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Archive for October, 2009

On Tuesday, Oct. 27th, a convoy of dozens of hybrid trucks will be rolling through Atlanta on their way to the  Hybrid Truck 2009 National Conference at the Georgia World Congress Center.  As part of the conference, IBM will also be publishing its new study, Truck2020, which examines the critical role that next generation trucking will play in making cities, supply chains, retail businesses and many aspects of our planet smarter, greener and more innovative.bucket

Speaking of next generations,  many kids (and plenty of grownup kids) love trucks. To feed that passion and promote interest in this emerging high-tech industry, IBM’s Institute for Business Value, which produced the Truck2020 report, is organizing a multimedia collaboration via Twitter for spectators and convoy participants. We’re calling it a “TwitStop.” See details below on how people in the Atlanta area can be part of this social media mashup.

Beyond the environmental aspect of hybrid trucks, what’s economically significant about these new models — which blend electric and conventional motors both for moving these work vehicles, as well as powering some of their special equipment –  is that the U.S. is leading in this market sector.

truckconvoy1As the convoy cruises through Atlanta from 11:00 – 12:00 — people  are invited to use their phones and mobile devices to share pictures, brief video clips and tweets to the Twitter search term (aka hashtag) #truck2020.

(click on map for convoy route details and a Google Earth view )

Folks can follow the flow of content via that Twitter hashtag. Get some background on hybrid trucks and the Truck2020 Study IBM New Intelligence Video Studio, our new webcasting platform, below.
In the  player below, watch some of the best TwitStop pix and clips live from the Hybrid Truck convoy, as well as the Ride & Drive event on Oct. 29th (see details at bottom of post).

How to Share Pictures/ Video for the Truck2020 TwitStop

1. Send pictures of the convoy and your favorite trucks  to Twitter-friendly image sharing service such as TwitPic, TweetPhoto, Pikchur or whatever service or site you prefer.  See this Mashable article – 5 ways to share images on Twitter — for more options and tips. Be sure to add #truck2020 to your tweet.

2. Send short video clips to services such as, TwitVidQik, Posterous or others. Tell the world about your favorite hybrid trucks, talk to the drivers, interview other Convoy watchers and participants.

Some services enable you to share either photos or video clips, so check out 26 ways to share images and pictures on Twitter for even more options on ways to share your multimedia to the Truck2020 Twitter Convoy via mobile device, email, MMS.

In addition to the Convoy,  on Oct. 29th there will be a Ride & Drive event,  from 9a.m to 2p.m. at Turner Field in Atlanta, where drivers can actually get in and try out some of these high-tech trucks. People are welcome to continue the TwitStop by sharing pix, vid and tweets from there.

Please let social media enthusiasts in the Atlanta area know about the TwitStop. And remember, by adding #truck2020 to your tweet, you will enable us to collect and organize everyone’s contributions for all to enjoy. We’d also welcome any innovative ideas on how to assemble all this creativity into a useful online package.

Atlanta Hybrid Truck Convoy & TwitStop Details

When: Oct 27,  from to 11:45

Where: Starting at 241 Ralph McGill Blvd, ending at the Georgia World Congress Center, see Convoy Route

What: Share pictures, video clips and comments via Twitter hashtag: #truck2020.

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October 22nd, 2009

The proliferation of data-generating sensors and mobile computing devices, and the emergence of new forms of communication such as social networking, are driving unprecedented growth in the collection, storage and management of all types of data. Not surprisingly, this phenomenon has sparked growing demand for the ability to extract intelligence from these massive mountains of information—intelligence that can enable organizations to improve their decision-making and run their businesses more effectively and efficiently.

With this capacity to rapidly sift thru data and gain new insights comes a significant challenge and responsibility when it comes to personal information, or information that relates to identifiable individuals: how to enable the exchange and analysis of data, while protecting privacy. Thoughtfully-designed technologies can play a key role here.

For example, an IBM Researcher has solved a thorny mathematical problem that has confounded scientists since the invention of public-key encryption several decades ago. The breakthrough, called “privacy homomorphism,” or “fully homomorphic encryption,” makes possible the deep and unlimited analysis of encrypted information — data that has been intentionally scrambled — without sacrificing confidentiality.

IBM’s solution, formulated by IBM Researcher Craig Gentry, uses a mathematical object called an “ideal lattice,” and allows people to fully interact with encrypted data in ways previously thought impossible. With the breakthrough, computer vendors storing the confidential, electronic data of others will be able to fully analyze data on their clients’ behalf without expensive interaction with the client, and without seeing any of the private data. With Gentry’s technique, the analysis of encrypted information can yield the same detailed results as if the original data was fully visible to all.

Using the solution could help strengthen the business model of “cloud computing,” where a computer vendor is entrusted to host the confidential data of others in a ubiquitous Internet presence. It might better enable a cloud computing vendor to perform computations on clients’ data at their request, such as analyzing sales patterns, without exposing the original data.

Other potential applications include enabling filters to identify spam, even in encrypted email, or protecting information contained in electronic medical records. The breakthrough might also one day enable computer users to retrieve information from a search engine with more confidentiality.

In this video, we have provided a glimpse into the world of cyber security and one of IBM’s cryptography research groups. The Hawthorne N.Y. group works on a number of crypto projects that help to keep the internet both safe and secure.


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 By Susan Noack

Technology today helps hospitals, doctors and nurses alike improve how they care for patients and makes it easier to focus on the quality of care patients receive. New device monitoring, sensors, electronic medical records ….they all help caregivers in their daily routines by providing better information.

However, let’s be clear: technology alone does not improve quality. It is the people involved in the care processes that have the most significant impact. In order to improve quality, we need the type of consistent and objective data that can become the key driver behind helping entire health care teams collaborate, improve processes and make faster decisions.  Without data, you have no way to measure, monitor, and improve.

We’re working with many hospitals truly focused on improving how they treat patients, helping people get well quicker while reducing costs. But in order to do that, hospitals must first be able to give their people better information – delivering new insights into their data.

For example, a hospital trying to reduce the number of central line infections may try to get an accurate view of the problem by looking at all their data: Which patients are getting infections? When are infection rates higher? Which units and shifts are involved? Are there any adjunct procedures linked to the problem? By putting a process in place to capture data and agree that it is accurate, and looking at the data sideways, crossways and upside down through analytics, doctors and nurses can begin to agree upon what actions to take to solve the problem. That’s what health analytics is all about.

As health care becomes even more complex, the best hospitals are determining how they can tap all their information and look deep into it to better understand how to make care more effective, how to keep patients healthy and spot critical trends before they become problems.

Susan Noack is Global Industry Director Healthcare for IBM Cognos

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Among the many highlights of the Smarter Cities summit we hosted in New York City October 1 and 2, Dr. Denis Cortese’s presentation ranks among the top. As the CEO of the highly esteemed Mayo Clinic, Dr. Cortese has a unique perspective on the state of health care in the United States. Given the prominence of the issue in public debate, I wish there were some way to mandate that every citizen watch his very lucid, very pragmatic 18-minute conversation on how to design a better health care system. You can see the whole thing here by clicking the image below (it will launch a player based on your browser’s preference).

Dr. Denis Cortese, President and CEO, Mayo Clinic Great Expectations for U.S. Health care

Length: 18:08

On Friday, Irving Wladawsky-Berger published his own lengthy post in response to Dr. Cortese’s presentation:

Dr. Cortese then discussed some of the most important new concepts that should be part of any future healthcare system.  The first is personalized medicine.  How can you translate new discoveries into incremental value for each individual patient?  This involves not just major research advances such as genomics medicine, but also the ability to reach everyone in cases like the H1N1 virus, where untreated people can compromise the health of the whole community.

The second major concept involves the science and engineering of healthcare delivery.  Our country invests a lot in medical research, a great portion of which is funded by the National Institute of Health.  However, there are no major academic programs focusing on healthcare delivery, the very core of any healthcare system. 

We have been trying to build such programs at MIT, and so have other institutions like Georgia Tech and Arizona State University.  There is great interest on the part of faculty and students but little funding so far to help organize the efforts.  The funding available from the Department of Health and Human Services for such programs is miniscule compared to the funds available for medical research.

We also have to figure out how to measure the value created by the healthcare system we are designing.  Value for each patient must be defined in terms of better outcomes, better quality and better service divided by the cost of providing care for that patient.  It must be concrete and measurable, otherwise you don’t know how well your system is performing and whether you are getting adequate returns for the money you are spending.

If you can spare the 18 minutes, please take some time to watch the video, then read Irving’s post, explaining more of the framework Dr. Cortese outlined in his presentation.

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Jack Mason in

As part of the launch of the New York-based IBM Business Analytics Center last week, we announced a new social media project — the Smarter Cities Scan.  Our goal is to build a Smarter Cities Open Model or public blueprint for a smarter city. Think of it is a kind of kernel of a Smarter City’s operating system, or a first draft of its constitution.

The way we hope to develop this asset is new and different: through multimedia posts from people around the world.

This experiment is now open for creative and strategic thinkers everywhere  — young urban digital natives, IBMers, researchers, educators, experts, entrepreneurs, city officials,  grassroot groups  — to share their ideas and insights on the smarter city they want to live in and help build.

smarterscities scan

We’ve partnered with New York-based Tumblr on this crowd-sourced research and open knowledge exchange. We first started working with Tumblr for the microblogging site that complements and extends this blog. Smarter Planet | Tumblr  now also feeds all the topics on the Smarter Planet site on

The Main Ingredient: You. And You. You Too.

For this exercise in collaborative innovation and hive intelligence to succeed,  we need significant numbers of people to contribute their diverse thinking over the next few months. That will generate the very large, complex data set that can then be  analyzed and processed into a useful model.

Since participants  can post a variety of content — video, images, links, text, quotes and any combination of these — the information will be inherently complex. But its up to every participant to share their views and up to all of us to  leverage the social web to encourage the volume of participation and data necessary.

Here’s what the screen to submit a post looks like:


How the Scan works

From the homepage – – simply click on Post Your Ideas to start contributing images, video, links, quotes, text or any combination of all of these.  You can even  submit a post by email, or via a mobile phone, by sending your thoughts and ideas to

You don’t need to have a Tumblr account to submit a post, but please include your city and country and any descriptive tags at the bottom of your post so that your ideas can be tagged for others to find. You can also easily create a free Tumblr account if you like this easy-to-use, multimedia microblogging tool.

You ‘re always free to scan all posts, search on topics and tags, soak up some of Smarter Cities background and inspiration material in the about section, or find answers in our Help & FAQ section.  You can also send any suggestions, questions or problems to

Why are we calling this a Scan?

IBM has a successful track record with our online Jams, intensive global brainstorming events, but we opted to  call this new style of social media collaboration a Scan to distinguish it in a few ways .  First, “Scan” reflects the visual and informative nature of the collaboration: participants and viewers can scan the horizon of smartercities thinking to learn about this vital frontier.  What’s more, “scan” underscore the analytical aspect of it — the data mining and pattern recognition that will be applied to all the content to help create an open model.

IBM’s Jams have tended to be of shorter duration, and more centered on threaded, text-based discussion. The Scan will run longer — the next several  months — and enables people to contribute a wider range of content types.


Finally, in addition to sharing your two cents worth by posting, each of us can provide invaluable support by sharing the link to this project with your city networks, communities and channels. Tweet, blog, bookmark, repost and broadcast as far and wide as you are able.

Yes we Scan.

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October 8th, 2009


Click the image to launch streaming video of Sam Palmisano’s speech

by Lonne A. Jaffe
At the 2009 Medical Innovation Summit in Cleveland on Tuesday, IBM’s CEO Sam Palmisano spoke about smarter healthcare — enabled by new intelligence streaming in from countless instrumented and interconnected chips, sensors and devices, giving us real-time insight into clinical and administrative healthcare.

To harness the power of all of this information, healthcare analytics plays a critical role. Healthcare analytics is about converting massive amounts of healthcare data into usable intelligence to improve treatment, health and wellness programs, research, and administrative processes. 

The first step is to gather information from multiple sources into one place. This gives health care providers, researchers and administrators a 360-degree view of medical history, clinical treatment patterns, costs, and outcomes.

The second step is to apply sophisticated technology to the data, such as clinical decision support, chronic disease management, benchmarking/quality reporting, predictive analytics, etc.

One example of healthcare provider doing deep analytics is at the University of North Carolina Health Care (UNCHC).  The Carolina Data Warehouse for Health enables UNCHC medical researchers to analyze de-identified patient data, uncovering trends in a matter of seconds. This helps researchers with clinical trial recruitment and trend analysis, helps clinicians improve treatment, and helps administrators improve efficiency and cost — and has already proven its value in diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cancer treatment and research.

In China, a first-of-a-kind system built initially by IBM’s China Research Lab, enables sharing of electronic medical records across traditional Chinese medicine and modern western medicine environments, allowing healthcare practitioners to more deeply understand which treatment plans and techniques from each environment work best for specific diseases and medical conditions. This system is now being enhanced by IBM’s software lab in China to allow for broader commercial use.

This year IBM opened the Global Healthcare Centre of Excellence at the IBM Business Solutions Centre in La Gaude, France, giving IBM’s customers and business partners hands-on access to our healthcare solutions built on the IBM Health Integration Framework platform. 

As the healthcare industry undergoes dramatic transformations across the world, healthcare analytics will play an increasingly important role in providing physicians, researchers, administrators, and patients access to a new level of intelligence.

That’s smarter healthcare.

Lonne Jaffe is Director, Public Sector Solutions, IBM Software

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October 6th, 2009

Growing up in the Boston area, it’s easy to forget that some of the world’s finest hospitals and medical centers reside in our backyard.  From pharmaceuticals and medical devices to diagnostics and biotechnology, Massachusetts is a global leader in the life sciences, thanks to the region’s world-class academic institutions and medical centers, our talented workforce, and our industry-sector leading companies.

With two of the top hospitals in the nation within miles of my home and work, expert healthcare is easy to find.  Brigham & Women’s Hospital, number 10 on the annual America’s Best Hospitals rankings, is recognized around the world for its outstanding reputation in biomedical research.

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, medical experts are using a “Radiology Theatre” to “make rounds” on a patient — no matter where the doctors are located.  Using the Radiology Theater, teams of medical experts can simultaneously discuss and review patients’ MRI, CT scans and other medical test data using a Web browser.

The theatre allows teams of medical experts to discuss, tag and share information simultaneously, rather than paging through stacks of papers, calling physicians to discuss scan results and then charting the results. This collaborative consultation brings together the personal data, the experts and the clinical data in one physical, visual theatre.

Developed by IBM, the Radiology Theater has the potential to change the way radiologists communicate with patients and other health-care professionals.

In this video, Dr. Francine Jacobson, thoracic radiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses how an implementation of Brigham & Women’s “Radiology Theatre” will lead to smarter patients and doctors, who will make more informed decisions, and smarter communities, which will drive improvements in healthcare.

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October 5th, 2009

Below are links to full videos from every session of the New York City Smarter Cities event, in order of the agenda. (These are streaming videos, so click the image and it will launch the default player of your browser).


Sam Palmisano, IBM CEO
Building a Smarter Planet, City by City

Length: 23:28

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City
Special Address

Length: 24:25

A conversation with Sam Palmisano and Michael Bloomberg, moderated by Dr. Laura Tyson, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Length: 18:14

Ivan Seidenberg, CEO, Verizon Communications
Smarter Cities, Smarter People: Enabling citizens through innovative network technology

Length: 11:17

Melody Barnes, Director, White House Domestic Policy
Partnering for Smarter Cities: The Federal Role in Supporting Local Innovation

Length: 11:30

A conversation with Melody Barnes, Sam Palmisano, Ivan Seidenberg, moderated by Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City.

Length: 30:26

Dr. Denis Cortese, President and CEO, Mayo Clinic
Great Expectations for U.S. Healthcare

Length: 18:08

A conversation with Dr. Denis Cortese and Garrick Utley, president, The Levin Institute, The State University of New York

Length: 22:37


Ginni Rometty, senior vice president, IBM
Building a Smarter City

Length: 21:14

Joseph Hogan, CEO, ABB
A Smarter City Needs Smart Power

Length: 14:17

A conversation with Ginni Rometty and Joseph Hogan

Length: 19:18

Culture in the Smarter City. Charlie Rose, Editor and Anchor, Charlie Rose, with Roger Goodell, Commissioner, NFL; Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts; Dr. Reynold Levy, president, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Glenn Lowry, director, The Museum of Modern Art.

Length: 53:03

Seizing the Opportunity. A panel of mayors, moderated by David Gergen, Harvard University and senior political analyst, CNN, with Mayor Shirley Franklin, Atlanta; Mayor Phil Gordon, Phoenix; Mayor Patrick McCrory, Charlotte; and Mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose.

Length: 47:18

Dr. Fareed Zakaria, editor, Newsweek International
The Leadership Challenge

Length: 10:44

A conversation with Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Sam Palmisano, moderated by Dr. Fareed Zakaria

Length: 35:39

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October 3rd, 2009

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