Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HTML5 and Adobe Redux

With the rise of HTML5, Adobe's Flash has been positioned as the antagonist of the open standard. Increasingly, HTML5 is used to serve online videos though the matter is far from resolved.

Adobe has just released an embeddable video player that plays HTML5 native video in browsers that support it, and falls back to Flash in browsers that don't. It's cross-browser and cross-platform, so it works on iPhones, iPads and other devices that don't support Flash. Using Adobe's new player, these devices can show videos in web pages without the Flash plug-in. The shift takes place regardless of the screen -- from phone to monitor to TV.

This means that Adobe wasn't kidding when they said they were riding the HTML5 bandwagon as hard as anybody right now.

The HTML5 Video Player widget, now available through the Adobe Widget Browser, works with or without Dreamweaver CS5. Code generated from the widget plays video in the best possible player for the requested platform using a range of video codecs. Based on the Kaltura open source library, the HTML5 Video Player widget is fully cross-browser compatible with support for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Moreover, the player is completely customizable with industry standard CSS techniques.

You can run the Adobe Widget Browser directly from within Dreamweaver and, once you’ve set it up, insert the generated code and files for the HTML5 Video Player widget with point-and-click simplicity. But if you’re not a Dreamweaver user, you can also download the Widget Browser independently. (You’ll need to install Adobe AIR first.)

Click here for links to several new tutorials on HTML5.

Click here for my post on the Dreamweaver CS5 HTML5 Pack

Monday, October 11, 2010

HTML5 And Risks To Privacy On The Front Page Of The Non-Techinal Press

I have a couple of posts on HTML5 below. Nonetheless, I was a little surprised to see this topic (in the context of "risks to privacy") discussed on the front page of this morning's edition of the New York Times (and elsewhere):

From this morning’s front page:

Most Web users are familiar with so-called cookies, which make it possible, for example, to log on to Web sites without having to retype user names and passwords, or to keep track of items placed in virtual shopping carts before they are bought.

The new Web language (HTML5) and its additional features present more tracking opportunities because the technology uses a process in which large amounts of data can be collected and stored on the user’s hard drive while online. Because of that process, advertisers and others could, experts say, see weeks or even months of personal data. That could include a user’s location, time zone, photographs, text from blogs, shopping cart contents, e-mails and a history of the Web pages visited.

Click here for more.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cost/Benefit and ROI aspects of Health Information Technology (HIT)

Whether or not EHR and other HIT systems benefits exceed costs is a question being discussed in many quarters today. A 2006 report { click here } based on research conducted by the Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center provides what I consider a good framework for a priori and a posteriori examination of the cost/benefit and ROI aspects of this question.

Despite the heterogeneity in the analytic methods used, all cost-benefit analyses predicted substantial savings from EHR (and health care information exchange and interoperability) implementation: The quantifiable benefits are projected to outweigh the investment costs. However, the predicted time needed to break even varied from three to as many as 13 years.

Many of the studies concerned HIT systems developed and evaluated by academic and institutional leaders in HIT.

  • Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, IN
  • Partners/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA
  • Intermountain Health in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Kaiser Permanente health care system
  • Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care
As asserted above, you need to ask when a particular system will reach the break even point. You also need to examine any potential for a mismatch between who pays for and who accrues cost savings from HIT use. Private organizations deciding whether to invest in HIT must weigh the costs and benefits of doing so. Although the primary goal of nonprofit healthcare organizations may be to provide high-quality care, these organizations still need to watch the bottom line to survive, which includes understanding the costs of measures designed to improve quality. Such private return-on-investment (ROI) calculations can provide results that are quite different from those of societal cost-benefit analysis, which are often reported in clinical journals. For example, one study showed that a hospital that installed a computerized reminder system to alert providers when patients were not up-to-date on their immunizations increased pneumococcal vaccine orders by 8 percent. Another study showed that, among the elderly, each $12 vaccination averts $20.27 in hospital costs and increases life expectancy an average of 1.2 days. From society’s point of view, the reminder system saves money and improves health, so it is a win-win program. However, from a financial perspective, the hospital has spent money on a system that had no effect on the costs or revenues of current stays because the pneumococcal vaccine is not delivered in the hospital. To benefit from this intervention, the hospital must make a reputation for higher quality and convert it into profits. This is one example of the potential for a mismatch between who pays for and who accrues cost savings from HIT use. A more extreme example would be a hospital’s implementation of a HIT intervention that averts future hospitalization. In this case, HIT implementation both costs the hospital money and decreases hospital revenues, even if the HIT implementation has a net cost-savings from a societal (or Medicare) perspective.

For more, click here, here and here.