Social Media Round Up – Productivity, medical advances and the perils of sausage rolls

An app a day

News of two mobile based apps stood out for us this week for their sheer cleverness. One can replace prick testing for people with diabetes and the other allows a user to perform an ultrasound with the aid of a small plug-in gadget.

Epic Health, an app for diabetics, is in the midst of clinical trials and proving very accurate. Using a smart phone’s camera placed directly on a finger, the app is capable of reading blood flow and returns accurate stats about glucose levels, blood pressure, heart rate and respiration. All of this without breaking the skin. In tests so far, it has apparently proved as accurate as the traditional finger-prick method of testing blood.

A second medical application that caught our attention is a device called the iQ, a small handheld scanner that can be plugged in to a smart phone to perform an ultrasound.

The device uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide any user to look for what they need to, meaning it doesn’t require a specially trained technician to operate it. Significantly cheaper than the traditional ultrasound kit, the imagery isn’t as clear (yet), but it opens up possibilities of improving access to a medical procedure that is so important in the early detection of illnesses.

Is email damaging our productivity?

The Evening Standard published a nice little article from Business Insider this week about productivity that resonated with us, particularly the impact that email can have on time management (the irony that most of you will be reading this on an email hasn’t been lost on us!)

Email is essential for us to do our jobs, but sometimes it can hinder rather than help. Speaking to three different business productivity experts they had a few pieces of advice to help break bad email habits. We’ll let you decide how feasible they are…

Tip 1 – On the whole, we’re most productive in the morning. The article comments that “your inbox is everyone else’s to do list”. Avoid the temptation to open your inbox first thing and allow yourself to complete the tasks that you need to do by devoting your full attention to them.

Tip 2 – We write emails that are too long. Write shorter emails.

Tip 3 – Too many emails overwhelm us. Use email filters, limit your inbox checking to fixed times of day, avoid email for back-and-forth conversations, and pick up the phone.

The advent calendar rolling in controversy

It’s only 37 days until Christmas! Advent calendars are stacked in supermarkets and shops across the country and even Gregg’s the Bakers is getting in on the act. Behind every door of their advent calendar is a token that can be taken into any Gregg’s store and exchanged for a tasty treat.

The advent calendar has hit the front pages this week as their promotional image depicted the three wise men sitting around, not a manger, but a sausage roll. Online reaction was mixed; some thought it was a bit of silly Christmas fun, whilst others condemned Gregg’s for swapping the baby Jesus for a sausage filled pastry, forcing the high-street chain to make a public apology.

The art of dressing in digital age

Looking at a rail of clothes, rummaging through drawers or grabbing a (just dry enough) garment from the drying rack are all too familiar when it comes to getting dressed. While technology seems to be advancing in every other area of our lives, the art of getting dressed seems to be relatively untouched.

However, this is changing. Earlier this year Amazon launched Amazon Echo Look which can analyse your fashion choices with the aid of an inbuilt voice controlled camera. The style checker uses machine learning to extrapolate human opinions on fashion to tell you whether your look is in or out. It will also be able to suggest brands where you can purchase similar or complimentary clothing.

We’re not sure the outlay for the Amazon Echo Look is quite worth the money. One thought is this will just lead to homogenous fashion advice, limiting self-expression, and anyway, we think you’re fabulous just the way you are!

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