Daniel Jacobs also wants to use placebos for good. His new app, which he’s crowd-funding on Indiegogo, is an attempt to take the placebo out of the doctor’s office and into your home. He hopes it will make people feel better, and contribute further to placebo research.
You start by setting a goal: say, more joy or love in your life. Then, you choose someone to give you the placebo (maybe a friend or family member), what you want it to be (a pill, say), and where you want to take it (maybe a forest where you go running with a friend). You then "take" the placebo whenever you want to, following a pre-set ritual built into the app.
The point is to replicate what’s important about the placebo effect, which isn’t the pill itself, but the experience. "If we think about placebo as a transformational symbol, then people get to choose what placebo they want," says Jacobs. "It can be a pill, magic wand, holy book, communion wafer, or herbs. It just needs to be meaningful for them."
The growth chart is essentially a few line graphs on the same piece of paper. A doctor enters a child’s height and weight (and sometimes head circumference) at various ages. This child’s development can then be compared alongside the standard growth curves, at a glance.
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The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. opened a new pain care complex this week which was built to introduce video games as a way to help young patients eliminate chronic pain. The games are specially designed and combined with Microsoft’s Kinect to help young patients improve their health without realizing it as games ask them to paint, play and exercise while doctors are on hand to analyze their range of motion.
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