Tagged: Health and Medicine

More on the PBRF’s new clothes - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Dec 21, 2017

A few of weeks ago I outed the multi-million-dollar exercise that is the Quality Evaluation component of the performance based research fund (PBRF) as a futile exercise because there was no net gain in research dollars for the NZ academic community.  Having revealed the Emperor’s new clothes, I awaited the call from the Minister in … Read More

Anti-fluoridationists misrepresent New Zealand dental data – an annual event - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Dec 18, 2017

  Caught again! – NZ anti-fluoride campaigners tell their annual porky about the MoH statistics for the dental health of school children. This exercise in confirmation bias by New Zealand anti-fluoridation campaigners has become an annual tradition involving confirmation bias and cherry-picking. Every year the Ministry of Health (MoH) releases a spreadsheet containing the most recent data on school children’s dental health. And every … Read More

AI whispering: Be careful what you ask for - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Dec 14, 2017

In this second episode of AI Whispering I learn to be careful what I ask for and the machine learns a new trick. Oops “…machines are machines are machines… …it’s programming Jim, but not as we know it… ..remember to put the foot on the brake…” Those were some of the mantras I needed to repeat after a faux … Read More

Fluoridation means money in the pocket - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Dec 07, 2017

The ordinary person – not the taxation-financed health system – is the main financial beneficiary of community water fluoridation, according to a new study from New Zealand researchers. Their research confirmed that community water fluoridation in New Zealand is highly cost-effective for all but the smallest communities. This study updates previous evaluations by including data for adults – previous studies were limited to … Read More

Anti-fluoridation campaigners often use statistical significance to confirm bias - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Dec 06, 2017

Frankly, these days I just get turned off by media reports of studies showing statistically significant relationships as evidence for or against the latest health or other fads. I was pleased to read this Nature article – Five ways to fix statistics – recently as it mirrors my concern at the way statistical analysis is sometimes used to justify or confirm a bias and not … Read More

AI whispering: And so it begins - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Dec 04, 2017

On Friday, I began a new profession, that of AI Whisperer.  Well, actually, I sent a first email to an intelligent machine for a project that we hope will teach it to read electrocardiograms at least as well as most doctors.  So, ‘AI Whisperer’ is more aspirational than reality for now, but as I post about my experiences with the … Read More

Is synthetic meat ethical? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Nov 30, 2017

I am deeply ashamed of it now – but at the time it seemed like an experience I couldn’t afford to miss. It was so exotic – and I was travelling. Twenty years ago I ate at a restaurant in Johannesburg, the Republic of South Africa,  which specialised in meat dishes – from game animals. It was a real feast. Stews of … Read More

Can you trust Band-Aids? - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Nov 29, 2017

Band-Aid is a household name, but can you trust the way they’re promoted? For years Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Band-Aid adhesive bandages, have been making a simple claim about them. If you put a Band-Aid on a cut, it will heal faster than it would have if left uncovered. Specifically, they say it will heal twice … Read More

Anti-fluoride “expert” finds the real reason oral health has improved – and it’s not fluoride - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Nov 15, 2017

 Anti-fluoride campaigners always promote people like Geoff Pain as “renowned” or “world experts.” They aren’t. Pain has no credible scientific publications on fluoride. No, in fact, he claims lead is responsible for tooth decay and the improvement in oral health is a result of removing airborne lead contamination. And the “proof” is even in the title of his report – … Read More

Cheesecake Files: The ICare-Acute Coronary Syndrome (heart attack) study - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Nov 15, 2017

Hundreds of nurses, Emergency Department doctors, Cardiologists and other specialists, laboratory staff, administrators and managers from every hospital in New Zealand with an emergency department have come together to implement new, effective, and safe pathways for patients who think they may be having a heart attack. Today, Dr Martin Than (CDHB, Emergency Department) presented to the American … Read More