Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Ranking Web of World Hospitals

Nowadays, there are several directories and rankings almost for everything. Information flows, mashups, user-generated contents and collaboration tools, among others,  have facilitated the development and the dissemination of these kind of information services.

Nevertheless, I would say (it’s just a hypothesis) that most of these rankings or directories do not mention clearly how they have been developed or in some cases they are build on  ‘black box’ criteria. To sum up methodology issues are just missed. Of course,  it doesn’t mean that they are not useful but extra caution should be paid when you checked them.

Anyway, I’m glad to share what looks like as a good example of ranking, even it is in a “beta” phase: The Ranking Web of World Hospitals. This ranking clearly specifies:

  • Background of the project.
  • Purposes and Goals of Rankings.
  • Design and Weighting of Indicators.
  • Collection and Processing of Data
  • Presentation of Ranking Results

The elements above mention should be mandatory in any ranking, shouldn’t it?

Congratulations to Isidro F. Aguillo and his team

Knowledge, networks and economic activity: an analysis of the effects of the network on the knowledge-based economy

I would like to disseminate a paper entitled Knowledge, networks and economic activity: an analysis of the effects of the network on the knowledge-based economy written by Joan Torrent, director of ICTs Interdisciplinary Research Group (i2TIC), brand new research group I belong to.

This paper contextualises the disruptive change of the transition to a knowledge-based economy and discusses the social sciences postulations with regards to this phenomenon. Once the general context is explained, the article focuses on the microeconomic foundations, understanding knowledge as an input and as a commodity. Finally, after discussing the microeconomics of knowledge, the paper tackles network externalities and their  impact on economic functions and market structure.


The progressive consolidation of a knowledge-based economy has caused network effects to become a focal point of analysis into the changes in behaviour evinced by economic agents. This article analyses the changes in production and demand for knowledge commodities arising from network externalities. The analysis reveals two distinct patterns of behaviour in knowledge-based economic activity. Observable knowledge commodities are governed by the effect of direct and indirect network externalities. Also, their demand curve and business strategy depend on new-user entry (marginal value) and the relative size of the network. However, tacit knowledge commodities are governed by learning network externalities and their demand curve and business strategies are dependent on the value generated by the addition of the goods themselves to the network (intrinsic value).

This paper could help towards a better understanding of  health care systems within the network society.

Health and the World Wide Internet

I’m glad to share my slides presented on World Internet Project 2009 – Macau entitled Health and the Internet: Autonomy of the User. The presentation is based on a paper written by Rita Espanha and myself for the book “World Wide Internet. Changing Societies, Economies and Cultures” edited by Gustavo Cardoso, Angus Cheong and Jeffrey Cole.

I’m delighted with the great atmosphere of the conference due to the different research perspectives that have been presented by researchers around the world. Twitter #wip200. Finally, thanks Rita for the opportunity to work together. This presentation and the book chapter are just the begining.

From Excluded to Networked Citizens… The Inverse Care Law

On Wednesday 8th I’m presenting Health and the Internet: Autonomy of the User in the World Internet Project Macao 2009. I have finished the presentation and I would like to share a graphic that clearly represents the difference between Access, Use and Assessment of ICT used by Catalonia citizens (based on a representative survey of Catalonia population).

From Excluded to Networked citizens

Following Dr. Shock comment, age characterization of these citizens suggests that those who are younger and probably in a better health status are also more Networed oriented and those who are older and probably in a worse bad status are Excluded or Disconnected. It looks like sometimes the promises of eHealth and eGovernment forget that Inverse Care Law still matters in the Digital Era. Are online service for-profit and also non-profit providers taking care of these situations?