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Trilogy Tidings
September 2009
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in this issue
     An August vacation reminded me of the importance - and pleasures - of viewing one's world from a new perspective.  Similar advantages accrue to stepping back from our daily business activities and interests.  Try it; you'll like it.

     Also, a few observations about Google's online health records initiative.

Regards,
Joe

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The Benefits of Taking a Step Back 
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Bald Head IslandMy family enjoyed an August vacation on Bald Head Island off the coast of our new home state of North Carolina.  In a word: delightful.  This retreat was made all the better by the inclusion of our grown children, their spouses, and our new granddaughter.  For those of you unfamiliar with the place, I suggest you stay away; we don't need the competition for space!  Seriously, it's a compact island with just enough of the daily "necessities" to be welcoming without undue hardship.  And, fossil-fueled vehicles are banned, which raises interesting questions about how much stuff you decide to transport over on the ferry and who gets to use the golf cart for tours and errands.

     So, why should you care about my vacation?  Here's why: you want me to be happy.  No, seriously, the point is to remind you of the benefits of stepping back from the daily grind.  After all, that's what vacations are really all about (despite the scourges of wireless Internet and cell phones).  And you already know that.  But do you realize that "stepping back" can also benefit your business life, and just maybe your business, too?

     Making the conscious choice of occasionally gaining a fresh perspective on your business and your role in it can provide great benefits, for example:
  • If done right, it can allow you to see your company and your job from the outside looking in.  You can see your company and its behaviors from the perspective of your customers, your partners, your suppliers, your advisors, even your regulators.
  • You just might identify business opportunities that you were too busy to notice while engaged in pressing daily tasks.
  • It helps you prioritize, especially in distinguishing the urgent from the important.
  • It will probably improve your disposition, at least for a few days!
     Small-company CEOs are encouraged to do this from time to time in roundtable fashion.  Some do it with regularity, 2-6 times per year with a trained coach.  But I think anyone with decision-making responsibilities can benefit.  Try it; you'll like it!
More Google in Your Life?
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Bald Head IslandYou may have heard about Google's Personal Health Record (PHR) initiative, which supports online storage of a user's (what else) personal health record.  (Is there any sphere of life in which this company is not contemplating involvement?)  The company has recently added the capability of storing images, PDF documents, audio and video files to a cumulative maximum storage capacity of 100 MB and with an individual file size limit of 4 MB.  (These current limits pretty much exclude sophisticated medical imaging files.)
 
     I think the generic electronic health record (EHR) is a fundamentally good idea.  I just don't know if Google is the most appropriate repository or server of these very personal files.  At the end of the day, whether Google provides the service or it's provided by some governmental agency or NGO, I have these questions and concerns:
  1. Security and need-to-know access are the pivotal issues.  Can we devise an airtight security fence around these data?  Who can and cannot gain access, and under what circumstances?  I'm cautiously pessimistic.
  2. How do the persons - principally clinicians - who need access get to know that the data exist and exactly how to access them?
  3. We'll need a universal controlled medical vocabulary and imposed syntax.  Perhaps the model is something like the National Library of Medicine's MeSH vocabulary.  Who will define and impose these standards?
  4. Who will store the massive quantities of data and associated backups?  Who will provide the necessary bandwidth?  Who will pay for the service?
     I sincerely seek sensible, quick answers to these questions because the EHR can be an invaluable clinical and economic resource in our fragile healthcare system.

Resources from our Archives 
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     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
 
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
 
What does Trilogy do? 
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     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Contact Information
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ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
919.533.6285
LinkedIn Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/trilogy
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