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Jan 26, 2011

Take your two minutes

I stumbled over this site today: Do Nothing for 2 minutes.

The site presents the user with a very simple challenge: can you keep yourself from touching your computer for two minutes?

When the user enters the site a serene ocean view and the sound of waves displayed. The instructions ask to sit back and relax without touching your mouse or keyboard, and then a two minute timer begins counting down. If the user touches the mouse or the keyboard, a FAIL message appears, and the clock reset itself.

The site is very simple, but is gaining a lot of attention worldwide. In spite of its simplicity, I think that it includes interesting features: the provision of relaxing content “on demand”, the countdown, the feedback about compliance with task's instructions.

If any of you knows similar websites please post them in the comments!

Jan 17, 2011

The Google Earth Treadmill: A New Way to Explore the World

According to a report on Mashable, Panasonic’s VIERA Connect TVs, in collaboration with NordicTrack, unveiled a television at CES that lets you experience virtual trails straight from your living room.

The HDTV displays Google Maps and communicates inclinations of hills and valleys to the treadmill. The machine is also able to incline itself at the appropriate times, matching those hills every step of the way. Other real-life features include cars and people crossing your path.

Have a good (virtual) walk!

Jan 14, 2011

Final Call for Abstracts 16th Annual CyberPsychology & CyberTherapy Conference

June 19th to 22nd 2011 in Gatineau, Canada

This year the Interactive Media Institute (IMI) and Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) are organizing the 16th Annual CyberPsychology and CyberTherapy Conference (CT16), the official conference of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training, & Rehabilitation (iACToR). The abstract submission deadline is January 15th, 2011.

To submit your abstract, register for the conference or obtain additional information, please visit the CT16 website at http://www.interactivemediainstitute.com/CT16.

Note that abstracts will be published in a regular issue of the Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation (JCR).

Outstanding features this year:

  • 12 hands-on / “how to” workshops
  • Two and a half day of scientific presentations
  • WorldViz offering one-day seminars on Virtual Reality development.
  • Presence of experts in clinical therapy and rehabilitation, cognitive sciences, neurosciences, social sciences, and computer sciences.
  • Interactive Cyberarium open to the general public.
  • Representatives of funding agency, policymakers, and industrial partners present on site.

Conference website: http://www.interactivemediainstitute.com/CT16

Jan 05, 2011

Participatory medicine

Participatory medicine is a new trend in e-health that proposes an active role of the patient in medical care. According to the board of the Society of Participatory Medicine, this is “a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners".

In contrast with the traditional doctor-centric curative model, participatory medicine proposes a more proactive approach, where patients not only share information about their diseases, but are also involved in treatment decisions. This new perspective recognizes that patients have a unique knowledge of their own health, which can be effectively used to improve the care process. The potential benefits of participatory medicine include enhanced patients compliance, resourcefulness and quality of life.

Online social network platforms are playing an important role to help this transition to take place. These networks allow patients who have similar diseases to connect, share knowledge and resources. They enable collaborative filtering of relevant information and apply reputation and trust management mechanisms to reduce risks of frauds and abuses. Some medical-oriented social networks also provide users with tools to track their health status. The data collected, once anonimized, can be used for research purposes, i.e. to assess patterns of drugs usage or investigate side effects.

More to explore:

PatientsLikeMe is an online platform for patients to share their experience using patient-reported outcomes, find other patients like them, and learn from the others' data to improve their outcomes. The site has gathered a huge quantity of data on its 70,000 members, which span a number of different disease communities, including epilepsy, fibromyalgia, and depression

Inspire is a US-based private company that creates and manages online patient support communities. Inspire manages more than 175 online communities, comprised of 160,000 members. Its partners include over 70 patient advocacy associations, such as the National Osteoporosis Foundation, WomenHeart, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network and the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.    

The Society for Participatory Medicine is a 501(c)3 public charity devoted to promoting the concept of participatory medicine by and among patients, caregivers and their medical teams. The organization has launched two core initiatives, the e-patients blog and the Journal of Participatory Medicine, a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes multidisciplinary articles on medicine 2.0 and participatory healthcare.   

Disaboom is a site for the disabled. Its main mission is to improve the way individuals with disabilities or functional limitations live their lives. The site provides several information resources for those living with disabilities, as well as their family members, friends, caregivers, and employers. The health section features articles written by medical professionals on a variety of disabilities. It was created by Glen House, a doctor who became quadriplegic after breaking his neck in a skiing accident at the age of 20. Users create profile pages and search for people with similar conditions.

Diabetic Connect is the world's largest online social network for people and families living with diabete. Members can share how they feel in real-time, send virtual gifts such as flowers and hugs, and a give feedback on product reviews, recipes, diet tips, videos and other user-generated content.

IMedix  is a health search engine and social network service that provides information in response to medical questions and concerns. Users enter a question — like what to do about high blood pressure — and iMedix scans articles, videos and blogs that are ranked by other users on how helpful they are. Search results are also interactive, and can be recommended by other users, or voted down in rank.

INTERSTRESS video released

We have just released a new video introducing the INTERSTRESS project, an EU-funded initiative that aims to design, develop and test an advanced ICT-based solution for the assessment and treatment of psychological stress. The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Quantitative and objective assessment of symptoms using biosensors and behavioral analysis
  • Decision support for treatment planning through data fusion and detection algorithms
  • Provision of warnings and motivating feedback to improve compliance and long-term outcomes

Credits: Virtual Reality Medical Institute