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Inaccurate diagnoses of melanoma by smartphone apps could delay doctor visits, life-saving treatment

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Jan. 16, 2013 — Smartphone applications that claim to evaluate a user's photographs of skin lesions for the likelihood of cancer instead returned highly variable and often inaccurate feedback, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings, published in JAMA Dermatology and available online January 17, suggest that relying on these "apps" instead of consulting with a physician may delay the diagnosis of melanoma and timely, life-saving treatment.

"Smartphone usage is rapidly increasing, and the applications available to consumers have moved beyond communication and entertainment to everything under the sun, including health care," said lead researcher Laura Ferris...

Computer mediation can help combat bullying in schools

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 20, 2012) — University of Kent research has demonstrated how computer mediation could help combat bullying in schools.

The six-month study, published by Computers in Human Behaviour, focused on students aged 12-13 and their use of technology, including 'avatars' or computer-generated images of themselves, to resolve potential conflict at school.

Key findings include the revelation that students using software which incorporates the latest gesture and...

Enhancing breast cancer detection: Computer algorithm analyzes thermal images of breasts

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 14, 2012) — Straightforward imaging with an infrared, thermal, camera for detecting breast cancer early without the discomfort or inconvenience of mammography or biomolecular tests, according to a study to be published in the International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications.

Tiago Borchartt of the Federal Fluminense University in Brazil and colleagues explain how breast thermography has up to now achieved an average sensitivity and specificity...

Digital tablets improve speed and ease of reading for people with moderate vision loss

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 11, 2012) — People who have eye diseases that damage their central vision can regain the ability to read quickly and comfortably by using digital tablets, according to a recent study. The research found that people with moderate vision loss could increase their reading speed by 15 words-per-minute, on average. Using a tablet with a back-lit screen resulted in the fastest reading speeds for all study participants, no matter what their level of visual...

Field geologists (finally) going digital

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TechAndComputer (Nov. 5, 2012) — Not very long ago a professional geologist's field kit consisted of a Brunton compass, rock hammer, magnifying glass, and field notebook. No longer. In the field and in the labs and classrooms, studying Earth has undergone an explosive change in recent years, fueled by technological leaps in handheld digital devices, especially tablet computers and cameras.

Geologist Terry Pavlis' digital epiphany came almost 20 years ago when he was in a museum...