Quantified Self ,Personalized Medicine & Big Data

The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging. The primary methodology of self-quantification is data collection, followed by visualization, cross-referencing, and discovery of correlations. If we add genetic data to all the social and personal medical sensors data then the dream of data driven personalized medicine in healthcare is not too far.

Personalized medicine or PM is a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare – with medical decisions, practices, and/or products being tailored to the individual patient. Traditional clinical diagnosis and management focuses on the individual patient’s clinical signs and symptoms, medical and family history, data from laboratory and imaging evaluation to diagnose and treat illnesses. This is often a reactive approach to treatment, i.e., treatment/medication starts after the signs and symptoms appear. A proactive approach using big data technologies and application of predictive analytics can help us take effective preventive measures.

Life and health tracking information from various applications can be difficult to integrate and find meaning. But innovative and readily available open source technologies have delivered efficient tools in the hands of data scientists. Now we can combine, visualize, and analyze the cacophony data to identify correlations between specific input factors and treatments (independent variables) and psychological or physiological outcomes (dependent variables).

Today, creative data scientists can arrive at amazing conclusions about how various factors correlate with one another and affect a person’s psychology or physiology. We can combine this insight and apply predictive algorithms to build models, tools to predict how a person would respond to a device, situation, treatment or medicine. Open source innovators behind path breaking  frameworks such as Hadoop, Hive, MapReduce, Yarn, KNIME, WEKA and Apache Mahout have built a set of components that can help us achieve the goals of personalized medicine.

Learning all these technologies, building the analytical tool from scratch and then running data analysis is a set of daunting tasks. The team at Big Data Cognition  is helping  data scientists face this challenge. We have integrated all these technologies together  to build a single platform, Saarus. Using Saarus,data scientist can focus on creative use of data without wasting precious time and effort on the technology plumbing.

Saarus, as is the case with all it’s component technologies, remains open source and is designed to make life easier for data scientists. It helps data scientists harness the capabilities of all these technologies and provide a cost-effective graphical analytic work bench. Big Data Cognition is committed to work on integration of all promising statistical algorithms and technologies to help healthcare data scientists achieve the goal of personalized medicine and preventive care.

Mobile Gaming – the titanic shift

The industry is undergoing a titanic shift, factors like the ease of publishing to the App Store, the extremely low cost to become a developer, the growth of Freemium games (games given away for free with revenues coming from alternative sources) and the rise of the female gamers (53% of mobile gamers are female) are rewriting the rules.

Anywhere, any-time, high quality gaming, that fits nicely in our pocket, is yours to have .  The mobile entertainment industry was worth $33 billion last year, which is due in part to the success of smartphones like the iPhone and the plethora of Android devices like the HTC Thunderbolt.  These high powered computers were just waiting for people to turn them into gaming consoles.

An interesting infographic by Geekaphone:



Team Building,Cloud Computing and Startups

Since 2004,two critical factors that  immensely helped projects and sustained my start-up ventures, were; a great team and best of breed enabling technologies.I had this great fortune to work with a superb, dedicated, informally bonded talent pool of young technology professionals spanning three continents .This  network of young and talented team is always hungry to learn new skills, technologies, develop new systems ,solve real world problems and find pride in their work.

A combination of breakthrough technologies facilitate the collaboration between these enterprising groups of people and substantially reduce start-up costs.

Vishy..and his team of ninjas..three cheers to you guys!!

Over the years, there are three groups of technologies that were the backbone of operations and critical to our success –

a) Cloud computing

b) Online collaboration tools and source code management

c) Open source software frameworks

My views about cloud computing and the help I got from cloud computing, as an entrepreneur, in bootstrapping phase of  CherryBelly™ are succinctly captured in this Forbes.com article.

Here’s the excerpt:

With all the gloomy economic headlines in recent months, one can be forgiven for thinking we’re in a hopeless economic morass. But if you look beneath the surface of today’s technology shifts, you may also see potential for one of the biggest economic booms in a generation. How so?

As with all other economic booms, this boom will arise from the spunk and innovation of an emerging class of entrepreneurs, many being young and just out of (or still in) college, and others being veterans of workforce experiences relatively void of opportunities. In this next boom, another thing will be different as well – today’s entrepreneurs have an incredible resource available at their fingertips at minimal cost – cloud computing.

Unemployment is high right now, and there are many, many, many professionals who see the startup route as a more sustainable alternative to seeking full-time employment. There is now an incredible abundance of resources available on demand, for little upfront cost, to businesses.

We were looking for hosting solutions that were cheap, had capacity to scale with varying load (elasticity), and still be reliable. Vishy quickly came up with this idea of renting Joyent® cloud server instances.

Joyent offered a great promotional offer that was not hard on our pockets and was tailored for social media gaming titles.We have been using GoToMeeting® (from Citrix) as well as Skype for last several years. So those were the obvious choices for the team.

The capability to share desktops has given the team, dispersed in three continents,a powerful medium to share and collaborate like never before. I strongly believe that these tools give a better collaborative environment than two people sitting next to each other in a room,sharing the same computer.

Next in line were the open source frameworks. Open source community has been helping developers like us for decades. These communities have served a role of incubators for start-ups and innovations lead by breakthrough technologies and minimal start-up costs.Even Fortune 500 companies readily adopt the well tested frameworks following all proven architectural design patterns. These patterns make the software re-usable, reduce re-work, limit the number of inadvertent bugs, reducing development costs and faster time to market.

Spring, Hibernate, Drools, Codeigniter were selected for their maturity and prior extensive experience of the team in delivering integrated solution with these technologies. Subversion was mandatory to make sure all the artifacts were properly versioned, and have control over simultaneous changes in same set of artifacts.

Next .. analytics..