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Friday, June 21, 2013

Ideas in Action

When I was a lad, sodas were 10 cents from a vending machine. Not being fond of sweet carbonated drinks, I told friends that it would be great to have these machines dispense ice cold spring water in bottles. Of course they laughed at such a goofy idea.

My bottled water idea was a lark – just a dream – because there was no action or plan to develop it further.

Ideas without action are not a unique occurrence – this is the fate of most creative thought. Even if an idea is written down but introduced by “they should...” - it merely entertains your mind and does not create value unless you take action.

Think about it – how does innovation and knowledge create value? It comes from taking action on an idea, not just the idea alone, and applying it to get results.

Health care is changing radically due to the new law and supporting technology is evolving rapidly in response to its needs. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health and Google Glass Meetup got together this week to start a conversation about how to use the emerging technology of wearable information devices as a tool for providing better health care delivery.

Keith Montgomery, Executive Director of Center for Total Health, describes his organization's role as a place for conversations which lead to new ideas for improving health care. What I noticed is they are not looking for new science, they are looking to get patients to be healthier by doing what we know works.

Antonio Zugaldia, an organizer of the Google Glass Meetup group, demonstrated the glasses (which are equipped with a computer, camera, heads-up display, and internet access), and was just released to the developer community. The user can transmit what she sees and receive data and graphics on Google Glass heads-up display.

Center for Total Health and Google Glass Meetup brought together health care practitioners, consumers, and app developers to talk about needs and potential solutions using this technology. By the end of the evening, several possibilities had been identified – like the emergency room doctor who thought having the patient's information and vital signs available through while he was working could improve triage diagnosis and care delivery.

While this conversation might currently be similar to a boy telling his friends about vending bottled water, Center for Total Health, Google Glass Meetup and Google are committed to caring it forward to action – results – value.

The incentive for continuing to talk is the consumers and developers are sharing their needs and solutions – asking stakeholders what they need speeds up the development of useful solutions.

The larger conversation is how to change behavior of health care consumers and providers to improve patient outcomes. For example, technology can permit a patient to monitor their health and improvements from modifying their behavior.

Ideas are plentiful and worthless – action creates payoff.



Open Source Leadership – the new paradigm
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