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Eyewire and Crowdsourced Science

Posted on April 29, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the really interesting people I met at TEDMED was Amy Robinson. She’s from MIT and is working on some of the coolest brain technology out there. I’d first seen something similar to their work at CES where they had you control a helicopter with your brain. It’s pretty insane technology. At TEDMED they did a similar thing where you’d control a Xerox cube with your brain.

Amy also taught be about their game to map the brain called EyeWire. It’s been around for ~5 months and already has 60,000 players from 130 countries mapping neurons in 3D to decipher information processing networks in the brain. More simply put, they have 60,000 people playing games to benefit science.

It’s such a beautiful concept. I logged in and started doing some of the mapping. It’s really simple to get started, but I can see how you’re going to have to be pretty creative and detail oriented to be successful at the game. Plus, it’s cool to think that you’re contributing in even a small way to future scientific discovery.

I’ve long loved the idea of crowdsourcing and I’m really glad to see it being applied to science and healthcare. It’s amazing what a crowd of people each contributing a little bit can create.

TED Talk: Detecting Parkinsons Early with a Phone Call

Posted on August 21, 2012 I Written By

Parkinson’s disease is something that touches almost everyone in some way in their life.  It can be debilitating to a patient’s speech and movement.  The video below from TED Talks describes how new technology can help in the detection of Parkinson’s.

 
http://ted.com/talks/view/id/1534
 

Watch the video.

Blumenthal’s Address at MIT HIT Symposium

Posted on July 1, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Blumenthal gave a recent speech at the HIT Symposium at MIT. I must admit that as I’ve heard Blumenthal speak I’ve grown pretty fond of what he’s trying to do within the bounds of what’s available to him. Here’s a quick look at some things he said with my thoughts.

“I found that (information technology) changed me as a physician. I thought it was going to change practice. That was 10 years ago,” Blumenthal said. “I think that reality will be realized within a few years.”

I’ve heard Blumenthal say this before. I guess given the number of speeches he gives it’s ok for him to repeat on occasion. That said, this is something that physicians hate to hear, but need to hear it. An EMR will change the way you practice. It won’t change the fact that you are going to give quality care to your patient. It won’t remove the need for all your training and intellect. However, information technology does become the heart of a practice when you implement an EMR. It’s nice that Blumenthal is willing to just state the facts.
David Blumenthal
More Blumenthal…

“If you look at the calendar and think about the institutions we need to create by 2011, it is a truly daunting prospect,” Blumenthal said. “And in some ways, if we started a year ago, we’d still be late.”

I’ve been talking about a delay in EMR stimulus money for a while. No doubt it is a daunting task. Luckily, I’m one that believes in the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and it seems like Blumenthal does too. Considering the government’s spending billions of dollars, you better think that way. Let’s just hope we don’t spend all that money and actually regress.

Blumenthal acknowledged other challenges facing the ONC, such as addressing the needs of small providers, privacy and security concerns and the lack of attention the current legislation pays to providers of long-term care, home care and hospices. ONC hopes to include those providers later, he said.

“We need that connection, but very frankly we don’t have the resources or the authority in this legislation to do what we need to do in that sector,” he said.

Nice to see Blumenthal acknowledge some of their weaknesses. I’ve been an advocate for the small providers for a long time. I don’t think the EMR stimulus money is right for small practices for the most part. However, I do think an EMR is right for small practices. They can still provide benefits without the EMR stimulus money.