It’s starting to look like 2019 will be remembered as the year people stopped asking, “what is intent-based networking?” and started saying “I need intent-based networking.”
In case you’re still asking, intent-based networking, or IBN, is a modern approach to managing modern networks, so they behave as intended. And as networks grow more diverse and complex, the need for employing such sophisticated, AI-fueled prediction and mathematical modeling techniques to head off problems and smooth expansion is climbing.
All of this helps explain why the IBN market is expected to grow more than 32 percent per year to surpass $4 billion by 2025. And the ecosystem is responding.
Whether by negotiating partnerships, gobbling up startups or creating it in-house, established networking companies are clamoring to add this increasingly critical capability to their portfolio. Investors see the budding activity, and want a stake. And, perhaps most importantly, customers want IBN in their toolbox.
Earlier this month, in fact, Forward Networks announced that a customer of the pioneer IBN provider became an investor as well. Over the past year, Goldman Sachs IT went all in on the award-winning Forward Networks across its entire network of more than 15,000 devices. In fact, the team was so impressed with Forward Enterprise, the company’s IBN platform, that the world’s second-largest investment bank decided to lead the startup’s $35 million Series C funding round.
Other network services providers also are looking to add IBN capabilities – by any means possible. In just the past several months, for example:
· Cloud services startup Zenlayer closed its Series B funding round, raising $30 million to fund expansion as well as R&D – primarily to develop in-house IBN capabilities
· VMWare announced that it was buying IBN provider Veriflow. Terms haven’t been disclosed
· Tata Consultancy Services, an IT services conglomerate based in India, revealed it will be building applications for its clients on top of Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA-C), one of the networking giant’s main IBN platforms.
In addition to Cisco, Huawei and Juniper have also added IBN capabilities to their portfolios in the past couple of years.
So, are you still asking what is intent-based networking? I didn’t think so!
Just how big is Wi-Fi 6? Will the new generation of wireless connectivity change everything? Or will it just provide what we’ve already gotten with previous generations, only faster?
Michal Kosinski says we already live in a post-privacy world. He should know. The Stanford Graduate School of Business professor studies what artificial intelligence can glean from what’s readily available online. His findings are fascinating. And scary.
Once a low-level concern buzzing around in the back of our minds as we shared our lives on social media, the question of just what is happening with our personal information online is now front and center. Consumers feel betrayed by the myriad digital properties that assured us they respected our privacy. But, as things turned out, didn’t.
How bad is the situation? Are the laws now taking shape enough to protect us? What else can we do?
Find out. Watch Privacy Now, my new twice-monthly interview series on privacy. And get the answers to these and other urgent privacy-minded questions. Plus, we’ve got a few surprises in store for you.
Note: Privacy Now is sponsored by FigLeaf, a privacy-first company built on the premise that when privacy is a choice, humanity is free.
I just posted the second episode today. Joining me is Pierre Valade, CEO of Jumbo, a privacy assistant now available on the iPhone. For the first episode, I discuss the state of privacy legislation with Justin Brookman, who heads privacy efforts at Consumer Report.
I hope you find them informative and enjoyable. And don’t hesitate to let us know who else you’d like me to interview – and what you’d like us to discuss. Privacy is one of the most pressing issues of our day, and we want to be sure we’re covering what you’re wondering about.
Two new gadget reviews posted this week on my YouTube channel. In the first, I evaluate PureCam, a full-featured and aggressively-priced new dash cam from PureGear. And in the second, I have a listen to Jabra’s new Elite 85h, its first foray into the premium over-ear headphone market. It goes toe-to-toe with the big names in this segment, and still has some nice surprises in store.
Check out both videos – and enjoy!
The number of homes in the US with multiple Amazon Alexa-enabled devices more than doubled last year. Which means more of us are getting the picture that the smart speakers don’t share their sandboxes very well.
Fortunately, help may be on the way. A recent acquisition suggests Amazon understands the problem – and is putting the technology in place to overcome it.
Find out how. Read my recent column in the Tech section of USA Today HERE.
In my interview with Rebecca Madsen, UnitedHealthcare’s Chief Consumer Officer, we discuss digital transformation and how the nation’s largest private health insurer makes it easier for members to navigate the system and stay engaged with their own health.
— Interview sponsored by Pypestream
So let me get this straight: developers can now pull their iOS and Android apps straight into the Windows platform, and even enhance them with the latest Windows 10 features? That’s right?
Yes, right. Oh, and by the way, some of those new features in Windows – as well as in Office and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform – are pretty cool.
If it’s as easy as Microsoft says it is, then developers undoubtedly will bring their latest apps to the Windows platform en masse. Why wouldn’t they?
Make no mistake, Microsoft is bouncing back from the Windows 8 abyss. Read all about it in my USA TODAY column HERE.
At Intel’s broad #datacentric unveiling event in San Francisco last week, Siemens and Intel unveiled new artificial intelligence technology that results in real-time analysis of three-dimensional cardiac MRI data – without the need for costly, specialized hardware. The development could help make cardiac MRI accessible to far more patients.
We’ve spent much of the past few years watching in dismay as new reports shed light on just how the internet giants like Facebook and Google have been treating our personal data. Most of us want to take some control of our information, surveys reveal, but don’t know how.
Help may be on the way. This new brief from FeibusTech, produced in association with FigLeaf, builds a framework for what an online privacy service should look like, now and in the future. Read that HERE.
And for three things you can do now to start protecting your privacy, don’t miss my latest column in the Tech section of USA Today HERE.
As clinicians embrace remote patient monitoring,
emerging technologies lay the groundwork for a rich future.
Buoyed by a combination of rich product and service selection, as well as a clearer path to reimbursement for clinicians, remote patient monitoring made great strides in 2018 integrating into the healthcare workflow. And with critical new reimbursement codes in place, remote monitoring is poised to make a real dent in continuity of care in 2019.
Through it all, the intelligent home health gateway’s role as the centerpiece of choice for remote patient monitoring came more into focus at the HIMSS conference, held last week in Orlando. This new breed of intelligent edge hub is proving to be every bit as powerful and flexible as it is secure. Care providers are configuring kits around home health hubs to help keep patients healthier and more engaged, addressing a wider variety of conditions with a growing number of connected devices.
In the years ahead, the adaptability of home health gateways will serve the market well, as emerging technologies like 5G, voice UI and rich new sensor data will enhance existing capabilities and create new ones. FeibusTech expects myriad improvements to the insight clinicians will have at their disposal to keep patients healthier, minimize preventable readmissions and contain costs.
Clinicians don’t new, unmanaged data streams from remote monitoring. They want insight.
The operative word, of course, is insight. Which is why the success of future advances in remote monitoring technology rests, to a great degree, on artificial intelligence. Clinicians recognize the potential for better care. But they don’t want new, unmanaged data streams injected into patient records – primarily because they have trouble keeping up with the existing flow of data. AI can solve the conundrum by filtering the information stream, and flagging patients who may need clinicians’ attention.
5G: The Next Frontier
For all the hype surrounding 5G in the telecommunications space, many casual observers see it as simply a vehicle for faster mobile internet than 4G. Which is true, of course. But the real benefits of 5G extend well beyond that.
In particular, the manageability capabilities of 5G will allow for many times more devices to connect and communicate all at once on the network. As well, latencies are as much as 120 times lower than with 4G, which makes possible many new applications for healthcare and beyond.
Some believe that with such minute network delays, 5G will enable many remote applications, such as surgical procedures conducted remotely. Certainly, 5G’s low-latency communication will enable many new uses for remote patient monitoring as well. That said, FeibusTech doesn’t expect those new capabilities to become evident for several years, before next-generation networks are commonplace. At that point, the prevalence of very fast, ultra-dense, low-latency networks will stoke innovation – and a wave of new products and services will follow.
The Richness of Voice
In the meantime, voice-assist technology is primed and ready for integration into home health. The rapid proliferation of intelligent assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant is helping consumers grow comfortable with voice for simple command-and-control tasks. That bodes well for remote patient monitoring, which demands regular weight, blood pressure, glucose and other biometric measurements from patients with a wide range of comfort with technology. In addition to the marquis suppliers, many smaller companies are developing voice UIs for healthcare in general, and remote patient monitoring in particular.
Voice interaction also has the potential to unlock a veritable gold mine of health data. Several startups, in fact, are developing algorithms to detect early onset of conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Once in place, voice-enabled devices can also be used for sonar detection, to keep tabs on patients’ location and activity. They can even be used to monitor psychological markers for loneliness and depression, two key determinants for overall health as well as prognosis for recovery. Of course, for voice analysis to become an integral component of remote monitoring, providers will need to tackle privacy issues as well as overcome the technical and logistical challenges.
The Sixth Sens-or
There are other technologies emerging to monitor location and activity. Connected cameras are a great way to keep tabs on those who are rehabbing after a hospital stay, managing chronic conditions or aging in place. But although they’re powerful tools for clinicians, family members and other caregivers, many patients refuse to be monitored by surveillance video out of privacy concerns.
There are other passive monitoring technologies that offer substantially more privacy than cameras. In addition to sonar, companies are employing a wide swath of technologies for monitoring, including traditional Wi-Fi, millimeter wave, infrared – even radar. Of course, traditional motion, temperature and humidity sensors can also be used to supplement caregivers’ picture of the situation.
Wearables and other on-body devices have tremendous potential for assessing patients’ progress, though at this stage it is too early to tell whether suppliers will be able to successfully navigate the terrain from consumer to medical product. Some physicians dismiss wearables because they’re generally not as accurate as clinical devices, while others have been more open-minded and have, as a result, discovered creative ways to tap wearables data to assess patients’ condition.
Suppliers are getting more creative as well. Optical sensors found on many wearables to measure heartrate are not accurate enough for FDA clearance. But as some wearables makers have proven, the sensors are accurate enough to get clearance for algorithms that detect abnormalities like heart arrythmia. On detection, these wearables typically recommend users take an ECG with an FDA-approved device, which is subsequently transmitted to a clinician. In coming years, FeibusTech expects wearables to get cleared for more first-line-of-defense warnings, such as for high blood pressure or glucose levels.
Finally, insurance providers – which aren’t constrained by the same rigid definitions of accuracy as clinicians – are beginning to bundle wearables-based wellness programs into group coverages. Such payer programs could help garner acceptance of wearables from clinicians.
Home Health Gateways: Now and Into the Future
At the center of all this activity – today, and tomorrow – are home health hubs. Gateways offer an unrivaled combination of performance, flexibility and lock-down security. Care providers can easily tailor hubs with their own applications, building as much or as little of the interface into the device itself. And they can do so knowing that the platform is not only secure, but built around open standards – so their investment doesn’t lock them in.
In the coming years, care providers’ needs will undoubtedly be changing. They’ll likely rely more on video, as clinicians increasingly prescribe tutorials, diagnose and even treat patients remotely. And they likely rely on more data inputs, which means they’ll require fast, reliable connectivity along with the horsepower and smarts to keep things humming.
Going forward, the built-in smarts will become increasingly important. Most clinicians aren’t the least bit interested in having the EMR overrun by streams of remote patient data. So home health hubs will have to do more than simply collect and transmit data.
Indeed, for remote monitoring to be successful, care providers must have algorithms running on hubs with AI horsepower at the edge to make sense of the data before it ever reaches the EMR. Home health gateways will no doubt evolve to meet this need, as well.
As it happens, the over-stimulating city of Las Vegas during the bustling CES consumer electronics event turned out to be a great place to be for those in search of a good night’s sleep. The Sleep Tech section of exhibits hosted chillers, headbands – even smartphone apps – to help improve shuteye. The popular section grew more than 20 percent over 2018, while overall square footage on the show floor was flat.
Check out my latest column in the Tech section of USA Today for a rundown of the latest sleep tech.
Wearables today are smarter. They have better battery life. They give better advice.
So if you’re on the millions who years ago stuffed their old fitness tracker into the sock drawer, then it may be time to take another look. In my latest column for the Tech section of USA Today, I look at three new wearables: the Apple Watch Series 4, the Fitbit Charge 3 and Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch. Is one of them right for you?
The future’s long seemed rosy for remote patient monitoring as a great way to expand the footprint of care in this country and around the globe. And while long-term prospects are still huge, the segment is really starting to take off in the here and now.
That was certainly the vibe at the Connected Health Conference in Boston last week. But you can see for yourself. I produced a suite of videos at the show on behalf of Intel. Once you see them, I think you’ll agree that remote monitoring is here NOW – and the Intel Health Application Platform is a growing part of it.
Reid Oakes, HP’s head of healthcare. Reid and I discuss agile care, the importance of data for quality care, and HP’s collaboration with Intel to make that all possible.
Jennifer Esposito, GM of Intel’s Health & Life Sciences Group. Last day of the show. I caught up with Jennifer on the show floor to discuss the big takeaways from Connected Health.
Intel and Aventyn share results of a promising new study. Filmed on the show floor and on location at Dignity Health’s Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Arizona, the pilot gives us a glimpse of what’s possible with remote patient monitoring.
Enrique Estrada, Director of Strategic Solutions, Care Innovations. At Connected Health, Care Innovations unveiled a kit that enables a new level of flexibility to respond to patients’ changing conditions. It’s based on iHAP, Intel’s home health hub.
Barry Reinhold, President & CTO, LNI (Lamprey Networks). The underlying standards are critical to give providers the ability to mix and match personal health devices and ship the data into the electronic medical records. Barry explains why Continua and FHIR are so important to the underlying framework – and why it’s a big deal that Intel’s health application platform supports both.
Today’s home broadband connections are robust. Yet subscriber satisfaction is at an all-time low.
ISPs can fix this perception gap, protect their subscriber base and revitalize growth.
Find out how – read FeibusTech’s latest Research brief HERE.
Netgear today unveiled Orbi Voice, a first-of-its-kind hybrid product that merges the best of two fast-growing smart home products: whole-home mesh Wi-Fi and high-quality smart speakers.
The speaker is co-developed and co-branded with premium audio maker Harman Kardon. But it’s more than just a great-sounding speaker. Orbi Voice also acts as a mesh-network satellite. So rather than slowing Wi-Fi with real-time bandwidth demands – as many intelligent speakers do – Orbi Voice actually improves performance by managing communications as well as extending the network into far corners of the home.
Orbi Voice is powered by Qualcomm chipsets, and makes use of the wireless pioneer’s latest self-organizing network, or SON, technology.
So, better together! I’m sure we’ll be seeing more combination mesh Wi-Fi/smart speaker combinations, at different price points. Speaking of which …
If you already have an Orbi mesh system, you can buy the Orbi Voice Satellite as a standalone item, for $299.99. Or you can pick up a kit for $429.99. Those are suggested retail prices, so you might be able to find them for less.
I’ll be adding the Orbi Voice Satellite to my Orbi Pro network soon. So stay tuned for my thoughts on this category-creating product!
Machine learning, the most common foundation for building artificial intelligence algorithms, absolutely requires big data to identify patterns. That turns out to be one of the biggest hurdles for AI today.
Researchers often don’t have enough data to give them a sample size large enough to draw conclusions. Combining multiple data stores to build a sufficiently large set can be a very expensive, time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
Montefiore Health Systems in New York seems to have overcome this tyranny of big data in the healthcare space. Their sophisticated PALM platform is able to blend multiple data stores and churn out life-saving AI algorithms with a speed and ease that few believed possible.
In cooperation with Intel, Montefiore embedded Mike Feibus, FeibusTech’s Principal Analyst, into the healthcare system to learn more about this game-changing new platform, and how Intel Xeon Scalable processors are helping to drive the PALM team’s success. Don’t miss Embedded Analyst: AI Without Borders, FeibusTech’s compelling new Research Brief.
Just to clarify, I mean to say that you can now have multiple windows open for all your Android apps – that’s windows with a lower-case “w.” We’re not talking Microsoft Windows. The Tab S4, announced today, features DeX, Samsung’s multitasking productivity platform for Android. That’s not unusual for a flagship device from the electronics giant. What is new, however, is that DeX will run right on the tablet, even without an external display attached.
That means you can edit a Word document in one window while watching a livestream in another. That’s actually what I’ll be doing from the beach next week, when Samsung holds its annual Unpacked reveal in New York City! And one nice DeX enhancement with this version: you can now resize any window, not just DeX-aware apps.
There’s no dock for the S4. An external display connects via the USB-C port. Of course, if you’re interested in the Tab S4 as a productivity device, then you’ll want the optional keyboard. It’s $149.99, though it’s 50 percent off if you buy it with your Tab S4 by midnight … on September 8th. (The Tab S4 itself starts at $649.99 for the 64GB version.)
The specs were well-leaked in recent weeks, for the most part. Just to call out a couple highlights: a larger, 10.5-inch display packed into the same form factor as the Tab S3, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of system memory, 64GB or 256GB of storage, 13MP and 8MP cameras and a beefy 7,300mAh battery for all-day operation – and fast charging to boot. LTE is optional. Qualcomm’s 2×2 802.11ac is standard, which means a stronger Wi-Fi signal for faster connections and better range. The device also has Bluetooth 5.0, which is faster and lower power than previous versions. Here is Samsung’s Tab S4 press release.
Speaking of Bluetooth, the Tab S4 has one other nice touch: it supports Bluetooth mice, which means you can really be in full-on desktop mode with the POGO-attached keyboard, a Bluetooth mouse and a large display, bouncing between all the open applications just like you would on a Windows desktop.
This time, I do mean Windows with a capital “W.”
I’ll have one of these bad boys in hand soon, so stay tuned for a more detailed run-through. And also the Note9, which, you know, we’ll talk more about next week!
As many as one in four of us HATE needles. Some will even go so far as to forego the care we need just to steer clear of syringes.
Finally, needle-free innovations are beginning to poke their way through. Find out more. Check out my latest on what’s here, and what’s coming soon, in the Tech section of USA TODAY. If you’re only interested in hearing about it, then head on over to iHeart Radio, where I talk about my column on The Daily Dive. Feel free to skip over the important issues of the day and head straight to my segment. It begins at the 13-minute mark.
Facebook’s latest crisis of trust has landed the mega-social network at a crucial crossroads, and its relevancy just may be hanging in the balance. To survive, CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to snag a page from James Burke’s playbook. Burke, the late CEO of Johnson & Johnson, successfully navigated his company through the Tylenol scare 35 years ago.
Find out how – and see what lessons there are for Facebook. Read my latest CIO Magazine column HERE.
Machine learning requires mounds of data to be able to characterize problems, craft and apply fixes, Mojo Networks CEO tells Wi-Fi industry.
Mojo Networks’ data is really big. That’s a critical component of its self-healing networks. Because when it comes to getting things done with artificial intelligence, size does matter.
How big? Mojo CEO Rick Wilmer told the audience at the Wi-Now industry event in Redwood City, Calif., that the company’s platform is managing 50 million Wi-Fi connections per week. Those connections are being made on half a million active access points.
“The amount of data we have access to is mind-bending,” he said.
Wilmer said that a perfect storm of capabilities has come together to make self-healing networks a reality: effectively limitless cloud storage and compute, fast wireless networking and powerful microprocessors inside wireless access points.
“This next generation of cloud Wi-Fi is focused on new use cases, and making networks run better,” he said. “We can now do things that even 10 years we wouldn’t have imagined were possible.”
Scale, Wilmer said, is critical to spotting issues. An on-premise IT manager may not recognize an unusual performance problem because the network has experienced only one or two occurrences. Mojo’s machine learning algorithms, meanwhile, characterize problems, determine what’s responsible for the degradation and then restore the network to full force.
Despite a rapid growth in data from existing deployments as well as traffic coming from new customers, visits to Cognitive UI, the platform’s management dashboard, are declining. Wilmer was alarmed when he first saw that a month ago. So the company polled customers to find out why.
As it happens, Wilmer had nothing to worry about:
“The answer from customers was, ‘everything’s just working. So why would I look at the UI? I only look at the UI if I have a problem to solve.’”
That poses an interesting question: could we get to the point where dashboards go the way of the dinosaur?
“I think that potential is real,” he said.
In addition to keeping the network humming, big data will also fuel new applications, he said. On Mojo’s roadmap is a user community around the data that would enable IT administrators to benchmark network performance against similar organizations.
“So if I was an IT administrator of a K-12 school campus with 500 to 1,000 students, I could go to the Mojo community, and see how my DNS latency compares against my peers when running Google G Suite for Education.”
That would give community members the ability to help each other – with real data in real time to back it up.
“To me that takes the concept of community to a whole different level,” he said.
Indeed, it’s not just the amount of data that’s mind-bending. It’s also the new applications the data makes possible.
When it comes to enterprise security, people are the weakest link. They give away their passwords by clicking on phishing emails. And by storing them on Post-It Notes and spreadsheets. And by making them easy to guess with passwords like ‘Password’ and ‘Password123.’
Now, finally, technology is at the point where IT managers can actually dispense with passwords. So the network is secure. And employees get access quickly and painlessly.
Everbody wins! Find out how. Read my latest CIO Magazine column HERE.
Have you ever faced a purchasing decision so weighty and daunting that you delayed or avoided it altogether?
I have a name for the phenomenon. I call it “Threshold Syndrome,” or TS. People with TS know that what they want is waiting for them on the other side of the proverbial door. But the gravity of the decision keeps them from passing through. They worry that the cost of making a bad choice could be life-altering. So they linger in the doorway.
IT buyers know TS all too well. They typically come down with it when they take on new network deployments. Because they know that once they pull the trigger, they’ll be locked into a vendors’ system. Which means that they go as the vendor goes. If the vendor raises prices for new hardware or tacks on maintenance fees for new services, then they pay more. And if the vendor is late with new hardware, then the state-of-the-network lags.
Fortunately for network decision-makers, an antidote for TS is gaining momentum in the marketplace: open Wi-Fi. By giving IT the power to mix and match compatible hardware, software and services from different vendors, open Wi-Fi effectively breaks down big deployment decisions into smaller, more palatable choices. If the access points turn out to be disappointing, for example, IT can turn to a different supplier for upgrade and expansion.
Naturally, prices will come down and quality will rise once vendors are forced to compete at every turn. It’s one reason FeibusTech is forecasting growth in enterprise Wi-Fi deployments to accelerate.
Open Wi-Fi is gaining steam in the marketplace. At the Open Compute Project’s annual US Summit this week, in fact, the 3,000 or so attendees and exhibitors will be treated to Wi-Fi connectivity by way of the first-ever all-open, large-scale deployment, courtesy Mojo Networks and Edgecore Networks. It’s a significant, if symbolic, milestone in the legitimacy of open Wi-Fi.
And, in the process, we’re one step closer to stamping out TS in the enterprise.
Facebook founded the Open Compute Project seven years ago with a vision of building powerful, cost-efficient datacenters and networks. So imagine how demotivating it would have been for attendees and exhibiters at the OCP’s US Summit next week in San Jose to be forced to connect to the internet over pricey, proprietary Wi-Fi networks.
Two OCP members decided that was unacceptable, and decided to do something about it. So together, Mojo Networks and Edgecore Networks built the first large large-scale open Wi-Fi network for the 3,000 Summit attendees and exhibitors, spanning 75,000 square feet of the San Jose Convention Center. Mojo’s cloud-managed suite, Cognitive WiFi, is serving as the network’s operating system for Edgecore’s access points.
Now that’s motivation!
We are LIVE from #HIMSS18 with Cisco’s Barbara Casey, Exponential Medicine’s Daniel Kraft, and analyst Mike Feibus. Tune in now to learn about digitizing healthcare without introducing risk.
Posted by Cisco on Tuesday, March 6, 2018
At HIMSS last week, I participated in a Facebook Live roundtable discussion with Singularity University’s Dr. Daniel Kraft and Cisco’s Global Director of Healthcare and Life sciences, Barbara Casey. We didn’t come up with all the answers. But hopefully our checklist will help your transformation go a little smoother.
I didn’t get my valuables stolen outside the show this year. But inside, I did pick up a few gems. Check out my latest column in CIO Magazine to learn more.