Archive for May, 2011
May 25, 2011
An excellent post on Venture Valkyrie discusses why Innovation is not enough in healthcare. The author views that “there is no doubt that innovation is necessary to respond to the challenges of our current healthcare system” while “over-breeding of ideas that are innovative but not actionable.” It is important to consider innovation not just a good in itself, especially in healthcare where we are trying to impact personal health, as only good if it leads to real change. Some innovation will always fail, so the encouragement toward innovation should not have barriers that are too high, but realistic evaluation of these ideas, testing their viability, needs to occur.
Another note on innovation comes from the site udemy, a site which enables the creation of courses. Check out Ideas Come From Everywhere, a course by Marissa Mayer of Google, Inc. which she gave to Stanford Technology Ventures Program in 2006. It is certainly not dated and presents some of basic concepts of success through innovation that have made Google a success. Worth watching this short clips.
See this article from Forbes on Gladwell on Innovation: Truths & Confusions which tells a brief history of innovation but also distinguishes between innovators and creators but ends on a positive note that creators (who may come up with ideas but not successfully implement them) can become innovators.
Also posted at WikEhealth.Share this:
May 20, 2011
Although not my usual focus, this book is a fascinating look on how the brain enables us to read. Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read by Stanislas Dehaene, is a detailed study taking the latest of brain science to understand how the brain processes letters into words, phonemes, sentences and meaning. Much of the book centers around the letterbox area of the brain which decodes letters into meaning. The author cites hundreds of experiments and as many brain studies using PET and MRI to dissect the detailed mechanisms of how letters are processed. He goes from anthropological studies of different cultures and languages pointing out the differences in similarities of language acquisition between different European languages and those based on characters, like Chinese. He notes that Italian is a language which allows for earlier competency in life while English with its quirks and Asian languages which require masterly of thousands of characters are more of a challenge.
The book looks at the evolution of language from its earliest origins to the beginning of written language. The author also looks at how to understand learning to read and problems in reading in a significant chapter on dyslexia. He notes that, “A new approach to reading instruction could be achieved through the introduction of experimental classrooms and research laboratories in schools.” (p. 326). I would tend to agree based on the wealth of evidence about the brain which is now coming to bear.
This book makes brain science approachable but also requires concentration. Worth the read for the reward.
May 18, 2011
Innovation in healthcare is now pervasive. To continue the wave of innovation, hospitals can now earn new incentives based on competitions. These are government-sponsored, industry-sponsored challenges, and even have the potential for becoming business ventures. Here are some competitions hospitals can enter to help expand industry innovation:
- Health Challenges at Challenge.gov – These include video challenges, National Library of Medicine apps, Flu apps and more. Many offer monetary rewards.
- Health 2.0 Developer Challenge – Developed by the Health 2.0 Conference folks, this includes online challenges and live competitions including a Code-a-Thon which most recently occurred in February A Code-a-Thon is a day long competition to build an application. Winners included a meta-analysis engine, Healthy people 2020 tracker, and an epidemic finder.
- Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative (VAi2) – This includes everything from equipment sterilization, blue button technology, prosthetics and rehabilitation. It encourages submissions from its own employees, as well as healthcare industry leaders.
A new player in this arena is Innocentive, an online business built around challenge-driven innovation. While not specifically focused on healthcare, it does have a Global Health Pavilion, featuring challenges from cell biology to caregiver communities. These challegnes promote the idea of an Open Innovation Marketplace, which is the topic of its new book.
For each of these healthcare challenge websites, the basic concept is open innovation. By utilizing competition for a financial reward, the government, an NGO, a private sector company and healthcare providers can generate low cost solutions. But the inventor/innovator needs to keep in mind their intellectual property rights if these are not spelled out clearly up front.
Nonetheless , the potential for healthcare innovation and problem solving are yet to be measured. Perhaps someone will some develop a site or app which aggregates these challenges and their successful solutions. Aggregation of healthcare innovation challenges would help inventors find opportunities which are sprouting up from government, conferences and corporations.
This post was originally published on Hospital Impact on May 18, 2011.Share this:
May 2, 2011
Two articles today demonstrate the growth of influence in social media in the healthcare arena.
The first is a research article about TuDiabetes.org 15,000 members on PLosONE permitting data donation to measure H1c in diabetics to demonstrate a model for cohort and translational science and for use as a complementary surveillance approach. This research combined with a recent study of PatientsLikeMe demonstrate the potential power of utilizing patient reported results and outcomes as a research tool.
The second article appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine, “Professionalism in the Digital Age.” Get a copy of the full version if you can. It represents a positive approach to social media for physicians and other healthcare providers while noting some cautions, such as, the difficulty of separating personal from professional in social media. The article does not recommend social media as a means of communicating with patients but unlike some recent articles, does not discourage its use.
“The development of a “dual-citizenship” approach to online social media that separates public and private personae would allow physicians to both leverage networks for professional connections and maintain privacy in other aspects. Although social media posts by physicians enable direct communication with readers, all posts should be considered public and special consideration for patient privacy is necessary.”Share this: