Computational pioneer Erez Lieberman explains how the Web -- and spam -- evolves
The computational pioneer talks about how the Web -- and spam -- evolves, why programming languages are different from human languages and how the iShoe may save grandma's life.
Computerworld - Erez Lieberman has done pioneering work on mathematical and computational approaches to the study of evolution, including the evolution of networks and languages. His newest endeavor is the development of the iShoe, to assist elderly people with balance problems.
What inspired the iShoe, and how exactly does it work? I first began to understand how big a problem falls are for the elderly when my grandmother passed away shortly after a catastrophic fall. Tragically, a quarter of senior citizens fall down, leading to 300,000 broken hips; about 30% of those victims do not survive the year, and many others never regain their mobility. The iShoe insole looks like an ordinary insole, but it is actually a wearable sensor system that tracks how a person distributes pressure in their feet and can transmit the results wirelessly to any Bluetooth device. This enables us to tell how well a person is balancing so that doctors and caregivers can intervene before a catastrophic fall.
I understand that NASA has become interested. Why? Because there's no gravity, space flight can compromise an astronaut's ability to balance and to do things like sense which way is down. That's an operational issue for NASA, so they actually use some of iShoe's technology.
How does the development of technology like this affect the future of medicine and health care? Even in Star Trek, all medical evaluations seem to happen in the presence of a doctor (even if the doctor is a hologram). Wearable diagnostics have the potential to transform a person's clothing into a platform for remotely monitoring their health. Doctors will be able to supplement in-office visits with continuous care. Telemedicine is not just about long-distance consultation; it's about being able to detect and respond to a problem in real time, no matter where your patient is located. When we eventually know how to build the [Star Trek starship] Enterprise, Picard won't need to visit Crusher to find out what's wrong; she'll pick up the signs remotely.
In general, how does biology benefit from the Computer Age? An iShoe collects enough data every minute to overload the hard drive on my first computer. Whether you're studying human physiology or the mouse genome, 21st-century computation gives us the agility to handle huge data sets and to capture at least a fraction of the complexity that makes humans go. Computers help us think about messy systems, and biology is a very messy system.
For instance, there are about 100,000 different antibodies in a milliliter of blood. Each of those is designed to recognize a different molecule that could cause disease so that your body can eliminate the threat; that's 100,000 magical cures! Now think about the bits: Just the genetic sequence defining these antibodies is a couple of hundred megabytes worth of data. Without modern computers, understanding the immune system would be hopeless.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!