News Clips

HLN Releases Roadmap for Open Source Immunization Forecaster

Press Release | HLN Consulting | September 18, 2017

On September 7, 2017 HLN Consulting released a product Roadmap for its award winning Immunization Calculation Engine (ICE). ICE is an open source service-oriented, standards-based immunization forecasting software system that evaluates a patient's immunization history and generates the appropriate immunization recommendations. The Roadmap describes modifications that have already been scheduled for inclusion in new releases of ICE in the near future, in addition to ongoing changes that may be required to maintain compliance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations...

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365 Connect Joins Forces With Habitat for Humanity in Supporting Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Press Release | 365 Connecy | September 16, 2017

365 Connect, a leading provider of award-winning marketing, leasing, and resident technology platforms for the multifamily housing industry, announced today that the company joined forces with Habitat for Humanity to support the Habitat Hammers Back initiative in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The catastrophic rampages of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated entire communities, destroying homes and leaving many people displaced and in need.  Harvey dumped 19 trillion gallons of water on Southeast Texas alone, and Hurricane Irma was a 650-mile-wide storm that made landfall in Florida with unprecedented force...

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The Shame of US Health Care Dysfunction: Hookworm Returns to Alabama

Roy M. Poses, MD | Health Care Renewal | September 7, 2017

An article just published online(1), and reported so far in only one major media outlet (the Guardian, based in the UK) showed how hookworm, now considered a disease of poor, third world countries, has returned to the American south.  This in a country which spends more per capita on health care than any other supposedly developed country. A 2009 article in Health Affairs documented the supposed elimination of common diseases once found in US.(2)  The background of the article included...

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GSMA Announces Launch of Disaster Response Innovation Fund

Press Release | GSMA | September 7, 2017

The GSMA today announced the launch of its Disaster Response Innovation Fund to spur development of mobile technology solutions to assist and empower people and communities affected by humanitarian emergencies, and to strengthen disaster prevention, preparedness and response. The Fund is backed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and supported by the GSMA and its members...

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After Building Apps For Harvey Victims, Houston's Techies Set Their Sights On Irma

Alex Konrad | Forbes | September 6, 2017

After more than two days on a boat rescuing upwards of 50 victims of Hurricane Harvey from flooded houses, Matthew Hager decided to try to help his hometown of Houston the best way he knew how: with tech. Though Hager and his friends looked like a ragtag volunteer rescue squad, he’s a web designer by trade. With other volunteers from his design shop Poetic Systems, he built what has become one of the central hubs for information on Harvey recovery, HarveyNeeds.org. Hager and his crew are hardly alone. As Harvey hit, Houston’s startup community went into overdrive, connecting over a volunteer Slack channel and gathering around impromptu hackathons to build at least 20 new apps and sites designed to provide support to residents, first responders and the city...

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Don't Believe the Hype, AGPL Open Source Licensing Is Toxic and Unpopular

Matt Asay | Tech Republic | September 5, 2017

Reading Black Duck Software's newest paean to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) ("The Quietly Accelerating Adoption of the AGPL"), one could be forgiven for thinking AGPL is rocking the open source licensing planet. After all, Black Duck executive Phil Odence laced his post with fancy charts showing explosive growth of the license, ultimately declaring the AGPL "very popular," and a license his firm sees frequently in audits. Maybe, maybe not...

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Using 3D Printers to Tackle Gaza's Medical Shortages

Mersiha Gadzo | Aljazeera | September 5, 2017

The stethoscope, a staple device in modern medicine, is a luxury item in Gaza. At Gaza's largest hospital, al-Shifa, there are only one or two stethoscopes in each department; doctors left without one resort to pressing their ears against patients' chests to diagnose an illness. "That would be the best-case scenario," Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani told Al Jazeera. "If someone's full of blood, most doctors aren't going to put their ears to the chest. So, doctors are making decisions without that piece of information."...

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Open Data Highlights Post-Harvey Mosquito Health and Safety Threat

Jonathan Jay | Government Technology | September 5, 2017

Cities in southeastern Texas finally saw dry weather on Wednesday, after days of unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. But while floodwaters started receding from many Houston neighborhoods, explosions at a Crosby chemical plant and Beaumont’s lost water supply showed how vulnerable the area remains to health and safety threats. Among these post-Harvey issues, storm-related flooding could increase risk for diseases spread by mosquitoes, which breed in standing water...

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Mapbox Releases Hazard Maps for Hurricane Harvey Affected Areas

Press Release | Mapbox | September 2, 2017

Mapbox has published a new map to give Houston officials and residents the most up-to-date information on the areas with the highest risk of hazardous materials in flood waters. The most up-to-date map can be found here. Using the most recent satellite images from DigitalGlobe paired with points of interest for superfund sites, refineries and other EPA toxic hazards in the greater Houston area, Mapbox created the map to highlight the areas of highest concern to help Houston police, other first responders and city officials plan for and mitigate issues associated with chemical plants, refineries and potential toxic contamination in flood waters...

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The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540% in Three Years

Josh Katz | The New York Times | September 2, 2017

Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times’s estimate in June, which was based on earlier preliminary data. Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher...

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Harvey Evacuees Leave Their Belongings—and Health Records—Behind

Megan Molteni | Wired | September 1, 2017

Digitizing the world's medical records was supposed to make doctors' lives easier and patients' lives longer. But unlike banking and shopping, medicine has had a rough time transitioning to the new digital order. Because health care providers use different systems for their electronic health care records, it’s still difficult for a patient’s data to follow them through the medical ecosystem...

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How Can Chatbots Help Us Respond to Humanitarian Crisis?

Jean-Martin Bauer, Lucia Casarin, Alice Clough | ICT Works | August 31, 2017

At the moment, The World Food Programme (WFP) and the wider humanitarian system are #FightingFamine in four countries. In Somalia, Yemen, North-Eastern Nigeria and South Sudan 20 million people are on the brink of starvation. Our recent study “At the Root of Exodus” found that high levels of food insecurity lead to higher levels of migration across borders; UNHCR estimates that there are 65.6 million people forcibly displaced worldwide. The stakes are high, we need all the information we can get...

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A Tale of Two Epidemics — HCV Treatment among Native Americans and Veterans

Brigg Reilley and Jessica Leston | The New England Journal of Medicine | August 31, 2017

In light of ongoing debates about health care budgets and rising drug prices, a current public health crisis can provide useful insights. For patients who get their health care through two separate federal agencies, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic is unfolding in vastly different ways. In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system has mounted a response to HCV that should be the envy of any health system, public or private. On the other hand, the Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency that serves American Indians and Alaska Natives, is struggling to meet the needs of its patients with HCV...

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Urgent Supplies Through the Air

Charles Choi | Inside Unmanned Systems | August 31, 2017

Drones can do so much more than take photos and inspect cell phone towers. They can ferry critical supplies to hard-to-reach areas and drop off life-saving packages to disaster survivors. One company, Zipline International in San Francisco, is deploying unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to drop off lifesaving packages of blood in Rwanda—and is the world’s first national drone delivery service. Another company, Windhorse Aerospace in Wells, England, is developing a UAS intentionally designed for a one-way trip. The aircraft is made of combustible or even edible materials that can be taken apart by disaster survivors after it lands and used for fires or meals...

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Sewage, Debris, Mosquitoes: Flood Waters Increase Health Risk for Harvey Victims

Jessica Glenza | The Guardian | August 30, 2017

Tropical storm Harvey continues to threaten lives in Houston, where officials are focused on evacuating hospitals and securing life-saving emergency transportation, knowing they face long-term health threats. “Our number one priority now,” said Chris Van Deusen, a clearly frayed spokesperson for the Texas Department of State Health Services, is “to make sure hospital patients and those with medical needs are taken care of.”...

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