Posts in Category "Standards"

October 11, 2010

Adobe Wins Top Honors for the V.A. Blue Button Solution for Health Records

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“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.
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*Blue Button comments begin at 24:00

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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

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:

  1. Usefulness to patients in helping them stay healthy or manage their care.
  2. Potential to impact health and well-being by addressing high-priority health goals.
  3. Platform neutral (can be accessed by a consumer with simple web browser).
  4. 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.

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8:57 PM Permalink
August 11, 2010

Adobe on Open Source and Standards: Part 3 of 3

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In the final installment of our series, Dave McAllistair, Adobe Director of Open Source and Standards, talks about open government, standards and open source.

Full transcript: OpenSourceStandardsPt3of3.pdf

10:37 AM Permalink
August 10, 2010

Adobe on Open Source and Standards: Part 2 of 3

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Dave McAllister, Adobe Director of Open Source and Standards, continues his perspectives on “open” at Adobe. Today, Dave discusses PDF and Flash.

Full transcript: OpenSourceStandardsPt2of3.pdf

2:37 PM Permalink
August 9, 2010

Adobe on Open Source and Standards: Part 1 of 3

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Recently, we sat down with Dave McAllister, Adobe Director of Open Source and Standards, to get his perspectives on “open” at Adobe. This is the first segment of a three part interview. In parts two and three, coming later this week, Dave will cover:

-Recent developments at Adobe re: open source and standards
-Discussion of PDF and Flash in terms of open
-Obama’s Open Government Initiative
-What’s next for Adobe in terms of open source and standards

Full transcript: OpenSourceStandardsPt1of3.pdf.

2:34 PM Permalink
May 13, 2010

Open vs. Choice

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I’ve written about this elusive word “open” in the past. My point was the word can mean many things depending on context and perspective. I think it has become a widely over used, misused word. That said, I was very happy this morning when Adobe took a shot at providing an explanation of what the word “open” means to the company. Even Adobe’s founders, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock, weighed in with their thoughts on the topic. (Check it out here.)

Putting this into my own words, to Adobe, “open” equates to freedom of choice. It is a spirit that permeates the culture of the company as well as the technologies it creates. Adobe’s definition is not limited to “open source” or “open standards”, but actually supersedes and embraces these ideas into a bigger concept. Does Adobe take the steps to make every single one of its technologies available as open source or push every one of its protocols into the open standards arena? Of course not. However, many of its core technologies HAVE been offered as open source (Flex, AVM+), granted to open standards bodies (PDF is now ISO 32000) or, at the very least, openly published as specifications (SWF, FLV/F4V, RTMP, AMF) for others to use to create new and unforeseen solutions.

And of course, always remember Adobe’s continued commitment to support and participate in the development of open standards.

So, does it really HAVE to be “Open vs. Choice” or should it be “Open = Choice”? The beauty of this is, everyone gets to decide for themselves!

10:03 AM Permalink
April 29, 2010

Serving the two consumers of government transparency

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Jim King, Adobe’s PDF Platform Architect, discusses how the PDF standard can be used to reach both beneficiaries of the Open Government movement: those who are looking for raw government data to examine and interpret; and the general public who expects information about their government to be relevant to their needs and easy to consume.

11:08 AM Permalink
March 23, 2010

I’ll bet you have an opinion on using PDF for Open Government

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So, unless you live completely off the grid (which, of course, means you won’t be reading this), I’m willing to bet at some point in time you’ve interacted with the government via a PDF. There, I said it.

PDF files are everywhere, I don’t really need to beat that drum. However, there is a drum that probably DOES need just a little beating regarding the usefulness of some existing PDF files to various consumers of government information. Mind you, I did NOT say the usefulness of PDF, that this standard is useful should not be in question. What should be in question is the way some people CREATE PDF files and for what purpose!

Based on a “long” 6 years of working for Adobe, I feel safe in saying that the ISO32000 standard (better known as PDF) is one of the more misunderstood formats in use on the web today. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear or read a comment that is simply wrong.

So, one might ask, how is it that such a widely used format can become so misunderstood at the same time? Of course, there are many contributing factors, but few more apparent than the ability for anyone to create a PDF and post it without regard to any best practices or an understanding of how that PDF can or may be used. Self-publishing, as great as it is, can and has created a whole new set of problems! But, I digress…..

The reason I’m writing this post today is to appeal to those who create and consume government information/data to join a discussion to help identify and articulate a set of best practices for using PDF. I started the discussion with the recognizable concern of making information available to people and machines.

If you have any interest in this topic, please join me on Govloop and participate in this discussion: http://tinyurl.com/y8w3zja

I’m looking forward to a productive and spirited conversation!

6:16 AM Permalink
September 29, 2009

US District Court Judge issues first digitally signed judicial order

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For the first time in history, the Honorable John M. Facciola, Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, signed a judicial order, not with paper and pen, but with a digital signature! Press release here.

For more details, check out the posting on Adobe’s Security Matters blog.

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5:10 PM Permalink
April 1, 2009

DoD Certifies Acrobat and Reader 9

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The United States Department of Defense Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) has certified both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader version 9.

Many programs supporting the Department of Defense missions require security services, such as authentication, confidentiality, non-repudiation, and access control. The JITC certification demonstrates compliance with DoD policy as well as showing confidence that the applications are properly and securely using Public Key Infrastructure.

Here are the direct links for certification of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader

Certification was also achieved for Acrobat and Reader version 7 and version 8.

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2:45 PM Permalink
March 17, 2009

NIST FDCC Compliance with Adobe Acrobat and Reader

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The Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) is a list of security settings managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for US government computers. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued instructions to agencies to use these settings with a vendor’s self-assertion of desktop applications working with FDCC settings.

Adobe Acrobat 9.0 and Adobe Reader 9.0 have been tested and meet the NIST FDCC compliance guidelines according to the testing process provided in OMB memo m08‐22.

For details on compliance testing, check out the posting on the Security Matters blog.

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11:04 AM Permalink