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Valerie Olague

Valerie Olague

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Honk if you're Neanderthal! Tracing my roots with big data

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Windows Embedded digital marketing lead

    Whenever I meet new people, I try to guess the part of the world that their ancestors came from. A combination of their appearance and their name leads me to a guess, and I must admit I’m pretty good at it, at least from a regional perspective. English vs. Irish vs. Scottish? Yes. Italian vs. Greek? Yes again. Chinese vs Japanese? Yes. Add in Korean and Vietnamese? Some of the time. Swedish vs. Danish? Never!

    With all this guessing going on, you can be sure that I also wonder about my own roots. My maiden name, Carras, is Greek (spelled Karras in Greece, since there is no ‘c’ in the Greek alphabet). On both sides, my parent’s parents immigrated to America from Greece. But what happened 500 years ago or more? And what makes Greek people Greek? It was only a matter of time before I sent a saliva sample to a DNA analysis company to tap into the power of big data to find out more about my maternal lineage. And find out, I did.

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    Comments Healthcare

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Big Data and Charlie Brown

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    Only animal lovers could understand the bond I have with my dog, Charlie Brown, a pit bull/Chow mix that I found as a stray dog roaming my neighborhood eight years ago. My friends make fun of the human characteristics I attribute to Charlie, but those of us who believe in books such as The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein know that our companions are more than just pets. 

    So when Charlie developed a cyst on his back last month, I didn’t hesitate to pay for surgery to remove it. The veterinary clinic offered to throw in a free dental cleaning while he was under anesthesia and so it goes that during this cleaning, they found that Charlie had melanoma inside of his mouth. It turns out that the Chow genes that help color Charlie’s tongue purple also contributes to a higher rate of melanoma in canines. 

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    Comments Intelligent Systems

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    New IDC brief: the importance of intelligent systems in healthcare

    Posted by Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    In a recent blog post, I discussed how many security breaches of healthcare data are the result of errors in manual processes—i.e. human error. In my next post, I will discuss big data in healthcare, and how advances in understanding and processing this data is leading to breakthroughs in healthcare, but in the meantime, here’s a brief preview.

    Security. Big data. Both are critical concepts in and of themselves, but when combined together they become key elements of intelligent systems. Intelligent systems harness the flow of data across industry devices and the Internet of Things to back-end systems, enabling businesses to make more insightful decisions and drive revolutionary advances in healthcare. A new IDC solution brief, titled “Improving Healthcare Delivery with Intelligent Systems,” discusses the need for intelligent systems in healthcare. It defines their role in enabling new healthcare delivery systems that can bridge the gap between today’s new healthcare requirements, including support for the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and tomorrow’s innovations in the healthcare industry.

    To read about some innovative intelligent systems solutions in healthcare, visit our healthcare industry page.

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    Comments Healthcare

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Solving patient-data breaches starts with human solutions

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    You hear or read about it almost every day: Patient healthcare data breaches involving thousands, even hundreds of thousands of patient records. It can happen in hospitals, physicians’ offices, research centers and nearly everywhere patient data records are held. As a consumer of healthcare, I certainly get nervous with every new article, wondering “Who has access to my medical information?”

    Is the problem with the software systems? In some cases, yes. For example, I recently read how some free mobile health applications sell user information to advertisers. As a marketer, I can see some potential user benefits to this.  For one, if I upload information indicating I have a bad cold and within an hour I get a coupon for free nasal spray, that’s not so bad. But what about having a deeply personal medical issue and suddenly your name is made available to every company that wants to profit from your illness?  Picture a phone call while eating dinner with the family at home and your child picks up the phone to hear a pre-recorded message on the advantages of Viagra. That’s not so good.

    Thanks to the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (PPACA), I don’t have to worry about being denied insurance due to a pre-existing illness if I decided to leave my job. But that doesn’t mean my healthcare records should be easily available to insurance companies … or to advertisers. The PPACA also includes a new mandate for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems that is set to take effect in 2014. Healthcare providers are now attempting to get these systems implemented before the deadline and outside of cost, security of patient data is high on the list for the selection process. Some companies don’t trust larger EMR and EHR software vendors and thus try to write the systems themselves. The Pentagon has already spent five years and more than $1 billion trying to do just this but found it was a lot harder than they thought.

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    Comments Intelligent Systems

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Webinar: Managing Multiple Technologies for Maximum Access and Data Privacy

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    Today’s hospitals use technology along every point of the care continuum, from admission and discharge to billing and record keeping.  However challenges remain when clinicians and staff access patient records across multiple points, and often on different equipment.  Health IT leaders must safeguard patient data not only on desktop computers, but on hand-held devices, remote monitoring equipment, patient and physician portals, and more.

    New solutions are available for meeting the challenges of managing the integration of different technologies in a healthcare environment, and/or juggling them simultaneously to boost physician access even while ensuring data security. My Americas team, in partnership with HP and HealthCast, will offer a look at some of those solutions in a special healthcare webinar hosted by Fierce Markets. 

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    Comments Windows Embedded Standard

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