With 50,000km of coastline, Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And with our love of sport and outdoor adventure, it comes as no surprise that Australia also has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world – two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85, which brings not only a significant loss of lives each year, but also costs the economy more than $3.8 billion in direct health system expense.
The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better chance of avoiding surgery and/or preventing death. Fortunately, humans are pretty good at identifying positive and negative cases of skin cancer, with the highest level of accuracy achieved at 84%. But imagine if we could increase the accuracy to more than 95%? Given Australian GPs are faced with over 1 million patient consultations each year for skin cancer, that could translate into 110,000 more accurate diagnoses each year.
You can see why I’m really excited about the project that IBM Research and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center are currently working on – using visual analytics to increase the accuracy of skin cancer diagnosis.
There is a new generational gap emerging in the world of business, driven by a group of organisations we fondly refer to as “Generation D” — for data, which sits at the very heart of how these organisations think and act.
The bad news is, according to the statistics, chances are you’re not working for one of them. The good news is, unlike many generational trends this is not related to age, so there is hope yet.
We know that data and analytics has the potential to impact how we work each and every day, and is already being used to transform entire industries for the better. Generation D organisations are data-rich, analytically driven, and setting new benchmarks in business performance.
One of the aspects of my professional career I am most passionate about, is applying technology to make the world a better place.
Another little fact about me is that my second child is the same age as the original iPad! It launched whilst I was on maternity leave, which I subsequently purchased and complained about the lack of quality applications available to distract my two-year old during baby nap times. To which my husband promptly responded with: “So stop complaining and go write some apps for kids“. Challenge accepted.
I taught myself the world of xCode and built the world’s first iPad YouTube application for kids – presenting only approved videos and blocking the unwanted and often inappropriate “recommended videos” so kids couldn’t find themselves watching videos of Thomas the Tank Engine being blown up by an artistic teenager with a webcam.
Not long after it launched, institutions from around the world working with children with disabilities started contacting me asking to sponsor their iPad programs. The iPad was having a dramatic impact on the way children were able to learn and communicate with teachers and carers, and I was super excited to be able to help!
I was equally excited when I saw the announcement from my colleagues that we are working with Bancroft, a major provider of specialized services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US, to put mobile applications securely in the hands of classroom teachers, clinical staff and school administrators to better engage with students and improve the learning experience.
The IBM Information on Demand event kicked off this morning with inspiring stories in to what customers are achieving today and a taste of the technological innovations of tomorrow. We were encouraged to “Think BIG”, inspired by Conoco Philips’ use of satellite analytics to track and predict movement of icebergs, to Premier Inc. using healthcare analytics to better understand the cause of infections contracted in hospital in order to predict, prevent and save lives.
But there were three key notes that stood out from the keynote that I just had to share.
This post is inspired by my beloved Essendon Bombers. Who, after showing significant promise at the start of the season beating the top contenders for the championship, have since suffered injury after injury after injury, with nothing short of humiliating defeats in the lead up to the finals.
Analytics in the world of sport is not a new concept, and yet many teams are still to realise its full potential. Much like the world of business, sporting teams around the world are looking to analytics to make the patterns and trends in human performance and game strategy that may be invisible to the human eye, visible.