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The Washington Post

MIT researchers have developed a new AI tool called Sybil that could help predict whether a patient will get lung cancer up to six years in advance, reports Pranshu Verma for The Washington Post.  “Much of the technology involves analyzing large troves of medical scans, data sets or images, then feeding them into complex artificial intelligence software,” Verma explains. “From there, computers are trained to spot images of tumors or other abnormalities.”

National Geographic

National Geographic reporter Maya Wei-Haas explores how the ancient art of origami is being applied to fields such a robotics, medicine and space exploration. Wei-Haas notes that Prof. Daniela Rus and her team developed a robot that can fold to fit inside a pill capsule, while Prof. Erik Demaine has designed complex, curving fold patterns. “You get these really impressive 3D forms with very simple creasing,” says Demaine.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Natalia Rodriguez ’09 speaks with Diverse Issues in Higher Education reporter Pearl Stewart about her work as a biomedical engineer focused on community healthcare. “I work to bring health technologies from the lab to the people, and I also work to bring the needs, the priorities and the strengths of communities back to engineers so they know who they’re designing for,” Rodriguez explains. 

Nature

A review led Prof. Marzyeh Ghassemi has found that a major issue in health-related machine learning models “is the relative scarcity of publicly available data sets in medicine,” reports Emily Sohn for Nature.

HealthDay News

A study by Prof. Amy Finkelstein finds that physicians and their families are less likely to comply with medication guidelines, reports Dennis Thompson for HealthDay. The researchers found that “people tend to adhere to medication guidelines about 54% of the time, while doctors and their families lag about 4 percentage points behind that.”

Associated Press

Principal research scientist Leo Anthony Celi speaks with Associated Press reporter Maddie Burakoff about how pulse oximeters can provide inaccurate readings in patients of color. Celi highlights how oxygen levels can also be measured by drawing blood out of an artery in the wrist, the “gold standard” for accuracy, but a method that is a a bit trickier and more painful. 

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Linda Griffith underscores the pressing need to invest in studying women’s health and menstruation science. “These were the attitudes society had about breast cancer decades ago; we didn’t talk about it. But then we finally focused on the science, and overcame the squeamishness about mentioning ‘breasts’ by creating a technical language that could be spoken without hesitation by anyone,” writes Griffith. “We need a similar scientific push for menstruation science, and a comfort level with the language that goes with it. It’s time.”

Fortune

Jamie Karraker BS ’12 MS ’13 co-founded Alto Pharmacy – a full-service, online pharmacy that aims to create a transparent, straightforward and user-friendly experience, reports Erika Fry for Fortune. “All patients need to do after seeing their doctor is interface with the app (or via text) and pick up the prescription from their front door,” writes Fry.

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT are working on a system that can track the development of Parkinson’s disease by monitoring a person’s gait speed, reports Kyle Wiggers and Devin Coldewey for TechCrunch. “The MIT Parkinson’s-tracking effort aims to help clinicians overcome challenges in treating the estimated 10 million people afflicted by the disease globally,” writes Wiggers and Coldewey.

Forbes

Forbes reporter Marija Butkovic spotlights Alicia Chong Rodriguez MS ’18, Founder and CEO of Bloomer Tech, for her work in building a cardiovascular disease and stroke database that can generate non-invasive digital biomarkers. “We envision a world where the future of AI in healthcare performs the best it can in women,” says Chong Rodriguez. “We also have created a digital biomarker pipeline where our digital biomarkers can explain, influence, and even improve health outcomes for women.”

The Boston Globe

MIT researchers have developed a new in-home device that can help monitor Parkinson’s patients by tracking their gait, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “We know very little about the brain and its diseases,” says Professor Dina Katabi. “My goal is to develop non-invasive tools that provide new insights about the functioning of the brain and its diseases.”

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Philip Kiefer writes that MIT researchers have developed an in-home device that could be used to track the progression of symptoms in Parkinson’s patients. “We can’t really ask patients to come to the clinic every day or every week,” explains graduate student Yingcheng Liu. “This technology gives us the possibility to continuously monitor patients, and provide more objective assessments.”

Los Angeles Times

Lindsay Androski ’98, a full-term member of the MIT Corporation, writes an opinion piece for The Los Angeles Times about the how the lack of diversity in healthcare negatively impacts women and people of color. “The people in charge of funding healthcare research and development ultimately shape which conditions will be treated and cured,” writes Androski. “Every day the status quo continues means more suffering, mainly for people who aren’t white men.”

The Daily Beast

Researchers from MIT are working with the Staten Island Performing Provider System to develop an algorithm that can predict who in the system is at risk for an opioid overdose, reports Maddie Bender for the Daily Beast. “In preliminary testing, Conte’s team and MIT Sloan researchers found their model was highly accurate at predicting overdoses and fatal overdoses, even with delays in the data of up to 180 days,” writes Bender.

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Pranshu Verma writes about how Prof. Dina Katabi and her colleagues developed a new AI tool that could be used to help detect early signs of Parkinson’s by analyzing a patient’s breathing patterns. For diseases like Parkinson’s “one of the biggest challenges is that we need to get to [it] very early on, before the damage has mostly happened in the brain,” said Katabi. “So being able to detect Parkinson’s early is essential.”