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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

An essential to any planning, whether strategic or not, is a clear and accurate model of the future. Architects have often led the way with their realistic models of future office buildings. Those of us in IT are envious because models of future information systems often are lacking. Further, it is much more difficult to model the future organizational structures and business processes of the people who will inhabit those buildings.

Here is an interesting development that uses virtual world (VW) technology. The Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) is constructing the new Palomar Medical Center West hospital that will open in 2011. Partnering with Cisco, a full-size model of that hospital has been created virtually in Second Life. See this two-minute video pitching their vision of the Hospital of the Future. For more details, check out this press release and blog from Cisco. The virtual hospital is located here in Second Life.

The interesting part is that hospital model includes more than walls and windows. The interior organization of labs, operating rooms and the like, along with the associated equipment, can be quickly and easily changed. Further, simulations of critical healthcare procedures, like surgical operations, can be conducted to tune facilities design, information flows, and care processes. They have over three years to conduct these refinements prior to actual operation.

It will be instructive to monitor the activities surrounding this virtual hospital to see the specific ways that the eventual operation of the real hospital will be impacted. Even more instructive is to watch for uses of the virtual model AFTER the hospital is in operation.

A previous article about serious games in VW argued that there are four levels of modeling. The highest is where the virtual model reflects reality in real-time and changes to the model are reflected back as changes in the real world. Perhaps hospital administrators will find that managing the virtual model will provide insights to improving real healthcare to real patients.

Posted March 25, 2008 10:52 AM
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