Telemedicine use spreading in NNY

Charles Wainwright – Wainwright Photo
A doctor at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse communicates in 2016 with a patient using telemedicine technology.Use of the technology in the north country has grown exponentially over the past three years.

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Go digital for lasting improvements

Jill Van Hoesen

Jill Van Hoesen

As we move into 2017 the lines between the varying sectors of industries and businesses will become even more blurred and each and every company or organization will need to begin to become just a little more of a technology company.
You will hear about this craze throughout 2017, as the omnipresent quest to “go digital” will continue. Your digital transformation will equate into numerous opportunities for empowering your employees and enhancing customer engagement through new services and product offerings. Your keys to success will be different for each of you but you can begin to reconcile your existing technologies with the new digital offerings by taking the advice of Bill Briggs, chief technology officer, for Deloitte Consulting LLP, “Think big, start small, fail fast and keep moving”.
As you begin your digital innovation and investment strategy you must understand the impact the latest emerging technology trends will have on your business. This understanding needs to be translated into a strategic plan inclusive of these new emerging technologies and the understanding of how these latest kinds of changes will drive your business model and market. Each of you will approach this with your own unique set of perspectives, goals, opportunities and challenges. You will find as the boundaries blur commonality will emerge that can provide you some powerful opportunities to share ideas and strategies among entities which you may have been previously disconnected. Your technical and business leaders need to get on the same page to jumpstart your organization’s digital transformation and the magnitude of opportunities a digital transformation can mean. The harder part will be translating this “digital transformation” into viable opportunities for customer engagement, employee empowerment and new products and services that will enhance your bottom line.
Your tech leaders will embrace this as it will give them dispensation in their roles of strategist and change catalyst. You should look to your tech leaders to first evaluate the possibility of extracting more value from your present legacy systems. This could mean a full upgrade to a new platform or possibly only replacing outdated components with some newer tools driven by the latest technology. I am sure you have a sufficient investment in your core system(s) so core modernization needs to be done at a granular level taking into account your present budget, architecture, security, scalability and life cycle of the system. If you plan carefully and keep these changes manageable it will go a long way in helping your business meet its needs today while creating a roadmap for the future.
You and your organization are not alone in this digital transformation struggle. To some degree, most organizations are facing many of the same digital challenges. Technical debt is a real challenge in many organizations, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that legacy systems have no life left in them, maintaining core operations and keeping the lights on still matter greatly for most of us. A critical part of any effort to digitally modernize your business is to shore up your core information technology foundation. If your core is solid and running well you will have the foundation to begin to build your digital transformation on. Strategy is the key here, as digital transformation is as much about your tactics as your mind-set. If your business is in order you can begin to evaluate the pieces of digital transformation like integration, design and architecture. You will find the transition will be easiest on all when it can be focused on creating a specific product, service or customer experience. This provides the buy in you need from your stakeholders and the effort becomes bound to a precise not abstract goal. This should be your first step in your much broader effort toward digitally transforming your enterprise.
In 2017 and beyond successful companies will most likely be those that can live up to the mandate of being a tech company. Analytics and digital are the new currency on which all competition is being waged. Your challenge is determining how your company will compete in this digital environment and this challenge is not a luxury and it is not an option. If you are not exploiting the latest digital technologies and analytics to drive new offerings and customer experiences don’t worry your competition will.

Jill Van Hoesen is chief information officer for Johnson Newspapers and a 25-year IT veteran. Contact her at Her column appears monthly in NNY Business.

Agricultural drone tested at Adams farm

The Precision PaceSetter drone, equipped with six blades, is being sold by Cazenovia Equipment Co., which has demonstrated the use of agricultural drones at farms across the state. Cazenovia Equipment Co.

A camera-equipped agricultural drone swept over a 30-acre field at Deer Run Dairy in the town in late August, taking hundreds of photos while automatically flying a course set by GPS coordinates.

The demonstration using the Precision PaceSetter drone — equipped with six blades and infrared technology — was conducted by Ronald F. Porter, customer support specialist for Cazenovia Equipment Co. stores in Watertown, Lowville and Sandy Creek. Mr. Porter said the drone demonstration at the farm off Bishop Street Road, owned by Michael R. Burger, helped identify poorly performing corn and hay plants in need of more fertilizer. He said Cazenovia has conducted similar demonstrations across the state with agricultural drones, which it began selling this summer.

The most expensive drone offered by Cazenovia is the PaceSetter — priced at $17,5000 — which can be programmed to run on auto-pilot missions over fields. Users have the ability to preset the altitude, longitude and latitude of flight, Mr. Porter said. The drone is equipped with a video overlay system that uses infrared technology to show the health of plants. Pictures and videos shot by the drone allow farmers to pinpoint fertilizer and irrigation problems and soil variation, along with fungal and pest infestations that aren’t visible at eye level.

“I might take 200 pictures during a flight. When I combine them, I’m getting a picture of the field shaded from red to green, with red indicating no photosynthesis and green being high,” Mr. Porter said. “Based on those pictures, we could then give a prescription for a sprayer or fertilizer spreader to get nutrients required on the field.” [Read more…]

GIS programs have numerous uses

Star Carter

Star Carter

Geographic Information System is a computerized system used to store, analyze, retrieve and manipulate spatial data. Many people use GIS technology without realizing it. The last time you were in a new city looking for the nearest coffee shop, you may have used your smart phone’s map app to find it. MapQuest, Google Earth and the GPS device in your vehicle are all examples of GIS.

GIS technology is a combination of hardware, software and data that is used to collect, manage and display information. GIS has a wide range of uses and capabilities. Trucking and distribution companies use it to plan delivery routes. [Read more…]

WSB goes mobile

Scott M. Pooler, chief information officer and vice president of Watertown Savings Bank, displays the bank’s new smartphone app, which allows customers to deposit checks by phone, as well as view account balances and complete other banking transactions. Justin Sorensen/ NNY Business

Smartphone app enables check deposits by phone [Read more…]

Pop your hood for amazing tech

Jill Van Hoesen

It was back in the late 1970s when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began to insist that automakers devise ways to monitor the effectiveness of automobile emission control systems. This led to the birth of the first version of the standardized On-Board Diagnostics protocol. Late model cars now have the second generation OBD, known as OBD-II, and require a Controller Area Network to efficiently connect all of a vehicle’s sensors.

Vehicles are increasingly becoming computers with wheels—a system of software protocols and wires connecting a vehicle’s computers and sensors. [Read more…]

Lacona firm uses its technology to help build trachea: Equipment aids Korean tot

BioSpherix, a company based in Lacona, provided a cell incubation system used by an international team of surgeons at Children’s Hospital of Illinois to create and implant a windpipe into a 32-month-old Korean toddler born without a trachea.

Hannah Warren, who was unable to breathe, talk, swallow, eat or drink since birth, was the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment, conducted at the hospital April 9.

The toddler had spent her life in a neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, before the ground-breaking operation.The trachea was created using the toddler’s own stem cells.

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Evaluate freeware to lower costs

Established long before indoor plumbing and even the home telephone, the Dugas Studio, my family’s business, was founded in 1892 by my great-grandfather and operated quite differently than most family businesses today.

With Internet access continually expanding, handwritten appointment books and accounting ledgers have given way to technology that enables flexibility and sharpens the competitive edge for family businesses. [Read more…]

Expect a few licensing price hikes

Worldwide, information technology spending this year is expected to total $247 billion with 69 percent of that earmarked for server management and administration. Microsoft has ensured an even larger portion of this by increasing the purchase price on some of its most popular and widely deployed server software. [Read more…]

SMC rebuilds urology, adds robotic technology

Dr. Alejandro R. Rodriguez, chief of robotics at Samaritan Medical Center, poses with the da Vinci Surgical System robotic arms in a SMC operating room. Photo by Amanda Morrison/Watertown Daily Times.

Samaritan Medical Center has rebuilt its urology program and added robotics surgery.

Urologist Alejandro R. Rodriguez has worked at the hospital since Nov. 1, when he began performing robot-assisted surgery with Samaritan’s new $2 million da Vinci Surgical System. Urologist Pierre Mechali is expected to begin work with Samaritan in early 2013.

The da Vinci system “was a part of our initial strategic plan,” said hospital spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle. “It was one of the justifications for building new operating rooms. The old operating rooms wouldn’t accommodate this. It also attracts doctors that are robotics certified.”

Dr. Rodriguez said the system allows the physician to perform more precise surgery with smaller incisions and less bleeding. Patients also heal faster, he said.

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