Martial arts clubs list update

Further to yesterday apparently Aikiweb have a copyright so those entries will be removed. Useful as an indication of how others might view what my friebds and fellow martial artists are trying to do. Will try aikido contacts through other means. 

Will not be posting on this again 


Water sanitation module update

We have agreed to begin development of the open access materials on People’s University in early 2017. There are also other research and partnership possibilities together with People’s University that they would like to explore, one of which we will know more about by the end of next week. Surrey subject matter experts are also in increased teaching commitments this term so it will be better all round to keep discussions and planning going throughout the rest of 2016 so that we can quickly move forward when convenient after that.

We also agreed that water sanitation and environmental health were a good fit for the existing content on People’s University so will be exploring additional environmental health connections too during the next few months.

It also gives me time to afford to read some of their thinking in the (apparently £160 in hardback!) Handbook of Water and Health







Projects update

Royal Marsden

Moving from systems dev on the Learning Hub (our LMS) into business as usual & developing a fun approach to commissioning learning alongside some core learning governance & establishing a network of interests. Additional systems development will involve linking with external providers (in progress) possibly appraisal & revalidation and future links with other Royal Marsden educational facilities.

Regular design & development of modules and a randomised trial of online versus offline – very brief paper to follow at some point in autumn


Had a good discussion with People’s University and decided on a format which will be an open-access ooc with an online discussion open for a specific couple of weeks during which any learners can ask our subject matter experts anything. They have experimented with live classroom format with mixed results due to timezones confusion and also multi-lingual courses in French and Spanish also with mixed results. We discussed translation of materials in advance versus use of learner browser tools and decided to continue in English and see what emerges.

  • Pharma – outline by end of next week – due to the large area it encompasses for a short course, this will be interesting to make it meaningful and case studies/scenarios/examples from MHRA & hopefully EMA. EUPATI have released a patient involvement eLearning program which can be added into Moodle so that will be useful to embed.
  • Mobile & apps innovation – will be linked into pharma course
  • Water sanitation  – meeting this Thursday to discuss

I read an article about doctors being unable to access the latest research. This is common in many countries including UK for possibly similar reasons – time spent with patients & other activities, infrequent or patchy internet access, cost of accessing subscription models for journals & also lack of routes to find research.

I have started to make enquiries with Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research about developing an app to help disseminate research, with some interest shown. There are many aggregators of research and it still brings back to the same issues that have existed since the early days of mobile phones,  what is the context of the users, what is useful on a small screen, what is ergonomically good design versus other hardware or software formats. I’ve also met with a colleague from the National Institute of Health Research who has been given the go-ahead by MHRA for an app so everything seems to be coming together at the right time.

Chronic pain research is a personal area of research mainly due to a relative with chronic pain over 20 years, that I started to look into years ago , but have not caught up with (arthritis & Parkinson’s). Will be posting soon with ideas once I’ve looked into the last few years of links as an example of information visual display, until further updates from RM & ICR as and when.

Creating a large spreadsheet of martial arts clubs across the Eurovision areas for a separate project and will also be sending to DojoDirectory. Norway is the best country in that there is a map of many different martial arts and where the clubs are located. Aikiweb is the best martial arts resource for a martial arts with a very comprehensive directory of clubs across the world. If anyone wants, it will be online from the weekend.

It’s not a pretty or very comprehensive spreadsheet but will be a starting point – approx 4000 entries for clubs & 230 for federations. Taekwondo clubs have been very difficult to find without looking at individual websites so haven’t and some of the less popular martial arts. Some UK clubs included but not taekwondo (most clubs available via ITF or WTF UK websites). Anything missed is not a political statement just ran out of time or couldn’t find.




Why doesn’t technology provide an economic payoff in healthcare?

Answers in a great post from Healthcare Renewal who have by far the most comprehensive views on technology implementations in health systems that I have come across.

“I do not think “political appeal” is a good justification for a multi-billion dollar cybernetic experiment in medicine, where the risks of the technology are considerable and where basic healthcare needs are not being well met among the poor and underprivileged.
Former ONC Chair David Brailer is quoted:
“People confuse information automation with creating the kind of work environment where productivity and creativity can flourish,” said Dr. David J. Brailer, who was the national health technology coordinator in the George W. Bush administration. “And so little has gone into changing work so far.”
Brailer was little better than Jha, and moves the goalposts with a type of circular logic.  He appears to be saying that technology that will revolutionize medicine can’t work until we change how things are done in medicine so the technology can revolutionize medicine.1
This may be why there is an increase in technology companies partnering with big pharma so that regulation can be skipped which means the several hundred year old issues of marketing a product with claims that cannot be clinically or scientifically proven will continue and there will not be an economic dividend other than short term benefits for the boards and senior members of those companies.
I covered this briefly and partly incoherently (according to my reviewer) in Computers, Code and Conflict.
This is not just systems, devices, apps – there are some obvious incredible benefits with development of radiotherapy, key hole surgery, robotic surgery in some cases etc
It’s the claims of the rest without scrutiny about their safety and efficacy. Advanced algorithms (now commonly called & hyped AI) and doctors/nurses vocation are not interchangeable. Do no harm is commonly used in scifi and technology literature but do no harm is at the core of the humans that are in clinical professions especially those in public services. They are not concepts that politicians and technology companies can understand  in the same way unless they have previously worked in those professions or partly in similar public services protecting public safety.

On a related note, The Politics of NHS Market Reforms

1. Silverstein S (2016)NY Times/Steve Lohr asks “Why the Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive.” The answer in medicine is obvious,

Royal Marsden & cancer therapies for children

The hospital I work in is always carrying out amazing research into care, treatment and prevention.

There are so many brave patients here especially the younger ones sometimes with terminal illnesses. The staff don’t give up either, working tirelessly to improve health and their care before, during and after.

A British Gem – Ken Loach releasing his films on youtube

The British film industry has a wonderful reputation for producing hard hitting dramas but so few can reach into the guts of humanity in the face of constant political upheaval with a consistent message about how we treat each other. His most recent film which he came out of retirement to produce once the Conservative party came into full government-  I, Daniel Blake has recently won the Palme D.Or at Cannes, portraying the practical, physical and mental struggles that someone in 2016 Britain faces when life throws constant challenges at them.

Up and down the country, you can hear people discussing Ken Loach films and how they have been touched by his devotion to filming real lives e.g. Kes is an outstanding and eye-opening story for British children to read who have not experienced the same background, beautifully filmed by Ken Loach and many stories for adults including Spirit of 45, Cathy Come Home.

A lovely, warm, passionate, talented man

Pharma & water sanitation eLearning projects on People’s University

I first heard of People’s University from a fantastic semi-retired doctor when we were marching down the length of the country over a 300 mile route in approx 3 weeks –  unlike me, he completed the full 300 miles albeit with some impressive blisters (I managed over 210 but due to commitments could not be there every day). We were raising awareness that our NHS was under threat of extinction and should be publicly funded, accountable and publicly delivered. Walking together over many miles provided many opportunities to talk about other stuff too.

I have recently reconnected with colleagues / ex colleagues from MHRA and decided to also link in ex colleagues who run an international centre of excellence in water sanitation. We have been talking about doing things like this for years but never got round to it.

People’s University is a nice home for the projects because they will complement their existing clinical and public health content. With all the changes in patient involvement in health, technology developments and resources supporting these – it’s an opportunity to links some of these together alongside the traditional drug/device R&D & regulatory affairs.

If anyone is interested in becoming involved, especially multi-lingual contributors please contact me on Skype nicola.avery, twitter @nicolaavery or via this blog. Everyone is contributing on a voluntary basis.

Outline ideally drafted by late September, possibly parallel development for both projects depending on scope.