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"Nurse” vs. “Doctor” I’ve been tinkering with a new research tool from Google labs – Ngram Viewer™ – which unravels cultural references inside the 15 million books scanned by the search engine giant. Looking at the proportion of published content that mentions the word “nurse” or “doctor” – over the period 1800 to 2008 – I found the Google application’s raw graphing data reveal some fascinating results. In a nutshell, the English language corpus has historically held doctors in higher esteem than nurses; around 1980, cultural references to nurses and to doctors nearly converged. And after 2000, doctors rose again in importance relative to nurses, and at a rapid clip. What explains the trend?
A Commitment Vows: Accountability 2.0 Commitment contracts have worked for individuals around the world whose aim is to lose weight, spend more time with their family, or quit drinking - but it can also work for hospitals, governments and CEOs who want to stamp out bad habits. Call it Accountability 2.0.
A Patient's Right to be Believed The right to be presumed innocent preserves a higher ethic - the rule of law. Similarly, in business, the "customer is always right" is an axiom of quality service. In healthcare, things are a little bit different.
A rapid, Web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants This project was undertaken to develop a rapid method for obtaining a widespread sample of patient views on the efficacy and side-effects of antidepressants. A Web-based method is described for rapidly and objectively obtaining patient views on the effects and side-effects of treatment with antidepressants. The method entails a systematized search of many URLs (Uniform Resource Locators, or Web page addresses), using keywords and phrases to extract the named drug and symptom that are reliably relevant to the medication being taken by the individual reporting the experience online. Unwanted medical conditions (e.g., cancer) are excluded. Three successive searches of thousands of Web pages revealed a cumulative total of 835 "mentions" of patient experience on duloxetine, 756 for venlafaxine, 637 for citalopram, 636 for sertraline, 559 for paroxetine, 457 for fluoxetine, 318 for desvenlafaxine, 289 for fluvoxamine, and 210 for mirtazapine, in association with various symptoms. A comparison of the associated symptoms for each of the antidepressants found that the prevalence of the combined factor of fatigue, drowsiness, tiredness or lethargy ranged from 6.4+/-0.8% down to 2.9+/-0.15% of the mentions, where the S.E. was derived from three repeats of the Web-based analysis. The prevalence of dizziness or vertigo ranged from 7.6+/-0.8% down to 1.9+/-0.3% of the mentions. Given the increasing number of patient narratives about drug experiences on open-access Web forums, this rapid novel method will have increasing utility in post-marketing surveillance and in comparing the effects of psychiatric medications. PMID: 20705344 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Assessing and Responding in Real Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic The perceived safety of vaccination is an important explanatory factor for vaccine uptake and, consequently, for rates of illness and death. The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate Canadian attitudes around the safety of the H1N1 vaccine during the fall 2009 influenza pandemic and (2) to consider how public health communications can leverage the Internet to counteract, in real time, anti-vaccine sentiment. We surveyed a random sample of 175,257 Canadian web users from October 27 to November 19, 2009, about their perceptions of the safety of the HINI vaccine. In an independent analysis, we also assessed the popularity of online flu vaccine-related information using a tool developed for this purpose. A total of 27,382 unique online participants answered the survey (15.6% response rate). Of the respondents, 23.4% considered the vaccine safe, 41.4% thought it was unsafe and 35.2% reported ambivalence over its safety. Websites and blog posts with anti-vaccine sentiment remained popular during the course of the pandemic. Current public health communication and education strategies about the flu vaccine can be complemented by web analytics that identify, track and neutralize anti-vaccine sentiment on the Internet, thus increasing perceived vaccine safety. Counter-marketing strategies can be transparent and collaborative, engaging online "influencers" who spread misinformation.
Assessing and Responding in Real-Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic Traditional communication and education strategies by public health authorities are limited in their capacity to counteract public concerns about vaccine safety. Efforts to counter the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement, to calm fears and to provide accurate information require sustained, effective public health communication. In order to evaluate, in real-time, Canadian Internet users’ attitudes to the safety of the H1N1 vaccine after Health Canada approved the vaccine, we surveyed a random sample of Canadian Internet users from October 27 to November 19, 2009 (Step A). In Step B, we determined which vaccine safety Internet sites were most trusted by the public by deploying a dynamic ‘Internet robot’ that informed us (i) which Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) discussing ‘myths and facts’ about the H1N1 vaccine were being most widely shared and discussed among English-language Internet users, and (ii) which Web sites, blogs, and links were being shared on social media sites.
Autism and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: Need to Communicate a Health Study Retraction to Patients The public is concerned over the safety of vaccines for children. If such fears translate into avoidance of vaccines, the public health of the community is at risk. The 1998 study by Wakefield and colleagues, which linked the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine (MMR) to bowel disorders and autism, sparked global concern over the safety of the MMR vaccine. On February 2, 2010, the Lancet published a full formal retraction of the Wakefield study.
Back-to-School Health and the New E-parents After Senior Kindergarten, the dominant parental concern voiced by parents online (on blogs and social networks) is health promotion. Does the school support healthy living? Does it offer sufficient exercise, healthy snacks and lunches, and healthy attitudes toward food?
Big Pharma Listens Pharma companies will embrace the Web, real-time communications and social networking. Mergers and acquisitions, joint marketing, and co-promotions can only go so far in propping up the sagging industry. More patients, caregivers and providers will search online for health information in the new decade.
Bottom-Up vs. Top-Down Innovation - and Hot Air Too much focus on the bottom-up/top-down debate misses the real goal: making sick patients healthier faster, or managing and preventing illness altogether. This may happen bottom-up, top-down, or, more often than not in my opinion, by combination or accident. In many cases (as with the hot air balloon) we don't really know why for years to come.
Business News Network interviews Cell director on innovation in obesity policy described in his new book
CBC Radio interviews Cell Director on Healthy Living Vouchers (HVLs) to fight obesity
Cell Director Neil Seeman cited about healthy living vouchers on Yahoo News
Cell Director interviewed on healthy living vouchers idea to attack obesity-related chronic illness Interview begins at 32:30
DSM-Twitter: Are We Happy Or Sad Right Now? Using our real-time analysis of depression surveillance on Twitter, there were 417 tweets - within 15 miles of Toronto - expressing sadness (or what Twitter calls a "negative attitude") during 17 minutes on March 12 (from 1:06pm EST to 1:23pm EST). During the very same time frame, there were 1,500 tweets from Toronto showing happiness or a "positive attitude." This suggests that the ratio of happy comments to sad comments in the Toronto area was 3.6 to 1.
Defining Technology Down Nowadays the word "technology" is associated in our minds with massive capital, or "R&D". As such, people are scared of technology, while in the past they relished it.
Do you work in an Intrapreneurial Company? Take the 1-Minute Test Intrapreneurialism is the route to innovation inside organizations, and in healthcare organizations in particular. A culture of intrapreneurialism is what enables a graduate student scientist in a University lab, or a policy analyst in a government department, to launch a magical product or service to market.
E-Psychiatry: Using Web-Based Communications to Connect With Patients Improving access and quality of care for patients suffering from mental illness
Fired for Performance! Lessons from the Medvedev Management Model Medvedev's reaction offers a case study on how things can go awry when evaluating performance data. Especially in an era of scarce resources, one should set return-on-investment metrics, not simple targets like medal counts.
Forthcoming book by Cell Director Neil Seeman and Adjunct Fellow Patrick Luciani featured in Globe and Mail special on obesity
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