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Posts tagged ‘Health 2.0’

My New Book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, is For Free as an E-Book Now!

Download the Kindle version of my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, for free between the 16th and 18th of December! It has already made it to the top 100 overall Kindles on Amazon. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download and read it online at cloud.amazon.com.

I cannot wait to hear what you think about the book and those 22 trends & technologies that will shape the future! Download here!

Here is the description:

A few short years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that exoskeletons could enable paralyzed people to walk again; that billions of people would rely on social media for information; and that the supercomputer Watson would be a key player in medical decision-making. Perhaps more than in any other field, technology has transformed medicine and healthcare in ways that a mere decade ago would have sounded like pure science fiction.

From his unique vantage as a trained physician, researcher, and medical futurist, Dr. Bertalan Mesko examines these developments and the many more down the pipeline. His aim is to assess how the hand of technology can continue to provide the dose of humanity that is crucial to effective healthcare. The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology and the Human Touch is his incisive, illuminating roundup of the technologies and trends that will shape the future of medicine.

Patients, medical professionals, and any healthcare stakeholder will find an eye opening, reassuring roadmap to tomorrow’s potential in this accessible and fact-based book. By preparing for the inevitable waves of change, you can make informed decisions about how technology will shape your own well-being.

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Why Is Measuring Data About Your Condition Worth It?

This is not a new story but I’m always fascinated when I read it again and again. Doug Kanter measured data about his life, his condition, blood sugar levels and every details that could have been relevant.

Later, he published his findings and what he learnt during the process. Amazing read and a perfect proof for those against measuring health data as patients that this can lead to better health and disease management. After some time, he realized that his average blood sugar levels became lower due to self-management.

Doug released a service, Databetes, to help other patients with diabetes better manage their condition.

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IBM Watson is the Stethoscope of the 21st Century

In 2011, people witnessed an interesting competition on the television quiz show Jeopardy. It featured the two best players in the history of the show, Ken Jennings, who had the longest unbeaten run of 74 winning appearances, and Brad Rutter, who had earned the biggest prize of $3.25 million. Their opponent was a huge computer with over 750 servers and a cooling system stored at a location so as not to disturb the players. The room–sized machine was made by IBM and named after the company’s founder, Thomas J. Watson. It did not smile or show emotion, but it kept on giving good answers. At the end, Watson won the game with $77,147 leaving Rutter and Jennings with $21,600 and $24,000 respectively.

Cognitive computers have been developing rapidly over the last few years following three technological breakthroughs. One is cheap parallel computation due to a new kind of chip called a graphics processing unit (GPU). The second one is accessible big data due to massive databases, web cookies, wearable devices and decades of search results. The third one is building better algorithms due to the services of Netflix, Google, Amazon and the others.

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From Stethoscope to Cognitization

People, especially in medicine, do not like change. Moreover, after many of my talks, physician colleagues ask me whether artificial intelligence (AI) might replace them in their jobs and whether algorithms can eventually become better at making diagnoses. Both will happen but the job of physicians will transform into a new role because of that. They finally have more time to deal with patients instead of chasing the information they would need. They will get access to that immediately. Cognitive computers will help physicians diagnose the same way stethoscope could change the medical profession from the early 19th century when René Laennec developed a wooden tube that worked like an ear trumpet to listen to cardiac and lung sounds.

The use of AI does not have to lead to the loss of the human touch. In 1997, IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue could beat Garry Kasparov, the reigning chess grand master that time. He said he could have performed better if he had access to the same databases as Deep Blue. So later, freestyle matches were organized in which supercomputers could play against human chess players assisted by AI (they were called human/AI centaurs). Guess what! In 2014 in a Freestyle Battle, the AI chess players won 42 games, but centaurs won 53 games. The best potential pair is a human with technology. This is the only balance that can lead to a positive future with more and more disruptive innovations including ever-improving cognitive computing but an also ever-improving human intelligence and wisdom. This is the winning combination.

If AI can improve a chess player, it can improve a physician as well.

What even the most acclaimed professors know cannot match cognitive computers. As the amount of information they accumulate grows exponentially, the assistance of computing solutions in medical decisions is imminent. While a physician can keep a few dozen study results and papers in mind, IBM’s Watson can process millions of pages in seconds. This remarkable speed has led to trying Watson in oncology centers to see how helpful it is in making treatment decisions in cancer care. We need to prepare for its use but IBM has taken the first steps. Watson does not answer medical questions, but based on data it comes up with the most relevant and likely outcomes. Physicians make the final call. Computer assistance can only facilitate the work of physicians, not replace it. Just like how stethoscope did.

Read more stories about how artificial intelligence can impact medical decision-making in the new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

Mayo Clinic Chiefs Name E-Patient Dave as 2015 Visiting Professor

Wonderful news! E-Patient Dave, the leader of the global e-patient movement who gave a talk last year at my Social Media in Medicine university course as well, was named Visiting Professor for Mayo Clinic.

Patient engagement and empowerment is a natural extension of Dr. Will Mayo’s vision of a medicine as a cooperative science. We are therefore honored to announce Dave deBronkart (aka “e-Patient Dave”) as our 2015 Visiting Professor to help spread this powerful message. We look forward to his March, 2015 visit!

Philips to Enroll Hereismydata™ Worldwide

My mentor and good friend, Lucien Engelen, Director of the Radboud REshape Innovation Center did it again! He transformed a great idea that can save a lot of lives globally into an actual product or service. Today, he announced that Philips will start enrolling Hereismydata worldwide in front of 140.000 people at the 3rd biggest IT event of the world, “Dreamforce” of Salesforce.com.

We at Hereismydata™ are creating a one-stop-and-go place to store your data. Secure, robust and you in control. Connecting apps and devices, creating clinical modules like the COPD module with Philips, and connecting services like Apple’s healthkit and (lateron) Google Fit and back and forth EMR’s will help to create insight in the patchwork of data out there.

They start with COPD but will add many more conditions soon. Combining all kinds of vendors, operating systems, and languages as well as local legislation issues that have been tackled creates the ecosystem he envisioned long ago.

This video explains how it works.

My Book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, To Be Released on the 8th of August!

It’s a huge pleasure to announce that my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, will be published by Springer on the 8th of August. Here is the Amazon link where you can pre-order it.

In the last 10 months, I’ve been working day and night to finish a book that could fill a huge gap regarding the practical use of social media in medicine and healthcare. Social Media in Clinical Practice was meant to introduce medical professionals to the digital world through real-life examples, suggestions and step-by-step instructions from blogs and Twitter to mobile apps and e-patients.

I’ve been teaching medical students and physicians about digital literacy for years, but in many cases, they wanted to learn more using a real book instead of e-learning materials.

I hope medical professionals will find this book useful and e-patients will share it with their doctors. An excerpt from the abstract:

Social media has been clearly changing the way medicine is practiced and healthcare is delivered. Medical professionals must be able to meet the special needs of technology-aware patients and use digital technologies in their work and communications properly. Each physician should find the tools that will assist them in their workflow, and patients need to be educated how to use the internet. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to contribute to this process.

The constantly evolving digital world must be used in the practice of medicine to improve the care of patients. However, the only way to do so effectively is via evidence-based, meaningful and strategic use. Social Media in Clinical Practice provides practical guidance in this mission and is thus essential reading for all medical personal looking into approaching this for the first time.

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Here is the table of contents:

  1. Social media is transforming medicine and healthcare
  2. Using medical search engines with a special focus on Google
  3. Being up-to-date in medicine
  4. Community sites Facebook, Google+ and medical social networks
  5. The world of e-patients
  6. Establishing a medical blog
  7. The role of Twitter and microblogging in medicine
  8. Collaboration online
  9. Wikipedia and Medical Wikis
  10.  Organizing medical events in virtual environments
  11. Medical smartphone and tablet applications
  12. Use of social media by hospitals and medical practices
  13. Medical video and podcast
  14. Creating presentations and slideshows
  15. E-mails and privacy concerns
  16. Social bookmarking
  17. Conclusions

E-patients will shape the future of medicine: Slideshow

Here is the slideshow I presented at the AcuteZorg.nl Health 2.0 event in Nijmegen, The Netherlands on the 24th of March, 2009.

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