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Comment Re:"can diagnose up to 34 medical conditions" (Score 2) 44

IAAD and I work in this area.
ISO 13485 has very specific standards for any medical device that touches patients.
To get an ISO 13485 + ISO 27001 (data security) rated product with software is going to take $500k to get to the stage where you can pilot and go for second round funding.

There are all sorts of really good sounding projects out there

I have found that it is easy to show that a product works in optimum conditions e.g. with people who will stay still and not move about, but put a lot of these technologies into real life situations and the data they output is landfill quality.

This is one of the really annoying things - we have politicians who think that Joe average is going to upload the data from their heart monitor and we are going to stop him going to the Emergency Department.
The diagnosis I make is only as good as the data I base that on. That is why Apple has pulled all its apps with medical claims. The consequences of misdiagnosis due to poor data mean a PR disaster on the scale of Volkswagen diesels.

I am not saying that some of this stuff is impossible, but don't expect too much too soon, and if the device and software are not certified, I cannot use them in my practice so they are just shiny paperweights.

Comment Re:Lesson (Score 5, Insightful) 67

I agree. IAAD but not in US and not involved in this case.

When you practice medicine you are always surprised at what you find and you would not believe some of the things we see.
Patients in wheelchairs who are physically and neurologically normal. Patients who present with strange and catastrophic conditions who then turn out to be known Munchausens.

In the case of adults if someone chooses to do strange things we do not have any interest or right to stop them, providing they are not harming others.

However in the case of children, if we believe that illness is not present, and therefore that the child is being harmed by the presumption of illness, then we have a duty of care to the child to prevent it. It is not negotiable - we have legal and moral duty to do this. An example of this is children whose parents poison (and sometimes kill) using salt. These situations are very rarely immediately obvious.

This guy has taken on himself to judge this difficult and messy situation, and unless you are directly involved in the case and have some expertise to bring to the table, a lot of people would agree with you that this indeed makes it likely to be a jerk.

Comment Medical research (Score 2) 81

In medical research when we are comparing groups it is normal to specify the power/ do a power calculation

power is a measure of the risk of finding a result when none exists (falsely rejecting the null hypothesis)

the null hypothesis is that your two treatments are equal

more here:

Comment And while we are at it, how about patent trolls (Score 1) 148

This is good news and I was worried that Australia was stitched up by TPP.

As an Australian and British citizen in an IP creating industry I want something that gives me reasonable protection for my IP (and 20-25 years is about right) but at the same time gives me protection against patent trolls.

I voted for Brexit on the grounds that the EU is sleepwalking into TPP and I don't want my intellectual property to be governed by East Texas.
Maybe I should move back to Aus?

Comment Re:Excited? No. Pleased? Yes. (Score 2) 310

I had exactly the same sentiments, but went with the iphone 6 but if there had been the option for a large capacity 5s then would have been quite happy with that.

Not sure about 'the loop bit' - I am sure this is a Malcolm Tucker reference - now that would be a product launch I would go to.

For those that do not know 'In the Loop' then judging by 'house of cards', our last great political drama, you should get your version of Malcolm in about 10 years time.
NB Malcolm is very occasionally NSFW

Comment Part of a bigger plan? (Score 1) 110

This is interesting as they have also bought a UK health intelligence company (which wasn't really) called Dr Foster, and also imported the ex-head of the NHS IT and informatics - Tim Kelsey who is an ex-journalist rather than a techie.
I can see why they want to build up non-primary industry services that can be exported.

I speak as an Australian when I say that Australia is not very smart about who to hire externally and they tend to go for names rather than capabilities, although these people may be hired for their ability to sell. Unfortunately Telstra is like the Australian car and supermarket industries - an effective monopoly with poor products and (historically) poor engineering and so what they should be doing is pulling in top-end engineering talent.

Comment Who would you be doing this for? (Score 4, Interesting) 700

Who would you be doing this for? The child or the parent?

As a parent I taught my kids to read before they went to school, and their times tables before they were 8. I think this was helpful but I will never know.

Some of my neices and nephews have been home schooled out of necessity - living in isolated African areas who have gone to normal school age 13. They have integrated well mostly and one of them was Head Boy at his school.
What their parents did say is that a lot of the home schooling material is produced for children who are being home schooled to ensure that they don't learn some things. Evolution and certain facts of life mainly. Suspect it might be a bit light be a bit light on Climate Change as well!

My vote is to send to normal school and supplement with targeted extra help and trips to stimulating places. My kids now think it was really cool I took them to Bletchley Park before it was full of Benedict Cumberbatch etc !

One point I would make is that because of the internet, kids now learn at least as much from each other as they do from adults. They no longer get one single version of the truth, and the sooner they learn to sort the wheat from the chaff, the better.

I would have to ask - Is there another (?work-related) reason that your partner wants to do this?

Comment Re:illogical captain (Score 5, Interesting) 937

I think the point is that Kirk presents the human-acceptable side of hard science.
We are different Myers-Briggs types, and most people don't think, and that is why all our politicians are non-scientists. There are a lot of sheep out there who just want a quiet life and if going to Church on Sundays is part of that, well so be it.

Is this about looking for a moral framework or at least some reference points, if not a full 10 commandments.
A lot more peole than atheists tacitly know that God doesn't exist, but they want something to believe in.

I reckon Christopher Hitchens made a pretty good job in his own way:

“Beware the irrational, however seductive.
Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself.
Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others.
Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish.
Picture all experts as if they were mammals.
Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity.
Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.
Suspect your own motives, and all excuses.
Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”

Comment maybe it has just moved out of university (Score 4, Informative) 203

I work in biomedical research and yes - a lot of money is diverted into research with incremental benefits - me-too drugs.

remember that big pharma spend more on marketing than on research.

The interesting stuff has effectively been outsourced to start-ups that find compounds, do some basic work and then sell to a pharma to commercialise. That way at least the people doing the creating get some benefit.

What hasn't happened in its stead is any good research at delivering and applying a lot of the knowledge/ practice we do have, and this is where we could get a lot of bang for our buck and we could be a lot more creative - just by doing what we know works correctly.
This is particularly true in fields where there is not currently much research (because there is no big drugs market)

Comment Re:Why ODF? (Score 1) 164

you need someone like Francis Maude who is a politician who just wants to get things done and doesn't want the limelight.

while the coalition government has been treading water for the last 4 years he has been getting on, quietly dismantling the vast organisational structures that had built up over the previous 10 years.

On the face of it a small triumph, but it will pull the rug from under a company that has gone from being an innovator to using its market position to stifle innovation and protect its cash cow

There are some very smart people in the Cabinet Office digital strategy group and this is good work that is clearly in the UK's interests.
I am sure that Tesla would be pleased to have Francis Maude review the automotive dealerships

Comment Re:Recruiting policy (Score 2) 589

absolutely right
same goes for health
however the common theme is that the way that these organisations work is that there is no structure to pay competent FOSS IT people 50-60k a year to administer the network.

It therefore seems 'cheaper' to pay for Microsoft products and to have a bunch of low grade IT staff who can only cope with Microsoft products on 25-30k a year who end up running the helldesk, which casues more unhappiness.

IT staff are like classic cars. the cheapest classic car will always work out the most expensive.

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