On the 8th and 9th October, I had the opportunity to attend the Open Data Science Conference in London. In addition to the United Kingdom, the ODSC also occurs on both the East and West Coast of the US, as well as Tokyo. The 2-day conference had an array of speakers presenting problems and solutions they have worked on as data scientists. It was an opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the field of data science such as Gael Varoquaux. Gael is a core contributor to the popular Python machine learning resource scikit-learn and he spoke about the new and existing features of this package which help ensure rapid development in data science.
The 6th October marked a rather sad day for me and for my little family. On this day in 2015, I was admitted to hospital for a procedure called ERPC which stands for Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception and means a surgical removal of the remains of a pregnancy. It was a day that I had never thought I would ever have to experience and yet it happened to us. Just as it happens to more than one in five pregnancies in the UK every year – around a quarter of a million each year…
This second pregnancy started off wonderfully well, just as the first one.
There are five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which are the scourge of Africa, the Indian sub-continent, the Far East and South America. Onchocerciasis is one of these 5 and until the late 20th century caused millions of people to gradually lose their sight and eventually go blind. The parasite is spread by infected Simulium blackflies which when they bite a human, transfer microscopic larvae to the human host, where they develop into adult worms and females produce millions of new larvae during their lifetime. It is these larvae that are the cause of irreversible blindness in as many as 25% of the adult population in several countries in Africa.
The World Health Organisation recognises the 10th of October as World Mental Health Day. The theme set for this year is on the delivery of psychological first aid, and the need to recognize and support individuals who are in distress.
At some point our lives, most of us will know someone experiencing a mental health issue or experience one ourselves, including stress, anxiety, depression, bereavement, or drug and alcohol problems. Yet the subject of mental illness continues to be taboo, and the stigma attached to it prevents many from speaking out and getting the attention that they need.
By guest bloggers Sarah Greaves, Katherine MacInnes and Alex Stockham, IN-PART
For the first time in history, antimicrobial resistance was addressed recently by the United Nations (UN). In New York at the 71st General Assembly of the UN, all 193 member states signed up to combat this ever growing problem.
To fight what is said to be one of the biggest threats to 21st Century society, world leaders committed to a global, coordinated and multi-sector plan of action to not only increase the regulation of antimicrobial drug use but also to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance and promote the development of alternative antimicrobial drugs.
By Alexander Carter, Health Economist, Centre for Health Policy, IGHI
Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to be invited to the ‘2016 Summit on China Hospital Development’, which also provided an opportunity to visit and learn first-hand about the health reforms there. My destination was Hangzhou – considered China’s most beautiful city – which is also where the recent G20 summit was held. Indeed, it is an enchanting place that seems to draw its energy from the Western lake and the surrounding mountains that cocoon the 9 million strong population in a relatively serene, yet commercially vibrant environment – exemplified by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, which is based there.
The letter you always wanted to write…..
The day you killed yourself was a Wednesday and when my husband called to tell me I was at work. I felt dizzy in the sunny and overheated hallway in the hospital where I work. I sat down and cried right there, in the hallway on a radiator. And I didn’t care that doctors, patients and colleagues were walking past me, looking away, probably feeling bad for me, but feeling uncomfortable and not knowing how to help.
It couldn’t possibly have been you, I thought as I sat there. You were so funny, so bubbly, so warm.
First published by the Hippocratic Post on 22/8/16.
‘Back in 2011, my research team published the results of the largest trial of critically ill children ever undertaken in Africa (FEAST trial), a trial that examined fluid resuscitation strategies in children with severe febrile illnesses (including malaria and bacterial sepsis). Contrary to expectation, the trial showed that fluid boluses were associated with an increased mortality compared to no-bolus (control), the greatest effect was in children with the most severe forms of shock. We were delighted when the FEAST trial won the prestigious 2011 BMJ Research Paper of the Year award and expected that doctors around the world would sit up and take notice – and guidelines for management of children suffering from shock due to sepsis would change.
We asked our Director, Professor the Lord Ara Darzi, to explain the importance of patient data sharing, a topic we’ll be discussing during our annual Sowerby eHealth Symposium taking place 14th September at the Royal College of Physicians.
Confirmed topics and speakers include:
Pushing the boundaries of sharing patient data in the real world
- Mustafa Suleyman, Co-founder, Google DeepMind
How to make data sharing policy work
- Katie Farrington, Director of Digital and Data, Department of Health
- Dr. Brian Fisher, Director of PAERs Ltd
- Sharmila Nebhrajani, Director of External Affairs at MRC Human Tissue Authority
- Fran Husson, Patient Representative
Developing a citizen science platform for data sharing: Understanding ‘real life’ patient benefits in Dementia
- Hilary Doxford, Vice-Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, Dementia Research Champion
Predictive modelling, Artificial Intelligence, Population Health, Genomics and Wearables: Applications of data sharing
- Chris Laing, Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
- Paul Elliot, Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine Imperial College London
- Irina Bolychevsky, Open data consultant and Director of Shevski Ltd
- Jen Hyatt, Founder, Big White Wall
Registration begins at 8:30AM, with talks from 9AM-1PM.
August 12 is International Youth Day.
This special day was created by the United Nations in 1999 to recognise efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society.
The theme of this year has been put forward by the UN as “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption”. In my opinion this theme sets out an over-ambitious agenda, and many of our International Youth might feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities it implies. It represents a far-reaching goal, not only for “Youth”, defined as 15-24 year olds, but for people of all ages.