Digital Doctor – Are Apps The Future Of Healthcare?

Earlier this month, Google rolled out its ‘Health Card’ app in India. Google Health Card allows users to flip through over 400 ‘cards’ in order to swiftly correlate symptoms and learn more about diseases. While the concept may sound reasonably basic, the interface and efficiency of the app combined with the considerable expertise which came into the making of it renders it a very useful little tool. More to the point, the giant Google leaping into the health app fray indicates that they’re taking the medical potential of digital platforms very seriously indeed. As are many other observers, commentators, health providers, and businesses.

Doctor Google’

We all know that googling your symptoms is never a good idea. ‘Doctor Google’ will convince you in no time at all that a simple cold is Ebola, or that a stress headache is a brain aneurysm. Despite this, however, Google states that one in twenty Google searches are health related. For this reason,  it decided last year to put health-related information into its Knowledge Graph. The idea was not only to give Google an edge when it comes to amateur diagnostics – but also to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate healthcare information. Rather than relying on the hysterical hypochondriac power of user-generated health forums etc, Google’s own knowledge could commune directly with the searcher – and hopefully give more accurate and relevant information. This applies a certain amount of corporate clout to the world of digital diagnosis – but also indicates that Google is perhaps trying to reassert supremacy in the growing world of digital and app-based healthcare. The release of Google Health Card in India may be just another aspect of Google’s medical gameplan.

Health And Fitness Apps

Growing interest in our personal fitness has coincided with the kind of technology which can help us to monitor and control our health. Exercise gadgets like pedometers and exercise machine interfaces have been with us for a while now, but the introduction of linked apps has seen an explosion in health and fitness monitoring technology. From fitbits to diet plan apps, we’re able to weigh calories burned against calories consumed like never before – as well as assessing precisely what the things we’re eating and the activities are doing to our personal physiques. In the not-too-distant future, gadgets will be able to intensively monitor our vital statistics (including blood chemical content, among other things) and feed back to trained medical professionals. While there is the potential for people to get  a little obsessive about this , there is also a lot of potential for serious help where it’s needed. For example, borderline or recovering alcoholics with an app which monitored blood alcohol levels over time and fed that information back to a specialist are more likely to get the tailored help they need  to cut down their alcohol than if they were able to lie about the amount they’ve been drinking. From a business point of view, apps which fed certain health-based information to human resources could enable employees to get the help they need for any conditions from which they may be suffering (for example, gluten-free options in the canteen, ergonomic furniture, more breaks etc). If, that is, such a thing would not be too much of an infringement upon individual privacy…

Health Vs Individuality

There’s a very good reason why our medical records are kept private. For centuries, the Hippocratic Oath has bound doctors  to keep the medical information of their patients “unutterable”. And very glad many of us are about that, too! Who, after all, wants the world to know about their irritable bowels, or their persistent urinary tract infection, or even about the sneaky pint they enjoyed on a work night? Indeed, many people have let their conditions run on for years rather than having anyone – even a doctor – know about them. Clearly it is very important that the   standards of medical confidentiality remain unimpeachable. Apps which fed information – however innocuous – back to a third party would have to have their legal ramifications looked at in great detail, and the issue of consent must never be underestimated. Nor should individuals who refuse to use any app which informed their employer of physical information (however ostensibly harmless) be penalized for doing so. It’s a situation which is doubtless going to come into play and begin causing friction before very long – watch this space.

Author

This is an article by Helen Freeman

 

 

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Some Ooma and Magic Jack Go issues and fixes

As you know from reading previous posts, I’ve been an Ooma user for 2 years. And I’ve been very happy with it. But due to hardware costs, I’m replacing it with:

  • Obihai 200 configured with Ring To and Google Voice
  • MagicJack Go as a backup.

This is in addition to my cell phone plan. But some issues have come up in testing and I’ll go over them and the solutions.

The first one was that MagicJack supplied cable. When I tried it, the MagicJack couldn’t register an Internet connection, when connected to the router. The solution was just to replace it with a standard Ethernet cable.

The next issue was the unit was getting warm. I did a Google search on “MagicJack getting hot” and found others had the issue. Then I came across this video on YouTube and looked into the comments section:

One viewer had this great comment:

“I will tell you from personal experience, separate the ac plug from the mj plus box it heats up less saving the ac plug from going out again, i separated mine with the jumper plug it comes with and now the box isn’t even half as hot what it used to be, think what happens is the ac plug and box both create a lot heat and put together its like a heat bomb ready go off, do the separation now and save later from replacing the ac adapter, this is why it goes bad.”

So there are two issues here and two solutions, based upon this video and my Google search.

  • The first is to buy a replacement power adapter that has the specs of five volts and one amp output. Or a universal one you can set to those variables. I found one for twelve dollars at Walmart, that was both a serge protector and a USB device charger. Just keep the original black one for warranty issues.
  • The second one is that MagicJack supplies an extension adapter for use, when you register the device via your computer USB port the first time. From my Google search, some folks are plugging this in between the charger and the MagicJack device. So I’ve followed this advice with the new USB device charger and the MagicJack device.

This did solve my heating issue with MagicJack.

There’s another thing I discovered and it proved to be interesting. I have access to Hoovers via the College of Dupage online library resources. I decided to look at MagicJack and Ooma on both Hoovers and the BBB (i.e. Better Business Bureau) sites.

In the Hoover research, Ooma appears to have much great annual sales then MagicJack. I think they also have more on site employees.

But in the BBB search, I found some interesting items. First of all, I thought that MagicJack would get a low rating. But they are a BBB accredited business. While they had a large number of complaints issued, they did resolve a lot of them – to the BBB site’s satisfaction. And they earned a B rating.

Ooma had far fewer complaints lodged against them. But they failed to provide a satisfactory resolution to many of them – according to BBB standards. And the BBB gave them an F rating.

Well, that did surprise me.

CM Security Product Review

Today I am reviewing CM Security products for Android. I don’t get any money from them for doing so. I just like the products and wish to give my feedback on them. They are are developed for the Iphone. This products are a creation of Cheetah Mobile , which is a spin off of Kingsoft

And there are some bad stuff here. As the Wiki article points out:

“Despite popularity of its Clean Master Android App, it was reported that ads promoting Clean Master manipulate Android users with deceptive tactics when browsing websites within the app’s advertising framework. In April 2014, Ferenc László Nagy from Sophos Labs has captured some pop-up ads that lead to Clean Master, warning the device has been infected with a virus.[5] Also in July 2014, by encouraging users to uninstall Google Chrome and replace it with CMCM’s own browser during Clean Master’s “clean-up” and “optimization” process, leading Google to crack down on its rogue practice which allowed Cheetah Mobile to gain unfair position in the marketplace.[6]”

But making things like this public, does prompt them to clean up things. And no, Cheetah. I have no plans to uninstall Opera Mini, Firefox or Google Chrome on Android and replace it with your browser. Nor do I believe yours is any safer than Google Chrome.

Let’s look at the products I use and they at least have four out of five stars on Google Play:

CM Launcher – This product I like it a lot. It organizes the different apps into common folders. As an example, my communicate apps like Skype and Ooma into a folder called communications. I can find Google Play and other tools in my tools folder.

Clean Master. This tool I have installed on my Windows machines, along with Ccleaner. Once a week, I run Clean Master, Ccleaner, Malwarebytes and Norton Security on my PC, to insure everything is clean and running smooth. On my Android and tablet, this tool can check for viruses, clean junk files and boost performance. The only downside on the Androids is that it earns income by ads. But they have to make money some way.

CM Security. This is a very good app and it’s very popular on Google Play. For the record, you can probably get by without a security system on Android – despite what the security companies say. But they don’t display ads for this product, nor try to sell you an upgrade. They are also well rated by AV-Test.

Battery Doctor – this actually does a couple of things. It informs me of the percentage of battery power remaining. It gives me a chance to shut down apps that consume battery power.

CM Wi-Fi – This will tell me what Wi-Fi sites are close by. It also gives me the percentage of the signal strength and the safety of the site. Both are needed qualities for public sites. And it helps going over the gig cap on mobile lines and having your data throttled.

Lawyers: 3 Tips to Enhance Your Web Presence

Whether you’re a partner in a big law firm, or have ventured out on your own, being a modern lawyer requires a Web presence. It’s true that the merits of your career should be the main factor drawing clients to you, but the fact remains that success alone doesn’t magically create a robust clientele. When it comes to the Internet, your goals are to project a polished and positive image, be easily searchable and answer potential questions prospects may ask.

Lawyer Web Tips

Here are a few tips that can help you make that happen:

Perfect and Align the Overall Image

You might think that branding isn’t very important as a law firm. But your firm’s identity is central to how clients (and others in the industry) are going to perceive you. First and foremost, spend a little time on your website. It can be minimal in design and copy if that’s what you prefer, but it should still look clean and well thought out. If you need a new template or are starting out with a website from scratch, check out a site like Top 10 Website Builders in order to easily compare what different services offer. Many of the recommended website builders give ample choices for design and make it easy to create exactly what you’re envisioning, even without possessing Web design skills.

It’s also a good idea to keep your themes and messages consistent across your website and your social channels. If your site has a color scheme of tan, black and green, for example, your Twitter should follow suit. Keep headshots professional and consider using the same one on your site that you do on your social platforms. This will help prospects and clients to quickly identify you, no matter where they’re looking. Double check that your site is mobile-friendly, too, since many people search for attorneys on their smartphones. Your site should be responsive and easily viewable whether it’s accessed from a laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

Encourage Positive Reviews

One of the downsides of living and working in the Internet age is that you can’t control everything that’s said about you online. The best thing you can do to protect your virtual image is to conduct your practice with integrity and do everything you can to ensure client happiness. Beyond this, you don’t have much say over what gets posted about you and your services online. In order to counteract potential negative reviews, gather several glowing testimonials you can post on your website. And be sure to incentivize your most pleased clients to review you positively on sites like Yelp and Avvo. Include a blurb asking for a quick review in your email signature, with a link that takes clients directly to one of the sites. And if no one takes the bait there? Don’t be shy about approaching clients directly to ask if they will do you a favor and share their experience online.

Get Noticed

Another important piece of the digital puzzle is actually getting people to find you. In order to do this, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Start by brainstorming all the keywords that your target client would use if searching for a lawyer. Your specific areas of practice, your location and words like “lawyer” and “law firm” are all good bets. Then dig into how your Web pages are set up. Each one should be carefully planned out. Rather than including a page that lists all the areas you concentrate on, create individual pages for each one. Having one page for “Employment Law,” one for “ International Labor Law,” one for “Child Labor Law,” and one for “Workplace Discrimination Law” will net you far better results than piling them all onto one page.

Still need more places for SEO to do its work? Try starting a blog. Only do this is you’re able and willing to keep up a flow of content at least twice a month (if not more), and aim to write on topics that your ideal clients would want to read most. Include your SEO keywords throughout the posts, when applicable (and not too frequently). This can help when someone is searching for you too.

As you work toward establishing a solid digital presence for you and your firm, begin by assessing the overall image. Be sure your website and social media channels are consistent and refined, encourage positive reviews from satisfied clients and spend some time incorporating good SEO practices into your site. Armed with these tips, you should see a spike in your traffic—and clientele.

Magic Jack Go review

Currently I have Ooma for a home phone service. They have great reviews and overall ratings on Amazon. I also have had great service with them. As a premier, they have an Android app with unlimited minutes (i.e. a cap does exist somewhere, just like with Magic Jack). But I noticed that Magic Jack has great reviews on Google Play. It’s time to give that a try off of Amazon.

The first thing is to figure out how to activate it. Unlike Ooma or Obihai devices that are detected off the router, Magic Jack doesn’t work like that. I’ve tried it and it didn’t work. But this YouTube video is very good and I followed the steps.

But there are two problems I ran into. I like to emphasize that you should first research the problems on Google or Bing. Enter the right keywords or phase. Don’t chat with the Magic Jack chat, as you might find the answer yourself much easier. Let’s look at my two problems.

  • After I went through the PC activation process, I plugged the Magic Jack into my router. But I was getting a number 1 – no Internet connection message – via the phone. Now it was time to try an experiment. The Ethernet cable that came with Magic Jack is flat. My Ooma device is also connected to my router – no problem. What is the problem?  It was time to substitute a standard cable I had lying around. It was round in diameter – not flat like the Magic Jack cable. Now I had Internet connection. My advice? Use another standard cable to substitute for the Magic Jack provided one. If you don’t have one, go to Walmart, Target, Myers, Sam’s Club or Costco and buy one.
  • The second problem was aloud humming noise that occurred – after a few hours. But a Google search came up with articles at Magic Jack humming noise 1 and Magic Jack humming noise 2. The answers they suggested centered around grounding. Time for an experiment. First I tried plugging the Magic Jack into different outlets – no change. Then I swapped the cordless phone from Ooma for my Magic Jack. Then I hooked up the corded phone into Ooma. Ooma now had the humming noise and Magic Jack was fine. The answer was to go to Walmart and purchase a Vtech cordless phone for the Magic Jack. Problem solved.

I’ve made some communication tests with the Ooma, Magic Jack and Google Hangouts dialer app. The quality is quite good, but I also run the VOIP phones off a hi-speed cable setup. Ooma premier has many more bells and whistles then Magic Jack. But Magic Jack is not bad, if you follow the steps I recommend. The only issue with the Ooma app was there was no end call button.  Support had me uninstall and install it.  I think they should have it available as an update – like other apps.

Anyway, here is a tip. When you access Facebook, web, etc. at home, you are going off the mobile network and chewing away at data caps. When they are reached, the data is then throttled (i.e. slowed down). If you have a router and set up a home network, the cell phone can connect to it at home. So if you connect to your home WiFi (or public WiFi with a VPN app), it uses that to connect to Internet, etc.

Is Windows 10 a good thing?

Windows has an official preview video. If you follow tech news, you find Windows is offering a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. You just need to survey some recent articles:

And some articles like Trusted Reviews, are asking the question: Windows 10 vs Windows 7: Should you upgrade? They do offer some points I would consider:

  • “One of the least talked about improvements of Windows 8, and subsequently Windows 10, is that it does include a raft of performance upgrades.” I wonder how it will fair with third party software? I like to run high quality free and open source software. Will Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome run as fast as Windows explorer? Will Thunderbird be just as fast – if not faster – on Windows 10 then my current Windows 7?
  • “However, Windows 10 ups the ante by adding Windows Store apps and web search, as well as a much more organized results page.” Windows 7 search is not bad. In fact, I wasn’t sure how Microsoft could improve it.
  • “What’s more, it includes Cortana, the digital personal assistant.” Someday we may be able to talk to our computer, like we see in the Star Trek TV and movie series. But now is not that time. If I look at the Google and Bing language translators, they have a long ways to go. They do get things wrong, as I’m relearning French and Spanish, and learning Portuguese. How can they realize what I am saying and translate it into commands a machine can understand? Voice recognition is a long ways off, as far as perfection goes.
  • The other points the article considers is a better file management system. But it is a tab bit slower than Windows 7 on gaming. And the monitor is more customizable. All nice points to consider. But none of these is a show stopper.
  • “As such, if you’ve got a copy of Windows 7 you’d almost be foolish not to upgrade.” What about security? I haven’t seen a comparison of Windows 7 and Windows 10 security. Perhaps more articles will address this aspect in the future?

So how will Windows roll this out? Well, Network world said Microsoft will reportedly release Windows 10 RTM in June . Tech Republic thinks Microsoft for the enterprise is doing fine. This is reflected in A Microsoft we can actually believe.

What will I do? I plan to wait until the first official release is in place. Whether that is in June – or as I can guess – sometime a bit later. No early preview version for me. But I like what I see and it will extend the time I can use an operating system on Windows hardware – without purchasing a new upgrade. I hope Microsoft goes the way of Apple and Ubuntu and offers free operating system upgrades to existing users.

On another note, I will share an article I like by Seth Godin: Is Google making the web stupid?

Balancing Creativity and Group Sensitivities

This situation came up in LinkedIn, in my group for writers and copywriters. I’ve thought it would be nice to get input. Somebody posted a piece by a well know ad writer , who used profanity in an article. They quoted a part from the article, that used profanity, Should it be allowed?

Well, first and foremost, we operate under the LinkedIn company umbrella. If I were to take a guess, I would think they would not allow it.

I suggested to delete the article and remove any profanity from the linked to piece Instead, edit it to use simulated profanity (i.e. I don’t give a %$#&, like you see in newspaper comics or comic books).. And don’t use any profanity in the commentary regarding the article, unless it is simulated..,Then resubmit the article and commentary. Sound like a plan?

I know that books like Catcher in the Rye are full of cuss words. But you have to balance group sensitivities with using cuss words. Not that I’m a moralist in good writing, mind you. People who quote form Catcher in the Rye also use simulated cuss words in quoted book parts. People can do a Google or Bing search for the unedited piece.

Kind of like displaying the rated video of the song blurred lines by Robin Thicke. People who want the “unrated” version with nude dancing women can search for it and find it. Would you be offended if I published the video link with the nude dancing women in a LinkedIn group on music you belong to? Especially since the song video is full of sexual suggestions/ I would post the link to the rated version (i.e. fully clothed women), I would inform people there is an unrated version and might even give the keywords to conduct the search

My personal view is this. A few years ago, artists were doing crazy things. They might take a toilet or a board full of condoms and exhibit them at an art show – with their name on it, of course. Then folks would scratch their heads and ask: “is this art?” It really only shocked people the first time they saw it. But is it really art?

If a good ad writer (or good writer) needs to use profanity, then what is the point? The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger had a purpose for using profanity. It’s to capture the actual speech of youth, during the time he dated the work. But I fail to see the purpose an ad writer would achieve, unless it was to have “shock art.”

Let’s take the music video Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. I saw both the rated and unrated videos, after seeing him perform on Stephen Colbert. I personally like both video versions, but I won’t allow the unrated one to be directly linked to.

My take. If a clear majority wanted profanity and LinkedIn allowed it – so be it. In the meantime, simulated profanity (i.e. &4*#@), like you see in comic books and newspaper comic scripts, will be what I would go with. Reply it with symbols. Look at Correct usage of replacing cuss words with symbols at cuss word rules. Use the same notation they use in the comic books (i.e. point 3)

I would like input on balancing group sensitivities with creativity? Comments, suggestions or input?