A quick example of thinslicing – to find the data and to act on the data

1. Consider this excerpt from Wikipedia on the Friendship paradox, as way of a quick mathematical -based example of ‘thinslicing’, that helps predict disease epidemics:

The analysis of the friendship paradox implies that the friends of randomly selected individuals are likely to have higher than average centrality. This observation has been used as a way to forecast and slow the course of epidemics, by using this random selection process to choose individuals to immunize or monitor for infection while avoiding the need for a complex computation of the centrality of all nodes in the network.[5][6][7]

2. Then consider that this is probably what happened in one New York community, prior to the full impact of HIV, to quote one study from Dr Sam Friedman:

In the period from 1976 to the early 1980’s, seroprevalence in New York rose from zero to about 50%…The epidemic then entered a period of dynamic stabilization…Although mathematical models have suggested network saturation may have been an important part of the stabilization process (Blower, 1991), the sociometric analysis of drug injectors’ networks conducted during the research for this volume suggest that the extent of network saturation may have been quite limited.

Behaviour change probably made a major contribution to the stabilization of seroprevalence. In spite of a popular image that would suggest that either “slavery to their addiction” or “hedonistic, selfish personalities that ignore risks and social responsibility,” drug injectors in New York (and indeed, throughout the world) have acted both to protect themselves and others against the AIDS epidemic. Thus, by 1984, before there were any programs other than the mass media to inform them about AIDS or to help to protect themselves, drug injectors in New York were engaged in widespread risk reduction…Furthermore, observations on the street confirmed this by showing that drug dealers were competing with others for business by offering free sterile syringes along with their drugs as AIDS-prevention techniques.

BTW if you’ve stumbled on this post and wonder what it all means, join the club. I am still working on myself, but there’s something here about ‘thinslicing’ as an outsider – in this example finding who to immunize in an epidemic; and ‘thinslicing’ from an insider perspective, in this example, who with little information people figured out how to take precautionary measures.Hence the title addition – to find the data and to act on the data..

Request for innovation ideas for the NHS

Just received this email from the NHS’s Innovation Health and Wealth Team, calling for innovation ideas for the “second wave of high impact innovations to be carried forward into 2013/14”. Deadline is 20 November, btw.

Dear colleague,

Invitation for High Impact Innovations in support of Innovation Health and Wealth

The High Impact Innovation website – www.innovation.nhs.uk has been developed to support the spread and diffusion of significant innovation more widely across the NHS. Having started initially with six high impact innovations, we are now seeking a second wave of high impact innovations to be carried forward into 2013/14.

The website is a source of information and intelligence for change agents and commissioners in the NHS, to support them in implementing the High Impact Innovations Programme.

We are seeking submissions of ideas and innovations from interested parties across the NHS system who would like to see their innovation taken forward into this next phase.

We’d really like to hear your ideas if they meet at least one of the established criteria:

• Value for money
• Fulfilling a recognized need
• Quality of patient care
• Efficiency
• Savings and benefits
• Improves or replaces an existing service.

To submit your idea, visit www.innovation.nhs.uk and access the online form which appears on the left hand column of the home page.

Ideas should be submitted before 20 November 2012, and once submitted, forms will be reviewed and filtered by an expert panel who will select up to 100 of the most appropriate innovations to be taken forward.

Please note that submissions of ideas will be treated confidentially and as commercially sensitive and will not be passed on.
Your input is invaluable in driving the next wave of innovation and we look forward to receiving your ideas.

Kind regards,

Innovation Health and Wealth Team