Why Cellphone Use is Soaring in the Operating Room...

People are often asked to turn off their cellphones in movie theaters, restaurants, classrooms and a number of other settings in which cellphone use can be an unwelcome distraction. But what about in the operating room, the place where you expect your doctors to focus their full attention on you and your surgery? Shockingly, new reports show that many doctors, surgeons and other operating room staff are using their cellphones while on the job — and they’re not exactly looking up vital medical information on their phones. According to a July 15 PBS NewsHour article, operating room staff are known to use their cellphones to text friends, check their social media feeds or even shop online during surgeries. The result: a huge distraction that makes surgeons unable to give their full attention to their patients. Medical errors and neglected safety procedures have been known to stem from operating room cellphone use. In 2011, for example, a Texas anesthesiologist allegedly sent text messages and emails from his smartphone while monitoring a patient. The anesthesiologist didn’t notice that the 61-year-old patient’s oxygen levels had dropped for nearly 20 minutes; as a result, the patient died in surgery. To combat this troubling trend, a growing number of physicians, doctors and organizations like the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons are pushing for stricter rules on cellphone use in the operating room. When surgeons and surgeons’ assistants are glued to their smartphones, it’s not just an issue of patient safety, however. Operating room staff may be more likely to suffer slips, trips and falls while distracted by their phones — and these injuries already lead to more than 95 million lost days of work per year. Additionally, many doctors have raised concerns about...

WixEd Teaches Users How to Create Their Own Web Design Businesses...

A prominent web design company has recently launched a free online education program that instructs users on how to run their own web design business. TechCrunch reports that the “do it yourself” (DIY) web design company Wix launched its “WixEd” program on July 10th. Totally free of charge, the WixEd program is made up of three sections: Wix Webmaster, which teaches users about web design basics, and two business classes that go over everything from the basics of running a small business to accounting, photography, and search engine optimization (SEO). The program is run by a group of Wix instructors who help students with their assignments online and go over the assignments with them. One of the assignments requires students to build a website for an actual small business. “It’s not only about building websites, it’s about being the person who is responsible for the online presence of a small business,” said Yuval Finkelstein, the director of the WixEd program. “All of the strengths that online marketing had two years ago are now available for small business owners, they just need the professionals that can do it.” WixEd has been in development for three years and was released as a beta version at least a month ago. Wix reports that 80% of users watched at least two course videos and that 30% of the videos were watched in their entirety. The videos feature experts in web design and all that it entails, from attorneys who specialize in copyright law to Google employees who specialize in Google Analytics. Finkelstein claims that WixEd only takes about two to three weeks to complete but noted that some students of the beta program completed it in one weekend. “We are sharing the minimum theory needed in order to...

CVS Teams Up With IBM’s Jeopardy Playing Supercomputer Watson Jul31

CVS Teams Up With IBM’s Jeopardy Playing Supercomputer Watson...

National pharmacy and retail outlet CVS is trying to pivot this year towards a more healthcare-oriented approach, and now the drug store is teaming up with IBM’s famed supercomputer “Watson” to help chronic disease patients. Consumers might recognize IBM’s supercomputer from its stint on Jeopardy several years ago. Now, Watson will analyze millions of data points, including medical claims, clinical records, and even information from fitness devices to help develop an early warning medical alert system. CVS hopes Watson can help them identify potential medical emergencies before they happen. Together, CVS and Watson will try to identify chronic disease patients who may be in danger based on certain “red flag behaviors.” CVS also hopes to utilize “Watson’s Health Cloud,” which IBM describes as a tool that can help “bring together clinical, research and social data from a diverse range of health sources, creating a secure, cloud-based data sharing hub, powered by the most advanced cognitive and analytic technologies.” Surveys shows that an incredible 99.5% of new data stored by companies is never actually used or even analyzed. And with 7,600 retail pharmacies and 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, CVS hopes to leverage their vast amounts of data to improve medical outcomes for their patients. Using Watson’s advanced, cloud-based network will allow the chain to better serve its more than 70 million customers. “This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers,” said CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan. If the partnership is a success, CVS and IBM hope nurses and pharmacists will have a more advanced tool for predicting patient risk. Earlier this...

Former Lottery Employee Found Guilty of Rigging the System For His Benefit Jul29

Former Lottery Employee Found Guilty of Rigging the System For His Benefit...

A former high level security official at a non-profit lottery association was recently convicted of rigging the “Hot Lotto” system so that he could win a $14 million jackpot, and attempting to cash it in without revealing his identity. The Associated Press reports that Eddie Tipton, 52, was found guilty by a Des Moines jury on July 20th after five hours of deliberation. Tipton never actually received any of the money he was accused of swindling, but he was nonetheless convicted on two counts of fraud. Before being fired and arrested last January, Tipton had been working for the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA) since 2003 in Des Moines. Two years ago, he was promoted to Information Security Director. THe MSLA is composed of 37 lotteries, most of which are state-run, and is tasked with overseeing number-pickings for several lottery games. As an employee, Tipton was privy to the numbers ahead of time. However, also as an employee, he was not allowed to play the lottery in Iowa. According to prosecutors, Tipton used his position to secretly insert winning numbers through a computer program in 2010. He then bought a winning ticket and gave it to a friend of his in Texas and asked him to cash it in for him. This man contacted attorneys in Texas and Canada in order to do so without revealing Tipton’s identify, despite the fact that Iowa law mandates lottery winners to be identified. Prosecutors alleged that a surveillance video from a convenience store in Des Moines showed Tipton buying the winning ticket. However, the video quality was far from clear, casting doubt on whether the hooded man shown in the video was actually Tipton. Witnesses from both sides, including Tipton’s co-workers, friends, and family, gave contradicting testimonies on...

Google Updating Algorithm That Penalizes Low-Quality Content...

Google has confirmed that it has already begun rolling out Panda 4.2, an update to its algorithm that factors website quality into its overall search rankings. “This past weekend we began a Panda update that will roll out over the coming months,” a Google spokesperson said. “As you know, we’re always working to improve Google so search results are higher quality and more relevant for everyone and this is just one way we do that.” This is the first update to the algorithm in 10 months. Few webmasters have reported seeing changes in their rankings thus far, but that’s not a surprise given the slow pace of the rollout and the fact that the refresh is expected to affect only between 2-3% of search queries. Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Sites Updates such as these are big news in the fields of digital marketing and search engine optimization, which work to improve the rankings of certain sites on Google’s search engine results pages. Most SEO now revolves around a concept called “content marketing,” which focuses on creating high-quality written, visual and video content in order to build a site’s popularity. A full 92% of marketers say content creation is either “somewhat” or “very” effective for SEO purposes. In theory, Google’s algorithm should view this kind of quality content favorably, meaning sites can rank well even without being large or drawing a great deal of traffic; of course, numerous other factors also come into play in rankings. This provides opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses, in particular. That said, even though the rollout of the refresh will take several months, it’s already too late for webmasters and marketers to make changes on their websites and see improvements this time around — and they’ll need to...