Monday, January 12, 2015

Q&A - 12/1


WSJ

Over the past decade, smartphones have radically changed many aspects of our everyday lives, from banking to shopping to entertainment. Medicine is next. With innovative digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning, the medicalized smartphone is going to upend every aspect of health care. And the end result will be that you, the patient, are about to take center stage for the first time [..]

It isn’t just hospitals’ rooms that are on their way out; so are their labs. Smartphone attachments will soon enable you to perform an array of routine lab tests via your phone. Blood electrolytes; liver, kidney and thyroid function [..]

Meanwhile, nearly all sophisticated medical imaging devices are being miniaturized: Hand-held ultrasound devices are already available, and some medical schools have begun issuing them in the place of the old-school stethoscope. Hand-held MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines aren’t far behind, and engineers at UCLA have come up with a smartphone-sized device that can generate X-rays. It won’t be long before you can take a smartphone X-ray selfie if you’re worried that you might have broken a bone.

X-ray selfie!
 
Cool. 1 more ex of moving away from industrial era specialization to general availability of software-driven services due to easy tranmission and processing of knowledge.

I have to add though even in the previous era, most diagnosis could have been performed through self-help manuals, easy-to-understand decision trees prepared by the best in the field; with intermittent lab tests (left to market forces to compete on) whose output could be fed in to these self-diagnosis decisions.

This did not happen. The 2W system made a concious choice to offer healthcare through this collection of "many", these average specialists whose jobs would later turn into professions. But average is average; as a result the system still cannot get a lot of the basics right, and it cannot extend top quality to everyone. I was once prescribed penicilin and it turned out I had an allergy to the shit. With decision trees (now software), that would be the first question to check: DO YOU HAVE A PENICILIN ALLERGY YES|NO? Go to lab have test #23423 performed. Check the appropiate box.

This issue keeps coming up over and over again. Instead of propogating the bland, the subpar, just so some people have "jobs", 3W will allow access to the best, for everyone. Then everyone works for fun (like I do now); and there is basic income. More productivity, more happiness. Boom.

News

White House announced the government wants offer free Community College.

Obamapay

Bad idea.. Let's say you want to learn data science, in which Linear Algebra is an important subject. MIT has video courses taught by Gilbert Strang who happens to be one of the best teachers in the world in this area. A student can simply watch his courses online.

Why would anyone go to a "free" community college to learn sub-par linear algebra from some schmuck who can never have the grasp on the subject as Strang does? Who thinks up this shit? I guess if you design Obamacare, this is the next logical stupid idea.

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[1] There's also the annoying fact that individual mandate is unconstitutional -I dont care what SC says, this is a body, after all, who "elected" Dubya as president-.

[2] B. Gates says as much (minus the colorful language).

Health Apocalypse Now

Link Much of my time for the past year has been spent navigating the medical maze on behalf of my mother, who has dementia. I obser...