Beyond Jeopardy!, What is Watson Up To Now?

IBM Watson plays Jeopardy! and wins.By Dr. Martin Kohn, Chief Medical Scientist for IBM Research

Two years ago, IBM’s Watson computer shocked the world when it beat two past grand champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!

Watson isn’t playing around anymore.

Watson and the technological leaps forward that made it so revolutionary — the ability to understand human speech, make sense of huge amounts of complex information in split seconds, rank answers based on probability, and learn from its mistakes — are being put to work.

In health care, Watson is helping doctors tailor medical treatment to every patient’s situation in a time when the amount of medical information is doubling every five years. Read More …

High Tech Advancing Future of Personalized Cancer Care

IBM Watson and Personalized Cancer CareMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, IBM to Collaborate
in Applying Watson Technology to Help Oncologists

IBM Watson combined with MSKCC’s clinical knowledge will help
physicians access and integrate latest science and knowledge

New York City – 22 Mar 2012: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and IBM have agreed to collaborate on the development of a powerful tool built upon IBM Watson in order to provide medical professionals with improved access to current and comprehensive cancer data and practices. The resulting decision support tool will help doctors everywhere create individualized cancer diagnostic and treatment recommendations for their patients based on current evidence.

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CES 2013 prominently features HealthSpot Station

“Real doctors. Real medicine. Really convenient.”

HealthSpot Station was prominently featured in the central lobby just as you entered the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2013, an honor that only the most interesting companies get.

Doctors and patients meet face-to-face like they always have, only in this case, the face-to-face is virtual: the doctor is in his home or office; the patient is seated in the kiosk; and the kiosk is located in a retail store. The HealthSpot Station kiosk allows board-certified doctors to conduct remote diagnosis and treatment using high-def videoconferencing and digital medical devices that appear behind locked doors when needed.

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Bringing Dead Back to Life & Envisioning a Healthy Future

The beginning (or end) of a year is a good time to remember & reflect on the past while pondering & planning the future. So today’s post comes from Huffington Post, with ties into other articles about Personal Memoirs & Memories, Perpetual Websites & Memorials, the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, and Future Forecasts. It’s about the well-known futurist and inventor, Ray Kurzweil.

Adding Kurzweil to the executive staff at Google may help the company stay vibrant and even increase its impact on information technology. Google also invested in Kurzweil’s Singularity University, which strives to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially-advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges. He envisions using a search engine to access a database of your thoughts, stored in the Cloud, in a way that mirrors your values and personality.

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Director Of Engineering, Wants To Bring The Dead Back To Life

Inventor Ray Kurzweil hopes to develop ways for humans to live forever, and while he’s at it, bring back his dead father (at least virtually). Behind him is the support of a tech giant. This month, Kurzweil, a futurist, stepped into the role of Director of Engineering at Google, focusing on machine learning and language processing.

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Smart Car Features for Older Drivers

Nearly Nine in 10 Seniors Drive a Car that Doesn’t Fit their Aging Needs

AAA research helps “silver tsunami” match vehicle features to health concerns

Click to read about the future of driverless cars.

This photo by Henry Fountain pictures one of Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. The Lexus hybrid has a range-finder on top but otherwise looks reasonably conventional. We may eventually be able to buy cars that drive themselves (see comment below), and three states already license experimental models for operation on public roads, but until they’re commercially available, AAA offers advice on selecting car features for older drivers.

Washington, D.C., (Dec. 3, 2012) – With nearly 90 percent of motorists 65 and older suffering from health issues that affect driving safety, finding a car that not only adapts to conditions, such as lack of flexibility or muscle strength, while maintaining safety and comfort can be difficult. Data from a new AAA survey also reveals that only one in 10 senior drivers with aging health issues are driving a vehicle that has features like keyless entry and larger dashboard controls that can assist with such conditions.

To better equip the “silver tsunami” for driving safety and comfort, AAA has updated its Smart Features for Older Drivers resource to address a broader range of health conditions and include new data on 2012 vehicle features. As a leading advocate for senior driver safety, AAA launched Smart Features for Older Drivers in partnership with the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation in 2008. In the update, Smart Features identifies vehicle features that optimize older driver safety and comfort, lists current vehicles with those features, and allows users to explore their individual needs through an interactive online tool.  Read More …

Regal extends Universal Access to Moviegoers

Regal's assistive technology for moviegoers

Regal Entertainment Group & Sony make moviegoing accessible to all with advanced technology. (Photo: Regal Entertainment Group)

I’ve written many articles here about Universal Design principals in communities, homes and products, and now I’m thrilled to say that moviegoers who are deaf, hard of hearing, have low vision or are blind can now experience movies at neighborhood theaters. Regal Entertainment Group announced that 200 theaters nationwide will offer the Sony Entertainment Access System.

The system includes specially designed and lightweight eyewear for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing so they can privately view closed captioned text for both 2D and 3D movies. Patrons who have low vision or those who are blind can use this assistive technology with headphones or neck loops to hear descriptive audio tracks. Captions and descriptive audio can only be accessed by this equipment and is not visible or audible to other moviegoers.

The system is available at the Guest Services counter or from any theater manager. To select films offering this service, look for online showtimes noting: “Accessibility Devices Available.”

 

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Patients Find and Help Each other in Social Media

A new PwC market research study shows that Consumers use Social Media far more than Health Companies.

Patients are turning to the Internet and Social Media to find solutions to health problems when their doctors don’t know the answers. While some docs are overwhelmed with new literature about medical advancements and resent patients who question their advice, others welcome the self-educated patient who has found treatment alternatives online and wants to discuss them. If you’re one of those e-patients and have used social media to connect with others like you to exchange stories and knowledge, I want to hear how you did it.

mHealthTalk Positioning - at the intersection of important trends and between Support Groups and Technology PagesDid you use an online support group like e-Patients.netPatientsLikeMe.com, and WebMD.com? Did you stumble upon a technology solution by landing on a website for a specific product or service? Did you use a smartphone app? Toni Bernhard uses Facebook Groups for this. Do you?

Why I ask… Modern Health Talk is positioned between these extremes, at the intersection of several important trends, including rising costs, aging baby boomers, wireless Internet access, telemedicine, and increased interest in social media, digital sensors, telepresence, and smartphones & tablets. BUT… We’ve found that the good online support groups focus on a single medical condition and NOT the combination of conditions and limitations associated with aging. We so far have been unable to build a vibrant community that engages the elderly in discussions of tech solutions for aging and want to learn from the success of others, potentially partnering with them. So please share your experience by email or a comment below.

e-Patient Katherine Leon

Below, NPR reports on patients with rare diseases who are finding each other online and promoting new research. The story features Katherine Leon, a woman with an extremely rare heart condition who managed to do what many hospitals couldn’t. She set up a virtual patient registry, allowed patients from all over the world to submit their medical records and scans online, and then used the data to convince researchers at the Mayo Clinic to run clinical trials where there was no interest before. Her story became national news. Read More …

GE, Microsoft to Launch Global Healthcare Venture

GE, Microsoft to Launch Joint Venture Aimed at Global Healthcare System Transformation

BARRINGTON, Ill., and REDMOND, Wash. – Dec. 7, 2011 – General Electric Co., through its healthcare IT business, and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to create a joint venture aimed at helping healthcare organizations and professionals use real-time, systemwide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience. Upon formation, the new company will develop and market an open, interoperable technology platform and innovative clinical applications focused on enabling better population health management to improve outcomes and the overall economics of health and wellness.

We notice that Microsoft continues to make inroads into the healthcare field. The Surgeon General’s “My Family Health Portrait” is an internet-based tool [built on Microsoft HealthVault] that makes it easy for you to record your family health history. — Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk

As healthcare providers and payers around the globe shift from episodic single-patient care to continuous population management, new requirements have emerged for integrated care processes, greater insight and engaging Read More …

Qualcomm Life connects Wireless Medical Devices & Cloud

Qualcomm announced this week that Qualcomm Wireless Health is now Qualcomm Life,  a wholly-owned subsidiary whose mission is to define and connect the global wireless health network and bring medical devices to life by securely connecting them to cloud-based services. The encrypted and HIPAA compliant bimetric data is then remotely accessible by device users, their health care providers and caregivers. (video & illustration below)

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eCaring: a Home Care Management & Monitoring System

From Press Release…

eCaring™ Develops Breakthrough Home Health Care Management System

eCaring Creates Easy To Use Web-Based Home Care Management And Monitoring
Systems For Families, Home Health Care Workers, And Doctors

Contact: Robert Herzog, (917)-743-4347 or (347)-946-0080; info@ecaring.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 7th 2011 – eCaring™ LLC today announced the launch of its new home health care management and monitoring system that enables home care recipients to live at home longer, with better quality of care, at lower cost.  eCaring’s breakthrough web-based system enables everyone involved with home health care—from family members to home care providers to doctors—to receive up-to-date, useful information on the care, conditions, activities and status of home health care patients.  eCaring also announced today that it will offer a 75% discount for life to those families accepted into its beta test.

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IBM Software Aims to Extend Seniors’ Independent Living

IBM Software Aids Research Aimed at Extending Seniors’ Independent Living

IBM "Smart CondoEDMONTON, Alberta and MARKHAM, Ontario, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — [CASCON]

IBM today announced its software is being used to correlate data from sensors capturing patient activity and replicate that in a virtual world with avatars that represent the elderly subjects in a unique pilot aimed at providing health researchers and students with insights on how to care for Canada’s aging population.

Since June, 2011, University of Alberta researchers in collaboration with Edmonton’s Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital have been using IBM software to study elderly clients who volunteer to stay in a model, self-contained “independent living suite” at the facility. The suite is instrumented with sensors and equipped with smart devices collecting information about their daily activities.

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FDA issues graphic cigarette labels

FDA requires graphic warnings on cigarette packsAccording to USA Today, the FDA will soon require tobacco companies to cover the top half of cigarette packs with very graphic anti-smoking images. Their goal is to encourage the nation’s 43 million smokers to quit and prevent millions more from starting, especially teens. It’s about time, and if this was done 30 years ago, my parents might still be alive.

I grew up in a household of smoking parents but thankfully never started myself. I remember long trips in the car and the smell of ash trays.They each smoked 2-3 packs a day – chain smoking.

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Blood Pressure Monitor for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Connected Blood Pressure Monitor for iPad, iPhone and iPod touchWithings Announces US Availability of its
Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

Withings combines sophisticated technology and design to transform an ordinary
blood pressure monitor into an accurate health self-monitoring device

Paris, France June 20, 2011 @ 9:00 AM EST– Today, French technology company Withings announced the US availability of its Blood Pressure Monitor (BPM) for iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®. This Withings BPM, including blood pressure cuff and companion Withings App, is a modern way to measure and record blood pressure readings in the personal and professional arenas.

With more than 25% of the world’s population* affected by hypertension, Withings has combined advanced technology and sophisticated design to create a medical device that is visually attractive, accurate and easy to use at home, in a professional setting or on the go.
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MyPlate replaces Food Pyramid

First Lady, Agriculture Secretary Launch MyPlate Icon as a New Reminder to Help Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices

WASHINGTON, June 2, 2011 – First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

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Post-op app helps patients monitor infections

RFID diagnostic skin patchPRESS RELEASE: WASHINGTON and PHOENIX, May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — GENTAG, Inc., Third Technology Capital Investors, and The CORE Institute are pleased to announce the first fully integrated medical grade wireless monitoring kit for post-surgery applications compatible with the new generation of Near Field Communications (NFC) cell phones.  The kit allows patients to self-monitor for excessive swelling in the surgery area or inside casts with their cell phones after hospital discharge (compartment syndrome monitoring). Significant post-operative orthopedics costs savings and improved outcomes for patients are expected.

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Aging in Place Tech Market to exceed $20B by 2020

Industry Expert Updates Boomer to Senior Market 2011 Research Report to Reflect Changing Tech Availability and Usage

Leveraging social networking, video, and mobile phones, the market for technology that helps older adults remain in their homes is on track to grow to $20 billion by 2020, according to the March 2011 Market Overview report by Aging in Place Technology Watch. Vendor interest is growing as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day, according to Laurie M. Orlov, founder of the market research firm.

PRWEB: March 09, 2011 —  Baby boomers began turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day in January. The market for technology to assist boomers, seniors, families and professional caregivers is attracting a steady stream of new vendors to a market that will exceed $20 billion by 2020, according to the newly updated 2011 report by Aging in Place Technology Watch. The emergence of caregiving as a baby boomer concern invites new entrants into the market — according to Laurie M. Orlov, founder of the market research firm.
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