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The Eatery Uses Photos of Your Food and a Dash of Peer Pressure to Improve Your Health

The Eatery Uses Photos of Your Food and a Dash of Peer Pressure to Improve Your Health | Health Innovation | Scoop.it

Stealth health startup Massive Health has launched The Eatery, an experimental iPhone App that takes a different approach to improving your health by tracking what you eat.

 

Unlike other health apps, The Eatery doesn’t watch how many calories you’re eating. Instead, it tracks your overall eating trends to figure out your eating habits and where you should make changes to improve your health. “It’s not helpful to know that your favorite brownies have 400 or 600 calories,” CEO Sutha Kamal claims. “What’s helpful is discovering that you’re more vulnerable to them in the late afternoon.”

 

The Eatery accomplishes this by asking users to snap a picture of the food they’re eating and swiping to indicate the serving size of what they’re eating. The Eatery then sends the picture to others using the app, where they will be able to rate the food you’re eating. By taking these photos for several days, patterns will begin to emerge. When are you eating your biggest servings? When do you eat the healthiest? Have you made improvements in your diet, or are you still eating junk?

 

The app lets you view your eating history through elegant photo montages — all the while it solicits the participation of you and you friends to rate each other’s dishes and keep your friends on task through commenting.

 

“Share your eating goals and food snaps with a network of friends and family. They’ll let you know when you’re on the right track and give you a nudge in the right direction if you get distracted,” co-founder Aza Raskin tells Mashable.

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Health information technology: Keep it simple

Health information technology: Keep it simple | Health Innovation | Scoop.it

Making electronic record-keeping systems easier for health providers to use can help prevent dangerous or even fatal mistakes, says the draft of a project by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

 

The draft, titled “Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records,” is available for informal public comment until Nov. 10, 2011. It provides guidance from NIST, a technical research agency within the Department of Commence, for testing electronic health record-keeping systems to make sure they are understandable for health care practitioners. The draft was released last month.

 

One of the aims of simplifying the devices is to avoid potentially dangerous medical errors, says the report. At the moment, though, there is no government agency specifically directed to regulate or enforce the safety of the devices being sold to medical offices.

 

“We didn’t specify in the report who should use the guidelines,” said Svetlana Lowry, NIST’s project leader on usability for health information technology. “This is for anybody who would like to apply the structure — government agencies, industries, academia — anyone involved in the development of electronic health records.”...

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Virtual Patients & Clinical Avatars

A major challenge for OSCE’s in clinical training is standardisation of the process and ensuring appropriate access for students. The School of Pharmacy have developed 3D characters in a virtual environment to simulate interaction between the learner and a virtual patient or clinical virtual actor (avatar). Interaction with the computer generated character is possible through the use of multiple choice questions or ‘natural’ free text questions. This means students or qualified healthcare professionals can refresh their communication and clinical skills on-line at their convenience. Each patient can be programmed with different scenarios and medical history...

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Mobile app diagnoses malaria from a single drop of blood

Mobile app diagnoses malaria from a single drop of blood | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
The virtual ink had barely dried on our story about the Skin Scan app for diagnosing melanoma when we received word of another, equally compelling mobile diagnostic tool. Focusing this time on the millions of people at risk from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world, Lifelens is a project that has created a smartphone app to diagnose the insidious, mosquito-borne disease.

More than one million people die each year from Malaria, and roughly 85 percent of them are children under the age of 5, the Lifelens project notes. The most prevalent diagnostic tool, meanwhile, is the rapid diagnostic test (RDT), which is known to be associated with a 60 percent incidence rate of false positive results. That, in turn, results in the treatment of many people who don’t actually have Malaria, driving up the costs of anti-Malaria treatment significantly. The Lifelens project, ...
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10 Big Science and Technology Advances to Watch

10 Big Science and Technology Advances to Watch | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
With so many remarkable things happening in the science and tech worlds, it’s hard to choose which to talk about. Here are a few ongoing developments worth keeping your eyes on.


Medicine

Stem Cell Heart Generation– For the first time, a human heart has been created using stem cells, a major step forward in organ generation. A couple years ago scientists rebuilt the heart of a rat using stem cells; the same team is behind the latest breakthrough. If all goes as planned, the heart will continue to grow and eventually begin beating automatically. The implications of this development are huge, including overcoming the problems of transplanting donated hearts.

Hybrid MRI / PET Imaging – Simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could provide the broadest spectrum of diagnostics possible, at least by current-tech standards. MRI is especially useful for examining soft tissues in the body, and when combined with PET (which is better at structural evaluation) it can provide extremely detailed imaging of organ tissue. The duo would work especially well in evaluating the true extent of liver damage, as one example, without exposure to high levels of radiation. The problem is that these technologies don’t play well together, so integrating them is no small challenge.
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New technology, elective surgery and bionic limbs

New technology, elective surgery and bionic limbs | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
‘Bionic’ prosthetic hands have featured prominently in the news again recently with the story of a Serbian man who has had a non-functioning hand amputated in order to have a ‘bionic’ hand fitted. He is the second man in Austria to undergo radical surgery for this reason, under the medical guidance of Viennese surgeon Dr Oskar Aszmann.


The procedure raises a number of issues not least to what extent radical surgery is justified to increase function. From toe to hand transplants to full hand transplants, controversy rages as to what is ‘right’. Indeed, Dr Aszmann, to his credit, held a symposium of leading surgeons to discuss the ethics of ‘elective amputation’.
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Scientists unveil tools for rewriting the code of life

Scientists unveil tools for rewriting the code of life | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
MIT and Harvard researchers have developed technologies that could be used to rewrite the genetic code of a living cell, allowing them to make large-scale edits to the cell’s genome. Such technology could enable scientists to design cells that build proteins not found in nature, or engineer bacteria that are resistant to any type of viral infection.


The technology, described in the July 15 issue ofScience, can overwrite specific DNA sequences throughout the genome, similar to the find-and-replace function in word-processing programs. Using this approach, the researchers can make hundreds of targeted edits to the genome of E. coli, apparently without disrupting the cells’ function.


“We did get some skepticism from biologists early on,” says Peter Carr, senior research staff at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory (and formerly of the MIT Media Lab), who is one of the paper’s lead authors. “When you’re making so many intentional changes to the genome, you might think something’s got to go wrong with that.”
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Tom George's comment, July 19, 2011 6:48 PM
This sounds really cool. I don't have time to read the medical technology industry so thanks for curating.
Thibaud Guymard's comment, July 20, 2011 3:38 AM
Thanks! Glad you like it
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Harvard-MIT Team's New Synthetic Vocal Cord Gel Gives Voice to the Voiceless

Harvard-MIT Team's New Synthetic Vocal Cord Gel Gives Voice to the Voiceless | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Call it a silent killer: some 6 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of voice disorder, most of those resulting from scarring of the vocal cords that can lead to diminishing or even total loss of the ability to speak. Giving voice to the voiceless, a team of Harvard and MIT researchers have developed a synthetic, injectable material that can be implanted into scarred vocal cords to restore their function.

Rather than approaching the problem as a physiological one, they looked at the vocal cords as a mechanical issue. That is, they didn’t attack the scar tissue in the vocal cords but devised a fix for it. That fix came in the form of a material known as polyethylene glycol (PEG), which they chose because it is already FDA approved for other medical applications.
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Seattle Children’s Patient Information System

Seattle Children’s Patient Information System | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Seattle Children’s Patient Information system showcases the impact of design in the healthcare industry.

Good design of medical information systems has tremendous impact on the safety and efficiency of care, but design is often made a secondary priority industry-wide.

The key benefits are:

- Patient Stories in Seconds. Clinicians need to understand the story of a patient, but previously they had to be detectives to piece it together. Lab results were separate from medication orders – even for the same patient. This solution brings patient data together to describe the whole person using the power of interactive infographics. This view of the past, present, and future for every patient helps doctors decide whom to treat first.
- Augmented Human Communication. Despite the vast improvements in care brought about by technology, many critical decisions hinge on personal communication. The prototype doesn’t try to replace human connections with technology – it augments them. For example, all the staff working with each patient is clearly identified, allowing them to share information on the go.
- Adaptable to Form and Function. The system is tailored to diverse user roles, levels of authority, and contexts from vice presidents to nurses. For example, doctors can use tablets at the patient’s bedside when they need information to make a decision regarding the patient’s care, while unit coordinators use their desktop PCs to see status and plan for patients that come and go.
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Tom George's comment, July 13, 2011 8:07 AM
Nice scoop I enjoyed it. I sent it to here http://bit.ly/poacME can we get a comment. Thanks, I am following your health care scoops. If you would also like to be a curator for Internet Billboards it is very simple to have your scoops auto post on our site as well, so no extra effort is really needed.
Thibaud Guymard's comment, July 13, 2011 8:16 AM
Thanks for this nice comment!
Tom George's comment, July 13, 2011 8:41 AM
Your welcome Thibaud I look forward to more of your curation and scoops.
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The World's First Self-Propelled Endoscopy Device 'Swims' the Entire Digestive Tract in Mere Hours

The World's First Self-Propelled Endoscopy Device 'Swims' the Entire Digestive Tract in Mere Hours | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Probing colons has never been this much fun. Japanese researchers have developed the world’s first self-propelled endoscopy device, a remote controlled tadpole-like camera that can “swim” through the digestive tack gathering imagery along the way.
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Scottish health app surprise hit

Scottish health app surprise hit | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
A new app for smartphones and tablets designed by the Scottish NHS has become one of the most popular free medical apps available for download.

It outlines what kind of care patients should expect when they suffer from particular medical conditions.

The SIGN app (SIGN stands for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) was the idea of Prof John Kinsella.
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Matthieu Lebas's comment, June 28, 2011 8:09 AM
Nice! i'm gonna dl this right now
Thibaud Guymard's comment, June 28, 2011 8:11 AM
Thanks for your nice comment! Glad to share good findings.
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mHealth, Telemedicine, ehealth worldwide reviews by WHO

mHealth, Telemedicine, ehealth worldwide reviews by WHO | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
The latest publications from the World Health Organization about eHealth, mHealth and Telemedicine:

mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies
7 June 2011

Telemedicine – Opportunities and developments in Member States
13 January 2011

Atlas - eHealth country profiles
22 December 2010
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Cancer's New Era Of Promise And Chaos

Cancer's New Era Of Promise And Chaos | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
In a major speech to cancer doctors Saturday, the outgoing president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology told his colleagues to prepare for a new era in which rapidly advancing genetic technology will change the way cancer is treated for the better – but also force doctors to change the way they invent and test drugs and care for patients.

This bold declaration came as the first results of...
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Citizen Science Takes Off: Could Community Labs Hatch the Next Generation of Bio Innovators?

Citizen Science Takes Off: Could Community Labs Hatch the Next Generation of Bio Innovators? | Health Innovation | Scoop.it

Get ready for “citizen science” to transform bioscience. In mid-October, 28-year-old Eri Gentry opened BioCurious, a nonprofit public-use biology laboratory in Sunnyvale, Calif., with 2,400 square feet of “hacker space for biotech.” Similar community labs are sprouting up elsewhere, too. Do-it-yourself biologists are setting up shop in garages, basements, and hacker spaces worldwide. Executive Director Gentry and five co-founders raised $35,000 for the BioCurious lab on Kickstarter.com (a site that enables anyone to raise money from the public for creative projects).

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Google Ventures, Tech Investor Back Company That Aims To Bring DNA Sequencing To Cancer Patients

Google Ventures, Tech Investor Back Company That Aims To Bring DNA Sequencing To Cancer Patients | Health Innovation | Scoop.it

Brook Byers, the health care venture capitalist at famed tech investor Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, has been investing in biotech companies for 38 years. He invested in Genentech, the biotech stalwart, in the 1970s, and later on in Applied Biosystems, whose DNA sequencers were used to map the human genome in 2000.

 

Now Byers says there is a new “crescendo” in life sciences, as the cost to sequence human DNA drops dramatically. And he is putting his effort behind helping to build a new company, called Foundation Medicine, that is aiming to use gene-sequencing technology to help doctors pick the right drugs for cancer treatments with a test that is expected to cost several thousand dollars. “The time is right for this,” Byers says.

 

Google Ventures is signing up alongside Byers in a $33.5 million series A financing round for Foundation Medicine. Krishna Yeshwant, a medical doctor at partner at Google Ventures, says that Foundation is one of the first companies based on newer DNA-sequencing machines that could have “actual clinical applications that could affect patients.” He and Byers will both serve on the company’s board.

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Half-Synthetic Half-Biological Material Replaces Soft Facial Tissues, Letting Doctors Shape Implants to Order

Half-Synthetic Half-Biological Material Replaces Soft Facial Tissues, Letting Doctors Shape Implants to Order | Health Innovation | Scoop.it

In reconstructive surgery, if a doctor needs a bone he or she can turn to a range of plastics, ceramics, or metals as suitable replacements. But when it comes to soft tissues--like the kind found in that most cosmetically important area, the face--replacements are scarce, and the ones that do exist aren’t very good, especially when it comes to fixing large-scale deformities.



But a new transplantable biomaterial, part biological and part synthetic, could help surgeons rebuild even the hardest to fix disfigurements. Just inject, shape, and blast with green light.

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Using iPad Drchrono EHR App Can Pay Doctors $44,000 to $63,750 Incentive

Using iPad Drchrono EHR App Can Pay Doctors $44,000 to $63,750 Incentive | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Obama administration has a $12 billion incentive for ‘meaningful use’ of Electronic Health Record (EHR) such as iPad by doctors and medical professionals.


It means paying up to $44,000 in Medicare OR up to $63,750 in Medicaid incentives. And there’s an app for that on the iPad: DrChrono EHR [App Store, free], which qualifies for ONC-ATCB stage 1 meaningful use criteria.
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Cancers Are Newly Evolved Parasitic Species, Biologist Argues

Cancers Are Newly Evolved Parasitic Species, Biologist Argues | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Cancer patients may feel like they have alien creatures or parasites growing inside their bodies, robbing them of health and vigor. According to one cell biologist, that’s exactly right. The formation of cancers is really the evolution of a new parasitic species.

Just as parasites do, cancer depends on its host for sustenance, which is why treatments that choke off tumors can be so effective. Thanks to this parasite-host relationship, cancer can grow however it wants, wherever it wants. Cancerous cells do not depend on other cells for survival, and they develop chromosome patterns that are distinct from their human hosts, according to Peter Duesberg, a molecular and cell biology professor at the University of California-Berkeley. As such, they’re novel species.

He argues that the prevailing theories of carcinogenesis, or cancer formation, are wrong. Rather than springing from a few genetic mutations that spur cells to grow at an uncontrolled pace, cancerous tumors grow from a disruption of entire chromosomes, he says. Chromosomes contain many genes, so mis-copies, breaks and omissions lead to tens of thousands of genetic changes. The result is a cell with completely new traits: A new phenotype.
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Antiretrovirals Show Huge Promise for Halting HIV Spread in Two Major Studies

Antiretrovirals Show Huge Promise for Halting HIV Spread in Two Major Studies | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Big time news on the fight against AIDS out of Rome today, and it essentially boils down to this: antiretrovirals work (at least, an astoundingly high percentage of the time when they are used correctly). At the biggest forum on HIV and AIDS in the 30-year battle against the deadly epidemic (it still kills 5,000 people a day, FYI), two breakthrough findings show that antiretrovirals (ARVs) not only battle HIV in infected persons, but can stop the disease from spreading in two important ways: it helps prevent HIV-positive folk from transmitting the disease, and also helps prevent non-infected people from contracting it.
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Diagnosis By Facebook: Can We Crowdsource Medicine?

Diagnosis By Facebook: Can We Crowdsource Medicine? | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Do we really want our medical records to be private? Or does it take a village to cure a person


Two years ago, Harvard genomics guru George Church said the following to me for a profile I wrote of him:

Anytime you see somebody keeping a secret, that’s symptomatic that something’s wrong with the society around them. That means there’s discrimination or worse.

In the lead of that story, I recounted how Church puts his medical records online. Once, in a lecture, a doctor Church did not know stood up and told him he needed to change the dose of his cholesterol medicine. The doctor was right. I kept thinking of that story while reading this great piece on Slate: “How Facebook Saved My Son’s Life.”
In that story...
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Kinect inspires bionic vision for the blind

Kinect inspires bionic vision for the blind | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
While some scientists have been busy using Kinect for the forces of eeevil (read: to turn helicopters into our future robot overlords), it seems others have been busy using the motion-sensing game controller for good (read: to help the blind see).

Oxford University researcher Dr. Stephen Hicks (our hero) is working on a pair of glasses that will help people with a very small amount of vision see again. And he was inspired — at least in part — by the Kinect game controller.
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Will 'Bionic Bodies' Offer High-Tech Hope to the Disabled ?

Scientists are creating a new generation of artificial body parts to help people with disabilities see, walk, swim, grip and run among other things. Miles O'Brien reports on the latest advances in prosthetics.
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The Measured Life - Technology Review

The Measured Life - Technology Review | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
Do you know how much REM sleep you got last night? New types of devices that monitor activity, sleep, diet, and even mood could make us healthier and more productive.
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Scientists develop new approach for cancer vaccine

Scientists have developed a technique that uses a library of DNA taken from organs in which tumors can form and harnesses the body's immune response to create a vaccine designed to treat cancer.

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine on Sunday, researchers from Britain and the United States said that in early tests in mice with prostate cancer, their experimental vaccine was able to shrink tumors, suggesting it could be developed in the future into a treatment for cancer patients.

"Using the immune system to treat cancer is a very exciting area at the moment," Alan Melcher of Leeds University, who co-led the study, said in an interview. "What we've done is to develop a new approach which builds on a promising foundation."
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How Technology Has Changed The Way We Access Health

How Technology Has Changed The Way We Access Health | Health Innovation | Scoop.it
When I grew up, the primary sources of health information for most of us were our physicians or our friends and family. But over the past decade the resources we use and rely on for health information, and how we use it, have radically changed. With the ubiquitous availability of the Internet, we're now taking on the role of gathering and assessing this information ourselves, often before we visit or return to our doctors. To find health information, most of us turn to search engines or health sites -- whether to answer questions about a new physical discomfort, a known ailment or about a health matter facing a child or other person we care.

The way we find health information has problems...
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