Building a Multimedia Operation in China

China Staffing
For a visiting group of media executives from China, I’m giving a talk on building a new media team inside an existing print publishing operation. Not only do you have to train your staff to create innovative interactive products, you also have to train your customers in what’s possible and why it’s better than print.

Here are the slides.

Convergence of Digital Multimedia for Publishers
November 29-30 and December 1-2, 2016

A Management Seminar organized for the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television in cooperation with the
SUNY Global Center

EMRs: Don’t Wait for the Government

A new study urges physicians to use stimulus spending to install electronic medical records.

HealthMemes, a new way to track disruptive innovation

Monday marks the soft launch of HealthcareNBIC's HealthMemes, a review of web conversations about disruptive innovations in healthcare. In our seminar and conference work, I've been trying to communicate the broad range of disciplines that are reforming healthcare from all the related disciplines of NBIC, nano-, bio-, info and cognitive sciences.

Check it out HealthMemes at IN3.ORG/health and tell me what you think. — Jack Powers

Wal-Mart’s Tough Choices: WNYC Tues, Dec 13 | 10am EST

Susan_chambers76x78A fascinating internal memo by Wal-Mart EVP M. Susan Chambers (at left) describes the company’s healthcare cost crisis and outlines some "limited risk" and some "bold" steps to bring costs under control, make employees happier … and improve Wal-Mart’s public reputation in the face of increasing calls for new state and local regulations. The leaked document, written for the board of directors and based on studies with McKinsey & Company, is brutally honest: older, fatter, sicker, long-employed full-time workers are much more expensive than cheaper, younger, healthier part-time new hires — but they are no more productive. Wal-Mart’s employee benefit costs jumped from $2.8 billion to $4.2 billion in three years. The company earned $10.5 billion on sales of $285 billion last year. (See the recent article by Steven Greenhouse and Michael Barbaro from the New York Times.)

This Tuesday at 10 am EST, Brian Lehrer, host of a talk show on New York’s public radio station WNYC, will present "Who Pays for Healthcare?" discussing the memo with an economist and his New York audience (see box below). No doubt, there will be plenty of public radio hand-wringing about the evil corporation where 5% of employees resort to Medicaid, but memo fairly outlines Wal-Mart’s relative position in the  overall labor market as well as the stingier retail sect, steps like:

  • Health Savings Accounts that reward medical consumerism and build assets year-to-year,
  • wellness training programs to stop going to the hospital emergency room and to better use doctor visits and prescriptions,
  • discounts for healthier foods,
  • in-store clinics like MinuteClinic ,
  • adding more physical activity to jobs to force some on-the-job exercise

Some of the memo’s notes on workforce productivity and recruiting strategy will scare people who’ve never run a business, but the healthcare issues for the country’s biggest employer are the ones every employer — and every employee — will face in the future. There’s a lot of disruption on the way, maybe for the better.


The Brian Lehrer Show: Who Pays for Healthcare?
WNYC New York, Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 10AM on 93.9 FM and AM 820 , rebroadcast at 1AM on AM 820. Available on-line at WNYC.org.
Read the Wal-Mart memo Reviewing and Revising Wal-Mart’s Benefits Strategy: Memorandum to the Board of Directors from Susan Chambers [PDF]


 

Disruptive Healthcare Innovations

Bk1_1In his 1997 bestseller The Innovator’s Dilemma, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen describes "sustaining" versus "disruptive" technologies. Sustaining technologies are the incremental improvements in quality, price and service that exemplify sound management. Disruptive technologies are out-of-left-field; they change the value proposition in a market, and while they often provide lower performance (measured in traditional terms) they are usually cheaper, smaller, simpler and easier-to-use so they broaden the customer base, often quite dramatically.

Photocopies versus offset printing; home pregnancy tests versus doctor’s office visits; scratchy mobile handsets versus high quality wireline phones; computer-based disease simulations versus clinical trials; blogs versus mainstream media — disruptive innovations can bury entrenched organizations.

In the healthcare field, there are many entrenched organizations, and many compete against each other. Physicians, hospitals, insurance companies, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, researchers, regulators — it’s no wonder that healthcare systems around the world are difficult to manage and impossible to change. Disruptive innovations don’t care about entrenched interests and they may hold the brightest promise for changing healthcare for the better.

For the Health IC Summit in January 2006, we’ve developed a list of disruptive healthcare innovations (they’re not all technologies, some are business processes) that help illustrate new possibilities in regenerative medicine, innovative patient care and medical informatics:

ADAPTIVE PROSTHETICS • ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERY • ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE • ARTIFICIAL TISSUE • BIOMIMETICS • COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE • DATA MINING • DIGITAL HOSPITAL • DIGITAL LABS • DISEASE SIMULATIONS • ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS • ENDOSCOPIC SURGERY • ENTERPRISE HEALTHCARE • E-PRESCRIPTIONS • EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE • GENE THERAPY • GENETIC PROFILING • GENOMIC PROFILING • HOME PREGNANCY TESTS • IMPLANTED DEVICES • INHALED THERAPY • INTELLIGENT HEALTHCARE AGENTS • LIFE EXTENSION • MEDICAL INFORMATICS • MEDICAL ROBOTICS • MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS • MEDICAL TOURISM • MEMORY AUGMENTATION • MEDICAL INFORMATICS • MODELING AND VISUALIZATION • NANOMEDICINE • NETWORKED BIOSENSORS • NEURAL CONTROL • NON-INVASIVE SURGERY • ORGAN ASSISTANCE • ORGAN SUBSTITUTION • PERSONAL MEDICAL DEVICES • PERSONALIZED THERAPEUTICS • PERVASIVE NETWORKING • PORTABLE ULTRASOUND • REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING • RFID • SELF-CARE • SELF-TESTING • STEM CELLS • TELEMEDICINE • TELEMETRY • WEARABLE MONITORS • WEB-BASED MEDICAL INFORMATION • WELLNESS MONITORING • XML MEDICAL FORMATS

Are there items we should add? Change? Delete?

NBIC Analysis and Debate

Since the publication of the 400+ page NBIC report in 2002, scientists, journalists, analysts and activists have all weighed in with disparate opinions about the purpose, the effects and the advisablity of the convergence of nano-, bio- , info- and cognitive sciences.   

  • NBIC conferences in Hawaii in 2005New York in 2004 and Los Angeles in 2003 have brought together scientists, technologists, ethicists and policy makers to expand the NBIC premise.

  • James Hughes of the World Transumanist Association wrote of the political impact of the NBIC study:
    The NBIC’s initial report stunned even the most optimistic techno-utopians with its predictions
    of rapid human enhancement, life extension and nano-neural interfaces
    in the coming decades. Turns out that when people on the cutting edge
    of the molecular, information and cognitive sciences begin to talk
    about merging their fields and applying them to extending the human
    body and brain, things get very transhumanist very fast—nanobots or no
    nanobots.
  • In a comprehensive analysis, the social activists at the ETC Group call convergence the "Little BANG" and are skeptical:
    A mix of Bits, Atoms, Neurons and Genes (B.A.N.G.) make
    the world come ’round – for the USA!

    In the
    USA, senior science policy makers and industry players are devising a new-style
    ‘Manhattan’ or ‘Apollo’ project to merge strategic technologies at the
    nano-scale (one billionth of a meter)…

Healthcare NBIC Launch: Convergence and the Life Sciences

Healthcare NBIC is a weblog blog edited by Jack Powers, director of the the International Informatics Institute (IN3.ORG), originally in support of
the Health IC Summit conference on disruptive innovations in
healthcare as well as our ongoing study of medicine, technology and society. We use this blog to highlight important developments, hot
technologies, interesting business models and intriguing people who are
applying new science and emerging technology to transform medicine in
the U.S. and around the world. Staring in February 2006, we also post videos on the topic. All on-line material is published under a Creative Comons Share-Alike 2.5 license, and you can subscribe to our RSS and Atom feeds and our podcasts.

"NBIC" comes from a U.S. National Science Foundation study Converging
Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology,
Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science
. (Download the NSF report in PDF format.)
The report describes a grand unification of scientific knowledge
from the smallest scale of atoms and molecules up through cells and
tissue to  machines and computers all the way up to the most complex device of
all, the human brain.

The study report outlines some important outcomes of convergence. For our purposes here, the key theme is Improving human health and physical capabilities:

Six priority areas have been identified: nano-bio processors for research and development of treatments, including those resulting from bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics; nanotechnology-based implants and regenerative biosystems as replacements for human organs or for monitoring of physiological well-being; nanoscale machines and comparable unobtrusive tools for medical intervention; multi-modality platforms for increasing sensorial capabilities, particularly for visual and hearing impaired people; brain-to-brain and brain-to-machine interfaces; and virtual environments for training, design, and forms of work unlimited by distance or the physical scale on which it is performed.

NBIC convergence requires that researchers, practitioners, inventors, executives and the general public think outside of the limitations of their own narrow specialties and concerns: nanotech, bioscience, hospitalists, investors, programmers, managers, ethicists and policy makers must all contribute to the discussion. It’s our hope that Healthcare NBIC can be a forum for this most important analysis of the future of human health and human performance.