Archive for April 19th, 2011

Book Review: Data Source Handbook

April 19, 2011

Data Source HandbookThis new book from O’Reilly Media, written by a former Apple engineer, Pete Warden,┬áis a catalog of code for connecting to publicly available APIs for all kinds of sites. It shows data sources by websites (whois, delicious), people by email (Amazon, FriendFeed), people by name (white pages, LinkedIn), search terms (Bing, Google), location (Google geocoding, US census), companies, IP addresses, books, films, music, products.

The brief reviews and code for each source includes those which use REST/JSON, YQL and other languages.

Overall the book is a very practical guide for programmers wanting to integrate public data into their websites or creating mashups. However, the book lacks any data sources related to health although many existing on the web from PubMed to ClinicalTrials.gov.

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Prevention and Lifestyle Changes – Potential for Health Care Reform

April 19, 2011

Dean Ornish

Dean Ornish

Today I heard Dean Ornish speak and came aware more convinced that prevention of disease through lifestyle changes can have a major impact on the future of health. Particularly, the potential impact on the epidemic of diabetes in the US is huge. We all have heard about how more and more of our population is becoming obese and the subsequent increase in diabetes and metabolic syndrome. If lifestyle changes can prevent even 10 or 20 percent of the progression to these serious conditions, imaging the impact on quality of life, work productivity and healthcare costs. This Thursday, Cleveland Clinic and Slate magazine will co-host a summit on Childhood Obesity.

Not only that, but he notes research on his website, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, that there is a potential impact on cancer and telomerase activity.

On a related note, a new interview with Daniel Kraft is posted on the TEDxMaastricht website. He talks about how mobile apps are just beginning to become available and used for lifestyle change but predicts that access to medical records and other patient empowerment tools will become common.

How can we get the word out, shift from unhealthy foods and lifestyles and move toward a healthier country?

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