Wednesday, November 26, 2014

3D printing goes lives

Within a generation, we likely will not just hear of things like 3D-printed hearts serving as models, but as real, functioning organs.

The world of 3D printing possibilities keeps expanding, from the purely ornamental to the truly useful. This technology has already made a difference in healthcare with prosthetics and replacements for bones, and even models of patients' hearts that improve the outcome of surgery. In the future, the 3D-printed heart may itself be alive, as researchers have now discovered how to print living tissue.
Read more in 

It's Alive! The 3D Printing of Living Tissues

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Data for doctors: should there be limits on it?

This summer, Carolinas HealthCare System made the news rounds as a warning of the new levels of data mining available to healthcare companies. In Hospitals Are Mining Patients' Credit Card Data to Predict Who Will Get Sick, we get a very Big Brother type of picture of the invasiveness of such data mining with an illustrative picture showing a doctor saying, “Don’t lie to me, Susan, I know about the 2 a.m. Papa John’s deliveries.”

 It makes for dramatic copy, but it’s still in the realm of fiction rather than fact, as I found our when  I contacted Carolinas HealthCare and got a response from Jason Schneider, Director, Clinical PR. He explained that the article “focused on how providers could use data for in the future and didn't include details what data we are currently using and how we are using it.”

The data they are currently using does not follow an individual’s consumer trail but looks at things like socio-economic circles, neighborhood limitations, and cultural affiliation that could shape one’s access to healthcare. One example of that was identifying why patients in one particular area were not coming in for regular doctor’s visits. It turned out that it didn’t have reliable public transportation to a doctor's office. After identifying the geographic problem, Carolinas HealthCare set up a doctor in the neighborhood itself.


As the person quoted in each of the articles on Carolinas use of data is Dr.  Michael Dulin, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes research at Carolinas, I contacted him and spoke with him on the phone. He explained that Carolinas has a decade of experience in using data to improve healthcare by identifying individuals within contexts that could pose obstacles to care.

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More Info in the Name of Better Healthcare


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Accurate monitoring woven into a shirt that's washable


Marketing to seniors no longer shows them as helpless peopel who have fallen and can't get up but as active people who take control of their health and monitoring. They are enabled to do this with an  "hWear" shirt that has built in sensors. It's made by HealthWatch, an Israeli startup with the slogan, "Weaving Health Into Everyday Life."
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This Shirt Could Save Your Life

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Productivity boosts

The clack of a typewriter, the soft clinks and conversation of coffee shops, the sound of music, or plants? What do you add to enhance productivity at work? Read more in 

The Sounds & Sights of Productivity

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SaaS for smoother college applications

Students have just gone back to school, but seniors already have to start thinking about the next step: applying for college. One of the newest programs in the space is Edswell, which publicly launched its platform early in September. It can help students and those who guide them through every step of the application process, including the dreaded essay.
I contacted the company's founder and CEO, Alex Thaler, to get the inside story on this SaaS platform, which is currently used in by students in a number of cities, including Beijing, Los Angeles, and Detroit. Thaler explains that, although there are already SaaS programs designed for college counselors available, such as Naviance and Career Cruising, Edswell is unique in offering "support for the application essay, the most time-intensive and anxiety-provoking part of the application process."

Read more in 

Cities Smooth the College Application Process

Better together

Some things are good on their own but really great when paired with something complementary -- like cookies and milk, wine and cheese, or perhaps a firewall and SaaS security. Read more in 

Cloud-Based Risk Assessment Meets the Firewall

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What tech can do for your teeth

Have you been to your dentist lately? If so, you may have noticed that the office has some new machines that are transforming traditional dentistry. Tech-savvy dentists are adding 3D imaging systems that let them create custom caps for their patients in a single visit. Those of us who have had caps done years ago can appreciate the difference between the experience then and now.
When I had to get a tooth capped seven years ago, I had to schedule two dental visits a couple of weeks apart. During my first appointment, I had to have an impression made to serve as the mold for a cap to be created in a lab. I also got a temporary cap that had to last until the real cap arrived and could be cemented into my mouth. My dentists favored a particular lab in California, so the cap took close to two weeks to arrive. Once it was at the office, I was able to come in for my second session. The temporary was removed, and the final cap was installed.
What a difference a few years can make!
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Technology You Can Sink Your Teeth Into