Category Archives: psychiatry 2.0

Big Data: Emerging Narratives?

iStock_000005946607MediumIn a recent TEDx talk at Macquarie University in Australia, Jodie Sangster talks about big data. Mobile data and user generated data on social media are two important sources of big data. Sangster’s message here is simple – big data has a tremendous potential to benefit society. Sangster’s cites a project which investigates the use of social media data to look at outbreaks of Dengue fever.

Big data is not a phenomenon that is restricted to large commercial enterprises. Instead big data is a phenomenon that is transforming society. This transformation is impacting on all areas of life including healthcare. There are two challenges to understanding big data. The first is to recognise where and how this is happening (e.g social media and health related devices). The second challenge is to understand the breadth and depth of change that this will herald.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog. Conflicts of Interest: For potential conflicts of interest please see the About section.

Can Big Data Solve Big Problems?

Big data is the next big thing. Societies globally are generating vast amounts of data. This data can get covered in the metaphorical layers of dust or else be utilised. Using these vast amounts of data presents novel challenges but is a new frontier for data mining. This applies to areas such as Psychiatry as much as it does for other areas. Dr Philip Parker talks us through some of his innovations in data mining algorithms which turn vast datawarehouses into useful applications. Does this give us insights into the future of medicine?

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Cameron Neylon on Open Science

Scientist Cameron Neylon is an advocate for open science and in this video (from the Open Repositories 2012 conference) he talks about many important aspects of open science. Neylon gives examples of scientific communities that have transformed research methodologies through online networks and accelerated analysis of data in the process. He also looks at the issue of increasing the impact of open science through open science networks. There is a question and answer session at the end.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Updated Links

links

The site links have been updated. On the right hand side of the screen there is a Blogroll followed by other links to external sites. Broken links have been removed and new links added. These represent a portion of the high quality sites on the web and are not affiliated to this site.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 8: Modelling Populations Part 3

OPEN SCIENCE

In the seventh part in the Open Science series I looked at the UK mid-2011 Census and obtained the data below which represents the summed male and female figures for the UK population from ages 16 through to 44*.

680,979
706,234
711,491
741,667
765,895
757,901
757,295
771,297
756,449
768,415
774,921
759,889
768,860
770,810
778,986
782,510
751,251
700,825
690,775
702,024
716,419
729,013
761,347
794,300
820,805
800,550
821,037
819,650
832,297

Data for this group and the 45-65 year age group are graphed in Figure 1.

Picture1

Figure 1: Summation of male and female figures for each age from mid-2011 Census. Red bars represent the age group 45-65 and the blue bars represent the age group 16-44

The next stage is to try and model this data. Looking at the blue bars in the graph above, it looks as though there is some periodicity in the data. This isn’t a great approximation but the bimodal distribution can be seen below where the peaks and troughs of the data are shown by the horizontal black lines.

modellingcensusdata

Figure 2

In the previous post I looked at a discontinuous function to describe the data

1. For X = 16-18, Y = 700,000

2. For X = 19-32, Y = 770,000

3. For X = 33-35, Y = 700,000

4. For X = 36-45, Y = 770,000

I was originally looking for some sine or cosine functions to describe the data but didn’t come up with any solutions. So this time I turned to Wolfram Alpha. I subscribed to the Pro account and fed the data through (cut and paste) and with the click of a button the program performed several analyses of the data. The software completed a regression analysis and came up with the following values with a 99% confidence interval

α = 683649 +/- 24641

β = 2492 +/- 791

where y = β x + α

So in summary, for the UK mid-2011 census data the population can be modelled with the equation

y = 2492 x + 683649

where

x = age in years

y = population for each age

There are different ways to model the data varying from polynomial equations including the above through to discontinuous functions. The Wolfram Alpha analysis improves on the previous model. By using this equation we can do some further useful analysis.

*Part of the 7th post is reproduced here including the data

Appendix

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 1

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 2

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 3

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 4

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 5

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 6

Doing Science Using Open Data – Part 7

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Will the Finch Report Transform UK Science? …. And A Collection of 16,000 Free Electronic Journals?

Video of this Post

Last month the UK Government formally responded to the Finch Report (see Executive Summary here) by accepting all of their recommendations. The Finch Report was produced by the Finch Group otherwise known as the Working Group on Expanding Access on Published Research Findings.  The purpose of this group is self-evident from the working title. There are a lot of people from different backgrounds who want to access science articles for various reasons. This accessibility no doubt contributes to the ability of the general public to engage with science. At the moment there is a wider debate about accessibility to science which the Finch Report addresses. Many researchers will depend on their research being published in Journals which are then widely accessed. The scientific community has developed many elaborate methods for assessing a scientist’s output according to their publication record.

In the UK, researchers may be funded by the taxpayer through government funded research grants. The researchers will then publish in subscription based journals and taxpayers will potentially pay twice when accessing this research – firstly to fund the research and secondly a fee to the journal to access the article. This particular scenario as well as several others have generated a wider debate in the scientific community and beyond. The scientific community and the publishing industry have responded to this debate by creating Open-Access Journals. One model for Open-Access Journals involves the researchers paying the Journal to publish their article and make it openly available online. There is still an additional cost to the researchers. Another model involves no fees either for the reader or the researcher.

The Finch Group chaired by Dame Janet Finch CBE made a number of extremely encouraging recommendations which will ensure that UK government funded research is published in an Open-Access format. Interestingly the report itself is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Unported License meaning that with proper attribution and Creative Commons licensing the report can be reused. This echoes the concept of making research publications accessible. There are a lot of recommendations and so this perhaps too simplistic an interpretation and the reader is directed towards the paper via the link above (i’ve also covered it in slightly more detail in the video). However there is a tight rope to walk because this issue also involves the publishing industry with a healthy economy of Journals that provide a secure repository for scientific knowledge as well as facilitating the ability of scientists to communicate with the rest of the scientific community as well as the wider public according to the publication.

If the research community moved entirely over to an Open-Access model of publishing this would most likely have dire consequences as the subscription-based journals are undertaking very significant roles in securing the repository of scientific knowledge and very effectively communicating science to the scientific community and the wider public. A sudden shift would damage an important part of the science infrastructure. Instead the Finch Group recommend that publicly funded research is made available through the Open-Access medium. They also see an important place for subscription journals and hybrid models as well as subsidisation by Government and Non-Government Organisations and indeed whole industries.

According to the report there are 25,000 subscription based journals – a staggering amount. No organisations are capable of subscribing to all of these journals. Access is even more difficult for individuals not affiliated to academic institutions and this includes a significant part of the general population. These recommendations should therefore lead to a significant improvement in access to research for academics and non-academics alike. There may be a cascade effect with other shifts in publishing that will follow. No doubt the central debate about publishing models will become more accentuated. Interestingly in the comments section on this page I came across an intriguing comment by Jan Szczepanski describing a 10-year endeavour to collect details of over 16, 000 free e-journals with a link to a ScribD account. I haven’t had time to check them all out but did click on a few of the links which turned up e-journal sites (the journal of ‘Golden Research Thoughts’ is well worth a look!).

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

Towards a Definition of Psychiatry 2.0

Psychiatry 2.0 is a term that I am using to describe the  application of web technology to Psychiatry. While this might seem a rather abstract exercise, the hope is that this definition can contribute to improving patient care. This first stage in establishing a definition however is a long way from achieving this aim in any systematic way.  Additionally the process of arriving at such a definition runs in parallel with experiences in the real world where applications of the principles that will form part of such a future definition are already happening. This move towards a definition therefore is partly a formalisation of events that are already happening (e.g open access journals). However another part of the definition consists of structuring principles in such a way that they can form a basis for organising the available technologies in novel ways.

So what is Psychiatry 2.0 all about? To begin with, Psychiatry 2.0 is about the application of the web culture to Psychiatry. I have used the term web culture here which encompasses the interaction of people and web technology. Thus the web culture is the culture resulting from the ability of people to connect with each other, with technologies and with datasets using part of the internet referred to as the World Wide Web. The internet is a global connected network of computers which communicate using the internet protocol. The World Wide Web is part of the internet which is organised according to the principles of hypertext linking. In essence this means that you can click on a hypertext word or link with the mouse and navigate to a related page. In one sense this means the difference between typing in an IP address on the keyboard and using the mouse to get to where you want to go. Although hypertext links were a useful innovation (the formal proposal was written by Tim Berners Lee and Robert Cailliau), the initial proposal involved some technical software and hardware specifications that ensured that the concept worked. The World Wide Web is much more than a network of computers connected through hyperlinks and is accessed through web browsers and web servers.

So what is the Web Culture? This is more tricky to answer and evolves with time. As a starting point I have borrowed from the definition of Web 2.0 to begin to answer this question. Web 2.0 was a term coined at the O’Reilly Conference and described some of the ways in which people have adapted to the possibilities generated by the World Wide Web. The original Web 2.0 definition used many examples to illustrate the principles including commercial companies that had successfully utilised World Wide Web technologies. I have taken a closer look at the Web 2.0 definition in previous posts in relation to science (see Appendix 1).

Having thus far established that Web 2.0 principles can be used to generate a definition of Psychiatry 2.0, the next step is to deconstruct Psychiatry itself. In order to apply Web 2.0 principles to Psychiatry there has to be a clear understanding of what Psychiatry is. Broadly speaking Psychiatry is that branch of Medicine which is concerned with the assessment and management of people with mental illnesses. Although this seems fairly straightforward, for the purposes of the definition of Psychiatry 2.0 this has to be further deconstructed.

I would suggest therefore that Psychiatry can be divided into the theoretical and the clinical. ‘Theoretical Psychiatry’ is the broad term that I will use here to describe the theoretical underpinning of Psychiatric practice. This can be further subdivided into the body of knowledge that can directly or indirectly be applied through Clinical Psychiatry and the means to arrive at that knowledge. This knowledge itself is less than straightforward to understand. The most well known clinical Psychiatric applications – Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology have been influenced by a diverse range of disciplines. Psychotherapy has been influenced heavily by the Humanities as well as the Sciences whilst Psychopharmacology has been significantly influenced by those Sciences including Psychology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Neuroanatomy, Chemistry and Physics to name just a few.  Psychopathology – the study of the pathology of the inner experiences of the mind has been influenced by Philosophy, Literature and several branches of the Sciences again just to name a few. Psychiatry encompasses a broader range of considerations than discussed here but already it will be evident that the disciplines contributing to the theoretical underpinnings of Psychiatry are diverse. Practically speaking there are intuitive limits to the areas of these disciplines which are more usually considered to be immediately relevant to Psychiatry. These limits are a function of culture.

Having considered the body of knowledge that is relevant directly or indirectly to Clinical Psychiatry we can now turn to how that body of knowledge is arrived at. For each area of knowledge there are corresponding disciplines each with their own communities. I have examined one aspect of scientific communities in my review of Thomas Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ as well as an ongoing interpretation of scientific revolutions (See Appendix 2). Here the application of Web 2.0 is more appropriately considered by the communities themselves although at the interface there is significant room for exploration*.

Turning to Clinical Psychiatry this is an area where there would appear to be more immediate clinical benefits for the application of Web 2.0 principles. I will deconstruct Clinical Psychiatry into the following broad categories

1. Psychiatric Technology. The application of the body of Psychiatric knowledge. Bear in mind that this knowledge base is both direct and indirect and potentially vast. Also the definition of technology here is broader than some definitions of technology which are restricted to the application of scientific knowledge .

2. Management of clinical resources. Here the term refers broadly to the management of clinical resources ranging from economic considerations through to workflow processes within the clinical setting.

3. Relationship with the patient and the public. Since it is the patient and public that are served by Psychiatry, the relationship of Psychiatrists and Psychiatry to the patient and public is a significant consideration.

4. Relation to colleagues and synergistic organisations. Psychiatrists work with a range of allied healthcare professionals, other professionals and synergistic organisations in order to deliver clinical care. This again is an area for consideration.

5. Knowledge transfer into the domain of Clinical Psychiatry. This covers a range of processes which ensure that knowledge transfer occurs at both the level of the individual and the community. This includes the conversion from knowledge to technology.

6. Evaluation and improvement of the application of Psychiatric Technology. In order to maximise the benefits from the application of Psychiatric Technology, the application needs to be governed by mechanisms which ensure an improvement in clinical outcomes and clinical processes.

The coverage of all of these areas provides a clear overview of this initial definition of Psychiatry 2.0. I would add just one further point which is the issue of licensing. Whilst debate can be stifled by issues around trademarking, I would consider Psychiatry 2.0 to be a public domain concept rather than a trademarked concept. The aim here is to facilitate discussion and collaboration, to ensure debate is not stifled. The potential for the Psychiatry 2.0 debate is too significant for it to be diverted by future trademark assertions and so at this early stage I make a claim through this detailed definition for Psychiatry 2.0 for the term to remain in the public domain. Although this may appear to be a curious point to make, Trademark cases have been made for other such terms including Web 2.0.

*In this area, it is entirely possible that languages can be developed to facilitate the traversing of these boundaries.

Appendix 1 – Science 4.0 Articles on the TAWOP Site

What is Science 4.0 and Why is it Necessary?

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing Web 2.0. Lightweight Programming Models

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing Web 2.0. The Importance of Data

Doing Science 4.0. Harnessing Collective Intelligence by Curating the Blogosphere

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing Web 2.0. Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing the Web 2.0. The Web as Platform.

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing Web 2.0. The End of the Software Cycle

Doing Science 4.0. Deconstructing Web 2.0. Software Above the Level of a Single Device

Doing Science 4.0 Deconstructing Web 2.0 – Rich User Experiences

Doing Science 4.0. Part 1. What is Science 4.0?

Doing Science 4.0. Web 2.0

Open MRS 

 

Appendix 2 – Discussion of Thomas Kuhn on the TAWOP Site

A Review of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 1

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 2

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 3

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 4

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 5

An Interpretation of Scientific Revolutions – Part 6

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.