The Veriblog

Trends in Oncology: Metaphor Basics

The treatment discussion as a whole has been impacted by the launch of new classes of treatment and new products over the past year. One third (10/30) of newly approved molecules in the European Union in 2016 were drugs for use in oncology.

As we continue our look at trends across Verilogue’s conversation database, one common device physicians and patients often can use to discuss treatment options is a metaphor.

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Three Conference Tips for Attending Your Next Big Event

How many times have you found yourself at a conference, attending sessions you have no interest in, and then spending most of the night catching up on work?  Hopefully, not many but a bad conference experience can happen. Many people find themselves ebbing and flowing through conference highs and lows throughout the day, from networking with high potential clients to waiting for people to visit your booth.

Fortunately, we’ve combined our top three tips and tricks to making it past the lows and focusing on the highs at your next conference.

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Solving Your Marketing Problems with Linguistics

When you ask a linguist what the most common question they get asked is, you’re most likely going to hear “how many languages do you speak?” This questions isn’t a bad or wrong question, but it showcases how focused the image of linguistics is to many people. I mean, just take a quick search for “linguistic jobs” and you’ll see many of them are translation/transcription work. This idea is definitely in need of a refresh.

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VeriHistory Lesson: ASR, Big Data, and Accuracy


The market research we conduct at Verilogue is a bit unique.  It relies on the linguistic analysis of actual recorded conversations between physicians and their patients/caregivers.  While having the audio is great for detecting tonality and sentiment, the real meat behind our analyses requires a highly accurate, verbatim transcript.How could we get the transcripts we needed at a reasonable cost?

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Shades of Grey: Is There More to Patient Engagement?

With the Academy Awards on Sunday, those who watched the evening saw more than glittering dresses, tears of joy, and faces of disappointment. If you tuned in for a bit of the ceremony, you also saw the host, Jimmy Kimmel, work to make hours of awards and speeches (which, let’s face it, can be quite mundane) an engaging event for those present.

With bags of candy dropping from the ceiling, to quipping with Matt Damon, and parading a group of tourists through the front row of the Dolby Theatre to fawn over nominees like Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington, Kimmel used these tactics to keep the event interactive. But for those who watched from the comfort of their couches, would you say the audience was engaged? Were there some stars more engaged than others? How could you tell?

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Galactic Grammar and Interstellar Syntax

A Linguist’s response to the film Arrival

There’s been some hype about the new film Arrival, and some newfound attention to the field of linguistics. Rather than point out all of the inevitable liberty-taking that comes with projecting an everyday life onto the big screen, I wanted to show my appreciation. And the way I’m going to do that is by comparing the film to one of my other favorite sci-fi classics: the 1962 Twilight Zone episode ‘To Serve Man’.

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Talking Taboo: Opioid Abuse on the Rise

The “opioid epidemic” is a growing problem in the United States. The state of Virginia declared a public health emergency relating to abuse of such substances, Google search data shows a higher rate of searches for the heroin treatment Suboxone than for any other prescription drug in the US, and new articles and studies are published daily covering this issue. 

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Coming Up Next: How do Doctors Talk about the Drug Pipeline?

When we talk about the drug pipeline, we’re talking about the future.

Pipeline drugs are often the newest medical advancements that scientists are still in the process of testing for safety or efficacy. As doctors can’t generally prescribe pipeline drugs, I wasn’t expecting them to come up very often in in-office dialogues. But as I’ve found listening in to Verilogue’s medical conversation database, doctors are still talking about these upcoming treatments with patients, and they have a lot of different reasons for doing so.

Verilogue’s database currently has about 200 recorded in-office visits that feature discussion of the drug “pipeline.”  Remember that last month we found that over 400 in-office conversations included the word “zombie,” which might lead us to believe that pipeline talk is less frequent than, say, patients talking about how they feel like characters from The Walking Dead. But it’s also important to note that discussions of new treatments arise with a lot more lexical variety than just the word ‘pipeline.’

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Zombie, Walkers, and The Walking Dead: Exploring In-Office Constructs of Meaning

The impending return of AMC’s The Walking Dead on October 23rd, with its portrayal of flesh-eating, swarming zombies, or “walkers” as they’ve been coined, has me thinking about how we use that term in our daily lives. Or more specifically, what do patients and physicians actually mean when they say “like a zombie”? Because hopefully if that’s the case patients are not referring to some nightmarish experience wherein they sought after a cannibalistic treat.

In Verilogue’s database, a quick search revealed that we have dialogues with OVER 400 patients and physicians using the term “zombie” in some way to describe symptoms or side effects.

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Talking Taboo: Election Politics in the Exam Room

With the first two debates in the books and a third fast approaching, you may be thinking to yourself: “I don’t care for either one of those people.” You most likely wouldn’t be alone. The undecided voter gained a face with Ken Bone during an earlier presidential debate, but what do others say? We checked out our database of over 12,000 patient-physician conversations since mid 2015 to examine what everyday people and physicians are really saying about this election season.

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