In what’s described as a “landmark” partnership, Microsoft and the United Nations are teaming up to help help predict and fight human rights abuses, among other potential projects. Microsoft is providing a $5 million grant to the UN Human Rights Office, which will support the development of new technology tools for the intergovernmental organization. That includes “Rights View,” a dashboard tool that lets the UN use big data and cloud computing to track potential human rights issues globally in real time.
IBM’s Watson supercomputer has helped diagnose rare forms of Leukemia in at least two instances by comparing patients genetic information against a database of nearly 20 million cancer research papers.
Yahoo News features an Apple Watch strap – the Kardia Band – that allows wearers with heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of strokes, to track their heart rate and share the data with medical professionals. From the article:
“The Kardia Band, developed in the US and already approved by federal health agencies, combines a wristband for Apple’s smartwatch with an app that enables users to monitor their electrocardiogram (ECG) – which tracks electrical activity in the heart – at any time.”
“The band can detect and alert wearers to any abnormal rhythms in the heart by sending notifications to their smartwatch and phone. The device can also be used to record heart rhythms, with the data then able to be shared with a user’s doctor. It also integrates with the Health app that is built into the iPhone.”
Inhabitat highlights the development of an LED-based alternative to wi-fi, that promises to be 100 time faster and harnesses the imperceptible rapid blinking of LED lights to send data to compatible devices. The system is currently being tested in a few countries, including France and India.
The Verge reports on a new smartphone app that allows android phone owners to “be part of a distributed seismograph.”
From the article: “Created by a team of scientists from UC Berkeley, the app turns your phone into a background quake-detector, scanning the phone’s accelerometer data in real time and forwarding any rumblings that fit the profile of seismic activity. With enough phones networked together, researchers hope they can build a kind of distributed seismograph, stitching together thousands of rough readings into a more comprehensive data source than researchers have ever had.”
FastCoExist covers a project in Louisville, Kentucky where Asthmatics have been given smart inhalers that collectively help to track air pollution and low air quality. The use of the inhalers is tracked along with data from air quality sensors across the area. The hope is that combining the air quality measurements with use of medication, researchers will gain a better understanding of how the connections between air quality, environment and weather conditions combine to trigger asthma attacks.
Techcrunch features an app developed by a Parkinson’s sufferer to aid research into the condition. MyHealthPal tracks symptoms, the effects and effectiveness of medication, mood, exercise, diet and more. This data is then used to create a dashboard for patients and with permission shares anonymous data with medical researchers.
The Next Web reports on a new company that plans to use music as therapy for things as diverse as keeping a truck driver alert on a long journey to helping a child with autism or someone recovering from a stroke.