Consumer Centric Communications

Live blog of Pacific Telecommunications Council panel on "consumer-centric communications"

Consumer Centric Communications: I was looking forward to this panel, and my expectations were met and exceeded. There’s a lot of great work being done in areas of e-health and remote communications that the title doesn’t accurately speak to. However, e-health is a good representative area illustrating ways and players addressing global human needs, and the technology that supports it.
David  Sawcer: Pfizer model and tele-health used to analyze questions like why mobile has such a potential benefit but not so great adoption? My experience show that all aspects of successful remote collaborative care, remote monitoring and senseing, and remote access to data and resources. Collaborative care: in military, servicemen would get posted to remote locations with limited health care, generally necessary to evacuate them. We set up a satellite link to joint services hospital, we were able to provide interactions to store-forward info, or interact with local care providers. Was possible to provide diagnosis or treatment questions but had limitations.
Access to data and services: using remote PDAs, drug formulary and interactions database, and online diagnosis (e.g., Up To Date and paid service through university) – didn’t exist until a few years ago, now widely adopted.
Remote sensing/monitoring: in Africa, rural health care, congesitive cardiac care (can be fatal) is common. Is simple question to monitor at local level with bathroom scales (weigh patients), then text in for medical advice (take certain amount of medicines). Unfortunately the program failed when someone stole the bathroom scales. Colleague Elizabeth: when there isn’t a good substitute, alternatives come about organically. On interface part of equation: on patient side, great willingness to use mobile phones or devices (if easy). David: Services most useful when regularly updated with reliable information and was given away free. Technology has to fit the way we work. Costs haven’t been well calculated re: efficiencies, investment; no studies in this area. We talk to the carriers a lot as they’re looking for new areas, but it’s not on their horizon. Pediatric study at UC Irvine and UC San Francisco: got to refer patients on web, by form interface, to appropriate providers. 400 referrals over 4 years shows disparity in usefulness.
Ravi Sharma: Modeling digital flows in the eHealth Eco-system: Strategic implications for players. Example of community center, relatively bandwidth intensive. This market is multi-sided, there is a critical role for telecom network operators (what’s in it for them?). Research questions: 1. identify key stakeholders in this space, model the digital info flows among them. 2. Analyze the values created vs values-captured… Is an ecosystem that encompasses all key players, allows interoperability among them by providing a common platform for interfaces and transactions. Business models: e-commerce based, centrism-based (hospital or provider centric), and platform based (Google; proprietary vs open). Shift in focus from provider-centric to patient-centric models. Time is right to look at electronic personal health records (PHRs). Value of this ecosystem is a function of many components. (Diagram of digital info flow). (Here’s the PDF paper.) Game theory/analysis questions: does value captured justify value created for every player? Does a player stand to lose by opting out of this system? Future work: is a player better off in-system? corresponding value in quantitative terms? what characterizes a win-win business model that makes for a fair, efficient, and stable (sustainable) value network?
Audience discussion: Many efforts on grassroots level to standardize and discover information sharing practices. Singapore doctors training includes steps for diagnosis, shared records with patients. Also generational change brings updated attitudes and technology practices.
Eunice Hsiao-Hui Wang: User acceptance of 3.5G mobile broadband services: the early adopters’ scenario. Early adopters focus of studying user behaviors of 3.5G (HSDPA). Study’s objective: availability: affordabilitiy and adoption (continued subscription). More people like to access the Internet by mobile devices. In Taiwan, several mobile networks (GSM, GPRS, 3G, 3.5G), also wireless (WiFi, WiMax). 23M cell phones, 100% penetration rate, 13M Internet broadband subscribers, penetration rate 66% (Jan 2009). Among Internet broadband subscribers, only 7.7% adopting mobile broadband services and growing fast. Small business user market (3.5G subscription bundling with smart phones like Blackberry, PDAs – slow user growth), potential critical mass market (3.5G bundling with free NetPC and affordable flat monthly fee ($27US).
Survey: web-based on 255 Taiwanese 3.5G mobile broadband subscribers, where is critical mass (behavioral pattern)? Technology Acceptance Model: belief – attitudes – behavioral intention, leads to belief: perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived playfulness. (graphic of reserch framework) Sample demographics: 53% female, 23.5% age 21-25 and 25.5% 26-30 years old, 55% university level, mostly lower income brackets. Conclusions: perceptions not significantly related to behavioral intention. Most significant factor is attitude: positive attitude leads to greater possibility of continued use. Suggestions: easy, simple and user-friendly service is essential, enhanced convenience-driven interface design encourages subscription (gets jobs done efficiently).
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