Thursday, March 18, 2010

Traitwise alpha general release

We've made a lot of progress on Traitwise our engine for permitting people to ask and answer seemingly random health-related questions. From this public Q&A we find correlations among all the participants and permit you to understand yourself in a larger context. We also hope that in the long term this gigantic dirty database of answers will reveal interesting things about human health. And, even through we've only barely begun to populate the database, already the correlation engine is turning up intriguing things. For example, some I've looked at today...
  • Reporting that you "have trouble regulating your emotions" is strongly correlated to experiencing significant forgetfulness.
  • Experiencing dry mouth is correlated to napping
  • Being irritable is correlated to being clumsy
While some of these might be statistical flukes (we are, after all, already testing about half a million hypothesis!!) the engine will soon be able to crank up the sampling of those high-interest correlations so that we can asertain if these are statistical flukes or not. Of course, this all depends on participantion, so I beg all of my friends to go to and participate as well as forward the link to whomever they can.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Traitwise alpha -- Call for participation

As many of my friends know, I've been working on a project for sometime that aims to develop a user-friendly interface for answering and creating health-related questions. We are excited to release the alpha version of and hope you'll help us by participating.

Traitwise is about giving us all a voice in our own health care. Not only can you answer questions, but you may develop questions of your own about any health related subject. We would very much appreciate it if you would create an account and then create questions,
especially about specific diseases or conditions based on your own experience -- after all, no one knows better about a condition than those who suffer from it.

The question creation process is very easy, and don't worry about making mistakes -- all questions go through a review process.

If you are interested in creating questions, you may review the question creation guidelines here, which may make the process easier for us:

For those super-technical friends of mine, be sure to check out the "Analytics" page and see a prototype of how it is that our system finds interesting patterns. (Try "sleep" as an example).

Please note that as this is an alpha release and thus there are plenty of bugs to find (please report them on the "Feedback" page) and many features missing. The most important of the missing features is "results" -- that is returning back to you the interesting findings about your health. As it is now, the system mostly takes from you (your answers and questions) but gives back very little (the results). By answering questions, you are helping us to gather a sufficient amount of data that we may fully develop the results pages.

Thank you for all your help!