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Archive for September, 2007

Anecdotal

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 ;-)


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