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December 29, 2008

Pricewaterhouse Coopers Looks Into Healthcare Crystal Ball for 2009

Uncategorized

In an annual review of the most pressing issues for health executives and policy makers, PwC identified nine top issues for 2009:

  1. The economic downturn will hit healthcare
  2. The underinsured will surpass the uninsured as healthcare’s biggest headache
  3. Big pharma turns to M&A to build the drug pipeline
  4. From vaccines to regulation, prevention is on the rise
  5. Genetic testing reaching a price point for the masses
  6. The Internet and social networking is a powerful health extended “Technology will empower patients in new ways during 2009. The increased information and growing patient-to-patient interaction over social networking platforms and websites such as patientslikeme.com and americanwell.com are changing how healthcare is navigated and experienced by consumers, especially as electronic health records become more common.”
  7. Hospitals must perform to get paid
  8. Payers and employers to give incentives for wellness programs
  9. ICD-10 will require a major resource investment

Read full Healthcare IT News article

December 25, 2008

PatientsLikeMe Named a Top Real World App of 2008

CommerceNet Portfolio Companies, Health Care

ReadWriteWeb included PatientsLikeMe, a CommerceNet portfolio company, in their list of top “real world apps that have made our offline lives easier in 2008.”

“PatientsLikeMe is an online community for people with life-changing medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, or fibromyalgia. Even though the site is still relatively new, it already provides one of the largest patient communities, and also features a wide range of research tools for symptoms and treatments.

“PatientsLikeMe was founded in 2004 and defines its mission as providing a platform for sharing real world medical data. Members of the site often share data about their individual health experiences like symptoms, weight, mood swings, or drugs they have taken. Thanks to this, you can easily find others who are in the same situation as you and what treatments are working for them.”

PatientsLikeMe was also name to ReadWriteWeb’s “Top 100 products of 2008.”

Read full “Top 10 Real World Web Apps of 2008″ article

December 8, 2008

Vivaty Launches Vivaty Points

CommerceNet Portfolio Companies

On December 8, Vivaty, a CommerceNet portfolio company, launched Vivaty Points, a way to start earning points for all the events and activities that users do when in Vivaty, such as sending gifts. Points is the first in a long series of upcoming features and building blocks for the virtual economy.

Read full post

November 25, 2008

Thousands of Patients Won’t Take It: Online Drug Studies Using PatientsLikeMe

Health Care

In a November 23, 2008, post on the Patient Safety Blog, Ken Farbstein discusses how PatientsLikeMe, a CommerceNet portfolio company, sheds light on the effectiveness of drugs in clinical trials.

His advice: Patients interested in clinical drug trails should look into PatientsLikeMe.

Read “Thousans of Patients Won’t Take It: Online Drug Studies Using PatientsLikeMe

September 21, 2008

Breaking Down Barriers to Collaboration–The Health Commons Initiative

Health Care

John Willbanks, VP of Science at Creative Commons, will be talking about the Health Commons initiative at the upcoming InnovationWell Community of Practice InterAction Meeting on October 14 – 17, 2008 in Philadelphia. Health Commons is collaboration between CommerceNet, Science Commons, and the Public Library of Science to transform drug discovery. 

Abstract: Breaking Down Barriers to Collaboration–The Health Commons Initiative Imagine a virtual marketplace or ecosystem where participants share data, knowledge, materials and services to accelerate research. The components might include databases on the results of chemical assays, toxicity screens, and clinical trials; libraries of drugs and chemical compounds; repositories of biological materials (tissue samples, cell lines, molecules), computational models predicting drug efficacies or side effects, and contract services for high-throughput genomics and proteomics, combinatorial drug screening, animal testing, biostatistics, and more. The resources offered through the Commons might not necessarily be free, though many could be. However, all would be available under standard pre-negotiated terms and conditions and with standardized data formats that eliminate the debilitating delays, legal wrangling and technical incompatibilities that frustrate scientific collaboration today. 

We envision a Commons where a researcher will be able to order everything needed to replicate a published experiment as easily as ordering DVDs from Amazon. A Commons where one can create a workflow to exploit replicated results on an industrial scale–searching the world’s biological repositories for relevant materials; routing them to the best labs for molecular profiling; forwarding the data to a team of bioinfomaticians for collaborative analysis of potential drug targets; and finally hiring top service providers to run drug screens against those targets; with everything–knowledge, data, and materials–moving smoothly from one provider to the next, monitored and tracked with Fed-Ex precision; where the workflow scripts themselves can become part of the Commons, for others to reuse and improve. Health Commons’ marketplace will slash the time, cost, and risk of developing treatments for diseases. Individual researchers, institutions, and companies will be able to publish information about their expertise and resources so that others in the community can readily discover and use them. Core competencies, from clinical trial design to molecular profiling, will be packaged as turnkey services and made available over the Net. The Commons will serve as the public-domain, non-profit hub, with third-parties providing value added services that facilitate information access, communication, and collaboration. 

September 7, 2008

Usable Security Systems to Make Its Debut at DEMOfall08

Security

Usable Security Systems, a CommerceNet portfolio company founded by Rachna Dhamija and Allan M. Schiffman, is launching its product, UsableLogin, at DEMOfall08 in San Diego today.

If you’re at DEMO, make sure to tell the Usable team that we’re proud of them!

July 24, 2008

Dr. Donald Kennedy to Lead CollabRx Scientific Advisory Board

Health Care

Dr. Donald Kennedy, president emeritus at Stanford University, former editor-in-chief of Science, and FDA commissioner under President Carter, will chair the scientific advisory board at CollabRx.

Read more about Dr. Donald Kennedy

July 8, 2008

Vivaty Scenes Taps Facebook, AIM for ‘Immersive Internet’

Innovation, Uncategorized

By Earnest Cavalli

WIRED Blog Network

A new immersive web platform called Vivaty Scenes lets users create tiny virtual worlds and decorate them with content from around the Internet.

After adding Vivaty Scenes, which entered public beta Tuesday, to a Facebook or AOL Instant Messenger account, users can set up a customizable “room” where they can host chat sessions or small virtual gatherings within a web browser.

Read full article

March 21, 2008

CommerceNet Internships — Summer 2008

Uncategorized

We are offering a couple internship positions at CommerceNet this summer.

CommerceNet is an entrepreneurial research institute, dedicated to fulfill the promise of the Internet. We are currently seeking Software Engineer interns to implement a data visualization Web application for public health information. Involves JavaScript and Python, both data access and graphics. CommerceNet may also accept proposals for internships to work on well-specified projects of the intern’s own design.

What you’ll do

  • Develop open source libraries or widgets for graphing and data visualization
  • Build public service, community oriented Web site
  • Be part of a small team or work nearly independently
  • Develop with minimal guidance, using rapid iteration and feedback loop and with leeway in choices of tools.
  • Borrow, create or collaborate on visual design and visual elements

Required Skills:

  • Web Applications development, including CSS and JavaScript
  • Python or demonstrated ability to pick up languages
  • MySQL or similar data management experience
  • Great ability to extrapolate from raw ideas to realistic implementations.
  • Demonstrated initiative pulling a project forward
  • Some experience using graphics libraries
  • Familiarity with Cleveland or Tufte principles would be a bonus

Email cn-hr@commerce.net with questions or cover letter and resume.

October 2, 2007

Commuknity

Uncategorized

A goal of many new Web “2.0″ ventures is to build a large or at least persistent community. Success is difficult to measure, but breaking into the top 100,000 sites by traffic measured by Alexa is one goal. It might be a good sign if the site designers send emails to a few people asking them to take a look at the site and after only two days over 3000 people sign up to beta test. You could do worse than to have a list of 60,000 people desperate to join your site before it leaves beta — so desperate that the site admins put a “waiting list checker” page up just so that an impatient person can see how many people are in line to get accounts before he or she does.

The site that’s done this is Ravelry. A knitter and her bored Web monkey[0] husband put up a site intending to collect knitters’ descriptions of their ongoing or finished projects. The core idea was that knitters are always thinking of what project they should do and with what yarn, and they look at what other knitters have done as “research”. Without Ravelry, I used to google for yarn names and painstakingly trawl through search hits (and misses) and get tantalizing ideas for what to do with some particular yarn, but with incomplete information about where the pattern came from or what size needles were used. I knew that somewhere out there were dozens more projects, photos online and everything, but the knitter didn’t bother mentioning the yarn name in association with the photo so I couldn’t find it.

In theory, somebody could have predicted Ravelry could be a hit. The founders of Ravelry initially thought it could have 10,000 users, because there was clearly a community of knitting bloggers that habitually commented on each other’s blogs and even arranged meetups with people never met in person before (at sheep festivals, book signings, or local pubs and cafes). These are the people who — when a few popular bloggers raved about a yarn called “Socks that Rock” — made that yarn so popular that a bank shut down payments for the providers of that yarn, thinking that an ecommerce venture so small and so quickly popular must actually be using stolen credit cards or otherwise scamming its customers.
There’s probably a way to find such groups emerging — find people linking to each other back and forth frequently, for example, track reciprocal comments. But to successfully build a site for those people, one probably needs to understand their needs first.

[0] I use the term “Web monkey” with the greatest respect, implying a facility with the medium that I do not have. Hat tip to Stash and Burn for their interview with Jenn and Casey, and some of the facts used.

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