Monday, May 12, 2014

Public Speakers (Politicians) Please Tell Us the Truth. Your Body Signals Let Us Know When You Are Lying, Anyway.

Distrust for politicians has been going on for a long time.  Until now, little could be done to see if a public speaker was lying or not.  Technology and Science has now evolved so that we can have a "Truth Indicator" when a person speaks in public.


How can we tell if someone is lying?  

  • Might we observe the speaker's body language in addition to their words?  
  • Could the speaker's body language cue us into their lying?  
  • Perhaps we could ask the speaker why they appeared so nervous answering a question.

"Truth in Politics" is a major concern worldwide.  According to a recent article in Time, even the U.S. Supreme Court is taking action to prevent lying in politics.

For many years the only truth-detecting tool available was the Polygraph (Lie-Detector).  Technology and science has evolved, however, to give the public more tools to detect lying.  In fact, no physical contact is necessary now and can be used over a distance.
  • Books are available now to teach anyone how to detect lies by just observing "body language".  Some of the more popular books are "Lie catcher : become a human lie detector in under 60 minutes" by David Craig, "Liespotting" by Pamela Meyer et. al., "Spy the lie : former CIA officers show you how to detect deception" by Philip Houston et al.
  • An example of current/future technology is the AVATAR lie detector, as presented by ABC.  Thus, anyone speaking in public could be observed and evaluated by a remote lie detector, such as AVATAR.
  • Another example  using science to detect lies is the Fox TV show "Lie to Me", wherein facial expressions and body language are used to determine truth or not.
  • There is even a "Facial and Ocular Lie Detector" Android App, which might be modified for use with television broadcasts of public speakers.
What could be done going forward to improve truth in public speaking?  Some possibilities are listed below.
  • Maybe the news media could have "Truth Meters" on the bottom of the TV screen showing the stress level of public speakers.  
  • Investigative reporters could factor body language into crafting questions for the speaker.  
  • The voting public could learn how to "read" the public speaker to determine the level of trust.
  • Perhaps only having the possibility of exposing lies might be enough incentive for speakers to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".  This might be analogous to security cameras reminding  us to be honest.
We, the public, need the truth to make informed decisions, e.g. on how to vote and whom to support.  Perhaps, these techniques could be implemented in upcoming election campaigns.  After election these tools could be an ongoing "Truth Watchdog".

The purpose of this article is to stimulate discussion, innovation, and implementation of ways to enhance "Truth in Politics".  It seems like the concepts presented in this article should have little or no impact on the honest public speaker (politician) who has nothing to hide from the public.

To end this serious topic on a lighter note, here is a short video where "Johnny Carson is a politician taking a polygraph test in a Mighty Carson Art Players Skit on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1982."

Disclaimer - Article is for information only and is not legal advice.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Prosthetic Design using Openmodelica, Open Cascade, Opensimulator (Opensim), Rigs of Rods, or Febio Open-Source Software

Recently, I posted "Low Cost - PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS - Design Resources - Open Source"

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Related to that, here is some commonly used open-source software used in designing Prosthetics:
  • "OPENMODELICA is an open-source Modelica-based modeling and simulation environment intended for industrial and academic usage. Its long-term development is supported by a non-profit organization – the Open Source Modelica Consortium (OSMC)." - User's Guides & Tutorials
  • "Open CASCADE Technology, 3D modeling & numerical simulation - Open CASCADE Technology is a software development platform freely available in open source. It includes C++ components for 3D surface and solid modeling, visualization, data exchange and rapid application development." - Tutorial and User's Guides
  • "OpenSimulator is an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D application server. It can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) which can be accessed through a variety of clients, on multiple protocols. It also has an optional facility (the Hypergrid) to allow users to visit other OpenSimulator installations across the web (aka Metaverse) from their 'home' OpenSimulator installation." - User's Guides, Tutorials, etc.
  • "Rigs of Rods is an open source vehicle simulator based on soft-body physics - .....unique soft-body physics: vehicles, machines, objects, etc. are simulated in real-time as flexible soft-body objects, giving the simulation an extremely accurate behavior which entirely depends on the physical construction of the vehicles or objects you create." - Tutorials
  • "The FEBio software suite is a set of software tools for nonlinear finite element analysis in biomechanics and biophysics.....specifically focused on solving nonlinear large deformation problems in biosolid mechanics...." - Examples and Tutorials
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Specifically for Prosthetic Design using the above tools:
Search string - (prosthetic OR prosthesis OR artificial-limbs OR orthotics) (openmodelica OR "open cascade" OR  opensimulator OR opensim OR "rigs of rods" OR febio)

Good luck in your work! Please let me know if you need more information or ideas on how to use this information.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Using Biofeedback with Art Therapy, especially with those with PTSD

Could Art Therapy be enhanced by using Biofeedback?  Could Biofeedback quantify the effectiveness of Art Therapy?  Could Biofeedback help hone in on the most helpful method of Art Therapy?


These were questions I asked at a recent Symposium on Art Therapy.  At least one person thought Biofeedback might help with Art Therapy.  Therefore, I thought I'd write this article to stimulate discussion and innovation in this area.

Art Therapy has proven to be a very helpful adjunct to psychotherapy, especially when cognitive approaches have been unsuccessful.  Biofeedback combined with psychotherapy could be viewed as a form of Polygraphy, revealing the inner emotions of the patient.

Biofeedback might provide relief from those suffering from PTSD, according to an article from PubMed.  In addition, Art Therapy could be helpful those with PTSD, according to another article from PubMed.  Therefore, it makes sense to me to combine Biofeedback with Art Therapy, especially for those with PTSD.  I'm not a health care professional, in any sense, but I thought I'd at least propose this new concept to the public in this article.

Some ideas on how Biofeedback could be helpful are listed below.

  • Emotional triggers (stressors) could be identified for those with PTSD, Autism, Epilepsy, etc.
  • A patient's stressor profile could be determined.
  • Using Art, Music, Sculpture, etc. a patient could learn how to deal with difficult emotions, thoughts, etc., using standard Biofeedback Therapy techniques.
  • The Art Therapist could have a visual readout of the emotional state of the patient, thereby regulating the amount of trigger stimulation.
  • The emotional state of non-communicative patients could be determined.
  • The therapist could determine if the patient is "playing her", giving the "expected response or reply".

I couldn't find much previous work in this area.  Perhaps the following might give others clues, however, on how this concept might be implemented.  I used this search string - ("art therapy" (biofeedback OR polygraphy OR lie-detector))

  • "Medical Art Therapy with Children", by Cathy A. Malchiodi, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999 - Page 201
  • "Confirming the Efficacy of Art Therapy with College Students Through Biofeedback", by Shubha Chatterjee, Emporia State University, 2010
  • "Music Therapy & Biofeedback" by Eric B.Miller Ph.D. CMT-BC BCIAC

Some Biofeedback Tools available to the public:
Takeaways - 
  • Art Therapy can be helpful to those with PTSD and other emotional disorders.
  • Biofeedback can also be helpful to those with PTSD and other emotional disorders.
  • Perhaps, Biofeedback could be combined with Art Therapy, to especially help those with PTSD and other emotional disorders.

Disclaimer - Article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. 






Sunday, April 06, 2014

Low Cost - PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS - Design Resources - Open Source

·       The Open Prosthetics Project is producing useful innovations in the field of prosthetics and freely sharing the designs.



·       The Digital Resource Foundation for the O&P Community (DRFOP) is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop computer-based information resources and communication links for the worldwide orthotics, prosthetics and rehabilitation community – Kampala Uganda location

·       The aim of the Open Hand Project is to make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees.  Leading prosthetics can cost up to $100,000. By using emerging technologies like 3D printing, we can cut that down to under $1000. That’s two orders of magnitude cheaper, and means that these devices can reach a far broader audience!



·       Search string - (prosthetic OR prosthesis OR artificial-limbs OR orthotics)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Do You Need Help Fixing Medical Devices or Hospital Equipment?

Do You Need Help Fixing Medical Devices or Hospital Equipment?




"People Helping People" Can Now Help Repair Medical Devices Remotely


"Did you know that much of the donated medical equipment to developing countries is unusable after a time? According to Scientific American, "Medical Equipment Donated to Developing Nations Usually Ends Up on the Junk Heap". The devices might very well arrive in good working condition, but after a while, the device breaks and no one is available to fix it. Many health clinics are lucky to have a healthcare professional, much less a biomedical equipment technician. So what happens? The devices form a scrapheap of dead hospital equipment. This is very frustrating to health care workers trying their best to heal the sick."......MORE at http://voices.yahoo.com/do-help-fixing-medical-devices-hospital-12525491.html

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Might this help find missing airplanes, especially those lost at sea?

Might multiple location "listening" for a low frequency sub-harmonic of the Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) "pinger" work, especially over long-distances? The resulting data would then yield the exact ULB location, via triangulation.





Since low-frequency sound travels farther than high-frequency sound in water, doesn't it make sense to "listen" for a low-frequency component of the ULB ping?

"When triggered by water immersion, the ULB emits an ultrasonic pulse of 37.5 kHz at an interval of once per second".  According to my reasoning, the fundamental frequency of 37.5 kHz would not travel nearly as far as a sub-harmonic of this 37.5 kHz.  From what I read, sound frequencies below 1 kHz can travel thousands of miles.  This is evidenced by whales communicating over thousands of miles.  In fact, the SOFAR channel in the sea can and does carry sound many miles.

Here's how it might work:

  1. Submarine or land base could focus on one or more sub-harmonics of the 37.5 KHz beacon frequency, "listening" for the "ping" signature.  Computer analysis could help pick this ping out of other noises.
  2. Querying multiple locations that "hear" the ping could achieve triangulation of the source, thereby finding the exact location.  Again computer analysis could help.
Here are some ideas for implementation:

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Maybe future ULB could have two pingers or sound actuators.  The standard pinger is at 37.5 kHz, the emergency reply frequency, with a detection range of about 1-2 km.  Another lower frequency pinger or sounder could be added, however, to provide long-distance detection range.  Multiple detections at different locations could triangulate the exact position of the downed aircraft.

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What do you think?  Is this possible?  Would this work for the recent missing-at-sea airplane?

Background Information - 

According to a recent article in National Geographic, there are four ways a plane can be tracked -
Missing Malaysian Plane Spotlights 4 Ways Aircraft Talk to the Ground.

These 4 ways are listed below:


  1. Transponders (Aviation)
  2. Radar
  3. Onboard Computers
  4. Black Boxes

A component of Black Boxes is a Underwater Locator Beacon.  This beacon is essentially a audio "pinger" that emits an ultrasonic signal periodically.  This is good but the higher the frequency, the less sound travels underwater.  Thus, the receiver of the pinger signal must be fairly close to the pinger transmitter.

Every sound has a fundamental frequency, harmonics, and subharmonics.  Subharmonics = Undertones

Disclaimer - Article is for information only.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Do you need help fixing medical devices or hospital equipment?

Do you need help fixing medical devices or hospital equipment?

“People helping People” can help repair devices remotely.

Did you know that much of the donated medical equipment to developing countries is unusable?  The devices might very well arrive in good working condition, but after a while, the device breaks and no one is available to fix it.  Many health clinics are lucky to have a healthcare professional, much less a biomedical equipment technician.  So what happens?  The devices form a scrapheap of dead hospital equipment.  This is very frustrating to health care workers trying their best to heal the sick.

This article is meant to inform of the resources available now to help you or others repair defective medical devices.  Listed below are some resources, ranging from equipment manuals to possible contacts for more service or user information.

In addition, we have the technology now to facilitate “people helping people” fix medical devices or hospital equipment, remotely. 

·       Healthcare workers can now use Social Media to announce they need help fixing a specific device.  Then, people with knowledge and/or experience could respond and help them fix it remotely.  Some examples of Social Media are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  “Groups” could be formed within Social Media sites to facilitate the sharing of information and resources on Using, Repairing, and/or Maintaining Biomedical Equipment.
·       Mobile phones and other connectivity tools could allow a “Virtual Service Call”.  Even someone with limited repair knowledge could be guided via voice/text to perform maintenance and repair.  Video Conferencing and/or Audio Teleconferencing with multiple resources, worldwide, could allow collaboration to achieve an equipment repair and/or training.
·       The devices could be remotely, and simultaneously on-site, be accessed, diagnosed, and possibly serviced, via USB or other connection means.
·       More Service, Maintenance, and User’s manuals could be available to the public online, as some are now. 
·       Basic diagnostic, service, and maintenance skills could be taught free of charge online to anyone interested.  Online training, recorded online videos, etc. could teach the basics of repair to most anyone.

Takeaways:
·       We now have the technology available to facilitate medical device repair and/or training via a remote location.
·       Medical Devices no longer need to be discarded just because no one can fix them on-site.
·       The very basics of biomedical equipment repair can be taught remotely.  In addition, those with limited repair experience can be guided from a remote location.

For more information:
·       Medical Equipment Donated to Developing Nations Usually Ends Up on the Junk Heap – “Medical equipment donations enable hospitals in developing countries to get their hands on expensive and much-needed technology. However, there is a growing concern that those donations do more harm than good. Hallways and closets often become cluttered with unused or broken-down equipment for which locals lack parts or training in how to make repairs.”
·       Engineering World Health – “Provides students from around the world with the life-changing educational experience of repairing vital medical equipment in the world's most resource-poor communities.  In collaboration with local partners in Asia, Africa, and Central America, creates locally sustainable training programs for biomedical engineering technicians (BMETs).”
·       Frank’s Hospital Workshop – “I hope that this website can be a little support to all biomedical technicians in developing countries.  Here you find all the documents about biomedical technology I have collected, all the user and service manuals I have, all training courses that I have developed and have held.”
·       Biomedical Engineering Website by Reza Najafi – “This website is designed to assist Clinical / Biomedical Engineers to find manuals and information about Medical Equipment.”
·       International Medical Equipment Collaborative – “Used equipment is repaired as needed by skilled technical volunteers, many of whom are retired electrical engineers and medical technicians.”
·       MedWrench.com – “MedWrench.com is a resource and sharing network for users of medical equipment. You can get answers, find information and read what others think about the equipment they use. It is free to join and easy to keep informed.”
·       Medical equipment partnerships programme – “As part of the Health Partnerships Scheme (HPS), THET is running a medical equipment partnerships programme which funds five partnership projects between UK and low-income country partner institutions to improve the maintenance and management of medical equipment within developing country institutions.”
·       BMETForum.com – “This is the place to connect with biomedical equipment technicians, clinical engineers, and other healthcare technology management professionals.”
·       Medical Equipment Tele- and Condition-Based Maintenance with Enhanced Remote Diagnostic Access (RDA) and Computer Vision – “The current medical equipment maintenance model is “on site and physical”, rather than “remote and virtual”.  There is no comprehensive or standardized remote diagnostic access (RDA) capability for biomedical technicians to troubleshoot and resolve problems remotely and securely.  Additionally, the current operations model is “reactive”, rather than “proactive”, in terms of early problem detection and prevention.  The lack of visibility to the health of medical equipment and the need to be on site for problem resolution, coupled with frequent rotations and scarcity of medical equipment technicians, continue to cause considerable downtime of critical medical equipment densities and is detrimental to the health care support to our war fighters.”
·       Maintenance and repair of laboratory, diagnostic imaging, and hospital equipment, World Health Organization, 1994 – “A practical guide to the maintenance and repair of essential laboratory and hospital equipment. Intended for use in institutions that do not have specially trained technicians or engineers, the book responds to the situation, frequently seen in developing countries, where much of the equipment is imported and adequate information on maintenance and repair is rarely provided by suppliers. With these special needs in mind, the manual aims to help staff using specific types of equipment to understand basic principles of construction and operation, adopt good working practices, avoid common errors, perform routine maintenance, and spot the early signs of defects or deterioration. Advice on equipment repair concentrates on common causes of problems that can be solved without expertise in engineering.”

Disclaimer – This article is for information only and is not medical or legal advice.