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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Coursera, Health Hacking, Diagnosis Apps, and Interoperability

There has been a lot happening and this is just briefly some of the things I have been tracking. A lot of my time is being spent taking a Coursera online course taught by Dr. Peter Singer (the Australian, not the U. of T. Ethicist) called "Practical Ethics". It is a 12 week course and there are about 25,000 people taking this MOOC. There are writing assignments, peer evaluations of such, video lessons, guest lecturers, discussion forums, essential background readings - I am very impressed and at the same time, very busy just trying to hang on.

COACH recently had a webinar on Health Hacking, facilitated by some of the founders of this fascinating organization. I would strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in healthcare technology and informatics, take a serious look at their website, and / or attend one of their hackathons. It is becoming so popular the next eHealth conference will have a Hackathon. During the webinar they mention how even the Canadian Medical Association thought highly of the concept. I was trying to find the article the CMA wrote about it but could only find this one:

We all know what happened to Google Health, and I am not sure today where Microsoft Healthvault is these days, so I am skeptical about any buzz we might hear about Apple Healthbook.

The Kuzweil Accelerating Intelligence news reported on a new Do It Yourself Medical Diagnosis App.  I have not had time to look into the details of this, but it might be a software candidate for an integrated Tricorder project.

The last item is really a gem, and it is the keynote talk given at HIMISS interoperability showcase, by Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm uses 3 examples in the evolution of technology to make comparison to how new standards in interoperability can transform healthcare technology: shipping containers, Israeli military technology example called the Bekaa Valley Turkey Shoot, mp3 players.