Archive for June, 2010

MeeGo handset code unleashed to developers

June 30th, 2010

Nokia and Intel have made a preview of the MeeGo mobile phone software available to developers.

In a June 30 blog post, Valtteri Halla of the MeeGo technical steering group announced “Day 1″ of the MeeGo Handset user experience project.

Indeed, as of June 30, handset-specific MeeGo source code will be opened to the developer community to access, contribute to and participate in. This release will allow developers to work toward the first official release of MeeGo v1.1 for Handsets which is expected in October. This move illustrates continued MeeGo momentum and marks the first MeeGo code supporting a touch environment. The MeeGo Handset Day 1 code is based on a new MeeGo Touch user interface framework and includes a set of MeeGo-compliant APIs

MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system project that debuted in February 2010 as a joint project from Intel and Nokia. The project aims to merge the efforts of Intel on Moblin and of Nokia on Maemo into one project. It is hosted by the Linux Foundation.

In the post, Halla and co-author Imad Sousou (who also is in the MeeGo technical steering group).

Today, the handset baseline source code is available to the development community. This code is being actively developed as MeeGo 1.1, which is scheduled for release in October. The team has been preparing MeeGo Gitorious with all the sources and infrastructure to perform the weekly builds for MeeGo 1.1 development. The MeeGo UI team has also been busy creating the handset reference user experience and preparing the MeeGo UI design principles and interaction guidelines. This milestone marks the completion of the merger of Moblin and Maemo as major architecture decisions and technical selections have been determined. Today, we are also opening the MeeGo Build Infrastructure..


UIHC billing error due to staff shortage, software

June 30th, 2010

Staff error, vacant positions and a lack of automated billing for a specific procedure helped cause a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics error that led to $11 million in delayed patient charges, an analysis revealed.

UI officials released on Wednesday the results of a hospital analysis conducted after the missed billings were discovered several months ago. Officials told the state Board of Regents in April about the problem. All of the patients were eventually billed, so it will result in no lost revenue, officials said.

“Certainly (lack of) automation played into it, and failure of our staff to do what needed to happen,” Chief Financial Officer Ken Fisher said.

The hospital did not fire anyone as a result of the mistake, but one employee left for another job, Fisher said.

Automated billing is used for 77 percent of patient charges, Fisher said. That means if a patient has a chest X-ray, the fact that an X-ray happens results in a bill.

In this case, all of the missed billings were in the Heart and Vascular Center, for patients undergoing cardiac catheterization lab procedures. For that procedure, a staff member must manually review the documentation and procedure log for each patient to determine what charges are appropriate. There was no automated monitoring system to identify potential missed charges, the analysis said.

Also, “cath lab” support staff during that time was only one person, with two other support jobs vacant due to budget cuts and turnover, Fisher said. The hospital has five cath labs and does an average of 22 procedures a day, he said.

Those combined factors led to the billing mistakes, the analysis concluded.

The hospital will continue to automate billing for more procedures when possible, Fisher said.

“That’s our desire … as opposed to having a human intervention in the process, which is not nearly as desirable,” he said.

Another goal is to add at least one more support employee to the cath lab area, he said.

Hospital officials also will create educational programs for department managers on ways to monitor billing activities, and develop a charge dashboard that allows reviewers to compare daily charges to historical data, according to the analysis.

“With continuous monitoring now in place, this problem is very unlikely to occur again,” the report states.

An internal audit discovered that the missed billings began in November. They were corrected in March, officials said. The hospital bills about $235 million monthly in gross charges.


Trail blazing local company to begin research into software programmes for Alzheimer’s and stroke victims

June 30th, 2010

A trail blazing local company, which has designed and operates a software programme to help children with learning difficulties, is embarking on research aimed at helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and strokes.

Griffin Tuition, which is based at NUI Galway, hopes to work closely with the university in this regard.

“These new software programmes, as in the case of Alzheimer’s, have been validated to offset the onset and progress of the disease,” explains the managing director of the company, James Lee, who holds a BSc in physiology and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. “They are not a cure, albeit, staving off the progress of a disease can give a sufferer back to their families, for a few more years, at a cost saving of €50,000 for a nursing home per year.”

His company, which was set up in 2005 and was previously based in Oranmore, has helped more than 300 people through its corrective education programme FastForWord. An interactive and adaptive computer programme for children and adults wishing to address specific reading and learning difficulties such as dyslexia, Asberger’s syndrome, mild to moderate autism, etc, it is also aimed at people with general learning difficulties such as poor memories, lack of concentration, poor processing and sequencing abilities.

“We have approached corrective education from both a traditional and a computer driven approach and found that children with learning difficulties prefer the computer to traditional methods,” says Mr Lee, who is originally from Newcastle. “FastForWord is a user friendly programme that strengthens existing neural pathways and creates new ones in the brain by interacting with computer software programmes. Their interaction is for 48 minutes a day for approximately 16 weeks at the centre here in NUIG or in the comfort of their own home. At the end of the programme the participant will have been brought up level with their peers. An added advantage and benefit of FastForWord is that the corrective results last. Participants have ranged from six to 65 years.”

Griffin Tuition, which is located at the university’s science and engineering technology building, is organising three “Body and Brain” one stop seminars for parents, guardians and educators at the Clybaun Hotel, Knocknacarra, on Wednesday July 7, the Oranmore Lodge on Thursday 8, and the Claregalway Hotel on Thursday July 15. All are at 8pm.

The “Mind Matters”seminars will feature a multi-disciplinary team comprising life coach, David Keane, doctor and herbalist Dr Dílis Claire, body gym professional Padraig King, educator Maeve Lee and James Lee of Griffin Tuition. Admission is €5.

To book a place at the seminar or learn more about the FastForWord programme log onto www.fastforword.


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