New Advances in Telemedicine - Taking Your Medicine Online


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By Carl Weiss

With the continuing controversy revolving around the balky launch of healthcare.gov, suddenly online medical sites have suddenly taken center stage. However, what the public is largely unaware of is the fact that the medical industry is hugely invested in the Internet.  Not only is everything from medical advice to products
Telemedicine in Action - Open Heart Surgery on...
Telemedicine in Action - Open Heart Surgery on Vimeo (Photo credit: Andy G)
and services available online, but even advances like telesurgery and telediagnosis are becoming more prevalent.  This article probes the telemedicine revolution that is occurring as we speak. The medical industry has embraced the Internet for everything from social networking to robotic surgery. So read on and learn when your next remote medical office visit will take place.

When it comes to technology, the medical profession is no slouch.  During the course of the past few decades all manners of high-tech diagnostic tools, surgical suites and bionic limbs have become commonplace in doctor’s offices and hospitals.  But what most people are unaware of is the fact that there are a number of revolutionary new technologies that are going to forever change the very way that a visit to the doctor or ER takes place.

Is There a Virtual Doctor in the House?


The age of the virtual doctor has already arrived across the US.  Invented by NASA for use on the International Space Station, telemedicine has found its way into a number of hospitals, as well as online.  Telemedicine connects patients with physicians via the Internet, allowing them to skip a trip to the doctor’s office while saving money at the same time.  Several online businesses have created models where patients can teleconsult with a physician, including MDLive, while others, such as iRobot have created telepresence robots that allow physicians to interface with patients around the world. Some of the more sophisticated models even allow a surgeon to perform surgery by remote control. 

English: Logo for iRobot
English: Logo for iRobot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maintaining one’s health via technology.  An entire industry has been spawned for health monitoring devices. Everything from bracelets to watches are currently available that are designed to monitor a wearer’s vital signs and vital statistics as they go about their everyday activities.  One company, AiQ has introduced an entire line of “smart clothing” that does everything from measuring the user’s heart rate, respiration rage and skin temperature.  Their SolarMan vest not only offers the wearer the ability to monitor their vital signs, but it even recharges itself and other electronic devices via built-in solar panels.

While some of these devices are designed to be monitored by the user, others such as products made by BodyTel offer those with chronic illnesses Bluetooth enabled devices that automatically send readings to the user’s doctor. Capable of monitoring and reporting on everything from blood glucose levels to blood pressure, this technology represents a whole new level of health care.

New Wearable Devices Keep Tabs on Your Vitals


Dean Kamen at TEDMED2011
Dean Kamen at TEDMED2011 (Photo credit: Klick Pharma)
While many of the new medical technologies are designed to be worn on the lower extremities, there are several that are meant to be deployed above the neck.  One device being developed by Imec looks like a prop from Star A wearable EEG with built-in EKG patch, the device keeps tabs on your brain and heart activity.  The data collected is then transmitted in real time to a receiver located up to  10 miles from the headset. (If you choose to wear it outdoors I suggest you don a hat.)

That doesn’t mean that this technology won’t eventually be miniaturized to the point that it will fit unobtrusively into a hairband or ball cap.  In fact, at least other medical device pioneer has created the prototype for a blood glucose monitor that resides in a contact lens.  Google recently announces that the contact lens it is designing will measure glucose in tears on a continuous basis using a wireless chip and miniature glucose sensor.  Once available, the device will make a lot of diabetics happy, since the predominant method of testing blood glucose levels involves pricking the finger.

Bionic Insole – An Athlete's Best Friend


At the other end of the spectrum, Moticon has introduced the world’s first computerized insole that can be used in any shoe to measure motion for patients and athletes.  The bionic insole comes complete with firmware that communicates with a user’s computer via a USB radio stick.  In 2010, Moticon was awarded the International Innovation Award for this product.  (Dr. Scholl’s move over.)

Speaking of bionics, just before Thanksgiving 2013, Mick Ebeling returned home from Sudan's Nuba Mountains where he set up what is probably the world's first 3D-printing prosthetic lab and training facility. Called Project Daniel, the effort was begun by one man who learned about a 14-year old double amputee named Daniel.  Flying to Sudan with a 3D printer, Mick not only created prosthetic arms and hands for Daniel, but he vowed to teach the locals how to help many of the 50,000 Sudanese who have lost limbs from the ongoing conflict in the area.  (See the video at http://www.notimpossiblelabs.com/)

Medical Social Networking Comes of Age


Of course the internet isn’t only used today by patients.  It is also being increasingly employed by doctors as well.  In fact, there is a prominent new social network for the medical industry called MedMasters.com.  This network connects members of the medical community by providing a searchable database of doctors, nurses, medical IT providers, medical recruiters and pharmaceutical sales representatives that is as easy as point and click.  Useful for everyone from healthcare providers to people seeking to enter the healthcare industry, this is the interactive go to social network for all things medical.  Best of all, joining the network is free and easy. 

Electronic Aspirin Can Cure Headaches


While many of these cutting edge technologies concern themselves with big ticket issues, there are some that aim to alleviate the small problems that the public faces every day.  For migraine sufferers help is on the way. For many years, doctors have associated the most chronic forms of headache with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a facial nerve bundle.  Until recently there were treatments that provided long term SPG relief. A new technology under clinical testing at Autonomic Technologies, Inc., (Redwood City, CA) is an implantable tool for blocking SPG signals at the first sign of a headache. The system consists of a small nerve stimulating device that can be operated by remote control whenever a patient senses the onset of a headache. The resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-causing neurotransmitters.

Bear in mind that these are but a few of the latest medical technologies that are being developed to help people live longer, healthier lives.   Because the one thing you can say about taking your medicine online is that, it does not leave a bad taste in your mouth. Link to our research for the show and this article are available on the show notes page of this blog. Thanks for spending your time with us, until next time, Keep Working The Web!

This article explains the how the medical industry has embraced the internet as an asset to improve medicine. Included in this discussion are the emerging technology advances in Telemedicine, Telediagnosis, Robotic Surgery, communications and even medical social networking. If you want to learn even more on this subject, tune in to our “Working the Web to Win” radio show on Blog Talk Radio. If you found this article to be useful, share it with your friends and co-workers. 

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.



Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.




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New Year New Tech


Discover Internet Internet Radio with workingthewebtowin on BlogTalkRadio

By Hector Cisneros



Tech 3
Tech 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last year proved to be a real zinger for technology. Both good and bad guys were out in force. The NSA was recording all and criminals were providing hack-a-thons against big businesses and banks in an unprecedented way.  SAAS and Cloud Computing moves to the forefront as ubiquitous services for daily use. Landline telephones see the asteroid coming their way as their use is giving way to Smartphones and VOIP in large numbers. Twenty fourteen will make last year’s tech jumps seem like '50s reruns.

Voice Goes Mainstream


Voice access of data will become mainstream as people learn that Google Chrome (for desktops and mobile) supports voice commands. The billions of mobile users (both tablet and Smartphone including Android and Apple) will begin to use these features in vast numbers in 2014, primarily because these functions now work about 90% of the time. This tech will not just be limited to browsers and smart phones. It will begin to invade wearable tech and high tech appliances.

Cloud services will become ubiquitous as people learn how easy and important it is to protect their data. They will also discover that it is super convenient to have access to that data anywhere they have a connection 24/7. In addition, as security, issues continue to make headlines, consumers will move to the cloud to protect their files.

Lack of Security Will Become Bigger Than Ever


Internet Security will become a bigger problem in 2014 than it was in prior years. Twenty thirteen saw a large number of hacker attacks from organized crime, terrorist groups and nations such as the Chinese and Iranians.  The holiday season revealed two large security breaches at major retailers and this is just a taste of things to come. Since hacker tools are available to the public at large and since the prosecution of these crimes is lax, we will see a greater number of these events in the coming year. So much so, that now many banks that offer online services are now asking their users to accept personal responsibility for losses if the bank is hacked and your money is stolen. That’s right, many banks are now saying you are responsible for your losses if they are hacked! I expect this to create a backlash once people realize that their bank is no longer a safe place to keep their money!

NSA Back in the News


Spy vs Sci 558
Spy vs Sci 558 (Photo credit: Anonymous9000)
Speaking of security, the NSA is back in the news again, this time for collecting 194 million text messages a day in 2011. Recent leaks from Richard Snowden printed in The Guardian, revealed that project code named “Dishfire” was setup to collect “pretty much everything it can”. This has become quite a liability for the current president who ran on a platform that said he would put a stop to such NSA behavior! If you think any policy by this administration will curb NSA hacking and domestic spying, you should think again.

Now Software As A Service (SAAS), not to be confused with the NSA, will grow to new heights. Most large software manufacturers like Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM, Intuit and others are expanding the availability of their mainstream products as cloud based applications. SAAS products have a lower cost of distribution and manufacturing and they generally produce more annual purchases than regular software sales. Plus, don’t forget consumer appetite for tablet and smart phone apps! Soon Apps will move to an annual renewal model! You know the big guys love those annual renewals!

Have Meeting? Will NotTravel

Remote online meetings will continue to grow mainly because gas prices are staying high and the cost of flying continues to rise. This form of marketing is making real inroads on face-to-face sales meetings. (Our web TV show is a perfect example of this phenomenon.) SAAS products save so much time and money that it’s a no brainer for businesses to use them to save time and money without really trying.  (They’re much more environmentally friendly than flying the friendly skies too.)

One product that has seen better days is now much in decline. Landlines will move closer to extinction, as more calls will be made via cell phones and VOIP system than their hard-wired cousins. The price savings are a huge advantage for cellphone and VOIP users, but the Big Bells must still maintain their legacy copper lines for a while until an equivalent VOIP/cellular exchange is created and fully implemented. All calls made today still rely on copper lines in some ways. However, in the not too distant future, an all-digital network will replace the current copper legacy network. 

Cyborg Satyr
Cyborg Satyr (Photo credit: Mechanekton)

All Kinds of New Bots


Recently we wrote about “The Robots are Coming”; drones were not the only automatons being used to generate publicity in 2013. Many companies are taking advantage of the public's fascination with robots. This widespread fascination has let many large companies like Honda, Google and Sony to produce robots that will soon be filling the consumer’s desires to own a droid of their own. This year’s DARPA competition was wildly popular and you can check it out on their site.

What To Wear in the New Year?


Wearable's will grow substantially this year - Google glass,  Smart Watches and other tech wearable's made a big splash in 2013. Expect to see more people adopting the second wave of these items in 2014. As with all tech 2.0 phases, adoption is where the first glimmer of acceptance of a new technology starts to take place. The 3.0 phase is where mainstream acceptance begins. In 2013 actually seeing someone wearing a high-tech wearable was rare. In 2014 however, expect to see smart watches, various smart eyewear and other tech wearable’s on consumers near you. Another emerging trend is wearables that interact with other devices and or track your behavior. (On today’s show we will interview Ashley Beattie with Kiwi Wearables.) These devices are designed to help the wearer understand and maximize their workouts and daily schedules.

Do Yourself a Selfy

Selfy
Selfy (Photo credit: Verónica Bautista)

Selfy snap shot are now the rage. So much so that that a new trend of self-expression internet style has emerged dubbed the Selfy. Self-expression for the me generation. Digital makeup/facelift software use will also influence this trend. Until recently, the ability of the average consumer to create a digital facelift or touch-up was relatively rare. Now digital makeup/facelift software is becoming widely available and in some cases free. This will usher in the widespread use of these items especially among women where it will become just another way to look beautiful (albeit digitally) as the use of makeup and hair coloring is today.

Self Checkout is Back in


Automated self-checkout will grow. Prior to 2013 we saw the 1.0 and 2.0 versions of self-checkout at retailers in the US. Now we are seeing the 3.0 versions of these self-checkout machines and retailers have had several years to learn the logistics needed to make these services viable. Expect to see more automated checkout registers at large retailers like Wal-Mart and big box chains as they continue to strive to lower their operating costs to compete on price.

CES Cool Tech


CES 2010
CES 2010 (Photo credit: PrimeImageMedia.com)
Now for the cool new tech toys worth mentioning. The CES show revealed the latest and greatest new tech toys.  Curved, Big, Fast, High Res and 3D TVs are in (again)! The 3D LED curved smart TV display is really cool. Some are just really big (120 inches) and all are the new super high res. In addition, there are new curved flex smart phones that are also cool. They feel better and of course have all the latest updated screens and os’s. 3D printers being shown look to be plug and play and their prices are falling fast. This year’s CES has proven to have an explosion of new gadgets so make sure you check out our radio show links to get more details.

In this article I discussed many of the new high tech gadgets’ coming out this year along with my new tech predictions for 2014 and beyond. Understanding where technology is heading allows us to plan and adjust to change in a positive way. Staying on top of technological shifts allows many businesses to make critical decisions that will affect their profitability in the coming year. Technology always ushers in a new paradigm shift. We can either profit from it or at least be ready to deal with it. However, ignoring it is not an option. (Resistance is futile!)  If you found this article to be useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment do so below.   It has been my pleasure writing down my thoughts and sharing my 2014 predictions with you this year.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “technology” in the search box at the top left of this blog.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below. I hope you have found these questions and answers useful. Thanks for sharing your time with me.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.

That's my opinion. I look forward to reading yours.








Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”


Is Humor a Weapon of Mass Distraction or Attraction?


Discover Internet Internet Radio with workingthewebtowin on BlogTalkRadio

The Good Humor logo used until 2000
The Good Humor logo used until 2000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the big questions you see marketing people debate is whether humor improves the sale of products or detracts from the sales of products. Even in our firm, we debate this issue. I believe that done properly, it does both. People are always looking for that magic bullet to get an edge over their competition and I should know.  

Being an Internet authority means speaking in front of groups of business people from time to time.  Whether the topic du jour is related to search engine marketing, blogging for business, social networking or the ins and outs of pay-per-click matters not.  What is a certainty is that as soon as the presentation is finished I will find myself buttonholed by someone who wants to know the secret of success online.  It’s as if my dissertation was meant to be an appetizer and the real meat and potatoes of online marketing could only be revealed to those bold enough to corner me after the fact.  “Okay, you got me.  If you really want to generate a million clicks, this is what you have to do...” As much as I wish there were three-magic-beans that could magically transform a stale web presence into a rock star, for the most part there is no such animal.  (As I like to point out to a number of people, I am a technician, not a magician.)

Let Me Pull a Rabbit Out of My Hat

Cute Bunny Working
Cute Bunny Working (Photo credits: Giphy)

That being said, the closest I have come to pulling a rabbit out of my hat during my presentation revolves around a real rags to online riches story involving a product that I would say was least likely to succeed: The Orabrush.  Invented by a tinkerer by the name of Dr. Bob Wagstaff, the Orabrush is not a toothbrush.  It’s the world’s first tongue brush.  After spending tens of thousands of dollars to invent, manufacture and promote the Orabrush, all that Doctor Bob had to show for his efforts was a $40,000 hole in his pocket and about a hundred orders.  (At $3 per unit, you do the math.)

The One Thousand to One Shot Story


With his business circling the drain and time running out he was desperate to find a way, any way, to turn the tide and produce some sales.  This is where Jeffrey Harmon, a local college student entered the picture.  After listening to Bob wax poetic about the virtues of the Orabrush coupled with the fact that he had little left to spend on additional marketing, Jeff came back with what we in the marketing business refer to as a Hail Mary.

“Why not create and post a funny video on YouTube,” Jeff said. 

“How much will that set me back?” Dr. Bob asked.

“Five hundred bucks.”

While I wasn’t there to witness the conversation, from experience I can tell you the thought process going round and round in Dr. Bob’s head ...”Let’s see, I’m down forty grand and the Indians are circling the wagon. What to do?  What to do?”

As you guessed, any shot is better than no shot at all, so Bob gave Jeff the green light and they created the first Orabrush promo on YouTube. (Below is an excerpt from their website to tell you the rest.)

Shot in a makeshift studio in the neighborhood pool hall (listen closely and you can hear the balls cracking in the background), the video went viral, rocketing to 16 million views. After the explosive reaction to their first video, Harmon took on the role as Chief Marketing Officer and began creating regular webisodes, introducing new characters like Morgan, the dirty tongue. Harmon then used YouTube video ads to reach more people and grow their fan base. The “Cure Bad Breath” videos built a loyal following, and their YouTube channel grew to nearly 40 million views.

After two years, Orabrush had sold more than a million tongue cleaners to people in 40+ countries. The Orabrush brand became so popular that local pharmacy managers began contacting Orabrush directly, citing requests from customers who had heard about the brand online. This fall, Walmart began carrying the Orabrush tongue cleaners in its 3,500+ stores across the United States. And this week, CVS/pharmacy has added the Orabrush tongue cleaner to more than 7,000 stores across the country. That’s a lot of tongue cleaners!
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/orabrush-story-how-utah-man-used.html

It is indeed, Bob.  In fact, the OraBrush channel has done so well that it became the third most viewed channel on YouTube, after Apple Computer and Old Spice.  It appears that tongues weren’t the only things cleaning up with Orabrush.  So was the company. To date, the OraBrush channel has well over 40 million views with several of their individual videos receiving 10 million plus views. You can check out a video where Dr. Bob tells you their story in his own words by clicking here.

The OraBrush example demonstrates the perfect blend of distraction and attraction qualities that a good commercial can provide. Any great commercial blends a mix of useful information and product benefits with a fun and entertaining message that captivates the viewers’ attention. This is created by providing unexpected twists and turns in a funny, shocking or sexy manner.

Like Cinderella Stories? Here’s More


Of course, Cinderella stories and one trick wonders are as rare as catching lightning in a bottle, am I right?  While using humor to sell can work for the big guys, such as Aflac and their Duck or the Geico Gecko, it is next to impossible for a small business person to use these tactics to break out of the herd.  Or, is it?  To that I have three words of advice: Dollar Shave Club.

A real David and Goliath story, it revolves around a tiny Santa Monica company with five employees that wanted to get into the razor business.  Their opponents, none other than Gilette, owned by the $13 billion behemoth Proctor and Gamble, not to mention Schick and Bic.  Between the three they control nearly 80% of the market.  Unlike Dr. Bob at Orabrush, the president of Dollar Shave Club, Michael Dubin, did not invent a revolutionary shaver.  No, his website simply offers to ship to the consumer their choice of twin blade, four blade or six blade razors every month.  In fact with the exception of their six-blade razor which they claim “Comes from the future and lives in outer space,” their product line offers no flashy bells or whistles with any of its products.  So what made them think they could compete with the Fortune 500?

Have you seen DSC's video? 

As much a comedy routine as an advertisement, the Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube video has garnered nearly 13 million hits.  While the company won’t say how many people have signed up for the club, an authoritative source told me that within the first few weeks the site had generated more than twelve thousand members.  That’s after the video had created only a couple million hits.  So who knows how high the number is by now. 

A Little Shock Can Go a Long Way


The video, which only runs about a minute and a half, shows the president of the company riding a forklift, playing tennis (badly) and dancing with a guy in a bear costume, among other antics.  Far from being afraid of going too far, the titling above their video reads, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great!”  Well, I don’t know about that, but their results were certainly great. 

So now you can see that with a little imagination, even major markets can be cracked by the use of humorous video campaigns.  So why aren’t more companies taking a whack at it by creating outrageous videos in order to sell their products?  It can’t be the cost.  Remember the Orabrush got into the game for a paltry $500.  In fact, the beauty of YouTube is that if you generate enough views, not only doesn’t it cost anything to air your webisodes, but Google will actually pay you.  (For the past few years YouTube has had a Channel Partner program that pays their top producers based upon the amount of traffic generated.)       

The Final Hat Trick Secret


Magician 8683 Lego Minifigures Series 1
Magician 8683 Lego Minifigures Series 1 (Photo credit: brickdisplaycase.com)
The trick is to do like Orabrush and keep banging away at it.  Throw a few dollars in the hat and sponsor your videos.  Embed them in your blogs and social posts.  If you have a pet, use them as talent.  (Have you seen how many views funny cat and dog videos generate?)  Just get into the game and tap into the world’s most powerful superstation.  (Did you know that YouTube generates 4 billion video views per day or that they stream more video content in a year than all three major networks have streamed in 60 years?)

In this article,I discussed how humor can be used both as a means of distracting viewers so they don’t mind being sold to, while at the same time attracting them to keep watching. More importantly, I discussed how these advertising techniques make it possible for your video to go viral and attract millions of potential customers. In addition, these techniques increase the shelf life of your marketing and provide your team content for your social nets.

 If you found this article to be useful, please share it with your friends and co-workers. If you have a comment you would like to add, enter it in the comment section below.  I want to encourage all our readers to use video as part of their marketing efforts. All I can say is that if you own a business and aren’t tapping into this free marketing resource than you are certifiably crazy.  Now let me see, where did I leave my Orabrush? And where is that razor?

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “social media” in the search box at the top left of this blog. 


If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below. I hope you have found these questions and answers useful. Thanks for sharing your time with me.



Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.


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