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Posts from the ‘Google’ Category

Google And Novartis Tracking Diabetes With Smart Contact Lenses

A few months ago I discussed the future features of smart contact lenses. Now using these to augment vision or track health parameters is not only a good idea any more, as Google launched a partnership with the pharmaceutical company Novartis to develop smart contact lenses that can track diabetes by measuring blood glucose levels in tears and fix farsightedness as well.

As part of the agreement, Google[x] and Novartis’ eye care division Alcon will create smart lenses that feature “non-invasive sensors, microchips and other miniaturized electronics” and focus on two main areas. The first will provide a way for diabetic patients to keep on top of their glucose levels by measuring the sugar levels in their tear fluid, feeding the data back to a smartphone or tablet. The second solution aims to help restore the eye’s natural focus on near objects, restoring clear vision to those who are only farsighted (presbyopia).

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Google set to launch Google Fit!

After weeks of rumors about Apple launching a health initiative then getting much less than expected, now Google is said to launch a new health tracking platform called Google Fit.

Not to be left behind by Apple, Google could soon launch its own health-tracking platform for mobile devices. Forbes reports that the search giant is working on a new service, tentatively called Google Fit, which will pull in data from third-party fitness wearables and health apps and combine them into one central app. It’s not known if Fit will be delivered as a standalone app or come embedded inside future versions of Android, but it would likely operate as Google-made version of Apple’s HealthKit, a service that lets companies like Nike feed in fitness data, and Samsung’s own fitness framework, SAMI.

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Digital Contact Lens Will Let Us Turn The Page By Blinking

Google is working on a new digital, multi-sensor contact lens according to the US Patent & Trademark Office. It will work with Google Glass and other wearables, as well as Android smartphones, Google Now, smart televisions and other devices.

It will let its user turn the page of a book or proceed to the next song by blinking.

The ultimate goal is to insert a screen into the lens but this will take years to fulfill.

According to Google, a mechanism is provided for detecting blinking of an eye via multiple sensors on or within the contact lens (hereinafter referred to as multi-sensor contact lens). For example, a multi-sensor contact lens can be placed in one or both eyes of a user that can actively determine (or infer) blinking of the eye.

In a non-limiting example, multi-sensor contact lens monitors sensors on or within the multi-sensor contact lens at intervals that are less than an average or shortest length of time of an eye blink. It is to be appreciated that both eyes of a human user generally blink at the same time, and thus in various embodiments only one multi-sensor contact lens is needed to generate a command to a remote device.

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9 Steps About How to Disappear From The Internet

There is a very interesting and instructive step-by-step guide about how to delete yourself from the internet and disappear completely online. I’m not encouraging you to delete your profiles online, but there are a few details in the guide which might come handy in some cases such as how to ask Google to remove a search engine result posting information about you.

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My CNN Article: 10 ways technology will save your life in the future

I was invited to write an article about 10 ways technology will save our lives in the future for CNN.com and I was happy to do so. It was featured today on the main page of CNN. I hope you will find it useful. Here is the introduction:

The medical and healthcare sectors are in the midst of rapid change, and it can be difficult to see which new technologies will have a long-lasting impact.

Ideally, the future of healthcare will balance innovative medical technologies with the human touch. Here, I’ve outlined the trends most likely to change our lives, now or in the near future.

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Breastfeeding Mothers Getting Help From Google Glass?

I always try to find new ways of using Google Glass in healthcare, but to be honest, I have never thought of this option.

New mothers struggling with breastfeeding may soon have the latest technology at their disposal to get expert help at any time of day.

The Melbourne office of an innovation company called Small World is about to conduct a Google Glass trial with the Australian Breastfeeding Association that will effectively allow their telephone counsellors to see through the eyes of mothers while they breastfeed at home.

The company is looking for 10 Victorian women expecting to give birth in February who want to trial the high-tech glasses for six to eight weeks to receive breastfeeding coaching.

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20 Predictions in Medicine And Healthcare for 2014: From DIY Biotech to Mind-Controlled Exoskeletons

Every January, I publish my predictions for the upcoming year regarding medicine and healthcare. Usually, the majority of these predictions turn out to be valid later on, although I prefer calling them apparent trends rather than actual predictions. Here are my 20 points for 2014.

1) Google Glass to be used in everyday healthcare: Google Glass has shown its potentials as demonstrated by forward-thinking medical professionals such as Lucien Engelen, Christian Assad and Rafael Grossmann, even the first clinical study came out focusing on the use of Glass in the clinic in 2013. Prepare to see the first real practical examples in 2014.

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2) IBM Watson’s first commercial use by hospitals: IBM’s supercomputer has been tested by US clinics for months and it has proven its validity and value in medical decision-making processes. The first hospitals that make their doctors understand that Watson does not replace them, instead, it assists them, will buy the service in 2014.

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3) Direct-to-consumer genomics to get new rules: The recent story about the FDA and 23andMe demonstrated how insufficient the regulation around DTC genomic testing is, therefore it is time to come up with standards that only the best services can achieve. By standard I mean the FDA should make sure only companies with deep scientific knowledge and expertise get the permission to perform genomic analysis online. Now it’s certainly not the case.

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4) 3D printing artificial limbs and biomaterials goes mainstream: We have already seen some great examples when artificial limbs and different types of biomaterials such as kidney or heart tissues were printed out in 3D but in 2014 this industry becomes mainstream with the first home 3D printers in the market.

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5) The healthcare experience will be brought to the home: See the recently published “doctor chair” that can measure a user’s blood pressure, pulse, temperature, body motion, and other vital signs just by having the user sit in the chair as an example and expect more similar solutions which will, by time, make hospitals almost useless as we will measure everything about ourselves at home.

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6) LEGO Mindstorms to be applied for DIY biotech: The amazing concept behind LEGO Mindstorms that teach you how to build an actual robot at home could be applied to the biotech industry with people growing cells and performing even simpler biotech tasks at home resulting in a new generation of scientists.

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7) Home diagnostics to be the key trend: Not only Scanadu will ship the first prototypes early 2014, but other similar devices with which patients can measure simple health parameters at home will become available.

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8) Wearable MRI technology: What if we could use radiology imaging without those huge machines? A Swiss group has been working on a wearable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detector and sensor arrays. It would vanish long waiting lists and allow medical professionals to literally see through the patient in emergency situations.

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9) Optogenetics to be featured at major scientific journals: I’ve been following the latest developments related to optogenetics and I was amazed when scientists were able to create false memories in the hippocampus of mice which was the first time fear memory was generated via artificial means. We might see even more studies that will put its potential implications on display.

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10) Bigger role of MOOCs as medical schools change approach about digital literacy: By the time the majority of medical schools worldwide realize the potential and importance of teaching digital literacy for future medical professionals, we will need more and more massive open online courses such as The Social MEDia Course to serve their needs and train a new generation of doctors.

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11) More connected digital healthcare devices and services: This should be one of the key trends this year as for the last years, we have been seeing plenty of great solutions either as medical devices or unique online services, but the connectivity has been a major issue. John Nosta featured the imperative of connectivity in his recent Forbes column.

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12) The first steps of Google Calico to be public: When Larry Page announced the launch of Calico, their new venture focusing on reversing and stopping the process of aging and related diseases, nobody knew what to expect. They will announce the first steps in 2014 led by the former CEO of life sciences giant Genentech and a chairman at Apple.

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13) EEG controlled devices to appear: There have been little games available on Amazon which let you control a ball with your “mind”, but what about those devices that really use your thoughts to control things? I’ve used myself a wheelchair which was controlled by thoughts and will meet soon the team behind SynetIQ, a platform for neuromarketing.

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14) Exoskeletons will be featured worldwide: We have been talking about the potential use of exoskeletons for disabled people but this year the technology will become available for the masses. Also related to the EEG controlled devices, a mind-controlled exoskeleton will kick off the 2014 football World Cup watched by billions of people.

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15) First really useful food scanners to be released: While there are thousands of wearable devices and smartphone apps focusing on fitness, what about a healthy diet? Using a simple meal diary makes no significant change in a lifestyle. The device of a Toronto-based company, Tellspec, detects allergens, chemicals and nutrients in your food. We could also link such data to our own genomic background to make the truly best diet choices.tellspec-17

16) Gamifying the healthy lifestyle: HapiFork measures whether you eat properly, a smart bra spots cancer in time; FitBit, Shine and hundreds of wearable devices were meant to help us live a healthy life by measuring our health parameters/lifestyle and gamifying the steps required for making positive changes.

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17) Finally remote touch and simpler data input become possible: The technology behind designing touchscreens that can work on any surfaces has made crucial steps in the past 2 years therefore it’s time to make simple data input possible. Omnitouch seems to be a valid player in this area.

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18) Nanotechnology to be included in the medical curriculum: For years, nanotechnology has presented the potentials of using nanotech devices in treating diseases, but as bombing cancer cells and using less invasive diagnostics became possible in 2013, we can expect to see nanotech-based clinical trials soon which also means we must teach students about such solutions..

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19) Decision on newborn genome sequencing to be made: Although the recent FDA vs 23andme debate prolonged this, certain countries (mainly in Asia) might start providing newborn babies with their own genome sequences at birth. The decline of the cost of sequencing and the rise of genome centers in Chine could be the key factors in this.

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20) First results of Ray Kurzweil’s work at Google to be revealed: One of the most exciting collaborations of recent years is Google hiring Kurzweil to create the first artificial intelligence brain. While no details about his actual work have been released so far, 2014 could be the year when they present at least a roadmap, if not real results.

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If you would like to receive the most important news about the future of medicine and healthcare every single day, subscribe for the free Medical Futurist newsletter!

Glassomics: Developing Medical Applications for Google Glass

I’ve been watching closely the developments related to the use of Google Glass in medicine. Once I wrote that start-ups focusing on Google Glass and medicine should be able to join accelerators and incubators. Fortunately, this step has been taken as Palomar Health and Qualcomm Life teamed up to build an incubator for developers called Glassomics.

Here is a video describing what Glassomics can do:

The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Download the White Paper with Infographic

Being a medical futurist means I work on bringing disruptive technologies to medicine & healthcare; assisting medical professionals and students in using these in an efficient and secure way; and educating e-patients about how to become equal partners with their caregivers.

Based on what we see in other industries, this is going to be an exploding series of changes and while redesigning healthcare takes a lot of time and efforts, the best we can do is to prepare all stakeholders for what is coming next. That was the reason behind creating The Guide to the Future of Medicine white paper which you can download for free.

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Please use the Twitter hashtag #MedicalFuture for giving feedback.

In the white paper, there is an infographic featuring the main trends that shape the future of medicine visualized from 3 perspectives:

  1. Which stage of the delivery of healthcare and the practice of medicine is affected by that (Prevent & Prepare; Data Input & Diagnostics; Therapy & Follow-up; and Outcomes & Consequences);
  2. Whether it affects patients or healthcare professionals;
  3. The practicability of it (already available – green boxes; in progress – orange boxes; and still needs time – red boxes)

Click here to see the infographic in the original size.

Guide to the Future of Medicine Infographic

I hope you will find the guide useful in your work or in preparing your company and colleagues for the future of medicine.

6 Reasons Why I Wish I Was a Medical Student Now

When I was a medical student between 2003 and 2009, I studied from mostly old books, I didn’t have access to much e-learning materials or lectures from other medical schools; it was particularly hard to collaborate with fellow medical students worldwide in the early days.

Now, we are living extraordinary times and when I realized I wish I was a medical student these days, I thought I would share my reasons for that.

1) Social Media:

The networks I’ve been creating in my fields of interest on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and the blogosphere are capable of filtering the most relevant news for me; helping me crowdsource complicated clinical/scientific questions; or provide me with updates and news every single day. Practically, I have access to a global community including the key people in my area and I can ask them questions and collaborate with them without borders. Moreover, I could learn about these pretty easily.

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2) Studying Through Gamification:

I hated studying texts and data by heart without proper reasoning and logics behind that, but in many cases, that’s what the curriculum required from me. Instead, I prefer studying through serious diagnostic games such as the ones published by NerdCore Medical. I just received the Healing Blade card game that teaches infectious diseases; and the Occam’s Razor that is a real diagnostic card game.

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3) Improving Cognitive Skills:

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been using Lumosity to improve my cognitive skills in many areas from flexibility and problem solving to memory and speed. The change has been incredible. I found out I can learn things faster and do multi-tasking even more efficiently by learning new methods and solutions.

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4) Gathering Information:

It has never been so easy to gather the information you need in an automatic way. I’m subscribed to over 400 medical RSS feeds and check news on Feedly, PeRSSonalized Medicine keeps my up-to-date, I have automatic Google Alerts for different search queries from my name to my field of interest; I get papers from Pubmed by e-mail; my citations are automatically sent to me by Google Scholar and I could go on for hours how much relevant information I receive every day without spending time and efforts on websites.

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5) Organizing Tasks in the Cloud:

For the last 4 years, a detailed and color coded Google Document has been helping me organize my tasks, projects, papers, publications and presentations in a perfectly precise way. I don’t have to take notes on paper or on different smartphones, but everything related to my work is in one document stored in the cloud.

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6) Using Gadgets:

I use a Shine to track my physical activities, I use AliveCor for measuring ECG and there are more and more medical gadgets on the way which will play a major role in the near future of healthcare. I would have a chance now to learn how to use them because by the time I should start practicing medicine and patients would bring their data through these, it would be late.

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I hope today’s medical students realize these potentials and leverage their power.

 

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