Controversy over obesity studies. HT: Tyler Cowen.
How to keep the NSA from listening to you phone calls. HT: David Henderson.
The session begins:
The virtual therapist sits in a big armchair, shuffling slightly and blinking naturally, apparently waiting for me to get comfortable in front of the screen.
“Hi, I’m Ellie,” she says. “Thanks for coming in today.”
Right now there are two assistants guiding the avatar, but:
Real people come in to answer Ellie’s questions every day as part of the research, and the computer is gradually learning how to react in every situation.
It is being taught how to be human, and to respond as a doctor would to the patients’ cues.
Soon Ellie will be able to go it alone.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed Cody, a robotic nurse the university says is “gentle enough to bathe elderly patients.” There is also HERB, which is short for Home Exploring Robot Butler. Made by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, it is designed to fetch household objects like cups and can even clean a kitchen. Hector, a robot that is being developed by the University of Reading in England, can remind patients to take their medicine, keep track of their eyeglasses and assist in the event of a fall.
The technology is nearly there. But some researchers worry that we are not asking a fundamental question: Should we entrust the care of people in their 70s and older to artificial assistants rather than doing it ourselves? (NYT)
So today I’m doing anesthesia for colonoscopies and upper GI scopes. Nowadays we have three board-certified anesthesiologists doing anesthesia for GI procedures every single day at my institution. I’ll probably do 8 cases today. I will sign into a computer or electronically sign something 32 times. I have to type my username and password into 3 different systems 24 times. I’m doing essentially the same thing with each case, but each case has to have the same information entered separately. I have to do these things, but my department also pays four full-time masters-level trained nurses to enter patient information and medical histories into the computer system, sometimes transcribed from a different computer system. Ironically, I will also generate about 50 pages of paper, since the computer record has to be printed out. Twice.
No wonder almost everyone I know hates electronic medical records! I don’t know anything about computers, and I don’t know what systems other hospitals have. I may be dreaming of a world that doesn’t exist or that world is here and I haven’t heard about it.
HT: Jason Shafrin.
A contributor to higher U.S. per capita drug spending is faster uptake of new and more expensive prescription drugs in the United States relative to other countries. In contrast, the other OECD countries employed mechanisms such as health technology assessment and restrictions on patients’ eligibility for new prescription drugs, and they required strict evidence of the value of new drugs.
Source: Health Affairs.