry and laugh and hope and rage all at the same time?

#WhatIfResearchKit was a cross-platform non-profit initiative partnering together device manufacturers to better healthcare? #DigitalHealth

“The key to understanding #health & disease is research & data.” Check out @AppIeOfflciaI’s #WhatIfResearchKit: http://apple.co/1FFSLR8

#WhatIfResearchKit JMIR will built a Healthbook app which randomizes participants to #mhealth apps #megatrial with 700 million participants

Healthbook http://www.healthbook.com/ will use #researchkit and also support n-of-1 trials to evaluate #mhealth apps #WhatIfResearchKit

What if all the people who are “healthy” (for now) could contribute their data as controls? #WhatIfResearchKit

#WhatIfResearchKit had an opt-in for every human, to proxy any slice of my data to #opensource science. +audit-trail

#WhatIfResearchKit was my life baseline, always collecting data when I’m healthy, so when I’m sick, the record is computable + comparable.

#WhatIfResearchKit was available on android platforms to ensure more socioeconomic, racial and ethnic diversity of participants

#WhatIfResearchKit flipped the paradigm community based studies studying access to care, how tertiary care centers impact POC communities

What if Apple made a dashboard so that we could all see enrollment numbers for #ResearchKit apps (in real time)? #WhatIfResearchKit

Reporters: If you are writing about #ResearchKit check out the ideas being shared here: #WhatIfResearchKit (and interview those innovators)

#WhatIfResearchKit – A story in 140 character bursts of hope https://storify.com/iamspartacus/whatifresearchkit … via @iam_spartacus

Personalized Medicine, Biosensors, Mobile Medical Apps, and More

At the Quantified Self Meetup, someone was praising the Rock Health slides. Of course, I had to go explore and see what was so great. These are my favorites.

About FDA’s Guidance for Mobile Medical Apps

FDA 101: A guide to the FDA for digital health entrepreneurs by @Rock_Health: http://www.slideshare.net/RockHealth/fda-101-a-guide-to-the-fda-for-digital-health-entrepreneurs

I especially took note of slide 10, where they describe things I would think of as an app, but which do not qualify as such for FDA regulation. This is an important distinction I hadn’t previously considered. Slide 12 takes it further by describing the categories of regulation as based on risk to patients, with good clear examples. Slie 21 on “pro tips” would have really benefitted companies like 23andMe (even though that isn’t actually a mobile medical app, the pro tips still apply, and in spades).

Biosensing Wearable Tech

The Future of Biosensing Wearables by @Rock_Health http://www.slideshare.net/RockHealth/the-future-of-biosensing-wearables-by-rockhealth

This one definitely gets into topics relevant to the quantified self movement and self-tracking. Slide six emphasizes the shift from the low hanging fruit (fitness, pulse, sleep) to the long tail — more targeted solutions for specific challenges (hydration, glucose, salinity, skin conductance, posture, oxygenation, heart rhythm, respiration, eyetracking, brain activity, etc.). That’s really quite interesting, and it gives examples of companies working in each space.

Slides 19-24 get into several of the areas our own local meetup defined as challenges to success for companies working in this space and for the future success of the entire area — it has to work, easily, and dependably. Slides 27-30 extrapolate these challenges into the transition into healthcare environments.

Personalized Medicine

The Future of Personalized Health Care: Predictive Analytics by @Rock_Health http://www.slideshare.net/RockHealth/the-future-of-personalized-health-care-predictive-analytics-press Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJak41hIDWc

SLIDES

VIDEO

It’s probably safe to say that most individuals working in the quantified self / self-tracking space eventually end up struggling with the issue of how to use their data to anticipate avoidable problems. This idea can be translated into the jargon phrase of “predictive analytics.” Slide 11 does a nice job of lining this up with how traditional healthcare is practiced, which is very useful. Slide 12 places this in the context of big data resources, databases, and tools, listing several of the main players. This context is essential for making personal data relevant beyond the drawn out process of n=1 studies. Slide 14 identifies the BIG problem of how companies working in this space largely focus on hospitals and health care providers, and seem to have entirely missed the idea that patients are deeply and actively engaged in this space. And, frankly, there are more of us than them (even if our pockets aren’t as deep). I love the phrase on slide 18, “Symptom calculators are the “recommendation engines” of health care.” Most of the rest of the deck identifies challenges and opportunities, which I hope any entrepreneurial types would examine closely. Do notice that there is a video with this one. You can hear the entire webinar as well as reviewing the slides.

At the Movies: Emerging Technologies for the New Year!

This is my last official work day of the year, which makes me think it is a ripe time to do a post looking over trends in emerging technologies. Maybe even a few posts. For starters, here is a roundup of videos from the past year that are looking at emerging technologies. Well, and you should always keep your eye on the Stanford Medicine X and TEDMED channels. FORAtv is another I like to track, although less medically oriented. This selection and more are available in my Emerging Technologies playlist.


The State of Technology in 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvWNonpZiIY
This video is by far the most Christmas-y of the collection, including Santa, the North Pole Workshop, and more. Watch for these emerging technologies. Did I miss any?
– ubiquitous satellite phones
– autolocation via GPS for crisis response
– independent robotic drones make deliveries
– Google Glass
– driverless cars
– 3d printing
– bioprinting
– auto-translation apps


Technology in Education: A Future Classroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ73ZsBkcus
[From the 2014 White House Student Film Festival]
– greater variety of displays
– interactivity of surfaces
– portability
– interactive holographic displays for multiple viewers
– smart glass
– data & virtual object sharing for collaboration
– tutorials that track activities
– learning analytics
– gamification
– badges


Top 10 future technologies coming in 2015 (links) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViF_jJUfgio
– resonance (wireless) chargers
– 3d printing
– Windows 9
– iPhone 6, Sapphire screen (unscratchable & unbreakable)
– flexible tablets
– virtual reality headsets
– artificial self-regulating heart
– 1 terabyte archival disks (“CD”s / BlueRay)
– driverless cars
– Google’s Project Ara (modular personalized mobile/smartphone device design)


SIGGRAPH 2014 : Emerging Technologies Preview Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmyGD4yRTGE
– Pixie Dust (acoustic levitation of small objects)
– cascaded displays (spatiotemporal superresolution using offset pixel layers)
– Traxion (tactile interaction device with virtual force sensation)
– physical rendering with a digital airbrush
– HaptoMirage (interaction with 3D virtual environment without need of special glasses)
– MaD (mapping by demonstration, sonification of gestures to provide feedback, possible accessibility applications)
Cyberith Virtualizer
Birdly (see also Flying the Birdly Virtual Reality Simulator)


Welcome To The Future ( Samsung ) HD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyIvSIY0MTM
Just about displays, only the future of display technology, and how this will impact on our interactions with information and data in daily life.
– Flexible & sensor integrated displays
– Wall display
– Foldable display
– Bended display
– Automotive window display
– Blackboard display
– Unbreakable display
– Edu-desk display
– Transparent elevator display
– 3-foldable display
– Wearable display
– Smart window
– Table display
– Transparent large-format display
– Interactive floor display


World Economic Forum names top 10 emerging technologies of 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DniRTZx1FCw
– Body-adapted wearable electronics
– Nanostructured carbon composites
– Mining metals from desalination brine
– Grid-scale electricity storage
– Nanowire lithium-ion batteries
– Screenless display
– Human microbiome therapeutics
– RNA-based therapeutics
– Quantified self
– Brain-computer interfaces (BCI)
Most interesting observation from the video: “need for regulatory frameworks & strategic alliances among innovators and market leaders.” The report is available as a PDF.


Hybrid Librarian: Future’s 10 Mind-Blowing Technologies About to Emerge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K587Za5qSjA
– super smart assistants (intelligent assistants, AI, like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Watson, Cyc)
– hypersonic trains
– wearable computers
– advanced 3D printing
– lab-grown organs
– super immersive gaming
– bionic arms
– driverless cars
– holographic technology
– eternal life


Make It Wearable (playlist) | Episode 2: Human Health https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2l3e1oNwUU
– trackers
– behavior modification
– big data
– patient-clincian relationship change
– injury identification
– rehabilitation
– prompts
– answer new questions
– data ownership
– research in the actual environment where behavior occurs
– “everyone can say, ‘this is my question. this is my data.'”

Ebola and Emerging Technologies

Ebola & Emerging Tech

Ebola & Emerging Tech: http://www.mindmeister.com/485610588/ebola-emerging-tech

Our local Cool Toys Conversations group had asked to have a discussion of emerging technologies and Ebola, and “could we please have it before the holidays when everyone will be traveling?” I had tried to get this up early last week, but life happened, and so it is coming to you now.

When we started looking at this topic I was surprised to find so much! I probably shouldn’t have been — Ebola is big news. It seems as if everyone doing anything in tech and emerging tech is doing something interesting related to Ebola. Well, except Apple. And that surprised me, too. There were so many links, so many topics, I could have EASILY done a month of daily blogposts just on this topic. Once we started, we kept finding more. The collection of links was getting overblown, random, chaotic, confusing. I decided to organize them all in a mindmap, and doing that took a while. Mindmeister kept saying, “Too many topics at one level!” This is why it is broken down into 4 section, but don’t take those sections too seriously. They are more an artifact of the process than seriously meaningful. Each major topic probably has minor topics and links that could easily belong in another section. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to give an alphabetic list here of what’s included in the mindmap (which is also where you’ll find all the actual links – hint? Click on the little arrows).

I have so many favorite projects and resources I can’t possibly highlight them all. If life and time permit, I’ll try to throw together a slideshow with screenshots of some of them. Just as teasers, here are just a … a smidgen, a teeny tiny sampling. Tim Unwin wrote a great overview of exciting ways in which emerging technologies are being used in the Ebola crisis. Biosensors, wearable tech, open everything, code repositories, data, genetics, DIYbio, mapping and tracking, apps (tons of them), reverse innovation, open source pharma, gaming, cryogenics, … the list goes on and on. You already know how completely enchanted I am with the maker movement right now, and this is no exception. Makers Against Ebola designed flash sensors and proximity alarms to help prevent contamination while working with patients, pull tabs and zipper extenders to make it easier to get in and out of the Personal Protective Environments (which you might recognize better as hazmat suits). The DIY Ebola Challenge came up with a great variety of open source hardware solutions for scientific equipment, in efforts to design a kit they couple bundle and share at point of need. So far they have centrifuges in all sizes, PCR thermocycler, gel electrophoresis, spectrometers, multichannel pipettes, and more. Other folk are using tools like the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black to design inexpensive syringe pumps and diagnostics. And then there’s robots! Robots to decontaminate, robots to intercede between people and create a distance than may contain the disease (like a social firebreak). The ways in which people are using tech to highlight the personal aspect is also awe-inspiring. From citizen journalism to ebola MOOCs to the WAYout Ebola Song, with every social media tool you can name, someone is doing something to try to help share important stories and information. There is a lot more in the mindmap, with links for everything. There’s even a section on open access images about Ebola to use foe teaching, training, and education. Check it out — here’s an outline.

GENERAL

Articles
Collections

PEOPLE DRIVEN

Advocacy
Citizen Science
Citizen Journalism
Collaboration Tech
Communication (Challenges: Misinformation & Hype, Stigma, Weaponized; Solutions: Education & Training, Ebola Information, MOOCs, Information & Health Literacy, Wikipedia
Social Media
Research
Crowdfunding
Crowdsourcing (Challenges)
Makers & DIY
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At the Movies: Public Health Aspects of E-Cigarettes, 10 (Or So) Thought-Provoking Videos

The Risk Bites video series is touching on many of my favorite emerging technologies topics. Every now and then, I’m hoping to take some of their topics and dig into the issues a little more. Today’s topic is e-cigs, which I’ve blogged about here before. Earlier this week, the e-cigarette panel discussion at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (#APHA14) attracted a great deal of attention, including attendance from the current Surgeon General.

In addition, APHA endorsed a public call to the FDA to push forward on regulating electronic cigarettes.

20149 Regulation of electronic cigarettes — Calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop regulations that hold e-cigarettes to the same marketing and advertising standards as conventional tobacco cigarettes and calls for the federal funding of research on the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarette use. Urges the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require special packaging, including warning labels, on e-cigarette cartridges to help prevent childhood poisoning. Also calls on state and local official to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public areas and workplaces. APHA News Releases: New 2014 policy statements http://www.apha.org/news-and-media/news-releases/apha-news-releases/2014-policy-statements

This all makes this topic especially timely, and worthwhile of reviewing once more. Please note, I am NOT saying these are the reasons behind the APHA call for action, or even that there is research to support the points below. I am saying only that these are things I’ve noticed and found interesting. If there isn’t research, maybe there needs to be. If existing research doesn’t yet answer important safety questions, maybe we should act with caution until we do have those answers. It there is, then maybe I could share some in another post. I do believe that the issue of e-cigs is more nuanced than we might be led to believe by much of the public dialog around it — that there are both benefits and risks. So, with that caveat, here we go!

NUMBER 10


Electronic cigarettes and health – the basics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mToznqKD5Ac

Primary public health perspectives mentioned in this video:
– What are the impacts of use by children?
– E-Cigs reduce toxins from smoke for regular smokers
– Are e-cigs simply an easier path to nicotine addiction?
– Aside from the intended nicotine, there may be impurities & contaminants from e-liquid solutions
– The FDA only has oversight over certain aspects of e-cigs, and there may be a lack of regulation for other potentially risky aspects of the device & liquids.

This is a truly excellent introduction in very few minutes to the most important considerations of e-cigarette use. The best quick overview I’ve seen. There are a few other issues to possibly address. See the following videos for a broader picture of public health aspects of e-cigarettes.

NUMBER NINE

There have been (few, but some) reports of e-cigarette devices that were flawed in manufacture and did nasty stuff like explode in someone’s face. This is another aspect for the attention of regulators. Some of the explosions have been when on charge (as in this video), or have been modified in some way by the user (“at your own risk” becomes a very meaningful phrase). There are reports of this happening while in use and damaging the user’s face. Because this is not a medical device, these events are not being recorded in a way that allows healthcare systems to document and define the level of risk. Without that, you are basically depending on the industry to self-police manufacturing standards and error rates.


E-cigarette on charge explodes in bartender’s face: CAUGHT ON CCTV CAMERA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1VrzgeG7jk

NUMBER EIGHT

We live in a MAKER world. People hack their medical devices, and people hack their home devices. Why should e-cigarettes be any different? According to this video people hack their e-cig devices to make them hotter, and to have less of a draw, so they can get more vapor with less effort. According to the scientists, this changes the risks associated with the chemicals. We need to ask not only what people are already doing to hack these devices, but what else they might do with them or their components. I’m sure we have yet to imagine everything that could be done with vape pens.


Mashable: How to Hack Your Own E-Cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmxwnuTRMiw

NUMBER SEVEN

Vaping is a drug delivery mechanism. Nicotine is only one drug. There is talk about using vaping as a tool for delivering other medications that require inhalation, such as asthma meds. Of course, it needn’t be used solely for prescription meds, either. Vaping is also a tool for delivering street drugs, illegal drugs, and home made drugs. This, again, could be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.


How To Mix & Make Your Own E Juice Liquid DIY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x57PaibrOag

SPECIAL REPORT: Teens using E-Cigs to smoke marijuana http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/SPECIAL-REPORT-Teens-using-E-Cigs-to-smoke-marijuana-245882671.html

NUMBER SIX

Remember the phrase “gateway drugs”? There are recipes all over the Internet for how to make your own e-cig liquid, and those recipes include directions for how to make e-cig liquid to deliver illegal drugs. I think the genie is out of the bottle on that one, but it is certainly an issue to address in public health circles. Of course, also keep in mind that e-cigs may be a alternate way to provide medical marijuana to patients.


How To: Potent Water-Soluble Cannabis Concentrate in Glycerin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyx8br65N0&list=PLpKaVRowbJ84eVJTLbAyVUUdzSXfJwLVS

NUMBER FIVE

People have mentioned the issues of e-cig flavors that are clearly being marketed specifically to children, and how the devices are being marketed as cool/fun/sexy for young adults.


Do Vape Pens Trick Teens? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnKwHWyHH4g


A Sexy View of the ECC 2014 Expo – Vape Club https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6SQiu08DxQ

It really makes it look like fun, doesn’t it? That was actually the first thing that attracted my attention to e-cigarettes. I saw so many incredibly beautiful photos streaming thru the sites marketing the devices, it seemed like there was an awful lot of money and genius being poured into the campaigns. It made me wonder why.

NUMBER FOUR

Recent research from the CDC reveals that e-cig use among children and teens is skyrocketing. It may take time to learn the long term outcomes of this trend.


CDC: More kids lighting up e-cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ_BEiKpqaE


Growing Number of Youth Smoking Vaporizers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L3so_qfpuo

NUMBER THREE

Research also seems to show that youth who start with e-cigs are more likely to convert to conventional cigarettes. This is, obviously, the reverse of using e-digs as a smoking cessation device.

Study: Youth who have used e-cigarettes are twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes
Study: Youth who have used e-cigarettes are twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes http://kimt.com/2014/09/24/study-youth-who-have-used-e-cigarettes-are-twice-as-likely-to-smoke-conventional-cigarettes/

Teenage E-Cigarette Use Likely Gateway to Smoking http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-06/teenage-e-cigarette-use-likely-gateway-to-smoking.html

Intentions to Smoke Cigarettes Among Never-Smoking U.S. Middle and High School Electronic Cigarette Users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011–2013 http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/09/16/ntr.ntu166

NUMBER TWO

This video seems to me to be intentionally designed to scare people, BUT, despite the hyperbole and drum rolls, the content is largely factual, just framed to be extra exciting. I’m including links to the source content so you can dig into it more, and don’t have to depend on the video.


CDC Releases Negative Findings of E-Cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bMUxSw1BoM

CDC: Youth Tobacco Prevention: Electronic Cigarettes: Key Findings: Intentions to smoke cigarettes among never-smoking U.S. middle and high school electronic cigarette users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011-2013 http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/youth/e-cigarettes/

CDC News Room: E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012 http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0905-ecigarette-use.html

CDC News Room: More than a quarter-million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes in 2013: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0825-e-cigarettes.html

CDC: Youth and Tobacco Use: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/

CDC Newsroom: Emerging tobacco products gaining popularity among youth; Increases in e-cigarette and hookah use show need for increased monitoring and prevention http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p1114-emerging-tobacco-products.html

CDC Newsroom: New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers; Rapid rise highlights need to monitor nicotine exposure through e-cigarette liquid and prevent future poisonings http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0403-e-cigarette-poison.html

NUMBER ONE

The LONG version! An hour long lecture by Dr. Lynne Dawkins from the University of East London.


Electronic cigarettes: What we know so far https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KBGH2F63A

Among other issues, she points out that excessive regulation of vape pens and e-digs could lead to people making their own devices. The genie is out of the lamp — people know what these are and how they work. It isn’t going to be that hard to make your own, but it may create other kinds of risks and quality control issues. Right now, you can actually buy kits to make your own vape pen at home.


How To Make A Home Made Vaporizer Out Of House Hold Items http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N0w34OWVx0


Just for balance, here are a couple of infographics about e-cigs and the balance of research, information, and evidence currently available.

Anonymous Social Media Overview, Part Three: The Whisper Controversy & Beyond

I had said in Part Two of this series that I was waiting to talk about the Whisper Controversy because it was still unfolding so dramatically. Things are starting to wind down, and so last night I put together a Storify mapping out my perspective of the timeline of how this has all been happening.

Briefly, Whisper was trying to do a good thing, but it seemed to go wrong.
Guardian called them out on issues related to privacy & user tracking.
Story exploded.
Whisper defended themselves (mostly via Editor-in-Chief).
More explosions.
Guardian gleefully expanded on their original story.
Yada yada.
Whisper tries to regain trust (mostly via CEO).
Editorial team “laid off” pending investigation.
And now the clean up work starts.

Check the Storify for more details and specifics.

Meanwhile, Whisper is not alone. Far from it! Snapchat was hacked. Snapchat is probably the most famous anonymous social media app right now. Before they were hacked, all sorts of people were making tools (1, 2, 3) to “break” Snapchat’s rules about keeping copies of deleted pictures without permission. (The same sort of thing is happening on other ‘anonymous’ social platforms, like Tumblr with KnowAnon. And people posted private sex tapes on YikYak, which is also infamous for cyberbullying and violence and threats.) And the Federal Trade Commission is investigating some of the problems with Snapchat. People still trust and use Snapchat. And there are apps designed explicitly to, well, invade your privacy on an opt-in basis, like PeekInToo. This post has focused on the privacy issues, but violence, dishonesty, and cyberbullying remain significant issues in many online spaces. So, that’s the bad news. In the next post, I’ll look at some of the good things being done with social media.