Bob is a strong technology leader with over thirty years of experience in both Fortune 500 companies and private start-ups. He has a successful track record with over 20 years of experience as a CEO and Board Member, driving new product and business development, sales and marketing, channel management and product management efforts. Mr. Miller's experience includes taking companies from zero revenue to IPO or successful acquisition.
Before joining CloudPrime, Bob was the chief executive officer of ONStor Inc., a company that developed and sold award winning file management solutions to large enterprises. ONStor was acquired by LSI Corp. in 2009. Prior to ONStor, Bob was the Founder and CEO of Slam Dunk Networks, the company whose technology CloudPrime acquired in 2009. Slam Dunk Networks operated the Internet's first and only global infrastructure to guarantee delivery and tracking of transaction messages. Before Slam Dunk, Mr. Miller was the CEO of MIPS, the creator of the industry's first 64bit microprocessor. At MIPS, Bob spearheaded the company's initial public offering and subsequent purchase by SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics). Bob has also held Senior Executive Management positions at Data General and at IBM.
Bob has been awarded 6 patents, holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and an M.S. in Thermodynamics from Stanford University and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He has been a founding investor and a Board Member in a number of successful companies including MIPS, Silicon Graphics, BeVocal, Rasna, Contivo and Vitesse. Bob is also a Life Trustee of the Urban Institute.
I recently spent an amazing two days at the Point Lookout Resort in Northport, Maine with a community of “disruptors”.
Athena Health’s second annual More Disruption Please Conference, an event aimed to accelerate disruptive innovations in health care, brought together more than 100 CEOs, entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, academics, and software engineers to discuss ways to drive the industry towards innovation, openness and collaboration.
Traditionally, the healthcare has been an industry driven from top down. After attending this conference, I realize this is going to change dramatically. Bringing innovative technologies into healthcare will change the way information is distributed and transferred. These technologies will enable doctors to spend more time with their patients and give them better care. The less time the doctor has to spend on paper work and transferring information, the more time they will have for their patients.
Our world is ready for a disruptive innovation in healthcare.
From my conversations at the conference, it is clear that the first phase of this disruption is the use of smartphones and the process has already begun. I decided to test this by looking for diabetes apps on my phone and 20 came up! Can you imagine the global impact this will have? Technology is global and allows us to have access to people instantly–We can have a specialist in Iceland look at our chart in seconds. Just think about the billions of users this can benefit?
While we are already seeing disruptive innovations working, I believe a dramatic difference will be seen within the next five years. In underdeveloped areas we are seeing a huge difference as they are coming from a clean sheet of paper.
Cloak Labs is a disruptive innovation. We supply the secure messaging that medical applications can interface to. Cloud computing in general will have a huge impact in healthcare. Costs of healthcare will be reduced, we will have greater access to industry specialists across the globe, and we will have easier communication. The percentage of smartphones is rapidly increasing which will enable this change.
This is not just hype, it is reality. Once the applications are in place, we will all see a disruption in healthcare and many other industries, for that matter.
…or, Who Suffers When the Dots Cannot be Connected?
I have had the unfortunate experience of having my wife of over 30 years pass away from pancreatic cancer. She lived for 18 months from her initial diagnosis. Prior to that she had been a very healthy 62 year old. During the course of her illness, she was treated in five different hospitals, was under the care of over 40 physicians, and had numerous surgical and diagnostic procedures. One might say, “Well, this was certainly an edge case.” But hasn’t experience shown that it is the edge cases that bring out the flaws in the system? While I participated in her long and painful journey I came to realize that in spite of all the assertions made about information exchange and interoperability in healthcare, they are almost nonexistent once you go outside the four walls of a hospital.
The fact is, unless the patient or their family takes responsibility for the information that different hospitals and doctors will require when they come on board, they will have no reasonable way to have access to that data. During my wife’s illness, on numerous occasions, I had to hand carry DVDs, CDs, or memory sticks so that other physicians could see the results of CT scans and radiology reports. I had to manually maintain a spreadsheet of her medications since there was no centralized system that was kept up to date, even where she was being treated. Obviously, the more manual recording the greater the chance for error, not to mention lost time.
I am writing this blog as a call to action. While many are wringing their hands over healthcare costs, in my opinion IT Vendors and Hospital Administrators are doing a great disservice to patients and medical personnel by not forcing their vendors to make it a high priority to improve interoperability and information exchange. As we all know, there are a number of high level committees and organizations that are working on this problem. However their progress is slow and the need is now.
Many of them have not even thought through how the Cloud can be a game changer.
The reality is that if Apple can provide iCloud so that users can upload all their content of different types to a single user ID and then deliver it to multiple devices, it is not so far fetched that the same capability could be applied to patient records. Patients typically have single identifiers. The notion that information stored in the Cloud is neither secure nor easily accessible has been proven to be a myth.
In addition, there are companies who provide low cost HIPAA compliant secure messaging solutions that can be implemented in minutes that will securely transfer data to and from the Cloud as well as between applications hosted in the Cloud.
It is my belief that if as much attention and investment is focused on medical information exchange as has been placed on making billing systems interoperable, we will have not only improved patient care but a more efficient use of our medical resources as well.
As a boy growing up, my first camera was a Kodak Brownie—easy to use and, for that era, it took excellent pictures. It was somewhat expensive for a 10 year old because of the costs of film purchase and photograph development. Overall, however, I was a happy customer who would eagerly look forward to picking up my photos at the drug store.
Of course, there are no simple answers for why one of the most prestigious companies in the world has found itself having to file for bankruptcy. We do know that one of the first order effects was their inability to shift the center of gravity of their business. New technologies were adopted by their customers that in fact eliminated the cost of film while significantly reducing the cost of development. All the while, the company continued to be in denial about how big the impact would be on their business.
We can only imagine the internal discussions that must have occurred relative to any endorsement by Kodak that digital photography was the future and that they themselves would develop and sell the worlds best digital cameras and printers. The Kodak film people would obviously and immediately do everything possible to prevent that from happening. Just imagine Kodak’s large investment in film manufacturing plants, equipment, and distribution! As a result, they continued with their former core strength of promoting film while developing mediocre digital cameras. Furthermore, their strategy missed the shift of photography and photo software into smart phones, with an eventual even bigger impact on their core market.
Today, there is a technology shift that I believe will be even more profound than the changes brought by digital photography. That is the advent of Cloud Computing. We are all watching advancements occur at a breakneck pace. Initially it was all about virtualization, but we are now seeing very powerful software development tools as well as applications being hosted in the cloud. The result is a new generation of functionality at costs that in some cases are a factor of 10 to 100 times lower than those hosted on traditional servers. In addition, there is unparalled user access—laptops, tablets, smartphones everywhere! Consequently, all these new cloud-based applications come with an entirely new user experience.
The next generation of Kodaks are today convincing themselves that the Cloud will have limited applicability and therefore they can take a “wait and see” attitude, moving to endorse and adopt when they are sure it is real. What I can say with certainty is that by the time they come to that realization and have to analyze the business impact of dismantling infrastructure and a large IT organization, it will be too late. Their competitors who have moved quickly to adopt the Cloud will roll over them with not only significantly better IT cost structures and associated efficiencies, but with a better ability to focus on their businesses and a stronger and growing connection to their customers.
The current cloud computing debate centers on whether the Public Cloud can be trusted. Can IT infrastructure start with a private cloud and migrate later? The private cloud advocates cite concerns such as security, control and adherence to compliance requirements as their primary reasons for not utilizing the public cloud. Clearly, cloud security is in question. But who should make the decision within your organization?
I was amazed to have an attendee at a major industry conference tell me: “his lawyers would never let him use the public cloud”. My question was –“when did lawyers become technologists?”
Cloud Paradigm Shift
It is universally recognized that there is a major paradigm shift occurring driven by the new usage based pricing model of Cloud Computing. Just 5 years ago SaaS was perceived as not being financially viable. Indeed, the Public Cloud has become one of the primary approaches to utilizing mission critical applications.
CIOs around the world are now including Cloud Computing in their future planning. They are trying to determine which Cloud environments should be adopted that make the most sense for their infrastructure requirements. Leading CIOs are allocating resources to determine the most cost effective and scalable cloud investments.
Cloud Phobias and Facts
The fact is that a lot of the fears regarding public clouds are coming from those who do not understand technology. It’s important to know the facts.
The largest companies in the industry are investing billions of dollars in creating cloud platforms that include state of the art hardware, networking and security. These companies include IBM, Microsoft, HP, Rackspace and Amazon.
The private clouds cannot possibly invest enough money to remain competitive with the capabilities and security that are available in public clouds. In addition as a result of economies of scale, public clouds are the leaders in establishing and implementing compliance standards.
This is also an industry where it’s really all about the applications and solutions. There will be a far more extensive SaaS application catalogue available for the public cloud than for a portfolio of private clouds all of which have implemented their own custom stack.
Let’s face it, application developers have always followed the money…
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