Our colleagues in the UK recently began a series of interesting webinars on key government IT topics, and featuring some great speakers from gov organizations and elsewhere.
The latest in the series takes place tomorrow, Feb. 17, at 9:00am ET, and is titled, Online Citizen and Business Services: Online citizen self-service in the age of austerity. You can read more about it on the Adobe UK enterprise blog here, and can register for the event here. @AdobeEnterprise will also be live tweeting. Regardless of where you’re located, we encourage you to check it out.
The webinars are planned each month for the next several, and topics include:
March 17: Security – Citizen Data and Transactions
April 14: Designing and Delivering Intuitive Processes and Service Transactions
May 12: Simplifying Service Transactions and Business processes
Keep your eyes on the Adobe UK enterprise blog and @AdobeGov for the latest.
Update: an on-demand version of the Feb. 17 webinar is now available. Please check it out here. The discussion of Online Citizen and Business Services featured the following panelists:
Dominic Cain, Head of Client Services at the London Borough of Southwark
Guy Ker, Publishing Director at Directgov
Gilles Polin, Adobe’s European Head of Government Solutions
Helen Olsen, Managing Editor, Informed Publications
Adobe recently hosted its healthcare technology summit, “Federal Healthcare Solutions: Empowering the Patient, Payer, and Provider”, in Pentagon City, Virginia to stimulate dialogue among major federal healthcare stakeholders. The goal of the conference was to highlight ways that government agencies are leveraging Health IT to accomplish their missions and streamline complex processes through innovation.
Our keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Levin, CTO at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, set the tone for the event by sharing details of his inspiring vision to improve care for our nation’s heroes with the implementation of an open standards-based architecture for health data.
Referencing the significant role of customer experience management, Dr. Levin called for “a new model of engagement” as more users expect to securely interact with their health data through multiple diverse channels.
In the tradition of AGA 2010 (Adobe’s Government Assembly), our healthcare summit also provided everyone an opportunity to delve into relevant issues with the program speakers, including the need to balance the scope of policy with recent advances in technology.
Later, fellow panelists Jenna Noble, Deputy Program Manager for Clinical Support at Defense Health Services Systems (DHSS), and Dave Walsh, Chief Executive Officer at eServices Group, joined me for an interactive roundtable forum. Attendees were engaged as they introduced a wide range of topics including Meaningful Use interpretations as well as leveraging Health Information Exchanges and the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) for efficient claims processing.
Interestingly, one of the hot topics that emerged was the definition and implementation of standards to facilitate the seamless exchange of health data among public payers.
On behalf of Adobe, I’d like to extend a special thanks to all those who were able to attend and participate.
As we posted about recently, we were pleased to host the 2nd annual Adobe Government Assembly earlier this month in Washington, D.C. The event brought together over 500 attendees and speakers to discuss innovative ways to engage with citizens more efficiently.
We caught on video some of the key thoughts from the morning keynote, delivered by our president and CEO, Shantanu Narayen, as well as from members of the Blue Ribbon panel, including:
Alan Cohn, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Plans, Department of Homeland Security
Tom Davis, Former Congressman, 11th District of Virginia, and Federal Government Relations Director, Deloitte LLP
Craig Kaucher, Chief Information and Technology Officer, Defense Media Activity, Department of Defense
Gwynne Kostin, Co-Director, Center for New Media and Citizen Engagement, General Services Administration
You can also check out Adobe Connect recordings of the keynotes, Blue Ribbon panel, and track sessions on the Assembly web site here.
The 2nd Adobe Government Assembly was held last week in Washington D.C. Over 500 attendees gathered to discuss innovative ways to engage with citizens more efficiently. The major topics of discussion centered on improving engagement on the web, across mobile devices, using the cloud, and using social media.
Blue Ribbon Panel: Rob Pinkerton, Tom Davis, Gwynne Kostin, Craig Kaucher, and Alan Cohn
One recurring theme in both the keynote and the Blue Ribbon Panel was about the future of engagement as citizens shift how they access the Internet. In particular, this means preparing to engage constituents across multiple screens. In the opening keynote Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, discussed technology trends that will affect Internet access in the future.
During our candid discussion, I asked Dr. Levin for his perspectives on the Blue Button initiative and the Developer Challenge, as well as the role of Health Information Technology as it relates to his vision of empowerment for V.A. consumers.
“Why isn’t there a button on your website that I can click to access my personal medical history? A little blue button.”
That simple question was posed to the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), and proved to be the catalyst for significant improvements in the ways that a veteran can interact with his own health data.
VA developed that Blue Button in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Department of Defense, along with the Markle Foundation’s Consumer Engagement Workgroup.
On August 2, 2010 President Obama announced the Blue Button initiative to thousands of applauding veterans, who stood to benefit from the ability to take ownership of their Personal Health Record (PHR), downloaded from the VA website with just a click.
. *Blue Button comments begin at 24:00
That defining moment, however, was not the end of the story. Since each veteran’s comprehensive record was to be downloaded as a plain ASCII text file, the Markle and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations issued the Blue Button Developer Challenge on behalf of the VA. The goal of the challenge was to spur the innovative development of web-based solutions, enabling Blue Button users to meaningfully interact with their health data in an even more useful way. Sharing that common goal, respondents to the challenge were diverse; ranging from start-up IT companies and individual developers to Google and Microsoft.
On October 7, 2010, Adobe was announced the winner of the Blue Button Developer Challenge.
As the team lead, I had the privilege of receiving the award on Adobe’s behalf at the fourth annual Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco from a distinguished panel featuring Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Peter Levin,Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Also, I had the opportunity to deliver a presentation, highlighting key features of Blue Button Health Assistant, Adobe’s innovative solution that combines the intuitive real-time interface of Adobe AIR technology with the benefits of the secure, auditable, and ubiquitous PDF format (leveraging PDF-Healthcare Best Practices) regardless of the user’s platform, browser, or device.
Certified PDF screenshot
These benefits resonated well with the discerning team of technology powerhouses who served as judges, including Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark; Assistant Vice President of the Health Group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Steve Downs; Consumers Union health policy expert Steve Findlay; and personal health records pioneer Dr. James Ralston of Group Health Cooperative. Submissions were evaluated on the following key criteria:
Usefulness to patients in helping them stay healthy or manage their care.
Potential to impact health and well-being by addressing high-priority health goals.
Platform neutral (can be accessed by a consumer with simple web browser).
Usability / ease of use.
As a veteran myself, it was particularly rewarding to be a part of Team Adobe throughout this incredible process. But this story, and others like it, continues on as Adobe identifies and develops more ways to leverage Open Government as more than just a concept, but rather a tool to advance agency missions.
The inaugural GovFresh event this Wednesday offered a compelling glimpse at how to deliver on the open government promise. After the event, we had a chance to chat with number of the event’s speakers and then pull their perspectives together into a short clip. This clip highlights how government innovators and entrepreneurs are leveraging open government to drive environmental stewardship, advance public safety, speed public service, and foster innovation. See the video below.
Overall, the event offered insight from both sides of open government equation: innovators and citizens using government information and governments making data available. For those on the government side, you might also find the event’s Q&A particularly valuable (see the event replay starting at 1:01:50). Many agencies are still struggling to define their open government strategy and allocate resources in order to make information easy to find, use, and trust for the public. In the Q&A Chris Vein, San Francisco’s CIO, offers a perspective based on their experience overcoming many of the tricky practical issues governments are dealing with when it comes to opening up government data.
Last night, GovFresh and Adobe hosted 200 attendees at the inaugural GovFresh event, sf.govfresh. The event was also live broadcast over Adobe Connect for those who couldn’t join the event in person. A replay of the broadcast is now available.
The July/August issue of Harvard Business Review features the article titled “Empowered,” by Josh Bernoff and Ted Shadler – a great read on how some leading companies are empowering their employees to use social technologies to interact with customers and help solve their problems. One of the highlighted use cases is the U.S. State Department, which used Adobe Connect to create Co.Nx (pronounced “connex”) for presenting webchats with speakers ranging from President Obama, to the upcoming webchat with Curt Onalfo, head coach of D.C. United. With a strong presence on Facebook, Co.Nx has more than 100,000 fans and its webchats are viewed by tens of thousands throughout the world.
Read more about some of the cool ways companies are using Adobe Connect to connect with their employees and customers here.
Many government agencies are looking at ways to innovate with social media to increase transparency and participation between staff and the community. As I’ve expressed in the past through this blog and at various conferences, the real opportunity for public sector is to understand the characteristics of social media that make it so engaging and collaborative and infuse it into the core operations of government whether that is to deliver services, collect revenue or inform citizens.
One lesson from social media is the immediacy and richness of information that can be shared through digital channels. Blogs, online video sharing platforms and Twitter have demonstrated the power and desire by the public to share information quickly and easily.