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Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare
A view on how analytics and social media is used for shaping the healthcare industry
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HealthTap University allows med students to answer patient questions online with physician guidance

HealthTap University allows med students to answer patient questions online with physician guidance | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
As medical students, we learn countless facts about the human body, mechanisms of drugs, and physiologic pathways, in hopes that one day we will use this knowledge to help patients—perhaps provide a better understanding of their disease, ease their fears, or offer a cure.

Patients, especially now in the age of Google, come to their doctors with many questions about their various pathologies. Undoubtedly one of the most crucial skills for a budding physician to develop is the ability to anticipate and address patient concerns.

HealthTap University allows medical students to practice this, at their own convenience, online. Students even receive the guidance of established physicians.

HealthTap is an innovative new social network that improves the way doctors and patients communicate. Via HealthTap, patients can ask medical questions online, free of charge, and quickly receive a credible response from more than 6,000 licensed physicians. Upwards of 500 reputable healthcare groups are also on the site, including renowned organizations such as Cleveland Clinic and Mount Sinai Hospital.

Now, medical students can assist in answering patient questions through the HealthTap University program. While not exactly the same as visiting with patients in the hospital or clinic, exposure to patient questions on the site gives students an idea of the kinds of questions they may be asked by patients on the job, and experience answering them.

HealthTap U students write responses to real-life questions and submit them for review. Physicians may then evaluate the answers for accuracy and edit as necessary. Physician-approved answers are published with a line under the answer that acknowledges the medical student’s contribution. It’s a creative, win-win situation, since having medical students write the bulk of the answer can save time for busy physicians. In turn, medical students actively learn how to answer patient questions and start building their online credibility. I have had the honor of being involved with HealthTap U alongside a group of esteemed student colleagues from several different medical schools. I answer questions in my free time, and I truly believe it has strengthened my medical expertise and helped me gain experience in addressing real patient concerns.

For fun, I answer questions pertaining to my personal medical interests, such as pregnancy and women’s health, or anything else I feel like learning about at the moment. HealthTap questions have led me to read up on gestational diabetes, Barrett’s esophagus, autism, and pneumonia, just to name a few. But more than being a productive pastime, HealthTap U has been an invaluable supplement to my clinical education. During my internal medicine clerkship, I would come home and search for questions related to what we had discussed in lecture that day, or topics related to my patients’ conditions.

Using a combination of my own knowledge and additional research to answer questions, I was able to help patients and reinforce my understanding of concepts at the same time. Though sometimes my responses are published without changes, physicians often tweak them; they have taught me so much from their feedback. Even after answers are published, other doctors can comment or add their own answers, and I learn from those as well. Several HealthTap University students, including myself, have answered questions correctly both on rounds and board exams because of knowledge gained from HealthTap U.

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Deborah Verran's comment, January 8, 2012 12:07 AM
Interesting development in e-learning for medical students. Wonder how long it will be until this type of learning is more widespread
Chaturika Jayadewa's comment, January 8, 2012 5:45 PM
Agree, it's very interesting. I think with the increasing trend towards remote monitoring of patients, medical e-learning should follow suit soon after.
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"Big Data" still at early stages- lot more to be done- Bain

"Big Data" still at early stages- lot more to be done- Bain | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
Big Data has been the hot story in IT for 2011, leading to disagreement over its definition and its importance. (Just today Thomas Friedman cited it in his New York Times column.)

While a few argue that Big Data has peaked in its hype cycle, many practitioners contend it is still in very early stages of development.

Rasmus Wegener, a partner in Bain’s IT practice, says that instances of Big Data are relatively rare and that most Big Data is simply Large Data. And Large Data can be handled with traditional tools.

“It’s a somewhat hyped topic, just as cloud was for years. At Bain, we bridge between IT and the business guys. We find a difference in perception and understanding; even though they use the same words, it may mean something different. Businesses may think they have a big data problem. But often that’s because they don’t understand the tools in the technical organization and the skills sets which can handle a lot of data.”

Bain asks a few key questions:

Do you have a significant amount of data that needs to be analyzed? “Typically they say yes, and then we ask if it all has to be analyzed at the same time.”How complex are the analyses you have to run, the number of computing operations required to transform the data into actionable insights?Critical issue — what’s the speed at which the data must be captured and the solution generated? “This is almost always a knockout criterion. When you walk through the airport and they take pictures of everybody in the security line to match every face through facial recognition, they have to do that almost in real-time. That becomes a big data problem. If I am a bank and looking at a vast number of credit scores and histories, and I don’t need to provide an answer in five seconds but can do it next day, then that is not a big data problem.”Degree of structure of the data. Does it contain a significant amount of unstructured data from video or audio or can it be put into a relational database easily?

Wegener figures only a few industries have Big Data issues — utilities running smart grids, telcos and Internet companies like Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and Google which are analyzing massive amount of traffic in real-time and delivering targeted advertising. Retail, health care and other businesses have vast amounts of data without necessarily meeting the definition of Big Data, he added.

“Tools such as Oracle, SAS and Teradata are out there to handle vast amounts of data. Companies often lack the organizational structures and the talent to ask the right questions, frequently because they have underinvested in top-notch talent to drive their business intelligence.”

Getting the answer right can be worth millions. A cruise line client wanted to improve its pricing. It had 30 ships sailing each week from ports around the globe with about 3,000 passengers per ship. Business thought this required Hadoop which would have involved a $1 million investment. Bain prescribed pulling together analysts scattered around the company into a team and hiring a skilled leader. The company developed some Large Data analytical tools and achieved insights. Just one, a better way to price rear-facing cabins, brought $5 million in additional revenue the first year.

The gap between business needs and IT delivery has grown as data has grown, especially in companies that have failed to invest in the right analytical talent, said Wegener.

“You don’t know what yo don’t know, and if you don’t know, it is hard to come up with the right question. You need to be well-versed in both the business and the data.” A consulting firm like Bain can help develop the questions and set direction, but a company needs its own team to stay together and provide continuing analysis, Wegener said.

It requires someone who understands the business, often an MBA; someone who is comfortable with large quantities of data such as a mathematician or physicist, and someone with computer skills to know what a database or data warehouse can do and what other technologies are available to solve the problems.
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Cloud computing, mobile ERP, analytics expected to gain traction in 2012

Cloud computing, mobile ERP, analytics expected to gain traction in 2012 | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

Analysts say that manufacturing IT departments are feeling optimistic enough about consumer demand this year to plow serious money into newer technologies -- especially cloud computing, mobile ERP, “big data” and analytics -- that remained mostly on the drawing board until now.

 

Manufacturing social media: Ready for business
Fraser says enterprisewide integration will be at the center of 2012 trends as technology silos are transformed. “Those are starting to change and shift and more look like the business processes and less like the departments,” she said. “I think some huge new capabilities are coming around that are going to begin to see some uptick.”

Social media, for one. “We actually think people are going to start figuring out that it’s not something to just keep the young people in the company happy,” Fraser said. Manufacturers will to start to leverage social media more fully by tapping ERP data.

Parker also sees manufacturing social media having a major impact in 2012. “The interaction of social business and cloud is going to bring this renewal of e-commerce,” Parker said, making it more collaborative than turn-of-the-century e-commerce. Companies will continue to struggle, though, with using social media to solve real problems and exploit new opportunities such as collaborative product design and retail promotions. “I don’t think that is something we have got our arms around completely,” Parker said.

Fraser also has her eye on another collaboration trend: increased use of enterprise content management (ECM) software for dynamic case management.

The approach is popular in fields such as health care, insurance and financial services and lets people collaborate more effectively on cases and projects by sharing documents and other communications across applications. “It also lets you go beyond just one rule set,” Fraser said, and allows multiple rule sets to be established quickly, which is especially important in global manufacturing. “Enterprise content management is sort of a critical aspect to being able to take all the information into account and make good decisions.”

Adding social media to these adaptive, ECM-based workflows will enable the ad hoc processes that are essential to managing cases, Fraser said. “It’s not just [about] phone calls. The information needs to get tagged back to the enterprise data.”

Fraser also expects new “augmented reality” technology in computer-aided design to begin affecting new product development and product lifecycle management. The technique employs virtual reality glasses, gloves and three-dimensional video walls to simulate dangerous work environments such as oil rigs. Companies are starting to use it for training, Fraser said.

Mobile ERP investments will continue to grow
Experts agree that the popularity of mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets will keep growing in 2012, with more manufacturers using mobile ERP to grant employees access to company data on the go. “We'll see more mobile in the workplace and on the shop floor,” said R. "Ray" Wang, CEO and principal analyst at Constellation Research Group. “It will come in more affordable devices, which will provide analytics and control on the shop floor.”

Steve Phillips, ERP industry expert and author of the Street Smart ERP blog, also predicts that 2012 will be a big year for mobile in manufacturing, with mobile systems integration being key. “Mobile applications integrating with enterprise systems will hit the radar screen in 2012,” he said. “As more users adopt mobile platforms into everyday life and as work life and personal life continue to become blurred, this will begin to drive vendors to develop mobile integration with their ERP systems. 2012 will be just the beginning of this next phase of ERP development.”

Cloud computing adoption will reach new heights
One of most dynamic technology areas to watch in 2012 will be cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, according to Phillips. As manufacturing organizations look for new ways to reduce IT costs, “many [SaaS migration] concerns from CIOs [chief information officers] will dissipate, as providers continue to address data security concerns and functionality limitations,” he said. SaaS ERP will become more common -- and less scary, said Phillips. “As more of the major ERP players move to the cloud, the long-term viability of the concept becomes less of an issue, convincing many CIOs to take the leap,” he said.

The success of cloud applications in manufacturing will hinge on their integration capabilities, according to Wang. “The new stuff will come via cloud but will have to work with the existing shop floor and manufacturing technologies,” he said. “Integration will play a key role.”

Phillips had some bad news for manufacturers eager for innovation in 2012: “Don’t expect much new software functionality [next year], given that most vendors will focus their resources on porting existing apps to the cloud and mobile platforms.”

Telematics, big data to make globalization easier
James Leibel, principal for Paris-based consulting firm Capgemini, predicts manufacturers will continue to outsource business functions to partners and suppliers in 2012, and in the process, will look to technology to manage their global business networks. “The manufacturing industry has stabilized, and manufacturers are making the sort of technology investments that they hadn’t made in 10 to 12 years,” he said. “With the use of Web 2.0 and analytics, the sharing of information throughout the enterprise, plant and corporate levels will increase.”

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Gamification for improving medical data collection

A few months ago we saw smartphone technology being used to help medical professionals record and share data with Mobisante. Now, Tonic Health hope to make patient data collection more engaging for patients and reliable for doctors, by using a game-like iPad-based platform.

Tonic Health believe that switching from clipboards and paper forms to an interactive, game-like iPad interface is more enjoyable for patients, which therefore enables doctors to obtain higher response rates to surveys, better patient screening, and more accurate data, both cheaply and quickly. Healthcare providers can custom-build their questionnaires, surveys or in-take forms by selecting from a choice of templates, images, and questions relating to specific conditions. They can add their company logo, deploy the same survey to multiple iPads or host several surveys on one device. By testing on elderly and low-education patients, Tonic Health believe the platform is intuitive and suitable for everyone, even those without iPad experience. Data is transmitted wirelessly to an existing database so patient information is never stored on the iPad. Tonic Health is in use or coming soon at all five University of California medical centers. This video below explains Tonic Health in more detail:

Tonic is a revolutionary iPad-based medical data collection system that delivers higher patient engagement, more accurate data, improved patient screening an...
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Top Medical Social Media Stories of 2011: Month by Month

Top Medical Social Media Stories of 2011: Month by Month | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

2011 was a very intense and exciting year regarding the developments and new insights of the relationship between medicine/healthcare and social media. Here are my (Dr. Bertalan Meskó) favourite stories from 2011 

 

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By the numbers: Mobile apps in 2011

By the numbers: Mobile apps in 2011 | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
It wasn’t just here in the U.S. and it wasn’t just iPhone users; the app obsession has gone global and is now bigger than ever. We’ve already taken a look back at the big themes of app development in 2011. But here’s a look at some of the most interesting statistics involving the abundance of mobile apps we devoured this year:

We love our apps. By the end of this year, we hit almost 30 billion cumulative app downloads worldwide from the major mobile platforms. As of December, Apple passed the 18 billion mark and Android hit 10 billion. RIM passed 1 billion earlier this year.
iPhone and iPad users like free apps and like to spend money in them. The largest chunk of all revenue derived from iOS apps – just under half – comes from free apps that you make purchases from.
Android users are all about fun and game. Nine of the top 10 highest-grossing Android apps are games. (The only non-game is DocumentstoGo). BlackBerry owners, on the other hand, need to loosen up a little. Not one of the top five most popular free or top five paid app downloads from BlackBerry AppWorld is a game, which is a significant outlier from the other top mobile platforms.
We saw the biggest one-day app download total ever this year. On Christmas Day, naturally, as people were presumably unwrapping their new phones and tablets, there were 242 million iOS and Android downloads.
Angry Birds were still everywhere on app stores, but this was the year of the photo app. Both of the apps named by Apple as the best App Store offerings of the year for iPhone and iPad respectively were photo-related: Instagram (which has Apple to thank for much of its success) and Snapseed.
We’re comfortable buying apps from third parties. Curated, third-party app stores made their presence felt this year: Amazon opened its limited Appstore of Android apps for its Kindle products, and GetJar had more than 350,000 apps available for all major platforms, saw more than 2 billion downloads total — and it grabbed some impressive exclusives.
You can have a ton of cool apps from big brands and still not dent consumers’ consciousness. Microsoft managed to get 10,000 Windows Phone 7 apps added to its store in the space of 40 days to bring the total to over 50,000. That’s pretty good momentum, and while those added include major brand names in apps, WP7 still has a long way to grab smartphone buyers’ attention.

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INFOGRAPHIC: How Social Media Changed Advertising

INFOGRAPHIC: How Social Media Changed Advertising | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
An infographic about social media's effect on the advertising industry.
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Mu Sigma offers $108M reasons to believe in big data

Mu Sigma offers $108M reasons to believe in big data | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
Chicago-based big data firm Mu Sigma has closed a $108 million private-equity investment round to expand its analytics-outsourcing business. Armed with a team of data scientists and subject-matter experts, Mu Sigma takes customers’ data and it turns it into business insights, meaning customers don’t have to built their own in-house big data expertise. It’s an already-profitable business that will only get bigger.

The engineering, programming and math skills necessary to do big data analytics are in hot demand but short supply, which is what makes companies like Mu Sigma so appealing. All customers have to do is bring their data and their money, and the analytics experts go to work figuring out the best strategies for getting insights, and then run the big data workloads. Whereas using cloud-based resources eliminates the capital expense of big data projects, outsourcing eliminates the human resources expense, too.

It’s a fine business to be in. Mu Sigma’s funding comes on the heels of Opera Solutions’ $84 million equity investment in September for its similarly positioned service. Both companies claim to be profitable already, and Opera actually is doing more than $100 million a year in revenue. Both also claim dozens of Fortune 500 customers.

But you have to have the right personnel. Mu Sigma Founder and CEO Dhiraj Rajaram told me recently that the ideal employees possess a mix of technology and business skills that enable them to apply their advanced math skills in real-world scenarios. With data-analysis techniques and computer science methods advancing so quickly, Rajaram said, it’s tough for companies not deeply connected with the academic community to keep up.

That’s why they turn to companies like Mu Sigma. Not only does it hire the cream of the crop, but it also trains them via its Mu Sigma University program to keep their skills up to date. Rajaram says the company has grown to more than 1,000 employees and should nearly double by the middle of 2012. As of September, the aforementioned Opera Solutions, employed about 150 workers with Ph.D.s or equivalent degrees.

General Atlantic led this equity-financing round for Mu Sigma, along with existing investor Sequoia Capital.

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Start-Ups Look to Social Gaming to Make Health Care Less of a Pain

A group of technology start-ups is taking its cue from social gaming, in hopes of relieving companies, doctors and patients of some of the pain involved in managing health care.

The new businesses, staffed mainly by health-industry veterans, have adapted common social-gaming features to help companies motivate their employees to get fitter or to encourage doctors to keep in touch with their colleagues and patients online.

One of the start-ups, Keas Inc., whose clients include Pfizer Inc. and Novartis Inc., offers a gaming platform that allows groups of employees to compete with one another at exercising, eating healthily and taking better care of themselves.

San Francisco-based Keas originally aimed to offer consumers alerts, messaging and personalized information to help them lose weight and adopt healthier habits, but that plan didn't work out.

"We tried to give people constant feedback about their health, but for a lot of people, more bad news and negative feedback just didn't work," said Adam Bosworth, the company's chief technology officer. "If you keep giving someone negative feedback, they will eventually change the channel to the game channel. One day we decided to become that game channel."

Keas now sets up contests in which co-workers compete by walking to the office more often or eating more vegetables. It says it has 80,000 active users, more than $16 million in venture capital and a growing list of customers. Quest Diagnostics Inc. said more than 80% of its employees who participated in an employee-wellness pilot program with Keas reported improved health.

Other start-ups are pushing doctors to step up their game with features found in social games like Zynga Inc.'s Farmville or on social-networking sites like Facebook or Foursquare.

HealthTap Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., runs a website that doctors can use to build an online profile, gaining public exposure by answering health-related questions from consumers. The more questions a doctor answers, the more points the doctor wins and the more prominently he is featured on the site, potentially attracting more patients. Patients, meanwhile, can sign up as followers of a particular doctor or of other patients on the site and can indicate if they like or dislike various bits of content.

HealthTap says more than 6,000 doctors, as well as institutions including Harvard Medical School and the Cleveland Clinic, are actively answering users' questions on its site.

"We're not building a game here, just adding subtle game mechanics to make it more fun for doctors," said HealthTap Chief Executive Ron Gutman.

Audax Health Inc., a Washington-based start-up with $16.5 million in funding, said it plans to offer a gaming platform designed to enable large insurers to offer incentives to their members—such as reduced premiums—in return for adopting healthier habits.

Doximity Inc. and WellnessFX Inc., two start-ups that have gained some traction among health-care providers, are in the process of incorporating gaming features.

Doximity, based in San Mateo, Calif., provides a secure messaging platform that doctors can use to answer treatment questions from colleagues, and to become acquainted with other doctors, to whom they can refer patients. Because of strict privacy laws, doctors often discuss cases by fax, since regular email isn't considered secure enough.

Chief Executive Jeff Tangney said Doximity has grown more quickly over the past several months since it added some game-like features. By expanding their network of friends and followers on Doximity, a doctors can earn a "Top Doctor" badge on the website, a potential magnet for referrals. Doximity soon plans to let users "follow" one another, he said, as they can on other platforms.

San Francisco-based WellnessFX, which analyzes blood and urine samples, also provides a secure online forum in which doctors can confer with their patients.

WellnessFX is considering adding game features to the mix to keep doctors and patients engaged, according to Chief Executive Jim Kean. "We're working on badges and leaderboards," he said.

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Your Healthcare Digital Footprint: why?

Your Healthcare Digital Footprint: why? | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

  Why should you establish a digital footprint in healthcare: 

Establishing a digital presence is rapidly becoming a necessity for healthcare professionals, medical practices, and institutions. Many have recognized this fact… yet many more have not.
Those who recognize the need seek leadership, guidance, and best practice examples
Truly useful tactical how-to’s and guidelines are lacking
Human beings are innately social, health is social, health care is NOT social —and needs to catch up — for it is lagged only by the oil refinery industry in social media outreach and engagement. At its heart, digital media is about people, it is about relationships, and it is about communication. A social media presence is about educating, engaging and growing your audience, improving outcomes, compliance and potentially the bottom line of your practice.
Some simple undisputed facts about digital media and technology.
50% of the world’s population is under 30.
They do not communicate via e-mail or telephone.
Generation Y and generation Z consider e-mail passé.
The fastest growing segment on Facebook is women over 55 years of age.
SMS, direct messaging, micro-blogging and digital media is fast becoming the chosen communication standard.
Drug/Medical related “Likes” on Facebook have skyrocketed.
50% of the mobile Internet traffic in most countries is for Facebook. One on five patients flock to Facebook for healthcare information. Imagine what this means for a bad patient experience? The world has gone digital —social media is here to stay. 1 billion people simply cannot be wrong. 85% of people log onto their Facebook account every single day.

Simply put, social networking and digital technology enables individuals, physicians, hospitals, and patients to create online profiles and connect with one another. Perhaps most relevant to the physicians and healthcare professionals are that the many of these patients are researching their providers and their respective institutions prior to their visit to your office — they are checking your online reputation, and the message or image you portray.
Physicians and Healthcare professional, in essence, are building a brand to any consumer that may be interested.
You can’t control the conversation but you can be a part of it.
Take a look at the Inforgraphic below…. This is taking place in a single minute — every minute — of most everyday within the digital world….

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Healthcare Social Media Is Not Social Media | Health Is Social

Healthcare Social Media Is Not Social Media | Health Is Social | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

I think we need to understand the differences among different kinds of social media and how the different kinds fit or do not fit into Healthcare. My concern is that too many advocates of social media who want to see Healthcare adoption of these technologies are thinking in terms of consumer social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.). We need to expand our conception of social media beyond that view.

Granted, many of these consumer media have places in Healthcare. But Healthcare includes many angles and different processes which simply can’t be helped by consumer social media. Clinical collaboration is a great example.

So what’s the difference between consumer media and enterprise media? I’d argue that they have to do with a number of things: Time, Accuracy, Relevance, Content, Context and Process.

Fundamentally, the difference between consumer media and enterprise media rests on the difference between Instant Media and true Real-time Media. Let me elaborate.

Twitter, Facebook and other consumer media are instant streams that flow in one-direction along time. A tweet or status update or post arrive when they arrive – time is their only filter. They are Instant media.

On the other hand, Realtime media are far more robust. Here’s my definition:

Realtime media are technologies which deliver the right and relevant information at the right time; in the right context; and within the right process.

This is a critical difference that must be understood. So far, we don’t have the kind of innovation and technological excellence we need to develop true realtime media. It’s a huge challenge to create these platforms, but the market is certainly there and so is the talent.

Social media in general are creating disturbances and opportunities and dangers. But we shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking social media is just the kinds of consumer social media that have made it big in terms of popularity.

We have yet to see social media come into its full being. Things have only just begun.

So, my hope is that we can focus our hopes and views concerning social media in healthcare on the truly heavy-duty tools that can make real differences.

I love Twitter but even I know we need far far more potent software solutions to the pressing problems of healthcare communications in all its forms. And not only do we need software solutions – we’ll need to address the necessary cultural and behavioral needs required to put the technology to work for us, not the other way around.

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How to track Santa online this Christmas Eve

How to track Santa online this Christmas Eve | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
As has become traditional in recent years, Google has teamed up with NORAD again to let you track Father Christmas’ progress around the world this Christmas Eve.

If your children want to get involved with seeing where Pere Noel is up to in his epic journey, here’s how:

- At the website: Noradsanta.org is the place to go to see Santa’s current location and his route ahead. ‘Santa Cam’ videos from around the world are also on off.

- On Google Earth: If you have the Google Earth browser plug-in installed, you’ll be able to follow Santa in 3D right around the world.

- Via NORAD’s social media accounts: NORAD will be updating you via its Google+, Twitter or Facebook accounts. NORAD’s ‘SantaCam’ videos will also be posted to its YouTube channel throughout the day.

- On the go: NORAD has an app for Android and iOS, which allows you to track Santa. You can also use Google Maps for Mobile from any supported phone, by searching for ‘Santa’.

…and don’t forget that Google offers personalised messages from Santa as both voice calls and video.

The services above, along with snowy themes for Google search (Type in “Let it snow” and watch) and YouTube, show that Christmas products seem to be becoming almost as much of a part of Google culture as the annual April Fools Day jokes it rolls out.

UPDATE: Google isn’t the only one tracking Santa, either. Planefinder.net has added S4NTA1 to its flight tracking service today.

Happy Christmas!

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Gamification Is More Than A Game For Businesses - Forbes

Gamification is the latest buzzword on the street. It ranked a keynote panel session at Enterprise 2.0 in November and it was one of two main topics discussed at the recent Institute for Social, Search and Mobile Marketing (ISSMM) K1 Executive Roundtable. Marketing and customer service executives came to the ISSMM event to learn more about mobile marketing and gamification. At the event I moderated several sessions, including a fireside chat with CEO Kris Duggan of Badgeville. Many people link gamification with business to consumer (B2C) mobile apps but gamification has far broader implications than mobile B2C check-ins for stores and restaurants. In our chat, I asked Mr. Duggan to define what gamification means and how it can benefit businesses in both a business to employee and business to customer context.

My premise is that the term gamification doesn’t accurately depict the benefits a business can achieve. It’s a term that you need to explain, which normally stalls adoption. While executives may be interested in how they can use gamification for B2C engagement, most executives aren’t thrilled at the prospect of creating Farmville for the enterprise. In fact, there is a great debate about what gamification means and if it benefits the business. The truth is that game mechanics have been used in business for some time. For example, companies currently use leader boards for sales and loyalty programs for customers. We are already using other terms that offer some of the same benefits such as engagement strategies, game mechanics, advocacy, and rewards.

Why do we care about gamification? It’s becoming harder for a business to retain its customers and engage its employees. It’s believed that gamification can be used to motivate engagement and certain behaviors for both your customers and employees. It’s about creating identity and reputation and recognizing a person’s attention and loyalty.

It isn’t just about awarding badges and it isn’t about games for the sake of creating a fun workplace. Mr. Duggan states true gamification offers deeper engagement such as real-time feedback loops when people do things, social experiences and creating layers of engagement inside the company. It isn’t just an enterprise version of Facebook. Badgeville describes the overall category as behavior lifecycle management (BLM). Duggan says it’s bigger than gamification because it incorporates all the ways we can measure and influence behavior. Badgeville describes it as encompassing trends such as game mechanics, big data, identity, analytics, reputation, social, community and collaboration. BLM is the process of measuring and influencing behavior to meet your business goals.

How do you take advantage of this trend? I recommend three tips for getting started. First, define what business goals could be enhanced by gamification and how you can use gamification to drive user behavior to meet these goals. Which goals should you start with? A company should select areas where it can measure outcomes (e.g. change in the number of employees that completed a certain training course, change in return visits, change in length of participation per visit). Second, a company should embed experiences directly into its Web site, mobile apps and its business applications. Employees and customers are being asked to use enough tools. Instead of creating a gamification island, a business should create experiences that live inside its existing processes such as collaboration, CRM tools and Web sites. Third, the experience should provide guidance and feedback to the user early and often. Gamification is about actively letting users know where they stand and guiding them to a desired behavior. Duggan gave examples of how Samsung used it to drive an increase in product reviews and how other companies used it to increase community participation.

The takeaway from my conversation is that gamification provides benefits to almost any firm but you need to focus on building the experience and adapting the experience over time to keep your constituents engaged. In short, I agree that gamification is important but we need a new term to get us over the bias against fun in the workplace.

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Computers in Biomedical Research: Eric Shadt at TEDMED 2011

Dr. Eric Schadt , Chair of Mount Sinai Medical School’s Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Director of Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology, presented a talk at last year’s TEDMED about how computers are continuing to revolutionize biomedical research. Though computers don’t think on their own and have to be carefully programmed, they are able to immensely help us get from data to information to knowledge faster and in many new ways.

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Translating the New FDA Social Media Guidance

Translating the New FDA Social Media Guidance | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
t’s been a long wait, but the FDA finally delivered. They’ve come through with at least some direction for how pharma companies can properly use social media. It’s not a complete answer to every issue, but it is a good start. I’ve reviewed the full contents of the guidance that the FDA released on December 30, 2011 and found it, not surprisingly, a bit hard to follow at times. The full title of the guidance they released is: “Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices.” Catchy.

I’d encourage everyone to read the full guidance. You can get a copy of the PDF right here: FDA Unsolicited Requests Guidance (16 downloads).

As my gift to all of you, I’ve tore apart this document and created a simple to follow flow chart that you can use to figure out if you can respond to something and how to do it. More on that in a moment.

What the FDA released is NOT a comprehensive set of “Social Media Guidelines” that some companies and people seem to believe are the holy grail/final barrier to the promised land of social media usage for pharma. Rest assured, as I’ll say it again, you won’t see this anytime soon. You’ll continue to get bits and pieces of guidance like what we just got that points you in the right direction. The FDA is never going to tell you the right way to use Facebook or Twitter. It wouldn’t make sense for them to do this. By the time they created the guidance, the platforms might be obsolete. They could have created guidelines for MySpace if we had our druthers about five years ago.

So, be happy for what we’ve got. I’ve read a lot of commentary from different people on this new guidance and most seem to think that it’s completely useless. These are likely the people who were expecting to give a massive document explaining precisely what pharma could do with every aspect of social media. They’re likely to be disappointed with everything the FDA puts out since this massive document isn’t coming. I think this set of guidance, while limited to one issue, is actually very valuable.

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blaine warkentine's comment, January 5, 2012 9:30 AM
thanks for this
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More Go Online For Health Enquiries - UK

Novel figures from the NHS Choices and NHS Direct reveal that more individuals are using the internet for trusted advice and health information this winter.

Compared to last year, daily visitors to the NHS Choices website increased by 56% between October to the end of December, even though flu levels are lower so far this year. This increase is equal to 133,000 more visits per day this year (368,000), in comparison to 235,000 visits per day during the same period in 2010.

Worries regarding Norovirus increased traffic to the site by 162% over the Christmas period, in comparison to the same period in 2010. Between the 19th to the 27th of December, 2011, visits increased by 117% compared to the week before.

There were 116,085 visits to the Norovirus page between October to the end of December, 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 (70,347 visits).

Visits to pages with flu and cold information decreased, with more individuals seeking flu jab information. Visits to the "about the vaccine" page rose by 73% while visits to the "who should have it" increased by 91%.

On average, just under 11 million individuals visit the NHS Choices site, over the winter period, compared to 6.8 million visits during the same period in 2010. Yearly, visits to the site have increased by 35%.

There are currently approximately 26,000 patients who use NHS Direct online, compared to about 12,000 who carry out their inquiries by telephone. In December, the most frequent searches on NHS Direct's health and symptom checkers were abdominal pain, colds and flu, skin problems, rashes, female sexual health, vomiting and diarrhea.

Furthermore, more individuals are looking for health advice via mobile phone applications. Over the past year the number of times NHS Choices' Alcohol Tracker and Quit Smoking mobile phone /iPhone applications have been downloaded has increased by 43% and 13% respectively. In the six months from the NHS Direct's app launch in May, 2011 it has been downloaded 1 million times.
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Study Predicts Growing Use Of Social Media In Healthcare

Study Predicts Growing Use Of Social Media In Healthcare | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
Men are more likely than women to turn to Facebook and other social networks for healthcare purposes, according to a survey by accounting firm PwC.

Not surprisingly, the survey of 1,000 adults found that younger people were more likely to use social media than older people for healthcare purposes. Overall, nearly a third of respondents, and 50 percent of those under the age of 35, had used social media for healthcare purposes, which can range from registering a complaint to looking up informational videos on YouTube.

The PwC report concluded that social media would continue to be a factor for healthcare providers and consumers, saying that healthcare is "no longer social media's wallflower." At the same time, however, ambiguous regulations, privacy concerns and a host of other factors all limit how patients and healthcare providers use social media to make decisions. But once these hurdles are overcome, the PwC report said, social media "will open new opportunities to improve health delivery and outcomes."

Facebook (18 percent) was the most popular site for people searching for healthcare information, followed by YouTube (12 percent) and blogs (nine percent). Yet social media does little to dictate which providers patients choose: just five percent of respondents said they would be swayed to choose one hospital over another because it had a social media presence, compared to the 30 percent who said they would choose a hospital based on its privacy policy.

There are still some barriers keeping big swaths of the healthcare industry on the sidelines when it comes to social media, including what the PwC study called "elusive" FDA guidelines that make it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to use the platform to connect with consumers.

The survey also touched on privacy and security concerns, noting that half of all healthcare organizations had a privacy or security breach within the past year, and the potential for breaches could increase as more companies utilize cloud computing and look for ways to share information amongst different providers.

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Infographic: Rise of the Digital Doctor

Infographic: Rise of the Digital Doctor | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
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Deborah Verran's comment, December 30, 2011 3:24 PM
Hi Chaturika Glad to have found your scoop.it site. I retweeted this out also to #hcsmanz which is made up of a group of tweebs with from Australia and New Zealand.
Chaturika Jayadewa's comment, December 30, 2011 3:36 PM
Hi Debrorah, Many thanks for following the topic and sharing on twitter. Look forward to your tweets.
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IBM Targets the Future of Social Media Analytics

IBM Targets the Future of Social Media Analytics | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
IBM announced a new product dedicated to helping customers perform sentiment analysis of social media data on Thursday, as well as a new program with the Yale School of Management’s Center for Customer Insight to train students in advanced data analysis skills. With businesses increasingly getting hip to social media as a way of connecting with customers, and with an industry-wide need for analytics skills, both the product and project are well-timed.

The new product, called Cognos Consumer Insight, is built upon IBM’s Cognos business intelligence technology along with Hadoop to process the piles of unstructured social media data. According to Deepak Advani, IBM’s VP of predictive analytics, there’s a lot of value in performing text analytics on data derived from Twitter, Facebook and other social forums to determine how companies or their products are faring among consumers. Cognos lets customers view sentiment levels over time to determine how efforts are working, he added, and skilled analysts can augment their Cognos Consumer Insight usage with IBM’s SPSS product to bring predictive analytics into the mix.

The partnership with Yale is designed to address the current dearth of analytic skills among business leaders, Advani said. Although the program will involve training on analytics technologies, Advani explained that business people still need some grounding in analytic theory and thinking rather than just knowing how to use a particular piece of software. “I think the primary goal is for students to learn analytically,” he said, which will help know which technology to put to work on what data, and how.

Within many organizations, he added, the main problem is that they’re not using analytics at the point of decision or across all their business processes. Advani says partnerships like those with Yale will help instill the thought process of using mathematical algorithms instead of gut feelings.

To advance these goals, Advani said IBM will provide both software and technical experts to help teach students. It also will connect students with IBM customers who want to improve their analytics efforts so both groups can work through the best methods for doing so. Working only with IBM software might be somewhat limiting on the technology side, but the practice in solving real-world problems with data analytics should be invaluable regardless the tools available.

We’ve been talking about the need for advanced analytics capabilities for a while now — highlighted by the high demand for data scientists — but the need spans all levels of business users. As Advani noted, even the U.S. Bureau of Labor has said analytics jobs will increase 24 percent over the next eight years.

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IBM's 2011: Watson, Cloud Advances, Analytics, Security - IT Infrastructure - News & Reviews

IBM's 2011: Watson, Cloud Advances, Analytics, Security - IT Infrastructure - News & Reviews | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

IBM had another big year in 2011. One of Big Blue’s most significant moves of 2011 will actually not happen until Jan. 1, 2012, when the company’s first woman CEO, Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, succeeds Samuel Palmisano as the leader of the vaunted tech systems, software and services giant. However, there were many other significant achievements. IBM started the year with a bang, as its Watson thinking computer obliterated human competitors in a series of “Jeopardy” matches in February. Watson went on to make the rounds, trouncing human competitors at some of the nation’s top universities, including Harvard, MIT, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. The analytics-driven Deep Question Answering technology (from IBM’s DeepQA Project) in Watson is being applied to commercial uses such as health care as a physician’s assistant technology and internally at IBM to assist IBM sales staff. On June 16, IBM celebrated its 100th anniversary with a huge invitation-only event at its Thomas J. Watson Research center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. This year also saw IBM take a major focus on emerging markets, particularly Africa, by chasing core business on the continent and setting up new offices in several countries including Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and others. Big Blue also established a major presence with famed IBM PC inventor Mark Dean as CTO of IBM Middle East and Africa. In other moves, IBM established a strong presence in the social-business software arena and launched an aggressive Smarter Commerce strategy. Big Blue also continued to build on its already significant efforts in cloud computing and business analytics with a series of acquisitions. Meanwhile, IBM proved the mainframe has more lives than a cat as the company continued to evolve the platform with a new midrange offering and features such as support for Microsoft Windows. Other big IBM news in 2011 included a massive investment from money master Warren Buffett, a new focus on security in IBM’s software group and the growth of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group (STG) at the expense of competitors such as Oracle and Hewlett-Packard..

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digital predictions for 2012 (part 2) from @alex_butler

digital predictions for 2012 (part 2) from @alex_butler | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
This is an article by Alex Butler detailing his digital predictions within healthcare for 2012.

 

4. Social media begins to separate the winners from the losers

 

5. Search moves ‘out of the search box’

 

6. Privacy goes public

 

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Tool detects patterns hidden in vast data sets | Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Tool detects patterns hidden in vast data sets | Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

Researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University have developed a tool that can tackle large data sets in a way that no other software program can. Part of a suite of statistical tools called MINE, it can tease out multiple patterns hidden in health information from around the globe, statistics amassed from a season of major league baseball, data on the changing bacterial landscape of the gut, and much more. The researchers report their findings in a paper appearing in the December 16 issue of the journal Science.

From Facebook to physics to the global economy, the world is filled with data sets that could take a person hundreds of years to analyze by eye. Sophisticated computer programs can search these data sets with great speed, but fall short when researchers attempt to even-handedly detect different kinds of patterns in large data collections.

“There are massive data sets that we want to explore, and within them, there may be many relationships that we want to understand,” said Broad Institute associate member Pardis Sabeti, senior author of the paper and an assistant professor at the Center for Systems Biology at Harvard University. “The human eye is the best way to find these relationships, but these data sets are so vast that we can’t do that. This toolkit gives us a way of mining the data to look for relationships.”

The researchers tested their analytical toolkit on several large data sets, including one provided by Harvard colleague Peter Turnbaugh who is interested in the trillions of microorganisms that live in the gut. Working with Turnbaugh, the research team harnessed MINE to make more than 22 million comparisons and narrowed in on a few hundred patterns of interest that had not been observed before.

“The goal of this statistic is to take data with a lot of different dimensions and many possible correlations and pick out the top ones,” said Michael Mitzenmacher, a senior author of the paper and professor of computer science at Harvard University. “We view this as an exploration tool – it can find patterns and rank them in an equitable way.”

One of the tool’s greatest strengths is that it can detect a wide range of patterns and characterize them according to a number of different parameters a researcher might be interested in. Other statistical tools work well for searching for a specific pattern in a large data set, but cannot score and compare different kinds of possible relationships. MINE, which stands for Maximal Information-based Nonparametric Exploration, is able to analyze a broad spectrum of patterns.

“Standard methods will see one pattern as signal and others as noise,” said David Reshef, a co-first author of the paper who is currently a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program and also worked on this project as a graduate student in the department of statistics at the University of Oxford. “There can potentially be a variety of different types of relationships in a given data set. What’s exciting about our method is that it looks for any type of clear structure within the data, attempting to find all of them.”

Not only does MINE attempt to identify any pattern within the data, but it also attempts to do so with an eye toward capturing different types of patterns equally well. “This ability to search for patterns in an equitable way offers tremendous exploratory potential in terms of searching for patterns without having to know ahead of time what to search for,” said David Reshef.

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Case Studies: Three Unique & Successful Twitter Strategies | Turn Up Your Volume

Case Studies: Three Unique & Successful Twitter Strategies | Turn Up Your Volume | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
There is more than one right answer to the question of how to build a great Twitter strategy. However, everyone agrees you must carefully manage your account, known as the handle in twitter-speak, as the first step to build your Twitter program. So, how many people can tweet on behalf of your brand or organization?

You may not have an Alec Baldwin complaining about your organization at the moment, but right now, in most of your waiting rooms, you patients on their smartphones to pass the time. Those patients are tweeting about their experiences with your practice or hospital — both good and bad.

Your first step is to determine who is listening, and then decide who is responding.

Via the Wall Street Journal, here is a helpful article about how three companies have done a great job building their online strategies with different approaches. You need to figure out what works for your organization.

Southwest Airlines has 10 people that can tweet on their behalf @SouthwestAir. They have great guidelines and know how to talk to each other. There are so many travelers tweeting (just like there are so many patient families), that they have spread the work around withing their organization.

 

Whole Foods, on the other hand, has just one person, Mr. Michael Bepko, who manages everything. Mr. Bepko is called a Community Manager and spends most of his day on Twitter conversing and sharing with the people mentioning @WholeFoods.

 

Best Buy is extremely different, in that they use any interested employee as part of their army of community managers. They have lots of handles such as @BestBuy, @BestBuy_Deals, @BBYNews, @GeekSquad, and the help line @Twelpforce.

To be part of @Twelpforce and other social-media outlets, Best Buy requires employees to enroll via a website that verifies their employment status and explains terms and conditions. The company uses an internal video and its publicly available social media policy, which prohibits such things as sharing nonpublic financial data and customers’ personal information, to explain what it calls its “healthy usage guidelines” to the @Twelpforce participants.

So, now I turn it over to you. How are you as a healthcare marketer ensuring that your Twitter management is being properly handled? We’d love to hear your thoughts on what works for you.

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Encouraging Healthy Behaviors Through Facebook: healthfinder.gov Launches the Be Healthy Your Way Challenge - Ahier.net

Encouraging Healthy Behaviors Through Facebook: healthfinder.gov Launches the Be Healthy Your Way Challenge - Ahier.net | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is kicking off the Be Healthy Your Way Challenge to encourage Americans to make healthy resolutions this New Year. Each week in January, participants will be invited to complete a health challenge and to encourage loved ones to do the same
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is building a Facebook community around its Web site, healthfinder.gov, a one-stop shop for preventive health tools. ODPHP is launching the Be Healthy Your Way Challenge to encourage Facebook users to adopt healthy behaviors and provide them with interactive information about preventive health services, particularly those that are now covered under health care reform. The Be Healthy Your Way Challenge will encourage healthfinder.gov Facebook fans to make a healthy resolution and share it on the Facebook page. healthfinder.gov will post weekly challenges throughout January to address those resolutions and help Americans incorporate more healthy behaviors into their lifestyles by setting personal wellness goals. The Be Healthy Your Way Challenge encourages Americans to take small, practical steps toward being and staying healthy.

The Be Healthy Your Way Challenge will spotlight preventive health and feature a wide range of tools and resources to support people in making key health decisions. Resources will include award-winning healthfinder.gov content; the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010; the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans; and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. The weekly challenges will also introduce people to the services covered under the new health law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and help them figure out which services they may need.
ODPHP invites everyone interested in health and wellness to encourage their friends and families to join the challenge and make a commitment to a healthier 2012. To learn more about how ODPHP is using social media to spread the word about preventive health, visit healthfinder.gov.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, coordinates the Web site healthfinder.gov as well as the National Health Information Center. The Quick Guide to Healthy Living, part of healthfinder.gov, won the 2010 ClearMark Award for the best plain language public sector Web site from the Center for Plain Language.

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Amy Webb: Big data, mobile payments, and identity authentication will be big in 2012

Amy Webb: Big data, mobile payments, and identity authentication will be big in 2012 | Analytics & Social media impact on Healthcare | Scoop.it
Information is everywhere, and more than any previous year in our history, 2012 will be the year of data. We’re recording our daily activity with BodyMedia arm bands and syncing our biometrics with our Android phones. Hacker-journalists are converting huge datasets for use by everyday newsroom reporters. Hyper-creative data visualization teams, such as JESS3, are creating stunning charts and graphs appealing to the non-geeky set. Untold amounts of healthcare, government, personal-location, business, academic and transportation data can be mined for research as well as to generate answers about our efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. In 2012, we anticipate seeing a number of new initiatives that attempt to crack the big data nut.

OR (object recognition)
Oblong Industries recently unveiled its g-speak spatial operating environment, which was the culmination of three decades of research at MIT and uses object recognition. You may already be familiar with Oblong’s work, which was featured in the film Minority Report. g-speak combines a “gestural i/o, recombinant networking, and real-world pixels” to meld humans with information displays. You may not buy a g-speak environment for your living room in 2012, but do expect to see OR in mobile apps and devices. High-end sensor processing, enhanced cameras and troves of databases will enable you to snap a photo and instantly glean information about the person sitting next to you on the train, the ingredients in your entree or even the designer of your friend’s new shoes.

Graphic Interfaces
In 2011, we saw a number of new graphic interfaces. The New York Times debuted its “magic mirror,” which uses Microsoft Kinect to recognize a users face and then becomes a morning bathroom companion. It can recommend what shirt to wear with what tie, let you search the web, check the weather, read your email and access your prescription medication information. Japanese tablet manufacturer Wacom released its Inkling, allowing graphic artists to use a special pen and receiver clip to draw on any surface. Tether the clip to a computer, and everything that was drawn can be imported into just about any image editing program. We expect to see more interactive surfaces in the coming year as well as new tools to access them.

Topics
Aggregation (even personalized aggregation) no longer solves our information overload problem. In 2010, we saw the debut of Flipboard and the reintroduction of Pulse, which are dynamic content curation apps. Now we’re seeing topic-focused dynamic curation and recommendation built into apps and websites. Some of the players in this space include Scoop.it, Twylah and Storyful. At the end of 2011, Google launched a Flipboard-like topics aggregator, Currents. (It had been code-named Propeller during development.) As much as some news organizations may grumble that basic topics pages don’t drive traffic or serve the user, these newer, dynamically-organized pages that include curation have been tremendously successful. Grouping people and companies together is a great way to keep information organized, and fluid topic pages that continually update help consumers make sense of all the information that’s available. Expect to see a lot of dynamic topic pages — even if they’re called something else — in 2012.

Privacy Concerns
We are uploading millions of photos every day to social networks, and in the process we’re attaching rich data along with them: who’s in the photo, where the photo was taken, even what equipment was used. Combined with social check-in services, which continually show our physical locations and who we’re with, a number of clever search tools have emerged that can effortlessly divulge a person’s name, age and interests simply by snapping a photo of his or her face. While sophisticated users have expressed concerns about their privacy, younger mobile and social network users are more and more willing to share everything with everyone. Facebook continues to change its terms of service often, but most users aren’t aware of what personal information is being shared with the outside world. What — if anything — to do about our digital privacy will be an ongoing discussion throughout the next year.

Women
The tech world may seem largely dominated by men, but a cadre of smart, creative women have been hard at work — and often hardly-noticed — leading product development, tech innovation and startups. Groups such as TEDxWomen and advocates like Change the Ratio are working to highlight both successes and inequalities. In 2012, we expect to see more woman receive funding, speaking at conferences, interviewed by mainstream media, judging awards and getting recognition for their many contributions in tech and beyond.

Ethics Concerns and Digital Content
In 2011, there were numerous high-profile ethics questions at major tech/journalism companies. Tech blogger Michael Arrington launched a $20 million venture capital fund that would invest in many of the companies covered by his publication, TechCrunch. Microblogging platform Tumblr, which is used by many in the fashion industry, made news when it sent 16 bloggers to Fashion Week shows at their hosts’ expense. Tumblr was charging brands as much as $350,000 for private events with bloggers, and in return, brands would receive guaranteed product placement within blog posts. The What’s Trending web series on CBSNews.com posted a tweet that Steve Jobs had died (well in advance of his actual death), and then issued a snarky response: “Apologies — reports of Steve Job’s [sic] death completely unconfirmed. Live on.” As the media landscape continues to evolve, newsrooms, developers, marketing and sales departments and content producers of all stripes will need to question their activities and discuss what’s appropriate and why. In 2012, will transparency be the new objectivity?

Technology Leads Revolutions
The Arab revolutions in 2011 were enabled because of Facebook, Twitter, text messaging and BlackBerry’s Messenger service. The ease of use of social networks combined with the ubiquity of inexpensive mobile devices has empowered the previously disenfranchised. Due to the success of organized movements in the Middle East, more groups will use mobile phones and social networks to catalyze their own revolutions around the world in the coming year.

Co-Viewing/ Social TV Platforms
More and more people are watching television with a companion device, whether it is a mobile phone, tablet or laptop computer. In the past year, we’ve also see the rise of video broadcasting outside of the set-top box. A number of new services provide a platform meant to be used by traditional and new devices. Flingo, a new platform launched after two solid years of work by the Bittorrent team, allows users to “fling” content between screens. Denso is an iPhone/iPad/Android app that allows users to save video content to an account and then stream on just about any device. In 2012, we will see co-viewing experiences and platforms launch en masse, by independent developers, retailers, news organizations and political groups.

The YouTube Network
Late 2011, YouTube relaunched with not just a new look, but plans for a new business model. In this new video-centric space, YouTube will display channels that could be of interest to you individually, as well as other curated content. During the next year, expect to see YouTube offer original programming initially for the gaming and programmer community offered via the Google TV platform. Internet-connected set-top boxes and the new YouTube approach has the potential to draw away viewers from the traditional networks and over to newer forms of digital content syndication.

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