Why I haven’t been blogging lately


My Harley Fatboy.

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Another Use for Mobile Phones in Health Care: Stopping Bullets

From WDSU.com

A stray bullet hit a man in his chest while he was mowing his lawn Saturday, but he escaped injury because the bullet slammed into a cell phone in his pocket. . .

(The man) said he didn’t know what hit him, but he knew something was wrong. When he tried to dial 911, his cell phone fell apart in his hands. . . The stray bullet had hit his Motorola cell phone. . . he normally keeps the phone in his pants pocket, but that day he had it in a pocket over his heart.

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Britain’s Mobile Phone “Nurses”

In my continuing posts on mobile phones in health care comes news from the Telegraph:

People suffering from asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure simply enter details of their condition and treatment into standard mobile handsets that have been programmed with special software.

The data is automatically sent to hospital database where it is analysed by a nurse who decides whether any action needs to be taken.

Studies have shown that the system helps catch complications before they get out of control, without burdening patients with regular visits to their GP.

It also reduces hospital admissions for long-term patients by up to 90 per cent, potentially saving the NHS millions of pounds per year. (More)

Thanks to ICMCC.

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Advertising with Chinese Characteristics

A panoramic view of Ürümqi's city center taken...

Image via Wikipedia

Reported by The China Beat, a description of a Pepsi ad shoot in Urumchi, the capitol of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.

The story unfolded for us as we arrived at the sports stadium before dawn on a warm Saturday morning in May. The ad centered on a football match between a (Han) Chinese national team and an “international conglomerate” foreign team. At the beginning of the ad, the Chinese fans would be interspersed between the international fans, but losing badly to the foreigners. The roars of the international crowd silenced their cheers for the Chinese national team. Then, the two Chinese pop stars flew in (literally, with the help of two really cool stunt men from Beijing) on cue to rally the Chinese crowd with Pepsi. With the arrival of Pepsi and the very attractive Chinese pop stars (with all the usual fanfare of a recent Zhang Yimou film), the Chinese crowd simultaneously had an epiphany and collectively realized that in order to beat the evil foreigners they needed to rally together behind Pepsi. At this point, the Chinese fans pushed their way through the international crowds to form a critical mass, which was able to make their voices heard. With that, the Chinese football team was able to defeat the international conglomerate team. The entire narrative centered on the two Chinese pop stars (rather, their amazing stunt men) performing all kinds of acrobatic stunts at the cost of the dignity of the international team—such as, but not limited to jumping off the top mezzanine into the crowd of Japanese nationals (played, very begrudgingly, by Han Chinese high school students) and rebounding off the head of the Japanese drummer into a sea of Han Chinese students, who were anxiously awaiting Pepsi. (More)

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The Commodification of Barack Obama

Campbell's Soup I (1968)

Image via Wikipedia

“Obama Slept Here” reads one headline in the Wall Street Journal. The Honolulu Advertiser follows with a story on all the places Obama lived while in Hawaii – to promote tourism, of course. The media is awashed with Obama images. Cardboard cutouts of Obama infiltrate political rallies. The Obama campaign symbol emerges from the ocean like Japan’s rising sun. Representations of Obama reminiscent of Mao pop into the world media at regular intervals. Andy Warhol-like Obama’s decorate sheik environs. I’m waiting for Obama trading cards to emerge, or technology items and clothing – adorned conspicuously with the official Obama logo.

Ahhh, to be in America in a time of change.

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President-Elect Obama: A New Day is Upon Us

What an amazing evening with the triumph of Hawaii’s own Barack Obama. As readers who have followed this blog know, we have been a strong Obama supporter from the beginning of his candidacy. The emotional exhale with his victory last night was felt not only by me, not only here on this little speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, but all over this blue planet.  But the time will come oh so soon when when we must all inhale again and fortify ourselves again to deal with the seemingly intractable problems in health care. So, for now, I’m upbeat and optimistic. The country is ready to shape a new future for her citizens. We will all be in the bus and along for the ride. Let’s hope it’s headed in the right direction.

PatientsLikeMe: A New Disease Management Tool?

Ben Heywood, co-founder and President of PatientsLikeMe, recently participated in live chat session (see transcript) hosted by the World Health Care Congress. I was particularly interested in his several comments related to the value of his site to disease management programs now sponsored by health plans and other health care organizations.

I think one of the areas we have expanded into earlier then we thought was in the payer/health plan space. Payers are looking at PatientsLikeMe as a lighter-weight disease management platform. A peer-based DM, sort of like an online version of AA (the most successful peer-based DM program around) . . .

The discussions we are having is around offering PatientsLikeMe as a service to their (health plan) members – we have seen some strong anecdotal evidence that patients are using healthcare more efficiently by learning from other patients experiences and data.

We think that using our site makes patients more compliant – we are working on several pilots to prove this out. . .

Our business model is really about engaging industry into these communities – so one consideration as we look at new diseases is for whom this will help make better products. First and foremost, we need to make communities that help patients – so that is always our first consideration. . .

We get a lot of amazing feedback from out users from… depression patients who say using the site keeps them out of the hospital to a patient in MS that said that the site saved her life as her doc over-prescribed one of her medication. . .

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