360 immersive Virtual Reality arrives to the Cathlab. Revamping Medical Education

March 31, 2015 2 comments

The implementation of augmented reality into the medical setting has been increasingly experimented with since the birth of the Google Glass explorer program.

The first publication analyzing the potential of such technology in different settings was done back in October 2013 “Wearable technology to improve education and patient outcomes in a cardiology fellowship program – a feasibility study” . Following this publication came the proof of concept on the application of Google Glass in a tele-mentoring scenario was published in JACC ““Tele-Mentoring”: An Interventional Procedure Using a Wearable Computer” in which google glass was used in a PFO Closure.

Since then questions have risen if the technology was truly ready for different implementation of glass. A recent publication “Accuracy of Remote Electrocardiogram Interpretation With the Use of Google Glass Technology” found glass not to be adequate for EKG interpretation. Which by the way I congratulate the authors on their effort, it is great to see more physicians exploring the incorporation of such technologies to improve the way we practice medicine. The truth it that the results were not surprising due to many variables but there are 2 which I consider most important 1) The need for millimetric assesment of EKGs 2) Google Glass is now “old” technology and its field of view is handicapped for such a task (Rumors have it that Google is likely already working on next gen). Another important point that this demonstrates is the rapid pace that technology has (following an exponential curve) and our slow implementation in the medical setting due to many restrictions.

Currently there are many other options more relevant than the first generation of Google Glass for such tasks. I have personally experienced Atheer Glasses, META Glasses, and most recently ODG which is used by the military and NASA. They are all great with tremendous potential and depending on the vision of the individual one can prove better suited than the other one. A company exploring this in a very interesting way is Vital Medicals. Implementing this uptodate technology is a whole different world when compared to Glass. For example, just by checking ODG’s Field of View (FOV) we see dramatic improvement with a Dual 720p 16:9 stereoscopic see-thru displays at 30fps (Full specs of ODG Glasses).

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Having said this, in addition to augmented reality we now have virtual reality. In my personal opinion, implementation of augmented reality is more challenging in the medical setting since it faces a lot of “hurdles” depending on how it is used. In the case of Virtual Reality things are different and the biggest potential for now, in addition to entertainment is education.

Last week we used COMPLETE 360 degree immersive technology for the first time in the Cathlab (maybe even in a medical procedure) to capture valuable education points; 1) Ultrasound Guided Access 2) Setting up and deploying a Medtronic CoreValve. At the moment can not disclose how this was done exactly, but just wanted to mention that VR is already being used in the medical setting.

My recommendation to everyone is start exploring Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR (YOU NEED A NOTE 4, this was the only reason I upgraded from my Note 3 and it is worth it!)

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Virtual Reality coming to a Hospital near you

March 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Virtual Reality is picking up tremendous speed and it is easy to see why. It’s potential is tremendous. In the following slides you will see once again the exponential trend in technology and its implementation impact on different fields. From a device created by Ivan Sutherland in 1965, which was so heavy that it needed to be attached to the ceiling to the Oculus Rift prototype created in a garage by Palmer Luckey (18) who then sold it for 2 billion dollars to Facebook.

Observe the number of devices created, in addition, they are now being incorporated to brain computer interfaces. This opens a whole new field for research potential, medical education, and therapeutic treatments. Imagine what this could do in a nursing home, cardiac rehabilitation? Virtually Teleporting patients to a beach, museum, or the rehab center?

The speed in which this and other technologies get incorporated into our profession is directly proportional to the number of individuals trying to do so. One of the beauty’s of VR is that anyone can experiment with it if they so please for 5-30dlls. Just get google cardboard and download the app to your android phone and see what the big fuzz is about. Got an iphone? No worries, this technology is soon to arrive to iOS also. Apple plans here, seems it will be available in the iPhone 6s.

I am currently working on interesting projects that I will mention later, but I wanted to create a small introduction since I have been getting a lot of questions!

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Social Media DOES impact number of Views in a Scientific Article

February 3, 2015 Leave a comment

A recent article was published in Circulation “A Randomized Trial of Social Media from Circulation” that concluded “A social media strategy for a cardiovascular journal did not increase the number of times an article was viewed”. Social Media use involved postings on the journal’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 6.22.28 PMSocial Media is not about just posting, sharing and retweeting. There are many variables that play an important role on how social media would impact a particular outcome. 1) Who is doing it? 2) How many followers the individual have and what type of followers are they. 3) Timing is key, there are studies out there showing when is the correct time to use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, WordPress in order to get the most traffic. 4) In addition, articles should not only be available to physicians. We live in an empowering world, with intelligent patients that also want to learn about medical advances and many are more than fit to understand our articles even without a medical degree, this I guarantee. Therefore cost is definitely an issue and this is the reason why sometimes the summaries made in blogs regarding a particular article get thousands of more views than the original content.

Social Media is not just about posting, there is truly an interesting art behind it. From eloquent titles to intriguing eye captivating graphics. An fantastic platform that not many physicians are aware of is Reddit. This is a precious resource if you know how to use it properly but watch out there are also dark corners involved. In reddit just choose your particular field of interest (called a subreddit) and dig in. The Subreddit SCIENCE is particulary interesting, full of intelligent individuals who offer amazing knowledge in their discussions. Yes, also a lot of trolls but an interesting “world” nevertheless.

My point? Well my point is that Social Media does affect number of views and even though I congratulate the authors efforts I do not necessarily agree with them . Below you have an example of an article I was following in http://reddit.com/r/science. In the morning and then 6 hours later. It was coincidentally an article AHAJournals “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Prediction of Incident Stroke”

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Just from reddit, this article got at least 133 views (people can upvote and downvote and article, number goes up and down depending on this). Now look 6 hours later how many people actually LIKED the post 3123. This means that thanks to reddit this article got at least 3123 views of which some of this individuals went to share the article in their own personal social networks.

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This is just one example of how Social Media DOES impact how our findings and articles get seen.

MDs & Patients! Please choose YOUR Telemedicine platform wisely!

January 3, 2015 Leave a comment

2015 will be a huge year for Telehealth/Telemedicine. In the past, as physicians we have always allowed others implement the systems they want us to use and look were it has taken us.
Some might be happy others not so much. Regardless of your emotion we need to choose wisely when we choose the Telemedicine platforms we will be using.

As doctors, it is time we come together and make a wise decision on the platforms we will use in the future. The average debt for a resident at this point in time goes from 170 to 250K dollars. I see many platforms asking for these people in debt to give more for free. Why for free? Well it is simple but not the point of this post. I will elaborate in a later post on this.one_lg

For this post I want to emphasize some key points to avoid Doctors getting screwed one more time…
1) Telemedicine platforms are not here to “help” you as a doctor.  Their main goal for them is to make money. If this was not the case then they would not be a business. It is estimated that Telemedicine in 2020 will reach an estimated value of USD 36.3 billion and business men want a piece of it.  They all have to say they are here to improve healthcare. Blah blah blah. Let’s detach ourselves and see who is running the companies.
2) ALWAYS  check the percentage they will take from the transaction and see if its fare. Probably not. If not Doctors need to stick together…
3) The Telemedicine platform is as good as the doctors enrolled. DO NOT ONLY CHOOSE ONE, ENROLL AS MANY AS YOU CAN. DO NOT GIVE THE POWER JUST TO ONE! Whichever platform benefits the patients and the doctors at a given time will be the choice.
4) Physicians are the only professionals that give their advice for free. Yes, we like to help people but we also like to help our families and provide for them. This comes from money. Try creating an application that asks lawyers to give their advice for free and see how hot it goes.
5) Let’s be blunt here. TIME IS MONEY and nobody works for free (almost nobody). Hey I am up for Pro Bono, but getting lured into a system of telemedicine where everyone wants to make money of the doctor. Not so much.
6) The truth is, if we want Telemedicine to be a pleasant useful tool for us as physicians we need to have a strong PRESENCE in how we practice it. THEREFORE, CHOOSE WISELY. If such platform does not exist, lets just start tweaking Skype, or hangouts, to avoid transaction fees. Microsoft, Google are you listening?
7) WHY IS FOCUSING ON THE PHYSICIAN IMPORTANT??????? Simple, because we all want a happy doctor to take care of us. If they use a platform that they are happy with this is far more likely. Look at all the negative articles out there talking about how frustrated doctors are with how healthcare is going. This is true because we are not truly represented. Doctors know what is best for the patients, trust me, and that is why many complain. Example Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician

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In general, what is good for the doctor is good for the patient and what is good for the patient is good for the doctor this is because these 2 entities are a team, a partenership (Unless your doctor is a “dbag” then this does not apply and vice versa). We need to stick together to make a change, its time we start doing it.

Over the last 18 months I have been working on a platform called Curely with 2 other entrepreneurs from Singularity University. This platform has been created by doctors and patients working together. We have tweaked it constantly and have been incorporating our physician’s recommendations. This is a platform that truly focuses on the PATIENT but it ALSO focuses on the DOCTORS. The best interest for both parties. If you are interested on Curely, you can find me at christian@prnize.com and/or christian.assad @ singularityu. com

Categories: Health, Mobilehealth

March 15, 2015 Leave a comment

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Neural Implants Let Paralyzed Woman Fly Plane With Her Mind

March 4, 2015 Leave a comment

Imagine piloting an airplane with your mind. No hands on the controls, no feet on the pedals, just thoughts and then movement through the sky. For all of you who aren’t Jan Scheuermann, this is just fantasy.

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First Rule Of VR: Don’t Break The Presence

March 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Editor’s note: Sasa Marinkovic is the head of software marketing for the computing and graphics group at AMD. I’m standing on the roof of a tall building, looking down at the street hundreds of feet below as I catch my breath.

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Using Google Glass, Elementary Students Learn How Blind People Live

March 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Forget Glassholes. A new program using Google Glass helps students develop empathy, set goals, and achieve digital literacy. Ever since its introduction three years ago, Google Glass has endured more than its share of haters.

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CogniToys Leverages Watson’s Brain to Befriend, Teach Your Kids

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Four years ago, IBM’s Watson utterly trounced a pair of very clever humans in a special tournament of Jeopardy! And by utterly trounced, we mean that Watson ended up with $77,147, while the nearest human only managed $24,000. Suck it, meatbags.

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