Category Archives: Technology and Informatics

Posts related to technology, gadgets, cloud, informatics, or just about anything that is/can be/plugs into a computer. Relationship to radiology optional.

New Seizure Prediction Competition, and Why It Matters for Radiology

Kaggle is a website to host coding competitions related to machine learning, big data, or otherwise all things data science.

Newly launched on Kaggle is a healthcare-related competition!  A group of health institutions provided a large data set consisting of three patients’ interictal and preictal (up to 1 hour before) EEG tracings in raw data.  The goal? Predict which “unknown” EEGs are preictal so healthcare providers can intervene.

Also, with the timely arrival of Internet of Things (IoT), wearable, and big data, can you imagine the impact of giving patients an accurate 5-minute warning every time a seizure is about to start? Continue reading

Inpatient Radiology Ordering Patterns from Scratch

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If you have taken overnight call, you quickly develop a sense for the emergency department and the inpatient floors. In my institution, radiologists develop hypotheses on how inpatient orders are placed.

For instance, sometimes it might seem as if inpatient radiology exams follow some sort of circadian rhythm.  The data look to confirm it: we see the infamous “x-ray bump” in the early morning, with the increase in CT start more gradually but last later into the day.

Also, are weekdays and weekends any different?  If so, how?

Going on a Quest

With a little coding in Python or R, one can gain a lot of insight into how our referring providers’ lives intertwine with our own. Read the full story in my new post on Radiology Data Quest.

Geeking out with CMS Outpatient Imaging Data (Lumbar MRI and Mammo)


From the Open Data Network I stumbled upon the CMS outpatient imaging data organized by state and decided to peek into the dataset and stick the data onto a US map for fun. Geek out with Joe and me in this new blog Radiology Data Quest.

Biomedical Data Science Initiative at Stanford

They are taking medical data science rather seriously. The folks at Stanford Medicine are onto something.


Source: Biomedical Data Science Initiative @ Stanford Medicine

Do’s and Don’ts of Data Science

Don’t Start with the Data
Do Start with a Good Question

Don’t think one person can do it all
Do build a well-rounded team

Don’t only use one tool
Do use the best tool for the job

Don’t brag about the size of your data
Do collect relevant data

Continue reading

The [machine learning] race is on – Don Dennison

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Machine learning, real opportunites: Dr. Keith Dreyer’s keynote sets tone for ISC 2016

Dr. Keith Dreyer opens with a keynote during the Intersociety Summer Conference (ISC) with description of data science and overview of how machine learning have evolved over time.

He describes that machines and humans inherently see things differently. Humans are excellent at object classification, recognition of faces, understanding language, driving, and imaging diagnostics. Continue reading

Five way to keep up coding skills when you are a full time radiologist

Radiologists have a day job (or a night job, depending on your precise definition of “radiologist.”) Many people want to learn the syntax of a computer language, while some want to keep up on existing skills.

If your goals are similar to mine, these might help.  Now these are not ways to learn to write code (I’ll write about that later), but ways to brush up on existing skills.

Here are five things to help keeping up your coding skills:

Work on a Project

Most radiology practices can be improved by better use of technology  Continue reading

Two Questions for Four Data Visualization Types, and Why It Matters

QuoteNot long ago, the ability to create smart data visualizations, or dataviz, was a nice-to-have skill. For the most part, it benefited design- and data-minded managers who made a deliberate decision to invest in acquiring it. That’s changed. Now visual communication is a must-have skill for all managers, because more and more often, it’s the only way to make sense of the work they do.

A June 2016 Harvard Business Review article by Scott Berinato discusses the four types of data visualization, in their traditional “boil complex stuff down to a 2×2 matrix” method no less.  In short, what works depends on the level of details necessary to convey the purpose.

Two axes of data visualization – what works best depends on the purpose

The overall concepts are reminiscent of concepts by Edward Tufte and his many, excellent, books on visualization.

The HBR article is worth a read for anyone interested in business intelligence, data analytics, or data visualization (which, as Berinato says, is probably a misnomer – it’s not the visualization that matters, but the question it seeks to answer).

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Cognitive computing, along with its technological brethren artificial intelligence and machine learning are wading into the provider space now. IT consultancy IDC, in fact, predicted that by 2018 nearly one-third of healthcare systems will be running cognitive analytics to extract … Continue reading