Focus on the Internet of Things

How IoT may be the worst of all options.

The idea that we can boil our kettle at home while flooring it down the motorway prior to arrival – has long been the stuff of geek dreams. It’s beauty is in its simple and home craft image, how nice and unthreatening is this. If IoT is all about kettles and making cups of tea, well, what’s wrong with that.
And it goes on, at a much deeper level, into how whole “cities” are now becoming Smart Cities. This is an energy conserved Utopia, at a corporate level, if you will, as opposed to a personal level. Whole new divisions are being created at some of the world’s leading IT Consulting houses, as to how they can deliver, using our love and total dependence on mobile and internet connectivity, a world where we are In Control – from anywhere.
In the UK and other parts of Europe, we can moderate our central heating using our mobile phone, and thus goes the argument, we can modify, ie, reduce, our heating bills, to cope with sudden sunny days and so forth.
My friend has a new car where, in the frozen climes she inhabits, – she can switch on the heated seats in her car some twenty minutes before she gets in. And whilst i am jealous and actually impressed, the question is however – do we actually want all this? Or just how useful and time and money saving, will all these facilities give us, or much as extra competences will be gained?
I ask this because for a start, I rarely change my central heating settings from one year to the next, let alone day by day. And judging from the number of times I receive rogue emails in one day, do I really want some central wifi being involved in my domestic life, however useful this might appear for the greater good? Because, if current life is anything to go by, if the Internet is involved, then our lives can be hacked.
We are not alone in voicing these shortcomings. Oren Dvoskin at Sasa Software says it like this:
“The IoT is definitely creating a buzz as a perceived weakness when relating to cyber security.  Attackers constantly look for the easiest way into organizations, and unprotected devices are a potential point of entry. The most common scenario is scanning the internet for devices with default (or no) security credentials.

This was the case with the massive DDoS attack on Dyn’s servers in October – millions of devices were hijacked, then controlled remotely.

Another concern is attacking equipment with outdated security measures, or legacy operating systems.  Sophisticated equipment, such as medical devices, often cannot be properly secured, due to manufacturer warranties.  It could potentially be a nightmare, with hackers demanding ransom when they’ve sabotaged a hospital’s ventilation system (or a patient’s pacemaker).

What can be done?

As always, it’s the basics.   Ensure that devices have updated security credentials, and when possible, that they receive ongoing updates.  Sensitive equipment, and equipment in sensitive organizations should never have unrestricted access to the internet. ”

And this includes you and I at home. The kettle controlled wifi to make our cup of tea, will also let intruders in by the front door. And that, is what I would call a nightmare.

New Ways to Share Sensitive Data

We look at the launch of the 360ofme Platform and the appointment of its new Key Execs

If you would take your clothes off,  – for less people  than the number of fingers you have on one hand – then your Doctor would certainly be one of them. It goes without saying that – you would not expect him to share that info, with the rest of world.

And you could say the same about Financial Data too. Sensitive info, is, well, sensitive info.  And that’s the problem. Because, in the modern world,  our personal data is digital, and insights into our digital data routinely need to be shared and accessible to  chosen people, for our own wellbeing. The question is – how do we do it?

The answer could be the new 360ofme platform.  360ofme is a new platform that provides consumers with portability, ubiquity and insights from their digital life. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home, 360ofme provides a simple means of securely sharing critical data with family members, doctors and others that consumers choose. Utilizing cognitive computing from IBM, new insights about people’s lives will be surfaced and consumers will gain control of their digital footprint.

The key point is that they attribute their future success to the appointment of seasoned industry experts, rather than the typical  “start-up”  routine of  inexperienced founders, which rarely work.   And they go on…

“360ofme, the world’s first personal data exchange platform, today announced that four new executives-in-residence will help to guide the further development of its groundbreaking solutions. Scott Dueweke, President of Zebryx Consulting; Becky Wanta, CEO & President of RSW1C; blockchain expert Evelyn DeSouza; and Steve Schlabs, VP of Sales Strategy at BMC Software, will serve as 360ofme’s Board of Technical Advisors. The new executives will serve alongside some of the brightest minds in consumer focused software development. Other members of the 360ofme Board of Advisors include Derek Collison, CEO, Apcera; Jan Plutzer, COO, Apcera; and Carole Bellis, Partner, Kilpatrick, Townsend, LLP.

360ofme offers an online solution that enables consumers to regain control of their digital assets, allowing them to manage, share and act on their digital data. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home.

The current Board of Advisors guided 360ofme to its recent beta launch in just 10 months and will be instrumental in onboarding its first cohort of consumers. 360ofme recruits advisors in areas of critical strategic importance and relies on their guidance to ensure that significant company disciplines and processes develop and operate according to industry best practices.

“We feel so fortunate to have the advisement and counsel of these recognized senior executives. As we complete the beta release of our platform, these executives are ensuring that we can scale, delight our customers, and maintain the trust that is expected and required,” said Cindy L. Warner, CEO and Founder of 360ofme. “Becky, Evelyn and Steve will be invaluable in our journey to becoming the market leader in consumer data privacy, and Scott will be instrumental in our next phase of security architecture, as we create the most secure personal data exchange in the world.”

How To Survive Brexit

Richard Bloss explains the tragedy of Brexit.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the persistent vilification of its allies by another country, will itself destroy its reputation among its friends.
The tragedy of Brexit, is not on a business level. There will be no obvious difference in business, good or bad, and no obvious difference of investment. BMW will still want to sell us their motor cars.
The sadness will be in a human and personal level. The thousands of Poles, Lithuanians, Africans, Syrians, even Russians – who have come to the Uk – have not done so in search of a better life sitting on their sofa and getting our free healthcare. They already have better healthcare at home.
They came because the Uk is the beacon of tolerance, support in adversity, democracy that looks after the little guy, honesty in a world of corruption. They came because they want to contribute to our economy, to support the vision that drove them here in the first place.
We have created in its place, a feeling of disappointment at the heart of our soul, how could they have been so wrong? It is a feeling of confusion mirrored in my discussions every single day in my meetings throughout Scandinavia and Europe;
‘Richard, why did you do it? Couldn’t we have worked it out”
There is an argument that says, without the negative Brexit vote, the rest of Europe would not have taken this seriously. And I get that. But that does not mean we have to accept this folly in perpetuity.
Lets not forget that nearly half of the country – did NOT want to believe the myriad of bigotry and frankly lies that were espoused by the Leavers. And until somebody somewhere puts up a coherent and practical plan that can deliver a better version of what we have already – please tell me where is the benefit in screwing our friends?
So what is there to do?
First – lets publicly confirm that we value the greater European residents. It will send a marker in the send that our values are still intact – but equally important, it will show up those minority of European countries that want to “give us a hard time”.
Lets open discussions, before any binding decisions – but in a spirit of amicality. People do not like being threatened, and so it goes for nations and governments.
Lets apologise for our mistakes, – nobody can counter someone who “apologises” – but encourage others to do likewise.
Lets engage on a country by country basis. Our view in the UK is that every country has its own identities, to be accepted – not shoehorned into some one size fits all. Eww are right to stand up for our views too.
We need to do this quickly. Reputations take 20 years to create – but can be lost in 20 seconds. Business leaders I know, who are shocked by the lack of welcome at Heathrow- are already having second thoughts, and over time this will destroy the one thing that people come here in the first place.

As the Beatles once said; we can work it out.

Time to take healthcare security seriously.

We look at the rapid rise of Sasa  Software, and ask; has their time come?

The image of Oren Dvoskin, Commercial Manager at Sasa Software, sitting in his nondescript office, black t-shirt and headphones, looks Californian, as he spells out the pessimism of his profession.

“There are two types of hospital” – he says; “those that have been hacked and know it; and those that have been hacked, but don’t know it.”

Oren’s office is nowhere near Orange County. It is on the border of Israel and Lebanon. If anyone knows about pessimism, it is he. As Sasa Software prepare to face its growing and exponential market at HIMSS 2017 – it surely does not get any more black than this.

Cyber hacking and ransomware, is growing to the point where it cannot be ignored and assumed it is for someone else. But its growth is not the most alarming feature. It is that, for hospitals, any cyber attack would have to be pre-meditated and unique and specifically tailored to find the weak spot, the easiest point of entry, into that particular hospital.

What is worse is – because health records (which are the prime target) are deeply personal and full of personal ID info – any attack is inevitably immediately visible. Unlike say a Bank etc, a Hospital cannot pretend it has not happened and just pay the money.

This is no simple phishing attack.

What that means is, and why Sasa Software believe that this 2017 will be our most “challenging”, i.e. most concerted and worrying – is that Hospitals are still not waking up to this important threat, despite the evidence that 75% have suffered some sort of breach – and that is just those that are publicly noted.

The answer, according to Oren – is to have a mix of baseline protection, the sort that all of us have on our PCs and office servers and Cloud access. This stops the initial and simplest access. But to combat the precise and targeted attack mentioned above, Sasa take the view that every incoming email, data request, every file transfer – is a threat of some sort. Their range of solutions is designed to neutralise any incoming malware or suspicious entry, at source.

But it is also a realisation that files we take for granted – the DICOM image, the voice recording – that we regularly append to our EHR records, are the new source of threat. Viewing images online across the globe, that holy grail of Clinical Consultant interoperability – may be the one area that is the chiles heel for the modern Hospital.

If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it is not in the fingers crossed hope that that things can get better,. It is the realisation that you can do something about it. Oren is a philosopher with a positive view of human nature, despite the nature of his profession and the market he develops.

The cost of your sorting out a cyber attack ranges from $230.00 – $400.00 per patient record. Sasa Software will be addressing both the Pharma and Clinical markets at HIMSS. Worth having a serious chat.

Virtual Rehabilitation (VR); is this the answer for better Elderly healthcare?

We look at a recent announcement from Nadia Haidar at Reflexion Health:

According to Pew Research Center, 76% of baby boomers and 92% of Generation X population are internet savvy, illustrating seniors’ willingness to adopt and learn new technology at a growing rate. This percentage also reflects the potential for technology to assist the elderly. It’s now more important than ever that the healthcare industry prepares for a tech savvy baby boomer generation and does so in an affordable and simple way.

Reflexion Health is taking patients to another dimension of virtual rehabilitation; one that fuses immersive technology with assisting senior citizens. Through an easy, convenient and non-constricting platform, Reflexion is healing the elderly after joint, knee or hip surgery and cutting the recovery time in half from the comfort of their home.

We believe there is an opportunity to discuss the growing need for the different types of technology to facilitate baby boomer healthcare, focusing on technological advancements, simplicity and cost-effectiveness particularly as we witness a new healthcare reform. Topics to be discussed could include:

The latest trends in adaptable technology for the elderly; Preparing for the baby boomer future in healthcare; How at-home virtual rehabilitation technologies can significantly cut recovery time and cost; Why physicians are increasingly choosing technology to assist with patient recover;How the MedTech industry is ramping up to combat a possible onslaught of healthcare reform policies.
Reflexion Health is a digital healthcare company dedicated to transforming traditional medicine. Through its partnerships with Yale New Haven Hospital and many others, Reflexion offers in-home virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant to patients for faster recovery and increased convenience.

Wearable Gadgets at Cebit 2017!

Xenia Wedel, the PR guru at Tapdo – writes to ask:  Can we get together for a quick demo at CeBITHere’s what she says:

Tapdo (www.tapdo.io) is a smart button that lets you control technology with single-touch, personalized biometric interactions.
If you missed the coolest gadget at the MWC or WTS, no worries, Tapdo is coming to CeBIT. Tapdo is  the ultimate wearable gadget that enables rapid, no-look control of music, smart home, and more. Ideal for driving, too. To see how easy this is, please check out the demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4ZTDRGxoJM

Using a unique fingerprint sensor, Tapdo allows you to assign specific functions to different parts of your fingers, you can control music, dim smart lights, and more. Powered by Bluetooth LE and equipped with vibration feedback for a seamless, intuitive user experience, this ingenious button can be clipped on virtually anywhere for easy access, or worn on a slim wristband.

Today, fingerprint readers are commonly used for authentication purposes, and ignore other parts of the hand besides fingertips. No device has yet captured the full potential of fingerprint sensors for biometric interaction using the entire hand. While the smartphone has acted as the main controller for smart products, it’s not the ideal interface for every action; people want an easier, sleeker shortcut for controlling their many apps and devices.

Enter Tapdo, which not only includes authentication capabilities, but enables rapid, discreet interaction with no-look control. It’s perfect for smartphone power users and anyone looking for smart home convenience — plus it complies with the one-touch rule for phone usage while driving.
On Match 16, the device is launching its Kickstarter campaign to allow users to control their favorite apps and devices with just the tap of a button. Tapdo will be available on Kickstarter starting at $99. Backers can expect to receive their devices, including battery and rubber wristband, in September 2017.

How to Manage Diabetes.

We look at the plethora of Diabetes “solutions” and focus on our best of breed.

The apparent growth in the market, so to say, of people suffering from Diabetes – has not been unnoticed by software and clinical solutions vendors – and yet it seems such a surprise, nonetheless. It is redolent of overnight pop-star successes, who have been quietly carving their career for the past decade, but without public recognition. Until now.

The question tho – is that, from among the vendors of solutions that are now visible – which ones will fly and which are merely good eggs?

The answer is not about clinical excellence. You can safely say that all diabetes solutions have their merits. The answer is about understanding their market, and having the gotomarket strategy and planning, to execute that strategy.

This is the forte of the RIMIDI company, whose CEO, Lucie Idea, talked to me a few evenings ago.

The RIMIDI solutions sits in the hospital itself, but can be accessed online.

Let’s start with the key points – there are two. RIMIDI is a clinical solution borne out of accidental observation. Lucie is a Doctor in her own right, but with a background in VC Finance. Having spotted the opportunity, it was a logical next step to create an App that focuses on the essential problem – how to get patients to monitor their own situation in an easy to do, way; and how to access and then use that info, in ways that can make a clinical difference – and therefore, a commercial difference for the hospital concerned. RIMIDI crosses the bridge from being a “clinical” data transfer solution – to one that empowers the Community. There is a strong and unique focus on “wellness”, joining up of the dots, for the clinician to see the Big Community Picture.

But more than that – RIMIDI focusses commercially on strategic alliances with the big EHR vendors (they have a white label agreement with Cerner) – as their means of getting bandwidth. This is astute – but also worrying. Whilst it avoids the need for the sales process – it also loses control. in many ways this recognition explains the presence at HIMSS. The Cerner collaboration gives implicit credibility in front of the myriad of individual hospitals that will pass by.

Ultimately RIMIDI success will come down to Lucie’s view as a pragmatist; her final words put it well” “RIMIDI is about saving time. Any solution can get information together. At RIMIDI, we make it possible to save time doing what every clinician needs to do, and what every Community needs to deliver.”.

The question will be, with Lucie’s VC background – will there be a buy-out in the next year or two? Or will RMIDI as a brand become a market leader, and saw a range of similar Apps? We hope it will be the latter.