Passions for Development and Growth from Within Each of Us

Isn’t part of the fun is coming up with ideas and suggestions for new projects or processes within teams? This is one of the many reasons why I love my job. After the initial concept, follows project initiation, which gets more complicated. Later on, verification and validation come in all forms, depending on the project or processes. After a while, depending on the industry, the project or process would either result into one of the three things: (1) evolve into an entirely different project or process; (2) follow the straight path to fruition; or (3) abort project or process. The latter two focus on tough decision-making whether continue or extinguish the project or process.

For example, within the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, Kanter identified 12 critical questions that the entrepreneurs can ask themselves and others within their networks in order to make the tough decisions. For me, it boils down to the passion and whether this passion for the specific product or service that the company focuses on, still exists, or extinguished. Depending on the entrepreneur, if the passion persists, then the project or process can take various turns and end up elsewhere with a different purpose.

In addition to the passion for running a company or project, various strategies play a role in shaping the direction in steering the project/process, which would result into a desirable return on investment, either attractive or unattractive. In 1979, Harvard Professor, Michael E. Porter first published competitive interactions within the industry that leads to various strategies within various companies, such as Bargaining Power from Suppliers, Buyers, Threats of substitute, Emerging competitors, and rivalry among current competitors. Also, if the competitive forces are intense, this would result in the companies investing large sums of resources to attract new customers with an advantage over their competitors, such as healthcare, airlines, and hotels. In this case, the return on investment would be smaller due to the amount of resources input as compared with the new many companies such as soft drink, toiletries, and software, where an attractive return on investment has been larger.

Ultimately, the decision to initiate and move forward with specific projects lies within each of us. For example, recently, a group conversation I was part of lead to conversations of preserving species yet on the U.S. Endangered Species Act. An article in Science magazine (Brosi & Biber, 2012) demonstrated that citizen involvement has been successful in driving the force of placing endangered species on the list, thus formally identifying them as endangered and thus, protected by federal law. This is an excellent example of groups of citizen sharing their pursuit of passion of preserving and conserving the dwindling species.

For me, my passion lies within executive management and leadership within companies, especially the ones that play a significant role within the healthcare and biotech markets. Passion can be identified as a driving force in allowing ourselves to pursue towards specific goals on what we’d like to accomplish, as long these passions do not result in conflict of interest as brought up in another Science magazine article where Marshall (1992) stated that intellectual passion can be viewed as a conflict within the scientist’s personal interest into their own research projects as a personal bias.

I can allow my own intellectual passion within both the sciences and executive management and leadership to drive my efforts throughout the days and use that as a daily strategy. Also, I can allow this strategy to adjust and take form in order to allow me to visualize the future directions and see if these specific goals excite me. My passions for development and growth, thus translating into successful projects are part of my personality, which I enjoy very much and look forward accomplishing each time I walk into the board rooms or conference rooms.

References:

Brosi, B. & Biber, G. Citizen Involvement in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Science 17 AUGUST 2012 VOL 337: 803-803. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6096/802.full.pdf

Kanter, R. 12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit. Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2012/10/12-guidelines-for-deciding-whe.html

Porter, M. The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy.  Harvard Business Review.  January 2008 issue.  Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://hbr.org/2008/01/the-five-competititve-forces-that-shape-strategy/ar/1

Marshall, E. When does intellectual passion become conflict of interest? Science 31 July 1992: 620-623. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/257/5070/620.1.full.pdf?sid=ec1972e4-abac-4cad-992b-4111e44a758

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Data Mining for Intelligent Management of Personal Health

Data mining is a growing and explosive field, stemming from sudden availability of the massive wealth of data accessible through the internet.

It’d be interesting to have a database compilation of all of my medical history, but this would demand the strictest level of privacy, as compared with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, altogether.

In fact, this idea stemmed from reading Haak’s article from Science magazine where the authors discussed the benefits of mining data in order to make them accessible to other researchers across multiple disciplines and many borders around the globe.  Different countries have their own regulations as to which restrict access to specific data sets in order to maintain privacy and security, which can be challenging, since data can be compared against many different other groups of data for a specific translation of a scientific question.  In determining levels of accessibility, it’s important to involve groups of private and public data within the local and international level.  Although there are prominent databases that store and mine data such as CERIF, the responsibility and authority of maintaining such database infrastructure should be shared among several stakeholders in order to ensure that the balance the availability of data among maintaining privacy on a global scale in order to allow policy-makers ensuring informed decisions within their areas or countries.  In order to do this, an international standardization of data exchange is necessary.

Reading Davenport’s article within the Harvard Business Review discussed the benefits and thrills of surfing the data mine harvested from many on-line profiles and usages, thus structuring the wealth of data in order to capitalize the large data.   The discoveries within the translation of data lead to solid executive decision-making.  In this case, I’m the top executive in my life and always have the need of making informed decisions throughout the day.

Of course, I’d expect complete access into my health data and my ancestor’s health data, while restricted to nearly everyone else in order to research into the gene-related developments that has occurred over the generations and what health issues I can watch for as I age gracefully.  Also this information will be helpful for my future generations.  Lesser restrictive access would afford professional researchers the luxury of investigating my phenotypic information such as hair or eye color for others to research into the correlations of populations, environment, specific family history, and genetic information in order to postulate how I had derived a specific characteristic or trait.  Also, predictive environmental factors such as temperature and pressure within a geographical region, coupled with my health information can predict onset of arthritis within specific times, for example.

A question remains is the expiration date of the restriction of access into families’ health information after they have passed on.  Also, the level of access may vary among specific group of people such as my healthcare providers, which would be different than the insurance companies and employers.  Perhaps the creation of Health Data Scientist education and training can involve creation of specific certification equivalent to doctors and attorneys in which they are expected to maintain strict client or patient confidentiality and only focused on the needs of the clients and patients.  Of course, ethics in sharing personal health data with loved ones or potential mates for  predicting outcomes of interaction will need to be debated considerably.

As with sealing records though the courts, perhaps specific health data can be sealed by the patient while allowing access to other health information with particulars generally already available while allowing certain family members additional access to less generalized health data.

Having a centralized and global database would contribute to the health of my travels such as keeping immunization records current while allowing healthcare providers in other countries access, should I become ill overseas.  In this case it’s possible to harmonize specific access to certain health database among various countries, depending on the control of the database.  It’ll be like a “health passport” whenever I am in the world.  If possible, this could be easily accessible through international apps program on the mobile devices with dual band capability.

Later on, with my current genotypes, it’d be interesting to account the environment within other areas or countries in order to virtually translate the predicted phenotypes such as air quality affecting my exercise routine, while would result in asthmatic symptoms, for example.  Additionally, this daily health monitoring device while accounting for the environmental factors can be managed through a mobile device.

In summary, there is extreme wealth of information for extrapolating correlations and make sold predictions, which can assist with decision making throughout the days and weeks to come.  The whole point is taking the steps in mining data effectively through intelligent management while everyone adheres to the same guidelines for access everywhere.

References:

Davenport, T. and Patil, D.  Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.  October 2012.  Retrieved October 15, 2012 from http://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the-21st-century/ar/1

Haak, L., Baker, D., Ginther, D., Gordon, G. Probus, M., Kannankutty, N., Weinberg, B. Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange. Science 12 October 2012: 196-197. Retrieved October 16, 2012 from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6104/196.full.pdf

Working Conferences to Review Off-Grid Energy in Asian Countries

Promoting a specific way of saving energy may prove to be successful within an area or community, while other areas prefer a different approach of accomplishing the same goals within their specific areas.  An example is the October 5, 2012 Science Magazine’s Policy Forum article in regards to various examples of active participants of energy providers and consumers for both off-grid and on-grid production within the 10 Asian countries, through various program and incentives, which goal is to assist approximately 4 billion of the world’s population living with lack of access to modern energy.  Also delineated was that off-grid domestic energy production include solar and other renewable energy sources or through wood, charcoal, and dung.  Once energy provider and consumer relationship has proved to be fruitful and successful, the local population provider and consumer have been quite focused on promoting the same design principles of delivering and receiving energy.  Thus, energy generation within the countries varied, with each community promoting their own success.

 

Perhaps the 10 Asian countries can organize a working conference to explore the commonalities and successes of their various approaches in regards to off-grid energy usage.  Also, this working conference can focus on establishing credibility of the most productive and successful off-grid energy approach.  As Mo Ibrahim wrote in his article in this month’s Harvard Business Review drawing his experiences in establishing his telecom company, Celtel, in Uganda, Africa, within the world’s poorest continent, he was successful through the support of the Africa Union.  Solid credibility, stability, and protection afforded the CEO of Celtel through a network of support from Africa Union and various members of Celtel’s board from various parts of the continent such as Tanzania, thus ensuring that the corporate operations focused on best corporate practices and common goals, and not lose hold on this focus.

 

Back to the off-grid energy usage in the 10 Asian countries as described in Science, drawing on examples of Ibrahim’s networking with various other professionals, perhaps the 10 Asian countries could form Off-Grid Energy Usage with delegations meeting for a working conference in order to compare and contrast successes.  Through this avenue, each group can continue to promote their own pride and joy in order to establish commonalities within successful energy harnessing within continuous, stable, and most efficient method with no pollution.

 

This working conference will allow the 10 Asian countries to come up with their own map of success.  As Moysidis mentioned in her article titled, “Setting Sail Without A Map” published on Women 2.0 website on October 9, 2012, the gut is an excellent starting point in setting sail in order to navigate the uncharted waters within the specific area currently in.  Also Ibrahim has successfully demonstrated this through the successful start-up and growth of Celtel since 1998, despite lack of support due to history of African countries succumbing to corruption and political instability.  Ibrahim followed his gut in 1998 and depended on his network within the business communities across various African Countries within the Africa Union.  This similar approach can support Sovacool’s article since the communities within the 10 Asian Countries have followed their guts in devising the best off-grid energy deliverables for their areas.  It’s time to move this up to the next level, which is unification and education.

 

References:

Ibrahim, Mo.  Celtel’s Founder on Building a Business on the World’s Poorest Continent.  Harvard Business Review.  October 2012 (accessed October 10, 2012)  http://hbr.org/2012/10/celtels-founder-on-building-a-business-on-the-worlds-poorest-continent/ar/1

 

Moysidis, Nayia. Setting Sail Without A Map.  Women 2.0 Published on: October 9, 2012 (accessed October 9, 2012) http://www.women2.com/setting-sail-without-a-map/

 

Sovacool, Benjamin K.  Deploying Off-Grid Technology to Eradicate Energy Poverty.  Science.  5 October 2012: 47-48 (accessed October 4, 2012) http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6103/47.full.pdf

Mobile Apps to Assist with Health Indicator on Global Scale for Noncommunicable Diseases

I was amazed when I read this article earlier today on October 4, 2012 that discussed leveraging technology to improve women’s lives in the developing world by Angie Chang.  According to Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State, Ann Mei Chang, who spoke at a conference about making mobile apps accessible and affordable for women in developing countries.  According to Ann Mei Chang, sustainability is 80% of the problem, while data is expensive, but that may change with increasing demand and supply.  This led to additional thoughts while reading the Science magazine September 21, 2012 issue last week.

 

In Science magazine, 21 September 2012, the authors discussed the outcome of the United Nations (UN)’s High Level Meeting (HLM) of states that occurred in September 2011, to address the emerging health threat that humans face today, which are NonCommunicable Diseases (NCD).  NCD are types of disease that are not directly transmitted among humans such as heart attack, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and chronic lung diseases.  This is quite the contrary from UN’s HLM meeting in 2001 which addressed the HIV/AIDS communicable disease, which is caused by virus transmittance.

 

The purpose of this HLM is to facilitate the World Health Organization (WHO), “in consultation with member states, develop a global monitoring framework with key indicators and targets to be achieved by 2025.”  So far, one indicator with the target of reducing NCDs by 25% by 2025 has been proposed, to be followed with several other indicators to be announced by end of 2012.

 

The authors focused on the technical aspects of the global monitoring framework and indicators.  This could be facilitated through the use of mobile apps as mentioned in Angie Chang’s article published in Women 2.0 on October 4, 2012.  The mobile apps could monitor the ingestion events within the human beings throughout the day as a diary. Today, we have the continuous monitoring device for measuring glucose levels throughout the day, perhaps the mobile apps could be developed as continuous monitoring.  Many of us type our events throughout the day within various internet outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and other private diary entries.  Perhaps a global health organization could include the development for this process by developing specific mobile apps and indictors for analyzing the chemicals secreted from our sweat glands such as water, minerals, lactate, and urea.  Albeit consisting mainly of water, the mineral composition include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and other trace elements such as zinc, copper, iron, chromium, nickel, lead and other lower concentrations of trace elements and exogenous organic compounds.

 

Currently, hour healthcare have approved and established measuring system for the renal, liver, and heart functions.  The renal functions are currently measured through urine analysis of the creatinine, the liver through blood test measurement of bilirubin, albumin, and other liver enzymes.  The heart can be monitored through daily blood pressure.  The glucose levels are measured either through blood analysis or through FDA-approved continuous monitoring device with attachment inserted underneath the skin.

 

Perhaps with further investigations, the sweat secreted through glands in various parts of the human body can be further analyzed to measure organ functions as various indicators, with the continuous assistance of mobile apps throughout the day.  This way, we should have sufficient data to assist the healthcare providers in determining optimal treatments or follow-up, if any.

 

Additionally, with mRNA continuously translating into proteins within the center of all of our cells throughout our body, the proteins secreted can be measured.  Perhaps a step into the future would be measuring the level of real-time mRNA translation, which would involve considerate amount of research and validations to ensure effectiveness.

 

I always look forward to the future and am quite excited about it!  We all are witnessing exciting moments throughout our daily lives.

 

  1. 1.      Chang, Angie (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0).  Considerations for designing technology for developing countries:  10 Tips For Leveraging Technology To Improve Women’s Lives In The Developing World (Day 2, Grace Hopper Celebration).  (accessed October 4, 2012)  http://www.women2.com/leveraging-mobile-women-developing-world-ghc-day-2/
  2. 2.      S.Y. Angeil, I. Danel, K.M. DeCock. Policy Forum:  Global Indicators and Targets for Noncommunicable Diseases.  Science magazine, 21 September 2012, Vol 337 issue, page 1456-1457.  (accessed September 25, 2012)  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6101/1456.full.pdf