Recent quotes:

The Journalist and the Pharma Bro

At home later that night, she couldn’t sleep; her Fitbit measured her resting heart rate at 10 beats higher for a week afterward. “I still was in denial about it, but this really hit me hard,” she says of Shkreli’s sudden jailing.

Biometric devices help pinpoint factory workers' emotions and productivity: Researchers explore the links between happiness and productivity at a factory in Laos -- ScienceDaily

In the study, 15 workers answered a questionnaire and wore a device on their wrist with built-in sensors to detect movement, pulse waves, environmental ultraviolet light, body temperature, and sound through which it continuously recorded physical activity, beat-to-beat pulse intervals, skin temperature, and sleep. The device, Silmee(TM)W20, is produced by the TDK Corporation Tokyo, Japan. Employees' emotional states were measured for three working days through a complex process of beat-to-beat pulse intervals via custom software developed by NEC Corporation Tokyo, Japan. The researchers followed a common model in the field -- Russel's circumplex model -- to measure employees' emotion in four states: happy, angry, relaxed, and sad. Using a random effect panel regression model, they found people's happy emotional state was positively related to their productivity. Meanwhile, no other emotional states were found to be related to productivity.

Verily tangos with a health tech partner — and steps on a few toes - STAT

In his presentation, Conrad described tremendous potential for its work with Dexcom to help patients connect factors like diet and exercise with their blood sugar levels. And he showed an image of the new device, which is smaller than a quarter and called the G7. Conrad also announced — for the first time — that the device contained an accelerometer, so patients could see in real time how exercise impacted their disease. The Dexcom CEO said he was not pleased about Conrad’s decision to share the image or to announce the accelerometer. He didn’t want competitors to know about either detail, he said. More importantly, he isn’t certain the accelerometer will make it into the version of the device slated to launch at year’s end, he added. “That is a competitive thing that I actually did not want disclosed,” said Sayer, who is known as a straight shooter. “I’d rather that not even be public. We haven’t told anybody and we weren’t planning to.”

First smart speaker system that uses white noise to monitor infants' breathing -

Detecting breathing in babies has an extra wrinkle: the movement of their chests is so tiny that the smart speaker needs to know exactly where the babies are to be able to “see” them breathing. “The breathing signal is so weak that we can’t just look for a change in the overall signal we get back,” Wang said. “We needed a way to scan the room and pinpoint where the baby is to maximize changes in the white noise signal. Our algorithm takes advantage of the fact that smart speakers have an array of microphones that can be used to focus in the direction of the infant’s chest. It starts listening for changes in a bunch of potential directions, and then continues the search toward the direction that gives the clearest signal.”

Breakthrough sensor to help people with bipolar disorder monitor lithium levels -- ScienceDaily

ithium is an antipsychotic drug used to treat mood conditions such as bipolar disorder and depression. The drug must be carefully monitored when given to patients, as the wrong dose could prove to be highly toxic. Lithium levels initially need to be checked five to seven days after the first dose, followed by weekly checks until levels stabilise between two doses -- after which levels are typically monitored every three months. The new miniature sensors were shown to quickly and accurately detect lithium concentration levels -- from clinically effective, to toxic concentration limits. The sensor is able to detect lithium concentration in the blood even if there is a high concentration of sodium.

Virtual coaches, fitness trackers help patients stay fit after cardiac rehab: Small pilot study suggests virtual oversight keeps patients motivated to exercise -- ScienceDaily

The 12-week mobile health, or mHealth, program not only kept cardiac rehab patients from losing ground, it appeared to help them maintain and even gain fitness. The researchers have published their findings in the American Heart Journal and are now looking to scale up the study with a larger group of patients. "The benefits of a cardiac rehab program are well-established, but the gains tend to be temporary," said senior author William Kraus, M.D., who led the project as part of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute. "Good habits are hard to maintain for a lot of people once they are on their own and no longer have someone overseeing their progress."

Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health: First human trials of gas-sensing capsule reveal potential new immune system -- ScienceDaily

Findings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionise the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed.