Recent quotes:

Bill Moyers and Heather Cox Richardson on Her Daily Letters –

HEATHER COX RICHARDSON: The newsletter was completely an accident, and I have my readers to thank for it. I had on Facebook a professional page that I posted on about once a week. And I hadn’t written on it in a while in the summer last year because I was actually busy moving. And I was all set to get in the car and drive from my home in Maine to teach in Boston. And I happened to be stung by a yellow-jacket, and I’m allergic to them. And I didn’t have my EpiPen nearby. So I didn’t dare get on the road until I knew how badly I would react. And I thought, “Well, I haven’t written in a while on my Facebook page.” And I know that on Friday, Friday the 13th, September 13th, Adam Schiff wrote a letter to the acting director of national intelligence at the time saying, “We know there’s a whistleblower complaint out there. And we know that you have it, and we know that you’re supposed to give it to us, and you’re not. And that means that we have to assume it’s a really big deal. Hand the stupid thing over.” And of course, I paraphrase, but that was the gist of it. And I recognized because I’m a political historian, that this was the first time that a member of Congress had found a specific law that they were accusing a specific member of the executive branch of violating. So I thought, you know, I oughta put that down, ’cause this is a really important moment. If you knew what you were looking for, it was a big moment. So I wrote it down, and then got myself back to Boston and got home and there were a ton of questions about what I’d written. And it was clear that the readers wanted to know more. They seemed to want to know the answers, so I wrote again, I think it was two nights later on the 17th. And I’ve written every night since because questions just poured in, and people flooded me with questions about what was going on, and who were the players, and how was this going to play out? And what were the laws, and why should I have any hope that this was gonna turn out in a good way? And this was just something that really was sort of reader-driven, not driven by me at all. And I think that’s probably why it’s had such staying power.

In telemedicine's time to shine, why are doctors abandoning it? - STAT

Implementing telemedicine isn’t easy. To do it well, a physician practice must buy appropriate technology and train staff and patients to use it. It takes time to help an 80-year-old unfamiliar with technology do a video visit. New workflows must be introduced. If a patient needs a laboratory test, for example, where do you send them? Clinical schedules need to be changed. Documentation protocols must be updated. And on and on.

News by the ton: 75 years of US advertising — Benedict Evans

Newspapers are, yes, a content business, but they were also a light manufacturing business, and it was the replacement of light manufacturing and trucking with bits that removed the barrier to entry and unbundled their attention. So, here’s what that business looks like. In 2018, the US newspaper industry shipped ~2.5m tons of newspaper, down from 12.5m tons at its peak.

App could help diagnose ear infections more accurately (developing countries)

The funnel is placed on the outside of the ear, at which point the app sends a bird chirp-like sound into the ear. Depending on the sounds that the app picks up in return, a machine learning algorithm built into the app is able to tell whether or not there is liquid in the ear. “It’s like tapping on a wine glass,” Chan said. “Depending on whether it’s empty or not, it’s going to sound different.”

New chip poised to enable hand-held microwave imaging: Researchers shrink bulky imaging systems down to millimeter sized chip that could be used to see through walls or detect tumors -- ScienceDaily

"Today's practical microwave imagers are bench-top systems that are bulky and expensive," said research team leader Firooz Aflatouni from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. "Our new near-field imager uses optical, rather than electronic, devices to process the microwave signal. This enabled us to make a chip-based imager similar to the optical camera chips in many smartphones." Hand-held near-field microwave imagers would be useful for many applications including high-resolution brain imaging and monitoring heart motion and breathing. Miniaturization of microwave imagers would also benefit applications such as tracking objects in radar systems and low-power, high-speed communication links.

Blood pressure monitoring may one day be easy as taking a video selfie -- ScienceDaily

The researchers compared systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure measurements captured from smartphone videos to blood pressure readings using a traditional cuff-based continuous blood pressure measurement device. The researchers used the data they gathered to teach the technology how to accurately determine blood pressure and pulse from facial blood flow patterns. They found that on average, transdermal optical imaging predicted systolic blood pressure with nearly 95% accuracy and diastolic blood pressure with pulse pressure at nearly 96% accuracy.

Blood pressure recording over 24 hours is the best predictor of heart and vascular disease -- ScienceDaily

"Our research highlights the necessity of using 24-hour measurements to diagnose high blood pressure and to institute and fine tune its treatment," said Dr. Maestre. "Nevertheless, most health insurers in the US reimburse 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring only when blood pressure is found to be high in the clinical setting, but is suspected to be normal otherwise, or if undetected or masked hypertension is suspected. However, 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is cost effective: It enables the prevention of cardiovascular disease by starting treatment in a timely manner."

Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa -- ScienceDaily

Still, the report's authors remain optimistic. As of 2016, global smartphone adoption has reached 51 per cent and is predicted to keep growing -- particularly in resource limited settings such as sub-Saharan Africa. This means more and more of the world's population is equipped with a powerful pocket computer that can connect patients and share healthcare data. Professor Stevens said: "This is an exciting opportunity for researchers and policy makers to develop new tools and systems that could drastically improve human health and wellbeing in the future."

A deep neural network learning algorithm outperforms a conventional algorithm for emergency department electrocardiogram interpretation - ScienceDirect

Cardiologs® vs. Veritas® accuracy for finding a major abnormality was 92.2% vs. 87.2% (p < 0.0001), with comparable sensitivity (88.7% vs. 92.0%, p = 0.086), improved specificity (94.0% vs. 84.7%, p < 0.0001) and improved positive predictive value (PPV 88.2% vs. 75.4%, p < 0.0001). Cardiologs® had accurate ECG interpretation for 72.0% (95% CI: 69.6–74.2) of ECGs vs. 59.8% (57.3–62.3) for Veritas® (P < 0.0001). Sensitivity for any abnormal group for Cardiologs® and Veritas®, respectively, was 69.6% (95CI 66.7–72.3) vs. 68.3% (95CI 65.3–71.1) (NS). Positive Predictive Value was 74.0% (71.1–76.7) for Cardiologs® vs. 56.5% (53.7–59.3) for Veritas® (P < 0.0001).

Pear Therapeutics, Novartis announce commercial launch of reSET | MobiHealthNews

reSET — a substance use disorder treatment that was the first software-only therapeutic cleared by the FDA — is now commercially available for clinicians to prescribe to their patients, according to a release from Pear Therapeutics and Sandoz, a division of Novartis with which Pear partnered back in April. But while physical prescription drugs are usually handled through a pharmacy, the process is a bit different for the digital therapeutic, Dr. Yuri Maricich, Pear’s chief medical officer and head of clinical development, told MobiHealthNews. Prescribing physicians will write a script that is sent to Pear’s reSET Connect Patient Service Center, which staffs specialists who guide the patient through downloading and using the app. Outside of that wrinkle, though, Maricich said that disseminating the treatment to care centers has been “very similar” to how a pharmaceutical company might put a novel treatment into the wild. “We have a team of salespeople who are going out and educating clinicians about the product, its data, how to use it; and we also have a set of services that support dispensing, but they aren’t selling to the clinicians,” he said. “Also, that dispensing and fulfillment process allows the physician to access the dashboard and the therapeutic for their patient as well. And in the background we [Pear and Sandoz] work with payers around coverage and contracts. So, really, what we’re focusing on now is getting the therapeutic in the hands of patients who need it and helping clinicians understand how to use it, who’s the right patient for it, how do I prescribe it and interact with it as part of standard care.” Still, Pear and Sandoz seem to be playing it safe with the new treatment modality — beyond general distribution and sales, the Patient Service Center is also equipped talk patients and providers through any questions or troubles they might be having. “How a patient gets access to [reSET] and how it’s prescribed is new, so we really wanted to try to provide bespoke services to the clinician and the patient,” Maricich explained. “The Patient Service Center is available to help with troubleshooting, they have clinical staff available if there’s clinical questions, and then they also are available if there are complaints or adverse events. So they are, basically, the central node for all of those activities to help clinicians and patients get access to therapeutic and to use it.” reSET is a 12-week digital cognitive behavioral therapy program accessed through an app and designed to accompany outpatient care delivered by a physician. According to Maricich, it is the only treatment authorized by the FDA for patients aged 18 years and older experiencing addiction to and dependency on stimulants, cannabis and cocaine (as well as alcohol).

Ping An Good Doctor blazes trail in developing unstaffed, AI-assisted clinics in China | South China Morning Post

Each clinic, which is about the size of a traditional telephone booth, enables users to consult a virtual “AI doctor” that collects health-related data through text and voice interactions. After the AI consultation, the information gathered is reviewed by a human doctor who then provides the relevant diagnosis and prescription online. Customers can buy their medicine from the smart drug-vending machine inside the clinic.

» The Collapse of Complex Business Models Clay Shirky

When ecosystems change and inflexible institutions collapse, their members disperse, abandoning old beliefs, trying new things, making their living in different ways than they used to. It’s easy to see the ways in which collapse to simplicity wrecks the glories of old. But there is one compensating advantage for the people who escape the old system: when the ecosystem stops rewarding complexity, it is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to say what happens in the future.

How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care - WSJ

Five to 10 times a day, Doctors Without Borders relays questions about tough cases from its physicians in Niger, South Sudan and elsewhere to its network of 280 experts around the world, and back again via the internet. In the woods outside St. Louis, shifts of doctors and nurses work around the clock in Mercy health system’s new Virtual Care Center—a “hospital without beds” that provides remote support for intensive-care units, emergency rooms and other programs in 38 smaller hospitals from North Carolina to Oklahoma. Many of them don’t have a physician on-site 24/7.

Companies Derive Credit Scores from Phone Metadata

Prompt bill payers are typically more reliable than those who hold off, and people who make frequent calls far outside a bank’s network are more likely to have trouble making deposits. However, even the esoteric information can factor in — researchers at Cignifi, a Cambridge-based firm studying the predictive capabilities of mobile data on loan repayment and savings, found that the time of day and neighborhoods from which calls are placed can be indicators, too.

Sloppy and erroneous grab at disruption theory

When you start looking at the world through this lens — that when small meets large, small almost always wins — you see it everywhere, across all tech sectors. It's so prevalent, in fact, that I consider it an industry law, in this case, “Leslie’s Law.” More examples to follow, but first, let’s take a closer look at how this plays out. When a sleek, small player enters the market, it does so by creating a low-friction, high-fit product that is sold at a low price to a large market. These new products are sold to a portion of the market that cannot access the larger products due to the cost of entry (in dollars and complexity) and the cost of ownership. The larger company may not even notice that the new company has entered the market because there are no mano-a-mano customer confrontations.

The future of film is...

The more you dig into the technology and the more you learn it, you are going to get ideas you would never have thought of without knowing your technology. The kind of shots you can get from an iPhone that you cannot get with any other camera. Use it. GoPros: use it. Be inspired by it. Try things. It’s digital. Get another memory card, for God’s sake.

Buzzfeed will implode, quothe Wolff

While Denton has rebuffed all offers to buy his profitable business, the unprofitable BuzzFeed searches the market for a greater fool. Ben Smith, its top editor, told me recently he didn't expect BuzzFeed to be around in three years, not under its present owners nor in its present form.

@carr2n: NYTimes losing its differentiator with buy-outs?

I work closely with a few longtime employees who are considering the buyouts. The deadline for putting up their hand is Monday, and it seems clear that we will be losing people with many decades of professional experience, journalists with deep sources and remarkable levels of productivity.
There is a complete and total blind spot in the newspaper industry that, just maybe, part of the problem is also the journalism itself.Instead, they move the problem out of the editorial room, and into separate and isolated 'innovation teams'... who are then charged with coming up with ideas for how to reformat their existing journalistic product in a digital way.But let me ask you this. If The NYT is 'winning at journalism', why is its readership falling significantly? If their daily report is smart and engaging, why are they failing to get its journalism to its readers?If its product is 'the world's best journalism', why does it have a problem growing its audience?
1. From an operations perspective, how do we find that inventory and deliver it efficiently? We’re working from a hypothesis that one hour is our currency, with a minimum of five seconds of exposure. So we could sell you 720 impressions at five seconds or other lengths of exposure, depending on the total time you would like. Our task during the summer is determining how to find and sell the five seconds of time to c-level executives the right way. 2. The second experiment is to see if we prove the efficacy of doing this. Can we prove that if we do this for a period of time, there is a greater impact for the brand? We’re working with a research company to run controlled tests to determine how much time has the best bang for the buck for the brand over the older pageview metric. Then we can prove a better value.
In 1963, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an eighteen-year-old unicyclist and circus performer named Ted Jorgensen impregnated a sixteen-year-old high school sophomore named Jacklyn Gise. Their son Jeffrey was born on January 12, 1964. The new parents married but soon divorced. A few years later, as Stone recounts, Jackie met a Cuban-born oil engineer who went by Mike Bezos, and who was about to take up a stable if peripatetic career at Exxon. They married and moved to Houston; Mike adopted Jeff as his own. When he was ten, Jeff’s parents told him that Mike was not his biological father. Years later, he told Wired magazine that he learned the news about his father at the same time that he discovered that he needed glasses. “That made me cry,” he said.
I am mad that a woman of her stature could perform such a criminal act of dishonesty—at Harvard, of all places.
And for Morgan, the biggest problem with the music industry is obvious: It no longer knows what business it's actually in. "When people say they sold 5,000 units in Cleveland, it has been a long time since someone could explain to me what that unit is," he said. "If you sell three songs on [Apple's (AAPL_)] iTunes, stream three more on Spotify, and then move two EPs discs at a concert, how many records did you just sell?
Do I want to dump “agencies” completely, or do I just want a different kind of “agency” support? Is the goal to excise layers between my dollars and the end media? Or am I looking to make my programmatic media more effective and/or more strategic relative to what my current agency is doing? Is my frustration with my agencies limited to programmatic media?