Filed under: Charlotte, community services, empathy, science and technology, Uncategorized | Tags: agastha, Charlotte, electronic medical records, health care, Mohan Korrapati
Last month, I connected with Mohan Korrapati of Charlotte-based Agastha to learn more about his quest to lead the field of electronic medical records. The health care debate brought renewed focus on the category, but Agastha’s been improving their product for over 7 years, implementing their software in Charlotte practices and elsewhere.
5 minutes into a conversation with him, you realize that Korrapati has experienced the pains that patients face. He just wants to simplify the complexities that make existing record systems annoying and inefficient. At practices who use an Agastha solution, you probably don’t have to fill out forms over and over, or maybe you’ll get a message to let you know that an appointment is coming up. And for the staff, the system might alert them if a patient has missed a critical appointment or has been prescribed a dangerous combination of medicines.
Where other major companies like Microsoft or Cisco have just been talking about electronic health records for years, Agastha credits their fast progress to its agility and a feedback loop from providers. They seem to have built a culture of frequent prototyping and learning often found in truly innovative teams.
Filed under: arts and creativity, innovation, science and technology | Tags: center for design innovation, idea exchange, piedmont triad
I recently learned about the Center for Design Innovation, a collection of inter-institutional research based in the Winston-Salem area that is dedicated to economic development for the design industry.
Apparently they host a Tuesday night series called the “Idea Exchange,” where different presenters share their thoughts on “design processes, digital media, business strategies, and other interests related to the growth of creative enterprises in North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad.”
CDI’s website is kind of light, but the schedule for the upcoming Idea Exchanges can be found in a PDF here. The first one is on 9/22, and is about digital imaging used to study the biomechanics and swarming behaviors of bats!
Filed under: arts and creativity, Charlotte, innovation, science and technology | Tags: Charlotte, enventys, essay contest, inventors digest, louis foreman, national inventors month
In addition to partnering with individuals and companies to bring new product ideas to life, publishing Inventor’s Digest is one of many innovation activities that Charlotte entrepreneur Louis Foreman and his team tackle over at Enventys.
If you can get your hands on the printed edition of the magazine, do it. The editors have done a bang-up job of reinventing the look and feel of the layout and the articles. (They’re still working on getting the web presence is waiting to match.)
In honor of National Inventors Month, the magazine is sponsoring a contest inviting young readers to submit 500-word essays on what technology, tool, product or service will be an important part of our lives in 50 years. The new deadline is September 30th.
I feel like the world has changed quite a bit in the lifespan of the kids that are eligible (ages 12-17,) so it will be fun to see how they envision the future.
Filed under: arts and creativity, empathy, science and technology | Tags: dan roam, health care, napkin sketch, planet money
If there’s anything everyone can agree on, it’s that the issues surrounding health care reform are complex. I personally find this topic fascinating with all its history, the players, and the fact that Obama is in a long line of presidents who have tried to tackle this monstrosity, at the end of the day, all most people want to know is “what’s in it for me?”
I came across two wonderful resources today that attempt to put the health care debate in perspective in a simpler, consumer-centric way.
- On its own, Dan Roam’s book, The Back of the Napkin, is a great read for anyone who wants to learn to communicate ideas using compelling, yet ridiculously simple, sketches. He takes on the complexity of health care in a “series” of 4 napkins. Sure, it doesn’t capture everything, but he introduces it a viewpoint from which most can easily relate to.
- I’m clearly a huge fan of NPR’s Planet Money podcast (it helped me survive the banking collapse last fall,) and they’re amazing at finding everyday analogies to present difficult economics material to non-economists. With health care in so much focus, they’ve dedicated recent episodes to explain the different players in a digestible format.
Filed under: Charlotte, community services, science and technology | Tags: recycled rubber, sidewalks, station 8, trees
When I called this blog “It Happens Here,” I didn’t realize that “here” would be quite so literal. But near my home on Commonwealth, in front of my innovative neighbors at Station 8, there were news cameras and reporters staring at the ground yesterday. They were covering at a test pilot installation of a recycled rubber sidewalk. Even to critics who might claim that it’s unappealing or too expensive for right now, it’s hard to argue that it solves a very basic need: its cracking concrete counterpart soon requires quick replacement thanks to the beautiful older trees on the block. However, the rubber version flexes as the trees grow, allowing the roots to share in the same space. Check back in 50 years and I’ll tell you if it’s still there!
Filed under: Charlotte, financial services, innovation trends, science and technology | Tags: analogies, analogy in innovation, bioscience, NC Research Institute, NCTA, Wall St.
On Wednesday, I attended the NCTA Emerging Trends and Technologies Breakfast Series over at the NC Research Institute (where I also found out that NCTA is pronounced “en-see-ta” by those in the know.) Prime speakers, good info, and primo networking opportunities abound.
This particular event was about Biotechnology, but one thing stuck in my mind – Mike Luther, president of the Research Institute, mentioned how the bioscience community looks to Wall Street to find ideas (and not just for funding.) They wanted to know how to efficiently sort through massive amounts of data (think genome sequencing) to find meaningful patterns.
I am a huge advocate of using analogies in ideation, because there’s many an idea to be borrowed from one industry to solve a problem in another. To practice this, use a simple exercise: “How is a _____ like a ______?” to start thinking about how two seemingly different things might actually be similar. Finding analogies on a daily basis is surely an innovation muscle that’s worth strengthening.
Filed under: Charlotte, community services, innovation, science and technology | Tags: Charlotte, community services, electricty, energy, epri, power delivery, service techs, utilities
Energy is one of the “it” girls in innovation nowadays, given the full court coverage from the media and the Obama administration. Amidst all the maelstrom sits the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI,) which is where marketing communications leader Don Kintner spends his days helping this independent, non-profit get its message out to customers from the Charlotte facility in the University area.
EPRI’s primary “customers” for its energy research are utilities and more recently, auto companies, but they don’t stop there. They even provide answers for the utility technician, arming them with handy pocket field reference guides, such as “Visual Inspection of Polymer Insulators” and tools to help them evaluate the quality of transmission lines.
Kintner and the teams at EPRI host workshops with utilities to figure out which research projects ultimately inform the future of energy development, ensuring that the work they do is relevant and useful. They also want to keep tabs on how the end consumer will react to changes in technology. With all the attention and funding heading towards this sector, investment upfront to understand these issues sounds like money well spent.