Blood group types are associated with higher or lower susceptibility to specific microbes. Could ABO gene could also predispose topeculiar odors?
Science fiction stories and April fool jokes often describe speculative technology we wish existed in our world. Here are a few such devices in today's fake news announcements.
New AI chip will feature enormous memory capacity and remarkable performance with patent-pending OxygenBurst™ technology keeping it from overheating. The architecture for this chip was inspired by an area rug the founder of this company bought in the eighties. Early tests show that the chip could speed through a million-sized data set when training, almost like it dumps the data before training completes. When shown a picture of a girl named “Nikki”, it mistakenly labeled it “Micki”. Yet, it was able to accurately identify applesauce with cinnamon sprinkles, even though it was mixed with a pale, watery piece of turkey breast and soggy vegetables on a Styrofoam lunch tray.
Telemedicine use has grown in recent years, although many still don't believe in automated and delivered remotely healthcare.
We still prefer a human connection, as health care information technology giant Epic suggested in their 2017 April fool's joke: unveiling "Epic TinDr," an app to allow patients and physicians to select one another with Tinder-style instant falling in love. And we may even prefer some of our health records to self-destruct - as in "Snapchart" suggested by health coaching app Twine Health “ - before they are collected by Facebook.
On April 1 2019, healthcare blog announced that Facebook formally entered the EMR business. But it's not a joke - according to some sources, Facebook planned to collect information about age, diseases, prescribed medications and visits to the hospitals. This data could be combined with all health-related information that Facebook already captured about its users.
Broom, mop and cloth. Cleaning tools every home needs. Of course, you can make cleaning easier with a microfiber cloth and delegate floor cleaning to a robot mop, but you'll still have to clean small objects and patterned carpets manually with more conventional tools. This April, Google offers a new smartphone screen cleaning app. With just a push of a button, this tool will wash away all smudges on the mobile phone screen and freshen it up with a pineapple scent. This feature uses a Smudge Detector API utilizing "geometric dirt models" and "haptic micromovement generator" to clean and form a "long-lasting" dirt shield around the phone afterwards.
Science fiction authors were describing future without tedious tasks such as cleaning since 19th century. WAL-E (2008) - microbe obliterator (in the picture) was identifying dirty areas on its own, scrubbing anything and everything until it was sparkling clean. On April 1st of 2004, BMW announced a new self-cleaning car with "microscopic blowholes" clearing dust and insects. Neal Stephenson 1995 book The Diamond Age described gloves "constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt". Not really a science fiction now, as prototype nano-enhanced textiles were able to clean themselves with light back in 2016.
Humans were always dreaming of better transportation. In 2016, Tesla announced its first flying car Tesla shocks the world by announcing its first flying car, the Model F. EDIT. In 2012, Google announced Click-to-Teleport technology allowing potential customers to instantly teleport to the business location directly from a search ad in a matter of seconds. But it's hard to keep up with imagination of science fiction writers and producers of Hollywood movies. And each year technology jokes seem to get feebler and less exciting. Maybe next year?
Samuel R. Anderson et al. Robust Nanostructured Silver and Copper Fabrics with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Property for Effective Visible Light Induced Reductive Catalysis, Advanced Materials Interfaces (2016). DOI: 10.1002/admi.201500632
Karim et al Nanostructured silver fabric as a free-standing NanoZyme for colorimetric detection of glucose in urine
Photocatalysis and self-cleaning from g-C3N4 coated cotton fabrics under sunlight irradiation Y Fan, J Zhou, J Zhang, Y Lou, Z Huang, Y Ye… - Chemical Physics …, 2018 - Elsevier
Research study: Dynamics of the Gut Microbiota in Idiopathic Malodor Production
Before you decide whether to participate in this research study, you should review:
1. The purpose of the research study
2. The study procedures
3. How long your involvement in the research will last
4. Any procedures that are experimental
5. Any reasonably foreseeable risks, discomforts, and benefits of the research
6. Any potentially beneficial alternative procedures or treatments
7. How the confidentiality of your data will be maintained
8. The possibility of unforeseeable risks
9. Any added costs to you
10. What happens if you decide to stop participating
11. New findings that may affect your willingness to participate
12. How many people will be in the study
2018 should be very exciting for science and technology. As seen in the diagram below, recent years were filled with groundbreaking projects and the stars may be aligning for something really big, driven by advances in software and hardware.
Last year, artificial Intelligence software hit the mainstream. In 2018 it will be more prolific, more creative and invade every corner of our life. The current, second, wave of AI is not quite ready to break and deep learning will continue to dominate this year .
Deep learning is driving the future of autonomous vehicles. Fully automated self-driving cars (level-5, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers and depicted in the figure below) won't take over the roads this year or next, but we'll see plenty of highly automated vehicles in 2018. Models of ownership will be also changing - perhaps to a monthly subscription service vs lease or traditional ownership.
Machines will be taking on more responsibilities in education, getting more heavily involved in the evaluation and counselling of students. Massive open online courses, or MOOCS, did not meet the great expectations everybody had. But e-learning learned to overcome the challenges, smaller private online courses started to gain more popularity and many traditional universities are already at risk to become obsolete. Seven years ago, in his book The Innovative University, world-renowned innovation expert Clayton Christensen predicted that as many as half of American universities would close or go bankrupt within 10 to 15 years. This year AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) will be shutting down around 800 engineering colleges as students can get comparable or better educations over the internet. Only the most technology-advanced Universities will evolve, find ways to reduce the cost of education, perhaps even build programs for specific companies, and survive.
MOOCs is an example of mass collaboration - as is Wikipedia or Citizen Science. The model has many other flavors and names - the sharing economy, the gig economy, the peer, platform or on-demand economy. It enabled brands like Uber and Airbnb to become world giants.
Virtually any industry could be disrupted by Uberisation, through sharing of assets and human resources. And labor market is quietly transforming traditional job structures into on-call microjobs without benefits.
The gig economy is lonely and it often turns over-educated individuals into low skilled workers. Could we develop a better platform to utilize complex technical skills, social abilities and cultural competences? Could we create a new social safety net where the new age workers can rely on each other?
In 2018, Amazon and robots will be moving into health and wellbeing, and telemedicine will become mainstream.
Fitbits did not take over the world, but an "immersive fitness" trend is paving the way to the new gym-less future of fitness. Small accessories such as AliveCor's Kardiaband EKG reader detecting atrial fibrillation are already recognized as medical devices. Omron's HeartGuide smartwatch can measure blood pressure on the go and will seek FDA approval later this year. AI has shown its ability to screen for eye diseases and skin cancer.
The cost of genome sequencing - touted as the future of healthcare - was rapidly plummeting until we realized that the quality remains a problem and much remains to be learned. In 2018, the ambitious 100K Genomes project will be completed and the 100K Foodborne Pathogen Genome project will release more data. Technological advances made it possible to sequence pathogen genomes rapidly with portable devices such as MinION. As two landmark technologies of genome editing and immune engineering - CRISPR/Cas9 and CAR-T - had critical milestones, there will be new and exciting advances in gene therapy.
The health industry is poised to enter the next phase of digitization: a phase of hyper-personalization. Hyper-personalization already infiltrated social networks contributing to political polarization. It might lead to mixed results in retail - that hopes to use ur biometric data for better sales. But the more personalized and precise healthcare is, the better it is for all of us.
Virtual and digital worlds will continue to blur leading to marketplace consolidation. And there will be also an increase in consolidation in healthcare, life insurance, gig economy and science.
It will be even more challenging to succeed as an entrepreneur. Big business will continue to getting bigger, swallowing up the resources, market share, and consumer support that used to be more evenly distributed among all types of companies.
But the stars may be aligning up for new breakthroughs, entrepreneurs will rise up, come up with new ingenious ideas and be the driving force behind economic growth.
Every intelligent entity - whether human or machine - depends not only on the configurations of its neurons, but also connections between itself and others entities, optimized for efficient exchange of information. Hence, better human networks providing training and feedback from others will lead to both smarter humans and better AI.
Just one example of how this could be leveraged in Healthcare.
The biggest obstacle for applying AI in Healthcare is the lack of good data available for computation.
AI can predict heart attacks and strokes more accurately than a doctor - if there are good quality medical records. AI is better in analyzing visual information - if there are tenths of thousands of good quality images annotated for thousands of patients. But in most cases data we need for predicting outcomes is either too expensive to prepare or impossible to get - as it remains in the brains of individuals. And cages accurately monitoring food intake, activities and symptoms so far work only for mice.
In machine learning, efficiency can be improved if we pre-train algorithms on cheap and large datasets. This helps to pre-optimize the parameters for working with more expensive data.
In the world of humans, efficiency of medical research could be improved if cheap large datasets focusing on particular medical questions could be easily collected. If clinical trials were more engaging and convenient, generating outcomes clinically meaningful to participants; if the participants could properly design studies by themselves, guided by Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) platform and their own devices (BYOD model), we could collect enough data to get to the next level.
The success of an N-of-1 trial methodology, hindered by the operational complexity, largely depends on the collaboration of patients and knowledgeable parties. Large scale crowdsourced studies would need innovative software solutions inter-connecting participants and their treatment sequences. And the impact of this platform would be no less important than the race to build an artificial intelligence for everything.
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