Friday, March 21, 2014

Connecting the parts

We have the parts and the experts to do amazing things. We have experts in genetics, medicine, surgery, anatomy, electronics, physics. The experts have developed amazing tools and knowledge. If fact experts often know their field in such depth an outsider has trouble understanding. The lack of outsider understanding prevents the expert knowledge and tools from being combined together in new ways. The specialists need to learn to explain their fields to each other so they can connect the parts together to solve new problems in medicine and beyond.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Motion is easy to see

In this image I am visualizing where the perfect centerline is unclear by motion. I generated several centerlines for the same arteries from multiple starting points. The places you see moving are where the centerline algorithm was unsure where to put the centerline and drew different centerlines based on the starting point. The motion in the image makes it clear to the eye where the centerline is ambiguous. Making your data move is a great way to see what's going on.
Centers of the same arteries, moving centerlines are where the algorithm is less sure
3D brain arteries

In a great place - make a great place

This is my recommendation for Swampscott's town development meeting. Swampscott is a small town in beautiful place by the ocean and I would love to be able to walk around town more. Walkable communities are healthier having lower rates of obesity and diabetes, property values are higher because people want to live in walkable communities and there aren't enough of them. To get to a walkable community we need to develop infrastructure for walking and bicycling like more sidewalks and trails. We need to build mixed use higher density living/working/shopping/recreation zones so that people live and work close to things they want to walk to. Higher density mixed use development is made by permitting taller buildings with street level shopping, office and condo living at higher levels. The higher density needs to be offset by more public green spaces which will benefit the entire community more than individual back yards. And higher density living frees up more space for public use. And we should supply paid parking. Charging market rates for parking ensures that there is parking when you need it and discourages driving when you don't need to. Switching people from cars to foot creates a positive feedback loop because when more people walk drivers expect walkers and reduce pedestrian accidents which makes more people want to walk. Mixed use development is also lower crime because multiple uses like living/working/shopping put more eyes on the street at different times keeping a watch on things. Swampscott is in a great place - let's make it a great place.
King's Beach
King's Beach

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Arterial art and science

I submitted this image of an MRI to a photo contest. It blends art and science. If you are part of University of Utah Biomedical Informatics program please vote to put this image on the wall of their new department.

Title: Arterial art and science
Description: Intracranial arterial and aneurysm segmentation from magnetic resonance angiogram with colors changing at each arterial bifurcation to identify branch points in the arterial tree shown in shaded surface 3D display

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Freer housing market = jobs + health

We start with so many restrictions on new housing like height limits, parking minimums, restrictions on rental units, trouble getting a building permit that there is no free market on housing. If we had a freer market on housing in developers would buy up older buildings, knock them down and build taller apartments or condos. And they would be built in the areas where people can get to good jobs and walkable neighborhoods because that's where property values are highest and the developers would make the most profit. A freer market would put housing where it is most needed. I say freer because perfectly free is probably impossible. Housing access to the best job markets would lower unemployment and stimulate the economy and access to more walkable neighborhoods would reduce obesity, diabetes lowering healthcare costs. People with more money would probably take this new housing but then that would free up older housing a little farther away for people with less income. Lowering the market price of housing would also lower the amount of subsidies needed by the lowest income people to get housing.