Learning and memorizing these basics will make you a very good guy to know.
Most of you have probably tossed around a frisbee while drinking a beer on the beach. A smaller subset of you have actually played ultimate frisbee, probably as an excuse to put off studying a little longer. But VERY few of you have gone to the ultimate depths of ultimate. What I’m talking about is professional ultimate frisbee.
If you’ve never heard of professional ultimate frisbee, don’t be alarmed because you are probably in the majority but on this episode of GGTK, we interview Lou Abramowski, Head Coach of the Minnesota Windchill, a professional ultimate frisbee team in the American Ultimate Disc League (theaudl.com) about all things ULTIMATE! Thanks for listening.
If you are anything like me, you are getting pretty pumped for the upcoming releases of some big Virtual Reality devices. This episode I decided to talk a little bit about what VR is, what makes it good, and what may make it bad. Mitch talks about his “delicious” grilled dish that he loves, and Perek changes everyone’s life with his shortcut. Thanks for listening!!
We all know we are chained to our computers and mobile devices at times just looking for another fix of Facebook gossip or Twitter drama. If you don’t use those 2 sites, I’m sure you have another social media vice. This episode, Chad digs into some of the reasons why we all love social media so much. While you are listening, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
Thanks for listening!
So a few ‘casts ago I took issue with some of Chad’s “internet of things” podcast because I was skeptical that it was really going to change our lives. I understand that there are some cool gadgets that we can connect to the internet and get some fun automation for our homes, but I couldn’t get over that the internet of things was ‘transformative.’ So I was grappling with this a little bit and then heard a podcast on my all-time favorite ‘econtalk’ about the internet of medical things. In this podcast, Russ Roberts interviews Eric Topol who wrote the book ‘The Patient Will See You Now’ About how the medical world is about to undergo a drastic upheaval thanks to technology, the internet, and our devices.
I was so excited by some of the stuff they were talking about that I bought the book and got about 40% through it. I wish I could have actually finished it, but there was enough packed into that first 40% that I think we can start a really good discussion. What really struck me as I read through that first bit was how much I wanted to talk to Chad and Geo about it, because we have a REALLY unique perspective here at GG2K of 2 young guys that have grown up with technology that are in the medical profession. We’ll probably get into this a little more as we go on, but the average age of a doctor right now, is 55. For listeners that don’t know, Chad is a psychiatrist, and Geo is a genetic counselor, which has some SUPER exciting things to talk about. So I’m SORT of going to play the role of a stupid prompter, go over some of the main points from Topol’s book, and have you guys react to them.
So as a side-bar, I want to call out that one of the things I love about all of the Good Guys, and one of the true hallmarks of a good guy to know, is to be aware of your own biases. I’m going to talk about some stuff this episode, that, honestly, if you take them to the extreme, means that their jobs are going to look VERY different in the future. And a lot of people would be very threatened and defensive about that. My ‘guess’ is that Chad and Geo will not have this knee-jerk reaction, but I could be wrong so stay tuned.
So what is ‘the democratization’ of medicine? What do you guys think that means? Topol uses ‘democratization’ to mean “to make something available to all people.” He mainly is talking about data here. Now here we have yet ANOTHER good guy to know connection, because Perek knows a TON about medical data and all the challenges it presents so he may have some thoughts. But the main point that Topol drives home (for quite awhile), is that the content and flow of our medical data should be controlled and accessible for US. Up until the last couple years, and still in most cases, all of your medical data are controlled by the doctor. You go to a checkup, maybe get some labs run – if you’re lucky, you get the results in the mail – but most likely it’s a phone call and they say ‘everything’s normal’ and that’s the end of it. Want to take a stab at how many patients out of 10 in the united states actually email back and forth with their doctor? 1/10.
Now things are changing because there is a ton of medical data being generated by US, on our devices – and Topol only expects this to increase. We’ll get to examples of specific technology in a minute, but for now, suffice to say, it’s not just labs that can produce the data, it’s US. And once we have that data, it’s up to us what to do with it.
As with a lot of things in the technology age, the devices are cool, but their real power is unleashed when they connect to the internet. Topol argues that we are soon going to have an army of smart, hyper-connected consumers of health care that is really going to challenge the traditional – what he terms ‘paternalistic’ medical establishment.
Part of what Topol suggests we are doing as we are creating all of this data on our own, is creating a more complete picture of our health based on a ton of ‘omes.’ I’m not going to attempt to do all of them, but want to focus on two – the physiome (stuff we can measure with sensors) and the genome.
So things that can measure the physiome: Topol spends a good portion of the book talking about different devices that can be hooked up to smart phones to generate data. Some are just native that come with every smart phone, but some of the fancier ones are actually separate devices. Let me read an excerpt of what’s out there for ‘bio-sensors’ right now.
I think a year or two ago, I would have said that people are never going to want to wear sensors all the time that constantly are tracking their health – but how many people do you see walking around these days wearing a fitbit to track their steps and heart rate etc. People are going to be doing this stuff.
Where it starts to get scary powerful, is when you combine some of this physiome stuff with the genome. Now we’ve done some podcasts on genome sequencing, but Geo, since you do this for a living, can you give us a 60 second explanation of what our genome is, and then a 60 second treatment of how accessible our genome is to us today versus let’s say 10 years ago when we were in college?
Cost for sequencing an entire genome was $28.8M in 2004 – is now less than $1500.
So there are a few big wins here – one that most people are super interested right now, is am I more susceptible than the general population for certain diseases/cancers, and is there anything I can do about that if I am? He spends a lot of time talking about Angelina Jolie and her choice to have both breasts and most recently, her ovaries removed.
The other one that we may have talked about before, but I had forgotten until reading this book is Pharmacogenomics. To keep this one really high level, this is tailoring the drugs you take to your specific genetic profile on how you respond to it. This is the type of thing where people are going to look back on it, and not believe that doctors just always prescribed the same thing to everyone of certain ailments.
Topol goes on and on about this stuff, but for now, let’s just stop with those two, and imagine some of the pieces of this puzzle fitting together. Maybe a person learns via their cheap genome sequencing that they are at higher risk for developing asthma. So they get a device they can monitor their breathing and have their smartphone alert them pre-emptively when they are going to have an attack, so go find an inhaler BEFORE they feel the symptoms etc. This is a really crude example but is stuff that we are months, not years away from.
He also talks about handheld ultrasound devices, and I wanted to ask Chad about this because of the following excerpt:
So let’s talk about a few more technologies that are here:
So one last thing that I ran across that I really wanted to get Chad’s/Geo’ opinion on that I read. As I was reading about all of these sensors, lab-on-a-chip, apps that allow you to text back and forth with a doctor, etc, I was thinking the whole time, ‘Well at least Chad’s gonna be safe, he’s a psychiatrist – his whole jam is talking to people and figuring out what’s wrong with them based on how they act, symptoms that aren’t physical. He has to ask questions based on hunches, and figure out more of a mystery.’ Then I read this:
Add to that psychiatrists who read an article in The Economist that a virtual shrink may be better than a real one, reviewing a study that showed that patients are more apt to confide and be open and honest with a computer avatar than with a counselor.
And Geo – one last excerpt for you to react to regarding tele-consultations:
So I fully admit that this pillar may have gotten a little frenetic, probably because I haven’t yet finished the book and had a ton of time to digest its implications – but I just had to talk with you guys about some of this and get your thoughts from the inside on how realistic this really is. I personally can’t wait to try an online physical or something instead of going into the doctor.
Every once in a while, science news seems to walk a fine line between fantastic and fantasy. Em Drive, the topic of our latest podcast, is a recent example of exactly that!
Em Drive (pronounced “M” drive) also known as RF resonant cavity thruster is a hypothetical propulsion mechanism designed in part for space travel. Em Drive was proposed by Roger Shawyer, a British aerospace engineer who has a background in defense work as well as experience as a consultant on the Galileo project (a European version of the GPS system).
Em Drive “uses a magnetron to produce microwaves which are directed into a metallic, fully enclosed conically tapered high Q resonant cavity with a greater area at one end of the device, and a dielectric resonator in front of the narrower end. Shawyer claims that the device generates a directional thrust toward the narrow end of the tapered cavity. The device (engine) requires an electrical power source to produce its reflecting internal microwaves but does not have any moving parts or require any reaction mass as fuel.” In layman’s terms, the Em Drive bounces microwaves around in a metal ice cream cone which produces directional energy without using fuel.
To learn more about Em Drive, and why you should be skeptical, have a listen to the podcast! Thanks for listening.
This episode we follow up on Chad’s challenge to read Zen Golf by talking about the book. Zen Golf is one of our favorites. I can personally confirm that it help drop at least 5 shots off of my game after reading and implementing some of the techniques. Give it a read, or a listen. As always, let us know if you have any questions or comments, thanks for listening!
Amazon e-book: http://amzn.com/0385504462
This week we have an awesome interview with Perek’s sister-in-law Andrea on the great outdoors. Andrea has an incredible resume with oodles of experience educating and living in the outdoors. Summer, winter, up high, down low, she’s got a ton of awesome experiences that I wanted to share with the listeners.
I asked Andrea to try and consolidate her voluminous knowledge into some awesome tidbits for the listeners who may be planning their next trip to the boundary waters, or a whitewater rafting trip to Colorado. I hope you enjoy the interview!
Thanks for listening!
Hey everyone. Any chance you want to save some money on your bills? I thought so. This week Mitch regurgitates an awesome article he read over at bakadesuyo.com. The article is a cool interview with a hostage negotiator on some principles that you can apply to things like your cable subscription. Mitch even recorded a conversation with his provider actually lowering his bill with these methods! Companies HATE him, Good Guys love him. Please enjoy!