Health care under Glass

Rhode Island Hospital ER docs will soon have a new instrument: Google Glass.

Physicians at the Providence-based teaching hospital will use Google Glass for real-time consults with consenting patients who need a dermatology consultation. 

"We live in a world of instant gratification, and in many ways, we’re testing that mindset by using Google Glass to enhance telemedicine in the emergency department,” said principal investigator Paul Porter, MD, a physician in the emergency departments of Rhode Island, Hasbro Children’s and The Miriam hospitals. 

Using the video-enabled goggles, the attending ER physician can live stream video of the patient's skin to a consulting dermatologist, who will view the video in real time on a tablet.

The hospital is working with a third party to modify the stock Google Glass so it is HIPAA compliant.

Rhode Island Hospital is the first in the nation to study the efficacy of using Glass in the ER setting.


Digital fitness tracker meets digital fitness coach (meet @getmoov)

There's no scarcity of fitness trackers and apps — Jawbone UP, FitBit, Nike FuelBand to name a few. But what if you want to go beyond tracking and get a little coaching?

Enter Moov, a soon-to-be-released (this summer) device plus app that not only tracks your fitness, but offers advice for improving your game. 


If you run, Moov analyzes your foot strike. If you swim, it analyzes your strokes. If you bike, it analyzes your cadence. It also offers advice for your boxing and weight workouts with yoga and golf coming soon after launch.

Moov will be available this summer and has a pre-order price of $59.95.

My request: Hockey, of course!

Source: iMore


Patient engagement must begin with plain language

Hardwire. Analytics. Evidence. Patterns. Models of care.

These terms all mean something to health care and IT professionals. 

They mean nothing to patients.

This vocabulary divide was highlighted in a recent interview with David Muntz, System Vice President & CIO at GetWellNetwork, on the HIMSS website ("Ask the Expert: Patient Engagement - The 'New' End Game," December 23, 2013):

Q: Why is Patient Engagement so critical to the overall success of health reform?

A: The role of the patient and family has become increasingly important. We can successfully install the new EHRs and associated products, but without true patient engagement, without a new effective partner relationship, we as individuals and as a nation will not get the complete potential value available to us. Patients must become activated. The best way to do that in both the existing and evolving models of care is to use information technology to hardwire processes and to perform analytics which will be crucial to affirming existing evidence as well as discovering patterns that we didn’t see without the new tools. 

Muntz's ideas are right on. And while he's speaking to IT folks, who understand the terms and syntax, the choice of words excludes patients and families at a time when their role, as Muntz notes, "has become increasingly important."

Let's deconstruct the last two sentences, which are the most important.

From Muntz:

Patients must become activated. The best way to do that in both the existing and evolving models of care is to use information technology to hardwire processes and to perform analytics which will be crucial to affirming existing evidence as well as discovering patterns that we didn’t see without the new tools. 

And now present it in a way patients and families can understand:

We want patients to become partners in their care. The best way to do that — right now and in the future — is to help them get comfortable with technology and make it an important and easy part of their daily lives. When we do that, together, both patients and providers will be able to see what is truly happening with a patient's health and take steps to improve it. 

Patient engagement starts by talking the same language. We have to speak in terms our patients and their families can understand — and we can accomplish that by dropping the jargon and biz-speak and getting back to plain language that everyone can understand — with no translation required.

Source: HIMSS

This post originally appeared on, a blog dedicated to advancing patient and family-centered care. I am a member of the Engaging Patients Advisory Board and write for the blog.


How to communicate (& rally) your team (well done, @microsoft!)

Satya Nadella, new CEO of Microsoft. Image Source:  Microsoft.

Satya Nadella, new CEO of Microsoft. Image Source: Microsoft.

Microsoft needed some new direction. If Day 1 of the Satya Nadella regime is any indication, they got it.

Today was Nadella's first day as the new CEO of Microsoft, replacing Steve Ballmer.

Any leadership transition is fraught with dread, uncertainty and unanswered questions. Everyone wants to know what will happen, how the business will change, what the new leader will be like and what each employee's role will be.

Nadella's email to employees on his first day as CEO is a shining example of how to communicate effectively with your team. 

He covers all of these subjects and lays out a clear vision of where he sees Microsoft heading ("we need to prioritize innovation") and everyone's role in getting there ("every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change").

The message is not all Pollyanna. Nadella acknowledges where Microsoft has to change. But his message is positive, proactive and inclusive. He ends with:

Let’s build on this foundation together.

The entire text of his email is below.

From: Satya Nadella

To: All Employees
Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Subject: RE: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.

It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and Steve in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I’ve asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products. I’m also looking forward to working with John Thompson as our new Chairman of the Board.

While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.

As we start a new phase of our journey together, I wanted to share some background on myself and what inspires and motivates me.

Who am I?

I am 46. I’ve been married for 22 years and we have 3 kids. And like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.

Why am I here?

I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft — to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic — and yet it’s true. We have done it, we’re doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.

I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize — many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.

This is a software-powered world.

It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.
I am here because we have unparalleled capability to make an impact.

Why are we here?

In our early history, our mission was about the PC on every desk and home, a goal we have mostly achieved in the developed world. Today we’re focused on a broader range of devices. While the deal is not yet complete, we will welcome to our family Nokia devices and services and the new mobile capabilities they bring us.

As we look forward, we must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world. The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things.

We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization. We are the only company with history and continued focus in building platforms and ecosystems that create broad opportunity.

Qi Lu captured it well in a recent meeting when he said that Microsoft uniquely empowers people to "do more." This doesn’t mean that we need to do more things, but that the work we do empowers the world to do more of what they care about — get stuff done, have fun, communicate and accomplish great things. This is the core of who we are, and driving this core value in all that we do — be it the cloud or device experiences — is why we are here.

What do we do next?

To paraphrase a quote from Oscar Wilde — we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.

This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to “do more.” We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.

Next, every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.

Finally, I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it's not just work, but something that will improve other people's lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.

Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation.

Let’s build on this foundation together.


There isn't an app for this …

This ad for the Peace Corps grabbed me.

Technology can do a lot. Sometimes you need to put down the tech and just do. As in volunteering.

Check out the whole campaign. It's right on.