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Archive for September, 2007


Friday, September 7th, 2007

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. Leon J. Suenes

When I opened my “Tech Trends” pages, more than 6 months ago, I separated it into two chapters: “From the US” and “From Europe”. Since “From Europe” remained empty so far, I just decided to close it.

Of course, it is rather anecdotal, and maybe it comes from a bias in my information network. It is true, also that my interest is limited to information systems (IS), health care and IS for health. Anyway, it has been a way for me to materialize the gap between the North American innovation spirit and the steady state of our old Europe.

I was recently challenged on a mailing list by a representative of IS for health big companies; he asked me “what would you advise the Health Minister to do now that the technocrats in charge of the Personal Health Record project have failed to deliver anything?”.

I answered that the rationale was pretty much easy to state:
- A Personal Health Record shouldn’t be considered as the extension of an administrative information system. It is eventually a communication system on the Web.
- The success of anything on the web is based on providing services to fulfill consumers’ needs
- Technocrats are not the right persons for this
- Big brick and mortar companies are seldom the originator of the best services on the web

Accordingly I answered that I would fire the technocratic team in charge and use available funds to provide a fertile soil for startups.

This guy answered complaisantly that my answer, while worth reading, was somewhat far from the “reality principle”.

Unfortunately, he is right: due to the “reality principle”, these guys will keep on doing what their fathers and grand fathers have done before: make expensive deals between the government and big companies. Nowadays it is actually a way to confess that they have no idea about how they can address people needs. But it is anecdotal ;-)