2006-06-07 00:00:00

My Clinical IT Outsourcing India trip: Day 2

My second day in India (the first full day that I wasn’t half asleep) went well. I had to drive from my hotel in Old Bombay to the outsourcer’s office to New Bombay, which couldn’t have been more than 15-20 miles away but took 90 minutes to get there due to traffic. And the driver said that the traffic was good. And, the monsoon season hasn’t kicked in yet. Yikes!

The story is that roads in the city of Bombay were created during a time when owning a car was not something the average man did. Given the recent booming economy and growth in personal and disposable income, though, many people with even modest jobs can afford cars and it’s created gridlock in many areas of town.

My roughly 90 minute trip again took me through areas of town that looked like they have changed for decades into areas that are literally months old. Once I arrived at the offices in New Bombay I was pleasantly surprised by my surroundings: generally modern looking offices, open work spaces, full air conditioning, and good conference rooms with excellent connectivity and IT staff. It’s like any other “first world” office building so getting down to business was easy.

I spent most of the day talking with engineers, testers, product managers, and some junior architects. Everyone spoke english so well and the offices were similar to what we’d see in the States so I almost forgot I was in India talking tech. We talked about RFID, mobile solutions, open source, and some specific clinical applications. Each of the engineers was articulate, very business oriented, and eager to speak to me. They answered questions directly and easily and I was impressed that each of the engineers was much more focused on the what (the business problems they were solving) than the how (the technology). They were quite knowledgable in technology and I will be diving deeper today and tomorrow but if these guys represent the status quo in India’s outsourcing shops India’s made it pretty far in a short period of time and they’ve got a great future.

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-07 00:00:00
2006-06-06 00:00:00

My Clinical IT Outsourcing India trip: Day 1

As some of you already know, I’m in Mumbai and Bangalore, India this week working with a couple of outsourcing firms on clinical IT projects. I’ve been working with outsourcers in places like Pakistan, Russia, and India for almost a decade and it’s going to be great to get out to India to see how “offshoring” works first-hand instead of across thousands of miles.

I can’t say I enjoyed my visit to my travel nurse before the trip. If you read the CDC warnings and bulletins (which she recited almost verbatim) for India you’d think you were headed into a germ warzone. I got all my shots (5!) to get me up to vaccination standards and got some anti-biotics and ant-malaria pills and I was off.

My first day in India went well: I arrived on a British Airways Club World class Boeing 777 aircraft and the service and lay-flat seats were pretty good. I got some sleep so I didn’t have to battle too much fatigue. As soon as I arrived at the airport my driver (that sounds so pretentious), Sheikh, picked me up and walked me towards my car. There I was mauled by about a half dozen orphans all under the age of 9 asking for money for food. I’m a softie so I gave them each $1 (which is alot of rupees for them). Sheikh said that might have been a mistake and he was right since the moment I handed out the first dollar about another half dozen or so kids attached themselves to the car and I thought we might accidentally run them over.

Sheikh drove me from the airport to my hotel and the drive, which couldn’t have been more than 10 miles, took almost forever given the slow pace of traffic and crowded streets. The driver was great and talked me through the landmarks and important places to see. He also pointed out “asia’s largest slum” area as we passed through it and I saw first-hand how devastatingly poor much of the country really is. As I got closer to the hotel the living conditions for folks seemingly improved but I must say I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the slums.

Once at the hotel I was pleasantly surprised to see that there’s little or no difference between my hotel and a 4-star or 5-star hotel in the US. The service is impeccable, there are people catering to almost any need, and it seems like there are more service people available than actual guests. Very nice.

For dinner I met with one of the VPs of the outsourcing firms I’m visiting to setup an agenda for the week. He was knowledgable and articulate, something I’ve found of most of the Indians I’ve met so far. We spent about 2 hours discussing clinical IT architecture and other related topics over my first “real” Indian meal — but it seemed to taste similar to what I have eaten in the States.

Well, that’s the report from my first day. On day 2 I’ll actually be visiting offices and talking to actual architects, coders, and testers to get first-hand knowledge of what’s going on in offshoring of IT. I think I’m going to have a blast. Stay tuned.

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-06 00:00:00
2006-06-06 00:00:00

My Clinical IT Outsourcing India trip: Day 1

As some of you already know, I’m in Mumbai and Bangalore, India this week working with a couple of outsourcing firms on clinical IT projects. I’ve been working with outsourcers in places like Pakistan, Russia, and India for almost a decade and it’s going to be great to get out to India to see how “offshoring” works first-hand instead of across thousands of miles.

I can’t say I enjoyed my visit to my travel nurse before the trip. If you read the CDC warnings and bulletins (which she recited almost verbatim) for India you’d think you were headed into a germ warzone. I got all my shots (5!) to get me up to vaccination standards and got some anti-biotics and ant-malaria pills and I was off.

My first day in India went well: I arrived on a British Airways Club World class Boeing 777 aircraft and the service and lay-flat seats were pretty good. I got some sleep so I didn’t have to battle too much fatigue. As soon as I arrived at the airport my driver (that sounds so pretentious), Sheikh, picked me up and walked me towards my car. There I was mauled by about a half dozen orphans all under the age of 9 asking for money for food. I’m a softie so I gave them each $1 (which is alot of rupees for them). Sheikh said that might have been a mistake and he was right since the moment I handed out the first dollar about another half dozen or so kids attached themselves to the car and I thought we might accidentally run them over.

Sheikh drove me from the airport to my hotel and the drive, which couldn’t have been more than 10 miles, took almost forever given the slow pace of traffic and crowded streets. The driver was great and talked me through the landmarks and important places to see. He also pointed out “asia’s largest slum” area as we passed through it and I saw first-hand how devastatingly poor much of the country really is. As I got closer to the hotel the living conditions for folks seemingly improved but I must say I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the slums.

Once at the hotel I was pleasantly surprised to see that there’s little or no difference between my hotel and a 4-star or 5-star hotel in the US. The service is impeccable, there are people catering to almost any need, and it seems like there are more service people available than actual guests. Very nice.

For dinner I met with one of the VPs of the outsourcing firms I’m visiting to setup an agenda for the week. He was knowledgable and articulate, something I’ve found of most of the Indians I’ve met so far. We spent about 2 hours discussing clinical IT architecture and other related topics over my first “real” Indian meal — but it seemed to taste similar to what I have eaten in the States.

Well, that’s the report from my first day. On day 2 I’ll actually be visiting offices and talking to actual architects, coders, and testers to get first-hand knowledge of what’s going on in offshoring of IT. I think I’m going to have a blast. Stay tuned.

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-06 00:00:00
2006-06-05 00:00:00

Green Tea makes you smarter?

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in February of this year touted the benefits of green tea.? The study looked at the cognitive impairment at different levels of green tea consumption.? The study found that those who drink 2 cups of?green tea?per day had significantly lower levels of cognitive impairment compared to those who consumed only 3 cups per week.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; February 2006; 83(2):355-361

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-05 00:00:00
2006-06-04 00:00:00

Poor Posture and Headaches

A recent study published in the medical journal Headache showed an increase in tension headache frequency and duration with head forward posture.

The weight of the head is approximately 8-12 pounds, much like a bowling ball.? When the weight of the head is put out in front of the body, it puts stress on the neck muscles and causes muscle contractions that decrease blood flow and nerve supply to the head.? This is thought to be a major cause in tension headaches experienced bymillions of people.? These headaches account for a large percentage of the over-the-counter pain medications sold each year.

Head forward posture is everywhere in our society; just look around and see how many people carry their head in front of their shoulders.? What causes head forward posture?? Head forward posture can be caused from an injury or from a sustatined poor posture.

  • Injury - Head forward posture can be the result of an injury to the neck.? For example a whiplash injury causes the muscles of the neck to tighten and decreases the natural curve of the neck.? This curve is responsible for maintaining the proper weight balance of the head.? When the curve is lost, more weight is put on the neck muscles.? This leads to muscle spasms which lead to tension headaches.
  • Poor Posture - If you work in an office, you have a great opportunity to witness head forward posture on a daily basis.? Computers, long work days and poor ergonomics predispose the body to poor posture.? This poor posture leads to muscle spasms that lead to tension headaches.

Being conscious of your head forward posture throughout the day can help prevent tension headaches.? Putting a reminder like a post-it note can be a great way to help remember the importance of good neck posture.

Dr. Bryan Bingham

Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain 2006: (Mar): 46 (3): 454-460

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-04 00:00:00
2006-06-04 00:00:00

NIH Study find Glucosamine to benefit patients with moderate to severe knee pain

SAN DIEGO, CA — November 16, 2005 — The conclusion of the NIH (GAIT) Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial was that the combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine is effective in treating moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

More about this study here:
http://www.oarsi.org/index2.cfm?section=Publications_and_Newsroom&content=Press_Releases/2006/NIH_study

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-04 00:00:00
2006-06-04 00:00:00

The unhealthly food of the week - Cinnabon Cinnamon & Cream Cheese Turnovers

So hard to resist the smell of a fresh baked cinnabon. It might be easier when you learn what goes into these delicious artery plugs. Each turnover has 410 calories, five teaspoons of sugar, six grams of trans fat and six grams of saturated fat. No wondering they smell so good.

These little heart stopping delights are now available at your favorite grocer.

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-04 00:00:00
2006-06-04 00:00:00

What can you do about your kid’s school lunch?

Growing kids need nutritious foods not only to help them grow but also to help them concentrate in school.? Unfortunately recent reports have shown the poor nutrition that our school kids are receiving.? There has been a recent connection with symptoms of ADHD and dietary intake.? What can be done about poor school lunches and the junk food that is available at your kids school?

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has put together a school foods toolkit that can be downloaded at their website, http://www.cspinet.org/schoolfoodkit.? The toolkit is broken down into three separate sections.? The first addresses goals and strategies for change; the second contains model legislation, sample letters, and a list of resources that can be adapted and used as appropriate for your community; and the third contains contact information for individuals, organizations, and states working to improve the nutritional quality of school foods and beverages.

Filed under: — @ 2006-06-04 00:00:00
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