Monthly Archives: April 2009

Where are health costs headed?

Great presentation illustrating the trends in healthcare spending in the US – up to 2007.  Includes one slide comparing with a number of other countries – including UK.

Brought to my attention by @endamadden on twitter.

Do we have similar information available for Ireland?

Patient doctor collaboration

Interesting post on project healthdesign: The Doctor’s Role in a Health 2.0 World.

Describing the patient as the ceo for his own body ie he takes responsibility, while the doctro is described as the consultant – advising the patient, seems like a good model, which reinforces the idea that the patient needs to manage his own lifesytyle, etc.

The other interesting obeservation relates to the general ‘information overload’ being experienced by all of us in all walks of life.  It is quite possible that a patient may know a great deal more about his specific condition than the doctor providing the advice.  However the doctor hopefully brings a broader picture and understanding.  Seems no reason why the patient and doctro should not collaborate in advaincing the situation.  Of course this does tend to turn the more traditional doctor/ patient model on its head.

Increasing the analytic content without killing the message

Great piece by Jim McGee comparing oral v. analytic communications & interactions.

Remindeded me of a client situation – very effective and profitable business, not inclined to commit too much to paper, emphasis on the interpsersonal side.  As a result tended to stay away from formal meetings – lack of structured meetings, agendas, minutes.  But great at doing deals.

I was part of the reasons for introduction of meetings and a general rebalancing between oral and analytic.  I wanted to see more evidence of the analysis – for new deals, new business ventures, new initiatives.  Some of that has been great – in the context of a growing and more complex business.  For a time though some of this proved stifling.

I guess it’s the usual question of balance.  Many of us want the additional structure and analysis (it’s part of our training and our own approach to work).  But we also need the fire, the enthusiasm, the spontaneity – that can only be expressed and felt orally.

Guide to some of the top financial blogs

Great piece in the Irish Times introducing a number of the top financial blogs – for those interested.  Ironically another example of a challenge to the newspapers – provided by a combination of economists and journalists.

Interesting comment re journalists and the internet

In today’s Sunday Times another excellent article from Terry Prone – entitled: It’s in the media’s interest to support a probe into privacy.  In the middle of the piece Terry Prone makes the following comment:

‘It must be said, however, that the openness of journalists to examine all sides of possible legislation is currently complicated by their promiscuous fascination with internet-based offerings. Few of them concentrate on the dangers that online content pose to individual journalists and to the profession as a whole. I can think of no other well-paid profession whose members compete against each other for free. You don’t get orthopaedic surgeons doing knee replacements in their leisure time without charge. Yet you get journalists writing blogs for nothing, their urge for self-expression obscuring the fact that they are undermining their own employers. After all, why should readers buy newspapers when they can get the same writers on the net for free?

Journalists who pride themselves on their maverick stance are nonetheless joining the electronic herd, submitting to the peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site. ‘

I have commented in the past on the challenges facing the newspaper industry.  Journalists are not the only ones  ‘joining the electronic herd’.  An obvious example is the number of IT consultants blogging and providing thier expertise for free – in competition with themselves or their employers.

There is another element to this – some feeling (amongst those blogging) of belonging to a larger, collaborative environment – with an exchange of ideas and a sharing of knowledge.  The question as to whether this will lead to useful work, revenue, jobs is largely unanswered.

‘Peer pressure which holds that you must have, for example, a Facebook site’ - yes I think there is some definite pressure around facebook.  One reason for this is the existence of 150m+ accounts  (how many of these are active?).  But for many facebook is a useful tool, rather than something they are pressurised to use.

Terry Prone and many of the other journalists writing for the Sunday Times are the reason there is a future for this industry.  But the business model my be changing.  The news is available online almost immediately (e.g. twitter).  But the assessment, the interpretation, the commentary – this is where quality journalism is required and has a strong future – with the right business model.

 

McKinsey – cold shower for the cloud

McKinsey’s report of 15th April re cloud computing seems to be pointing out a few home truths re costs of cloud computing.  In fairness there are now so many variations in cloud computing (and more to come) that generalisations become a little pointless.  The Techcrunch review of the McKinsey report makes for interesting reading.

Seems to me that variants of the cloud have real appeal for smaller businesses, businesses not sure how much processing power they require for their web facing presences and business experimenting with new customer facing applications.  Alos, wothout doubt, the ability to run ‘private clouds’ will have its application.

Learning from ‘the coach’

Short talk by famous US coach, John Wooden. 

Wooden outlines his own philosophy around teaching and coaching.  Makes it all seem simple and straightforward – and tells it as a good storyteller.  In these days of personal coaches, goal setting, emotional intelligence, Seven Habits…this guy makes a lot of sense.

Brought to my attention by www.twitter.com/missmcj

Is your Doctor (GP) using information technology?

Is your doctor still writing up manual cards to track your checkup visits?  Is your doctor writing out prescriptions for you to take to the local pharmacy?  When you attend a clinic for XRays, MRIs etc how are the records forwarded to you/ your GP?

Huge investments being approved in the US to drive ePateint records/ ePrescribing – with targets for cost saving, improved patient care, etc.

Interesting discussion in recent BusinessWeek article re adoption of these solutions – and major costs involved for individual doctors or small clinics (e.g. 3 doctors).   Also covered in a Reuters story re ePrescribing  last month.

Given all of the challenges facing us in the Irish economy will be interesting to see how we can implement these types of solutions in the Irish market place – to drive quality of service and greater efficiency (and cost savings).

Semantic web in Ireland

On a day of doom and gloom – the emergency budget in Ireland – was lucky enough to spend a couple of uplifting hours in the Institute of European Affairs, Ireland (www.iiea.com).

I was listening to and interacting with Liam Moran, business development manager, Digitial Enterprise Reseach Institute (Galway, Ireland).  DERI (www.deri.com) is the type of thing this country needs (‘The vision of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute is to be recognised as the leading international web science research institute interlinking technologies, information and people to advance business and benefit society’).  Set up with some real foresight, backed by the Irish government and Europe, real leadership (including Tim Berners Lee) and lots of brilliant minds.

Very exciting applications emerging from the research – the latest being SIOC to be adotped by the US government.  Visit the site (www.deri.com) for a better insight.

Liam gave a comprehensive review of Web o, 1, 2 & 3 and painted some great images of what could happen.

One particular observation caught my attention – how do we avoid getting bogged down in simply copying (even plagiarising) others to the exclusion of original, creative, thought?  Not being a music composer I often wonder where song writers continue to come up with new ideas?  Reminds me in some wasy of being back in school – when you were studying Shakepeare did you try to understand Hamlet for yourself and provide your own analysis/ commentary or did you simply buy ‘Coles Notes’ and regurgitate the standard bumph?

Google and books

Commented previously on Google and books. Within this context this article  from the New York Review of Books should be read for a more detailed background understanding.

Am surprised there has been so little comment in the press.