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Friday, December 29, 2017

On the ostensible inevitability and advanced efficacy of "Precision Medicine"

It's hard to overstate the aggregate effusiveness exuded by the digital health community these days. e.g., the recent 2017 Technology for Precision Health Summit I attended.

I heard this NPR All Things Considered segment yesterday while shlepping my daughter to BART.
Will Gathering Vast Troves of Information Really Lead To Better Health? 

The Mayo Clinic is building its future around high-tech approaches to research known as "precision medicine." This involves gathering huge amounts of information from genetic tests, medical records and other data sources to ferret out unexpected ideas to advance health. But one longtime scientist at the Mayo Clinic isn't playing along…

And it's not simply that he's an old-school devotee. He believes that the solution to our most pressing health problems lies in thinking about whole human beings, not breaking everything down to DNA sequences.

”The enthusiasm for this [precision medicine] is occurring in a country where life expectancy is actually falling," he says as he walks through the old linoleum-tiled halls of St. Mary's hospital.

That fact alone leads Joyner to ask whether the money being poured into high-tech medical research is really solving the nation's stark health problems, like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer...
"With the momentum now built up behind this enterprise, precision medicine will be judged like much of modern medicine: in hindsight, after it becomes entrenched in clinical practice."


Stay tuned. Teeing up shortly for a look at cryptocurrencies' underlying "blockchain" hype.

What could possibly go wrong?


Margalit Gur-Arie has posted another doozy:
...Funded with cash from sexist pigs and harassers, a startup, whose business model is to help other startups “hook” people on trashy little apps, is calling itself Dopamine Labs. “Dopamine makes your app addictive” is their promise. According to the website, they use AI and neuroscience to deliver jolts of dopamine that “don’t just feel good: they rewire the brain’s habit centers” of users to “boost usage, loyalty, and revenue”. “Your users will crave it. And they'll crave you”. At its rotten core, Silicon Valley is a drug cartel, a very clever and savvy cartel who managed to convince the world that its brand of drug addiction is actually good for you and either way, it’s inevitable...
From The Power of Silicon Valley.

More to come...

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