Creative Thinking Process

Creative thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions. Creative thinking can be stimulated both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming, and by a structured process such as lateral thinking.

Creative Thinking Involves 4 Stages:

  1. Preparation – formulate the problem and collect facts and materials necessary for finding new solutions.
  2. Incubation – the unconscious thought process of finding a solution to the problem.
  3. Illumination – the sudden flash of idea i.e. the ‘eureka’ experience.
  4. Verification – evaluate the validity of the solution.

The 3 Keys to Creative Thinking Process:

  1. In-the-box: This applies knowledge accumulation and critical thinking to the problem. Based on their expertise, innovators can generate many relevant ideas and make connections later.
  2. Out-of-the-box: This is a wide-angle and unfocused thinking process. It allows the innovators to imagine an entire universe of possibilities.
  3. New-box: Once ideas are evaluated, they need to be synthesized by rearranging and reconstructing through dot-connecting, then refined and put into place in a new context.

8 Creative Thinking Techniques:

  1. Mind Mapping – brainstorming or spider diagram
  2. The Checklist – why, where, when, who, what, how
  3. Thinking Hats – facts, emotions, judgment, logic, creativity, control
  4. Lateral Thinking – side stepping
  5. Random Word – imagine association
  6. Picture Association – imagine association
  7. Change Perspective – in other people’s shoes
  8. Get Up and Go Out – let your mind wander

Union of Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur

An entrepreneur is someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced. An intrapreneur takes risks and drives innovation within a business for better serving the marketplace through increased goods and services.

Tackling inefficiencies within a large and complex industry such as healthcare or agriculture requires subject matter expertise. Because an intrapreneur is focused on resolving a specific issue, such as increasing productivity, he possesses the domain knowledge directly applicable to his assignment. An entrepreneur interested in organizing a venture to address healthcare or agriculture will do well by partnering with an intrapreneur from such industry.

Driving innovation requires technical knowhow and engineering skills, something healthcare and agricultural professionals typically do not possess. An intrapreneur able to interpret trends in the marketplace and visualize how the company needs to evolve to stay ahead of its competition will do well by partnering with an entrepreneur fluent in science and technology.

Startup Weekend Ventura County, April 21st-23rd, 2017, will bring together healthcare and agriculture entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. We expect amazing innovations and great business ideas to come out of this union. Come join us.

SWVC 2016 Runner Ups

iVitals: Continuous vital sign monitoring system with clinical algorithms
Dr. Natalie Shum


Renew Hope: Objective oncology guidance as a patient advocate
Dr. Robert Lum


Splash Guard: Retractable endoscopic sleeve to prevent spread of infection
Dr. Bennet Lipper


Shopmedic: Platform for patients to compare elective surgery prices
Shon Moshin


BettyBot: Help hospitals reduce patient readmission
Claudia Sloan


Bill Gates on Innovations

Accelerating innovation requires both political leadership and private sector leadership. The best leaders have the ability to do both the urgent things that demand attention today and at the same time lay the groundwork for innovation that will pay dividends for decades.

When we innovate, we create millions of jobs, we build the companies that lead the world, we are healthier, and we make our lives more productive. And these benefits transcend borders, powering improvements in lives around the world. Our global culture of innovation has been most successful at those moments when science, technology, and great leadership come together to create miracles that improve modern life.

It’s important to remember what made the moonshot the moonshot—that is, what transforms political rhetoric into game-changing breakthroughs. A moonshot challenge requires a clear, measurable objective that captures the imagination of the nation and fundamentally changes how we view what’s possible. And it requires marshaling the resources and intellect of both the public and private sectors. When we do that, we chart a course for a future that is safer, healthier, and stronger.

Click here to read the full article on

The IoT Healthcare Coup

Electronic health records (EHR) are expected to be in 95% of health care facilities by 2020, according to research. This is not just your doctor’s notes and your prescription records. The EHR will include your X-rays, scans, test results and everything to do with your medical history. The goal of the EHR is for it to become the one source for your entire medical history, following you from doctor to specialist to hospital to outpatient recovery.

IDC, a leading market research firm, estimates that by 2020 we’ll have 35 zetabytes of medical data alone, which is a 44-fold increase from 2009. If you piled this up in tablets, you’d get about one-third of the way to the moon or fill up a 500-bed hospital 11.3 times over.

And this data is already beginning to make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives by looking for patterns and finding ways to use preventative steps to keep patients from returning to the hospital for lengthy stays and expensive treatments.


The potential benefit to human lives is going to be huge, as Big Data companies step forward to help hospitals, physicians and even insurance companies analyze the copious amounts of data collected in EHRs and even from the medical devices. This will lead to improvements in medical care and medical technology. In fact, the spending on all aspects of the medical IoT is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2025.

Source: October 6, 2016 – Technology


R&D in Agriculture

Research article notes that globally, most of the increase in agricultural production over the past 50 years can largely be attributed to rising crop and livestock yields rather than to the expansion of acreage devoted to farming.

Private sector investments comprise a greater and growing share of overall R&D spending. “Agriculture is more dependent on scientific innovation than any other industry,” said Catherine Woteki, USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “This study shows the great job that private industry is doing in research, much of which was built on the genetic technology USDA scientists have been working on for decades. It’s crucial that we continue supporting this kind of R&D.”

Reliable estimates of publicly funded agricultural research have previously been available, and studies have established strong links between these investments and the long-term growth of the productivity of American agriculture. But the ERS (Economic Research Service) study is the first of its kind to provide comprehensive estimates and analyses of private sector R&D for agricultural input industries, even for global companies with R&D endeavors in different countries and sectors. The report defines agricultural inputs as animal genetics; animal nutrition; animal health; farm machinery; fertilizers; crop seed and biotechnology; and agricultural chemicals.

Findings reported in the Science article include:

  • Globally, about half or more of all private investment in food and agricultural research and development have been devoted to food manufacturing, not toward input industries and other areas that directly increase agricultural production.
  • Recent increases in private agricultural input research have mostly centered on crops, including farm machinery and some biofuels investments; livestock-related research and crop protection chemicals have experienced less growth.
  • Research into biofuels has become increasingly important, with estimated global investments by private companies at approximately $1.47 billion in 2009.
  • In both crop seed and animal breeding, biotechnology research was an important driver of consolidation in these industries.
  • Private spending contributed to the overall growth in R&D for agricultural in the face of slowing or stagnant public R&D resources, but addressed a narrower set of research topics and input industries than publicly funded R&D.
  • Public policies have a major influence on private-sector incentives to invest in agricultural research. Intellectual property protection, regulatory frameworks, and especially, public investments in basic science that opens up new technological opportunities, have been important drivers of the growth of private agricultural R&D.

The article can be found at:

Food Waste in America

Americans waste an unfathomable amount of food. In fact, according to a Guardian report released this week, roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States is thrown away—some 60 million tons (or $160 billion) worth of produce annually, an amount constituting “one third of all foodstuffs.” Wasted food is also the single biggest occupant in American landfills, the Environmental Protection Agency has found.

What causes this? A major reason is that food is cheaper in the United States than nearly anywhere else in the world, aided (controversially) by subsidies to corn, wheat, milk, and soybeans. But the great American squandering of produce appears to be a cultural dynamic as well, enabled in large part by a national obsession with the aesthetic quality of food. Fruits and vegetables, in addition to generally being healthful, have a tendency to bruise, brown, wilt, oxidize, ding, or discolor and that is apparently something American shoppers will not abide. For an American family of four, the average value of discarded produce is nearly $1,600 annually. (Globally, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that one-third of all food grown is lost or wasted, an amount valued at nearly $3 trillion.)

The Atlantic: July 15, 2016

While US consumers were aware that wasted food is a problem, those surveyed tended to blame others. Nearly three-quarters said they wasted less food than the average American, and 13 percent claimed they didn’t waste any food at all. “Tossing food that spoiled in the refrigerator has become habitual behavior so that people don’t necessarily see that as waste, because once something has spoiled it’s not seen as food anymore.”

Worry over food poisoning was the most popular reason for discarding food, leading Neff to conclude that consumers could use additional guidance to explain factors beyond age that can make food unsafe to eat, such as contamination and improper storage. One policy change she suggests: Encode the sell-by dates on perishable food labels so that only grocers can read them. “In the survey, a fifth of the people said they threw out food—especially milk-based food—on the sell-by date, which we know has nothing to do with whether that milk is safe to drink,” she says. Sell-by dates are merely the manufacturer’s estimate of peak freshness, not deadlines for safe consumption. A desire to “eat only the freshest food” was the number two reason respondents gave for wasting food. One reason for this, Neff thinks, is a foodie culture fostered by celebrity chefs and cooking programs that has convinced many to seek only perfect, unblemished food.

 John Hopkins Magazine, Fall 2015

Challenges facing Healthcare

Health care spending in the U.S. far exceeds that of other high-income countries, though spending growth has slowed in the U.S. and in most other countries in recent years. Even though the U.S. is the only country without a publicly financed universal health system, it still spends more public dollars on health care than all but two of the other countries. Americans have relatively few hospital admissions and physician visits, but are greater users of expensive technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Available cross-national pricing data suggest that prices for health care are notably higher in the U.S., potentially explaining a large part of the higher health spending. Finally, despite its heavy investment in health care, the U.S. sees poorer results on several key health outcome measures such as life expectancy and the prevalence of chronic conditions. Mortality rates from cancer are low and have fallen more quickly in the U.S. than in other countries, but the reverse is true for mortality from ischemic heart disease.


U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries


Hospital Inefficiencies

Source: Healthcare Dive

Hospital inefficiencies not only interfere with workflow, but also cost hospitals billions of dollars each year. Some of the most common hospital inefficiencies are:

  1. Inadequate communication methods – The results of the Ponemon Institute survey found that the primary reasons for communication challenges were the inefficiency of pagers, the inability to use text messaging and lack of Wi-Fi availability.
  2. Duplicate documentation requirements – Eliminating inefficiencies in documentation methods will allow clinicians to spend more time with patients and also helps with patient flow.
  3. Poor patient flow – Dealing with a large number of patients moving in and out of the hospital and from one department to another will inevitably lead to patient flow issues.
  4. Inappropriate hospital admissions and lengths of stay – Practitioners sometimes admit patients to the hospital or keep them longer than necessary because they don’t have an alternative place to send them.
  5. Incomplete medication reconciliation – One of the reasons hospitals have difficulty with medication reconciliation is that patients are often poor historians when it comes to their medications, which makes it difficult to develop a complete ‘entry’ list.

Healthcare: Follow the Money

One of the key reasons we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. As a result, administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars, most of which is waste.

Single-payer financing is the only way to recapture this wasted money. The potential savings on paperwork, more than $400 billion per year, are enough to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without paying any more than we already do.


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