I made this announcement to 53,878 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn.
With nearly a billion people lacking proper nutrition, a rapidly growing global population, and climate change making agriculture more challenging in many regions, food security is a pressing problem. While not often noted, digital health—genomics in particular—can play a major part in addressing this challenge. As I’ve previously mentioned, Monsanto has entered into an agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to license the new CRISPR-Cpf1 genome editing technology in agriculture. This is in addition to their existing license for CRISPR-Cas9. In related genomics and food security news, researchers at King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia have mapped the genome for quinoa. The hope is that this will enable the genetic-removal of the grain-like food’s naturally-occurring saponin coating, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. This small change could make the protein-rich superfood not only taste better but also make it easier to process, thereby being comparable in price to wheat.
I came across a fascinating story by Michael Krigsman, who shared his experience using an Apple Watch and a third-party app called HeartWatch to track heart rate zones. While using the app over a period of weeks, he started receiving ‘odd alerts’ indicating that his heart rate was elevated at certain times, even at rest. He subsequently went in for a full medical evaluation, which showed that he had sinus tachycardia, a fast heart rate. A blood test also indicated thyroid issues.
In the ongoing legal drama between Jawbone and Fitbit, it turns out that Fitbit—which had hired three employees from Jawbone, who allegedly took with them over 300,000 confidential files—is now facing a U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Homeland Security criminal grand jury probe for theft of trade secrets. Also, it’s reported that Jawbone is exiting the consumer digital health wearables marketplace and will be focusing on a “health product and accompanying set of services sold primarily to clinicians and health providers working with patients”.
Digital Health World Congress 2017—taking place May 23-24—is the leading technology digital healthcare conference in London, UK and Europe. The Congress serves as a forum for medtech, mobile, IoT, and IT industry events and offers a program filled with distinguished speakers covering all aspects of medical and mobile technology including ehealth, mhealth, telehealth, telemedicine, genomics, and healthcare IT.
Stanford researchers have developed a reusable, nanoparticle-inkjet-printed microfluidics lab-on-a-chip clinical diagnostic platform costing just a penny to produce. According the the research report, “this provides an opportunity for point-of-care diagnostics in the developing world and resource-limited areas require numerous special design considerations to provide effective early detection of disease”.
In other research, a paper in Nature describes a human/machine interface that provides effective commands for intuitive prosthetic control. This is accomplished by tapping into spinal motor neuron signals.
Hans Rosling, the famed Swedish medical doctor and professor of international health and statistics, has died from pancreatic cancer. He was 68. As NPR reports, Rosling “had a knack for explaining difficult concepts—global inequality, climate change, disease and poverty. He used maps, humor and props like storage boxes and colored stones to tell the story of our world and to advocate for the poor”. Rosling famously said that “Health cannot be bought at the supermarket. You have to invest in health.” Here’s his great TED Talk.
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Creator, Story of Digital Health
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