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Posts from the ‘Medicine’ Category

The Medical Futurist: Weekly Introduction

Working as a speaker and consultant with medical technology, pharmaceutical and web companies; as well as universities and governments worldwide, my mission as The Medical Futurist is to make sure the advances of technology lead to a better healthcare for everyone!

I publish a daily newsletter about the future of medicine, manage a popular Facebook page about the future; launched a Youtube channel and share related news almost every hour on Twitter.

Here is my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine:

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I’m also the author of Social Media in Clinical Practice handbookand the founder of Webicina.com, a service that curates medical content in social media for medical professionals and e-patients.

I launched The Social MEDia Course, the e-learning format of my university course focusing on medicine and social media for medical students, physicians and also patients with Prezis, tests and gamification.

I hope you will enjoy reading Scienceroll.com!

The Ultimate Starter Kit For Looking Into The Future Of Medicine

I receive a lot of questions from patients, physicians, researchers, developers, and policy makers after my talks about where they should start in discovering the future of medicine. Which books, movies, TV series or websites would help them understand and get a clear picture about where medicine and healthcare are heading because of new disruptive innovations.

Here are the top choices in each of these categories.

1) Books

Let me show you two books about the future of medicine. The first is The Patient Will See You Now from Dr. Eric Topol. This is the Number One book in digital health. The second is The Digital Doctor from Dr. Bob Wachter. These two books will give you an absolutely clear picture about where we are heading.

Here are nine more books about the future of medicine.

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2) Movies

Regarding movies, Gattaca shows you the non-desired future of genomics. Big Hero 6 talks about how we could measure health parameters at home. And Elysium is discussing the future of radiology and how financial differences will harm society if it comes to health.

Read more in the Top 10 Science Fiction Movies About the Future of Medicine.

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3) Television series

Regarding TV series, The Knick gives a great picture about the first years of modern surgery and how medicine develops over time. And I like Humans which depicts a future with robot companions and what problems on the level of society we will have with them. I also like Star Trek that shows you what people thought about the future of medicine decades ago.

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4) Websites

These are the ones I check on a daily basis.

5) Social Media channels

Regarding social media channels, there are great communities on Google+ (see the image below) and I regularly check the futurology sub-Reddit on Reddit.com.

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What are your choices?

The Medical Futurist Youtube Channel: Introduction

I’ve been publishing videos for months on the Medical Futurist Youtube channel. I have covered the future of medicine, healthcare, diseases and technologies. I have also created top lists and movie suggestions. Here is a quick introduction to the channel and hopefully you will find the videos useful.

The most popular video is about the top technologies shaping the future of medicine.

And here are the playlists:

Have a great time browsing the videos and please feel free to leave a comment under the videos!

Studying Anatomy Via Augmented Reality

When I was a medical student in 2009, I had to study anatomy in old books with the tiniest letters ever published. For a few hours every week, I could work on cadavers and learn anatomy in action. It was full of limitations and the smell of formaldehyde.

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Microsoft’s Hololens device has the potentials to bring augmented reality to the masses. A partnership with Case Western Reserve University now keeps us thinking about the opportunities to improve medical education. Read more about it on Engadget.

The Immortality Bus and Transhumanism

I’m not a transhumanist but I cannot disagree with its main goals about pushing science, technology and healthcare forward as primary goals of society. That is why I support Zoltan Istvan’s campaign in which he will tour in the US with a coffin-like bus to initiate discussions about improving ageing research and longevity.

Zoltan is the Presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party in the 2016 US elections and he wrote an advanced review for my upcoming book. Now, he launched a crowdfunding site for the tour on Indiegogo.

You can contribute here.

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10+1 Commandments For Companies Developing Wearable Health Trackers

I use a dozen health trackers to live a healthy life. I would not go out for a run without measuring data. As a geek, that is my motivation. Throughout the last couple of years, I have tested and used about 40 devices and gadgets that measure health parameters or vital signs.

The #wearable revolution is getting heated now as I described in The Guide to the Future of Medicine, therefore I thought it’s time to share the 10+1 commandments every company developing wearable health trackers should follow. Please feel free to add yours.

1) Don’t provide a value you cannot explain.

When a device shows me values without clear explanations of what they mean, I feel bad as that is a missed opportunity. If you can provide a specific value, assign practical explanation to it. You can show me what period of my running session I spent in power/strenght mode, but I don’t know what it means. Perfusion index sounds great but how could it be applied to my lifestyle? Please only show us things you can clearly explain. The quest is not to measure more and more but to make better and better decisions about how to live healthily.

Good example: Wahoo Tickr Run

2) Don’t make me charge you every day.

I’m not in a relationship with the device therefore I don’t want to see and deal with it every day. If you cannot develop something that can survive for days without a battery change or recharge, there are other industries to invest into. My Pebble smartwatch can function for more than 7 days. The Wahoo run tracker has a year of battery life. But when my Withings Pulse started to require charging every day, I stopped using it.

Good example: Pebble Time

3) Focus on one practical thing.

You might be able to develop a device that can measure a dozen things from ECG and oxygen saturation to stress levels and attention. How will you find your target audience, if there is any? Design a device that can help with one important thing. Whether I want to lose weight; get better at paying attention; run more regularly or reduce stress levels; I would rather buy a device that helps me solve that problem than another one intended for everybody under any circumstances. That creates a wrong message.

Good example: AliveCor

4) You need us, users.

It’s impossible that you design something amazing without being in contact with those who will use your invention. You have great ideas, but I’m the one using your device at the end of the day, I suffer from its error messages and enjoy its advantages. Create a social media profile through which we can contact you. Actually, we want to work for you because if you develop better things, our life becomes simpler. Use this free consulting service and let us talk with you. It’s not only about customer support, but general trust as well.

Good example: FitBit

5) Troubled synchronizing can make me stop using what you develop.

A few devices such as Withings tell me I need to synchronize them manually. And even when I do, it doesn’t always work. Others such as FitBit are said to synchronize automatically. And still sometimes data are missing. I don’t want to deal with that. I thought synchronizing would not be an issue by now. Either make it truly automatic or really user-friendly, but this is crucial.

Good example: Pip Stress

6) You lose me without gamification.

I might be a very motivated person, but measuring pure data is not enough. Design a system that makes me hooked on your solution. FitBit sends me weekly summaries about my activities. Lumosity shows me what percentage of people in my age group is better than me. Withings Blood Pressure creates a very clear, color-coded graph about my blood pressure measurements. Make me addicted to you.

Good example: Muse

7) Create our community.

Finding someone to discuss data measured by devices is difficult. I needed to create a social media network of tens of thousands of people for that. Not everyone has this opportunity. You could develop a community of like-minded and motivated individuals either by a community on your website or using a Twitter hashtag you work out. What matters is that developing a device is not enough. And creating such a network is so easy, you should not miss this chance of tying more users to your invention.

Good example: FitBit

8) Measure is not only pleasure, help us.

Interpreting the data can be a huge obstacle. I need to be a doctor, a researcher and a geek to get the most out of my data. Instead, companies developing these devices could provide a clear understanding of what conclusions I can draw from what I measure. Your responsibility doesn’t stop at creating the device. Actually it starts there.

Good example: AliveCor

9) Bluetooth pairing is not rocket science.

Issues with pairing numerous devices via Bluetooth is the Blue Death of the 21st century. I cannot count how many times I had to deal with it either because the device got unpaired by itself; another phone paired with it by chance; or they couldn’t find each other. This should not be an issue at all. I pair the device in seconds once, and that works for as long as I want. Without knowing plenty of tricks about how my smartphone works, I couldn’t have solved many of these issues. The majority of your users haven’t ever heard about these tricks so they will just give up.

Good example: Tinké

10) Not updating apps is like giving up on us.

You develop a device, bring it to the market and I buy it. Whatever the device is capable of, it is going to be the same forever. But apps can change. With many devices, I take more time looking at their apps than the device itself. Build upon this opportunity and update the apps behind your invention as regularly as possible. And please don’t even think about developing something if you can only release an iOS or Android version. If you don’t have both, even as an Android user, I will not buy your device.

Good example: MisFit

+1) You are not doing business, but helping us live healthier.

That is a crucial point. If your major intention is making money, you already lost this battle. People will find this out very soon. If you want to help people live a healthier life, you create a chance of long-term success. Without your inventions, I couldn’t motivate myself to exercise every day. And when I feel that you really want to help me; I become even more motivated. Let’s cherish this relationship and build the pyramid of a “healthy life revolution” with good technologies.

I hope many companies will read this and share what they think. Until then, I grab some of my favorite gadgets and go out for a run enjoying the motivation they provide me with; and dealing with the technical issues they make me face.

What Does The Theranos FDA Approval Mean?

Elizabeth Holmes left Stanford and founded Theranos in 2003. The company is based on an invention related to cheap and fast blood tests. It is said to require only a droplet of blood. I would be the happiest person if it could work like they state but the company has refused to reveal details about the technology because of business secret. They already have available services though in Walgreens over the US.

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Now, out of nowhere, the FDA approved its Herpes virus test.

As part of the approval, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the company are also making public for the first time details about precisely how the famously secretive business performs the particular test being approved—in this case, an assay to detect the sexually transmitted disease herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).

Theranos is fighting in the front line of the battle of digital health and biotech innovation, but it’s hard to follow them with trust without knowing what weaponry they have. A company that is ready to take responsibility in this battle would provide information to the scientific community. At least, something to chew on.

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