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Changes in the health care system driven by self-service and DIY health

By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn
April 21, 2014

Health care is migrating from the bricks-and-mortar doctor’s office or care clinic to the person him or herself at home and on-the-go–where people live, work, play, and pray. As people take on more do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches to everyday life–investing money …

Ask Tim O’Reilly about the Internet of Things on Reddit

By Jon Bruner
April 21, 2014

Our new Solid conference covers a lot of ground: hardware, design, manufacturing, and, of course, software. At 10 a.m. Pacific Time / 1 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow (Tuesday, April 22), Tim O’Reilly will take questions on these areas and how he …

Health IT is a growth area for programmers

By Andy Oram
April 11, 2014

O’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who …

O’Reilly School of Technology 2013: Because It’s There

By Kerry Beck
April 7, 2014

“The first American sighting of Pike’s Peak is often credited to members of the Pike expedition, led by Zebulon Pike. After a failed attempt to climb to the top in November 1806, Pike wrote in his journal: …here we found the snow middle deep; no sign of beast or bird inhabiting this region. The thermometer …

The post O’Reilly School of Technology 2013: Because It’s There appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Advances in health IT must be viewed as a whole

By Andy Oram
April 7, 2014

Reformers in health care claim gigantic disruption on the horizon: devices that track our movements, new treatments through massive data crunching, fluid electronic records that reflect the patient’s status wherever she goes, and even the end of the doctor’s role. …

Joi Ito: “Deploy or Die”

By Jon Bruner
April 3, 2014

It was a pleasure, as always, to talk with Joi Ito a couple of weeks ago. He and I are co-chairing Solid, our new conference about the intersection of software and the physical world, and we recorded part of our conversation …

Visualizing Health IT: A holistic overview

By Andy Oram
April 1, 2014

If visualization is key to comprehending data, the field of health IT calls for better visualization. I am not talking here of pretty charts and animations. I am talking, rather, of a holistic, unified understanding of the bustle taking place …

Four short links: 25 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 25, 2014

Meet the Super-Taskers (Psychology Today) — As part of the Nissan GT Academy challenge, the top 10 players of the car-racing game Gran Turismo are given the chance to race real automobiles in competition. They’re very good—too good, in fact. …

Can data provide the trust we need in health care?

By Andy Oram
March 20, 2014

One of the problems dragging down the US health care system is that nobody trusts one another. Most of us, as individuals, place faith in our personal health care providers, which may or may not be warranted. But on a …

Healthcare Lessons from the Data Sages at Strata

By Bonnie Feldman
February 27, 2014

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin. Most healthcare clinicians don’t often think about donating or sharing data. Yet, after hearing Stephen Friend of Sage Bionetworks talk about involving citizens and patients in the field of genetic research at …

Health hackathon brings to life agile solutions for unmet needs

By Andy Oram
February 20, 2014

I think the main achievement of hackathons can be measured not by what apps are developed–reportedly, few are commercialized and maintained–but by people who find each other. The Blue Button Innovation Challenge brought together a lot of people who had …

How To (Semi-)Automate JavaScript Refactoring

By Simon St. Laurent
February 20, 2014

Computers aren’t ready to write much of our code for us, but they can still help us clean and improve our code. At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Giles Bowkett demonstrated a wide variety of ways …

A Different Kind of Quantified Self

By Edie Freedman
February 18, 2014

I just got a personal tracking device that tells me how many calories I’ve burned, how much sleep I got last night, and how many more steps I need to take to meet my daily goal. Lots of people I …

The post A Different Kind of Quantified Self appeared first on Animals.

Health technology brings care plans alive

By Andy Oram
February 4, 2014

Challenges and hackathons are meant to surprise you. If the winner is a known leader in the field with lists of familiar credentials festooning the team’s resumes, there was no point to starting the challenge in the first place. Pharmaceutical …

How does the medical device tax affect innovation and the health/medical startup scene?

By Shahid Shah
February 1, 2014

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed on a party line vote several years ago, it included a somewhat controversial provision to tax, at 2.3% starting in 2013, the sale of any medical device classified by the IRS as …

Using Big Data and Game Play to Improve Mental Fitness

By Bonnie Feldman
January 29, 2014

This article was written together with Ellen M. Martin and Melinda Speckmann. Games have been part of human culture for millennia. It is no surprise that elements of play can be powerful digital tools to grab our attention and keep …

Four short links: 14 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 13, 2014

LayoutIt — drag-and-drop design using Bootstrap components. These tools are proliferating, as the standard design frameworks like Bootstrap make them possible. There’s unsustainable complexity in building web sites today, which means something will give: the web will lose to something, …

Is the Jump Box Obsolete?

By Andy Oram
January 10, 2014

With compliance becoming an ever-increasing priority and hybrid infrastructures becoming the norm, many traditional IT practices must evolve or die. Perhaps a widely used practice that hasn’t kept up with the evolution of compliance requirements in increasingly hybrid environments is …

Code Carabiners: Essential Protection Tools for Safe Programming

By Philip Guo
January 10, 2014

Programming any non-trivial piece of software feels like rock climbing up the side of a mountain. The larger and more complex the software, the higher the peak. You can’t make it to the top in one fell swoop, so you …

23andMe flap at FDA indicates fundamental dilemma in health reform

By Andy Oram
November 26, 2013

The FDA order stopping 23andM3 from offering its genetic test kit strikes right into the heart of the major issue in health care reform: the tension between individual care and collective benefit. Health is not an individual matter. As I …

Behind the Scenes of the First Spark Summit

By Andy Konwinski
November 22, 2013

How it All Started Spark is a popular open source cluster computing engine for Big Data analytics and a central component of the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack (BDAS). It started as a research project in the UC Berkeley AMPLab and …

Four short links: 12 Nov 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2013

Quantitative Reliability of Programs That Execute on Unreliable Hardware (MIT) — As MIT’s press release put it: Rely simply steps through the intermediate representation, folding the probability that each instruction will yield the right answer into an estimation of the …

Restructuring the Web with Git

By Simon St. Laurent
November 6, 2013

Web designers? Git? Github? Aren’t those for programmers? At Artifact, Christopher Schmitt showed designers how much their peers are already doing with Github, and what more they can do. Github (and the underlying Git toolset) changes the way that all …

Geographic data is the glue for public health and treatment

By Andy Oram
October 18, 2013

We’ve all seen cool maps of health data, such as these representations of diabetes prevalence by US county. But few people think about how thoroughly geospacial data is transforming public health and changing the allocation of resources at individual hospitals. …

Where are the chances for change in health care – top-down or bottom-up?

By Andy Oram
October 11, 2013

Everyone seems to agree that health care is the next big industry waiting to be disrupted. But who will force that change on a massive system full of conservative players? Three possibilities present themselves: Top-down change: from the US government …

Ticking all the boxes for a health care upgrade at Strata Rx

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2013

Here’s what we all know: that a data-rich health care future is coming our way. And what it will look like, in large outlines. Health care reformers have learned that no single practice will improve the system. All of the …

Four short links: 26 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 24, 2013

Google Has Spent 21 Billion on Data Centers — The company invested a record $1.6 billion in its data centers in the second quarter of 2013. Puts my impulse-purchased second external hard-drive into context, doesn’t it honey? 10x Engineer (Shanley) …

Building the Brain of Dr. Algorithm

By Andy Oram
September 24, 2013

This posting is by guest author Tuan Dinh, who will speak about this topic at the Strata Rx conference. Legendary Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla caused quite a stir last year when he predicted at Strata Rx that “Dr. Algorithm”–artificial …

OneHealth: Combining Patient-Generated Data With Communities and Feedback Loops

By Andy Oram
September 24, 2013

Bruce Springer of OneHealth will speak about this topic at the Strata Rx conference. This article was written by Patrick Bane of OneHealth in coordination with Bruce Springer. According to a recent study performed by the Jesse Brown VA Medical …

How to bend fate in the health care field

By Andy Oram
September 21, 2013

This article is by guest author Amik Ahmad. He is speaking on this topic at Strata Rx. Distractions didn’t have a chance. My phone was devoid of reception. The New York Times mobile application searched impossibly for a Wi-Fi connection. …

Mental Health Costs for 18-to-35 Year Olds: The Hidden Epidemic

By Julie Steele
September 17, 2013

This posting was written by guest author Arijit Sengupta, CEO of BeyondCore. Arijit will speak at Strata Rx 2013 on the kinds of data analysis discussed in this post. Much of the effort in health reform in the United States …

Combining personal data with ratings for targeted medical information

By Andy Oram
September 16, 2013

HealthTap is a community of doctors and clients seeking answers to health questions. Its central service provides immediate access to doctors and their knowledge either by doctors answering client questions in real time, or through a large database of previously …

Progressive reduction, Bret Victor rants, and Elon Musk is Tony Stark

By Jenn Webb
September 13, 2013

Investigating emerging UI/UX tech in the design space is leading me to many interesting people, projects and innovative experiments. Here’s a brief selection of highlights I’ve come across in my research. Seen something interesting in UI/UX innovation? Please join the … Putting the Patient-Provider connection at the center

By Andy Oram
September 13, 2013

This posting was written by guest author Julia Bernstein of’s CEO Anmol Madan will be speaking on this topic at Strata Rx. The traditional, office-based model for health care is episodic. The provider-patient relationship exists almost completely within …

The Role of Big Data in Personalizing the Healthcare Experience: Mobile

By Bonnie Feldman
September 1, 2013

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin and Tobi Skotnes. Dr. Feldman will deliver a webinar on this topic on September 18 and will speak about it at the Strata Rx conference. Cheaper, faster, better technology is enabling nearly …

Cancer and Clinical Trials: The Role of Big Data In Personalizing the Health Experience

By Bonnie Feldman
August 30, 2013

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin and Tobi Skotnes. Dr. Feldman will deliver a webinar on this topic on September 18 and will speak about it at the Strata Rx conference. Despite considerable progress in prevention and treatment, …

Clinical discovery in the age of “Big Data”

By Andy Oram
August 29, 2013

This guest posting was written by Yadid Ayzenberg (@YadidAyzenberg on Twitter). Yadid is a PhD student in the Affective Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab. He has designed and implemented cloud platforms for the aggregation, processing and visualization of …

Tesla Model S REST API Authentication Flaws

By George Reese
August 27, 2013

As many of you know, APIs matter to me. I have lightbulbs that have APIs. Two months ago, I bought a car that has an API: The Tesla Model S. For the most part, people use the Tesla REST API via the iPhone and …

Genomics and the Role of Big Data in Personalizing the Healthcare Experience

By Bonnie Feldman
August 23, 2013

This article was written with Ellen M. Martin and Tobi Skotnes. Dr. Feldman will deliver a webinar on this topic on September 18 and will speak at the Strata Rx conference. Genomics is making headlines in both academia and the celebrity …

One-click analysis: Detecting and visualizing insights automatically

By Andy Oram
August 13, 2013

The importance of visualizing data is universally recognized. But, usually the data is passive input to some visualization tool and the users have to specify the precise graph they want to visualize. BeyondCore simplifies this process by automatically evaluating millions …

In Praise of the Lone Contributor

By Kathryn Barrett
August 2, 2013

Over the years, OSCON has become a big conference. With over 3900 registered this year, it was hard not to look at the packed hallways and sessions and think what a huge crowd it is. The number of big-name companies …

Four short links: 25 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 25, 2013

More Git and GitHub Secrets (Zach Holman) — wizards tricks. (via Rowan Crawford) Building a Keyboard from Scratch (Jesse Vincent) — for the connoisseur. Practicing Deployment (Laura Thomson) — you should build the capability for continuous deployment, even if you …

Community Leadership Summit tracks the forces that spread ideas

By Andy Oram
July 22, 2013

American businesses, along with many others around the world, hustle to find enough programmers and computing staff. The gap widens precariously between the number of job openings and the number students graduating with the necessary skills. And yet, at the …

Where Innovation Lives

By Jim Stogdill
July 20, 2013

I sat down with Jon Bruner in New York City this week to talk about where innovation happens. Concentration still seems to matter, even in a networked world, but concentration of what? Minds, money, markets, or manufacturing know-how? People we …

Zero Downtime Application Updates with Ansible

By Michael DeHaan
July 18, 2013

Automating the configuration management of your operating systems and the rollout of your applications is one of the most important things an administrator or developer can do to avoid surprises when updating services, scaling up, or recovering from failures. However, …

Donald Berwick discusses health care improvement: goals, exemplary organizations,and being at a turning point

By Andy Oram
July 16, 2013

Last week, a wide-ranging interview on data in health care took place between Dr. Donald Berwick and Colin Hill of GNS Healthcare. Dr. Berwick and Hill got together in the Cambridge, Mass. office of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a …

Four short links: 15 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 15, 2013

Product Strategy Means Saying No — a resource for strength in saying ‘no’ to unplanned features and direction changes. My favourite illustration is for “but my cousin’s neighbour said”. Yes, this. git-imerge — incremental merge for git. The Paranoid #! …

Open source software creeps in to health care through clinical research

By Andy Oram
June 25, 2013

Although open source has not conquered the lucrative market for electronic health records (EHRs) used by hospital systems and increasingly by doctors, it is making strides in many other important areas of health care. One example is clinical research, as …

Four short links: 14 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 14, 2013

How Geeks Opened up the UK Government (Guardian) — excellent video introduction to how the UK is transforming its civil service to digital delivery. Most powerful moment for me was scrolling through various depts’ web sites and seeing consistent visual …

Four short links: 12 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 12, 2013

geogit — opengeo project exploring the use of distributed management of spatial data. [...] adapts [git's] core concepts to handle versioning of geospatial data. Shapefiles, PostGIS or SpatiaLite data stored in a change-tracking repository, with all the fun gut features …

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