Posts Tagged ‘brain’
This article explores advances in neural engineering research and is based on my interview with Dr. Metin Akay, Founding Chairman of the new Biomedical Engineering Department and the John S. Dunn professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Houston. His discipline unites the fields of engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mathematics with cellular, molecular, cognitive and behavioral neurosciences.
One expected result of these fields converging is to lower health care costs. Another is to extend life, but as Dr. Akay put it, “While it’s very important to live longer, it’s much more important to have quality of life.” Read the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
This article is about the power of the Internet as a learning and research tool, and the role that young, Internet-savvy innovators are playing as they develop the future of healthcare.
Easton, a 17-year old inventor, spoke recently at TEDxMileHigh about his 3D printing & animatronics project and the future of prosthetic & animatronic limbs. He started this work at age 14 and used the Internet to research and learn about electronics & sensor technologies, programming & modeling software, 3D printing & industrial design, and wireless networking. He’s now living in Houston and working at NASA on robotics projects. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a family caregiver, think about how much time do you spend, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Some 65 million unpaid family caregivers look after elderly or disabled loved ones, averaging 20 hours/wk. AARP did a study that put the 2009 annual burden on unpaid family caregivers at $480 billion/year, including lost worker productivity, reduced earning capacity & retirement income, and increases in their own physical & emotional health and related costs. It’s more than the $361B in Medicaid spending and nearly as much as the $509B in Medicare spending.
The infographic below, from Top10OnlineColleges.org, identifies JOB stress as a leading factor in poor health, but so is not getting enough sleep. Of course the two are closely related. After the infographic and listed highlights (for blind people using a screen reader) are related infographics and articles on both Stress and Sleep. Enjoy, but don’t stress out. Read the rest of this entry »
The Impact of Mindset on Quality of Life…
and What Healthcare Providers and Patients Can Do About It
by Samantha Rodgers
Many factors impact a person’s quality of life. Often we focus primarily on physical health and, while that certainly plays a role, it’s not the only component impacting life quality. Healthcare providers and researchers have studied the effect of mindset over the past years, and have learned that what a person thinks or believes and how he or she feels emotionally also plays a role in quality of life.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Healthcare Management and Hacettepe University in Turkey, happiness or a lack thereof has a definite impact on the quality of a person’s life as they age. Similar to improving physical health with medical treatments, healthcare providers and their patients are now also working together to improve quality of life by changing thoughts and attitudes, and boosting emotions. Read the rest of this entry »
In this amazing feat of engineering, a person’s thoughts are used to navigate a robot, which makes us wonder about other applications in the future.
Using a brain-computer interface developed by University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several students learned to steer a robotic quadcopter with just their thoughts. As shown in the video, they navigated the craft around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring.
Similar technology may someday allow disabled people to regain speech or mobility lost due to disease or injury. They may be able to control a variety of devices with just their thoughts, including lights, TV remotes, artificial limbs and wheelchairs. The solution is completely noninvasive: brain waves (EEG) are picked up by electrodes in a cap worn on the scalp, not requiring a chip implanted in the brain.
On the first day of CES I attended a Digital Health Summit panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. To introduce the discussion, she described Americans’ increase in antidepressants, sleep medications, and stress, and how 75% of healthcare spending is spent on preventable diseases, and 80% of medications are for pain. All of these conditions are preventable through other means, she said.
The panel discussed a perfect storm of multiple trends: (1) stress (and I’d add sleep deprivation) is a killer, (2) our broken & expensive sick care system, and (3) technology & wearable devices that can help us focus on health & wellness. Market researchers note that 30 million wearable devices shipped in 2012, going to 60 million in the next year. In addition, 44 million health apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets this year.
I attended CES in person this year instead of monitoring the show from the comfort of my home office and writing my traditional report, CES in Pajamas. On the first day I attended “The Digital Health Revolution: Body, Mind and Soul,” a panel discussion hosted by Arianna Huffington and am thrilled that Huffington Post is so prominently promoting conversation and innovation supporting better health & wellness. Its GPS for the Soul smartphone app, for example, complements lifestyle articles around the theme “Less Stress, More Living.” Here’s an article that Arianna published on the first day.
CES 2013, GPS for the Soul and the Digital Health Revolution
By Arianna Huffington, 1/07/2013
Greetings from Las Vegas, where I’ve landed in the midst of a perfect storm. I’m not talking about the weather — it’s a crisp, beautiful day here. No, I’m talking about one of those moments in which several trends converge to create something larger, a moment we will look back on as the time everything changed. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
- Recalling & Recording Your Life’s Story,
- The Legacy of a Digital Generation,
- Friends from Beyond and Your Digital Will,
- CES in PJs – 2011,
- CES 2012… in Pajamas,
- A Consumer Electronics Christmas 2012,
- Getting Ready for CES 2013,
- Future Forecasts, and
- Market Research Resources & Articles.
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.