Monthly Archives: August 2007

E-Health Records and GA

Seems Georgia is in line for federal healthcare dollars. $1.4 million will go to the Georgia Association of Primary Health Care to help regional health centers convert to systems facilitating electronic medical records (EMR). If you want to learn more about EMR, TAG has a meeting on Aug 30 to discuss the topic.

Georgia has struggled to embrace this topic. A group was formed to create an exchange association (RHIO) but ran into resistance from the state Department of Community Health which announced its own steering group to manage the effort.  Georgia’s struggle is ironic given that Georgia son Newt Gingrich has created a national center to champion EMR.  He even wrote a book on the topic (imagine that).  The opportunity for cost savings and improved quality of healthcare is so much more significant than tort reform, safe harbor from damage suits, and health savings accounts — why are we so slow to adopt?

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Filed under Health, Innovation

Visiting Prisons

A prayer from the Episcopal prayer book:

Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy’s sake. Amen.

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Filed under faith based

Truer Words ne’er been spoken

Doing some reading this morning, Pascal was a pretty smart fellow:

Men never do evil so completely or cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

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One Word – Information

That’s right.  Information is the “plastic” of this century.  Those that have information, control information, understand information and distribute information will be the masters of the 21st century economy.  An examination of the policy debates in Congress concerning intellectual property, the policy discussions at the FCC concerning spectrum and who controls it, the debate over electronic health records, and the debate over who controls information relating to your identity, credit, and personal history point to the conclusion that information, and all the goods derived from information (knowledge, innovation, wealth, etc), is the key to economic success.

Today, for instance, NYT carries a story about Google and Microsoft investing in health information companies.  A local Fox news station carries a story how a local city tried to ban cameras and recorders from capturing information discussed at meetings.  The federal government is trying to quash a lawsuit alleging the government has illegally siphoned emails from the 4th largest Internet hub located in San Francisco.  The government won’t divulge any information about the activity as it is a ‘state secret’.

There is a good essay or two here.  We’ll re-visit this topic when time permits a more thoughtful repose.

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Filed under Economies, Government Information

Another 19th Century Model that needs to be reformed

Is the Intellectual Property system (patents, copyrights, etc). The world has moved from an era of individual inventors (see Thomas Hughes: American Genesis) to one which creates by cooperation across cultures, across national boundaries and across coporate boundaries. Robert Scoble interviews IBM’s IP attorney — and he emphasizes this point.

If we don’t adjust how we innovate and how we license those innovations, our economy will follow that of England’s post-industrial slide from world domination to a former economic power.

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Filed under Economies, Innovation, Uncategorized

Government Equivalent of Sub-prime loans

The mortgage industry is besieged with the realization that the originators of sub-prime loans, who cashed out early and are somewhere warm counting their profits, have left them holding a bag of paper that can not be maintained by the loan holders.  In other words, now that the true cost of those mortgages must be paid, the loan holders find themselves unable to pay.

Government, fed and state, has a similar program for funding the initial capital and infrastructure costs of projects, like this one funded by the FBI to facilitate inter-agency communications.  More times than you would care to count, the local government recipients fail to budget for maintenance and operating costs to keep the new project functioning.

So, is this any way to run a business?

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Filed under Maintenance

Faith Based Services Need Relief

AJC has a guest op/ed discussing how much it costs to perform the Christian ministerial duties of visiting prisoners. Between the collect calls, ATM fees, and other charges (which, ironically, are imposed by private sector contractors who resist reveiling the profit margins and whose owners have gone to prison defending their take!) incurred by the person performing one’s duty, one can incur hundreds of dollars a year if one visited once a week.  Here is a worthy project for Christian political activist groups – 1) Remove barriers to visiting those in prison and 2) motivate their grassroots members to visit.  If the stats are true, reporting that prisoners receiving visitors have lower rates of recidivism, then this is truly one faith-

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Filed under faith based, Policy

19th century business model, 21st century needs

PEW Foundation has a new study on state investment strategies regarding innovation.

Investing billions of dollars in everything from nanotechnology to health care and agricultural science R&D funds are being used by states as diverse as New York, Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Georgia and Arizona. California alone has committed $3 billion to a 10-year investment in stem-cell research.

One of the findings is that we have seen a rise in average investments from a few million to more than a hundred million a year in such projects (Biotech, stem cell, telecom, etc). Another interesting factoroid, 52 of 57 major telecom initiatives were located outside the United States.  Georgia’s own Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies has been demoted to a policy center.  No significant state monies have been invested in telecommunications since 2001, although a few million are in play to incentivize communities to build wireless networks.

States can do more than just invest, they can also make sure to use research produced by state dollars within state projects. Example:

A Georgia company, Lifespan Technologies, developed at Georgia Tech in 1993 commercializing technology designed to monitor bridges. That company has succeeded in marketing its product in many places, but only recently, and after some political intervention, were they able to get a pilot project here in Georgia. Some 14 years after their start!

Another firm, ReachMd Consult, grew out of technology developed at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Despite piloting in 5 Georgia rural hospitals, there has been no action by the state to roll this technology out. However, New York is actively promoting this system as a means of managing potential brain damage from stroke.

These are just two examples. I am sure there are more. State procurement laws make it easier for more established companies to do business with the state. State budget cycles add 1-2 years to the time an idea achieves status as “doable” and funding is arranged via the legislative process.  In a state where attention is focused on insuring that the state taxpayer gets the proper return on their investment, we should make it easier for intellectual property developed here to start and flourish here.

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Filed under Economies, Government, Innovation, Uncategorized

Policy – Guidelines

Irving Wlawdawsky-Berger references IBM guidelines for employees investigating the virtual world.

To do its part to encourage good behavior, IBM just posted the IBM Virtual World Guidelines, designed to help our people navigate the brave new virtual worlds that we are encouraging them to explore.  I believe that the only way for people to appreciate the impact of new technologies and capabilities, and to figure out their value in the marketplace, is to go out there, use them, experiment with them, and come up with innovative new applications.  As with blogging two years ago, guidelines are meant to help people new to virtual worlds feel more comfortable about getting out there and experimenting.

Need to return to this for further thought — compare to policy for state and university system employees using tech such as blogs, wikis, virtual platforms, etc.

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Filed under Half-Baked

Arrggghhh… Time to write

Sure is dusty round here…

Scoble has posted a great interview with Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

[podtech content=            &totalTime=1315000&breadcrumb=a6e49ca5403f4408803f98a4be82761a]

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Filed under Uncategorized, Voices to hear