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Healthcare providers increasingly appreciate the value of patients having access to accurate and understandable information about their health and treatments. This is why Microsoft Research’s Dan Morris and a team of researchers at Columbia University, led by Professor Lauren Wilcox, have been working to develop Patient Friendly Medical Displays that automatically create simplified, personalized, plain-language views of the information in a patient’s electronic health record. Now this team of researchers has developed Remedy, a prototype search system that assists laypeople in assessing medication-related Internet search results. General-purpose web search engines give a broad array of results, without providing tools to help people narrow in on technical or non-technical content, avoid ads, and spot indicators of quality and credibility. Remedy supports rapid filtering and comparison of medication-information search results, based on a number of website features and content topics. It thus helps users find reliable, patient-friendly educational material more easily. Remedy summarizes the topics that it finds in the search results and lets users navigate to websites according to these topics. It also provides a topic-based view in which users can see what multiple sites have to say about a single topic of interest. This video shows how Remedy helps patients find relevant, reliable information about their medications.
Remedy was tested with patients in the cardiac aftercare unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The researchers are evaluating the outcomes of this pilot study, but initial results indicate that patients were enthusiastic about using Remedy. A second, more substantial hospital study is under consideration based on these positive indications. In addition, Remedy was demonstrated at the 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare in Venice, Italy, May 5–8, 2013.
Although Remedy is still a prototype at this stage, the initial positive reaction to it bodes well for further research and development on tools to ensure that patients can easily access and understand reliable information about their medications, health, and medical treatments.
—Simon Mercer, Director, Microsoft Research Connections
Format: mp4Duration: 1 minute 56 seconds
As astute readers of this blog will recall, back in April we reported on the progress of the non-commercial Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK), offering tantalizing descriptions of its capabilities and inviting you to follow its progress on a dedicated website. Well, I’m pleased to announce that the wait is over: the Kinect for Windows SDK beta was released on June 16, 2011, enabling the next phase of bringing natural user interfaces (NUI) to the PC.
Designed to empower developers, academic researchers, and enthusiasts to explore new ideas and create rich applications, the Kinect for Windows SDK beta, which works with Windows 7, enables human motion tracking, voice recognition, and depth sensing on PCs. The SDK includes drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and natural user interfaces, installation documents, and resource materials. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. SDK features include:
Just prior to this general release, we hosted a select group of researchers and enthusiasts at a 24-hour coding marathon here on our Redmond, Washington, campus. These developers were encouraged to build applications in areas of interest to them, including everything from gaming and entertainment to healthcare, science, and education. Their projects are being broadcast on Channel 9 Live on June 16, and can be viewed on demand after the fact. Highlights can be found on Microsoft News Center.
As Anoop Gupta, a distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research stated, “The Kinect for Windows SDK beta from Microsoft Research opens up a world of possibilities for developers to unleash the power of Kinect technology on PCs. We are just at the beginning of Microsoft’s long-term vision for how people will interact with technology more naturally and intuitively.”
All I can add is a question: What are you waiting for? Click on over to the SDK download site, and start building those NUI applications. The SDK is free for development of non-commercial applications, and the only boundaries are those set by your own imagination!
—Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections
The warm, sunny days of late August in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s “northern capital,” were made even brighter by the 2012 Microsoft Research Russian Summer School. An annual Microsoft Research event, the Russian Summer School is intended for doctoral and master’s students, as well as young scientists. This year, the program focused on concurrency and parallelism in software, and featured lectures from eight of the world’s foremost experts in this field. The school was co-chaired by Judith Bishop, the director of computer science at Microsoft Research, and Bertrand Meyer, professor of software engineering at ETH Zurich and St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics, and Optics (ITMO).
2012 Microsoft Research Russian Summer School participants
This year’s Russian Summer School follows the highly successful past schools: Computer Vision School 2011, MIDAS 2010, and HPC 2009. It represents another of the many collaborative efforts between Microsoft Research Connections and the world’s top research professionals and institutions. The school provided the participating students with a unique opportunity to learn from top scientists in the field of concurrency and parallelism. Lectures covered the fundamentals of the field and explored the latest research topics. The school also provided a great venue for interpersonal networking, enabling the students to establish connections with one another and with the school lecturers. Students had Sunday free to explore the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg—referred to as “Venice of the North” because of its picturesque canals—and carry on individual work. Competition for admission to the school was particularly intense. The number of registrations on the school website exceeded 600, and the overall acceptance rate was fewer than 10 percent. Most of the applicants were exceptionally strong, which made the decision process extremely difficult. The 60 admitted students came from 27 cities in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and represented 47 academic institutions and companies. We are happy to report the continuing growth in the number of female students; women comprised more than 20 percent of this year’s class.
Students were excited in their praise of the school’s program, which they found professionally stimulating and personally rewarding. They, and we, are looking forward to the 2013 Russian Summer School in Moscow!
—Fabrizio Gagliardi, Director, Microsoft Research Connections EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa)