[Decode HealthTech] Looking at big data in business and medicine / Emma Watch, a wearable that counters Parkinson’s tremor / Colonoscopy performed by capsule robot

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Looking at big data in business and medicine, by Akhilesh Pathipati

In any educational environment, there’s a set of buzzwords that create a common vocabulary. Medical students constantly hear about “bench-to-bedside research,” “evidence-based medicine,” and “compassionate care.” Meanwhile, business school students can’t stop talking about “aligning objectives,” “disruptive innovation,” and of course, “synergy.”

One of the most frequently used phrases in both schools is “big data.” The idea is that with bigger, faster computers and new analytical techniques, we can now sift through vast amounts of information to generate new insights.

Watch Microsoft demo Emma Watch, a wearable that counters Parkinson’s tremors, by Emil Protalinksi

Smartwatch shipments rebounded slightly at the start of this year, but they are still very much niche products. Their biggest potential is in regards to health, from getting everyone to take more steps all the way to helping counter specific diseases. Microsoft’s Emma Watch, probably the most inspiring demo shown off at the company’s Build 2017 developer conference today, falls into the latter category.

Colonoscopy performed by magnetically controlled capsule robot by Rich Haridy

A colonoscopy is still the most effective way for a physician to diagnose a variety of colorectal diseases. The procedure, completed under sedation, is a mildly invasive and unpleasant process that many patients tend to delay due to concern over discomfort. But new research has paved the way for a capsule-sized robot to take over these procedures in the future, making the diagnostic and treatment process quicker and easier.


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