Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Collaborative Innovation for Better Early Childhood through the HV-COIIN

The Home Visiting program of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) helps parents and children of disadvantaged families to lay the groundwork for a better future for their children. As part of the Home Visiting program, MCHB has launched a Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network (HV-COIIN).
This MIT video gives an overview about the use of COINs in healthcare. Among others, HV-COIIN draws on earlier experiences creating COINs from a project on Chronic Collaborative Care Networks (C3N) originally for patients with Crohn’s disease.

In the HV-COIN knowledge sharing of great ideas by home visitors and social workers is already happening in conference calls and on the  HV-COIN Web site which will provide an online forum where these ideas can be shared. However, to make the innovation process more sustainable, two issues need to be addressed:

(1) From sharing of ideas to implementation of ideas:
While home visitors from Local Implementing Agencies (LIAs) are presenting excellent solutions (a great recent example was using Google Calendar to coordinate visits to mothers), little is done to support the innovators in turning their ideas into solutions. This will entail setting up a project structure, and providing support for the innovators, and attracting volunteers to help the innovators to scale up their ideas.

(2) Coming up with breakthrough ideas
The ongoing process addresses the Improvement aspect of COIINs. This means the ideas coming up are of more incremental nature, such as for instance asking for breastfeeding rooms for young mothers at schools. To collect disruptive ideas we need to do more: reaching out to a broader audience, to bring in diverse backgrounds together, by teaming up LIA home visitors with students, or with professionals from seemingly unrelated professions. This can be done by running ideation sessions, or by setting up Webcasts and online forums for collecting far-out ideas.
Let me share a few ideas, which I collected from running my own, informal ideation sessions with colleagues and students.

1 - Create (video) peer communities of mothers: use iPads to set up video-skype such that mothers and home visitors can communicate from home, but still enjoy the energy and intimacy of face-to-face interaction.

2 - Set up “granny clubs” for reading to children age 2 months to three years using video skype, using donated books. This can e.g. be done by setting up granny clubs (these have already been pioneeded by Sugata Mitra, an Indian/British pioneer of minimally invasive education. These grannys will read books to kids over videoskype.

3 - Develop a data gathering app using smartphones for mothers, so the home visitors do not have to collect this statistical information anymore, removing a major burden of data collection from home visitors and social workers.

These ideas can be supported by students at seminars such as my COINs class at MIT/IIT/Cologne/Helsinki. These students are computer science, MBA, and design majors. In earlier seminars these students have already successfully worked in C3N and HV-COIIN projects.

More generally, a community to provide (technical) support for COINs in creating ideas could be established: set up a pool of (technical) volunteers assisting the trendsetters among the LIAs, a “COIN on COINs”.

I would love to hear your ideas?

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The potato salad crowd..... or is it the swarm

The madness of the crowd or the wisdom of the swarm,..... either way, somebody got $40k on kickstarter (and counting) for making potato salad.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Wikihistory Applet Online

Thanks to a student team in the COINs14 spring course  (Michael Sidler , Simon Fluehmann, Yulia Schmitt, Yan Zheng, Nicolas Zehnder, Silvio Pirozzi) and Stefan Wagner from FHNW the Wikishistory functionality described in a previous blog post is now online as a Java Applet.

 In order for the applet to work, the Java security settings on the Mac/Windows have to be adjusted

The applet visualizes the World’s leaders trough the ages, visualized as a Wikipedia social network, with links between leaders when two leaders lived in the same period (say at 1000AD) and have a link to each other’s Wikipedia page.

A time slider allows the user to jump to a year, from 2000BC to 2000AD, in 10 year increments. Afterwards the leaders of that period are loaded, and their social network is constructed.

Try it out, the applet works best with Firefox