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Video Game Provides Framework For Solving Genomic Sequence Alignment Problems


Over the past year our genetic understanding of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer has been accelerated by thousands of video gamers thanks to an online flash game called Phylo. Phylo is a video game created by Dr. Jérôme Waldispuhl of the McGill Centre for BioInformatics and collaborator Mathieu Blanchette. The game itself is a framework for solving the common problem of multiple sequence alignments in comparative genomics and leverages the visual problem solving skills of online gamers.

The Phylo website explains the background to game: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Extraordinary Growth Predicted In Health And Fitness Apps

Post image for Health and fitness apps expected to grow to $400 million, according to ABI research

A recent report by ABI Research, providing a broad overview of the mHealth industry, predicts extraordinary grown in health and fitness apps over the next five years.

The report, Mobile Devices and mHealth, includes forecasts for the next five years on factors such as regional smartphone adoption rates, app downloads, and wearable device usage among others. One major conclusion from the report is that the sports and health mobile application market will grow to over $400 million in 2016 – up from just $120 million in 2010.

Mobile health devices recently received a major boost with the incorporation of Bluetooth 4.0, which is expected to spur the development and launch of devices that will take advantage of the lower energy consumption. While much interest is focused on blood glucose monitors, remote monitoring of cardiac rhythms, and other similar parameters, one conclusion of this report is that some of the most impressive growth will be in health and fitness apps that are more directly consumer-oriented.

The report itself, for a rather hefty price, also addresses other questions like Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Are Doctors Using Their iPads Too Much In The Work Setting?

Great blog piece in Forbes by Tom Gillis — VP of Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit — on how hospital Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are having issues with managing physician use of mobile devices at work.  He had dinner with the CSOs of five major healthcare providers, who stated their biggest headache is how Doctors love their iPads and want to use them for work.

Gillis is in the business of enterprise security, and he gives an insider’s perspective on mobile device use in the hospital setting.  He writes about the fundamental shift in how physicians are consuming content.  Before the proliferation of mobile devices, hospitals had complete control of managing the “endpoint” — how the content was consumed.  This is no longer the case, and since these personal devices have created a new paradigm, IT teams are left playing catchup.

It was refreshing to hear Gillis talk about how the solution Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Which Generation Of Physicians Uses The Most Mobile Technology?

Smartphones and tablets have reached 80% of physicians across all practice types, locations and years in practice, and 25% of users are “Super Mobile” physicians who use both types of mobile devices. This is far beyond the general population’s 50% adoption of smartphones and 5% adoption of tablets.

QuantiaMd, a free, online learning collaborative, released survey results that showed 44% of physicians who do not yet have a mobile device intend to buy one this year.

While younger physicians have higher adoption rates than older ones, current use of mobile devices by physicians longest in practice is above 60%, the survey showed. Among physicians with 30 years or more of practice, almost 20% already use a tablet device for work, and another 25% say they are extremely likely to do so. Physicians in their second decade of practice use Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

FluPhone Tracks “Super Spreaders” Of Disease

“Are you a super-spreader?” That’s the catchphrase for a new study out of the University of Cambridge. However, if you answered “yes”, you may want to stay home and cover your mouth, because the study was designed to track the spread of influenza using cellular phone technology.

The study (and accompanying app) is called FluPhone, and it uses cell phones to collect information on social encounters within the study sample of participants in Cambridge. A phone’s Bluetooth antenna detects encounters with other participants and also records the proximity to each other. The built-in GPS chip tracks each user’s location, but this feature was disabled due to recent ethical concerns. Finally, the phone’s 3G/GPRS antenna sends all the proximity data automatically back to researchers for analysis. Other features include the ability to program a specific disease model by introducing a virtual “pathogen” which can be transmitted via Bluetooth when at least two users are near each other.

In addition to revealing useful data about the spread of disease and how to minimize its effects, the study could also be helpful for creating more effective public health messages.

More from the University of Cambridge: FluPhone: disease tracking by app…

Research project page…

FluPhone participant website…

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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