Adopting the emerging healthcare technologies

Emerging healthcare technologies: not a surprising piece. The focus is on Electronic Health Record (EHR), Cyber security, Accountable Care Organisations, Population Health analytics, Remote care, mobile and wearable technologies.

Mobile, cloud, analytics – all core to developing and delivering effective and efficient healthcare solutions.  And, of course, given the current cyber security threats, security is a prerequisite in implementing and expanding dependence on technologies such as cloud and mobile.

Seems that the electronic health record must be a core foundation of making all of this work for the patient, healthcare providers and society at large.  We need a way to aggregate, consolidate, cross correlate the data. This will provide better solutions for patients and improved care.  But this access for providers to patient data should be controlled by the patient.

Security

I have always thought of security as an enabler rather than a hindrance or obstruction.  Cloud and mobile in healthcare make this case.  Interestingly i see cloud as offering greater security – with the opportunity to leverage real in-depth security expertise, not necessarily available internally to healthcare providers.  And cloud and hosted solutions offer lots of simplifications in supporting mobile access to data.

Analytics

Much of what we have seen drive data analytics has come out of the mobile/ cloud/ social developments – tracking and analysis of data captured on mobile devices and through end user participation in social platforms.  Healthcare is data intensive – with more and more of the data captured electronically and potentially available for analysis.  The tools for capturing the data and the tools for storing, analysing and displaying the data have advanced hugely in recent years.  Providers who do not have the ability to capture/ analyse/ understand the data will find themselves significantly disadvantaged in competing with other providers and negotiating with buyers of their services (patients, insurers, government, whoever).

Challenges

Great opportunities for all healthcare providers to improve the quality and relevance of their offerings, the method of delivering their services and to acquire new business remotely  -through new healthcare technologies.  But the challenges should  not be underestimated – traditional models for Information Technology delivery will prevent organisations leveraging the opportunities available. Providers need to be more dynamics, adopt new technologies and new methods of delivery.

 

 

Questioning the value of the online experience

Just finished reading Digital Vertigo by Andrew Keen.  Excellent book – should be compulsory reading for anyone like me who spends a reasonable amount of time participating in/ contributing to social networks.  Questions the value of much of this – and the gradual elimination of privacy.  More of this anon.

This piece from the Verge provides another perspective.  Paul Miller has recently completed 12 months ‘offline’.  And while he saw/ experienced benefits he missed the online experience and the online community.

The reality is that online communities do not replace traditional communities, facebook friends do not equate with ‘friends’ – but they do provide another communications channel. I think, as more and more data is gathered (e.g. location fro mobile devices) privacy is greatly undermined – if not eliminated.  But here is Miller admitting he missed it.

Swings and round abouts.  I probably stay in contact with some people (primarily in other countries) on a more regular basis because of social networks. But perhaps some of the communication is lesser than were I to phone more often, travel to meet more often write more letters.

 

 

 

 

2011 reflections on IT

Another year has whizzed bye.  Maybe it’s something to do with running your own consulting business, having a very active family and having a curious mind.

So what sticks in my mind in terms of technology – looking back on 2011?

What have I really liked?

I have been very happy with my Android phone – Samsung II.  Great phone, easy to use, great camera, easy integration with lots of social networks etc.  Would be lost without a smartphone.

Have found myself leaning much more towards Twitter than Facebook.  Have really found Twitter useful in terms of work related research, staying in contact with other professionals, developing my own profile.  Notwithstanding this Facebook is a daily platform for me – and has lured me into chess.com.  Typically have one or two chess games on the go (48 hours to move).

I have stuck with FourSquare.  Most of my acquaintances run a mile from FourSquare – why would you want to share your location?  I think this type of location based software has a long way to run.

Have enjoyed listening in to TWIT.TV (Leo Laporte’s This Week in Technology).  I tend to download the podcast and listen to it on one of my walks.  He has had some great guests during the year and some great debates – even last week with regard to restrictions on software copying.

Leo Laporte has got me to sign up to tow of his sponsors: www.Audible.Co.UK and Carbonite.  Audible I sue to download books which I listen to when walking, taking public transport, even at home rather than reading the physical book (nice break for the eyes).  I am using Carbonite to back up my data.

I have implemented encryption using TrueCrypt – seems to work very well.  And seems to be gaining in popularity wherever I go.

And EverNote – what a great application.  Increasingly I find myself using Evernote to capture meeting notes.  And it’s available on my Android phone when I need to access a note.

Finally – Google+.  I definitely like it.  And it looks like it has traction.  But then Google has some influence!  And I should say I have had a great year with Google Apps – has not let me down.  The world needs Google and Microsoft competing – at least you can now shop and compare between the two cloud offerings.

What have been my other observations?

Lots of disillusioned IT teams in corporate world.  Lots of them working with reduced budgets, smaller teams but many of the same challenges.  Many of their users have lots more technology available to them at home or on their phones – real challenges in providing stimulating corporate IT environments to end users.

Understanding the economics of the cloud is challenging.  If I have 100 Offce/ Exchange users does it make sense to sign up to Office 365 (or Google Apps)? Do the price points make sense?  Green field site v. established business.  Many people unconvinced about the economics.  Many people committed to cloud approach.  Debate is vigorous.

Regardless, operating from Ireland, with its current economic challenges, web based technologies are being embraced and lots of entrepreneurs emerging with ideas which exploit these technologies.

 

 

 

 

Who is afraid of who?

I hear plenty of discussion about people’s concerns over security of data in the cloud. We actually have lots of legislation about where personal data can be held.  And we, in Ireland, tend to think in terms of it’s being OK so long as within Ireland, then Europe and then US.

Interesting piece in today’s FT referencing concerns in US about potential purchase of Yahoo by a Chinese company. Seems they have also had concerns about Deutsche Telekom acquiring a carrier in the US.  And the final reference in the article to concerns re the volume of data now held by Google.

This is moving quickly.  Privacy is on the line.  Many of us are using all sorts of cloud based services to support us in our work and our personal lives.  To be honest most users have no idea(and less interest) in where the data is held.  At least until Facebook is so on our faces in changing the rules as they see fit.

I suspect Chinese and US authorities (and many others) already have very detailed profiles on many people based on online activity.

 

Thoughts on Web Summit 6

Go maith gan bheith go hiontach.

Web Summit 6 was weak but had its brighter moments – courtesy of Emi Gal, Tariq Krim and Marcus Segal.

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I attended today’s 6th Web Summit at the RDS in Dublin.  Paddy Cograve continued his run of sell out conferences – this time with almost 1,000 attendees, on a Friday afternoon in Dublin.  I have now attended 3 of Paddy’s 6 web summits.

I think today was the weakest yet.

Sam Barnett was a weak kick off act – did not provide much insight until he explained how he avoided paying rent in his startup (his landlord was a criminal).  Eamon Leonard offered a fairly laboured comparison between rockbands and startup companies (not sure how Paddy found this so interesting). However Eamon’s delivery style and sense of humour kept people amused. Strange that Jennifer O’Connell should pitch thejournal.ie and then announce she is moving on (hardly the greatest pitch for any business).  Emi Gal (Brainient) was exellent – speaking of personalisation and relevance in video).

The coffee break appeared to be sans coffee – a bit Irish for the price people paid.

Tariq Krim (Jolicloud) and Marcus Segal (Zynga) were excellent.  Microsoft and Techcrunch presenters were not particularly inspiring.

And on the networking front – yes probably had the opportunity to catch up with 6 or 7 people and make one or two new contacts.  The pre and post gatherings offered ample opportunity to meet with various people.

So – will I attend future web summits?  I’m left a little cold after today’s – but to be fair there were a couple of thought provoking presentations and the general atmosphere was decidedly upbeat in comparison to much of what we see in Dublin these days.

 

 

 

 

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Does the end user device matter?

Why not let the end user slect the preferred device in the corporate environment?

Interesting to read of Google’s launch of the ChromeBook.

As corporates migrate their applications to the Cloud can they move away from providing corporate desktops or laptops to the end user?  Provision of these devices and their support is a major corporate expense.  Could we move to a position whereby ‘the expectation is that if you want to work for us you need to manage your own connectivity to the Internet‘?

This position has to major attractions:

  • end users can use whatever device they want to use
  • corporates avoid the cost of supply and maintenance of a fleet of end user devices
  • the end of the ens user support desk as we know it

Many end users are completely frustrated by corporate guidlenes restricting how they can use their device, which applications they can download and install, the fact that their work PC is way below the spec of their home PC fleet.  In many cases we operate Lowest Common Denomionator type thinking – the advanced user is restricted to that the LCD can use.

Corporates struggle to manage end users and struggle to meet their expectations.  And there is a vast range of devices: PCs, laptops, notebooks, phones.

Much of the technology is there to enable this move.  Many of the corporate apps (or the apps required to do your job) can be provided via the cloud.  There are many relevant and effective security solutions.

Who would support end users in this scenario? A combination of the end user, the cloud providers and, to some limited extent, the corporate. It requires a mind set change – it becomes the end user’s responsibility to be able to connect to various applications (whatever device she/he chooses to use).  This drives a different experience for the end users, the corporate and the cloud provider.  But in the long run it will result in corporates investing more time in delivering solutions and less time in providing ‘free’ support.  If you require a car to do your job it is your responsibility to have a car, maintain the car and use it safely for work.  Why not the same with end user computing?  Fleets of company cars are the not the only model.

 

 

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Open Source on an upward trend

Open source is gaining traction

Accenture’s recent report would indicate very positive developments for Open Source solutions. Interesting commentary recently in Silicon Republic

The article attributes the trend to a number of developments – including growing confidence in the sector. I think this general trend ties in with the cloud, people’s own experience of using a range of open sourced tools and generally questioning the ability of large software enterprises to go it alone and develop better applications that those sourced and developed in an open market. The debate is most definitely moving on from a pure cost saving one – which has always been debatable.

Making the cloud/ data centre move pay

Energy savings must be targeted to make them happen

It has struck me that in most cases of corporates ‘moving to the cloud’ they are left with a certain amount of on-campus technology – and for many good reasons, including file&print, legacy apps not moving to the cloud, specific security concerns. But do the same corporates target the required savings – in terms of reducing the space allocated, the requirement for air-conditioning, decommissioning older servers? William Clifford address this very point in his article in Forbes. Savings do not just happen – they need to be targeted and managed.

data management – professional and amateurs

data management now a challenge for everyone

[facebook_ilike] As we upload more videos and photographs from our vacations to our pcs and/or various cloud based services I am reminded of the ever increasing challenges re data. My own perspective has been very much on semantic technologies and solutuions – ways to remove ambiguity in data on the web (and within the enterprise) in order to enable people to leverage the data more effectively and efficiently.

As individuals we are all becoming more knowledgeable and proficient in data management – no choice when it is all digital anyway. And sites such as facebook, google/ picassa, flickr have taught us all to tag photos and/or content. We are learning how to share data, consolidate records, add social content.

When mypix.com contact me suggesting I may want to print and album some photos I am considering this in the context of the thousands of photos I may now take in any year (from a range of devices).

Interesting piece yesterday arising from the recent purchase of 3Par. On a global level the data management challenge and opportunity is racing ahead. And we are seeing valuations emerge which support this.