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The next convergence show down – Healthcare

I often engage in discussions with IT Directors, CIO’s, BioMed and CE teams at healthcare organizations worldwide.  When the topic of medical device connectivity arises, it’s the point in the conversation where it gets – ah interesting.  Points of view between the IT and Biomedical sides of the house are – sometimes aligned, but often there are gaps in the expected roles and responsibilities.

So rewind the clock a bit… back to the early 90’s when IBM had a foothold on its proprietary protocol known (and loved) as Systems Network Architecture commonly known as SNA.  The two sides of the house back then were the mainframe group and the PC networking teams that were quickly emerging.  The thought of providing end user connectivity to the big iron over something called Thinnet was very controversial in many big blue shops.  I often thought that perhaps Thinnet was suffering from a market naming perception problem – but none the less at the time it was thought of as an inadequate transport technology to provide green screen access to the datacenter Big Iron (Yes — I said Green Screen).  The general feeling was that the sky fall, on-call pagers would endlessly go off and the availability and performance reports would inevitably point the fingers of blame to the mainframe – something that was simply not allowed to happen!

Forwarding the clock a bit – say mid to late 90’s – the next and potentially the most important wave to date of convergence arrived – Voice.  The thought of putting voice traffic on an IP network was believed by many at the time as just crazy.  Again, falling skys and lots of dropped and unintelligible calls would result – the networks HAD to be separate.  It was the way it was… but slowly over time, voice along with its cousin IBM SNA (both sharing the same sir name of “critical” btw) were riding the same converged network and living happily together. Read More »

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Can Cisco positively impact the Health of our population and Healthcare Ecosystem?

The PPACA known as Healthcare Reform Act in the United States is driving major change in our industry around accountability for the quality outcome of our care.  It is making providers accountable for the care that is delivered with measures that will be reported by patients.  As I monitor these major changes, it makes me wonder how we can really implement the critically needed change.  I wonder, why is the US dead last compared to 6 other leading free world nations” in healthcare quality measures and we spend almost double per capita for healthcare than other countries according to the Commonwealth Fund (June, 2010). Many believe the concepts that have been embraced by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) under the direction of Dr. Don Berwick, (appointed on July 7, 2010 by President Barack Obama to serve as the Administrator of the CMS) can drive change.  As CMS is the largest healthcare payer in the US, (over half), they can lead a major change of this nature and have adopted the “Triple-Aim” model of evidenced based care and wellness.  The aspiration goals, or the Triple Aim, is a phrase coined by Dr. Berwick and it is all about focusing on how to drive improvement so that our populations are healthier, our patients receive better care and instead of working within a volume based business model, move to one of quality and value that rewards prevention, wellness and a positive patient experience.

    Making the Triple Aim Possible

How can Cisco influence and enable this within our Healthcare Ecosystem?

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