How not to: Cold email

This is from a while back but I recently found it in my Tumblr drafts and it was too good not to share.

A few years back I received an unsolicited sales email from someone I have never heard of before.

I reached back out to the sender to share some information only to get this brilliant auto-reply, which asks me (after they initiated the exchange) to verify my address and information before my email would make it to their inbox.

Makes me chuckle to think of the irony, that they were worried about spam…

Read More

Goldman in ventureland

Goldman in Ventureland

Bloomberg ran a great article that summarized Goldman’s history in Venture Capital (you can read the article here: Goldman in Ventureland).

Read More

Terrible password advice from a bank

The Bank of Montreal should be ashamed of themselves by forcing users to have exactly 6 digits in their online banking password.  They just provided my mom with the following instructions while resetting her password:

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 12.15.18 AM

6 digit passwords are not even remotely safe.

Even Google recommends under their web tips that passwords are “long to help keep your information safe”:

Use a long password made up of numbers, letters and symbols

The longer your password is, the harder it is to guess. So make your password long to help keep your information safe. Adding numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters makes it harder for would-be snoops or others to guess or crack your password. Please don’t use ‘123456’ or ‘password,’ and avoid using publicly available information like your phone number in your passwords. It’s not very original, and it isn’t very safe!

Read More

Could a computer have saved my mom from 10+ years of chronic pain?

As someone who has worked in both technology and healthcare – in particular Radiology – for the majority of my professional life this video makes me stop and pause.



IBM’s announcement marries their super computer Watson with a large database of medical images that the computer could soon make predictive sense of:

…Big Blue announced a $1 billion acquisition of Merge Healthcare, and thanks to a marriage of Watson’s existing image analytics and cognitive capabilities and Merge’s data and imagery, the computer should soon be able to recognize many types of medical imagery. In essence, Watson will be able to “see,” IBM said…and eventually save a lot of M.D. eye strain.

Imagine the possibilities:

  • The ability to apply new learnings to previous data.  This one is huge for me personally – as a very long story made short; my mother had a terrible back injury for more than 10 years that her physicians said was never going to get better.  After extensive travel around North America to visit some of the marquee clinics and doctors she was told her condition would never resolve and she had all but lost hope.  Thankfully, through one of my dearest friends Dr. Deepak Kaura (a brilliant human being and physician in his own right), we were connected with the head of Radiology at a hospital in Toronto and shortly thereafter told she was a candidate for surgery.  We flew to Toronto in January of 2012 to have a relatively simple 60-minute out patient procedure performed on her spine, where a cyst was drained and injected with the equivalent of glue to prevent it from filling back up.  Put back into context: for 10 years she had lived with debilitating pain as a result of her condition that all but one Radiologist correctly identified and treated.  Imagine if Watson (or similar technology) was able to go back through a database of medical imagery and find other patients with similar scans and conditions, they too could benefit from such a procedure or treatment as our medical knowledge evolved.
  • Radiologists can spend more time focusing on the images that are of concern, and less on normal images.  This could create real economic advantages within health regions, allowing Radiologists to work smarter instead of harder.
  • The turn-around time of reports could be near-instantaneous.  In some circumstances the time between a Diagnostic Image being acquired (getting an x-ray) and the time that a Radiologist issues a report (looks at the image) could be days or weeks at the extreme, impacting the care and treatment a patient could receive.  A computer, however, would be able to process the data as soon as it was acquired, leading to faster diagnosis and improved timeliness of care.
  • And more!  Computers are far better at consuming massive amounts of data and finding the correlations and connections amongst disparate data points.  I’m confident many more benefits will come of predictive systems like this.

There are companies other than the IBM/Merge combination outlined in this article.  All I hope is that these types of systems will be in place to prevent a similar decade of pain and suffering for patients similar to my mom in the very near future.

You can read the fastcompany article here:

Read More