Thalmic Labs MYO (very cool)


Behind the Scenes at Thalmic Labs – Creator of the Wearable Gesture Control Device “Myo”

The Myo is one of the most anticipated gesture control wearable devices expected to be released to early adopters later this year (my order is already in!).

Based in my hometown of Waterloo, Canada – this video gives a great behind the scenes look at the team, the Thalmic Labs office and some great shots of Myo in action and also provides some more information on the product and their development process which hasn’t been previously released before.

Myo uses the electrical activity from your muscles as your move your hand to detect what you are doing with your fingers as well as the motion of your hand. These gestures control connected devices via bluetooth.

The Myo stretchable cuff has been designed to be one-size fits all (they even considered making sure that arm hair doesn’t get in the way). 

The team has confirmed that their developer program in the next few months giving out exclusive access to early versions of the software of the devices.

Thalmic Labs believes that the Myo device could revolutionalize the way we interact with technology – and I agree.

Steve Brill on the state of healthcare in the US


What is it that makes US citizens believe we have “the best healthcare in the world” when all factual indicators make it clear that we don’t? 

Remember, roughly 100,000 Americans die each year due to preventable medical errors. Over 1,000,000 patients are injured in hospitals. 

Yet, ask almost any American about the quality of our healthcare system, and you’ll get a similar response: best in the world.

Why? What is it that keeps us believing this fiction in the face of overwhelming evidence?

I think a major factor is America’s post World War II “supremacy complex.”

In the decades following the war, America’s consumer society exploded. America became the world leader in practically every material category. In town after town, hospitals were built, doctors trained, health insurance provided. 

And the broader rallying cry became: U-S-A, U-S-A!

But things have changed.

The realities of the 21st century have not yet sunk in for most Americans: America is struggling.

We remain a model of individual rights and freedoms. Yet so much of the nation’s infrastructure suffers from neglect. Our healthcare system is one of those areas.

The fact that roughly 2,000 Americans a week—almost 300 per day…the equivalent of a loaded 747 crashing every single day!—die due to medical mistakes should frighten and anger every citizen.

Instead, we continue to live under the illusion that our healthcare system is the best in the world.

We need to wake up and help everyone recognize and tackle the healthcare crisis we’re facing.

It’s not Obamacare that should frighten us. It’s healthcare business as usual that should. 

Tom Peters has written about this extensively. Love the reference to the “Superiority Complex” btw.

Greenhouse: creative coding toolkit for spatial interfaces


Oblong Industries: Introducing Greenhouse

From the guy (precisely his company), who designed the computer interfaces in the film Minority Report, comes Greenhouse, a creative coding toolkit for spatial interfaces.

The Greenhouse SDK incorporates key elements of the g-speak core platform—for building spatially-aware computing environments—and distills them into an API designed to be approachable, powerful, and concise.

Greenhouse is the only SDK available that enables creative coders and engineers to rapidly prototype spatial interfaces: multi-screen, multi-user, multi-device interfaces with gestural and spatial interaction. Graphics and geometry systems enable pixels to fluidly move and to be accurately rendered across any screen, plus networking and multi-application frameworks, which allow multiple users, applications, and machines to seamlessly interact.

// I can’t wait for my leap motion controller to ship in mid-May. 

[read more] [Greenhouse] [via @oblong_news]

History of Electronic Health Records



YouTube | The History of EHRs

Excellent, short description of one reason why electronic medical records are terrible—the original development has not been driven by creating a clinical tool for doctors, but more of an administrative tool for others in healthcare (i.e.—administrators and payers)

Agree, agree, agree. My particular thoughts on this video:

  1. “Meaningful Use” — HAHAHA! What a waste of time. Do you know that my EHR now REQUIRES me to enter a blood pressure on any patient AS YOUNG AS 2 YEARS OLD before I can actually “see” the patient? Even though no study shows that measuring BP in all kids under 12 provides any useful data to improve their health? “But it’s required, for meaningful use” whine the EHR people. FACE-SLAPS ALL AROUND.
  2. Yay Epocrates!
  3. Have you ever tried to read an old visit note in an EHR? Think about how much scrolling and scrolling and scrolling you did before you finally found the one tiny sentence or phrase which actually gave you any clinically-useful information. The rest of that crap? Coding and Billing fluff.
  4. @ 2:05, I love the woman who is just standing there staring at the white board in the background. That would be me if I was ever trapped in one of these types of meetings. Maybe doodling a tiny Cranquis curb-stomping a tiny laptop, Office Space style.
  5. Dr. Dombrowski’s idea of “getting all the governmental agencies… on the same page” about EHR is nice and all — but unless doctors/nurses/PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY SEE PATIENTS are in charge of those much-needed revisions, things will never ever improve with EHR.

Awesome video, awesome commentary from Cranquis

User Experience is critical, so is Alignment of interests. Doesn’t seem to be much of either going on right now


From 2007 – amazing Alternate Reality Game that asks players to come up with scenarios around what happens when oil get’s so expensive we need a planB. 

Love this project.

Welcome to a World Without Oil (by WorldWithoutOil)


RIcky Gervais lecturing Karl (while freeezing on the tundra) on why it’s important to get a prostate exam might be the best thing I have seen on TV in a long time. 

This is the promo for the final episode.


If Corporations are People then Mitt Romney is a Serial Killer

Sadly, this is the only thing about the 2012 election cycle that I will probably enjoy.