Social and Technological Transformation
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Social and Technological Transformation
researching networks, knowledge, social psychology..
Curated by mariana gavris
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Harvard doctors argue the digital phenotype will change healthcare

Harvard doctors argue the digital phenotype will change healthcare | Social and Technological Transformation |

A new editorial in Nature Biotech poses the idea of the “digital phenotype” as a catch-all term for the trail of relevant health data people leave behind in their interactions with the internet, social media, and technology, which has largely untapped potential for the early detection of various conditions.

CareMore Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sachin Jain submitted the paper along with Harvard Medical School colleagues doctors Brian Powers, Jared Hawkins, and John Brownstein, whose Computational Epidemiology Group has done a lot of work in the area of digital phenotyping already.

“People are increasingly leaving a footprint of their health status through technology, including social media, forums, online communities, wearable technologies and mobile devices,” Jain said in a statement. “This information all has clinical value to a physician. The challenge is being aware of it and knowing how to access and interpret it.”

Back when Jain was at Merck, his innovation group funded some of Brownstein’s work on HealthMap. They were already working on the notion of the digital phenotype at that time.

“Merck is funding the research, but I think there’s also a broader digital health agenda that we’re really kind of pursuing and this is a big part of it, which is around this notion of defining what I call digital phenotypes,” Jain told MobiHealthNews last March. “We think many diseases will actually have a phenotype that presents through patient use of technology.”

The concept builds on Richard Dawkins’ idea of an extended phenotype, which refers to how animal behaviors and interactions with their environments should play into how we describe and classify them. According to Jain and his colleagues, a burgeoning dataset includes data from health wearables, social media postings, and even data from people’s mobile phones about how and how often they text and use apps. The latter has formed the basis of’s research, which contends that changes in people’s smartphone usage behavior can presage changes in a mental health condition like depression of bipolar disorder.

The idea of the digital phenotype can be used in a variety of ways, the paper goes on to say. It can be predictive of diseases for individuals, but it can also predict trends at the population level using something like Google Flu Trends or the Boston Children’s insomnia study. It has also shown value in providing feedback about the efficacy of new treatments.

“For example, by tracking digital phenotypes among members of an online disease community, researchers were able to demonstrate the lack of efficacy of lithium in slowing disease progression in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” the paper reads, referring to aPatientsLikeMe study from 2011. “These findings were later replicated in several slower and more expensive randomized controlled trials.”

The challenge going forward will be incorporating this data into clinical practice in a way that is useful, doesn’t overwhelm physicians, and maintains patient safety and privacy.

“Our digital breadcrumbs, whether from our online discussions or the health tracking devices we wear, have tremendous potential to inform clinical decision making,” Brownstein said in a statement. “The next step is to figure out how these data integrate into traditional electronic medical records.”

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Collective Action Toolkit, una guía para impulsar cambios en las comunidades

Collective Action Toolkit, una guía para impulsar cambios en las comunidades | Social and Technological Transformation |

La consultora Frog Design ha publicado en código abierto la guía Collective Action Toolkit, una herramienta para desarrollar soluciones en comunidades locales aplicando metodologías del pensamiento de diseño.

Via Miguel Acero, Kfe Innovacion, mariana gavris
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Rescooped by mariana gavris from Open ethnography!

Your essential ‘how-to’ guide to writing good abstracts | LSE - The impact of social sciences

Article abstracts typically say little about what the researcher has discovered or what the key findings are, what they are arguing as a ‘bottom line’, or what key ‘take-away points’ they want readers to remember. Here we present a simple ‘how-to’ guide to writing good abstracts.



Via Tomás Sánchez Criado
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'It's alive!' How tiny 'organs' on microchips could replace mice and rats in medical research labs

'It's alive!' How tiny 'organs' on microchips could replace mice and rats in medical research labs | Social and Technological Transformation |
Scientists are creating tiny 'organs' on microchips, part-artificial, part-living versions of lungs, hearts and more that have shown promise for testing drugs (‘It’s alive!
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Rescooped by mariana gavris from Docentes y TIC (Teachers and ICT)!

MoocGuide. Wikispaces

MoocGuide. Wikispaces | Social and Technological Transformation |

Click here to edit the content


Via Juan Jesús Baño Egea, Ana Rodera
Ana Rodera's curator insight, January 13, 2013 4:42 AM

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Rescooped by mariana gavris from Empowerment, citizens and change!

Finland’s Next Laws To Emerge From Online Crowdsourced Proposals

Finland’s Next Laws To Emerge From Online Crowdsourced Proposals | Social and Technological Transformation |

Crowdsourcing legislativo en Finlandia: Finland now allows citizens to propose new laws online, and if an initiative gathers enough votes, the government must vote on it.

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Does Twitter work as a patient experience measurement tool?

Does Twitter work as a patient experience measurement tool? | Social and Technological Transformation |

Hospitals, doctors and the health care system as a whole have become ever more focused on measuring the quality of the care patients receive. And with good reason: as the system leans ever more towards tying reimbursements to quality, everyone recognizes that you can’t improve quality if you’re not measuring it.

Of the many ways one can look at quality in an inpatient setting, patient experience has earned a lot of attention. Hospitals, payors, survey vendors and government agencies are spending millions to develop, deploy and analyze tools like the adult and child  Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (HCAHPS) surveys, which give voice to patients and their concerns about the care they receive.

Are there other ways to hear what patients are saying? Jared Hawkins, MMSc, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), Boston Children’s chief innovation officer, John Brownstein, PhD, and their colleagues wanted to see whether they could harness the power of social media—specifically, Twitter—to supplement survey-based methods. Their data, published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, give encouraging hints, but it’s too early to retire those patient surveys just yet.

A social view of patient experience

Could tweets be a reasonable form of quality measurement? When you consider it, we often turn to Twitter, Yelp, Angie’s List and other networks to provide instant feedback on and offer our thoughts about pretty much any company, contractor or store we do business with. Why would healthcare be any different?

That “instant” aspect is part of what captured the team’s attention.

“The main problems with measuring patient experience by survey are the small numbers of people who respond to surveys and the lag time,” says Hawkins, who works under Brownstein in hisComputational Epidemiology Group. “It can take up to two years before survey data are released to the public.

“Given that social media data are close to real time,” he continued, “we wanted to see if we could capture this discussion and if the content is useful.”

Sifting the tweets from the chaff

Hawkins, Brownstein and their collaborators collected more than 400,000 public tweets directed at the Twitter handles of nearly 2,400 hospitals in the U.S. between 2012 and 2013. Using machine learning, natural language processing and manual curation, they tagged 34,735 patient experience tweets directed at 1,726 hospital-owned Twitter accounts, determined the sentiment of those tweets (positive, neutral, negative) and binned the tweets into topical categories (e.g., Time, Communication, Pain).

“We were able to capture what people were happy or mad about, in an unsolicited way,” Hawkins explains. “No one else is looking at patient experience this way because surveys ask very targeted questions. Unsurprisingly, you get back very targeted, narrow answers.”


(Kostenko Maxim/Shutterstock)


Quality tweeting

The holy grail in this work would be the ability to correlate tweets and the sentiments expressed in tweets to outcomes metrics that relate to care quality. Hints of that ability are there. When Hawkins and Brownstein compared their data with outcomes data from Medicare’s Hospital Compare website, they found a weak negative correlation between tweet sentiment and hospitals’ 30-day readmission rates. “Hospitals that people thought highly of had lower readmission rates,” Hawkins explains.

Surprisingly, though, they did not see a relationship between tweet sentiment and HCAHPS experience data.

“This is a brand new way of using Twitter data,” Hawkins notes. “It may be that we have to be cautious about using tweet sentiment to understand quality.”

Just the beginning

Probably the study’s largest weakness, Hawkins notes, is the number of tweets out there for analysis.

“There’s not a tremendous volume,” he says, noting that of the 2,400 hospital Twitter accounts they looked at, only about 300 received more than 50 inbound tweets in a year. “If you look at a lot of hospitals, there’s not a lot going on, maybe three or five tweets that are about patient experience.

“But remember, this was 2012,” he adds. “If we were to look today and beyond, we would expect the volume to be much higher. And we’re already looking to see whether we can integrate data from other social networks like Yelp and Reddit.

At the moment, the low volume of data could make it hard to identify trends over time, notes Sara Toomey, MD, MPhil, MPH, MSc, managing director of the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement at Boston Children’s, who was not involved in Hawkins and Brownstein’s study. The Twitter users who produced the tweet pool analyzed may not be entirely representative of each hospital’s patients.

But the data are suggestive and highlight Twitter’s possible utility as a way to supplement HCAHPS and other surveys.

“We’re always looking for ways to listen to the voices of patients and families and use what they say to inform the quality of the care we provide,” explains Toomey, one of the co-leaders in the effort to develop the child version of HCAHPS. “There’s been a steady decline in survey response rates, so people involved in quality measurement are actively seeking ways of augmenting the standard approach with other collection methods.”

“It’s exciting to think about how a hospital might feed not only comments and scores from surveys but also comments from other sources like tweets into our efforts to improve quality,” she adds.

Hawkins agrees, adding that in his view the study provides proof of principle for incorporating Twitter into the box of tools hospitals use to measure their interactions with patients. “The discussion about patient experience is going on out there on social media,” he says. “We need to be looking at it, and in a systematic way.”


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Ethnography Beyond Text and Print: How the digital can transform ethnographic expressions | Wendy Hsu

Ethnography Beyond Text and Print: How the digital can transform ethnographic expressions | Wendy Hsu | Social and Technological Transformation |

ea, as a fellow with the City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs, I have a mission to innovate and technologize the department. I’m spearheading the department’s web redesign project — thinking about how to better articulate our work, outreach to constituents, and digitize some of our services. I’m still wearing my ethnographer’s hat, thinking about how to cull through the vast amount of data related to arts and culture here at the city, and leveraging social media and other mobile/digital data to better understand the impact of our work. I’m also working with the City’s Information Technology Agency to join efforts in their Open Data initiative with the goal to augment civic participation through innovation projects like civic hacking.

Ethnography means fieldwork or field research – a set of research practices applied for the purpose of acquiring data; but the term also refers to the descriptive representation of one’s fieldwork. In my series on digital ethnography so far, I have discussed how digital and computational methods could enhance how we as ethnographers acquire, process, explore, and re-scale field data. In this last post, I will shift my focus away from field research to discuss the process of “writing up” field findings. I ask: How might the digital transform the way we communicate ethnographic information and knowledge?




Via Tomás Sánchez Criado
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Infographic: The psychology of social sharing

Infographic: The psychology of social sharing | Social and Technological Transformation |
Why do people share content? Although it probably isn't congruent with the research of Jonah Berger or Thales Texiera, it is entertaining to see sharers compartmentalized into convenient archtypes ...
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Rescooped by mariana gavris from The Architecture of the City!

Architecture of Immaterial Labour, [abstract] by Andreas Rumpfhuber

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association concert urbain's curator insight, December 27, 2013 5:35 AM

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Immaterial Labour Poses New Challenges for Architecture


Since the 1960s, the transition from factory production to the production of immaterial goods has posed substantial challenges for architects in the Western world. In his Ph.D. dissertation Architektur immaterieller Arbeit (Architecture of Immaterial Labour) , architect Andreas Rumpfhuber, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture under the auspices of the Danish Centre for Design Research, analyses the relations between architecture and the new physical and material work conditions.



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XIV ENCUENTRO INTERNACIONAL VIRTUAL EDUCA COLOMBIA 2013 | Social and Technological Transformation |

Foro multilateral, Congreso, Exposición 'Educación, innovación y TIC'. Medellín, Colombia. 17-21 Junio 2013.

Via L. García Aretio, Angel Pio Gonzalez Soto, Ramon Aragon, ThePinkSalmon
Adilia Josefina's curator insight, February 28, 2013 7:17 AM

Aprendemos -Participamos y conocemos una hermosa ciudad.

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Good practices for university open-access policies | Berkman Center

Good practices for university open-access policies | Berkman Center | Social and Technological Transformation |
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