Rich Mahoney is the director of robotics engineering at SRI. He has more than 20 years of experience in the development and research of robotics. He holds a BS and an MS from Drexel University in Pennsylvania and a PhD in engineering from the University of Cambridge, England. In this interview he talks about current developments in the robotics industry and potential uses of robotics in our daily lives as well as the future of this fascinating field.
Sramana Mitra: Rich, let’s start with a bit of context. Give us an overview of where you think robotics sits today.
Rich Mahoney: This is my 25th year in robotics. I started in 1988 as a graduate student, and robotics itself emerged in the 1960s as a manufacturing technology in Boston and Silicon Valley, where the first demonstrations of industrial robotics were gaining traction. >>>
The cost of healthcare administration is a hot issue in America. According to the Center for American progress, in the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $361 billion annually goes to cover administrative costs. That number is a 14 percent of total healthcare expenditure nationwide.
Improvements in IT are expected to reduce these expenditures dramatically. The New England Journal of Medicine, citing the Harvard University Department of Economics, states that “The average U.S. physician spends 43 minutes a day interacting with health plans about payment, dealing with formularies, and obtaining authorizations for procedures.” In the report released by the Center for American Progress in June 2012, experts estimate that adoption of electronic transactions, or adoption of IT, can lead to a potential $26.1 billion in annual savings.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health record (EHR) industry in the U.S. is estimated to be worth $6 billion by 2015. The report projects an annual growth rate of 18% over the five-year period 2010 through 2015.
The world of healthcare is complicated. And as more healthcare organizations adopt cloud technologies, electronic health records and other digital mediums, the healthcare industry and, consequently,healthcare IT become more complicated, too. Physicians and other healthcare workers must ensure that they are HIPAA compliant, among other concerns. Healthcare IT is a fascinating industry that I have covered more than once on my blog, and I am naturally excited to be covering a woman entrepreneur who, like myself, is technology-focused. >>>
The healthcare IT industry has been in the news lately as various medical authorities and organizations work together to define Stage 2 requirements of the Meaningful Use initiative. Under the HITECH Act, Stage 1 under the Meaningful Use initiative began in 2011 and referred to the capability of physician providers to transfer data to electronic health records (EHRs) and share information, including electronic copies and visit summaries for patients. According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), 57% of office-based physicians are now using either partial or full electronic medical record (EMR) systems. >>>
Web 3.0 and Mental Illness: Personalization
Finally, all this would be so much more manageable with a serious dose of personalization that offers both a virtual and a physical case manager. Based on the illness, location, insurance plan, family situation, patient demographics, and so on, custom solutions need to be researched and designed. A virtual case manager can easily charge $50 a month, while physical case managers charge $200–$500 a month. >>>
Web 3.0 and Mental Illness: Content
The content needs of the domain are immense and range all the way from content related to various illnesses, their symptoms, medications, prognosis, and state of research, to the vast spectrum of discussions and insights on coping mechanisms and support resources for family and friends. >>>
First, we explore context. What brings users to the web?
It could be that a family member is in the middle of a first psychosis. However, the family has no experience of the phenomenon, and hence, they do not know what the symptoms mean. They come to the web for research. >>>