Startup company Truth On Call has developed a tool for asking questions of verified physicians, and getting answers, via text message. But it’s not meant for patients. Rather, it’s a kind of paid research tool for businesses who want to query a panel of doctors.
The SenseCam is a specialized digital camera that’s been percolating in the labs of Microsoft Research U.K for about five years now. It’s designed to be worn around the neck on a lanyard. The device takes still images throughout the day, when motion is sensed or when people come into view, as often as every 30 seconds.
The camera can be used for everything from a scrapbooking tool to a medical device for patients with impaired memories. Microsoft has been able to produced only about 500 SenseCams, so it’s decided to license its technology to ramp up production.
U.K. company Vicon will begin selling the cameras, under the name Vicon Revue, to researchers this year and to the general public in 2010.
Many Americans mistakenly conclude they have a rare illness after attempting self-diagnosis on the Internet, according to a recent study by researchers are Microsoft. The company conducted the study to improve its own search engine.
Microsoft studied health-related Web searches on popular search engines and surveyed 500 of its employees about their health-related searching. Microsoft’s Eric Horvitz, an artificial intelligence expert and medical school grad, says Web search engines can increase our health-related anxieties and lead us to believe worst-case scenarios.
Researchers at the University of Rochester say adults who play a lot of action video games may be improving their brain’s ability to process visual information. They say people who used a video-game training program saw significant improvements in their ability to notice subtle differences in shades of gray, a finding that may help people who have trouble driving at night or in the fog.
There’s almost no waiting for a two-way Webcam appointment or text chat. The 700,000 members of the Hawaii Medical Service Association, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance provider, pay $10 for such a visit. But anyone – insured or not – can see an online doc for $45.