Big Data Ready to Offer Online Diagnoses

Combining patient health records with user symptoms and demographic data, a new online data crunching project wants to help offer quick and accurate medical advice to those in need. 

What's the Latest Development?


Two medical student entrepreneurs at Johns Hopkins University have created a website that crunches a host of powerful data to offer individuals medical advice and even online diagnoses. Called Symcat, the site aggregates patient health records, user symptoms and demographic data to provide people with the equivalent of medical wisdom. After noticing how many people went to the emergency room with symptoms such as a headache or sore through, the students realized that better information could cut down excessive medical expenses. 

What's the Big Idea?

With a few exceptions, the medical industry has largely shied away from the information revolution, ceding the territory to media companies who have created online health communities. But as computers become more powerful, such as IBM's Watson which analyses natural language, so-called Big Data is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore. By collecting and analyzing patient data, a pool of knowledge that doubles every five years, we can change our understanding of the human body and how medical treatment is delivered. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Space toilets: How astronauts boldly go where few have gone before

A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.

Videos
  • When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
  • Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
  • Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Keep reading Show less

Carl Sagan on why he liked smoking marijuana

Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.

Photo: Photo by Robert Nelson on Unsplash / Big Think
Mind & Brain
  • Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
  • He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
  • His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less