#AI; #UN: #intractable problems; #UNCTAD; #SDG
United Nations, May 14 (Canadian-Media/UN): Frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) can, if properly harnessed, help solve the world’s most intractable problems, said speakers at the opening session of the United Nations (UN)’ top forum on science and technology for development on 13 May, UN reports said.
The twenty-second annual session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) started with experts discussing the pace, challenges and promises offered by rapid technological change.
“We need to ensure science, technology and innovation (STIs) contribute to sustainable and inclusive development,” said UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, while opening the event held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Instead, the machines would ‘learn’ from examples and generate solutions, which would have a huge impact on many aspects of our lives, Mr. Schmidhuber said.
He said through “active AI” machines could learn just about anything, like babies do, and develop their own solutions to many problems.
Though currently expensive, AI would gradually become more affordable people, said Mr. Schmidhuber, citing the example of mobile phones, which had become cheaper over time.
“In the long run, AI will be very cheap and democratic. We are going to see the ideas and techniques that make robots smart spreading. Everyone will benefit,” Mr. Schmidhuber said.
However, in the transition period, there would be winners and losers, he warned, necessitating measures to soften the blows of rapid technological change.
The other “great mind”, Dame Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, said when the internet was created 30 years ago, greater focus was laid on its positive impact – the democratization of knowledge.
“Little did we know it would be used to launch attacks on our democracy,” said Ms. Hall, who co-founded the Web Science Trust with Sir Tim Berners Lee and others. “We have to work on how to fix the negative impacts of our technologies.”
Ms. Hall said lessons could be learned from mistakes made in the past to minimize the potential negative impacts of frontier technologies.
“This is a live experiment we have done over the last 30 years,” said Ms. Hall, who helped develop the United Kingdom’s AI strategy review.
She said discussions taking place at the Commission could help guide the development of policies to ensure such technologies are safely deployed.
“We have to look at the ethics of what we are developing. We have to lay the groundwork now,” Ms. Hall said.
For instance, she said people creating AI software needed to be diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, culture, race, religion, age and accessibility. “If AI isn’t diverse, it is not ethical,” underlined Ms. Hall.
Equally important was developing skills in developing countries to spread the benefits of AI and other frontier technologies, Ms. Hall said.
Ms. Hall also noted the importance of maintaining a human presence in the design and deployment of frontier technologies.
“Imagine when machines go wrong, for example, in an old age home. Who fixes them?” posed Ms. Hall. “Or when we put something in our home and the company that build it goes out of business?”
New technologies also presented the means to face the climate challenge and reduce the ever-rising emissions of carbon dioxide, said Carlo Rubbia, the third “great mind.”
“Elimination of carbon dioxide emissions is of importance to the future of mankind,” said Mr. Rubbia, a former director-general of CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, and joint Nobel prize winner in physics for his contributions to particle physics, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z.
Renewable energy was one the most effective tools in the fight against climate change, as it could help in reducing emissions from fossil fuels, Mr. Rubbia said.
Mr. Rubbia noted that science had been become international, with countries such as China creating technological solutions in areas previously dominated by Europe and the United States.
The “great minds” discussion was moderated by award-winning journalist Didi Akinyuelure.
In a video message to the attendees, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Inga Rhonda King said STIs were cross-cutting and pertinent to all SDGs.
The Commission is taking place from 13 to 17 May. It is a subsidiary body of the ECOSOC and provides the General Assembly and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant science and technology issues.
UNCTAD is responsible for the substantive servicing of the Commission.
Ms. Durant said the CSTD could be a catalyst for closer collaboration to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to address development challenges.
The role of technologies in fostering sustainable development was undeniable, but they also presented issues whose solutions required inclusive dialogue, Ms. Durant noted.
For instance, rapid technological change could exacerbate inequalities within and between countries, slowing down progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We need a global dialogue on harnessing technology while at the same time protecting our social and economic well-being,” Ms. Durant said.
Conversation with great minds
Three distinguished scientists shared their perspectives in a session entitled “A Conversation with Great Minds”, livestreamed on Facebook.
AI, which involves using technology to solve problems that used to require human intelligence, will shape our future in ways not seen before, said Jürgen Schmidhuber, one of the “great minds”.
“We will see the rise of machines that don’t slavishly imitate,” said Mr. Schmidhuber, director and professor at the Swiss AI Lab IDSIA and co-founder and chief scientist at the AI research company NNAISENCE.
#UNCSTD; #EconomicandSocialCouncil; #STI; #WorldSummitontheInformationSociety;
United Nations, May 14 (Canadian-Media): The twenty-second session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) will be held at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland from 13 to 17 May 2019, United Nations (UN) reports said.
CSTD/Image Credit: UN
The CSTD is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations focal point for science, technology and innovation (STI) for development, in analyzing how STI, including information and communications technologies (ICTs), serve as enablers of the 2030 Agenda.
It acts as a forum for strategic planning, sharing lessons learned and best practices, providing foresight about critical trends in STI in key sectors of the economy, the environment and society, and drawing attention to emerging and disruptive technologies.
Every year, the Commission has two priority themes. This year these are:
The twenty-second session will also review the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
In addition, the Commission will hear presentations on national science, technology and innovation policy reviews (STIP Reviews).
Participants will include ministers and representatives of governments, civil society, the business community, academia and international and regional organizations. Most member States will be represented by high-level delegations.
The opening of the session will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, 13 May 2019.
The first day will consist of an opening ceremony followed by a special segment devoted to A Conversation with Great Minds – a dialogue between eminent thinkers in science and technology, which will be moderated by an award-winning journalist. It will continue with two high-level roundtables:
#UNCommissiononScienceandTechnologyforDevelopment; #inclusiveness; #SDGs; #multi-stakeholderinvolvement; #artificialintelligence;
United Nations, May 14 (Canadian-Media/UN): Today, more than ever before, a wealth of opportunities are within reach to provide solutions to many of the global challenges that have for far too long impeded sustainable pathways to development – thanks to the rapid advances made in technology, United Nations (UN) reports said.
United Nations/ facebook
The global community is faced with unprecedented possibilities to eliminate hunger, poverty, ignorance, disease, environmental degradation, and thereby accelerate progress towards the 2030 Development Agenda.
Yet the rapid and accelerating speed of technological progress sometimes outpaces the ability of societies to adapt to the ensuing social and economic changes. It’s in retrospect that we find that technological change leads to unintended consequences that we could never have anticipated.
“This is not an issue of only understanding the designs, characteristics, and functions of specific scientific and technological applications,” says Shamika Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s division on technology and logistics.
“Rather, it involves analysing how frontier technologies are adopted, adapted, and implicated in complex social, political, and environmental settings,” she says.
The twenty-second annual session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), convening from 13 to 17 May in Geneva, addresses some profound questions on the implications of rapid technological change for sustainable development.
While frontier technologies offer unprecedented opportunities to transform the practice, implementation and monitoring of sustainable development, they also pose considerable normative questions.
For example, social media platforms were designed to connect us not only to those with whom we share existing affiliations but also to others whose locations, perspectives, and ideas differed from our own. Instead, these platforms are being manipulated to further divide communities and to make it difficult for different stakeholders to find common ground.
Ground-breaking advances in gene editing holds the promise to improve human, animal and plant health. But unsafe applications without regulatory oversight could unexpectedly harm the health of humanity and the environment.
And arguably one of the most transformative technological developments of our time – artificial intelligence – could be used to help identify solutions to our most intractable economic, social and environmental challenges. However, its applications in public and private sectors could counterintuitively scale inequality and make the world less secure.
As we begin to grasp the multifaceted nature of rapid technological progress, it calls into question how we can shape global mechanisms and platforms to better understand how technology evolves and impacts our world.
Technological change and innovation cannot be understood and harnessed any longer using national frameworks only. Frontier technologies are created and deployed through global networks and their implications quickly extend far beyond the regions where they originally emerge.
“We need to develop tools that all countries can use to understand how technological change is relevant for their own development and assess its economic and social benefits, consequences and feedbacks,” UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant says.
The supranational implications of technologies have to be considered by technology assessments, and must involve multiple stakeholders, and assist national policymakers in developed and developing countries to enhance their capacities to make sense of rapid technological change.
Beyond understanding innovation and its potential impacts, the international community needs to define the shared values that define the direction in which rapid technological should proceed.
There has been a proliferation of initiatives to address the normative dimensions of various new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, gene editing, and other transformative and disruptive technologies.
The principles of inclusiveness
This bottom-up emergence of values, standards and norms points to the need for a global discussion and consensus on how to promote innovation while protecting our health, the environment, and our economic, social, and political institutions.
The principles of inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder involvement must be embedded at the heart of any global discourse on technological change, to ensure coherence between multiple initiatives and their consistence with the international community’s development agenda.
Developing countries, especially least developed countries, not engaged in the development of frontier technologies but likely to be affected by their consequences, need to be part of this global discourse.
As health tech innovation moves forward, who is being left out?
It’s no secret digital health is iterating and evolving at breakneck speed. But many are starting to ask the question, "Are those technologies made with all in mind?" Industry players have warned that many patients groups are being left behind— namely, people of color, underserved communities, members of the LGBTQ population and women.
The problems and opportunities
“I would say communities of color, and frankly underserved communities of any color, are being left out of this conversation and the technology shifts,” Silas Buchanan, CEO of the Institute for eHealth Equity, told MobiHealthNews.
But there is hope. Buchanan said the emerging focus on environmental and social factors in healthcare has put a new spotlight on meeting the needs of every community.
“With this increased focus on social determinants of health, there will be much more attention given to those populations and maybe the ideators and the innovators will be more thoughtful to those populations,” Buchanan said.
Developing technologies for patients who might have previously been ignored also makes business sense. For example, the Medicaid population is quite large.
“Given the size of Medicaid, it covers — depending on what point you are counting — 17 million Americans, obviously all living in low income. A lot of them children,” Vanessa Mason, research director at Institute for the Future, told MobiHealthNews. “Look at the breadth of health needs, combined with a lot of the social, behavioral and environmental challenges that a lot of the [patients] covered by Medicaid [experience], especially with the expansion. I think it has been under invested in, and under represented in … the digital health space.”
So why aren’t more entrepreneurs looking at this population? Mason said she’s heard a slew of excuses around why folks aren’t investing and innovating for the Medicaid population.
“I’ve heard everything from ‘patients on Medicaid don’t use technology,''" Mason said. "I’ve also seen, on the market opportunity side, ‘There is no one who going to pay for that.'"
However, there are successful examples of digital health companies catering to Medicaid patients, according to Mason. She named Wildflower Health, a digital health platform that helps patients navigate benefits and connect to resources, as an example of a company working with soon-to-be and new moms enrolled in Medicaid.
While Wildflower is an example of a company designed to address women’s health, there is still a gap in technology developed for women’s health. The femtech industry may be on the rise, but more than 60% of the tools on the market are centered around fertility, periods and pregnancy. Mason said she is encouraged that more companies have entered the women’s health space, but would like to see it address women’s needs across a continuum of life.
“We have this very defined paradigm of pregnancy in this country that doesn’t really include populations like lesbians and trans women,” Mason said. “So the question I want to leave you with is, what does designing for wellbeing and health look like for all women; specifically, what does that wellbeing look like when it doesn’t include pregnancy?”
There are more tools coming into the market that deal with menopause, she said. In December, for instance, VRHealth unveiled its new virtual reality product aimed at curbing hot flashes, called Luna.
Mason also cited work on technology to help identify biomarkers for chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that disproportionately impacts women, as a positive step in the right direction.
“I think that is really emblematic of a lot of the conditions that women deal with, these invisible disabilities, invisible disorders that take forever to diagnose but cause a lot of suffering and poor quality of life,” Mason said. “I think partially why diagnosis takes so long is that it is trumped up to women [that] it is all in your head, or it is not being taken very seriously. There is generally this halo of women not being taking seriously within the realm of their healthcare, so I’m really excited to see what are the opportunities to take women’s health seriously.”
Can tech curb medical bias?
It isn’t just innovating and investing where bias comes into play. Across the medical profession, clinician bias has been a concern.
In fact, a systematic review of doctor’s racial bias on clinical decision making, published by the Academic Emergency Medicine Journal in 2017, found that an implicit racial bias for white patients was common among providers, regardless of speciality (though it's important to note that this same study found a much weaker relationship between doctors’ implicit racial bias and their decision making).
“In medicine you are kind of taught to stereotype. This is the problem,” Dr. Damon Tweedy, whose autobiography, Black Man in a White Coat, is about being African American male doctor, said at The Atlantic conference in Boston. “You are given this snippet and then have to figure out what the issues are. In medicine you start with this issue of what race, age and gender — so, a 30-year-old black woman. Then there are all these assumptions that go into that. Medicine is taught in this really biased way, which is really, really problematic and is something I think is often overlooked.”
Technology could have the opportunity to close some of this human bias, but it could also widen it. Mason said it comes down to how that technology is developed.
She gave the example of clinical decision support tools.
“Clinical decision support tools are going to be built on top of already known clinical protocols and possibly known clinical behaviors," Mason said. “Think about it from that perspective, to the extent that evidence-based medicine makes sense and we have accounted for disparities in care and include randomized clinical trials, and hopefully these clinical trials are included so that they are representative of the population and we have not built in biases through the addition of digital technologies and clinical support tools."
However, technology is designed, developed and fed data by humans, which could pose its own set of issues.
“So if we are using that past behavior to then be able to inform AI machine learning models, we are encoding biases in these tools and they are going to make biases worse,” she said. “So it is really about getting back to the data that we have, and understanding how that data was analyzed, who was included or was adequately included, and then really looking at ... the results coming from that."
Bias is a hot topic within in the AI and machine learning field. Just this week at Google I/O, Google CEO Sundar Pichai hinted that the company is seeking to address this.
“Bias has been a concern in science long before machine learning came along,” Pichai said during the event. “The stakes are clearly higher with AI. It’s not enough to know if a model works, we need to know how it works. We want to ensure our AI models don’t reinforce bias that exists real world. It’s a hard problem, which is why we are doing fundamental computer science research to improve the transparency of machine learning models and bias.”
In fact, conversations around AI bias have been particularly prevalent in dermatology apps. While the benefits of clinically-validated automated screenings are easy to imagine, an article published in JAMA Dermatology last Augustsuggests that the training methods for these algorithms may not lead to accurate diagnoses among patients with skin of color
Pichai zeroed in on this particular problem during his speech and the company’s ambition to curb this problem in the future.
“Now imagine an AI system that could help detect skin cancer. To be effective it would need to recognize a wide variety of skin tones representative of the entire population,” he said. “There is a lot more to do, but we are committed to building AI in a way that is fair and works for everyone, including identifying and addressing bias in our own ML models and sharing tools and open data sets to help you as well.”
Where to start
Breaking down barriers between innovators and the patient communities is key, according to Buchanan. His organization teams up with secular and nonsecular groups to bridge this gap.
“I think people are being left out because there hasn’t been a very clear guided path to reach large numbers in any targeted way [for] community members of color,” Buchanan said.
A key way for clinicians and developers to get insight into different patient communities: hire diverse teams to help you innovate, he said. “There is a lot to be said for the lived experience,” he said. “You can know how people might think or feel, you can even conduct a focus group. But I don't think anything [beats] having people on your team that represent a culture or racial or ethnic group that you are targeting with a health information technology intervention. There is no substitute for that.”
#Facebook, #FacebookOriginalVideo; #videorankingsystem
San Francisco, May 7 (Xinhua/UNI) A series of updates were announced Monday by Facebook that will change its video ranking system to focus on original content and loyal viewership.
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
The ranking updates, which will roll out over the next few months, will further prioritize original videos that people seek out, and help both creators and publishers succeed with their videos on Facebook, said David Miller, product management director at Facebook.
Facebook will give more focus to three factors that have a crucial impact on video ranking on the platform, namely, loyalty and intent, video and viewing duration, and originality.
The social media giant will accord more weight in ranking to videos that retain users for at least three minutes, compared to its past rule that required capturing viewers' attention for at least one minute.
The change to the duration of viewership indicated Facebook's intention to reward videos that are capable of creating a more engaged and loyal fan base.
Originality will become a key factor for videos to win priority in Facebook's ranking system.
Facebook will place more restrictions on the sharing of "unoriginal or repurposed content from other sources with limited or immaterial added value."
"We will more strongly limit distribution and monetization for this kind of content," Miller said.
Facebook said the new measures were intended to help video creators to consolidate their viewer base and build "profitable video businesses" on the platform.
#Toronto, #World'sAICapital; #MaRSDiscoveryDistrict; #Collision; AIEcosystem; #MonaSiddiqui, HichamOudghiri, #DaphneKoller, #StephenWolfram, #Enigma; #U.S.DepartmentofHealthandHumanServices; #Coursera; #WolframResearch
Toronto, May 1 (Canadian-Media): Computing power caught up to their mathematics by a small group of researchers from Toronto led by Geoffrey Hinton worked at MaRS Discovery District (MaRSDD) and the world woke up to the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and made Toronto as the worlds's AI capital, MaRSDD reports said.
Image Credit: MaRsDD/Toronto Abstract
With the booming of this industry, talent and expertise built up in this region over years have made Toronto a top destination for companies to find a competitive edge. Major investments in AI labs here have been made by Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, Uber, Intel, LG, General Motors and Thomson Reuters. Innovative AI-based products for sectors ranging from security and advanced manufacturing to farming and financial services are being delivered by Toronto’s thriving startup ecosystem, the fastest growing in North America.
That also makes Toronto a natural home for Collision, the fastest-growing tech conference in North America, now in its fifth year. The conference, taking place at the Enercare Centre, Toronto this May, is expected to draw 25,000 attendees and is a major event for North American startups, investors, corporates and scientists.
Citing Toronto’s flourishing AI ecosystem, Collision CEO Paddy Cosgrave has decided to stage the conference here for the next three years.
Toronto prepares to welcome the AI community’s most brilliant minds. The four noteworthy speakers would be: Mona Siddiqui, chief data officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Hicham Oudghiri, co-founder and CEO, Enigma; Daphne Koller, co-founder and co-chairman, Coursera; Stephen Wolfram, founder and CEO, Wolfram Research.
#MolecularFoundry; #LawrenceBerkeleyNationalLaboratory; #nanoribbons
#electromagneticradiation; #NERSC; #nano-geometries,
Toronto, Apr 30 (Canadian-Media): When scientists are trying to make things better, they will often turn to a standard rule and try to disprove or disrupt it, United States' Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers said.
Image Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
A consortium of researchers using the unique Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) set out to do just that with Planck's Law.
Planck's Law, which forms the basis of quantum theory, states that electromagnetic radiation from heated bodies is distributed over a wide range of wavelengths and wide range of angles.
However, Max Planck himself noted that the emitting energy distribution would deviate significantly from his law if the characteristic size of the emitting object is smaller than the thermal wavelength (about 10 micrometers at room temperature). With the advent of micro- and nanotechnology, it is easy to fabricate materials where Planck's Law will not hold.
The researchers set out to determine the deviation from Planck's Law in order to understand this impact on technologies based on nano- and micro-structured geometries. Imagine a thermal storage material that converts electricity to heat and then radiates it to a photovoltaic cell to get the electricity back when desired. The radiative emitter from the thermal storage could be made from nanostructures to maximize the performance.
Another example is in the area of high temperature nano-geometry-based thermoelectrics, where high temperature waste heat is converted to electricity. It is important to understand the radiation from these nanoscale features, as radiation is the dominant source of heat leakage at high temperatures and will lead to reduction in heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency.
Research like this is what U.S. national laboratories focus on. Researchers ask the questions and do the experiments that industry may not be able to support early on.
Scientific user facilities such as the Molecular Foundry also aid in this type of research. The Molecular Foundry is a Department of Energy (DOE)-funded nanoscience research entity that provides users from around the world with access to cutting-edge expertise, instrumentation and modeling tools in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.
In this case, researchers used the radiation models available in the Molecular Foundry to model the thermal radiation from rectangular nanoribbons of silica glass, a polar dielectric material. The modeling was performed using supercomputers in the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), another DOE user facility located at Berkeley Lab. The experiments were conducted by researchers at University of California, San Diego.
"Nobody has explored the relative behavior of nano-geometries, particularly anisotropic nano-geometries—nanostructures that are rectangular in cross-section—in this way," said Ravi Prasher, one of the researchers.
Practical applications for this early-stage energy conversion are important for many renewable energy applications, such as concentrated solar electricity production, water desalination, thermochemical reactions, water heating, and thermal storage.
The publication, "Far-field coherent thermal emission from polaritonic resonance in individual anisotropic nanoribbons," was published in Nature Communications in March 2019.
#detectionofhatespeech; #fakenews; #StaViCTA; #KostiantynKucher; #academicresearch; #businessintelligence; #socialmediatexts; #journalism; #artificialintelligence
Sweden, Apr 29 (Canadian-Media): How can you find and make sense of opinions and emotions in the vast amount of texts in social media? Kostiantyn Kucher's research helps visualise for instance public opinions on political issues in tweets over time. In the future, analysis and visualisation of sentiment and stance could contribute to such tasks as detection of hate speech and fake news, Sweden's Linnaeus University research said.
Our society relies on language and text to express our thoughts, exchange opinions, and gain new knowledge. But with so much text data being produced nowadays, in particular in social media, it's impossible to read everything manually. In his dissertation in computer science at Linnaeus University, Kostiantyn Kucher has looked for a solution to this problem.
"My research shows how one can investigate and make sense of opinions and emotions in collections of text data by combining computerised text mining methods and interactive visual representations, that is, special types of charts and graphs," says Kostiantyn Kucher.
As part of a research project called StaViCTA, Kostiantyn and colleagues have provided online survey browsers that are now used by researchers, practitioners, and students interested in text visualisation (http://textvis.lnu.se and http://sentimentvis.lnu.se). They have designed and implemented multiple visual analytics approaches that have helped their collaborators in linguistics and computational linguistics in their research on stance analysis.
The approaches presented in the dissertation can be applied in academic research, business intelligence, social media monitoring, and journalism. Besides social media texts, these approaches can also be used to visualise stance in books and business reports, for instance.
"In the future, analysis and visualisation of sentiment and stance could contribute to such tasks as detection of hate speech and fake news, improvement and adaptation of graphical user interfaces in software and web applications, and visual representation of the models used by artificial intelligence agents," concludes Kostiantyn Kucher.
Jerusalem, Apr 17 (Canadian-Media): In a major medical breakthrough, Tel Aviv University researchers have "printed" the world's first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient's own cells and biological materials, media reports said.
Image credit: Tel Aviv University website
"This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers," says Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU's School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study.
"This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models," Dvir says. "People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future."
"At this stage, our 3D heart is small, the size of a rabbit's heart," explains Dvir. "But larger human hearts require the same technology."
"The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments," Prof. Dvir says. "Ideally, the biomaterial should possess the same biochemical, mechanical and topographical properties of the patient's own tissues. Here, we can report a simple approach to 3D-printed thick, vascularized and perfusable cardiac tissues that completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of the patient."
The researchers are now planning on culturing the printed hearts in the lab and "teaching them to behave" like hearts, Prof. Dvir says. They then plan to transplant the 3D-printed heart in animal models.
"We need to develop the printed heart further," he concludes. "The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together. Our hope is that we will succeed and prove our method's efficacy and usefulness.
"Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Community Health Systems (CHS) announced that the Apple Health Records app for iPhones is now available to patients at approximately 100 CHS-affiliated hospitals.
WHY IT MATTERS
Apple Health Records helps users to visualize and securely store their health records, allowing them to aggregate records from multiple institutions alongside their patient-generated data, creating a more holistic view of their health.
Patients who have received care from a CHS-affiliated participating hospital can use their iPhones to receive and store details from their medical records, ranging from allergies and conditions to procedures and vitals.
Patients can also include information about immunizations, labs, and medications, as well as receive notifications whenever their data is updated.
THE BIGGER TREND
To ensure the security of transmitted data, Apple’s Health Records app is based on HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a standard for transferring electronic medical records.
In addition, data in the app is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, and the connection leverages OAuth 2.0, which allows users to authenticate once and create an enduring connection to their electronic health record (EHR) APIs.
The most recent version of the FHIR specification was deployed earlier this month by Cerner, which is touting the backward-compatible FHIR R4 as key interoperability standard for healthcare app developers seeking to interface with its technology.
The convergence of two threads--FHIR as a better interface standard, and APIs as a required part of EHR certification, are expected to have profound impact on future interoperability as EHRs and mobile technology play a more integral role in consumer-facing healthcare apps and services.
ON THE RECORD
“At CHS, we are rapidly expanding our digital health and consumer engagement strategies to provide patients with more convenience, more information, and more control over their healthcare experiences,” Lynn Simon, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer of Community Health Systems, said in a statement.
Simon explained that by giving their patients an easy way to receive and track their medical information, it provides them an additional way to be active participants in managing their own health, which can lead to better outcomes.
“Since most people keep their mobile devices with them, this means all of that medical information is accessible whenever it is needed,” she said.
Simon noted putting health data literally in the palm of the patient’s hand could be critical in an emergency, and also enables patients to have more informed conversations with all of their physicians.