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Improving employee mobility with HP’s EliteBook

Enterprise mobility is no longer just about checking emails. According to recent research, three quarters of companies have already invested in a mobility solution. And with the pace of the modern business environment, they require much more than the ability for employees to view their inboxes.

What is needed now is rapid access to corporate and customer information, as well as software for tasks such as video conferencing, time management and sales support. In fact, research suggests many companies see providing mobile technology for employees as a greater priority than creating apps for customers.

HP’s EliteBook range has been created to make the most of the potential of mobile working and keep businesses connected for longer. The products are packed with business-class features to make them lightweight, fast, durable, secure and highly portable.

At the top end of the series is the HP EliteBook Folio 1040, which features premier security, a multi-finger touch screen and optional integrated HP Mobile Broadband featuring 3G and 4G LTE – keeping SMEs connected on the road. Consistent with the EliteBook range, it comes with HP’s SureStart program, the industry’s first self-healing solution that automatically detects malware

The robust products have been tested to US military standards for resistance to dust, humidity, altitude, and high temperature. And their designs, which are 40 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter than the previous generation, have withstood tough testing for drops and vibration.

HP is embracing the benefits of intuitive, time-saving finger gestures for PC operation, and has developed an enhanced touchpad on the Folio 1040 that allows you to use movements similar to those for a tablet or smartphone.

Also in the range is the HP EliteBook 840, which features a 14-inch touchscreen that is optimised for Windows 8, and the HP EliteBook Revolve 810, which can be turned into a tablet with a rotating 11.6ins display.

Because the modern SME worker needs constant access, both in and out of the office, HP has developed longer-lasting batteries. Even with a 14ins screen, the Folio 1040 runs for nine hours and 45 minutes, while the 840 notebook can be fitted with an optional 33-hour battery.

The latest EliteBooks have Windows 7 Professional 64 preinstalled – something to consider for businesses migrating from XP. And the range is powered by fourth-generation Intel Dual-Core processors, meaning they provide mobility without sacrificing the performance needed for diverse business tasks.

For a more compact notebook, HP offers the EliteBook 820. As with the range’s other models, the laptop boasts a combination of security, management and performance features created for enterprise on the move, but uses a 12.5ins screen. Alternatively, the HP EliteBook 850 Ultrabook has a large 15.6-ins display.

In response to a business environment where employees use multiple work areas, HP has created the UltraSlim Side Docking Station, which connects EliteBooks to accessories such as printers, monitors or keyboards without the hassle of plugging multiple devices directly into the laptop.

This complements the global move away from centralised IT services, and the preference for cloud-based working and mobility. Research suggests around 50 per cent of UK businesses are using some kind of cloud service, with the figure predicted to rise quickly in the next few years.

These modern needs have driven the development of the nimble EliteBook series, which responds with industry-leading features to strengthen security and lower downtime, connect people and devices, and cater for a widening spectrum of uses.

New Phone app emergency alert for medically trained

A smartphone app has been developed that aims to help doctors improve patient survival rates during medical emergencies.

The GoodSAM app alerts those with medical training to nearby emergencies so that potentially life-saving interventions can be given before the arrival of emergency services.

The brainchild of consultant neurosurgeon Mark Wilson, the app enables those with medical training, from doctors and nurses to people with first-aid qualifications, to register as responders.

5 Secrets to Creating an Impactful Brand

Being a little fish in a big pond is scary, as it takes patience, perseverance and ambition to make any sort of impact. Impact is somethingThe Mars Agency has in spades.

Launched in 1973 by Marilyn Barnett, Mars Advertising (initial name) stepped into the retailer advertising scene as a little fish. Her son, Ken, joined the firm just a few years later knowing full well they needed to find their niche in the saturated market. They knew they had to do something to stand out, and while retailers were their clients, they made a bold move to also involve consumers and manufacturers to carve out a spot in “shopper marketing,” a strategy of studying consumers’ behaviors as shoppers in various formats.

As the world changed, shopper marketing evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. And that transition was great for Mars Advertising. While the Detroit-based company used to get the leftovers, they were now one of the leaders globally. They built offices near every major retailer and wrote marketing strategies unique to each brand — a move that helped them stand out among their competitors.

But after being in business for 40 years, Mars Advertising realized even with all the success, it was time to rebrand. The company knew they weren’t all about advertising but instead, a way of thinking.  As they recast their vision and approach, they changed Mars Advertising to The Mars Agency but that’s not where it ended.

Their new tagline, “Create. Impact.” isn’t just smoke and mirrors: It’s a lifetime mission. “Everything happens incrementally, says global CEO Ken Barnett.”We create impact in everything we do in our company, with our clients and in the community.”

During rebranding, they knew they had to make sure every aspect of the company and its focus fit the new brand.

Here are the five areas they focused on.

1. Give back to your community AND your team. The Mars Agency gives back to their employees personally and professionally while also being focused on community growth. Their employees, also known as “Martians,” run programs like “Start Small,” a social-responsibility program. With Start Small, Martians run donation drives for non-profits like the local fire departments and the company matches donations.  The company even gave five employees a month off to volunteer for their own charity projects. On top of it all, The Mars Agency promotes ad-hoc random acts of kindness as part of their culture.

Related: How to Position a Brand for Breakthrough Success

2. Know where your spirit comes from and feed it. In 2004, the company had a fire that destroyed everything but its finances and spirit. During the rebranding, The Mars Agency celebrated 10 years of growth post-fire with a focus on the spirit of the agency. Setting up a monthly company town hall via video, they honor individual and team successes throughout the company, along with bringing in speakers like the AOL Futurist to educate teams. They want everyone to stay connected, regardless of where they’re located. They’ve even started “Life on Mars,” a fund that can go to Tiger’s games, ice cream socials and hot dog days to keep everyone excited.

3. Create a way for employees to bridge the generation gaps. “Educated employees are motivated employees,” says Rob Rivenburgh, partner and COO. With many companies seeing millennials as a problem, The Mars Agency has bucked the system and set up “Operation Digital” where the younger Martians can pull in the older team members for training and development on new technology. They also have a full-time training manager and mentorship programs for seasoned employees to work with newer ones.

4. Know your values and live them. With its core values focused around collaboration, craftsmanship, commitment, innovation, intelligence and curiosity, The Mars Agency keeps asking itself if there is a way to make the company even greater. They’re always on the lookout for the opportunities to invest in new technology to bring it to market. “We are very critical of ourselves. We’re proud but there’s always a need for change,” says Barnett.

5. Set goals and inspire growth. The spirit of The Mars Agency is what helped it get past the fire. Being an independent company, they don’t have a board of directors making their decisions, which allows them to feel like a family, stay agile and inspire an entrepreneurial spirit within their teams. Their goals are big but so is their growth. “We will always park ourselves at the intersection of two rivers — between the seller and the marketplace,” says Barnett. “As we expand our portfolio, we will maintain our independence and keep educating our clients.”

 

“Wisdom” of frontline staff to transform services

The opinions and ideas of NHS frontline staff will be used to develop and transform London’s healthcare services in a crowdsourcing project.

The project will use crowdsourcing to allow staff to give their views and thoughts, via a social-media style website, on how services could become more integrated, patient-centred and efficient.

NHS England chief nurse for London, Caroline Alexander, believes the project could generate a “positive transformation” in health and social care, through the “collective wisdom” of staff.

She said: “I passionately believe in unlocking the expertise and creativity held within our workforce. So throughout July 2014 I am asking nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and all frontline and support colleagues across health and social community services in London to join me in a ground-breaking project.”

The project website will order the importance of ideas according to the votes of contributors, with a ‘thumbs-up’ or ‘thumbs-down’ determining how high the suggestion ranks.

The proposals generated will used to inspire commissioners and healthcare providers in London to look at ways of improving services.

Clever Together, who specialise in innovation through empowerment of staff are leading the project, with nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other support staff all encouraged to participate.

The company’s founder, Dr. Peter Thomond said: “We’re really excited to be working with so many organisations across London on this ground-breaking project, which values the voice of those that deliver services in the community.

“By allowing everyone to present their ideas anonymously, our crowdsourcing model means that all staff, rather than just senior managers and commissioners, will be able to help shape future improvement for services users across the capital.”

An event organised by NHS England bringing together staff will encourage involvement with the project, which will be officially launched online.

British health IT excellence showcased in China

British leadership in digital healthcare is being showcased to potential Chinese partners via a special new site in the People′s Republic.

The Healthcare is GREAT UK digital health demonstration centre is now open at a facility called the Ningbo Number 2 Hospital in Zhejiang Province.

Described by the Department of Health as a “ground-breaking initiative” set up between the UK and local officials, the demonstration centre is meant to showcase the UK′s expertise in digital healthcare.

It is doing so by bringing world-leading British health IT companies together under one roof, allowing Chinese visitors to observe, learn and interact with the participating companies′ products and services.

Solutions available for examination by visitors include video-based telemedicine and telehealth, self-care online platforms for long-term conditions, including dementia diagnosis, electronic patient records packages, medicine management solutions, Big Data and patient satisfaction analytics software, says the Department.

‘A change in quality′

For Howard Lyons, Managing Director of Healthcare UK, “The launch of the Demonstrator represents a significant milestone in the developing collaboration between leading British Health IT organisations and progressive healthcare providers in Zhejiang Province.

“I believe the benefits to be gained will lead to a step change in the quality of healthcare available to the citizens of China.”

Healthcare UK helps UK healthcare providers do more business overseas.

The centre will be open for the next 9 months.

Funding: CCGs predict NHS savings target will slip

Novartis launches Alzheimer’s prevention study

Will test two treatments in people with genetic risk of dementia
Novartis building

Novartis announced yesterday it intends to find out if two of its drugs can prevent Alzheimer’s disease in people who have a genetic risk of developing the condition.

The pharma company will work with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) on a study involving 1,300 adults aged 60 to 75 who do not have the disease but have been identified as carrying genetic mutations associated with Alzheimer’s.

The move reflects current theories that early or preventative treatment of Alzheimer’s could be more effective than treating people already significantly affected by the condition.

This has been influenced by several major late-stage trial failures for drugs that were intended for late-stage use, including yesterday’s announcement that Targacept had dropped development of TC-1734 after disappointing study data.

One of the drugs to fail at this late stage – Lilly’s solanezumab – is currently being tested in an Alzheimer’s prevention study alongside Roche’s dementia hope gantenerumab.

Like many other investigational Alzheimer’s treatments solanezumab and gantenerumab are developed to work by targeting the build up of amyloid plaque in the brain.

High levels of this plaque have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and there is speculation that early intervention to prevent its development could benefit people with Alzheimer’s, although it is thought treatment must be started at least 10 to 15 years before the onset of symptoms.

Novartis has taken a cue from these previous research efforts and its two drugs both target amyloid in people who are still cognitively healthy.

One treatment is a phase II injectable immunotherapy known as CAD106. It is intended to trigger the body’s immune system to fight the onset of amyloid.

The other therapy is a phase I BACE inhibitor – a class of drug that has mixed results in treating Alzheimer’s. Last year Merck took its BACE inhibitor into phase III testing while Lilly had to halt a trial involving LY2886721 due to safety fears.

David Epstein, division head at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said the trial plans took Alzheimer’s research to the “next level”.

“This trial reinforces Novartis’ focus to following the science of the disease and outlines our continued commitment to the study of Alzheimer’s disease,” he added.

Pending regulatory approval, the study is planned to start in 2015 in sites in North America and Europe.

NHS will miss £20bn savings target, warn CCG finance leads

Funding: CCGs predict NHS savings target will slipFunding: CCGs predict NHS savings target will slip

A total of 20% of CCG finance directors said patient care in their local area had got worse in the past year.

The figures came from the King’s Fund think tank’s latest quarterly monitoring report which surveys NHS trust and CCG finance directors.

The report found overall NHS finance ‘stretched to the limit’, although just 8% of the 61 CCGs covered by the report forecast they will end the current financial year in deficit.

The report found ‘worrying inconsistencies’ in the plans of hospitals and CCGs, with 55% of CCGs planning a reduction in emergency admissions, while just 8% of NHS trust finance directors are working on that basis.

CCGs are also forecasting less elective activity, with only a third (32%) expecting an increase in planned treatment compared to 69% of trust finance directors.

The King’s Fund’s chief economist John Appleby said: ‘Our latest quarterly report paints a picture of a service under huge pressure, with cracks beginning to appear in NHS performance. It once again underlines the need for new funding if services are to be maintained.

‘The increase in the nursing workforce signals a very welcome commitment to improving care, although it remains to be seen whether hospitals will be able to sustain current staffing levels when money becomes tighter later in the year. The disparity in the plans of providers and commissioners points to a worrying mismatch between activity and funding, which could have serious financial consequences.’

The numbers of CCG finance leads predicting the NHS was at risk of missing the £20bn savings, now in the final year of a five-year plan, has increased from 48.9% last quarter to 59.6%

Hospital elevator buttons carry more bacteria than toilet surfaces

Hospital elevators are home to more bacteria than toilet surfaces–making the high-traffic area a breeding ground for potentially dangerous infections.

Canadian researchers at the University of Toronto found that bacteria commonly colonize on elevator buttons, although most pathogens were not clinically relevant, according to a study published in Open Medicine.

Researchers swabbed 120 elevator buttons and 96 toilet surfaces over separate intervals at three large, urban teaching hospitals on weekends and weekdays in Toronto, Ontario. They swabbed the up and down buttons on the outside of the elevator, along with the ground floor and a randomly selected upper-level floor button, while they swabbed the handles of the bathroom door, the privacy latch on the door and the toilet flusher.

There was a 61 percent prevalence of colonization on elevator buttons, which didn’t vary based on location of the buttons, day of the week or panel position within the elevator, according to the study. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common organism cultured, while Enterococcus and Pseudomonasspecies were infrequent. Toilet surfaces, on the other hand, only had a 43 percent prevalence of colonization.

Although absence of pathogenic organisms reflects good hand hygiene and staff cleaning, the prevalence of colonization shows patients remain at risk for cross contamination because of the frequent use of elevator buttons, according to the study.

Researcher noted that they took the samples during flu season, which could have influenced the bacteria count because of the increased use of hand sanitizer, or conversely, may have increased hospital traffic and generalized exposures.

The authors recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers strategically placed inside and outside the elevators as a possible effective method for removing surface bacteria. Hospitals could also enlarge elevator buttons to allow for elbow activation, install touchless proximity sensors and increase public education about hand hygiene targeting individuals who use the elevators, according to the study.

Elevators aren’t the only breeding ground for bacteria. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America recommends new healthcare dress codes in order to reduce the spread of infections like C. diff and MRSA. Physicians should avoid wearing long sleeves, wristwatches, neckties and jewelry, and wear sturdy, closed-toed shoesFierceHealthcare previously reported. Doctors should wash their white coats at least once a week in hot water and bleach, according to the article.

 

Google Analytics gets its own official dedicated iPhone app so you can view your data on the go

Adding to its existing version on Android, Google has now launched a new incarnation of its Analytics app for iOS too.

Available globally and optimized for iPhone and iPod touch, Google Analytics lets you access all of your Web and app data as usual, but now it’s packaged in a mobile-friendly format for Apple devices. You can peruse page-view figures and real-time reports of traffic by region, source and more.

 Google Analytics gets its own official dedicated iPhone app so you can view your data on the go     Google Analytics gets its own official dedicated iPhone app so you can view your data on the go

Today’s launch comes a little over a week after Google launched a new standalone YouTube Creator app for iOS, letting creatives manage their channel wherever they roam, including checking stats, and responding directly to comments. And earlier this week, the internet giant further embraced iOS with the launch of its Ingress augmented reality game, while yesterday an all-new Google AdWords Express app for small businessesarrived for both iOS and Android.

So it’s been a busy week for Google on the native apps front. And you can download Google Analytics for iOS now.

Baxter’s medical products sales jump 24 percent in second quarter

Baxter announced Thursday that second-quarter sales from medical products surged 24 percent year-over-year to $2.5 billion, boosted partly by “strong” sales of injectable drugs and anaesthetics. The company’s overall revenue grew 16 percent to $4.3 billion, ahead of analyst estimates of $4.1 billion, while net income reached $520 million, versus $590 million in the year-ago period.

Overall sales were hit by charges of $172 million, related in part to the integration of Gambro, which the company acquired in September last year, the recall in the US of the Spectrum Infusion Pump as well as the planned separation of its biotechnology operations into a separate company.

CEO Robert L. Parkinson remarked that the company has made “marked progress towards our separation into two leading healthcare companies,” remaining “on track to complete the separation by mid-year 2015.” Parkinson added “we are driving solid performance across our entire business portfolio, and advancing care across our key franchises in both developed and emerging markets.”

Baxter said that for the full year, it now expects sales growth of 10 percent to 11 percent, versus an earlier estimate of 9 percent to 10 percent. Earnings are forecast to be in the range of $5.10 per share to $5.20 per share, revised from a previous prediction of $5.05 per share to $5.25 per share, with analysts expecting per share earnings of $5.15.

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