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 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


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 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


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


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


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 by Chandra Steele
These apps for physicians cure some of the ills facing the tech-deficient medical field.

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


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


Controlling Protein Function With Nanotechnology — from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


CIMIT — example posting:  


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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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


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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Mobile app helps doctors diagnose strokes — from by Mark Milian

Ross Mitchell, left and Mayank Goyal display the ResolutionMD Mobile iPad app, which could help doctors diagnose strokes.

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


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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epocrates --  giving doctors and nurses instant drug reference (and more)

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“Crabby Old Man…”

From DSC:
Perhaps you’ve seen this…but I’m reminded that our lives are but a vapor when I read this one. I’m also reminded of a person’s dignity and the specialness of a person, a life, a soul.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in Grass Valley, CA (USA). it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri.

The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man…
What do you see nurses? . . … . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old man . .. . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit … . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . .. . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice .. .. . … . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . .. . .. . The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? . … . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am. . . . … . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .. . . .. with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . .. … who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . .. my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . . .. . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other .. . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . … . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman’s beside me . . . . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . .. . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . … . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years .. . . .. . and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man . . . . …. and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . … . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . . gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . … . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . … . . Look closer . .. . see ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

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© 2024 | Daniel Christian