Ramblings Updates to Cloud Asia 2013

Time to provide an update pertaining to Cloud Asia 2013 that took place from the 15-17 May at the Marriott Hotel, Singapore.

Co-organised by IDA Singapore and Informa Telcoms & Media, Cloud Asia 2013 was also held in conjunction with Cloud Security Alliance’s Inaugural Asia-Pacific Congress.

When I first accepted the invitation to speak at Cloud Asia 2013, I had a ‘slight concern’. You see, Cloud Asia 2013 is not the typical genre of conference I speak at – it is not a Healthcare or Healthcare Informatics oriented conference;

  • I was not sure  if the audience will understand the industrial terms and concepts pertaining to healthcare informatics (hence I took the precaution and time to explaining them during the presentation)
  • and if they are, will I be able to impart something useful to them?

As it turned out, the experience for both myself and the audience (at least for those who attended my presentation) was fabulous. I was initially taken aback by the number of attendees who came up to me during tea-break (I only stayed for the morning break) and lunch, expressing their appreciation/congrats (for a good presentation <- their words, not mine), thanks and more importantly – questions.

To explain the context – during conferences where I present, I rarely get any questions upfront in person. Any queries, clarifications and discussions usually happens after, via emails or when individuals in the audience bump into me at a different occasion.

The problem with this is, I speak in several conferences every year and I seldom recycle the topics (this is to ensure new knowledge is constantly shared and also not to bore anyone in the audience who attended a presentation /lecture from me recently) so the opportunity to engage in a timely discussion is lost.

Hence, from an advocacy perspective, I think Cloud Asia 2013 was fantastic and I am so glad I had the opportunity to contribute.

From a personal perspective, I actually met up with several people, both existing acquaintances, friends and made new ones – which is always good as meeting new people usually translates to receiving new perspectives and even better if they are from a different industry (one has to look at the big picture from several angles 🙂 )

In all, Cloud Asia 2013 has been really great for me!

Ramblings: Business Chinese Test (BCT) by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters)

It was exactly one month ago when I took the Business Chinese Test (BCT)

Developed by Peking University under the entrustment of Office of Chinese Language Council International (“Hanban” for short), the BCT is a state-level (China) standardized test designed to assess the Chinese proficiency of non-native speakers engaged in business activities. From what I gathered, the BCT test is not only popular in Korea and Japan but also around the world).

Featuring practicality and communicativeness, the BCT assesses the communicative ability of test takers using Chinese in a wide range of business-related career occasions, daily life and social interaction.

While the  test consists of two relatively independent tests: BCT (Listening & Reading) and BCT (Speaking & Writing), I chose only to undertake BCT (Listening & Reading) and BCT (Speaking). The reason why I didn’t take the Writing component is simply because I have not written anything meaningful in Chinese (other than my name) since I completed Secondary School (and that was a long time ago).

So how did I fair in my test? Well, the results came in today and I am glad to share that I was placed on Level 4. So what does Level 4 means? Well, there are a total of 5 levels:

  • Level 1 – Incapable of communication in Chinese in business activities.
  • Level 2 – Capable of basic communication in Chinese in business activities.
  • Level 3 – Capable of fairly effective communication in Chinese in business activities.
  • Level 4 – Capable of fairly skilful communication in Chinese in business activities.
  • Level 5 – Capable of appropriate communication in Chinese in business activities.

As you can see, Level 4 isn’t that bad and more so for me since I rarely converse, read or listen to anything in Chinese (the only real opportunities I have is when I am communicating with friends or business associates from China and Taiwan and even that is rare as they usually want to practice their English).

So why did I choose to take the test? Well, I did it in order to present my ability to speak good Chinese as a skill-set, which is in demand these days.

Most people claiming to be proficient at Chinese actually possess low-level competency – yes, they can buy a loaf of bread in a Chinese supermarket but that doesn’t mean they can communicate effectively in a business setting!

The tricky part is, the decision makers looking to hire this skill-set often do not process a mastery of Chinese (which is why they are hiring people who do) and cannot identify the real deal. To mitigate this barrier, I chose to take the BCT test.

The results I received also includes a training recommendation program – the Advanced course, where I will learn 1500 business phrases and advanced expressions with good grammatical control.

While it sound daunting, I reckon I will sign up for the Advanced course, after all, it does sound exciting!

New Article: Use Case vs. Process vs. Workflow – Which is the secret ingredient?

Firstly, to answer a question that has been posted to me rather frequently (in the past few months) – “Why have I stopped releasing whitepapers”.

Before I attempt to explain why, I must first apologize; I have not released a whitepaper for this year (and it is already close to mid-year).

Truth is, I have lots of stuff I want to write about, however, I just can’t find the time as I am always busy writing other stuff – assignments (I am working on a MPH and a MBA at the same time), work (consulting projects that requires lot of writing) etc. etc.

Now for the good news – I found some free time (unexpectedly) so I took the opportunity to author this piece – “Use Case vs. Process vs. Workflow – Which is the secret ingredient?”, illustrating the difference between Use Cases, Processes and Workflows.

The underlying rationale for this whitepaper is due to the confusion from;

  • eHealth Professionals, especially those who have never worked in an actual clinical setting before
  • eHealth Educators trying to teach eHealth when they have no actual real life eHealth experience and/or clinical exposure

The keywords for both categories above are – actual experience (or rather, the lack of it) and these folks are often;

  • Unable to determine the differences between the Use Case, Process and Workflow (yes, it is different) and
  • Unable to apply them contextually, which in return hinders attempts to improve outcomes during optimization projects (which is my favourite sort of work).

Confused about the differences between Use Cases, Processes and Workflows? Then this article is for you 🙂

Ramblings: Cloud Asia 2013, Singapore

I know some of you are wondering why I am blogging about the Cloud Asia 2013 conference, which is held from the 15-17 May in Singapore.

While the theme of the conference is not healthcare centric, there are some healthcare specific tracks that might be of interest to individuals who are looking at Cloud Computing in healthcare.

I would be delivering a lecture titled “Cloud Computing: Overcoming Interoperability Barriers to Deliver Healthcare Across the Continuum” in the “Industry and Practice” track on Day 1 (15th May) and I also noticed that a good friend of mine from Malaysia – Leon Jackson of UM Specialist Centre, speaking on Day 2 (16th May), so that are at least two eHealth Professionals serving as speakers.

As usual, drop me a note if you are attending Cloud Asia 2013 and want to catch-up.


The CPHIMS Review Guide 2nd Edition – Preparing for Success in Healthcare Information and Management System

Today, the mail man brought me a copy of “The CPHIMS Review Guide 2nd Edition – Preparing for Success in Healthcare Information and Management Systems“.

No, I did not buy the book, I received a complimentary copy from HIMSS (shipped directly from the USA).

If memory served me correctly, it started back in August last year (2012) when members of the CPHIMS Technical Committee were asked to serve as advisers, to review the materials by the authors of this guide and I accepted the invitation to review one of the chapters (I can’t remember which chapter though).

After each Chapters were approved (by the individual advisor), the entire CPHIMS Technical Committee served as a second reviewer, just to make sure the materials were in-line with the objectives.

As a kind gesture, HIMSS sent a copy of the guide to each member in the Technical Committee.

My only surprise is the thickness of the guide (it is a big book).

Interested in becoming CPHIMS certified? Get a copy of The CPHIMS Review Guide 2nd Edition – Preparing for Success in Healthcare Information and Management Systems