DNA / Protein function finder from @WellcomeTrust @SangerInstitute @emblebi @YourGenome

Advances in health IT must be viewed as a whole
[Via O'Reilly Radar]

Reformers in health care claim gigantic disruption on the horizon: devices that track our movements, new treatments through massive data crunching, fluid electronic records that reflect the patient’s status wherever she goes, and even the end of the doctor’s role. But predictions in the area of health IT are singularly detached from the realities of the technical environment that are supposed to make them happen.

To help technologists, clinicians, and the rest of us judge the state of health IT, I’ve released a report titled “The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care.” It offers an overview of each area of innovation to see what’s really happening and what we need to make it progress further and faster.

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Health has always been intimately connected with technology, from removing the handle of a drinking well to a handheld ultrasound wand.

Dealing with human health is probably the most complex system of endeavor mankind us currently trying to solve. Old, authoritarian, top-down approaches are giving way to newer, distributed, bottom-up paradigms.

And new digital tools are driving this.

Often we can only solve health problems because of the technological tools we have access to.

But healthcare has been slow to activate the greatest impacts of the digital revolution – to connect people and communities in ways to solve very complex problems. Healthcare’s natural attraction to the status quo for many medical needs– after all, if a doctor makes a mistake, people can die – means that therapeutic benefit often has to be shown BEFORE anything changes.

Patient healthcare data and its mining does not easily fit this paradigm. Authoritarian approaches stemming from the  medical edifice we all face still drives almost all our health concerns. So change is slow.

But it is coming. Faster than many of the authoritarian processes can deal with.

This has not stopped people from doing the mining themselves. From places like 23andme, patientslikeme to crowdfunding projects, individuals are now taking much greater control of their health data.

And finding out all sorts of interesting things.

Often without any form of mediator, because they can.

(It reminds me of the battle I was part of almost 20 years ago. We needed to connect to the internet because it was becoming critical in order to do our biomedical research. The IT department was very reluctant and stonewalled, due to fear of disrupting things. We simply said we could connect to the internet without needing them. Our IT needs had become decentralized , distributed, and we could simply dial-up without needing the IT department at all. So we did.)

Medicine is becoming a more distributed system, decentralizing access and the practice of medicine. It is, in many way, at right angles and in conflict with the authoritarian processes we find in medicine today.

This holds tremendous opportunity to revolutionize what we know about medicine. But with tremendously disruptive effects on the status quo.

There will be real battles here but the conflict between the old, authoritarian system and the new, distributed system will find a balance which eventually helps us all.

Because it has real benefits. And it cannot really be stopped anyway.

 Leaves with drop of water

Complete Honesty is the Access to Ultimate Power
[Via Rands in Repose]

Rebekah Campbell via the New York Times:

A study by the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of adults could not have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The same study found that 40 percent of people lie on their résumés and a whopping 90 percent of those looking for a date online lie on their profiles. Teenage girls lie more than any other group, which is attributed to peer pressure and expectation. The study did not investigate the number of lies told by entrepreneurs looking for investment capital, but I fear we would top the chart.

Also:

Peter maintains that telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you overreport a metric, underreport a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it.

Drink a cup of coffee before reading this one.

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Telling th truth, especially when it exposes errors you have made, can make you feel vulnerable. Especially with so many sociopathic people running things.

Looking weak is not a plus for sociopaths.

But telling lies creates a disconnect from reality, a Cargo Cult World that leads away from what actually happens. It invites more lies that divide you even more from reality.

Eventually you inhabit a world that not only does not exist but can actually prevent you from thriving in the real world.

Too many people today simply construct unsustainable Cargo Cult worlds to inhabit by lying to themselves and others. They will fall.

Here the author shows how even in business setting, telling the truth is best. Because Nature always wins. 

testing

This is a test.

The website was hacked, most likely due to the old theme I was using. I’ was looking to change it early next year anyway. Now I just have to accelerate it a bit.

So I’ve put in a transitional theme until then. Not pretty but it will have to do.

Let me know if you see anything weird.

appleby Stephen A. Wolfe

The diffusion of iPhones as a learning process
[Via asymco]

All theoretical and empirical diffusion studies agree that an innovation diffuses along a S-shaped trajectory. Indeed, the S-shaped pattern of diffusion appears to be a basic anthropologic phenomenon.

This observation dates as far back as 1895 when the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde first described the process of social change by an imitative “group-think” mechanism and a S-shaped pattern.[1] In 1983 Everett Rogers, developed a more complete four stage model of the innovation decision process consisting of: (1) knowledge, (2) persuasion, (3) decision and implementation, and (4) confirmation.

Consequently, Rogers divided the population of potential adopters according to their adoption date and categorized them in terms of their standard deviation from the mean adoption date. He presented extensive empirical evidence to suggest a symmetric bell shaped curve for the distribution of adopters over time. This curve matches in shape the first derivative of the logistic growth and substitution curve as shown below. Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 11-6-1.51.57 PM

In the graph above I applied the Rogers adopter characterization to the data we have on the adoption of smartphones in 

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This is a very useful analysis of the way smartphones are diffusing throughout the US. I’ve written about the diffusion of innovation throughout a community many times and it is nice to see that smartphones are following the same curve.

Now, this post makes the point that the speed of adoption entails a learning stage. There have been 5 stages postulated in the personal adoption of something new: Awareness, Interest, Evaluation, Trial and Adoption.

Where someone falls along the adoption curve depends on how fast one moves through each stage. Innovators move very rapidly. The middle takes more time. In fact, they usually get stuck at the evaluation stage. They wait the thought leaders in the early adopter group to help them change.

Notice that the adoption of an innovation is slow until about 16% have made the shift. Then you see explosive and rapid growth, once the early adopters are on board.

So the faster the early adopters can evaluate and learn about the innovation, the faster it will spread. Perhaps by Apple making it easy to learn, especially for the thought leaders , allowed it to rapidly spread throughout a community. 

Other phone makers, whose platform was not as easy to evaluate and learn, suffer from churn as the evaluation process becomes muddy and undirected.

By making the evaluation process easier, Apple makes it more likely that the necessary thought leaders will convince the rest of the community to shift. and see explosive growth.

This explains why the smartphone took off so fast once Apple released the iPhone and why everyone else copied them. The same thing happened with the iPad, while Microsoft had no luck with its tablets for years.

The key step to rapid adoption is not just cool technology. It must be made very easy for the critical early adopters to evaluate. That is Apple’s real innovation.


rocket launch

Lean LaunchPad |
[Via  Steve Blank]

We’re deep into week 2 of teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Health Care (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) this October at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. Part 1 of this post described the issues in the drug discovery. Part 2 covered medical devices and digital health. Part 3  described what we’re going to do about it. This is post is a brief snapshot of our progress.

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I have been following Steve Blank’s journey into disrupting the way healthcare companies are funded off and on. He has brought the ‘Moneyball’ approach to funding, by using data rather than gut feelings.

As any good scientist does, he wants to do n experiment – can he teach a class on these principles to help startups get funding in a more defined way. And to change the VC industry, especially in healthcare, from looking only for home runs and perhaps consider that 3-4 singles will accomplish the same things.

As I have written before, the cost to get drugs to market today is simply too long and expensive. We must find better approaches. And this approach might just help us get there.

As with any experiment, it may not explain everything. But, as this video shows, it can help us create a better model for success.

Asteroid crowd funding 001

Consider the Facts: moving people to deliberative thinking is an experiment in several ways. The project itself involves experimentation to examine a hypothesis.

But the process of raising money for research through crowdfunding is also an experiment. Can a group of people in the public sphere create, vet and support active scientific research? What is required to make that happen?

SpreadingScience has learned a lot and has some answers to those questions. One final one is whetehr we will reach our goal.

$25 would help a lot. Please help us answer that question.

How the asteroid saved mankind

We are down to the last days and we are only halfway to our goal. We need to find out if the Asteroid will really save mankind.

NASA sure thinks so, based on this video:

Help make this happen.

1 26 2011google

So much going on that this blog has not been updated for awhile. Consider the Facts is a fun experiment into crowdfunding research projects. It will provide the tools to examine how we might change people’s views about the future.

We have some things to do during the dead time the efforts are now in – people usually only focus their interest the first week or so and the last week or so.

The middle month is not the most interesting.

But go take a look at the site. we have some drafts of the illustrations for the short narrative.

Understanding Apple’s Organizational Structure
[Via asymco]

Apple has hired a new VP who will report directly to Tim Cook. Paul Deneve is cited as having responsibility for “special projects” and will report directly to Tim Cook.

The previous roles as a manager in luxury brand companies has led to a great deal of speculation about what new projects Apple could be working on that might also fit this new manager’s background and title.

The most commonly cited speculation is around the iWatch or TV product lines (with some surprised that he will not be heading Retail.)

Although reading “luxury product CEO” and concluding “new luxury products” seems logical, a little knowledge about how Apple is organized dispels this notion. And a little knowledge happens to be about all we have, as Apple’s organization is one of its most closely guarded secrets. Even employees at Apple have little idea of how the company is organized. What we do know is summarized into this org chart:

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 7-3-3.37.27 PM

 

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We have heard al ot recently about Microsoft’s new re-organization. They are organizing around function, not devices.

I wonder where they got that idea from?

A 21st century company needs to foster collaboration and that is done by organizing around functions that everyone needs for each product. This ends up creating a lot of purposeful conversations about proper use of resources, etc. that often leads to much greater efficiencies than when things are simply focussed on a product silo.

Happy face 042

Consider the Facts is the most successful finalist in the #CrowdGrant Challenge sponsored by RocketHub and Popular Science so far. That did not just happen.

Crowdfunding projects usually succeed because they activate a community to action. Maybe it’s fans of a TV show. Or space enthusiasts who want to send up a satellite.

If that community is not already there, then it must be created. That takes some real time to figure out ways to get the word out. Comunities do not often spontaneously arise. It taks a lot fo work finding and nurturing those contacts.

People want to help but they also want to see how they might be helped. 

I’ve been planning basic research projects for some time, looking to create a community that will create, vet and support research projects independent of academia. What happens when people with good questions can get them answered?

So I had planned on doing something small, start with friends and family, and bootstrap myself to a community. Then this opportunity to work with Popular Science came along.

Now I can experiment to see if Popular Science’s Community might help help create this sort of a community faster.

We shall see.

SpreadingScience

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