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May 2016
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July 2016

June 2016

Could you be a nosewitness to a crime?

This HND piece looks at olfaction, and notes how it can conjure up vivid memories. Some have asked: Why can't this phenomenon be used forensically?

We report on interesting work, just published, that suggests that humans can perform pretty well in a scent lineup, but strangely, the ability to discriminate between odors diminishes rapidly with time.

Another study is cited, which links PTSD with odors. We also mention a case of canine scent tracking gone very wrong.

Read the complete article.

Bad healthcare IT and cardiovascular risk: What could possibly go wrong?

This HND piece covers another disturbing healthcare story, that is creating far too little outrage.

"All" that's wrong here is that maybe 300,000 British patients received incorrect assessment of their cardiovascular risk. This means that many people were either under- or over-treated as a result.

This mishap occurred because QRISK2, a prediction algorithm for cardiovascular disease, when incorporated into a popular healthcare IT system, somehow didn't work quite right. Oh yeah, this error goes back to 2009.

I'm not sure what's worse: The fact that QRISK on its own works just fine, and only gets messed up when Incorporated into the IT package; or the fact that those in charge are attempting to minimize the damage that has been done. Or, perhaps it's that no one bothered to even test QRISK inside the system, and compare its results to the standalone version.

Yep, Healthcare IT really is that bad.

Read the complete article.