Friday, October 28, 2011

Health Information Technology - A Description of the Sector Landscape

The Health Information Technology Sector has many components. We are looking specifically at EMRs, Informatics, Analytics and Devices. By analyzing the current state and trends, we can predict what each of these pieces of the Health IT will look like five years down the road.


In the past, health data that is collected during care was recorded on paper. EMRs offer immense opportunities to improve patient care at the point of delivery by using this data and changing typical workflow. Adoption, however, has been slow because of barriers including cost, lack of expertise or technical knowledge and problems with interoperability.

With recent legislation, however, there is a major shift with financial incentives for healthcare organization that are able to attain “Meaningful Use”. There has also been a trend to address complicated reimbursement issues using data entered into the EMR. Many EMR companies have also, in an effort to improve efficiency in healthcare delivery, are offering mobile services.

In the next five years, we will see significantly better adoption of EMRs. EMR companies will compete on how their product address associated issues such as efficiency and reimbursement. In addition, EMR companies will begin using cloud services. Patient data will have the capability of be entered on mobile device, either by the patient or a provider. The reimbursement cycle will be sped up as hospitals have more information and use that as power over insurance companies.


Clinical data includes data collected throughout the drug development lifecycle, starting with the R&D. This includes data about clinical trial management, pharmacovigilance both before and after drug launch and data in the hospital information systems. Historically, this data has been in paper form. Paper-based data collection has multiple pitfalls including the fact that it is extremely hard to correlate and make sense of data. There are also challenges for the FDA in terms of validating data and finalizing approvals.

One of the major shifts in the digital era has been the electronic information systems. Data today is collected from multiple sources and stored in data bases across the world. There are enough infrastructures, not just to store the humongous amount of data, but also to normalize the data and gain insights. With redundant systems making this data fail-safe, cloud infrastructures have enabled real-time access to data by all stake holders.

While aggregating and normalizing data from conventional sources including biopharma, CROs, providers and insurers pose challenges currently, the future could be defined in terms of a shift in patient control of data. Given the sensitivity of the data, it is only fair that the patient has enough control on both access of the data and data entry itself. For example, in order to minimize human intervention, chip implants in humans (which is already history) could gain more momentum in terms of personal health data governance and monitoring.


Currently analytics are used to realize cost savings for medical payers. Predictive models are implemented by insurance providers to identify fraud and to estimate future costs for more accurate planning and risk reductions. The digitization of historical, present and future medical data is creating the availability of “Big Data.” Less than 20% of medical delivery practices are currently able to conduct clinical decision support.

In the next 5 years analytics will be a capability to enable clinical decision support to reduce medical costs associated with time, errors, and inventory. Cloud computing, mobile technologies and government regulation imply more data will be available and accessible anytime anywhere. These trends suggest that analytics may enable personal preventative health opportunities.


Overall, the industry will gain momentum in the next five years. Incentives for greater EMR adoption through the Affordable Care Act will spur adoption. Use of technology to increase privacy will improve informatics. Analytics will be used to drive decision-making, which has largely not been done in healthcare. All of these forces together will increase the influence of the healthcare information technology sector.

Google TV Updates

I was reading about the Google TV updates and the discussions are squarely at the center of what we have been examining in our course.   It is about platforms and apps. It is about rethinking the TV architecture and not look at simply overlaying search on the existing architecture but to form linkages with chipset manufacturers to evolve TV from a standalone consumer electronics device to one that is at its core, a computer (just as the discussions we had on the automotive sector).  It is about thinking Android as the OS for TV (just as Apple iOS driving Apple TV).
It will be interesting to see what they do with Google +
Look forward to your thoughts and discussions..

Who Will Win the Tech War?

Was reading an article on fast company about Bloomberg's contest to build an applied sciences campus (i.e. MIT, Stanford, CalTech, etc...) in Manhattan, and noticed a little ad on the right that was scrolling through four pieces of cover art for the latest issue. The cover read: "Why will win" the "Great Tech War", and was rotating through four companies...

Can you guess which four?

Well, it wasn't Microsoft, Yahoo, Blackberry and AOL....

Break the code of silence that prevails on this blog, and comment below on why companies that could have been on this list aren't, or why these four seem to have the attention of the industry......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Credit Scores 2.0

Fair Isaac, long known for the analytical FICO credit score, is turning their data analytics skills towards the health sector. I think the concept is interesting, given the predictive nature of even the simplest financial transactions, but I certainly share the concern about using this kind of data for determining insurance rates. It definitely breaks down some major information asymmetry barriers, but is it for the better? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Watson, Siri, and the Job Market

An interesting article from PBS on what technological advances in natural language processing and voice recognition may mean for the future of historically stable white collar jobs in areas such as marketing and sales.

What does music, video games and web apps have in common?

According to Bjork a lot. Her new album is also part of an experiment to increase the interaction of the costumer with an old school product (sit down a listen). This sort of video game -web app allows the user to combine and change sounds, lights, vocals and even create a remix from the album songs.

The album by itself it's a little bit intense for my taste but without any doubt represent an innovative way to present music and add value to the traditional business model.

The video explain it a little bit better.

PS: Only available for iPhone and siblings

Monday, October 24, 2011

The mad ad world !

Though the debate has always been Google v/s Facebook, there has been a lot in common between the two companies. Ironically, one such is the fact that both were founded with the principle of not having ads. Violation of that very principle has become the foundation of their existence today is no secret. Was it really a principle or just a mouse trap ?

I found this interesting read and also a very good visualization of Facebook's advertising history.

On the subject of intelligent cars

I think this one is a step ahead, where a car not only talks with its driver, but also with other cars

BMW presents car-to-x communication, wants vehicles to talk more (video)

Give Me Mobility or Give Me Death

Hythem made a great point in class today that got me thinking... He mentioned that OnStar seemed to be driving GM toward a software/service platform that would ultimately move their focus away from automobiles. Sync was better, therefore, because it was more focused on the experience in the automobile itself.

That got me thinking that this is exactly what is needed in the automobile industry in the US: a move away from the car-centric worldview. This can be hard to swallow for an industry with such a storied history, but that's where leadership becomes so crucial...

"If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it's worth -- and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago." - Steve Jobs in an interview to Fortune magazine in early 1996

Having the discipline to say that the war for who can build the best car is over, that several Japanese or German companies won in the late 80s -- that's what the auto industry in the US needs. Once we acknowledge that any one of a dozen companies can make a high quality car at a low cost, then we can "get busy on the next great thing."

So what is the next great thing?

Here's three interesting trends that I think should produce new business models in the Auto Industry:

Contextualized two way communication with online data sources: The ability to access all the information from the drivers seat sounds great. What sounds better is being able to access the most relevant information. And accessing it quickly. And through an interface that is safe to use while driving.

Location Based Services: As we mentioned in class, location based services offers some exciting applications for all of that data. Privacy concerns aside, we're already seeing the power of location based commerce (groupon, local offers, scvngr, foursquare, etc...), but what about other services that make sense with LBS in an automobile? Could this solve the parking problem? Could you sort your to do list so that you could use a more fuel efficient route while doing errands? Could you find restaurant or attraction information on the way home from a wedding in Maine?

Mobility as a service: We all now about the popularity of Zipcar, but what about the sweeping vision of City Car? Could a new class of cars be designed to work seamlessly with mobile devices, so that the whole experience of mobility can be redefined? My wife decides that we need to pick up a couple things from target, I pull out my CityCar app, enter my destination, and my distance to the nearest pod of vehicles is calculated, I click "Go" and in the time it takes to walk to the end of the block, a car is waiting for me, we get in, and the route to target is already entered into the GPS, and away we go, along with an option to pick up dinner from our favorite kebab place on the way home...

I'm sure there are other trends that are more interesting to you, but these are the ones that I get excited about...

For those of you that have never heard of CityCar....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The capitalist network that runs the world

AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

Check out to see the 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy.

Future Car !

I was looking into the articles on Telematics on the SMG site. With reference to the article about Automotive Electronics, I started looking at some more information and stumbled upon this site. Thought it is worth sharing..