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Could Twitter Be Used To Predict Epidemics?

Do you remember when Google Flu Trends was announced to be able to track and predict flu outbreaks in US states based on the search queries focusing on flu symptoms? Do you remember when a study pointed out although it was interactive and neat but was not as useful as CDC national surveillance programs? Well, now Twitter is meant to fill this gap. If you ask me, it won’t.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

New Program At USF Health Hopes To Mold More Empathetic Physicians

Can we teach empathy to the next generation of physicians?  The University of South Florida Health thinks so and they’re putting it on the line this week with the launch of the SELECT program, a new curriculum intended to “put empathy, communication and creativity back into doctoring.”

The SELECT (Scholarly Excellence. Leadership Experiences. Collaborative Training.) program will offer 19 select students unique training in leadership development as well as the scholarly tools needed to become physician leaders and catalysts for change. During their first week on campus, instead of the old-style medical school tradition of heading to the gross anatomy lab, SELECT students are immersed in leadership training centered in empathy and other core principles of patient-centered care.

The hope is that this program will prepare the next generation of departmental chairmen, CMOs and physician thought leaders through more intense, non-traditional preparation.

Students will Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Does Google+ Have The Potential To Be Used In Medicine And Pharma?

There have been some articles and blog entries lately focusing on whether Google+ could be used in medicine or pharma. I’ve been trying to use it more actively in the past couple of days and it’s still a question for me to figure out whether I should separate my professional Facebook and Google+ activities. A few comments from fellow bloggers:

Google+: the ultimate tool for social geeks

My first impressions are enthusiastic. Google+ has enormous potential and can become the future of private and social communication. Fresh and slim design, no gaming distractions, no 140 word limit. Yes, it sets itself between facebook and twitter. There is a necessary condition: people willing to adopt this new tool and even migrate from other platforms. If I really have to say, I think its competing more with facebook, since twitter can be easily synced with Google Buzz, which I have ultimately activated today. In few words Google+ has given me an excellent impression of being a professional and versatile platform.

Could Google+ be Pharma’s Answer to Social Media Marketing? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

The Cane Of The Future?

I’ve recently come across this digital cane designed by a Lithuanian designer Egle Ugintaite for the Fujitsu 2011 design award in which he won the grand prize. Great idea!

The cane, which is known as the Aid, has a built-in navigator that provides the user directions to a certain location. So if you get lost, this cane will point the way home.

Additional features include monitors for the user’s pulse, blood pressure, as well as body temperature. These important numbers are displayed on the LCD screen on the cane’s clasp. It even has a button for sending out an SOS in case of emergency.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Podcast With Regina Herzlinger: No Single Organization Can Effectively And Efficiently Manage Healthcare For A Population Of Patients

I spoke with Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger this week about health reform – the good, the bad and the ugly – touching on ACOs and demonstration projects under the Affordable Care Act; innovations coming down the pike in the private sector either because of the law or because of market forces; social media in health care; and two key fixes to the ACA that she believes are absolutely necessary in order to make it work, or work as best it can.

First of all, she expressed her delight at the passage of a federal law nudging us ever closer to universal coverage, combined with dismay at its failure to address rising costs (noting that we’re looking at policies yielding an accumulated Medicare deficit of $90 trillion, as compared to an annual GDP of $12-14 trillion) and at the paltry fines to be leveled at noncompliant employers that do not offer health insurance as required. As rational actors, she expects that more and more employers will simply opt out of the health care insurance market one way or another: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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