The 2013 World Series Champs: Boston Strong!

Posted on 31st October 2013 in et. al., Uncategorized


Three basic facts to remember:

  1. All literary men are Red Sox fans.” — John Cheever
  2. The Boston Red Sox are the World’s Champions.
  3. The Hub of the Universe is the best city in the world. Boston Strong!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

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First survey of C-level execs’ view of the IoT

For a big project I’m working on, I’ve fruitlessly combed the Web for surveys of C-level executives’ view of the Internet of Things — until now!

ARM has just released results of a worldwide June survey, “The Internet of Things Business Index: a quiet revolution gathers pace,” that included many C-level executives, which the Economist‘s Intelligence Unit did for ARM about respondents’ attitudes toward the IoT.

I’d strongly advise you to read the entire report for a reality check on the current state of the IoT (provided, of course, that the sample population really reflects corporate attitudes as a whole — in my mind, that’s a big if, because most companies just haven’t been disclosing much information about IoT initiatives. Of course that might be because they view IoT initiatives as a real strategic advantage!).

I was happily surprised, given the low level of business media coverage of the IoT until recent months, to see how many of those surveyed knew about the IoT and were actively involved in planning for corporate initiatives, although most of those initiatives were only in the early research stages and most companies weren’t convinced the IoT would be of major near-term benefit.

The report concluded that companies are taking the IoT seriously, although without a lot of public notice:

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is an idea whose time has finally come. Falling technology costs, developments in complementary fields like mobile and cloud, together with support from governments have all contributed to the dawning of an IoT ‘quiet revolution’. Now, after more than a decade of slow progress, the business community is beginning to look seriously at the IoT—to the extent that a mere 6% of business leaders believe that the idea of IoT is simply hype…”

Here are the major findings:

  • “over three-quarters of companies are either actively exploring or using the IoT. The vast majority of business leaders believe that it will have a meaningful impact on how their companies conduct business, yet there is some divergence about the wider effect it will have”
  • “optimism about the IoT is not yet matched by investment.” 96% expect to use the IoT in some way within 3 years, but they aren’t spending much on it: only 30% have increased their IoT spending by double-digits since 2012.
  • 61% think “companies that are slow to integrate the IoT into their business will fall behind the competition.” Consider yourself forewarned!
  • only 24% felt that the IoT would be “very relevant, used by the majority of the business” within the next 3 years.
  • “A lack of IoT skills and knowledge among employees and management is viewed as the biggest obstacle to using the IoT more extensively. To address these gaps, organisations are training staff and recruiting IoT talent, raising the potential for IoT talent wars. Others are hiring consultants and third-party experts, seeking to build knowledge and identify successful IoT business models.” (sounds like a lot of opportunity for our ilk!)
  • Here’s one that particularly resonated with me because of my relentless emphasis on collaboration as one of the “Essential Truths” of the IoT: “Companies must learn to co-operate with players across industries, including competitors…. businesses must be willing to adopt a different mindset. Successful IoT rollouts require interconnected networks of products and services, but few senior executives currently expect their business to become more co-operative with competitors as a result of the IoT. ” Oops: too bad for you — it ain’t just a technological shift, but an attitudinal one as well!
  • It’s going to lead to a data explosion. While companies think they’re up to this challenge, “….prior experience of storing and analysing large amounts of “big data” may lead them to underestimate the additional talent and skills needed to spot new uses and revenue steams emerging from it.” It will also increase needs for security and privacy. 

The Economist chose the ARM report as the setting to announce a new IoT Business Index, which will be updated to track progress toward actualizing the IoT. In the benchmark edition of the index, most businesses are in the “research” stage (at  point 4 on a scale of 1 to 10). They are more likely to use the IoT at this point for internal operations and processes instead of external products or services. As I’d expected, European companies are in the lead, and, among industries, manufacturing is the leading one. Hmm: wonder if that means a growing number are installing sensors on the assembly line?

The survey included 779 senior business leaders, among whom almost half (49%), were C-level executives or board members. The sample included:

  • 29% from Europe, 29% from North America, 30% from Asia-Pacific, and  12% from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
  • 19 industries. About 10% each from financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, IT and technology, energy and natural resources, and construction and real estate.
  • The sample is evenly split between large firms, with an annual revenue of more than US$500m, and small and mid-sized firms.

All in all, I think this is an important reality check in terms of commercialization of the IoT. It seems that it’s increasingly on the corporate radar, but that hasn’t translated into a lot of concrete action. It will be interesting to track annual updates of The Economist‘s IoT Business Index to see if analysis turns into action.

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Dr. Joe Cafazzo — neat stuff on biomedical design!

Posted on 25th October 2013 in design, health

Empathy by design:

  • he’s a biomedical engineer. 
  • thinks we’ve lost empathy in design of medical devices
  • reminds me of “Design of Everyday Things” — what are engineers thinking???
  • talks about device to calculate location of Taliban — batteries went dead! Defaults to current position when you change batteries — called in bomb strike on themselves! Official explanation blamed the soldiers, not the engineer!
  • example of the butterfly ballot that threw the election to Bush
  • home hemodialysis turned out to help a lot of people lead better lives.
  • Asks: “What else can patients do????”
  • talks about Bant app for diabetics — more than 10,000 active daily users!!  Allows them to do self-monitoring. Private social media app lets the kids interact with their friends. The kids can get bonus points for iTune redemptions if they perform self-monitoring!! New version in beta, with more features. Gamification — kids are very competitive. VERY COOL!
  • did another app for adults, significant increase in compliance, health improved.
  • 30 days for a better heart app — you’d get a daily challenge that you could choose whether to do or not — 6,000 people did the whole 30 days.
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Predicting Health Outcomes With Machine Learning

Posted on 25th October 2013 in health

Eric Horvitz, MD, PhD co-director, Microsoft Research

  • from data to predictive models to decision-making
  • costly challenge of re-admissions: they worked with Washington Medical Center, which had been accumulating lots of data on ER visits. Built a predictive model of readmissions: identified relevant evidence out of 25,000 indicators: if “fluid” is in the record, that’s an indicator the person will be readmitted.
  • Created tool called “Readmissions Manager.
  • running this program worldwide
  • example of Congestive Heart Failure. $35 b. annual cost. Should you invest in an intervention program?
  • another big challenge is hospital-associated infection. $20 b.  a year cost. In top 10 causes of deaths in the US. Beyond looking at EMR, they introduced analysis by space and time. Another factor is the patient’s path through various parts of the hospital: could predict what % of the patient population got infections in what part of the hospital. Analyzed various factors, such as which unit of hospital they were in, who was the attending doc.
  • New kinds of predictions: “surprise models” — looked at people who were re-admitteed in 72 hrs. for a condition that wasn’t on chart before.
  • new set of data: patients searching web. For example, nutritional content in logs of downloaded recipes. (Maine people downloaded a lot of recipes with high carb content). This was because they found a lot of older ppl in DC area had downloaded recipes with high sodium content in holiday season.
  • looked at Twitter feeds about birth of child — overlaid lots of people who’d just had babies: about 12% of women showed signs of crashing in terms of mood (post-partu m depression is underreported). Suggests you might be able to intervene in advance to help them.
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New Patient Engagement Models

Posted on 25th October 2013 in health
  • Atelion Health — support patients and get out of their way
  • patients want to feel they’re being supported (not like travel booking, where people just want you to get out of the way)
  • MGH Ambulatory Practice of the Future: often begin with the social stressors in their live, not their physical symptoms
  • MGH: patients want a culture of partnership. Patients quickly realize if there’s team of not.
  • Atelion: in health care, technology is a tool that people use to achieve what they want
  • MGH: patients are resources, taking burden off their hands.
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More Demos of Connected Health Devices

Posted on 25th October 2013 in health
  • Connected Wellness
    • patient controls record
    • each patient has “personal circle of care” — providers, relatives, etc.
    • plain-English plans from templates
    • links to videos, etc.
    • can track vital signs, subjective feelings, etc.
  • Reflexion Health
    • platform to reach patient in home. TV perhaps most used device in home? Why don’t we use it for health?
    • Use Kinect
    • TV-based PT
    • 40-50 exercises in system now
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Demos of Connected Health Devices

Posted on 25th October 2013 in health

more cool devices!

  • Authenidate:
    • telehealth platform
    • for smartphone
    • for a variety of conditionautomatically takes vital signs
    • on-screen educational videoeasily spot trending conditions
  • Vtrim: obesity treatment
    • 12-20 on line classes
    • high-touch program
    • goals-setting
    • food & exercise journals — daily feedback from dieticians
    • online meetings are text-based
      • more than 3000 have taken it
  • Vocera Care Experience
    • CDC says 90% can’t remember the care instructions after an encounter
    • they record discharge instructions
    • patient can listen, watch video, have link to hospital website
    • called “Good to Go”
  • ClotFree
    • system to make Coumadin twice as effective
    • dialogue with clinician
    • patients in range 81%  of time
  • Omada health
    • aimed at reducing pre-diabetes
    • CDC rolling out a prevention program
    • They wanted to do a digital solution
    • digital scale, online education, then a maintenance program. Group based.
    • weekly packages
  • Affinity Networks
    • IntelliCare

Click here to read more.. »

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WOW! Frank Moss, Atelion Health

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

Great Frank Moss, former director of the Media Lab!  Says health care system has always undervalued role of patient in health care. Tells stories of 4  Media Lab alums who have created great new innovations:

  • Anmol Madan, — “big data, better health”  — can determine if someone will be sick based on analysis of their communication. People trying to care for their own diabetes increase their communications by 30% — applying to mental health as well!
  • Ian Eslick — thought he could do better job managing his psoriasis. “Personal” — ran clinical trials for a variety of conditions. Mother of a child with CF used system to better understand condition
  • Vitor Pamplona — “EyeNetra” Developed $2 clipon for a smart phone that allows a person to do their own eye exam.
  • John Moore, “Collaborhythm” — empowers patients to become partners in their health care. Health coach works with patients to deal with their chronic conditions.

“Given great tools and social support, ordinary people will constantly exceed our expectationnsof their ability to play an active role in their health care”

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Wendy Everett, NEHI: Connect the Health,Disconnect the Waste

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

Wendy Everett,the president of NEHI:

  • rhapsodized about “e-patient Dave” and his experience 
  • we aren’t focusing on getting doctors and nurses to engage in revolutionary way
  • talked about her husband’s recent medical experience — resulting in his death..
    • she saw exceptional waste throughout process — including meals when he couldn’t eat
    • incredibly moving!
    • she wants best in connected health to become commonplace nationwide.
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President of EPIC on future of EMRs

Posted on 24th October 2013 in health

Carl Dvorak, ceo of EPIC, talked about amazing range of ways they’re using apps to integrate patients into EMRs:

  • lots of emphasis on mobile devices
  • messaging & e-visits
  • mobile check in
  • patient-reported outcomes
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