Sick’em More Institute

The Sycamore Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research center for Tennessee, seeks a full-time Policy Analyst to join its bipartisan team.

My wife wants me to make something perfectly clear: Choose Ed, choose Ed!

Importance of Payor Influence

Medical Banking Blog (from back in the day) Launch News from 2007
2010 HIMSS Recap
Google: “medical banking”

Importance of understanding the actual Information Technology Involved

[RE: Conmergence] Perhaps the ultimate HIT wonk blog? Sometimes Ed Dodds’ posts are long and thoughtful, sometimes he re-posts public notices, or puts in a two-word recommendation to an external site. Lots and lots of long lists of names, chapters, external links, etc., leave you in a quagmire of thought you wish you had time to slog around in. The net result is kind of like opening up Rain Man’s cranium and watching the neurons fire as he counts the toothpicks in slow motion.
the HIT Transition Weblog (comments from back in the day)

Business Process Management Plus (BPM+ Health) Industry Workshop [Tuesday & Wednesday, September 24 – 25, 2019]

Importance of Knowing the True Obstacles

Health Insurance and Pharma CEO Compensation on the Wayback Machine

Importance of Networks (Experts)

Neo4j Connects Healthcare using Open Data
Go to the money shot where Shi* can identify the opioid vending machine doctor *Yaqi Shi, Data Scientist at Clover Health

EARN is a nationwide network of research, policy, and public engagement organizations fighting, state by state, for an economy that works for everyone.

LinkedIn Connections to date: 29,385

I admin the Technology Nashville (6,600 members) and Medical Banking (600+ members) groups on LinkedIn. viewed by folks using 11,800+ ISPs, 130+ languages, 170+ nations.

Ed’s ability to research and locate relevant and insightful connections and potential technology linkages is uncanny and at times seems almost preordained. He is also a great pleasure to work with and a great facilitator. July 29, 2005
David R.R. Webber

Importance of Networks (Data Moving)

Third National Research Platform Workshop posted by Dana Brunson

“Medicare for All” House Hearing | C-SPAN

The House Rules Committee held a hearing on “Medicare for All” proposals.

Michael C. Burgess M.D.
U.S. Representative
[R] Texas
Tom Cole
U.S. Representative
[R] Oklahoma
Sara Collins
Vice President
Commonwealth Fund->Health Care Coverage and Access
Jim McGovern
U.S. Representative
[D] Massachusetts
Ed Perlmutter
U.S. Representative
[D] Colorado
Jamie Raskin
U.S. Representative
[D] Maryland
Mary Gay Scanlon
U.S. Representative
[D] Pennsylvania
Grace-Marie Turner
Founder and President
Galen Institute
Rob Woodall
U.S. Representative
[R] Georgia

1st eHealth Day, November 11, 2009, Munich

This year a special eHealth Day will be held on 11 November as part of W-JAX 09, the leading conference for Java, Enterprise Architecture and SOA, that takes place in Munich from 09-13th November.

The eHealth Day will have sessions dealing exclusively with Java technologies, architecture and solutions for the healthcare market. eHealth experts from companies like Abraxas Informatik AG, achelos GmbH, and Ocean Informatics as well as ICW AG will take you inside their innovative eHealth solutions. Discover how these leading eHealth specialists are already implementing groundbreaking solutions for the eHealth sector. Learn about the challenges involved and the tools that are available to master them.

Sessions include:

Modular architecture to support reuse and integration 

IPF, open source platform for networking of healthcare information systems 

Using Authorization and Encryption to protect Medical Data 

openEHR and how it supports semantic interoperability in healthcare 

Electronic cost of care reimbursement platform in Switzerland 

Electronic health card – Example use cases

Full agenda and session descriptions for eHealth Day and Conference.

Register now and save 30% off on official registration prices for ICW partners.

If you have colleagues who are interested in attending, please feel free to forward this invitation to them.

Best regards,

Thomas Liebscher

St. Joseph Medical Center (Houston) and MedConcierge to Demonstrate Telemedicine Solutions at FTTH Council Conference

Top Houston Hospital Selects MedConcierge to Offer
Telemedicine to Corporations and Master Planned

September 8, 2009 (Sarasota, FL & Houston, TX) – St. Joseph Medical Center, the largest, Level 3 trauma hospital in downtown Houston, has selected MedConcierge to provide its advanced telemedicine solution to leading communities and corporations. Both parties will demonstrate the user experience and benefits of telemedicine during the upcoming 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo taking place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, September 27th through October 1st.

"We are very excited to demonstrate the MedConcierge at St. Joseph Medical Center service to local community developers and corporate executives at the upcoming Fiber to the Home Conference," states St. Joseph chief executive officer Phillip D. Robinson, "Telemedicine will clearly be at the center of healthcare delivery moving forward and leveraging the technological advantages of the MedConcierge service over fiber-optic communications will help us extend patient services, generate additional revenue and save costs."

"St. Joseph is a leader in the Houston area, and we are thrilled to play a role in helping them deliver health and wellness services to residents of FTTH communities in and around the Houston metropolitan area," says MedConcierge director Rob Scheschareg. "Telemedicine offers competitive and financial benefits in a cost-effective fashion that is critical in today's market environment. We look forward to meeting service providers and developers at the FTTH Conference & Expo who want to take advantage of the billions being spent by consumers and the government in the next 30 months on home-based telemedicine."

Substantial news coverage, increasing consumer interest and adoption, and the allocation of billions of dollars in Federal stimulus funds specifically for broadband and healthcare information technology have placed telemedicine at the forefront of applications that benefit from fiber to the home networks.

"Fiber to the home provides benefits to consumers and employers that truly improve the quality of life. From our own industry research to that of our members and market followers, it is becoming increasingly evident that consumers want the benefits of improved healthcare services and access to doctors that services like MedConcierge and healthcare providers like St. Joseph can provide," states Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council. "Telemedicine is a prime example of the type of applications that will be on display at our upcoming conference demonstrating the power of fiber".

To showcase the user experience, benefits and implementation of telemedicine services, MedConcierge and St. Joseph Medical Center will be hosting a number of activities at the upcoming 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo.  These include:

Corporate VIP Demonstration & Reception, Tuesday, September 29th.  For more information call the Corporate Health Connection at St. Joseph Medical Center at (713) 756-8600. 

MedConcierge Booth in the Fiber Zone, located on the show floor during exhibit hours. 

Phillip D. Robinson, CEO, St. Joseph Medical Center will be discussing telemedicine over FTTH networks as part of the Closing Keynote presentation Wednesday, September 30th at 2:00 pm.

For information about these events, visit the conference website at

About St. Joseph Medical Center

St. Joseph Medical Center, downtown Houston's only general acute care hospital, partners with Houston physicians to provide comprehensive health care to all.  As Houston's first hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center provides services for outpatients as well as inpatients, with a full continuum of care in surgery, cancer care, emergency care, Women's services, cardiovascular services, wound care, rehab, sports medicine, Corporate Health Connection and more. For more information on St. Joseph Medical Center, please visit or call 713.757.1000.

About MedConcierge, LLC

MedConcierge is the leading provider of telemedicine solutions for community developers and operators, broadband service providers, healthcare providers, and municipalities, that deliver personal, concierge healthcare services to consumers at home, at work and while traveling. Utilizing our award-winning, patent-pending technology, MedConcierge provides unparalleled private and secure access to certified doctors, specialists and content. MedConcierge offerings range from real-time, live videoconference consultations, on demand, 24/7 with leading doctors, specialists, psychiatrists and wellness experts, to educational content, health status monitoring and dynamic electronic medical records – all accessible from the comfort, privacy and convenience of homes and facilities. For more information, visit

Nashville Medical Trade Center and the Proposed Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Milt Capps reported on the Nashville Medical Trade Center and the proposed Nashville Entrepreneur Center here. Given today's technology I'd like to suggest that instead of building a PLACE it would be more strategic to offer a slate of SERVICES; specifically, those which would concentrate on the nexus of bioinformatics, cloud computing and distributed computing. With the recent gains in virtualization, the global build out of broadband, and the Obama Administration emphasis on healthcare, eHealth, medical devices and sensors, both the figurative and literal medical home, it seems there's an awful lot of emphasis on the part of executives to re-create an 1980 business model instead of looking ahead at the healthcare horizon. Nashville already has plenty of data centers to throw at this problem; a voucher system to pay for a computing services testbed while companies are bootstrapped is a more prudent first step — not to mention, tremendously less expensive to capitalize. Graduate studies at local higher education institutions, Internet2 and extant supercomputing capabilites at Oak Ridge should all be tapped first before other steps are taken.</ed.note>

Don’t Skate To The Puck, Skate To Where Jeff Pulver Is – RE: HD Voice

<ed.note>I've learned about a decade ago if you want to know where the world is going to be 5 years from now in terms of technology that affects the average citizen you watch Andy Abramson, Ken Rutkowski and Jeff Pulver. Jeff watches and creates all
things telephony and he recently sent this missive out re: HD Voice. My advice: if
you have traditionally poopooed eHealth, telehealth, and ROWE in healthcare —
your game is about to change; your boat is about to be refloated; your canary is
about to molt; your scotch is about to hop — well, you get what I mean, or literally — you HEAR what I am SAYING.</ed.note>

Putting the Cable Industry on notice. HD Voice is happening.

I had an interesting time at the CableLabs Summer Conference at
Keystone Resort, Colorado. When I first arrived I had a chance to
catch up with the teams from both AudioCodes and IP Gallery and a few
of the familiar faces I have gotten to know over the years involved in
the communications industry.

Looking around the reception on Monday afternoon, it was clear to me
that the telecom recession was over, with the room packed with vendors
and about 1,000 people from around the world who made the trek to
Colorado for the CableLabs Summer Conference.

This was a closed conference with the majority of the sessions only
open to the members of Cablelabs.

If there was one session at the CableLabs Summer Conference that a
Cable company’s Chief Strategy Officer should have been at, it was the
HD Voice session which I greatly appreciate being invited to be a part
of. I say this because after listening to Orange’s Vivek Badrinath,
Executive Vice President, Networks, Carriers, and Platforms, it is
clear to me that consumer HD Communications is a reality, it IS
happening and it is going to happen faster than anyone may have
otherwise expected.

Vivek was welcomed warmly and embraced by the CableLabs delegates.
During his talk I was thinking of the Twilight Zone Episode “To Serve
Man” where (according to Wikipedia) a race of aliens known as the
Kanamits lands on Earth and promises to be nothing but helpful to the
cause of humanity. Initially wary of the intentions of such a highly
advanced race, even the most skeptical humans are convinced when their
code-breakers begin to translate one of the Kanamit's books, with the
seemingly innocuous title, "To Serve Man."

Sharing their advanced technology, the aliens quickly solve all of
Earth's greatest woes, eradicating hunger, disease, and the need for
warfare. Soon, humans are volunteering for trips to the Kanamits' home
planet, which is supposedly a paradise.

All is not well, however, when a code-breaker discovers the Kanamits'
true intentions: Their book, "To Serve Man", is a cookbook, and all
their gifts were simply to make humanity complacent.” (if you haven’t
seen this episode – you can watch it here).

Given the fact that France Telecom / Orange already has over 500,000
customers who have subscribed for their HD Voice offerings and that
their numbers are going to continue to grow as Orange rolls out their
HD Communication offers across Europe, I couldn't help but make the
connection between Vivek and the leader of the Kanamit's.

If I were involved with a cable company, I would have categorized his
talk as an early wake-up call and understand the worldwide Cable
industry was put on notice to be on the lookout for other incumbent
operators who have both a broadband offering and wireless offering to
follow in the footsteps of France Telecom / Orange and use HD
Communications as a platform to retain and grow their customer base.

Now is NOT the time for the Cable industry to continue to take a “wait
and see” approach with HD Communications but rather now is the time to
commit to residential trials for HD Voice consumer if the cable
industry wants to protect what has become their multi-billion dollar
monthly cash cow known as “digital voice services.”

Over the next few years, the growth of consumers who subscribe for HD
Communications offered by both wireless and broadband service
providers will help lift the communications industry.

“Fear, Greed and Disruption” remain my three favorite words and I am
enjoying this moment in time in the history of communications. I
remain a big fan of France Telecom for continuing to lead and innovate
with HD Communications.

Friends who would like to learn more about HD Communications are
invited to attend the next HD Communications Summit taking place on
September 15th in New York City.

The HD Communications Summit Agenda (Update #1)

On September 15th 2009 at New World Stages in New York City, I am producing HDComms, the HD Communications Summit. HDComms will bring together the emerging worldwide HD Communications ecosystem and we will explore the state of "HD Communications" and where things are headed. If you have a vested interested in the future of communications, please consider joining us in New York City next month.

HD Communications Summit Agenda
(as of August 18, 2009)

– Welcome – Daniel Berninger, Executive Director, HDConnect
– Jeff Pulver – CEO, – "Accelerating the Conversion to HD"

Step 1 – The HD Technology Roadmap

– Nimrod Borovsky, VP Marketing, Enterprise Business Group, AudioCodes
– Martyn Humphries, VP/GM, VoIP Line of Business, Broadcom
– Jan Linden, VP Engineering, Global IP Solutions

Case Study: Lessons Learned from SD to HDTV
Robert Graves, Chairman, ATSC Forum

HD Innovations Panel: Moderator – Slava Borlin, VP Products, SpiritDSP
– Mike Eastman, VP Sales, WYDEVoice
– Alan Percy, Director Business Development, AudioCodes
– A. Ryan Heidari, Director Technical and Product Marketing, Qualcomm

Step 2 – Triggering End User Demand

Jeff Rodman, co-founder, CTO Voice Division, Polycom
Rick Krupka, VP Business Communication Services, Uniden

HD in Action Panel: Moderator – Daniel Petrie, CEO, SIPEz
– Joyce Kim, VP Marketing, Global IP Solutions
– Chalan Aras, VP of Product Marketing, Polycom
– Dave Frankel, CEO, ZipDX

Step 3 – Toward a Fully Functioning HD Ecosystem

– Josh Bottum, Director Business Development, Cisco
– Mike Rude, VP Business Development, DSPGroup

The HD Value Chain Panel Moderator – Michael Stanford, WireEvolution
– Michael Jablon, VP Digital Phone Strategy, Time Warner
– Tony Stankus, Product Manager Emerging Technologies,Gigaset Communications USA
– Mike Storella, Director Business Development, snom

HD Carrier Interconnection Panel:
Moderator – Daniel Berninger, Executive Director, HDConnect
– Eli Katz, founder and CEO, XConnect
– John Butz, Director New Product Development, Neutral Tandem
– Alan Bugos, VP Advanced Technology and Engineering, iBasis (invited)

Step 4 – The Path to HD Mass Market Adoption

– Rod Keller, CEO, Gigaset Communications USA
– Alla Reznick, Dir Product Management, Global Advanced Services, Verizon

Mobile VoIP Panel: 
Moderator – Brough Turner, Chief Strategy Officer, Dialogic
– Tobias Kemper, VP Social Media and Communication, Nimbuzz
– Diego Besprosvan, CTO, MailVision
– Mahesh Makhijani, Director Technical Marketing, Qualcomm

Perspectives on HD Tipping Points Panel
Moderator – Doug Mohney, Editor in Chief, HDConnectNow
– Anatoli Levine, Director Product Management, RADVISION and President, IMTC
– Richard Buchanan, Chief Marketing Officer, Ooma
– Jake MacLeod, VP and CTO, Bechtel Communications(invited)

Networking Reception

Interested in the future of communications? Register TODAY for next month's HD Communication Summit.

5th International Digital Curation Conference “Moving to Multi-Scale Science: Managing Complexity and Diversity” Call for Papers

We invite submission of full papers, posters, workshops and demos and welcome contributions and participation from individuals, organisations and institutions across all disciplines and domains that are engaged in the creation, use and management of digital data, especially those involved in the challenge of curating data for e-science and e-research.

Proposals will be considered for short (up to 6 pages) or long (up to 12 pages) papers and also for demonstrations, workshops and posters. The full text of papers will be peer-reviewed; abstracts for all posters, workshops and demos will be reviewed by the co-chairs. Final copy of accepted contributions will be made available to conference delegates, and papers will be published in our International Journal of Digital Curation. Accordingly, we recommend that you download our template and
read the advice on its use

Papers should be original and innovative, probably analytical in approach, and should present or reference significant evidence (whether experimental, observational or textual) to support their conclusions.

Subject matter could be policy, strategic, operational, experimental, infrastructural, tool-based, and so on, in nature, but the key elements are originality and evidence. Layout and structure should be appropriate for the disciplinary area. Papers should not have been published in their current or a very similar form before, other than as a pre-print in a repository.

We seek papers that respond to the main themes of the conference: multi-scale, multi-discipline, multi-skill and multi-sector, and that relate to the creation, curation, management and re-use of research data. Research data should be interpreted broadly to include the digital subjects of all types of research and scholarship (including Arts and Humanities, and all the Sciences). Papers may cover:

  • Curation practice and data management at the extremes of scale (e.g. interactions between small science and big science, or extremes of object size, numbers of objects, rates of deposit and use)
  • Challenging content: (e.g. addressing issues of data complexity, diversity and granularity)
  • Curation and e-research, including contextual, provenance, authenticity and other metadata for curation (e.g. automated systems for acquiring such metadata)
  • Research data infrastructures, including data repositories and services
  • Disciplinary and inter-disciplinary curation challenges and data management approaches, standards and norms
  • Promoting, enabling, demonstrating and characterizing the re-use of data
  • Semantically rich documents (e.g. the “well-supported article”)
  • The human infrastructure for curation (e.g. skills, careers, training and organisational support structures, careers, skills, training and curriculum)
  • Curation across academia, government, commerce and industry
  • Legal and policy issues; Creative Commons, special licences, the public domain and other approaches for re-use, and questions of privacy, consent, and embargo
  • Sustainability and economics: understanding business and financial models; balancing costs, benefits and value of digital curation

Important Dates

  • Submission of papers for peer-review: 24 July 2009
  • Submission of abstracts posters/demos/workshops: 24 July 2009
  • Notification of authors of papers: 18 September 2009
  • Notification of authors of posters/demos/workshops: 2 October 2009
  • Final papers deadline: 13 November 2009
  • Final posters deadline: 13 November 2009

Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination, Robert Compton on C-SPAN

<ed.note>Note: 1) China and India DO NOT emphasize junior high and high school athletics (because the chances that that will bring one out of poverty are amazingly low). 2) When a child shows an aptitude for a subject the parents hire a tutor (FWIW: South Korea sometimes hires from the States and Skylake Incuvest, a South Korean investment fund specializing in the technology sector, thinks there's money to be made here). Wouldn't it be weird if the US (the parents thereof) ACTUALLY valued STEM education (instead of just the politically correct rhetorizing about it)? Think of the boon a combined fiber and distributed clean energy generation smart grid build out model could be for rural economies and what a platform for virtual tutoring that eco friendly grid could be? BTW: I admin Project Net-Work Group on — invite here if you're about more than lip service.</ed.note>

Text from C-SPAN, links mine: Robert Compton talked about his documentary Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination (Youtube Trailer here),
which compares and contrasts the education experiences of six students;
two from each of the countries of India, China, and the United States.
Video clips were shown as he talked about the statistics on the amount
of time spent in the classroom, the influence of the students' parents
on their decisions to pursue a certain career, and the degree to which
those choices impact their free time during their high school years.
Two million minutes is roughly four years, the amount of time high
school students have to prepare for higher education and their careers.
Mr. Compton talked about the importance of education to competing in
the new global economy and that people in other countries took it much
more seriously. He said that although many middle and high schools were
using his video, schools of education had rejected any need to learn
about the educational systems in competing countries.

Venture capitalist Robert Compton's travels to India in 2005 and
2006 laid the groundwork for his decisions to author a blog, publish a
book called Blogging Through India, and produce the documentary.

2008 Fiber To The Home Conference & Expo September 21 – 25, 2008 Gaylord Opryland® Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN

<ed.note>The conference’s theme is "Linking Communities at the Speed of Light" but more intriguing to me is the the scheduled appearance of Don Tapscott (The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize Business, Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs, Creating Value in the Networked Economy, Blueprint to the Digital Economy: Creating Wealth in the Era of E-Business, Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation, The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence, Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World, Paradigm Shift: The New Promise of Information Technology)  adreessing his latest work, Wikinomics How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. Implicit in Tapscott’s writings is management’s buy-in of the distrubuted digital enterprise-enabled results-only collaborative work environment. If you happen to be one of those creatures (especially if you are from Nashville), I invite you to join the Project Net-Work group and Technology Nashville.</ed.note>
Sunday, September 21, 2008
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.                                   Registration Opens                                                                               
Monday, September 22, 2008
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration Opens
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Developer Panel Workshop  *Additional fee*
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Home Networking Workshop  *Additional fee*
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Track Session – Series 100  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

FTTH Executive Summit *By invitation only*
Moderated by:
Don Tapscott, Author

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Track Session Series 200  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EXPO Grand Opening & Opening Reception *Open to all registered attendees*
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration Opens
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Opening General Session    *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
Keynote Speaker – Don Tapscott, Author
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Sponsored by: Corning logo

FTTH Council Awards
Sponsored by: FTTH Council

FTTxcellence Awards
Sponsored by: Corning logo

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break    *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Global Carrier Keynote Panel   *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

EXPO Hall Opens   *Open to all registered attendees*

12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. Luncheon in EXPO Hall  *Open to all registered attendees*
3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. ITCo Panel  *Conference Pass attendees only*
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Track Session Series 300  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Track Session Series 400   *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Track Session Series 500   *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. International attendee Reception   *By invitation only*
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration Open
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Government and Regulatory Panel
8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Track Session Series 600  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Track Session Series 700  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Refreshment Break  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Track Session Series 800  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 a.m. Panel Session Series 900  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. On Own for Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EXPO Hall Opens
4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Closing General Session with Keynote Speaker  *Conference Pass and Day Pass attendees only*
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

EXTRAVAGANZA – Closing Reception with Entertainment *Additional fee*
"Don’t forget your dancing boots!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Post Conference Workshops 

IBM Opens New 3D Virtual Healthcare Island on Second Life

Interactive environment displays IBM’s vision for consumer-driven healthcare

ORLANDO, FL – 24 Feb 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) debuted at HIMSS®08 its newest island in Second Life: IBM Virtual Healthcare Island.  The island is a unique, three-dimensional representation of the challenges facing today’s healthcare industry and the role information technology will play in transforming global healthcare-delivery to meet patient needs. 

The island supports the strategic healthcare vision that IBM released in October 2006, entitled, Healthcare 2015: Win-Win or Lose-Lose, A Portrait and a Path to Successful Transformation.  The paper paints a picture of a Healthcare Industry in crisis – of health systems in the United States and many other countries that will become unsustainable by the year 2015.  To avoid “lose-lose” scenarios in which global healthcare systems “hit the wall” and require immediate and forced restructuring, IBM calls for what it defines as a “win-win” option: new levels of accountability, tough decisions, hard work and focus on the consumer.

The IBM Virtual Healthcare Island is designed with a futuristic atmosphere and provides visitors with an interactive demonstration of IBM’s open-standards-based Health Information Exchange (HIE) architecture.  Working with project leads in the U.S., the island was designed and built by an all-IBM-India team.

Starting from the patient’s home, they create their own Personal Health Records (PHRs) in a secure and private environment and watch as it is incorporated into an array of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems that can be used at various medical facilities.  As they move from one island station to the next, they experience how the development of a totally integrated and interoperable longitudinal Electronic Health Record (EHR) is used within a highly secured network that allows access only by patient-authorized providers and family members.

Patient avatars arrive and are welcomed at the Central Park and then visit a Central Information Hub, where IBM’s view of the healthcare industry and the power of information technology to transform it are presented.  An amphitheater on the Hub’s second floor provides an area that can support virtual meetings, complete with a large video screen and accompanying slide presentation on IBM’s HIE architecture and the positive impact that this technology can have in the transformation of the Healthcare Industry.

Visitors can then walk, fly or use transporters to visit the various island stations:

  • The Patient’s Home:  In the secure environment of a private home, patient avatars can initiate a PHR and populate it with their personal health characteristics and clinical history, accessed and downloaded from physician EMR data.  They can also establish privacy and security preferences as well as health directives.  The ground floor demonstrates secure messaging with providers and activates the initial PHR.  Using a transporter to move upstairs, patients use home health devices to take weight, blood pressure and blood sugar readings in the privacy of a bedroom, further incorporating this information into the PHR, which is shown on presentation screens. 
  • The Laboratory: This stop offers laboratory and radiology suites to help avatars extend their understanding of the benefits of  HIE.  Here, patients can check in at a Patient Kiosk and have blood work and radiology tests performed. The use of EHRs – revealing only appropriate portions of the PHRs — shows how consumers can also benefit through cost and time savings.
  • The Clinic: Patient avatars transport or walk from the Lab to the Clinic, where a welcome from their primary-care physician awaits.  A combination of scripting and information screens supports simulation of a patient exam, after which an electronic prescription is generated, and the continued development of the EHR is explained on nearby screens. 
  • The Pharmacy: Here, avatars can check in at a Patient Kiosk that simulates the verifying of drug information.  They then receive their prescriptions and update their PHRs/EHRs with new medication data.  The HIE architecture demonstrates how use of PHR/EHR technology can prevent consumers from purchasing medications that are contra-indicated given the medicines they presently require, as well as alerting them about potential drug-to-drug interactions.  The PHR/EHR is again updated.
  • The Hospital: In this futuristic, three story structure, avatars arrive for a scheduled visit with a specialist.  Physicians’ offices, patient rooms and exam rooms are all simulated here. 
  • The Emergency Room: Avatars can chose to experience a virtual emergency by “touching” a specially scripted control.  This engages a medical episode and a ride on a fast gurney directly into the private and secure emergency treatment area, where a special screen is programmed to reveal the full incorporation of the PHR to ensure proper treatment.

“We are pleased to offer our IBM Virtual Health Island as a tool for our healthcare customers and our worldwide sales force.  The island allows each healthcare stakeholder to envision how the total system can be affected by intercession at each juncture of the healthcare delivery process,” said Dan Pelino, General Manager, IBM Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry.  “We believe that the use of our new virtual world provides an important, next-generation Internet-based resource to show how standards; business planning; the use of a secured, extensible and expandable architecture; HIE interoperability; and data use for healthcare analytics, quality, wellness and disease management are all helping to transform our industry. “

IBM’s Healthcare & Life Sciences (HCLS) Industry will continue to develop the new island in months to come.  The island can perform as a virtually “always on” demonstration tool for IBM’s sales personnel.  A video version of the island is also under production.

IBM believes in the significant promise of virtual-worlds technologies far beyond today’s usage: the next evolutionary phase of the Internet. IBM is helping clients and partners to conduct business inside virtual worlds and to connect the virtual world with the real world through a richer, more immersive Web environment. 

Second Life is a 3D online world created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience.  Last October, IBM and Linden Lab announced their intent to jointly develop new technologies and methodologies based on open standards that will help advance the future of 3D virtual worlds.