The first DNA blood test for cancer in the United States was commercialized in 2014 by Guardant Health, a venture-backed California company, and tests to spot cancer DNA in blood, urine, or spinal fluid are now in development by a growing number of companies but remain a risky bet for investors.
One pioneering researcher, Dennis Lo, is now tracking more than 20,000 people in Hong Kong to see whether blood screening can catch liver cancer early. Some of his early and ongoing work was paid for by a $1 million grant from the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation, the charity of Hong Kong billionaire Michael Kadoorie, and he later won a $4.25 million award from the Hong Kong government. “It took us about 10 years to convince people to fund us,” he says. Lo says he recently cofounded a company called Cirina to develop blood tests, and he expects initial financing of $12 million from investors.
The device will help fill the gaps left by canes, dogs and basic GPS devices by providing users with more information about their surroundings. Worn around their shoulders, it will help users better navigate indoor spaces, such as office buildings and shopping malls, by helping them identify everyday features, including restrooms, escalators, stairs and doors.
The device will be equipped with cameras that detect the user's surroundings and communicate information to him or her through speakers and vibration motors. Users, in turn, will be able to interact with the device through voice recognition and buttons. Toyota plans to eventually integrate mapping, object identification and facial recognition technologies.
“In just three years, Mac will have aged from the human equivalent of about 49 to 70. That’s a lot faster than waiting 21 years to see how rapamycin would affect humans.
Kaeberlein also suspected his fellow pet owners might appreciate the opportunity. In fact, he has barely had to promote the study to enroll subjects—he simply mentioned it in passing to a reporter, and that reporter wrote a story that went viral. Soon he was besieged by phone calls and emails from more than 1,500 dog owners, some from as far away as Great Britain and Japan. One man who lived in the Midwest informed Kaeberlein he was ready to sell his house and move to Seattle if he could enroll his dog. (Kaeberlein advised him to wait until a nationwide study came to him.)”
Currently, as few as 37% of puppies make it through the raising program to become successful service dogs for the blind. Given that it costs Guiding Eyes more than $40,000 to raise each dog, even a 5% increase in performance can yield the non-profit considerable savings.
The first step was to move all the data — which includes 30 years of structured genetic breeding data and thousands of unstructured questionnaire documents — to IBM Cloud.
Now, Professor Chris Tseng of San Jose State University and a group of his machine-learning students are using IBM Watson services on Bluemix to look for insight in all that data.
By combining the hard and soft data, the study will connect complex patterns, and yield useful insights that will help inform every stage of guide dog development.
Medium – thanks to Vijay Vijayasankar of IBM for sharing
Zephyr builds digital dossiers on individual doctors. It starts with basic information on prescription patterns from data clearinghouses such as IMS Health and Symphony Health Solutions. Then its software, with some human assistance, scours the Web for more details. For example, a calendar of speakers scheduled for a prominent medical conference may point to a specialist well-regarded by her peers. Steady publication by another doctor in scientific journals offers clues to the kind of research he does. A physician who’s a board member of an industry association might have a hand in writing treatment guidelines—and thus be the focus of a drug company’s outreach.
A good night’s sleep can require everything from the practical (a cool, comfortable pillow) to the ethereal (a deep sense of calm and peace of mind). The modern marketplace has exploded with proffered solutions for people who can't sleep, from mattresses to white-noise machines, sleeping pills to sleep coaches.
Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids and remedies in 2015, and that’s expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020, according to Natana Raj, an analyst with BCC Research in Wellesley, Mass. The rub is that certain solutions don’t work as well as claimed—if they work at all.
For people rendered unable to speak by cerebral palsy, stroke, or traumatic brain injury, VocaliD’s software creates custom speech patterns that sound like the original person’s voice.
After recording whatever sounds a person can produce, VocaliD’s software sifts through its database of 15,000 volunteers’ voice samples for the closest match, based on factors like age and accent. The software blends the subject’s sample with the surrogate voice’s thousands of prerecorded sentences to turn typed text into speech.
Smart medicines that tell doctors when their patients have taken them moved a step closer to reality after a company developing the first “digital pill” had its drug application accepted by US regulators.
The hope is that the pill, produced by Proteus Digital Health, will help ensure patients stick to their prescriptions and so reduce wasteful spending on drugs that are not taken properly. It could be especially useful in mental illnesses and memory disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s where compliance is particularly poor.