Tag Archives: Software

CYCLE : calendar program for women


CYCLE is a “calendar program for women. Given a cycle length or statistics for several periods, it can calculate the days until menstruation, the days of “safe” sex, the fertile period, and the days to ovulations, and define the d.o.b. of a child. It allows the user to write notes and helps to supervise the reception of hormonal contraceptive tablets.

Cycle is written in Python (also wxPython required) and distributed under the GNU General Public License.”


The ethical challenges of ubiquitous healthcare (Brown & Adams)


Ubiquitous healthcare is an emerging area of technology that uses a large number of environmental and patient sensors and actuators to monitor and improve patients’ physical and mental condition. Tiny sensors gather data on almost any physiological characteristic that can be used to diagnose health problems. This technology faces some challenging ethical questions, ranging from the small-scale individual issues of trust and efficacy to the societal issues of health and longevity gaps related to economic status. It presents par- ticular problems in combining developing computer/information/media ethics with established medical ethics. This article describes a practice-based ethics approach, considering in particular the areas of privacy, agency, equity and liability. It raises questions that ubiquitous healthcare will force practitioners to face as they de- velop ubiquitous healthcare systems. Medicine is a controlled profession whose practise is commonly re- stricted by government-appointed authorities, whereas computer software and hardware development is notoriously lacking in such regimes.

” In this article we present a practise-based ethics approach, raising the questions to which medical and computing professionals will be forced to face up, as they collaborate to develop and deploy ubiquitous healthcare systems.” 

The ethical challenges of ubiquitous healthcare, Ian Brown & Andrew A. Adams in IRIE, International Review of Informational Ethics, Vol.8 12/2007

Open-source healthcare software

List of open-source healthcare software on wikipedia 


GNU Health :

A free Health and Hospital Information System with the following functionality: 
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
– Hospital Information System (HIS)
– Health Information System

Our goal is to contribute with health professionals around the world to improve the lives of the underprivileged, providing a free system that optimizes health promotion and disease prevention. 

GNU Health is an official GNU Package, and the Hospital Information System adopted by the United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health, for the implementations and trainings.

GNUMed : 

Free, liberated open source Electronic Medical Record software in multiple languages to assist and improve longitudinal care (specifically in ambulatory settings, i.e. multi-professional practices and clinics).

 It is made available at no charge and is capable of running on GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is developed by a handful of medical doctors and programmers from all over the world.

 It can be useful to anyone documenting the health of patients including, but not limited to, doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, acupuncturists, nurses, psychologists …


Dusk-til-dawn eyestrain relief with the program REDSHIFT

Long hours in front of a computer screen can cause great eyestrain and fatigue.

The “repetitive stress”corresponding to such constant focusing and adaptive efforts from the eyes can lead to a bunch of symptoms, hence a syndrome, conveniently called Computer Vision Syndrome: Blurred Vision, Double vision, Eye Dryness, Headaches, Neck pain…

One way or “tip”, among others, to prevent or reduce these is to adjust your computer’s display settings, for Brightness, Text size and contrast, and Color temperature.

This is where the project Redshift comes in.

“Redshift adjusts the color temperature according to the position of the sun. A different color temperature is set during night and daytime. During twilight and early morning, the color temperature transitions smoothly from night to daytime temperature to allow your eyes to slowly adapt. At night the color temperature should be set to match the lamps in your room. This is typically a low temperature at around 3000K-4000K (default is 3700K). During the day, the color temperature should match the light from outside, typically around 5500K-6500K (default is 5500K). The light has a higher temperature on an overcast day.”

It sounds both poetic and soothing although I haven’t tested it, and I believe it would be for everyone to make their own opinion. I am told some are very satisfied with it and wouldn’t live without it, while others cannot stand it – or simply find it incompatible with their tasks, being, for example, graphic designers working with colors.

French readers can read a review of Redshift by Geekfault (stroll down the commentaries for users feedbacks).

Redshift, ne vous abimez plus les yeux la nuit, by Geekfault.

Being programmed by a program: a review of Workrave by Sophie Hiltner

Physical therapist Sophie Hiltner offers a quick review of Workrave ”a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.”

More from Sophie in the talk she gave at 30C3 last December, CODING YOUR BODY

Workrave: being programmed by a program

A review by Sophie Hiltner 

Sitting at my desk working as usual I suddenly feel the urge to stretch my arms high in the air, extending my thoracic spine. Two seconds after I had followed my impulse, the little reminder from workrave popped up to tell me I needed a micro pause. What happened here, had the one week trial phase already left its impression in my movement patterns inside my brain?

I will give you a quick overview about the program workrave (http://www.workrave.org/), my experiences with it and a physiotherapeutical evaluation of its function.

Workrave is a programm that monitors the use of keyboard or mouse. The programm offers two different kinds of pauses, a microbreak and a coffeebreak. The preset timing, of the intervals of the pauses, did not feel good to me, therefore I chose a twenty minutes rhythm for the micropause of thirty seconds and one hour rhythm for the coffee break of five minutes. During those breaks your monitor is blocked, unless you decide to skip or postpone the break by a certain period of time. In general I use these microbreaks to stretch, get out of the chair,  go to the bathroom or fill up my tea cup. Choosing a small cup and putting the tea pot at the other end of the room is a great opportunity for a small walk between the sitting phases of your day.

During the coffeebreaks the programm offers excercises for shoulders, eyes, fingers and arms. For example: stretching out your fingers or neck muscles. Each exercise is about twenty-five seconds long. Depending on your motivation you can choose up to ten excercises per break. These exercises are helpful from a physiotherapeutical point of view, but especially the stretches are way to short. If you like the excercises offered I would suggest doing one maximum two and repeating those for at least one minute each. Concentrate on your breathing while stretching, for example your neck, and feel the tension leave your body while you exhale.

A friendly person sent me his comment about workrave “Since I use workrave, my room is much cleaner.”. I have to agree, besides the stretching I used the breaks also to tidy up things quickly, wash the dishes or make fresh tea.

Besides all those advantages I have two points I am not happy about. First of all, when you are not typing or using your mouse the programm counts it as a break. Since I am also reading a lot when working I need to remind myself of those breaks. But after using workrave quite often while I was writing, my body started to remind itself of the needed breaks. This does not mean, that the program became unnecessary, but that Pavlov was correct. Bottomline: the programm helped me to be more aware of continuous sitting periods and I start to move subconsciously whenever a break should be taken.

The second point of criticism: workrave is incredibly sexist, since the person presenting the exercises is a big busted woman with braided hair. A neutral person would be more suitable, at least for my taste.

Another thing is, that wordrave is not availabe for Mac L sorry to say. If anybody knows a mac compatible programm let me know.

That is what I have to say about workrave. If you have questions, suggestions or critique: Let me know! Till then keep working out in the office,