Mashup Innovation: Delivering solutions to help pediatricians save lives across the globe
Wyatt Urmey, IBM Social Business
Every year, nearly 7 million children across the globe die before their fifth birthday. It’s a staggering and heartbreaking statistic, but even more so when you learn the biggest healthcare threats to children are still the simplest: poor sanitation, lack of vaccinations and mosquito netting, vitamin deficiencies and dehydration.
The innovation to fix these problems and prevent these illnesses exist, but delivering these innovations to developing nations where they are needed most, depends on their portability and ease of use. This is where the cloud comes in. One unique solution to bring the best of treatment and technologies together in something as small as a thumb-drive is a new solution called OPENPediatrics.
Read today's press release: IBM and Boston Children’s Hospital Team to Improve Care of Critically Ill Children Across the Globe
OPENPediatrics, a global learning network led by Boston Children’s Hospital, is at the center of the National Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards 2013. This customized global network for sharing medical insights to advance the treatment and healthcare of children can improve both diagnostics and training in pediatrics.
“We are not scaling knowledge as easily as we could, and we must.” Said Dr Jeffrey Burns last year when presenting the solution. “Technology can provide a window on what will work." While this solution is a leap forward for healthcare, the implications of this technology are wider and deeper. The impact of knowledge-infused social networks go beyond medicine or patient treatment. Technology that shares knowledge on vast global scales can unlock innovation.
Knowledge-infused social networks sparking innovation
This pattern of knowledge-infused social networks -- where the quickest solution or the largest benefits are achieved by sharing knowledge and expertise - is occurring in many fields of learning. In fact, many new innovations actually occur best in a medley of opposing vantage points, and insights from very different fields.
We live in a world of advancements caused by mashups. For many years knowledge traveled in tracks or silos -- like mechanics, finance, engineering, medicine, linguistics. But no longer. Consider the example of a sporting goods company that innovated by using material technology borrowed from intravenous fluid bags. Or look at the popularity in cuisine of “Fusion,” where mixing of culinary styles across the world create new tastes and flavors. The world of innovation ahead is powered by knowledge-infused networks, of social crowd-sourcing leading to ‘mashup innovations.’
Research published by Wharton’s Business School proves the point:
“the [research’s] authors distinguish between what they call "knowledge stocks" and "knowledge flows." Knowledge stocks are composed of accumulated expertise and experience that individuals might bring to a given task. For example, a video game designer may have previously been a ski instructor. In that case, the designer's knowledge of skiing in the context of creating video games would be viewed as knowledge stock. Knowledge flows, on the other hand, involve knowledge that individuals are actively engaging in while doing a task -- whether that's outside research, working to solve a problem in an unrelated area, talking with acquaintances in other fields, or reading an article on a topic that is seemingly irrelevant to the assigned task.”
The seaming irrelevance mentioned above, is why these breakthroughs have been missed in the past. And it's why knowledge-infused networks will unlock them. OPENPediatrics is one of these networks and perhaps just a glimpse of what the dawning of this new age of mashup innovation will deliver.
Read more about today's announcement in Maria Winan's blog: OPENPediatrics creates a new paradigm for training pediatric clinicians around the world