Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for April 11th, 2011

Live From Impact 2011: Changing Medicine At Boston Children’s Medical Hospital

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In another section of today’s opening general session of Impact 2011, Dr. Jeffery Burns, MD and had of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, brought home to the audience how technology is playing a role in not only transforming and making business more agile.

No, Dr. Burns made a powerful house call, pleading with the audience of technologists that the medical field needs their help, particularly to change the healthcare “information bottleneck.” He made the point through a life saving story, whereby he was working to save a critically ill young girl who had a septic bloodstream infection and who was being attended by Dr. Burns and a team of 20 nurses and doctors.

Fortunately, she made it, and two years later, Dr. Burns received a call from a doctor friend of his, from Guetemala City, facing a very similar situation. Dr. Burns attempted to help his colleague through some primitive videoconferencing, but it was very difficult to send the specific medical steps and shared data necessary to his colleague to help him learn the procedure.

Somehow she, too, made it, but Dr. Burns was convinced there had to be a better way to share and transfer medical knowledge.  In medical school, and in their residencies, what one student sees on a shift one evening could be dramatically different for another student the next.  How could technology help create some repeatable, and virtual, education solutions that would better help students learn and retain medical knowledge??

The answer came in the form of the X-Box game, Call of Duty 4, which Dr. Burns witnessed his son playing one Friday evening with some friends (including a new German one located in Munich — and when two weeks later, Dr. Burns visited the IBM-produced Masters golf tournament Web site.

Soon, he was meeting with the IBM Interactive group from Atlanta and Boston, and demonstrating to them his need to map what we called the “Adult Learning Cycle” to an interactive prototype application that could be loaded on a thumb drive, but reach into the cloud for new content.

Dr. Burns explained to the Impact 2011 audience that the prototype medical education application was shortly in trials around the globe, from Beirut to Cambodia, and helping medical students utilize it to garner valuable medical knowledge in a “learn by doing” mode — the most effective way for many adults to learn.

Dr. Burns wrapped up his compelling discussion by relating a quote from that most famous of anthropologists, Margaret Mead.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can chance the world; indeed, it’s the only thing it ever has.”

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Live At Impact 2011: Jon Iwata On 100 Years Of Innovation At IBM

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At this morning’s opening general session of Impact 2011 here at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Jon Iwata, IBM Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, put IBM’s 100 years of transformation and innovation into context.

Mr. Iwata started his talk with a video demonstrating IBM’s 100 years of transformation in 100 seconds, a video MTV would have trouble matching in terms of the jump cuts.  But just watching the video segue from black and white to full color, one could sense the rich history of IBM’s contributions to innovation in industry over the span of a full century.

He used a few examples to demonstrate IBM’s commitment to making new markets, sometimes at the risk of cannibalizing existing ones: Changing from the 40 to 80 column punchcard. Being inspired by a recorded Bing Crosby radio show to investigate magnetic storage media for computing storage. Building a new computer system, the System/360, which was a bet-the-company business that took years to grow in volume, but which was truly transformative, both for IBM and for its customers.

These changes weren’t always easy.  Iwata quoted one customer frustrated by the punchard to tape change: “Not only can I see my data in a punchcard…I can feel my data.” (Big laugh from the audience.)  At first, customers didn’t quite know what to do with the System/360, but partnering with IBM, they figured it out over time, and another market was made.

To celebrate some of these milestones, Iwata explained, IBM has created 100 iconic programs of progress (including a new one introduced today for WebSphere) that mark 100 IBM Centennial milestones.  A few examples: RISC, PCs, Fractals, the Bar Code…you get the idea.

Flash forward to 2008: Despite the sudden changes in the economic climate, people at IBM were coming to a realization: Technology was moving out of the data center, the PC, through the mobile devices, and out into the physical systems of the world: Cities, pipelines, roads…we were putting computing into things never recognized before as a computer.

These new capabilities brought about “bigger” and more complex data, requiring more analytical capabilities and technologies to understand the larger trends occurring in these vast new data.

Thus was born the “smarter planet” initiative.

But there was more to the story that just saying it was so.  To help IBM customers take the most advantage of these new approaches to computing, we had to help them learn how to do so in the construct of their industries, we had to learn how to build up “agency,” to show our customers the way — learning by doing, the same way we humans learn most effectively.

Iwata then demonstrated what’s past was prologue, flashing pictures (straight from the IBM archives) of IBM offices opened around the globe the past 100 years, with IBMers sitting in classrooms: attentive, learning, preparing to share their knowledge with customers, just as we’re working to do with our customers’ smarter planet initiatives.

Three years on, Iwata explained, we’re proving we can change how the world works, and we’re doing it industry by industry.

New examples: Netherland Railway captured $57M in new fares with a smarter transportation solution. Madrid’s Emergency Response system is 25% faster, as its smart communications system better synchronizes fire, traffic, and police with a business process management system. Even a case study on how Italian fishermen are making markets for their fish via mobile devices while their boats are still out to sea.

That’s why you’re here, Iwata concluded.

Here among your peers and role models and other leaders to learn from one another, at Impact 2011.

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Live from Impact 2011: Q&A With Steve Mills

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Greetings from The Venetian Hotel and Casino in lovely Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m writing you from a breakfast of thousands (well, it’s so early, it’s only hundreds, but give it time), which means I had to hoof it to the far nether regions of the Venetian’s inner conference sanctum to grab my imitation Egg McMuffin (which was actually pretty good).

I arrived yesterday afternoon via Southwest Airlines. Fortunately, my flight wasn’t a convertible, but it was a couple of hours late. Which, of course, meant that I wasn’t going to arrive in Vegas in time to see the end of the Masters.

Which, of course, proved to have an incredibly dramatic finish. Thank Heavens for the Masters Web site (which IBM helped produce). I was able to get updated scores from the leaderboard on the ground in Phoenix between flights.

When I arrived at McCarran airport, the cab stand line was so long, I thought they might be giving away free rides or something. Needing to be at the Venetian for our opening Webcast by 5:30, I considered walking to my hotel, but figured I might not survive the trek.

So, it was on to a local shuttle which, of course, dropped me off next to last. I was starting to think I wasn’t destined to make it to Impact.

But I finally arrived, successfully, and the rooms at the Venetian were large enough to build our own personal Webcasting studio (if I could just figure out how to raise the blinds!)

Scott Laningham and I met with our IBM media team to prepare for the evening’s Webcasting, a Q&A with IBM Vice President and Group Executive Software and Systems, Steve Mills.

Steve helped set up the big picture for Impact 2011 (he’ll be keynoting tomorrow, Tuesday), discussing everything from SOA to cloud computing to the possibilities presented by the IBM Deep Q&A technology, Watson. You can see our interview with Steve and all the Impact videos here. We’ll be talking to many more IBM execs, partners, and experts over the next three days.

For now, I’m off to catch today’s opening general session, which the calendar handout at breakfast indicates will provide a key SOA announcement from Marie Wieck, the general manager of IBM Software’s Application and Integration Middleware (AIM) organization.

Stay tuned for more from Impact!

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 2:11 pm

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