August 2009 Newsletter

CITRIS "shortens the pipeline" between world-class laboratory research in science and engineering and the creation of startups, companies, and whole industries. By engaging business, economics, law, and public policy at the outset of projects, we accelerate and amplify the impact of research that addresses California's most pressing challenges.

Dear Friends of CITRIS,

I am delighted to report that Dr. Javeed Siddiqui of the UC Davis Medical Center has accepted the new position CITRIS Medical Director. On all four of our campuses, CITRIS has been making enormous strides in healthcare, but with the appointment of Dr. Siddiqui, we can reach out more specifically to clinicians and the broader medical community.

As you know, healthcare is currently right at the top of Americans’ list of concerns, along with jobs and the economy. Every year we spend nearly two trillion dollars on health care. We pay about 50% more per person than Switzerland, the next-highest-paying nation. And we are not getting our money’s worth. Americans are far from the top in terms of health and longevity, and more than 40 million of us have almost no access to health care at all. Typical insurance premiums have doubled in the past decade, growing three times faster than wages.

This healthcare crisis is woven of strands that include our country’s aging demographics, twisted but potent incentives for the over-application of expensive tests and procedures, and, I believe, a historically conservative but softening resistance to the application of new technologies and services of precisely the kinds we are developing here at CITRIS. With innovation and determination we can deliver the best healthcare at the best price anywhere in the world.

The first of this month’s stories tells of an innovative service plan based on an IT model that helps doctors with expertise in hard-to-diagnose illnesses find and identify patients across the country and lead them quickly toward effective treatment. By employing interview and profile techniques that add a potent layer of searchable information to the standard computerized medical file, ComplexDX promises to give relief to many of the hundreds of thousands of patients whose physicians have failed to diagnose them correctly.

The second story is about the development in a UC Santa Cruz lab of a wearable robotic device whose innovative EMG-sensor-driven mechanism can both help scientists understand how brains and muscles work and can also inexpensively and efficiently help patients get the physical therapy they need to restore function to broken bodies. It is very CITRIS: better results with increased efficiency and lower costs.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Paul K. Wright
Director, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society

Javeed Siddiqui Appointed as CITRIS Medical Director
Javeed Siddiqui, M.D was recently appointed as Medical Director of CITRIS. Dr. Siddiqui’s work to advance healthcare access and quality through the use of technology has made significant contributions to the field. His project management and strategic planning experience in technology advancement will be valuable throughout the CITRIS community.

CITRIS Research Exchange Schedule online

The schedule for the fall semester is now online at  They will continue to take place on Wednesdays at noon but will now be located in the new CITRIS Headquarters. As always, these talks are free and webcast live, in addition to being available afterwards on our youtube site [].

Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems
The CITRIS-sponsored Berkeley Symposium on Energy Efficient Electronic Systems recently gathered about 100 researchers. The talks are now on-line. In addition, EE Times reporter Rick Merritt interviewed Sun Microsystems co-founder and keynote speaker Bill Joy.

Alex Bayen interviewed on Smartplanet
UC Berkeley Professor Alexandre Bayen was recently interviewed by CBS’ Smartplanet, a new online channel from CBS. The interview focused on Mobile Millennium, a traffic information system built jointly by Nokia, Navteq and UC Berkeley, in partnership with the US Department of Transportation and the California Department of Transportation.

BSN workshop: slides and talks
The talks are online from our successful Body Sensor Networks workshop held in June: Highlights included keynotes from Thomas Nesbitt of UCDMC and from Don Jones from Qualcomm.