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Title:Glute ID
Author(s):Yang, Tim
Abstract:Touch ID? Face ID? It's 2019, time for Glute ID! Yes, I mean buttock contours— gluteprints, so to speak. No, gluteprints won't unlock our smartphones or smartcars, but they just might unlock our understanding of pressure sores— potentially life-threatening skin wounds caused by prolonged pressure. In the US, pressure sores cost $11 billion/year at $17,000/hospitalization! Especially susceptible are wheelchairs users, whose gluteprints are routinely monitored for signs of onset. However, this monitoring is still guided subjectively by rule of thumb: avoid high pressures. But how high? How concentrated? When will the wound form? Where precisely? I try to answer these questions quantitatively using machine learning, approaching gluteprint analysis like image recognition. Recently though, I took a moment from the analysis when I saw this gluteprint resembling an inkblot. What do you see? Some friends saw a butterfly. Others, a masked comicbook villain. Another, a winking face. Maybe it's all three, our cocooned understanding of pressure sores ready to blossom like a butterfly as Captain Machine Learning unmasks the secrets of the villainous Pressure Sore, all while Siri winks with encouragement, hoping that soon she can start saving lives when we ask, "Hey Siri, how's my gluteprint today?"
Issue Date:2019
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Tim Yang
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-05-07

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