Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology. Show all posts

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Animoji Karaoke

I have wasted far too much time this weekend watching the latest internet sensation, animoji karaoki. Thanks to the iPhone X and its face detection technology, people have discovered more uses for the front camera than just unlocking the phone and taking selfies. Even though the phone was just released to the public three days ago, there are already lots of amusing karaoke clips on Twitter and YouTube. My kids and I can't stop watching them and you probably will get a few good chuckles too.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Have An Idea That Will Make A Billion Dollars

I wanna be a billionaire so freaking bad
Buy all of the things I never had.
I wanna be on the cover of Forbes magazine
Smiling next to Oprah and the Queen.

Oh everytime I close my eyes
I see my name in shining lights.
A different city every night alright
I swear the world better prepare
For when I'm a billionaire.

Billionaire, Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars

Today Google announced it is buying a small private company called Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. What is Nest Labs, you ask? Well if you're not one of the digital cognoscenti, you'll be astonished to know that Nest Labs makes...thermostats. But not just any thermostats. These thermostats have a pedigree. Its founders are former Apple executives. Tony Fadell helped develop the iPod when that was still a hot technology. Matt Rogers was an engineer at the computer company. They thought they could build a better mousetrap outside the limiting confines of Apple and set out on their own, forming Nest in 2010 to build internet connected thermostats.

Nest thermostats are all the rage among the digital well to do. They have motion sensors to detect if a room is empty! The temperature can be monitored with smartphone apps! These thermostats are so great they are actually stocked at Apple stores around the world! The company is on the front lines of the next digital frontier called the Internet of Things. In other words, we will all soon be connected by wifi and ethernet to everything we see and touch in the entire world. That has made this company the darling of the same people who love their iPhones and Tesla Model S. These digerati are so enamored of a digital thermostat company that they are spending over $3 billion for a three year old company whose products don't seem to have too much of a competitive advantage if HVAC behemoths like Honeywell decide to get in on the action.

If Silicon Valley billionaires are so willing to throw their mountains of cash around on companies with little to no revenue (I'm talking to you Snapchat), I propose an idea that I'm sure somebody would be willing to pony up at least ten figures to deposit into my checking account: the internet connected stethoscope. Auscultating a person's heartbeat through a couple of rubber tubes is so 19th century. Imagine a little disk that one can place on a person's chest that has an embedded microphone on one side and a speaker on the other. The heart sounds would be recorded digitally, of course. If the doctor wishes, he can listen to the sound through the speaker.

But here's the beauty of the Internet of Things. The device, which I am calling the Zethoscope, will have Wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. The sounds will be analyzed with a smartphone app similar to Shazam, which will contain all known heart murmurs and clicks. The app will be able to give the physician a diagnosis of any cardiac disease the way skilled cardiologists used to be able to do before the echocardiogram was invented. Because the recordings are digitized, it can be readily distributed to the medical students' and residents' smartphones and tablets in the room, or around the world, for educational purposes. Let's face it, the number of people who actually listens to a patient's heart and can give an accurate diagnosis has probably dwindled down to the single percentages. With my Zethoscope, this ambiguity will be resolved and the patient and healthcare system will be all the better because of it. Plus this will bring one of the vestiges of analog thinking up to the 21st century.

So are you reading this Larry Page of Google? John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins, I'm sitting eagerly by the computer awaiting the massive check you are about to electronically send me for this awesomely brilliant idea. It's a can't miss combination of healthcare and internet, two of the largest industries in the world with trillions of dollars willingly spent by consumers and governments. You know my email address. Write me. Z needs a new car.

Friday, January 15, 2010

World's Fastest Texters

In a texting competition held in New York City, a team of South Korean texters won the grand prize of $100,000. Second place finishers went to the U.S. National texting champion team of Kate Moore and Morgan Dynda. They share a $20,000 prize.

The mind blowing statistic is the quantity of texting these girls do every day. Ms. Moore says she averages 12,000 texts per month! Let's see, 30 days per month, 16 hours per day (they need some sleep at least), 60 minutes per hour. That works out to one text every 2.4 minutes. That's not even counting time for eating, school activities (I doubt her school let's her text during class hours), personal hygiene, homework, sports, etc... Though the prize money is nice, I'm not sure this prize is something she will want to list on her college application, let alone job resume.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Telebation is a term coined for a remote intubation with the aid of telemedicine. This was first demonstrated at a small community hospital in Arizona which required an urgent intubation for a patient with severe COPD. The physician on staff was not comfortable with his intubation techniques so he set up a telemedicine conference with the University Medical Center in Tucson. With the use of a video laryngoscope, an attending in Tucson was able to visually assist the intubation and secure the airway before transport to a tertiary care center.

The outcome in this situation was favorable, but it raises some troubling questions. First, was the intubating physician ACLS certified? If he was he should have been familiar with the intubation technique. He would also have learned the other modalities of securing an airway, including the use of the Combitube. The Combitube was designed for scenarios exactly like this, when there is a difficult airway or when the user is not experienced with intubations. This small community hospital has the funds for a video laryngoscope and telemedicine equipment; it must or should have other intubation aids available.

How long did it take to set up the telemedicine conference call? If this was an emergency intubation, how would the small hospital have dealt with the situation? What would have happened if the remote user lost the airway? Video laryngoscopy is helpful but it is no panacea. There have been many times where even with the use of video I was only able to get a Grade 3 view, essentially no view of the cords. What would have happened then? Again it goes back to knowing how to use other equipment like the Combitube or the LMA.

The use of telemedicine here also promises interesting possibilities. If we can treat a patient remotely by telling somebody else what to do, does that mean anesthesiologists can work from home? Imagine hiring some medical student, or even a premed student to sit in the OR for you. Using telemedicine you can have him intubate the patient for you. You can then electronically monitor the patient's vitals and tell the student what meds to give. At the end of the case the student will show you the train of fours and then you tell him to reverse and extubate the patient while you are sitting at home in your PJ's watching CNBC on your 52 inch LCD. This would be even cheaper for the hospital than hiring a bunch of CRNA's.