The Avatar Economy– from Technology Review by Matt Beane
Are remote workers the brains inside tomorrow’s robots?

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In warehouses, Kiva’s robots do the heavy lifting – from Technology Review by Verne Kopytoff
Fast pace, low margins have online retailers looking to automation to keep up.

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This Week In Bots: Will robots cause even more human unemployment? — from FastCompany.com byKit Eaton

 

The expanding landscape of tech support opportunities — from parksassociates.com

Excerpt:

The connected home phenomenon – where products and services are linked together to share computing resources and information – is reshaping the competitive landscape among service providers, retailers, and consumer electronics companies.

The lines that defined and separated the different roles for each consumer product have blurred. No longer does a service provider remain the sole provider of communications or entertainment services. A retailer or OEM may have been the primary beneficiary of extended warranty revenues; now, some service providers are offering these plans as part of their premium tech support services. These changes are creating new opportunities to provide tech support services to consumers to help manage/support these devices in the home.

The less glamorous careers: Advice and fact — from by Stephanie Brooks — with special thanks to Kelsey Doyle for bringing this to my attention

Excerpt:

Few children tout that they want to be an accountant or a petroleum engineer when they grow up, even if the expertise required by those jobs make them amongst the highest paying careers. Rather, children have big dreams about becoming actors, artists, or writers with a little bit of fame, animal care workers, and firemen, rescuing babies from blazing houses. Such careers seem glamorous to children, as they are fraught with adventure and romanticism. However, as you get older, you realize that some of your childhood career choices are not as glamorous as they originally seemed. The pay in these career paths often leave something to be desired. It can be difficult to find a legitimate job within the field, with lower demand. Some of the jobs that once seemed heroic only seem dangerous and risky. Adult practicality sets in, steering many college students towards business, marketing, and other fruitful majors with relatively high success rates within the job world.

With the recession, new graduates flounder to find jobs, accepting positions that help them pay their bills rather than fulfill their dreams. However, there are still a brave few that pursue their childhood aspirations. These tough career paths require tremendous personal drive, a touch of luck, and in many cases, the ability to handle failure, excessive stress, and potential pay cuts. The following jobs are just a handful of the most popular career choices strived for by children. Upon further examination, many of them may not be all they’re cracked up to be.

 

Innovations in health care

A visual guide to health care innovation — from fastcoexist.com by Morgan Clendaniel
There are tons of startups looking to change how we get and stay healthy–from minimizing emergency room visits to getting your medical records on your phone. A handy and fun website, Healthy Dose of Imagination, will take you on a tour of some of the best.

 

Also see:

  • Meet the 15-year-old who is changing how we test for cancer — from — from fastcoexist.com by
    By day, Jack Andraka appears to be a normal high school student. But after school, he goes to the lab at Johns Hopkins, where he’s developing a test for pancreatic cancer that is worlds better than what’s currently available. You may have read about him before, now see him talk about his breakthrough.
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15 TED talks on the future of medicine — from MedicalBillingandCoding.org

Medical Billing 101: A practical guide — from MedicalBillingandCoding.org

The ICU gets connected — from connectedworldmag.com

Excerpt:

For most of us, when we need healthcare we go to our clinic or hospital and see a doctor. But in many parts of the world, that’s not an option. In small towns located far from urban centers, especially in developing countries, the trip to see a doctor may be next to impossible. Luckily, connected technology is making it easier for patients to gain access to healthcare remotely.

In places where healthcare is a scarce resource, technology can bring it closer to people. In India, Fortis Healthcare, www.fortishealthcare.com, is partnering with GE Healthcare, www.gehealthcare.com, to create what’s known as an eICU (electronic intensive care unit). The CritiNext eICU is being deployed in 34 ICU beds in two hospitals in India.

An Alzheimer’s warning 25 years before symptoms show — from technologyreview.com by Karen Weintraub
The rise and fall of certain proteins can indicate dementia’s onset decades before the appearance of symptoms.

MacPractice announces new iPad patient registration clipboard apps — from MarketWatch.com

Excerpt:

LINCOLN, NE, Jul 12, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — MacPractice, the leading Apple developer of practice management and clinical software for doctors’ offices on Macs, iPhones and iPads, today announced the launch of MacPractice MD, DDS, DC and 20/20 Clipboard iPad Apps that will streamline patient registration and leverage the efficiency and ease of use of Apple’s innovative iPad to save time and reduce the risk of data entry errors.

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http://www.ringadoc.com

 

From DSC:
With webcams and web-based collaboration tools becoming more sophisticated all the time, I wonder how this relatively new concept/service will do…? Perhaps well, if the price and quality are right.  If it does succeed, I expect Ringalawyer.com won’t be far behind it.

 

 

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Penn launches its first free online classes via Coursera — from the University of Pennsylvania

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

PHILADELPHIA — This week, the University of Pennsylvania launched three free courses via Coursera, an online educational platform designed to make Web-based classes available more widely.

With the capacity to reach millions of people simultaneously, Coursera has a design inspired by educational research on effective learning practices and creates an interactive learning experience for the course offerings.

So far, more than 50,000 people from around the world have enrolled in these three online courses, all stemming from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine:

  1. Fundamentals of Pharmacology with Emma Meagher, an attending physician in preventive cardiology at Penn Medicine and the director of Penn’s four-year pharmacology curriculum.
  2. Vaccines with Paul Offit, a professor of pediatrics in the Perelman School and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has made it his life’s work to educate both the medical profession and the public on the value of vaccinations.
  3. Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act with Ezekiel Emanuel, the vice provost for global initiatives at Penn and the chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy.  He is also a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor in the Perelman School and the Wharton School.

Desktop CNC Machine lets you build stuff out of more than just plastic — from GIZMODO

Excerpt:

Affordable 3D printers are all the rage, but you’re limited to only creating objects from plastic or other extrudable materials. A CNC machine, however, like this ultra-compact ShopBot Desktop, can carve objects out of any material, letting you create more than just trinkets or models.

Printing a medical revolution — from trowprice.com by Russ Banham
3D printing is shaping the future of medicine
 
Addendum on 6/18/12:
 

This Gigantor CNC Machine is Longer Than a Football Field— from gizmodo.com

 
 

 
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Doctors on demand: 5 startups wiping out the waiting room — from gigaom.com by Ki Mae Heussner

 

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Pocket Brain app for iOS probes layers of the human brain in 3D

Excerpt:

After exploring the body and the heart, developer eMedia has released a Pocket Brain app for iOS devices that provides a detailed look at eight layers of the brain, including cross sections, nerve pathways, and a load of supplementary learning material. eMedia calls the app a “fully searchable interactive 3D atlas” with structures that are pinned with identifications and additional clinical and anatomical information, and users are able to add their own notes on the brain within the app.

9 new life-saving technologies for doctors — from PCMag.com by Chandra Steele
These apps for physicians cure some of the ills facing the tech-deficient medical field.

Example:
Philips Vital Signs Camera

Philips Vital Signs Camera

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Healthcare-related innovations

Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream — from Stanford University by Andrew Myers
Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream

Excerpt:

For fifty years, scientists had searched for the secret to making tiny implantable devices that could travel through the bloodstream. Engineers at Stanford have demonstrated a wirelessly powered device that just may make the dream a reality.

 

Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream

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Controlling Protein Function With Nanotechnology — from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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CIMIT — example posting:  

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Sensable sustomers showcase touch-enabled surgical, medical simulation and robotics innovations at MMVR Conference

 

Addendums on 7/24/12:

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Excerpt from  Welcome to the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE blog:

Well, for most of us, health is something we don’t bother with… until we don’t have it. Imagine this scenario:

It’s 3 a.m. Your child is crying and screaming about an earache that has gotten progressively worse all day. Her temperature has been steadily rising and is now at 103°. What do you do now? Head to the hospital? Take her to a pediatrician? Get some Advil and wait it out? But would that interfere with a medication that she might get later at the ER or Urgent Care?

By the way, she is still crying while you are trying to figure this out.

Imagine an alternate universe, one where you take a small sample of her saliva and insert it into an attached sensor on your smartphone. There it gets analyzed, and – bing – on your 3×5-inch screen, it reassures you by telling you:

“Sadie has another ear infection. Please give her some Ibuprofen, because she may react to the aspirin like she did last time this happened in August. The nearest Walgreen’s is two blocks away, and has a prescription filled for a topical antibiotic that should begin to address symptoms within three hours. Her pediatrician has an appointment available tomorrow at 3 p.m. Would you like me to schedule you for this time?”

We aren’t there quite yet, but at X PRIZE we see a day when we soon will be. In this competition, we are creating this future by launching a $10 million competition that will ask to teams to accurately and quickly diagnose 15 common and important diseases without the input or oversight of a health professional. So that in the future we may not need a doctor, or an ER room, or not even have to wait until we are sick to get health information and health care.

Health information can be now, it can be mobile, and it can be controlled by you.

See also:

QualComm Tricorder -- healthcare in the palm of your own hands

With Watson, IBM seeks to sell medical knowledge

 

Originally saw this at Steve Knode’s newsletter, which stated:

With Watson, IBM Seeks to Sell Medical Knowledge – Watson is the supercomputing engine that beat the top two human competitors on the quiz show Jeopardy! this year, and Daniels is on the IBM team developing the software’s first commercial application as what could be a stunningly useful diagnostic assistant for doctors. If it works as envisioned, Watson could help doctors identify what is afflicting any patient and suggest a course of treatment.

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Excerpt:

Microsoft has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named “Daytona.” Project Daytona is designed to support a wide class of data analytics and machine learning algorithms. It can scale out to hundreds of server cores for analysis of distributed data.

Project Daytona was developed as part of the eXtreme Computing Group’s Cloud Research Engagement Initiative, making its debut at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. One of the most common requests we have received from the community of researchers in our program is for a data analysis and processing framework. Increasingly, researchers in a wide range of domains—such as healthcare, education, and environmental science—have large and growing data collections and they need simple tools to help them find signals in their data and uncover insights. We are making the Project Daytona MapReduce Runtime for Windows Azure download freely available, along with sample codes and instructional materials that researchers can use to set up their own large-scale, cloud data-analysis service on Windows Azure. In addition, we will continue to improve and enhance Project Daytona (periodically making new versions available) and support our community of users.

Also see:

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Choose My Plate dot gov replaces the food pyramid

 

From DSC:
Dog…does this mean my trips to fast food restaurants need to decrease even further now? (I’m sure the answer to that question is a resounding Yes! Oh well, I need to eat better anyway.)

 

 

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WHO declares cellphones “possibly carcinogenic” — ars technica by John Timmer

Excerpt:

Those who are worried about the possible health risks of cellphones just received some backing from a significant source: the World Health Organization. A group within the organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has announced it is listing the electromagnetic radiation produced by cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic.” The IARC’s use of the term “possibly” is key to the decision, as its expert panel determined that the information available is too limited to say anything with a greater degree of certainty, but is sufficient to warrant careful monitoring.

The designation is the result of a meeting held last week that brought 31 health researchers together to evaluate the conclusions that can be drawn from current research, including unpublished information from the Interphone study. The conclusions will eventually appear in The Lancet Oncology, but the IARC has issued a press release ahead of publication.

As we recently discussed, the wavelengths used for cellular communications are only known to influence human tissue via heating, and the researchers involved with the designation do not propose anything new here. The panel also recognizes that most of the epidemiological research involving human exposure to radio frequencies is ambiguous; for all but two types of cancer, the current state of information is officially deemed “inadequate.”

From DSC:
Though the evidence doesn’t seem to be very threatening, I’d rather be safe than sorry here. For me, a practical application that I take from this is to not use the cell phone if I can use a land line close by.

 

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AnatOnMe projects patients’ insides onto their outsides — from gizmag.com by Paul Ridden

Excerpt:

A team at Microsoft’s research wing has developed a working prototype of a system that may help to encourage physical injury sufferers to do their exercises by giving them a clearer understanding of what’s going on. A therapist would use the device to project a series of graphics of underlying bone, muscle tissue, tendons or nerves directly onto the body of a patient to help explain the nature of the injury and prescribe effective treatment. The device can also take photos during a consultation, which can be subsequently reviewed or printed out as a memory aid for the patient.

 

 

 

 

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