AI will eventually drive healthcare, but not anytime soon

TechCrunch recently published a guest post from Vinod Khosla with the headline “Do We Need Doctors or Algorithms?“. Khosla is an investor and engineer, but he is a little outside his depth on some of his conclusions about health IT. Let me concede and endorse his main point that doctors will become bionic clinicians by…

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The rise of programmable self

Quantifying your changes + motivational hacks = programmable self. Programmable self is a riff on the Quantified Self (QS). It is a simple concept: Quantify what you want to change about yourself + motivational hacks = personal change success. There are several potential “motivation hacks” that people regularly employ. The simplest of these is peer…

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Are EHRs Safe?

Electronic health records are fundamentally dangerous. They’re also safer than the current model. Are electronic health records (EHR) safe? No. EHRs are not safe. They are fundamentally and irreparably dangerous even during normal use. EHRs will kill people. Lots of people. EHRs have been killing people for years. They will kill even more people as…

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Epatients: The hackers of the healthcare world

I help build open source software tools that patients can use to have greater control and influence over their own healthcare (like the Direct Project and Your Doctors Advice). As as result, I’ve become quite familiar with other tools that do the same sorts of things. There is a community of patients who are deeply…

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Programmable Self Reading List

I am preparing for my talk at Quantified Self about my work on Programmable Self. I was asked to make a “reading list” for the people who were interested in this subject so I wanted to create that here. Please add links in my comments section for titles that I have omitted!! Requirements for inclusion…

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Open Letter to the tiger team

This is an open letter to the tiger team from HIT Policy Committee as well as the committee generally. Recently a group from HITPC gave recommendations to the NHIN Direct project regarding which protocol it should choose. I realized as I heard the comments there, that this group was reading the NHIN Direct Security and…

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The Burden of Trust

I am a vocal participant on the NHIN Direct Security and Trust working group. Its a perfect place for me. I love Open Source healthcare, but my background was in InfoSec… and we never really forget our first love.. do we? At the NHIN Direct Security and Trust workgroup, I get to exercise all of…

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Technology vs Policy for privacy

I have long been an advocate of reasonable and measured reaction to “privacy scare tactics”. I have argued, for instance, that it was a good thing that HIPAA does not cover PHR systems. But that does not mean that I do not think privacy is important. In fact there has been something nagging at the…

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Wikipedia weak on drug information

Reuters is covering the news that Wikipedia is missing critical information about medicines that it covers. Specifically the following results were found: (researchers) found few factual errors in their evaluation of Wikipedia entries on 80 drugs. But these entries were often missing important information, and The researchers compared Wikipedia to Medscape Drug Reference (MDR), a peer-reviewed,…

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Google Flu Trends and Privacy

Google.org, which is the philanthropic arm of Google, has released Google Flu Trends to great fanfare and criticism. Google Flu tracks searches for flu symptoms on Googles search service. So if I type “achy headache” into Google, it might count the search as evidence that I, or someone I was caring for, had the flu. Enough…

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