Block chain and Medicine

As a Medical Doctor I ask myself what are some potential uses of blockchains in healthcare?

Okay, so for those who must be wondering,

What is a blockchain?

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In general a blockchain is defined as a distributed system which records and stores transaction records.

Blockchain more specifically is defined as “…a shared, immutable record of peer-to-peer transactions built from linked transaction blocks and stored in a digital ledger.”

Blockchain is also similar to a database which stores information, however the main difference is that the data is located in a network of personal computers called nodes where there is no central entity such as a government or bank controlling the data.

How can blockchain be used in healthcare?

  • Drug Traceability where each transaction between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacists and patients can be tracked to verify and secure drug product information important for tackling issues such as counterfeit drugs.
  • Improvement and authentication of health records and protocols on record sharing.
  • Smart contracts where certain rule-based methods are created for patient data access. Here, permissions can be granted to selected health organisations.
  • Clinical trials where altering or modifying data from clinical trials fraudulently can be eradicated.
  • Precision medicine where patients, researchers and providers can collaborate to develop individualised care.
  • Genomics research via access to genetic data secured on blockchain
  • Electronic health records (EHRs) 
  • Nationwide interoperability
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The future of Total Person Care

As a medical Doctor who is also interested in Total person care and treating each individual as equal and worthy of dignity and respect, blockchain technology gives me the technological possibility of actually implementing my values in practice.

I look forward to more developments in the field of Blockchain in healthcare. God bless.

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How old is your hearing?

If you ever wondered how old your body really is, here is a great way to find out.

As you know the ear is a marvelous bio engineering marvel. As your age advances changes occur in the hearing parameters.

The rate at which our bodies age is a matter of intense interest to all, and we do many things to try to stay young!Figure3-copy

If you really want to know how your body has aged relative to your actual age, here is a simple way to test for sure how old your ears are, which will roughly indicate how old your physical body is. Do test and share!

High-Tech_Hearing_Aids_hero

 

Click here to know how old your ears really are!

 

Evolving controversy

Evolution theory. It has been a subject close to my heart for many years. Why is it controversial now?

For starters, recently [first week of Jan 2018] in India Union minister Satya Pal Singh , who is the minister of state for human resource development had stoked a controversy saying that our ancestors have nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man, thereby casting doubts on Darwin’s evolution theory.

In January 2018, he stuck to his claim that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of man is “not scientific” and called for an international debate on the issue to decide if it merits a place in school textbooks.

Blaming the media for fuelling a controversy over his statement, Singh said the issue calls for debate and not controversy. “In the last 100 years, many evidences have come out against the theory, in favour hardly anybody. It is not my statement. So many world scientists have said it,” Singh, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, said.

I felt this is  good time to try to clear the murky atmosphere of Evolution.

What do I mean by evolution? It may be totally different from what you understand, so let me explain by defining it as I understand.

Evolution is a change in the characteristics of a living being over generations. 

Sounds simple, right?

The problem starts when people start assuming or rather over estimating the degree of change that this simple process can bring about.

For example, let us look at the dog.

Dog breeds

If you call this evolution, fine. I would agree. Dogs have been selectively bred by intelligent human beings to give them desired characteristics over hundreds of years.

But look at this picture

animalsEvolution

Creative Imagination

The above picture is what I call stretching your imagination 🙂

It is okay to think that dogs can evolve, but to think a dog can evolve into a cat? It just shows how ignorant these people are about the complexities of life and especially about genetics.

Let me explain in simple terms:

There are millions of species of living beings on earth [and the numbers are fast declining every day]

Each species is unique and cannot breed or produce viable offspring when mated with another, no matter how similar looking.

I believe that an intelligent being, popularly called God, created species and defined them some time in the past.

He also gave the creatures he created the ability to adapt and survive in this physical world that we inhabit. This is again a testimony to his wisdom, his ability to see beyond time and space, into the future, where he knew that we humans would be altering the world due to our greed and mindless consumption.

This ability to adapt and survive is being stretched beyond its designed parameters and hence we see species getting extinct these days.

However many species do adapt and survive, some better than others. For example pests like flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes seem to thrive in these conditions.

But there is a limit to how much a species can adapt or change, and that is written in its DNA by the one who made it in the first place.

The problem with us humans is that we like to think we are gods. That we can decide what is true. That we can simply issue a statement and it will change the facts:

For example, the United States National Academy of Sciences states:

Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.

— National Academy of Sciences, Science, Evolution, and Creationism[24]

The confusion caused by the definition of Evolution adds to this. If you go by the simple definition that I gave earlier of dogs, it is nothing but adaptation. If you try to go by the definition proposed by some over-imaginative “scientists”, it would mean something like the Creative Imagination picture I posted.

That, dear reader, is what mainly causes the controversy. The degree of change considered possible by this process of ‘Evolution’.

And of course among other things the refusal to consider that there even exists a loving and intelligent being who could have created you and me and the entire universe.

The God who created you and me so wonderfully, has also given you free will to choose absolutely anything. You can decide what or whom to believe. Ultimately it is a matter of the heart.

I do not want to give you enough scientific reasons to make you realize the fallacies of the 2nd picture, but I want to plant a seed of a desire to find out for yourself what is true. Because in that way the faith you find would be truly yours.

 

 

 

 

 

Hackers, Cyberattack and other random processes

Researchers at Lancaster University, UK have taken a hint from the way the human lungs and heart constantly communicate with each other, to devise an innovative, highly flexible encryption algorithm that they claim can’t be broken using the traditional methods of cyberattack.

Information can be encrypted with an array of different algorithms, but the question of which method is the most secure is far from trivial. Such algorithms need a “key” to encrypt and decrypt information; the algorithms typically generate their keys using a well-known set of rules that can only admit a very large, but nonetheless finite number of possible keys. This means that in principle, given enough time and computing power, prying eyes can always break the code eventually.

The researchers, led by Dr. Tomislav Stankovski, created an encryption mechanism that can generate a truly unlimited number of keys, which they say vastly increases the security of the communication. To do so, they took inspiration from the anatomy of the human body.

In nature, different systems within a living organism often interact with each other, exchanging matter and energy. The interaction between two such systems (for instance, that of the human lungs and heart) can be described by a so-called “coupling function.”

aggies-anatomy-lungs-chiron-brain-heart-as-future-pineal-and-human-brain-twin-organs

Rather than relying on a single system for the encryption, the researchers decided to use two, and use the coupling function between them as the encryption key. Although somewhat laborious, this method has the advantage of creating an infinite number of possible keys, meaning that eavesdroppers cannot simply bruteforce their way into
sensitive information.

For the more technically minded, here’s how it all works. An information signal reaches the transmitter and is used as a parameter in the coupling function between two self-sustained systems, both generated inside the transmitter. The two signals are then sent over the public channel. At the other end, these two signals synchronize
with the receiver and, using a private key that contains information on the coupling functions, the algorithm can infer the original parameters and decrypt the  information.

The scientists say that their method is highly resistant from noise, that it can easily transmit several signals at once, and that it is highly modular, making it suitable to a wide range of applications.

A paper describing this patent-pending algorithm appears in the journal Physical Review X.

http://www.gizmag.com/human-biology-unbreakable-encryption/31504/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=94c7968484-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-94c7968484-90398925

Life and its processes are really complicated. This somehow does not fit in with what is taught in schools these days, doesn’t it? We are taught that random mindless processes [taught to be Evolution] somehow created life in all its complexity. I guess it is time to revisit the foundations of our belief 🙂082113_1025_HighDefinit2.png

Choosing between a Smart or a Green city?

I asked a few people, including myself, to imagine what a smart city would be like for those of us living in 2016:

It should take us from point A to B in the shortest time possible, automatically deciding for us which route to take.

  • It should provide free and fast internet either wired or wi-fi access, of course, in every nook and cranny.
  • It should have charging stations in every public place to charge our power hungry smart devices
  • It should of course have electricity 24X7
  • It should enable seamless connectivity of all transport methods
  • All devices, cars, trains, buildings and people should be able to communicate with one another
  • Intelligent planning of facilities
  • Self-repairing roads, drains, and what not…etc etc

This picture of a smart city sounds like a tall order for us living in Mumbai, even though it is the commercial capital of India! It also sounds extremely power hungry.

But can a city be both green and smart?

What do I mean by a green city? It would be somewhat like a forest. For starters, a green city ecosystem, like a forest, is a scientific and design miracle. Each and every component is recyclable. Forests produce more oxygen than they consume, are carbon sinks and earn huge carbon credits silently, and they mutually help one another to thrive and grow, not just survive! The parts of this ecosystem are self-propagating, require almost zero maintenance, have sophisticated feedback looks both positive and negative, are self-diagnosing and self-repairing, adjust their position and growth as per various variables like the temperature, sunlight, wind, water availability and nutrients.

Wow, now that simple forest sounds really smart when you look at it in that way!

 

Okay, but no one can stay in forests, right? So what is the next best option? How about something that looks like this?

smart-green-city

Imagine a smart and green city of dreams…

 

A city that is both smart and green? Some would dismiss this as a utopian concept, but I am confident that given enough freedom, creativity and encouragement, the future generation can create living spaces that are at once green and smart.

Let us see where we can start if we really wish for our city to be smart and green. I feel there are three very important pre requisites if we really wish to create a smart and green city:

Firstly, there has to be basic value and respect for human life and a recognition that life has a purpose. If life does not have a purpose, one might as well live in a filthy slum, who cares.

Secondly we must be humble enough to admit that there are designs in nature from which we can learn. The field of bio-mimetics has produced some extremely clever inventions by copying what God has created in his marvelous creation.

Thirdly there must be a culture that respects and encourages creativity, honesty and truth.

In such a city, there is no end to the possibilities that can be created, and a smart and green city would indeed be a reality. Hope we in India can reach that stage sooner than later.  Jai Hind!

This hyper dimensional being who stepped into our world

People have varied languages, beliefs and physical features. So much diversity even in the same country or even state. Yet there is one belief that seems to be common to people all over the world. Guess what it is? Yes, a belief in the existence of a being outside their dimension, who has supernatural powers, whom I refer to as God.

I went to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatural to see the full Definition of SUPERNATURAL: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially:  of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil.

I also went through the traditions and beliefs of most cultures and religions of the world. Most of their ideas of God are something which the human mind can easily comprehend.

But I found something in the scriptures given to a people located in the very centre of the world, which was totally unbelievable. They talk about this hyper dimensional being, who is not confined to or made in the likeness of something we humans can comprehend with our finite minds.

This is what I read:

“In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.

God sent a man named John, who came to tell about the light and to lead all people to have faith. John wasn’t that light. He came only to tell about the light. The true light that shines on everyone was coming into the world. The Word was in the world, but no one knew him [Jesus Christ], though God had made the world with his Word. He came into his own world, but his own nation did not welcome him.

Yet some people accepted him and put their faith in him. So he gave them the right to be the children of God. They were not God’s children by nature or because of any human desires. God himself was the one who made them his children. The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us. “ (John 1:1-14 CEV)

There are some powerful words which come from the scriptures of a people who lived at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, in the region called Israel. It is from a book called the Bible, and come from the second part of this book, called the New Testament, written 2000 years ago, todays date being 5th April 2015, celebrated as the ‘resurrection day’, when Jesus Christ rose from the grave after being crucified and buried three days prior.

Science is only now recognizing that dimensions beyond the three can exist. Space and time are mysteries that we humans cannot fully comprehend. That is why the triune God, the one who made all of us and the universe, is a being that human minds cannot comprehend. If you have a concept of God which you can logically understand, then it is very much possible that this god is a product of human imagination. The Christian concept of Trinity, three Gods in one, each unique and yet at the same time one God, is unparalleled in the beliefs of people anywhere in the world.

Hyper-Dimensional-Life-of-Jesus-Christ-Cube-Salvador-Dali-Science-Resurrection-Heaven-Scientifically-Understood-Science-Quantum-Physics-breadth-length-height-depth

Yes, this Hyperdimensional Jesus. One who was said to still the wind and waves on command, to walk upon the water, to pass through walls and visibly ascend, is this not a hyper dimensional Master of Matter? One who is said to have reversed the power of entropic force, releasing Death’s static grip and descending to Abraham’s Bosom to release the bound.

No one has ever seen God. The only Son Jesus, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like. (John 1:18 CEV) [By Son, he is not referring to a biological relationship, but a hyperdimensional spiritual relationship that we humans cannot fully understand]

Dear reader, there is a hyperdimensional being out there, who stepped into our world at a definite point in time and space. God entered our world as Jesus Christ, the sinless man, he lived and gave up His life on the cross, to pay the price for your sins and mine.

This is love, my friend. Love always gives.

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten.

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 CEV)

We know deep in our hearts that there is a problem with our hearts. We have this tendency to sin. Why deny it with some high sounding philosophy? Covering up the real root cause of our problem has led to untold misery in the lives of billions of people.

Admit that you are who you really are, and that your heart needs to change. God loves you and will continue to love you, but you know what? He hates lies, dishonesty and pride.

He has given you a time like this to come before Him, and accept that He has [by stepping into this world as Jesus Christ and laying down His life on the cross] paid the full price for your sins, mistakes, and is willing to accept you if only you have faith in what He has done, giving up His life as the full sacrifice for your sins. He is not asking for any sacrifice or pilgrimage or donation!

Dear reader, there is not a second to lose, and only eternity to gain, if you make that choice willingly and with your whole heart. Let the God of love be with you as you take this step.

I am praying for you.

Funny Science

I couldn’t stop laughing at Ashish Shakya’s tongue-in-cheek writing about the scientific advancements of our ancestors in India being proclaimed at the Indian Science Congress 2015:

This humour column was written 7,000 years ago!

IF THE PILOTS IN ANCIENT INDIA GOT BORED OF FLYING DOMESTIC, THEY COULD CHOOSE TO GO FOR AN INTERPLANETARY SPIN

Like most middle- class Indian kids, I first completed my engineering and then got around to figuring what I really wanted to do in life. So I’m the first person to admit that I know next to nothing about science. The only time I use my education is when my parents ask me to fix some busted gadget, and I, applying what I learnt as a telecom engineer, swiftly pick up a cellphone to call the repair guy.

Airplane invented by Indian kids, circa 5000 BC.

But as it turns out, I would’ve been clueless even if I’d actually paid attention in class because here’s a news flash: What we know about science is wrong. It is all a western imperial construct designed to overshadow our original achievements. Simply put, the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Americans have all shamelessly Pritam’d our inventions.

I’m thankful to the various patriots who, of l ate, have been working really hard to enlighten us about this piracy. The most recent exposé took place at the 102nd Indian Science Congress, where leading scientists had all the logic smacked out of them by the glory of ancient India.

For example, you might think that the first airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers, after they got sick of booking tickets on IRCTC. But no. Captain Bodas, a retired flying instructor and a speaker at the Congress, pointed out that the first airplanes had been invented in Indian about 7000 years ago. Some of them were the size of jumbo jets and apparently they could move forward, backward and sideways, hover in mid-air, do barrel rolls and also Bharatnatyam.

These planes were also loaded with twenty missile systems. Now I don’t mean to brag, but I too designed similar fighter jets in school via the technical process of doodling in my textbooks. (I was inspired by scientific materials such as Swat Kats and Centurions, but clearly I should’ve paid more attention to Amar Chitra Katha.)

But that’s not all. We reportedly also had pilots in ancient India, who were prescribed a diet that alternated between buffalo, cow and sheep milk and wore special shockproof, waterproof, electricity-resistant suits made from the fibres of underwater plants. Their names have been lost to history, so let’s just call them Captain Shri Maverick and Goose.

If the pilots got bored of flying domestic, they could take their crafts for an interplanetary spin. No, really. It was claimed that the planes could go from planet to planet. To buttress this point, another speaker, Kiran Naik, said that proof of this lay in the fact that during ancient times, and I wish I were making this up, two kings were fighting on Mars when one of their helmets fell off. This is why you should take off your helmet before fighting on Mars.

He said that “If you Google ‘helmet on Mars’, that helmet clearly shows up”, because ancient India also invented Photoshop. Sadly, all these advances in aviation were squandered because as it turns out, the industry was run by Vijay Mallya’s ancestors.

Mr Naik then educated the audience about a bacteria that lives inside cows and converts whatever the cow consumes into 24 karat gold. Wow, that has to be the worst Tanishq ad ever. Picture a young, hopeful man going down on his knees as his girlfriend blushes with anticipation:

Guy: I cannot imagine a life without you. Will you marry me?

Girl: Yes, yes, a million times yes! (pause) Where’s the ring? *They hear a PLOP! In the distance*

Guy: Go get it yourself.

Seriously, I cannot get over the fact that India is home to bovine creatures that crap gold. But enough about Mukeshbhai.

Not all talks at the Science Congress were as eye- opening. The others were woefully bereft of fantasy and stuck to boring ol’ scientific temperament. I wonder what it was like for the scientists, including Nobel laureates and a Fields Medal winner, to sit back and listen to stories that essentially took a flamethrower to their life’s work. It’s like Sachin Tendulkar being told by a baseball player that his stance had been wrong all these years and also once an ancient Indian batsman hit the moon for a six.

I bet they feel smarter now and cannot wait for next year’s Science Congress. If I were them, I’d make travel arrangements right now. Where can I book a one-way ticket to 5000 BC?

This article appeared on 11 Jan 2015 Hindustan Times (Mumbai) ASHISH SHAKYA ashish.shakya85@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This is a humour column, meant solely for entertainment. Ashish Shakya is a stand-up comedian and not a real journalist, because he likes money.