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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

    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

    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

    Americas Ecosystem Partners Honored with Partner Excellence Awards

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    The Americas team congratulates four ecosystem partners who recently won Partner Excellence Awards: Bsquare, Adeneo Embedded, IntervalZero and ICOP Technology. The winners were announced at a virtual regional Gold and Silver partner event held on November 14, 2012.

    The Windows Embedded Partner Excellence Awards recognize members of the Windows Embedded Partner Program that excel at driving the Windows Embedded business. Their contributions help bring solutions to market that support the development of intelligent systems worldwide.

    Thanks to all the partners who submitted nominations. Below are descriptions of the contributions made by each winning partner:

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    Comments Windows Embedded Standard

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    How Mobile Devices Empower Customer Service Providers

    Posted By Valerie Olague
    Americas Business Group Lead

    As established retailers assess the rapidly changing retail landscape, many are investing heavily in employee empowerment to enhance the in-store experience and combat sales lost to online merchants. And while empowering employees to help customers is the bedrock on which many retailers build their business, what is genuinely new is the proliferation of mobile devices as the empowerment tool of choice for customer-facing employees. During my Christmas shopping this season, I encountered all kinds of mobile sales tools, some very easy for me to interact with and frankly, some quite clumsy.

    That mobile devices are changing the way the most innovative retailers are engaging with customers is increasingly obvious. The benefits are many: Employees no longer need to leave a customer to check product details, availability or pricing on a PC located elsewhere in the store. The most innovative retailers are using real-time telemetry from the devices in their stores, gaining new insight into demand and customer behavior based on analysis of information being accessed and consumed on their employees’ devices. This is an exciting opportunity for retailers to take advantage of device and technology innovations to deliver the best value to customers through improved operations and sharp business insight. The key is to provide technologies that are not only easy for the retailers, but are also easy for the store associates and customers to interact with.

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    Comments Intelligent Systems

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