Profile of Mitch WagnerCalifornia Bureau Chief, Light Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 1161
Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.
Articles by Mitch Wagner
This deal illustrates the fragile nature of innovation on the Internet -- and it's a problem that only government regulation can solve.
Philip Rosedale's new startup, High Fidelity, hopes to make virtual worlds mainstream by clearing technical hurdles that Second Life stumbled over.
Princeton University study says four out of five Facebook users will move on to other social networks.
Why I dumped iPad for Android, then changed my mind.
Human rights groups want to ban autonomous weapons.
Two hospitals in Florida and California are using business intelligence and analytic software to corral costs and aid clinical reporting.
The goal is to custom-build tissues and organs for transplant, using the patient's own cells and 3D medical printers.
The nurse call and emergency response systems provide alerts to caregivers via e-mail, pagers, or text messaging.
Healthcare providers may use the phone and online service to provide H1N1 information while preserving medical resources for truly urgent care.
Communities will need a proven track record if they're looking to receive funding to become health IT "beacons" under a federal program to set up models of meaningful health information usage. Communities qualifying for inclusion in the program must demonstrate that they're already embracing e-health records an electronic health information sharing.
A post-acute care facility is using Microsoft Amalga to build internal apps that coordinate healthcare information between multiple internal organizations.
The acquisition of Starlims, a provider of laboratory information management systems, aims to boost Abbott's position in the global diagnostics market.
IBM, Vodafone, and Novartis are using text messages to manage supplies of anti-malarial drugs in Tanzania.
Community Health System expects to improve quality of care, patient communications, and cost management using Allscripts electronic health record software.
Butler Health System is rolling out PatientKeeper software to make it easier for physicians to access medical information.
President Barack Obama allocated almost $600 million to build community health centers and implement electronic medical records, part of the $787 billion stimulus bill. The White House framed the funding as means of adding jobs to the economy, and overhaul the nation's health system.
Department of Health and Human Services programs promote research data sharing, employee collaboration, and flu safety.
The system is designed to improve dosage accuracy and patient safety while saving pharmacists' time.
The audio podcasts, available on the iTunes store, are designed to help Americans take care of themselves while on business overseas.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has reorganized into groups including a Chief Privacy Officer.
The online environment allows people with mental health problems, as well as their caregivers, connect in a safe and anonymous environment.
The Harris County Hospital District of Houston, Texas, fired 16 employees, accusing them of violating patient privacy laws by inappropriately accessing the records of a medical resident who'd been admitted to the hospital after she was shot in a grocery store parking lot.
What Twitter client do you use? TweetDeck is a favorite of many people who use Twitter for professional purposes. I've been an enthusiastic user of Tweetie for the Mac since it came out more than seven months ago, because I love its powerful, simple, and easy-to-use interface. However, TweetDeck now supports Twitter features that Tweetie doesn't, so I figured I'd give TweetDeck another try. And I'm liking it.
Living Independently Group's wireless technology tracks seniors' daily activities, watching for changes that could signify a medical problem or emergency.
Healthcare IT adoption is one of four pillars on which the Obama administration is basing its healthcare strategy, and is key to containing costs, administration healthcare officials said. Healthcare IT should be combined with a budget-neutral healthcare reform bill, establishing a Medicare Commission to improve quality, and an excise tax on expensive private healthcare plans, all of which are included in the Senate healthcare reform bill.
Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health want to be the repository of choice for millions of personal health records. Are they up to the task?
"They've standardized the content so we can exchange and have interoperability with health records," explains the CIO of Children's Hospital.
I'm wondering if Google Wave is like a concept car for Google. We'll never see it in production--but all of its features and capabilities will emerge in other products released by Google and other companies. Google Wave solves some very real business problems. But I think even Google will have trouble getting companies to adopt it.
Transparent Health Network negotiates healthcare pricing with medical providers, and shares price data with its members online.
A new pill bottle cap with a wireless Internet connection flashes when it's time to take a pill and even calls forgetful patients with reminders.
National health IT coordinator Dr. David Blumenthal dropped a big hint about upcoming criteria for giving out e-health records grants. He advised healthcare IT managers to focus on "goals of care" rather than technology.
Achieving its high level of electronic medical records adoption has taken small Maine hospital five years.
The U.S.'s top e-health official urged healthcare organizations to tear down the barriers to effective exchange of e-health records in a message to healthcare providers.
A New York healthcare provider deploys "zero-client" devices to reduce PC maintenance and improve business performance.
The bill, introduced by Sen. John Kerry, would make small healthcare practices eligible for federal loans.
Flu Shot Finder uses Google Maps to help people locate areas where they can get swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines.
While EMRs promise massive opportunities for patient health benefits and reductions in administrative costs, the privacy and security risks are daunting.
The healthcare IT marketplace is growing by 11% annually, which will likely continue through 2013, says a study from Scientia Advisors.
iPhones are helping a Sarasota hospital connect its nursing staff via text messaging, and soon, VoIP telephony.
Presbyterian Healthcare Services uses Actuate performance management software in pursuit of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award.
While the U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) promises big bucks to healthcare providers that implement effective IT solutions, healthcare providers wonder whether IT adoption is worth the effort. Speaking at a two-day hearing of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthcare providers said healthcare IT is a good idea in theory, but current proposals have many problems.
Companies can now run their own, private version of the virtual world in their data centers, for added security and control.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued an interim final rule to beef up penalties for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA), as several Congressmen criticize the agency for leaving dangerous loopholes in the law.
Built with settlement money from health insurance companies, it will help drive down medical costs, says New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
New Mexico will work with technology partner MedPlus to build an electronic infrastructure connecting the state's healthcare providers.
Awarded $170 million in contracts, the company will provide services for government health information technology systems.
It's no surprise that hospitals which serve predominantly poor patients are lagging in implementing healthcare IT. However, it's a cause for concern that the federal stimulus program might not be up to the task of closing that gap, according to federally supported researchers.
The Comfort Zone service combines GPS and wireless technologies to enable caregivers to monitor Alzheimer's patients.
Healthcare professionals and individuals are finding ways to manage health and wellness with applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.
Healthcare IT, including electronic medical records and clinical information systems are among the fund's priorities.
The U.S. will release a preliminary definition of "meaningful use"-- a key criterion for healthcare IT providers seeking federal stimulus funding -- in December.
The mobile healthcare software maker says BlackBerry is a fast-growing platform, with more than 20% growth in the past quarter.
Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital uses the virtual world for disaster preparedness training, while disabled people turn to it for peer support.
New England Baptist Hospital banned Facebook and other social media, citing privacy concerns over employees revealing too much information about patients in their online posts, and complaints about employees wasting time online. The ban will remain in place until the hospital can come up with a social media policy, according to reports.
San Francisco is opening up government data to third-party application developers, who are jumping in with applications that track information on public transportation, recycling centers, and local crime.
Mobile apps are the new frontier in improving data access for healthcare pros and bettering patient care. They could be coming to your pocket soon.
Race car driver Charlie Kimball uses inexpensive consumer apps to manage his diabetes in partnership with his doctors.
A startup founded by the former head of Google Health dispenses personalized healthcare information and applications via the Internet.
The State Department plans to award up to $5 million in grants to expand the use of social networking in the Middle East and North Africa to drive citizen engagement and civic participation. The pilot program is part of a long-term effort to help bring democracy to the region, with a preference toward using existing technologies and social media platforms.
Tweetie is a favorite client for Twitter power-users on the iPhone, because of its simple interface, versatility, and ease-of-use. Now, the highly anticipated new version is out, with features that make the great Twitter client for the iPhone even better, without cluttering it up.
Writing tools are intensely personal choices -- for some people. Most people make do with the corporate standard, Microsoft Word, and many are even happy with it. But some of us have to be different, we're unhappy with Word and seek productivity elsewhere.
The University of Virginia has hired "scribes" with laptop computers to follow doctors around as they treat patients, updating electronic medical records as they go. The antique-sounding position is one example of the steps hospitals are taking as they struggle to adopt e-health records.
The healthcare debate in the America has been driven by cable news and other old media, rather than new technologies, according to White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, adding that cable news networks focused on a small number of angry people at town hall meetings in August, and ignored the larger debate.
A Pennsylvania health insurer has deployed a smartphone app enabling members to view and share electronic medical records.
The group of people who've left the Earth is a small, select club. Now, one of those people has joined a club that's a lot less important but still interesting. Astronaut Mike Massimino joined the group of people with more than 1 million followers on Twitter.
The former head of the Google Health team has launched a startup designed to allow people to get personalized medical advice on the Internet, based on their own e-health records. If it catches on, the service will accelerate the trend of people using Internet research to take charge of their own healthcare. That trend is both a help and a hindrance to healthcare providers, depending on the kind of information patients find online, and what the patients do with that information.
The University of Louisville School of Medicine finds that smartphones give students faster access to health information, and more face-time with patients.
Apple is the company that introduced the world to mouse computing; could it now be planning to re-invent the mouse, maybe introducing a new kind of input device that combines the mouse and keyboard? That's the speculation buzzing on the Apple blogs today, fueled by a patent out of Cupertino.
Electronic medical alerts are a significant improvement over paper-based systems, but doctors often still ignore warnings they should pay attention to, according to a recent study. Even when notified electronically, doctors sometimes ignore test results that show the patient might have a serious problem.
I started a Facebook fan page for myself yesterday. The reason I did it was (take your pick): (1) As a workaround for limitations in using Facebook for business communications with groups of people you don't know or (2) To feed my unreasonably large ego. Well, actually, probably both reasons apply.
Department of Health and Human Services funding will go to implement electronic health records and other health IT initiatives.
The Defense Department's on-again off-again romance with social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook could be on again big-time if it adopts the policies suggested in a draft memo on "Internet-based capabilities." Troops and their families would be permitted to use public social networking sites, and military brass would be directed to keep an eye on Internet developments to watch for new opportunities and threats.
Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital uses the virtual world for disaster preparedness training, while disabled people turn to it for peer support.
Predictive computer models that tap into electronic health records highlight subtle patterns of domestic violence that are easy to miss.
The iPhone this week got a new entry in the fast-moving category of GPS software: MotionX-GPS Drive is by far the least expensive of the half-dozen alternatives, with a "holy cow!" low price of $2.99, with an annual subscription of $25. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than any of the alternatives.
I'm still stuck in the 90s when I think about elected officials using the Internet. Back in the 90s, elected officials had never even touched the Internet. They thought it was a sewer of child porn and terrorists, and their only reaction to it was to try to control it--or make it go away. Until recently, I thought of lawmakers as still being as naive as they were back then. But a brief conversation with Rep. John Culberson shattered my preconceptions.
As the Alzheimer's spreads, healthcare companies are developing wireless technologies to help caregivers look after their charges. The technologies monitor people with Alzheimer's to make sure they're not in trouble, with a particular focus on making sure that patients don't wander off.
Texas Republican John Culberson has posted the House healthcare bill online and invited constituents to annotate it using a Web 2.0 collaboration tool.
Two of the vendors who flaunted their wares at DEMOfall 09 are looking to use crowdsourcing to extend Internet mapping. Micello is looking to create maps for people getting around by foot, in shopping malls, university or office campuses, and city downtowns. Meanwhile, Waze offers a free turn-by-turn directions app built by outsourcing.
The problem with letting everybody contribute ideas to an open forum is that everybody does. White House-led open government initiatives are learning that lesson, as forums set up to let American citizens contribute suggestions for government actions are being hijacked by potheads, conspiracy theorists, and anti-Scientologists.
The University of Texas launched a year-long, state-wide initiative to use Second Life in the curriculum for all 16 of its campuses, experimenting with using the platform as a means of providing innovative, low-cost undergraduate instruction involving students, faculty, researchers and administrators.
Are young people staying away from tech careers because young people are foolish and shallow, concerned only with big bucks and glamour? Or are there smarter reasons? The answer to that question will determine how best to attract young Americans into tech careers in the future.
The Marine Corps' ban on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and other social media could hurt morale more than it helps security, a public policy researcher said. "The ban is at odds with realities of the 21st-century military," said Chris Bronk, a research fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
An emergency services provider is using SAP business intelligence technology to monitor surges in H1N1-related symptoms.
I'm back from the InformationWeek 500 Conference, where we integrated Twitter into the proceedings. It's commonplace at other conferences, but it was a bit of a risk for us, because it was the first time we'd tried anything like it, and because the InformationWeek community is just plain not early adopters of social media. But it turned out that Twitter integration was a success, significantly exceeding expectations.
The NBC Nightly News did a report about how the iPhone, Twitter, and Google are being used in the fight against swine flu and other diseases. The technology includes an iPhone app from Children's Hospital in Boston, and tools to use Google Searches and Twitter messages to map outbreaks.
The federal government launched a Facebook page to give agencies tips and impetus to set up and run their presence on Facebook. The page offers links to agency pages already on Facebook, guides, and updates to government Facebook activity.
One of the more interesting conversations I got into at the opening reception of the InformationWeek 500 Sunday night was with a man who came to me with fire in his eye, challenging me whether I thought Twitter is a useful tool for business IT. I think he was surprised at my view: I think so, but I don't know for sure.
I just bought a new shipment of loose tea from Adagio Tea, and saw first-hand how they use Twitter and Facebook for social media marketing. Adagio lets you follow the shipment of your package on Twitter, and also provides you with a simple, but clear incentive to get you to promote them on Facebook.
We're going to try something at the InformationWeek 500 conference next week: we're livetweeting the conference on Twitter. That's old hat to the Web 2.0 crowd, but it will be new and (hopefully) exciting to our enterprise community.
The coordinators for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have a lot of money to give out--$44 billion to be precise--and healthcare IT managers can improve their odds of getting it by making their applications broad and simple, according to the chairman of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin is using Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to interact with its members.
It's a long way from Cheech & Chong. PlainView Systems launched its Compassionate Care Marketplace, a secure system to allow suppliers of medical marijuana to buy weed, with full accounting of the transaction for state and municipal compliance.
Today is the deadline for developers to submit proposals to build 3D virtual software replicas of NATO headquarters in Europe and America, to be used for training and meetings, and improving staff communication and productivity.
BI system, built in partnership with Performance Management Institute, is designed to improve decision-making and provide evidence for "meaningful use" of IT.
Apple's Snow Leopard has some serious bugs. So what? Every major operating system upgrade has bugs. However, it's possible that Snow Leopard is buggier than that, that it will prove to be a lemon and a drag on the company as Vista was for Microsoft.
A year after its release, the Web browser -- and operating system -- isn't a Microsoft-killer, but it has enthusiastic supporters and influence.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is turning to Twitter to get ideas on how to help the financially struggling state. He's asking residents to tweet ideas for improving California, which the government is compiling on a Web site, Myidea4CA.com.
It's always been a bad idea for consumer companies to get celebrities angry, because celebrities have millions of fans, and can rally those fans to fight. Now, with the Internet and social media, it's easier for people to achieve celebrity and the power to significantly damage companies. That's a lesson that Maytag is learning the hard way, from blogger Heather Armstrong, who writes Dooce.
The latest iteration of Mac OS X is looking like a solid upgrade, but Microsoft's follow up to Vista constitutes a major competitive threat.