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Alan and Steve’s Excellent Adventure: Unleashed in Madison

The Wainhouse Research Blog

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on Unified Communications & Collaboration


Alan and Steve’s Excellent Adventure: Unleashed in Madison

By: -
5 May 2017

It wasn’t the same as a Kids Gone Wild spring break jaunt, but my colleague Steve Vonder Haar and I had the pleasure of jointly keynoting the Sonic Foundry Unleash17 conference in Madison, Wisconsin this past week.  Home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers, as well as some amazing fried cheese curd thingies that melt in your mouth, and of course Sonic Foundry.

Then again, the passion displayed by Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite customers might rival what you might see at spring break. These are definitely fanboys (and girls) who return to Madison year after year (this is Sonic Foundry’s eleventh year as hosts of its Unleash conference) to soak up roadmap and best practices and eat a few cheese curds.  I’ve watched Unleash sessions remotely in the past, but the experience of meeting 300+ fangirls (and boys) was entirely different.

Pins and tags representing attendee base locations

I flew in a day early and got to see the Mediasite Enterprise Video Awards ceremony.  Four organizations in particular grabbed my attention: ABC for Health, Inc. (winner of the Outcomes award) and multiple Dutch organizations: 1) Green Heart Hospital and Noordhoff Health Publishers, co-winners of the Training Outcomes award; 2) Medical Center Leeuwarden, an award finalist; and 3) GGzE, winner of the Innovation award.  With so many Dutch groups represented, I’m beginning to think there’s some affinity between the Gouda and the fried cheese lovers.  Or maybe those wild and wacky Dutch are onto something.

Green Heart Hospital and Noordhoff Health Publishers in the Netherlands are working together to employ streaming video in creative ways.  The hospital’s deployment of Mediasite enables nurses and other staff to capture techniques for operating equipment and to document procedures in very short videos that become available “just-in-time.”  We’ve been writing a lot about microlearning here at WR lately, and these Dutch folks are the embodiment of the value of experiential learning: we often don’t learn something until we need to know it, and often we have to grab something to help us. In this case, we’re talking about videos that typically range from 10 seconds to a minute in length, accessed by nurses typically using QR codes. The hospital is at the bleeding edge in capturing these short videos.  Noordhoff Health Publishers is working with the hospital networks in the Netherlands to create a “Dutch national video healthcare network.” Think “Netflix for healthcare in the Netherlands,” as Noordhoff executives put it.  Not only does Noordhoff publish its own content for hospitals, it’s creating an enterprise performance support system (EPSS) by combining its content with user-generated content.  Any hospital that opts in will be able to license its own best practices.  Love it!

Medical Center Leeuwarden used a combination of Mediasite and a gaming platform from Dutch company MadLogic to train its 4,000 employees in how to use the EPIC electronic patient records platform.  (For those who don’t know, EPIC is one of the largest patient record systems used in the healthcare industry.  Though widely considered one of the best, it is not a trivial platform to learn.)  Initially more than 6,000 videos were watched and more than 10,000 mini-games were played, but in addition Sonic Foundry and MadLogic also teamed to make it possible for combined video and games that are short microlearning objects.   

GGZE is a Dutch mental health organization that conducted a pilot to allow novice students in training to record patient therapy sessions for doctors to review (patients opt-in).  The purpose: supervision and coaching.   GGZE’s service combines the camera function of smartphones with the content management and distribution capabilities of a webcasting platform. The smartphones are considered less intrusive than standard cameras, and Mediasite is used to securely store the videos.  Students were provided a smartphone and additional mics, and an entire workflow was created once the pilot was completed.  This reminds me of the very best aspect of on-demand streaming video: the ability to support peer review (or in this case, supervisor review). 

ABC for Health is a not-for-profit public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for children and families, particularly those with special needs or who are at risk.  With as much turbulence going on as we have here in the U.S. regarding health insurance, they are doing a great job using streaming video for training and communications of state agency employees, healthcare workers, and consumers in need of support. One of the things ABC for Health has learned over the years: keep it short and simple! Most of their videos are ten minutes or less in length.

There were many other interesting award winners – Texas Tech for Awesomeness takes the cake for awesomely titled award. Other sesssions included discussions of Mediasite 7.2 and the company's approach to innovation and core releases.  And there was a second keynote full of great predictions delivered by Margot Douaihy, the Editorial Director for AV Technology magazine.  "Li-Fi" returns! Steve (aka @streamingSteve) and I delivered a session moderated by Sonic Foundry’s Rob Lipps.  Who’d have thought we’d be asked to share our best and worst ever predictions – and likely Stanley Cup winner this year (I blew it on that one, was prepared to handle the World Series by saying who won't win: the Cubbies).  Feel free to check it out – we had fun and rarely does one get such a happening rock and roll introduction.  Thanks, Sonic Foundry, for introducing us to Madison gone wild.

Alan and Steve holding forth at Unleash17