June 21, 2011
Jeff Jarvis on the #140Conf Stage: You Tweeties Have Attacked the Sanctity of the ArticleHere's a fun Webdoc on Jeff Jarvis following his talk at the 140 Conference last week in New York. It's a great example of how easily and quickly you can mix media, such as photos, text and a live Twitter stream all in one place.
I got there late, so was sorry to have missed him on-stage. Jeff, I heard you were inspiring as always.
Disclosure: I've been providing some consulting to the Webdoc team.
May 17, 2011
FutureMed: Healthcare & Medicine Migrate From Linear Growth to Exponential Growth
I just finished attending a mind blowing event called FutureMed, the medical arm if you like, of Singularity University, which was founded by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil. Director, curator and chair of the program is Daniel Kraft, who together with a dedicated team, brought in some of the smartest creators and thinkers in medicine and healthcare for the 5 day long program.
Ask yourself: what is the impact that exponential technologies will have on medicine and healthcare? What was your initial response? Whether you're a scientist, physician, venture capitalist or biomed executive, the answers are profound because of the fast rate technology is developing, improving and having a direct impact on the "well-being" of our lives.
What's unique about the event is not just the content, which is deep and thought provoking and brings in insights from the top in their fields, but the structure of the event itself. Imagine a combination of panels, lectures and field trips with demos, workshops and breakout sessions all under one roof with only 70 or so attendees.
In other words, the intimacy of the event creates an environment where not only do you have an opportunity to have your answers questioned (and challenged) directly, but you have quality time with the speakers and technology creators, so you can more effectively understand what lies ahead -- and then act upon it. It also means that attendees are vetted, so not only is the speaker line-up phenomenal, but the attendees themselves have a host of honors, accolades and accomplishments, all of which result in an environment where the brightest minds can come together to learn, create and grow. A community is formed in which like-minds in medicine and healthcare can accomplish more together than they can alone in their respective fields. (Below is Peter Diamandis and Daniel Kraft in the first session of Day One).
Challenging the status quo is never easy but if through a combination of persistence, trial and error and really smart, caring and passionate thinkers who want to make a difference, things can change, particularly as you begin to see validation after validation for your thinking (and actions) along the way. In other words, linear thinking "be gone."
As CNET described the environment for participants, "For attendees, who range from executives in the medical field to practicing doctors to entrepreneurs looking for the next area to invest in, and who come from countries all over the world, FutureMed gives access to talks on topics as diverse as personalized medicine; the future of pharma; patient engagement; regenerative medicine; neuromedicine; synthetic biology; the future of medical education; global health and the hospital of the future; and more."
Ray Kurzweil and XPrize founder Peter Diamandis kicked things off with the notion that advances in healthcare and medicine have migrated from linear growth to exponential growth. As recapped so well in the MedGadget summary which you'll find me referencing a number of times because their coverage of the event was so extensive: "One fascinating insight from Ray’s talk was that these exponentially growing advances are often the combination of many different paradigms that grow and develop in a sigmoidal fashion. The exponential growth of computational power per dollar, for instance, is driven by say, vaccum tubes, which start slow, progress extremely rapidly, and then level off, only to be replaced by transistors, which did the same thing until integrated circuits came into the picture. Collectively, even though each of these technological paradigms hit a wall at some point, they were replaced by another advance that allowed the final outcome of computational power to continue to scale exponentially. In proof of this, Ray showed us what seemed to be an exponentially increasing number of charts that demonstrated exponential technological growth."
Another message we heard from many of the speakers, is how low the costs are going, from sensors that we wear and can self diagnose to the world of 3D printing, which using both plastics and metals, doesn't cost more to use.
In addition to 3D printing, Dan Barry talked about one of his favorite topics: robots.
There's no question; robots are getting smarter and smarter. Through sensors, robots are learning how to put objects in the right location and in the right spots within that location, i.e., product placement into a particular location on a particular shelf. "We want to move up the ladder even further," says Barry. "We want robots to not just organize but to sense, throw and manipulate."
Robot's dexterity is improving and their movement is getting more and more fluid. A robot’s hands can correspond to a human’s movements.
Dan gave a useful example of the impact on a human body when they do a space walk. He says, "it takes 4 hours just to get the nitrogen out of our system, but you can do a space walk with a robot through virtual reality and get the job done a lot faster."
He also brought up the social and ethical implications of people who may choose robots as their companions rather than human beings. In the future, robots will become true companions for people who are lonely, have lost their loved ones or generally just want companionship. Hmmm. Not sure about companionship (for me that is), but I definitely get the value of robots in eldercare and have already seen amazing advancements coming out of Willow Garage, where their PR2s are being trained to put dishes away, set the table and clean among other things.
On the Data Driven Healthcare panel, Stanford University's Dan Riskin talked about the convergence of devices. Says Riskin, "We’re able to take these platforms, such as an iPhone or a computer system, pull together valuable information and make it really useful. We’re seeing an innovation shift to mature platforms."
As for devices and technology, medical intervention will become an app. In fact, it's already starting to happen. Apps will be prescribed just like medication, i.e, welldoc shows a decrease in diabetics problems (a 4 fold benefit from an app than using medications alone).
We also heard about a perspective on the fundamental flaws of the RCT, which included things like the long term nature of it (often a decade to change care), the high expense (not affordable without support), the fact that it can be biased (selected based on drug and device firms) and lastly, that they're poorly generalizable. It’s just not working and ineffective.
Other apps are able to extract words/language that a patient uses and put them into a matrix to show how these words relate to each other, i.e., fever, nausea, chest tightness. The power of analytics is helping the doctor make a diagnosis by structuring a record so that he/she has more data and beyond that, some actual “meaning” within that data.
An example that was given was a test they did with a small group of patients who got re-admitted into the hospital. They did an analysis and discovered what contributed to people being re-admitted to the hospital and more importantly, why. The results helped with quality improvement and flow of data.
A force behind eLegs is Iceland-born Eythor Bender from Berkeley Bionics. They augment humans with wearable, artificially intelligent bionic devices called exoskeletons. Below is a young man demonstrating it to the FutureMed audience, showing how flexible and dynamic his world has become using their technology. Since visuals (and patient feedback) is most powerful, check out their YouTube channel for stories and use cases and their eLegs FAQ for the hows and whys. All I can say is: inspiring. There are no words for the rest.
Healthtap founder Ron Gutman pushed the need to unite consumers and physicians in personal health – both the data and the conversation. In other words, get physicians into the game and allow them to particate in the conversation so they can access this data in real time and better help their patients. The two step approach involves creating an infrastructure, then getting the physicians to engage with the data so its always up to-date and therefore relevant. It’s essentially a database that combines data, conversations, and personalization around the patient so the physician can be more effective in their care and decisions.
Sutha Kamal talked about feedback loops, which was a constant theme throughout the program. If I (a patient), can access data in real time through a wearable sensor and make sense of that data, then I can help my doctor better understand what is happening with my health over time. Feedback loops provoke action. (also refer to the beginning of my TEDxSV post where Wired's Chris Anderson talks about the same thing citing examples).
If you have no "meaning" from the data, then essentially you have a "broken" feedback loop. Data without meaning doesn't move a patient to take the right action OR have the right conversations with their doctors and other experts. "When you get this data, that data should belong to you," says Kamal. "We want to understand the things that you would adhere to but don’t today. Feedback is personal but meaning needs to be in that personal data so you, the patient, end up doing something with the data."
Ultimately, if you think your body is a “black box,” aka poor health, you’re going to end up getting depressed because you don’t know where to start. In the future, a lot of this gathered data will end up on our phones because they're with us all the time.
Google's Roni Zeiger says, "our cell phones will become our data lens for information about our bodies. You will also be able to access information in real time about the workflow of a hospital and the wait of the line in the emergency room. The patient is at the center of information flow and decision making."
The patient has ALL of the data because they know how they feel better than anyone else does. The data transmitted from a patient's body in the not too distant future, will be used to allow physicians to look at your veins and arteries remotely on a device. Ones and zeros will be flowing back (aka the patient’s data), with analysis so the physicians can make real-time diagnostics and decisions.
It’s happening now with sleep devices and soon it will be happening from a lot of different sources. He also gave examples of smart health realted search queries like “poison control,” which immediately returns the number for the US poison control center, and “suicide,” which displays the number for the US suicide prevention hotline.
Additionally, people are putting their data online, on Twitter, Patients Like Me and in other places and asking people to mine that data in a way that will be useful for their care givers and doctors. The distinction between data and conversations are becoming blurred, and eventually they’ll go away.
Gamification is a natural example, where incentives are given for a a particular behavior. Esther asked: "Where are the HR execs in this conversation?"
There’s an increasing trend in employer benefits where companies can start to engage with employees in innovative ways that has a positive impact on their health.
On reimbursement, McCall suggested that rather than see this as a barrier, think about creative ways to compensate. She noted that “there are ways for these things to pay for themselves.”
Google's Astro Teller gave a fascinating talk about body monitoring. He asserts that body monitoring isn't really about healthcare. "It misses the point," he says. "That way of thinking derails us from understanding what body monitoring can actually become in the future. Fitness people tend to be quantitative nuts. If you drive at the group that makes the most sense, you miss all the other amazing opportunities."
He talked about major obvious opportunities in this space, such as the “patch” which is very small and very cheap. Other trends around body monitoring in the future?
Upselling new pieces of value to the same wearer by showing value and cost effectiveness. Passive monitoring will also be big, he says, because at the end of the day, people don't like to "do" a lot for their health but they do want to be healthy. Passive monitoring allows us to have sensors on our bodies, but we don’t have to think about them. He's spot on about that one.
Monitors can tell us how much time people spend on their computers, their heart beats, the "way" they use something, such as a mouse. By monitoring a "behavior" such as mouse movement, you can get an idea of visual motor quality which is often a result of sleep deprivation or early warnings of Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease.
With sensors, people often ask “what does it measure?” Teller says, "this is not the point. We want the guess/surrogate to be better than it makes the statement about and we want accuracy to be good enough that we can make a better analysis overall about your body."
He also reminded us that while we’ve spent a lot of time sequencing the human genome, we haven’t spent much time sequencing the human lifestyle. Wearable body monitoring isn’t about being quantified, reinforcing his point by saying that "Mary Jo Jane" (aka the average person) doesn’t want to be quantified.
"Wearable body monitoring is about having the right parts of the world know who you are and in what you want and need in a million little ways, in real time, and all the time."
At the end of the day, you want people/things/data to respond to what you need without you having to think about it. AND, there will literally be a million apps for that. (his prediction is 1 million+ apps by 2015).
Check out the CBS Interactive Smart Planet clip for a "short" on Dan Barry's talk. And for incredibly in-depth coverage of the entire event, check out the summaries by MedGadget by the day.
Day One Summary: Ray Kurzweil, Gabor Forgacs, Eythor Bender and more.
Day Two Summary: Eric Schadt, Esther Dyson, Kaiser's Innovation Center.
Day Three Summary: Robert Hariri, Mike West, Autodesk and more.
Day Four Summary: Andrew Hessel, Philip Low, Intuitive Surgical and more.
Day Five Summary: Erik Rasmussen, Andy Kogelnik, Brad Peterson and Goodbyes.
And let's not forget David Bolinsky and team's incredible animation.
For a mind numbing experience, check out their site for a video that will take you through the human body in the most exciting way you could ever have imagined. (it's a bit like being on a Back to Future ride). Below, a glimpse of the magic they have created for companies, healthcare institutions and hospitals.
Below is a shot from the FutureMed graduation at NASA AMES in Silicon Valley on the last night, a group shot taken during the week and one taken at an after party. And, here are some images I shot from the kick off party, which includes an overview of the program and the first day.
Disclosure: I provided some consulting to FutureMed.
May 17, 2011 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, Conference Highlights, Events, On Education, On Health, On Innovation, On People & Life, On Robotics, On Science, On Technology, On the Future, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 11, 2011
Call Advertising Market Acquisition: Marchex Buys Jingle Networks (the FREE411 Guys)
Marchex, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHX) announced the acquisition of Jingle Networks, adding a growing source of mobile distribution to its call advertising network.
The deal is that Marchex plans to pay up to $62.5 million in cash and stock for Jingle Networks, which is a leading providers of mobile voice search performance advertising and technology solutions. Some may know them through their service: 1-800-FREE411.
Jingle Networks’ core business is providing performance advertising solutions to mobile carriers and mobile network operators so that advertising agencies and businesses can leverage in-call advertising, including pay-for-call, to gain new customers over the phone or through the use of mobile applications. Over the last twelve months, Jingle Networks has added numerous mobile distribution partners and grown its mobile partner call volume by more than 200%.
Combining energies, the Marchex Call Advertising Network will now have an annualized reach of more than 500 million phone calls across digital media, including mobile. This new call advertising network empowers both large and small businesses to reach customers when they are ready to buy. As the digital advertising market shifts to incorporate phone calls in a more significant way, the Marchex Call Advertising Network is best positioned to provide solutions to advertising agencies and businesses due to its open platform approach using all digital media platforms and supporting all partner types.
Driven by the rapid adoption of mobile and smart phones, mobile carriers and network operators are seeing a significant rise in the number of consumers leveraging voice search to find businesses. Voice search, however, can be costly for mobile carriers and network operators given the technology and other items necessary to operate the service.
Call advertising helps businesses acquire and up-sell new customers through phone calls, by reaching customers when they are ready to buy. Marchex provides unique phone numbers and analytics tools that are used by advertisers to place, measure and optimize campaigns across all digital media channels, which helps these businesses increase their sales. Call advertising and analytics technologies are more important than ever to track and measure the success of call advertising campaigns in order to help advertisers better optimize their call advertising strategies to increase impact, maximize spend and deliver better sales results for their business.
March 24, 2011
TEDx Berkeley Video Talks Are Now LIVE
This past February, I was co-curator of the TEDxBerkeley event, an independently organized TED event, where speakers, thought leaders, inventors, academics, creators, geeks and students gathered under the large roof of Berkeley's Zellerbach hall to have an open conversation and exchange.
The line-up was incredible and included some globally recognized and inspiring voices including: Chip Conely, Shore Slocum, Walter Hood, Robert Fuller, David Rose and many more.
Here's a link to all the talks of the day including speakers and performers. A great thanks and kudos to the team, speakers and supporters that made TEDxBerkeley happen (2011 marks its second event). Here's link to their Facebook page and Twitter to follow along, as it won't be its last. :-)
March 24, 2011 in America The Free, Client Announcements, Client Media Kudos, Conference Highlights, Events, On Technology, On the Future, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Nimble Outlines Vision For Social CRM
On the heals of their launch at DEMO, Nimble is getting some buzz on their new Social CRM service, the basic product of which is free. While there is a free version, Nimble's goal is to serve the SMB and Enterprise markets, both of which suffer from information overload, disparate systems that don't talk to each other and outdated contact management systems which are overpriced and act as silos.
Nimble Contacts unifies communications streams such as email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Calendar in a Web-based dashboard for sales and customer service people. InformationWeek's David F. Carr recently did an interview with CEO Jon Ferrara and I chose two questions to republish below. The interview in its entirety can be found here and it's definitely worth a read.
Carr: Where does this product fit in the market for enterprise social media?
Ferrara: It's hard to manage your communication by going to all the tabs in your browser. If I see an interesting tweet from someone, I need to be able to jump to the contact record and see who that person is. The idea of Nimble is give people the ability to listen and engage. Today, people use things like [Salesforce.com's] Chatter and Yammer to build internal collaboration.
Carr: What other sorts of applications do you want to integrate with?
Ferrara: We don't want to be all things to all people. I'd rather be the WordPress of CRM than the Microsoft Office of CRM. So we're going to invite in third-party developers and enable them to share and sell their extensions in our app store.
In my mind, in the perfect world, we would love to embrace the existing platforms people have invested in. That's why Gmail and your Google Calendar activities are integrated into Nimble. And you can see that if I've read a message here in Nimble, it's marked read in Gmail.
Disclosure: I helped the team with their launch and was a consultant to the company.
March 08, 2011
A Photo Diary of DEMO Spring 2011: #democon
Below are some visual highlights from last week's DEMO Spring Conference in Palm Springs, CA.
The VentureBeat team at DEMO Spring: Matthew Lynley, Owen Thomas, Anthony Ha and Matt Marshall (did you know that they can all sing?)
Renee Blodgett, Peter Sisson, Steve Wildstrom, Tim Reha, Ed Baig, Michael Miller (in the main hall)
Okay, so here's the singing part: Matthew, Owen and Matt do karaoke
Start-up America Scott Case with Matt Marshall
February 04, 2011
CarWoo! Transforms New Car Buying Marketplace with New Version
CarWoo! officially announces the release of CarWoo! Version 2 today. Currently the leading online service and marketplace through which dealers are connected to anonymous buyers and are then able to extend offers and sell vehicles, but with CarWoo! Version 2, the platform adds lease negotiation, a "name your own price" feature, an "Out The Door Price" estimator, a "Reputation and Rating" system and the ability for buyers to shop or cross-shop for multiple vehicles simultaneously making it the most comprehensive online car buying platform available.
In response to overwhelming demand from both consumers and dealers, the CarWoo! lease negotiation feature allows dealers and buyers to communicate the complex details of automobile leasing in a straightforward, easy to understand format within the CarWoo! interface.
Other new features include:
- "Name Your Own Price" – Once a dealer has extended an offer, the buyer is able is able to name the price at which they would be willing to buy the offered vehicle. Dealers are able to accept, reject or counter the buyer named price. CarWoo! marketplace data demonstrates that CarWoo! buyers who choose to negotiate obtain significantly better prices.
- "Out The Door Estimator" – In addition to the sale price of the offered vehicle, with this feature buyers are able to obtain an accurate estimate of the taxes, title, license and registration fees allowing them to understand the actual purchase price before going to the dealership to accept delivery of the vehicle.
- "Dealer Reputation and Rating System" – Buyers are able to comment on and rank their experience with dealers from whom they have received offers or purchased vehicles. Dealers are able to respond to these comments through CarWoo!. Because the interaction with the dealer is the leading indicator of whether a buyer with purchase a car from he dealer, with 53% of vehicles sold using CarWoo! are not the lowest offers, this community based reputation system helps appropriately set buyer's expectation regarding the quality of the dealers from whom they are receiving offers.
- "Multiple Deal Support" – Buyers are able to search for multiple cars simultaneously. This feature allows online shoppers to engage in the common practice of shopping for and comparing different vehicles at the same time.
Through the CarWoo! service buyers are able to interact with dealers through any computer, and are able to communicate comfortably and conveniently with their dealers before taking delivery of their new car.
Buyers receive multiple offers and are able to converse with the actual dealers who have placed offers on existing inventory while retaining their privacy providing a huge leap forward from the stressful process car buyers face today. CarWoo! provides dealers with referrals for buyers who often fall outside of the traditional automotive lead system.
Check out the TechCrunch article yesterday which covers their new Version 2.
Also, CarWoo! will be hosting an event at the NADA 2011 Convention and Expo in San Francisco, CA on Saturday evening, February 5, 2011 at 5:30PM. Details are available through Support at CarWoo! (http://www.carwoo.com).
Disclosure: CarWoo is a client of Magic Sauce Media.
January 04, 2011
The Latest on Human Curation of the Web from LeWebJonathan Marks has an excellent video talking about LeWeb as a center point in Europe for attracting the best of the best for all things "web 2.0 and beyond," and includes an extensive interview with the Pearltrees team on-site. It includes a demo so you can learn how easy it is to embed pearltrees (visual representation of web links you curate from the web) into your blog, Facebook or elsewhere. They have a new "team" feature out too which allows people to collaborate. Have a listen.
December 22, 2010
Buying a New Car? Tune Into This InterviewRobert Scoble interviewed CarWoo! yesterday in CarWoo's Burlingame offices. Below is a 40 minute cinch on new car buying.
Disclosure Note: I am a consultant for CarWoo!
Bob Metcalfe, Bill Warner, Kiva, CarWoo, TerraPower All at 5x5
XConomy's “5×5” Forum in Boston this month attracted some of the best and the brightest in the technology industry. Below is a summary, largely taken from Greg Huang's excerpts on-site.
1. Bill Warner emphasized his more unconventional approach to startups. “I intend to help people follow their heart,” he said. “I believe people are pushed to follow their head.” A startup’s philosophy boils down to what he calls the “negotiated invention” model—what most entrepreneurs follow by leading with their idea or technology and making compromises based on the market and egos versus from their soul and heart.
2.Client CarWoo provided tips on how to become the next Groupon. Founder and CEO Tommy McClung, from the Bay Area, talked about targeting established business models in big markets, which are “usually ripe for disruption”; riding the emerging trend of “online to offline” and balancing incentives for customers.
Disclosure Note: I am a consultant for CarWoo.