Posted by Peter on June 18th, 2007
The closing keynote session for the conference was delivered by Diane Skiba, from University of Colorado at Denver, and titled ‘Exploring the present and predicting the future’. Before Diane started, the poster winners were announced, and awards were given to posters on using sing-along techniques for learning pharmacology, and the potential of using Second Life for nursing and education purposes.
In her session, she aimed to look at current health informatics trends, and project the topics that might be covered in Rutgers conferences in the next 10-25 years. Diane says the key theme is ‘transformation’, and began with a YouTube video on the early days of learning to use ‘the book’.
Diane says we are in the fourth wave of computing, with a changing digital landscape, including Web 2.0 and converging forces, as well as government initiatives on, for example, electronic records. She says many technologies Internet, web etc) are disruptive – which may be good or bad. She explored the ‘Digital Landscape’, which includes digital refugees, voyeurs, immigrants and natives.
At this point, the fire alarm went off and we started to evacuate – trust Diane to arrange something like that ;-))) – it seems it was a false alarm.
Diane started be explaining Web 2.0 and the ‘wisdom of crowds’, and how many Web 2.0 tools focus on collaboration, communication and interactivity, through social networks. For social bookmarking, she introduced del.icio.us, www.connotea.org and complore.com (the latter for researchers). She presented some ideas around blogs and wikis as communities through harnessing collective intelligence. Second Life was mentioned, and the fact that since its foundation in 2003, it has attracted over 5 million ‘residents’. She showed how CDC and Harvard Law School are using Second Life.
She then moved on to think about Rutgers’ next decade, 2008-2018 and suggested trends such as:
– computer power growing by disappearing and pervasive/ubiquitous computing;
– increasing use of biometrics for access and security control;
– electronic perception technologies for interfaces (instead of keystrokes);
– technology to be smart and always connected, and context-aware devices to assimilate information to support decision making;
– moving beyond Web 2.0 and towards the Semantic Web;
– massive amounts of data and new techniques beyond data mining;
– changing and reshaping the Internet with increased sharing intellectual capital;
the growth of robotics.
On the future of healthcare, she says we will need to talk about Personal Health Records, convergence of devices for storing/accessing health data, mobile health (M-health) technologies, increasingly personalized health, linked into genomic profiles and the emergence of designer drugs. She sees future knowledge workers using smart spaces mediated through pervasive computing. She demonstrated a video of a new virtual touch screen (that looks a bit like the computer interaction shown in ‘Minority Report’). Wearable computing, which includes sensors built into fabrics, will facilitate personal health systems (intelligent biomedical/health clothing). The human genome, Diane says, will allow development of many new novel biotechnologies, and will form part of bio-informatics. Nanotechnology will also allow different ways to deliver drugs direct to cells where they are needed, implantable cameras and diagnostic testing, and other forms of targettable personalized technologies.
Other aspects she touched on included convergence of technologies, and cognitive informatics.