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Johnson & Johnson

As a midwife, Tiffany Lundeen's heard her share of emergency scenarios gone wrong. But there's one that keeps getting replayed over and over:

A health care provider who's still learning the ropes comes up against a hemorrhaging mother, and there's no one with more experience on call. As the panic sets in, the procedures that were once easy to remember in training fly out the window.

Paralyzed by fear, the provider doesn't take any actions to save the mother's life and ends up referring her to a nearby hospital. Because the referral process takes some time, the mother bleeds out on the way there.


Since postpartum hemorrhaging (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, this scenario can happen just about anywhere. However, it's most common in developing countries where clinics are often manned by providers who aren't experienced in emergency protocol.

That's why Lundeen, together with her friend, Dr. Dilys Walker, decided to develop a smart tool to help guide providers through lifesaving PPH procedures.

[rebelmouse-image 19346939 dam="1" original_size="700x358" caption="Photo via UCSF VirtualMentor/YouTube." expand=1]Photo via UCSF VirtualMentor/YouTube.

Walker and Lundeen work together at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Sciences. During a discussion they had back in 2017, the two women realized that a major impediment to maternal and newborn emergency care was the Safe Childbirth Checklist.

Basically it's a list that helps birth attendants remember all the essential preventative practices that can effectively diminish the rate of maternal and newborn mortalities.

The problem, however, is that the list is written down.

"In terms of my workflow in taking care of women and babies during childbirth, using a paper checklist wouldn't be very practical for me," Lundeen explains. "I'd rather have something that could prompt me audibly."

This makes even more sense in an emergency situation — how can providers keep checking a list when they're in the middle of trying to save a life and grappling with all the stress and panic that comes with that?

While a mentor who provides audible, step-by-step instructions seemed like the perfect solution, they wanted to be sure it would work in places that needed the most help.

So they took the idea to Kenya.

A nurse during a PPH simulation in Kenya. Photo by Melanie Wise, used with permission.

They partnered with Dr. Anthony Wanyoro, an OB-GYN who's on staff at Kenyatta University and at two maternity hospitals in Kenya. Wanyoro has long been dedicated to reducing maternal mortality rates in Kenya, so from the moment Lundeen and Walker proposed what they were calling the Virtual Mentor to him, he was on board.

"The idea of bringing an expert in the room to help focus, guide, and center everyone sounded like the right thing," Walker says.

Walker had actually been working for years with a nonprofit called Pronto International, which helps train birth attendants through simulation all over the world. That, along with their partnership with Wanyoro, provided the perfect platform to test out the Virtual Mentor in real-life settings.

For the past year, Lundeen, Walker and Wanyoro have been working with health care providers in Kenya to make sure the steps and language their prototype will use are the most helpful. It's been a lot of trial and error, but the nurses and midwives have been incredibly receptive and optimistic about their work.

Wanyoro in a brainstorming session in Kenya. Photo by Melanie Wise.

According to Lundeen, during testing, many of the midwives said, "As soon as I heard the voice, I didn't feel scared anymore because I knew I wouldn't forget to do the right thing."

The project's still in the very early stages, but thanks to the funds they've received from being a GenH finalist, they've been able to get going on their prototype's software.

GenH acknowledges and rewards innovators who are taking world health care to the next level. Needless to say, Lundeen, Walker and Wanyoro fit the criteria.

Aside from the monetary help, GenH has provided the medical practitioners with invaluable resources to help them turn their clinical idea into a model that can be reproduced anywhere.

Once they have a fully functional prototype, they plan to do rigorous testing to see just how much of a difference being aided by a virtual mentor makes to health care providers during a birth emergency.

If the testing ultimately shows its usefulness, they hope to one day develop software for a whole host of emergency birth scenarios, including pre-eclampsia and newborn resuscitation. They also want the mentor to be able to log what procedures providers complete, which in turn will cut down how much providers have to document after the fact — a major frustration in the medical profession.

Lundeen can already see the positive impact her innovation is having. And one day, in the not too distant future, she can see the difference it could make in any medical emergency where experts are lacking.

[rebelmouse-image 19346944 dam="1" original_size="700x355" caption="Lundeen and Walker perform a PPH simulation. Photo via UCSF VirtualMentor/YouTube." expand=1]Lundeen and Walker perform a PPH simulation. Photo via UCSF VirtualMentor/YouTube.

"We know exactly how useful it could be," says Lundeen. "And we are totally committed to working and thinking through all the technical and clinical challenges."

If the guesswork in medical emergencies was taken out of the equation, doing nothing out of fear or to avoid liability would become a thing of the past. In fact, what were once dubbed life-threatening scenarios might be permanently downgraded to run-of-the-mill.

And it's all thanks to three medical professionals who recognized the importance of having your hands free.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

Pop Culture

'90s kids share movies that will 'take you back to a better time'

It was a magical time when animals played sports and yet somehow things were just simpler.

YouTube/Upworthy photo illustration

Honey, I shrunk the kid named Matilda while jamming in space!

Everyone knows that '90s movies just hit different. From sports movies to rom-coms to even horror, there was an undeniable innocence, without being overly simplistic or juvenile. They didn’t have nearly the amount of money going into production as they do today, but somehow managed to transport us to magical places.

Movies of the '90s are so iconic that there have been several attempts to reboot beloved titles. Which, let’s face it, tends to be a fool's errand at a cash grab. These movies are so timeless that simply viewing the original is more than fine.

Not sure which movie to start with? You’re in luck—a Reddit user by the name of YouBrokeMyTV asked ’90s kids to share movies that took them “back to a better time,” and because the internet can be a wonderful place, tons of people responded with some beloved classics.

These answers certainly don’t make a definitive list (there are just so, so many gems) but they're a fun glimpse into what made '90s cinema so special. A nostalgic romp through memory lane, if you will.

Enjoy these 14 titles that just might leave you jonesing for a rewatch:

1. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

via GIPHY

A perfect example of how '90s movies were silly, but smart at the same time. And oh so wholesome.

2. "The Sandlot"

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It taught us nothing about baseball, but everything about friendship, rooting for the underdog and (most important) how to make s’mores.

3. "Drop Dead Fred"

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Critics might have run this cult classic through the mud during its inception, but audiences fell in love with the bizarre charm of this story about a mischievous little girl and her anarchist imaginary friend. So take that, snotfaces!

4. "The Goonies"

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Everyone just wanted to set off an epic quest with their friends for pirate treasure after seeing this movie.

5. Tim Burton's "Batman"

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Before the superhero genre was the behemoth it is today, a quirky director and the dude who was best known for playing the creepy demon in "Beetlejuice" breathed new life into comic-book movies. Marvel might be the leader on creating stories with adult themes that are digestible for kids nowadays, but this DC film was the first of its kind. Plus, that soundtrack … forget about it.

6. "Hook"

via GIPHY

Pretty much any '90s film starring Robin Williams was an absolute gem, but this one in particular is timeless. His gift of balancing childlike humor with emotional gravitas lent itself so well to playing the now grown and cynical Peter Pan, who must learn to reclaim his joy (relatable, millennials?). It was a bang-a-rang-er, no question.

7. "Space Jam"

via GIPHY

It had Looney Tunes, it had aliens and it had Michael Jordan. That’s a winning combination.

8. "Matilda"

via GIPHY

I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that this movie helped a lot of kids make their way through difficult childhoods.

9. "The Parent Trap"

via GIPHY

Even '90s reboots were awesome. And how fun it is to see that Lisa Ann Walker—the actress who played Chessy the housekeeper—is not only yet again gracing the screens in NBC’s “Abbott Elementary,” but is also being revered as a style icon on TikTok for her ultra casual looks in the film. We all knew she was onto something with long button downs and shorts.

10. "The Land Before Time"

via GIPHY


No cartoon, not even “The Lion King,” was a better depiction of childhood grief. And yet, despite encapsulating tragedy, director Don Bluth still left viewers hopeful. The subsequent 14 (yes 14) sequels definitely pale in comparison to the original, but "The Land Before Time" continues to stand the test of time nonetheless.

11. "Richie Rich"

via GIPHY

The scene where they play tag on four-wheelers is simply iconic.

12. "Dunston Checks In"

via GIPHY

Man, the '90s were the golden age of animal-centered films. And not just monkeys either—we got sports playing golden retrievers and not one, but two movies starring talking pigs. What a time to be alive. These films were made before CGI had reached the levels it’s at today, and the authentic interactions between humans and creatures reached right through the screen.

13. "George of the Jungle"
george of the jungle, brendan faser

Watch out for the tree!!!

Giphy

Have I seen this movie at least 20 times? Probably. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of silly action films with bird puppets. It’s crazy to think that this role would eventually lead Brendan Fraser to "The Mummy" franchise, turning him into a household name. Though his career has had some tragic ups and downs, we are all grateful for the glorious comeback he’s been having.

14. Anything involving Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
mary kate and ashley

Yes, they were professional detectives.

Giphy

Whether vacationing in London, Paris or Rome, whether playing magical witches or making a huge billboard so their father could find love … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen offered zany, whimsical entertainment while wearing fun outfits. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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