Read an excerpt from Adam Tanner’s new book, Our Bodies, Our Data

Scientific American has excerpted Adam Tanner’s latest.

Companies that have nothing to do with our medical treatment are allowed to buy and sell our health care data, provided they remove certain fields of information, including birth date, name and Social Security number. These guidelines, outlined in the U.S. HIPAA rules, have allowed a multi-billion-dollar trade in anonymized patient data to emerge in recent years, with data mining firms collecting dossiers on hundreds of millions of patients. A growing number of data scientists and health care experts say the same computing advances that allow the aggregation of millions of anonymized patient files into a dossiers also make it increasingly possible to re-identify those files—that is, to match identities to patients. [ScientificAmerican.com]

“Your private medical data is for sale – and it’s driving a business worth billions”

The Guardian has written about Adam Tanner’s new book, Our Bodies, Our Data.

Your medical data is for sale – all of it. Adam Tanner, a fellow at Harvard’s institute for quantitative social science and author of a new book on the topic, Our Bodies, Our Data, said that patients generally don’t know that their most personal information – what diseases they test positive for, what surgeries they have had – is the stuff of multibillion-dollar business. [TheGuardian.com]

Sam Weinman interviewed at the Washington Post

Sam Weinman talked about his book and explained “how to teach your kids to lose (and why that’s okay).”

Washington Post: What made you want to focus on how to handle losing? Sam Weinman: I originally envisioned it as a small challenge I faced with my boys, but I realized this theme permeates throughout everything — how we deal with our careers, our relationships, looking at the world around us. This was an opportunity to explore the topic and talk to people who had experienced it firsthand. [WashingtonPost.com]

Adam Tanner in the Boston Globe on “Patient power through records”

Adam Tanner, author of the new book Our Bodies, Our Data, has published a new piece at the Boston Globe on access to health data.

A half a century ago, Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Warner Slack grew disturbed by the disorder in which physicians gathered and stored notes about patients. If people could access their health histories, he reasoned, they would be more involved and better informed in making decisions for themselves. In the flowery language of the 1960s, he promoted what he called “patient power.” The key, he thought, was computerization. [BostonGlobe.com]

Scott Belsky set to deliver featured keynote at PCMA

cl17-live-dec_300x250Scott Belsky will be in Austin on Wednesday, January 11th for PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2017 Conference. The event will be live-streamed for free; sign up here to watch.

“I hope to leave people with the belief that they need to invest in the optimization of how they work. Oftentimes we’re just so focused on our work that we don’t really take time to improve the way we work.” –Scott Belsky [PCMAConvene.org]

Gretchen Rubin is the curator of a new podcast network


Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author of The Happiness Project and host of her own Happier podcast, is pleased to announce The Onward Project.

Curated by Gretchen Rubin, the bestselling author and award-winning podcast host, The Onward Project is a collection of podcasts full of concrete, actionable ideas for how you can make your life happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. [TheOnwardProject.com]

Attorney General nominee given Carol Anderson’s book ‘White Rage’ among alleged racial insensitivities claim

In widely reported news, Sen. Dick Durbin, acknowledged that he gave Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-Elect Donald Trump’s AG nominee, a copy of Carol Anderson’s White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, which chronicles the issue of race in America since the Civil War.

“… Durbin signaled that his concerns extend beyond Sessions’ decades-old remarks to the conservative Alabama senator’s views on voter identification laws and the 2013 Supreme Court decision that invalidated key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Durbin even said he gave Sessions a book: “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson …” [Politico.com]

This story was also covered by The Washington Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere.

Bob Sutton provides a tip for “Managing Millennials”

In an article at INC., Bob Sutton provides one of “6 Tips for Managing Millennials.”

Performance appraisals are old school and impersonal. They tend to draw comparisons to other employees, and Millennials don’t want to be graded on a curve. They want direct, personal feedback on their projects in real time, not just blanket feedback every six months based on the team’s performance. “Doing performance evaluations well is like doing bloodletting well,” says Bob Sutton, professor at Stanford University. “It is a bad practice that does more harm than good in all or nearly all cases.”[INC.com]