Data Privacy and Empowerment in Healthcare

Technology has been a boon to healthcare. Minimally-invasive procedures have significantly increased safety and recovery time of surgeries. Global collaboration between doctors has improved diagnosis and treatment. Rise in awareness of patients has increased the demand for good quality healthcare services. These improvements, coupled with the growing penetration of IT infrastructure, are generating huge volumes of digital health data in the country.

However, healthcare in India is diverse and fragmented. During an entire life cycle, an individual is served by numerous healthcare providers, of different sizes, geographies, and constitutions. The IT systems of different providers are often developed independently of each other, without adherence to common standards. This fragmentation has the undesirable consequence of the systems communicating poorly, fostering redundant data collection across systems, inadequate patient identification, and, in many cases, privacy violations.

We believe that this can be addressed through two major steps. Firstly, open standards have to be established for health data collection, storage, sharing and aggregation in a safe and standardised manner to keep the privacy of patients intact. Secondly, patients should be given complete control over their data. This places them at the centre of their healthcare and empowers them to use their data for value-based services of their choice. As the next wave of services is built atop digital health data, data protection and empowerment will be key to transforming healthcare.

Numerous primary health care services are already shifting to smartphones and other electronic devices. There are apps and websites for diagnosing various common illnesses. This not only increases coverage but also takes the burden away from existing infrastructures which can then cater to secondary and tertiary services. Data shared from devices that track steps, measure heartbeats, count calories or analyse sleeping patterns can be used to monitor behavioural and lifestyle changes – a key enabler for digital therapeutic services. Moreover, this data can not only be used for monitoring but also for predicting the onset of diseases! For example, an irregular heartbeat pattern can be flagged by such a device, prompting immediate corrective measures. Thus, we see that as more and more people generate digital health data, control it and utilise it for their own care, we will gradually transition to a better, broader and preventive healthcare delivery system.

In this context, we welcome the proposed DISHA Act that seeks to Protect and Empower individuals in regards to their electronic health data. We have provided our feedback on the DISHA Act and have also proposed technological approaches in our response. This blog post lays out a broad overview of our response.

As our previous blog post articulates the principles underlying our Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture, we have framed our response keeping these core principles in mind. We believe that individuals should have complete control of their data and should be able to use it for their empowerment. This requires laying out clear definitions for use of data, strict laws to ensure accountability and agile regulators; thus, enabling a framework that addresses privacy, security and confidentiality while simultaneously improving transparency and interoperability.

While the proposed DISHA Act aligns broadly with our core principles, we have offered recommendations to expand certain aspects of the proposal. These include a comprehensive definition of consent (open standards, revocable, granular, auditable, notifiable, secure), distinction between different forms of health data (anonymization, deidentification, pseudonymous), commercial use of data (allowed for benefit but restricted for harm) and types and penalties in cases of breach (evaluation based on extent of compliance).

Additionally, we have outlined the technological aspects for implementation of the Act. We have used learnings from the Digital Locker Framework and Electronic Consent Framework (adopted by RBI’s Account Aggregator), previously published by MeitY. This involves the role of Data Fiduciaries – entities that not only manage consent but also ensure that it aligns with the interests of the user (and not with those of the data consumer or data provider). Data Fiduciaries only act as messengers of encrypted data without having access to the data – thus their prime task remains managing the Electronic Data Consent. Furthermore, we have highlighted the need to use open and set standards for accessing and maintaining health records (open APIs), consented sharing (consent framework) and maintaining accountability and traceability through digitally verified documents. We have also underscored the need for standardisation of data through health data dictionaries, which will open up the data for further use cases. Lastly, we have alluded to the need to create aggregated anonymised datasets to enable advanced analytics which would drive data-driven policy making.

We look forward to the announcement and implementation of the DISHA Act. As we move towards a future with an exponential rise in digital health data, it is critical that we build the right set of protections and empowerments for users, thus enabling them to become engaged participants and better managers of their health care.

We have submitted our response. You can find the detailed document of our response to DISHA Act below

The best way to predict the future is to invent it!

India is interestingly poised today. About half of India’s 1.25billion people are under the age of 25 and by 2020, India will be the world’s youngest country with an average age of 29. According to the World Bank, India’s will overtake China to become the world’s fastest growing big economy by 2017-18. The scale of opportunity – and of course the challenge – in India is unprecedented. Millions of jobs have to be created in the coming years. Wealth has to be created. At an increasing pace and in   an ever changing world.

It is clear to all, including the government, that technology will play an ever more important role in the future. The inevitability of that fact is slowly but surely seeping into the consciousness of all decision makers at all levels. That technology needs to be embraced and leveraged in improving the lives of Indians.

New technologies and platforms are rapidly emerging – e.g., IoT, Mobile/Smart phones, Cloud, Aadhar, Payments – that can and will have profound impact on how we as a country think about the next 5-10years. Our future.

It is clear that continuing to do what we’ve done since 1947 isn’t going to get us far into the future.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” and “Change is the only constant” are two popular adages usually bandied about in seminars, corporate-speak, by VC s and successful entrepreneurs! What’s left unsaid are – how do I invent the future? How do I deal with change? And from there on to, what are the possible futures? What are the possible changes? What’s causing them? How will different industries like Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare be likely impacted?

These are the tough questions. Successful entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, academics and governments spend – or, need to spend – a lot of time thinking about such issues.

What are new ways of framing the potential and overcoming these challenges? What is unique about India and what solutions and resources can be shared from around the world? How can India utilize the enormous, young and entrepreneurial energy to craft scalable solutions to impact lives? What are the emerging global megatrends that can be harnessed that will enable India to leapfrog decades of inefficiency and empower people?

We have done this before: From mainframe computing to client-server. From land line to mobile. From paper based to digital identity.

Can we do this again across multiple areas? What will it take?

Answers will be found through debate and discussion by various stakeholders invested in the India of a new India– government, thought leaders, practitioners, entrepreneurs, executives among others. A forum for learning, discussing, debating, sharing of ideas of a future impacted by technology would be very impactful. To catalyse conversations, connections and collaborations that would help provide the answers to the questions.

A journey of a million miles begins with a single step. It is time for that 1st meaningful step to be taken!

LeapFrogTIE LEAPFROG. AUGUST 21ST 2015. ITC GARDENIA BANGALORE. http://www.tieleapfrog.in/

IT: Enhancing Healthcare for a Better Quality of Life

Information Technology has successfully reshaped our lives in ways unimaginable even a decade or two ago. The era of the telegram is now officially over and access to information is not just at our doorsteps but at our finger tips, due to the availability of communication tools like cellular phones, computers and the internet. It is no wonder then that technology has played a key role in healthcare as well and has the potential to completely change the way we deal with a disease at various stages.

The current government rightly focuses on using technology to improve the dismal standards of basic healthcare, not just for the urban population but also for people living in rural settings in remotest corners of ‘Bharat’ which is home to almost 70 percent of our country’s population. Evidence from national and international data clearly shows that the effective use of ICT in healthcare can improve access to better quality services, reduce costs, and empower doctors as well as patients. India has been aggressively experimenting with IT in healthcare, with notable progress in ‘m-health’, ‘tele-medicine’ and ‘e-health’. Many of these services are ready to take the next step and be scaled up to achieve their true potential. The use of IT in healthcare can be the first big step in improving the primary healthcare network in the country.

Simultaneously, it is also important to tap the energy of the private providers of healthcare services in India. Some estimates suggest that by 2012, private sector comprised 80 percent of the healthcare providers in India as against 8 percent at the time of independence. Traditionally, the private and public healthcare sectors in India have viewed each other with mistrust, and to get them to work in tandem is not an easy task. Efforts need to be made towards building confidence and fostering cooperation. This is where the true advantage of IT lies. Technology is available to doctors in both the sectors and can be used for notifying, reporting and following up on medical cases.

Take the issue of Tuberculosis in India, which accounts for more than 25 percent of the new TB cases worldwide. This contagious airborne disease kills almost 2.4 lakh Indians every year and is among the top four causes of death in adults. The Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) provides mechanisms to ensure treatment adherence monitoring and support, but these currently reach patients treated by the public sector. Inappropriate, inadequate and unmonitored care could lead to treatment failure, recurrent TB, and most devastatingly the development of drug resistant TB. Hence, proper mechanisms for awareness and monitoring for all TB patients, whether publicly or privately-treated, become all the more important.

In 2012, RNTCP launched e-NIKSHAY, a case-based and web-based reporting and recording system that would act as a centralized avenue for data collection of TB cases; aiding state and local systems to track the progress of patients and keep all the stakeholders in the loop. Over the last 6 months, in the Mehsana, Mumbai and Patna pilot Urban-TB projects, such IT- based systems have helped issue over 10,000 drug vouchers for privately-treated TB patients, and linked those patients to improved treatment monitoring and support. Total TB case notification in these districts, including public and private, has improved significantly demonstrating its success and importance. Increased transparency and monitoring leads to better planning and accountability.

The main reason behind the success of any IT application is its user friendly attribute. It is time to reach out to private practitioners with easy-to-use applications that take minimum time, and yield maximum value to providers and their patients. The most basic yet powerful communication device, the mobile phone, which is used by over 70 percent of Indians, will help us penetrate in the remotest corners of the country. This device can help extensively in increasing the reporting of cases and keeping a close watch on patient who often skip medicine. The Union Government’s recent launch of an initiative to maintain an electronic treatment record of TB patients by encouraging them to send a missed call notification on a number printed behind the strip of the drug is a classic example of how reporting and follow up can be done without involving significant extra cost and effort. This will help the treatment provider to intervene at the right time in case the patient misses a dose.

Training and education in e-healthcare plays the most crucial role in the implementation of these projects. For this purpose the Indian Council of Medical Research has made an open access online bibliography and there are hospitals which have collaborated with universities to teach certificate courses in telemedicine.

India is a leader in innovation, research and IT. It is important that this innovation potential and its resources are harnessed to combat India’s healthcare challenges. If we truly want to improve access to healthcare and sustain it, we need to scale up such innovative new practices by providing adequate resources and encouraging the appropriate skill-development. It’s time for us to move beyond working for IT and start making IT work for us.

Just Imagine

Today is India’s 66th Independence Day and the environment around, seems, to be generally shorn of excitement, energy and optimism. However, as is customary on such occasions, a call to the people – all of us – is, well, called for: to galvanise us all to action, to put our shoulders to the wheel of policy making that will make economic activity explode.  Such calls for action and indeed, the action, itself require us all to imagine an India that is radically different from the one that we see and experience each day around us.

Nandan Nilekani wrote “Imagining India” in 2008 and one of the things he imagined has since been actualised in the form of the Aadhar / UID project that provides an Identity card and number to every resident of India. Over 600million people would be recipients of this card by next year, 2014. In and as of itself, this would have been a gargantuan exercise, amongst the very largest in the world. But that by itself wouldn’t be as interesting as what the prevalence of the Aadhar infrastructure can enable.  Identity is a fundamental pre-requisite for any kind of financial transaction and the Aadhar project enables that.  “Know your customer” ( KYC) norms can now be easily done for all kinds of activities eg. From opening a bank account to applying for a gas connection to a phone to availing a loan to purchasing insurance. Hundreds of millions of people who operated in the informal or extra-legal financial services market will now come under the more benign, formal, organised and recognised regime.

Much earlier in the 1980s, Sam Pitroda imagined an India transformed with the creation and establishment of a nationwide telecom infrastructure.  Today, we all are witness to the remarkable benefits that this imagination has brought about. Over 900 million phone subscribers in just over two decades.

Even earlier, in the 1960s Dr Verghese Kurien imagined a young country that would be self-sufficient in milk. Operation Flood made India, formerly a milk deficient country, the world’s largest producer of milk accounting for over 17% of global output with an entire infrastructure, from rural to urban, tradition and technology to markets and branding.

Each of the above examples showcases the huge long term national benefits of creating big platforms – Unique Identity, Telecom, Milk Production and Distribution – through the sheer power of imagination, entrepreneurial energy, policy making, political will and savvy marketing. Platforms are soft and hard infrastructure – policy, rules of engagement and collaboration, co-opting of existing stakeholders, creation and harnessing of technology, innovative processes and business models. Such platforms while usually created and established by the government to serve public good, interest and national security, it is the subsequent entry of private entrepreneurs that enables the proliferation and development of additional technologies and services. For example, the mother of all platforms today, the internet, had its origins in the US Department of Defence Advanced Project Network.

So as we enter our 67th year as a nation, what is it that we can imagine? Indeed, what should we imagine? Very briefly,

i)               Education: In the age of MOOCs and Wikis, why cannot India have a national programme for education using and deploying the latest technologies? Video based learning, local languages with local examples, with the best teachers, with online testing? This will require the creation of a massive technology backbone, co-opting of existing institutions, training, establishment of processes and rules, financial incentives, payment and collection mechanisms for the entry and exit of private entities.

ii)              Healthcare is another area that requires enormous intervention along the lines being discussed. Telemedicine, remote diagnostics, new innovative low cost devices for self testing and medication, education and awareness, mobile clinics, logistics for moving patients and equipment, innovative payment systems, policy, regulation and oversight are areas that have to come together.

iii)            A marketplace for logistics providers – air, land and sea – across the value chain, integrated with warehouses, C&F agents, insurance providers, payments and settlements, processes for transparent pricing. Can be very useful for agriculture and industry.

There obviously are many more possibilities (viz. defence and space) and initiatives that can be imagined that will help all of us Indians and India. Can we set the ball rolling and start the process of engagement with various stakeholders – government, industry bodies, entrepreneurs and others – to help create platforms that can create a new India? Can we create and curate ideas for platforms that have the immense potential to fundamentally transform India.  Just Imagine.

The day Zest.Md picked on smartest brain for inputs at #PNMeetup

I met Avinash a few weeks back to share details about zest.md, and to discuss some of the challenges which we are facing. Avinash, helped me to understand a lot of issues better, and invited me to be a part of the #PNMeetup to discuss it with a larger group. To be honest, I was apprehensive initially, but seeing the conviction with which Avinash said that it would help us, I agreed and I am so glad that we did go and share our challenges at the #PNMeetup! 

Zest.Md is a SaaS platform which provides with medical practitioners with a solution to get started with online consultation process, using their own website. One of the key challenges which we shared with the group was on how to drive initial engagement with the medical practitioners who sign up. Another aspect which we discussed was around pricing. Currently we have a single price solution, and we were in the process of considering Freemium model – what should we keep in mind while designing Freemium so that we don’t end up losing paying clients. 

#PNMeetup was a great experience it was very refreshing to be amongst people who have been involved with various stages of product development, themselves. It was a very different space than the other entrepreneurship events that I have been in, almost everybody here was currently running an online product company, and they understood dilemma and the criticality of the decision around such questions. 

I had attended along with two other members of my team, and the one of the greatest reaffirmation was that, there is no single answer or a single point of view when it comes to even simple questions pertaining to a product. Many a times we, as young start-ups, tend to get bogged down or keep changing paths based on feedback from a single person. Being at #PNMeetup gave a reassurance that it is justified that we were so concerned about our decisions on these questions as they are not so straightforward, and at the same time the forum was a great place for us to take feedback from a group as a whole, and it helped us to identify the range of possible solutions from which we could chart out our own solution. 🙂

Thanks Amit, Devendra & Avinash for helping me in the presentation and briefing you provided and for the opportunity.  I really liked the venue and seating arrangement, and I feel that the ambience was instrumental in creating an informal atmosphere where people could exchange frank and honest opinions.  

P.S.: The highlight of the day was meeting up with Amit Ranjan, co-founder Slideshare and to see him share his thoughts candidly! 🙂

My name is Vinayak and I’m the Founder & CEO at Zest.md. 

Does India provide a supportive environment for getting value out of innovation?

When we talk about supporting innovation in India, the first things that come to mind are the availability of capital and people with the right skills. But, the efforts and risks involved in innovation don’t make sense unless inventors and firms can get value out of their innovative activity.

When will innovation make money for inventors? That depends on issues like: Are users willing to try out new products and services? Do the capital markets place a premium on companies that are more innovative? Can an inventor protect his innovation from being copied by others, i.e., can he be sure that he (and he alone) will be able to capture the value from the innovation he creates? The right hand side of the framework below captures these “demand-side” factors.

In this article, I will focus on the last question – the issue of value appropriation – and ask a broad question: Does India provide a supportive environment for appropriating value from Innovation?

Appropriating Value from Innovation

To answer this question, I will investigate whether the Indian system for protecting intellectual property provides an effective mechanism for protecting inventor rights. Please remember that there is an exchange relationship at the bottom of the intellectual property system: the State gives an inventor a limited time monopoly to exploit her idea in return for the inventor sharing her knowledge or idea with society. So, a good intellectual property system has to balance the needs of both inventors and society at large.

Of course, I must add that from a firm-strategy perspective, appropriating value does not depend on intellectual property alone. As the graphic below (adapted from VK Narayanan’s book Managing Technology and Innovation for Competitive Advantage) shows, a firm’s ability to appropriate value from innovation also depends on its product market actions as well as its ability to innovate continuously and stay ahead of competitors. But, the intellectual property environment, and IP strategies followed by the firm form an important third prong, and these are the focus of this post.

A Historical Perspective

Independent India started off with a fairly strong intellectual property protection system. This should not surprise us because this was intended to protect the rights of British inventors under the colonial regime. However, there was growing disquiet about this system in the first two decades after independence, particularly in the area of pharmaceuticals where strong patent protection was seen as enabling multinational drug companies to extract monopoly profits from a poor country. As is well known, this culminated in our making important amendments to the Patents Act including removal of provisions to patent new molecules, and providing relatively short periods of patent protection in all cases. The new legislation – the Indian Patents Act of 1970 – is commonly credited with the growth of India’s generic pharmaceutical industry (based on an ability to create new processes for known drugs and scale them up effectively) and some of the lowest priced drugs in the world.

By the 1990s, many things had changed. Globalization was the order of the day, and India had climbed on the globalization bandwagon. International talks were on to provide a supportive environment for global trade. These talks expanded in scope to incorporate intellectual property protection. In 1995, India signed up for the GATT treaty and promised to put in place stronger intellectual property laws by January 1, 2005. India kept its promise, though not everyone is happy about this! But, the timing was right – by 2005, many Indian companies were taking innovation more seriously, and were therefore looking for stronger intellectual property protection for their inventions.

Where do we stand today?

Information

While the law changed, the procedural aspects of patenting have taken time to catch up. One of the important characteristics of a good patent system is easy availability of information about what patents have been issued. For several years this was a major bottleneck in India with such information not available online, and available only through a set of CDs compiled by TIFAC in Delhi. Even now, though there is an online database, it is nowhere as powerful or as comprehensive as the US PTO’s website. I would have thought that with all our software and IT prowess we should have been able to build something better than what the US PTO offers but…

Procedures and Process

Another important procedural issue is the speed with which the Patent Office considers applications, and the quality of the examination process. The importance of this dimension was recognized some years ago and a drive to hire and train patent examiners was launched. But, I saw a recent advertisement of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks calling for applications for trademark examiner positions in which they are offering a consolidated salary of Rs. 25,000 per month to people with a degree in law and 3 years experience. I am sure it will be a challenge to get well qualified people at that level of compensation.

In an alternate effort to speed up the process, there was a proposal to involve the CSIR in preliminary screening and evaluation. But this was objected to by many as the CSIR itself is an active player in the intellectual property space and is, in fact, the Indian entity with the largest number of US patents.

While it’s difficult to judge the quality of patent examination, what we do know is that after an initial spurt in the speed of examination and grants, the process has slowed down again at a time when the number of applications is on the increase. Mint newspaper carried a useful graphic recently summarizing the challenge:

The Law Itself

As far as I can make out, there has been reasonably widespread acceptance of the amendments to the Patents Act made in 2004, 2005 and 2006 except for a couple of issues. The first issue is the now infamous Section 3 (d) that seeks to prevent evergreening by pharmaceutical companies by requiring a major inventive step as reflected in enhanced therapeutic value for a molecule to be awarded a patent. This has been a contentious issue almost since Day 1 of the new patents legislation, and a series of refused / cancelled patents to big name pharmaceutical companies has shown that the law has bite.

The second issue has been the issue of compulsory licensing. On March 9, 2012, the Controller General of Patents issued the first post – 2005 compulsory licence to Natco Pharma to manufacture its equivalent of Bayer’s Nexavar, a drug for treatment of kidney cancer. This has raised a hornet’s nest, as it has raised contentious issues like (1) what is a reasonable price for a drug? (2) what constitutes “working” a patent? and (3) what is the appropriate royalty to be paid to the inventor company in the event of compulsory licensing?

It’s fascinating to note that most of the controversies regarding the new patent law in India have centered around the pharmaceutical space. Globally, the big debates on intellectual property in recent times have been in the smart phone space involving companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google (Motorola Mobility). It’s almost as though we live on two separate planets! I suppose the reason for this is that India is still not a big market for high end smartphones and therefore the patent and design wars of this industry have not spilt over into India. But this is also another indication that India has failed to find a place at the high table of the most active innovation domains (see my earlier post on the areas in which India has the most active researchers).

In our obsession with the healthcare domain, we might be missing out on developments in other sectors that call for changes in our intellectual property protection laws. A new generation of software product companies is emerging from India (see my recent article in Outlook Business), and large companies like TCS and Infosys are embracing products and platforms in their quest for “non-linear” growth. But we continue to deny software products patent protection and limit their intellectual property protection to the Copyrights Act.

Awards & Enforcement

Consistent with their position in other matters, Indian courts tend to be conservative in penalties and awards for intellectual property violations unlike the multi-million dollar (or even multi-billion dollar) awards of American courts. In a way that’s good because it prevents intellectual property from becoming a separate game of corporate strategy. But the flip side of this is that there is the distinct possibility that an inventor may not receive adequate compensation for infringement of his intellectual property rights.

This become particularly critical in the case of the small inventor who anyway fights a David vs Goliath battle if the infringer is a large company with the ability to exploit all the procedural opportunities for delay available in the Indian legal system. In fact, if I were an inventor in India that would be my main fear – I may be able to obtain a patent and other forms of intellectual property protection, but will I be able to enforce my patent rights in a meaningful and timely way? Even in the US, the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper, Robert Kearns had to struggle for years in his battle with large US auto companies (see the graphic below); I shudder to think what would happen to an equivalent inventor in India!

As we go forward, there will also be a need to ensure greater consistency in judicial decisions in the intellectual property domain. Without any disrespect meant to our honourable judges, I can see that in some of the recent judgements they have struggled to cope with the technicalities involved. Not too far in the future, when we have a critical mass of intellectual property cases, it will help to have a single court at the appellate level as has been done in the US.

Conclusion

In the 1950s and 1960s, we saw companies like Xerox and Pilkington Glass that established monopolies in their respective industries based on technologies which had strong patent protection. Today, the pace of innovation in most industries has hastened to the extent that companies need to innovate continually to derive maximum benefit from their innovations. But, intellectual property rights continue to provide the first-level protection for innovator companies.

As India develops a modern industrial economy, and more companies depend on innovation for their competitive advantage, our need to provide an appropriate level of legal support to enable innovative companies to capture the benefit of their innovations will grow. In this, our priority should be on improving IPR-related information flows, better processes and procedures, and enforceability, and on shifting our attention beyond the healthcare industry.

Original article can also be accessed here(from Juggad to Systematic Innovation).

Start the revolution in Healthcare at StartupWeekend, New Delhi

Until the dawn of this decade not many people would have thought of transforming the way dismal healthcare system works in India let alone doing it over the course of 2 days but this is about to change as the Startup Weekend comes to Delhi on 7 Dec with a sole focus of encouraging entrepreneurs who are passionate about revolutionizing the healthcare system in India. The event will provide an excellent platform where business people, doctors, designers and awesome developers can come together and take first steps towards developing the next big thing in healthcare!

The agenda for the weekend is jam packed with keynote addresses from eminent speakers, exciting pitch sessions, intensive coaching from renowned mentors and enjoyable networking sessions. The event will be attended by leaders from health and start-up fraternity including Chavvi Gupta (Co-founder YoPharma), Subinder Khurana (Mentor, NASSCOM Emerge Forum), Paul Singh (Partner, 500 Startups), Maniraj Singh Juneja (Co-founder of MadeInHealth), Zachary Jones (CEO of Portea Medical) and Maninder Singh Grewal (MD at Religare Technologies).

Here’s an idea of what Start-up Weekend Delhi Health is going to look like from 7th December to 9th December 2012 at the American Center on KG Marg. All attendees will have an opportunity to pitch at least one idea in 60 seconds.

Please make your arrangements to be at the venue late into the night on Friday and Saturday. If you need a couch to crash on, start talking to other participants when you get to the venue. We will provide dinner on Friday evening, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner on Saturday and Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks on Sunday.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of start-ups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Post Contributed by Abhimanyu Godara 

Enterprise Applications – Thousands of app “snacks” instead of “full meal” applications?

Today was the second time I am hearing that the future of applications in enterprises are thousands of small apps instead a hundred or two applications!

I was listening to the CTO of Computer Associates who forecasts the future of applications in enterprises as stringing together lots of small apps that do something very well rather than developing something from scratch fully!

Here is the article that covers his talk that is provocatively labelled “Video Killed the Radio Star and Cloud Computing Will Kill the Programming Star”

Donald Ferguson, CTO of Computer Associates makes the very interesting point that you can STITCH together bigger applications with small focused apps together to do something larger in an enterprise.

Very true! Here is the website I created for our local networking group Healthcare Innovation Programs – Kentucky which is a networking group to educate each other about innovations happening here in Kentucky.

I put this together in 30 minutes! THIRTY MINUTES! Ten years ago this would be a three month project with hacking HTML by hand!

About a year ago I put together another website for another networking group usingNing that took me three hours to figure out and set up!

Here is the second article that argues for enterprises using thousands of small apps rather than developing large apps! – On Deploying Tablets in the Enterprise


The discussion panel in this article also makes the same point – “Don’t turn tablets into PCs,” Todd Barr said, meaning that IT departments shouldn’t try to manage them as closely. Since apps are cheap, organizations should encourage experimentation and individual work styles.

Seems like that’s where things are headed – small apps stitched together to do something bigger!

It’s happening in mHealth already – Withings Body Scale enters into partnership with BodyMedia FIT Armband.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. – Mother Teresa.