Social Innovation: Visualizing the movement of bikeshare bikes around the Center for Total Health, Washington, DC

Watch this full screen. You can see the huge influx of people to Washington, DC’s Union Station in the morning, the proportion of people with bikeshare accounts (blue lines) versus “casual riders” who rent on the fly, likely tourists (red lines), who are part of an afternoon outflux. The Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) is in between the two stations visualized.

It’s a cool benefit of technology that supports the sharing of bicycles and provides open data to people who want to understand how people use them, to support basic needs – that’s a version of social innovation.

Union Station, one of the busiest bikeshare stations in the system. Red lines = "casual riders" - renters on the fly
Union Station, one of the busiest bikeshare stations in the system. Red lines = “casual riders” – renters on the fly

Visualization is by Michael Schade (@mvs202) who is part of Arlington, VA’s nationally awesome, leading voice of transportation demand management (TDM), Mobility Lab (@MobilityLabTeam):

This is a composite view of the 3rd quarter of 2014, overlaying each day’s CaBi traffic onto a 24-hour view. Only traffic to or from the two stations is shown. The histogram shows the number of cyclists traveling to or from these two stations at each moment.

More facts:

Of Union Station’s 41,190 trips, 16.9% were from casual riders, 83.1%
were from registered riders.

Of 3rd & H’s 15,111 trips, 12.9% were from casual riders, 87.1% were
from registered riders.

System-wide, 26% were from casual riders, 74% were from registered riders.

Casual riders are those who bought 1- or 3-days passes. We generally
assume they are mostly tourists. Because your stations have lower
percentages of casual riders, I’d assume they are less popular with

The Lincoln Memorial has the highest percentage of casual riders,
82.3%. Followed by MLK & FDR Memorials (81.2%), followed by Jefferson
Dr & 14th St SW (80.8%), followed by Smithsonian / Jefferson Dr & 12th
St SW (77.3%), followed by Jefferson Memorial (70.4%).

We’ve never really had a view of how people are moving around a city on bicycle before bikeshare (@Bikeshare), and not before people who understand open data and are friends of Total Health could make it viewable like this. And by the way, if you want to understand that our cities are truly changing into low carbon environments, check out these images of 3rd and H Street NE in 2014 and 1947.

Thanks Mobility Lab for helping us understand the tranformation of our city and our little part of it a little better!

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Latest adoption data for

Yesterday on a tour of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth), one of my esteemed guests, Larry Wolf, Health IT Strategist at Kindred Healthcare and Co-Chair, Certification and Adoption Workgroup, Health IT Policy Committee asked about the adoption curves I showed for Kaiser Permanente’s personal health record,

Because of that and since I’m giving a guest lecture as part of my colleague Carol Cain, PhD’s (@ccain) course: “Digital Medicine: Designing IT Innovations that Improve Healthcare Stanford University Biomedical Informatics 207” later this month, I needed to update them anyway, so here they are. 

The totals are out of a member population of 9.3 million members, with the average practice having 67% of the eligible members (Internet users over 18 years of age) registered to use the portal. Enjoy, and remember, it is possible to engage patients.

Kp org data update 44882

Kp org data update 44883

Kp org data update 44884

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Photo and Map Friday: The Social Determinants of the NoMa Neighborhood, Washington, DC USA

Our cities are changing.

I had the best opportunity this week to capture our nation’s capital in transition, from the vantage point of the 7th floor of the brand new NPR building (see: Designing the future of work to be collaborative, and healthy: National Public Radio’s New Headquarters, Washington, DC USA | Ted Eytan, MD) . This is the view east, into the spectacularly changing NoMa neighborhood.

Looking east onto NoMa, changing rapidly View NPR Headquarters Building Tour 33148 on

See that curved roof in the background? That’s the former Washington, DC, Coliseum, the location of the first Beatles concert in the U.S., on February 11 1964 (see: Feb. 11 1964, the Beatles’ first concert in the United States – O Say Can You See?). Now the Uline arena, is an indoor parking lot and a graffiti canvas. However, it is about to be re-imagined, too, complete with reanactment of the first Beatles’ performance, 50 years later.

The story told by data

The NPR building happens to sit on the border of a census tract, which shows the starkest contrast in terms of social determinants of health. Note the difference in high school attainment and poverty levels on each side of North Capitol Street. Also note a relative explosion on population. You’ll see that there’s not much happening right next to the Center for Total Health (@kptotalhealth) – that’s because a large development is being built across the street from it right now – that area will turn blue soon enough.

Here’s the view looking west, instead of east. It will be important to save these images. Note the cranes in the background there, as well. That’s Mount Vernon Square. It won’t look like this for much longer.

Looking west, greater deprivation (today) View NPR Headquarters Building Tour 33133 on

You can access close-ups of the data here. What do you think – does this information make you want to think more broadly about health?

All maps were created at Community Commons, a great resource that’s open to the public to learn more about data and health.

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Less connected social networks solve complex problems better : Go ahead, have a dream

This is is a less-connected network, with 88 nodes.

This is a well-connected network, 88 notes, with 172 links.

 Here’s what happens when the well-connected network works to provide a solution to a complex problem.

Here’s what happens when the less-connected network does the same work, given the same amount of time.

Here’s what happens when the less connected network gets extra time.

The less connected network takes more time, but comes up with a better solution.

At the extremes (extremely un-connected, and extremely-well connected) networks do poorly.

What does this mean and how did I introduce it when talking about social media in health care recently?

(See Presentation: Why be Social (Media) – Kaiser Permanente Colorado – “Destination Leadership” | Ted Eytan, MD)

  • Health care can be very insular.
  • People often seek solutions inside the walls and forget to connect in less-well-traveled places to learn.
  • They don’t know what they don’t know.
  • Using social media to talk and not listen doesn’t help this situation. That’s not being social, it’s being antisocial.

This is what it means for me.

As I mentioned in Colorado, people have connected with me online to tell me about wonderful health care experiences, as well as health care experiences that were not so wonderful, or even hurtful. Regina Holliday (@ReginaHolliday) is one amazing example. There are many others.

How do you know how to make things better if you’re only talking to people just like you? 

That’s where social networks come in to help us listen and engage.

We talk about patient engagement all the time, let’s not forget physician/clinician/health professional engagement.


Today is a special day in history. When people tell us to be less passionate about reducing inequality and improving health for all, the words of other misfits come to mind:

  • Go ahead, have a dream.
  • Don’t live someone else’s life
  • The world belongs to optimists, pessimists are bystanders


All computer simulations were run by me. To access the mathematical models and reference behind this example, see Lazer, David and Friedman, Allan, “The network structure of exploration and exploitation” (2007). Computer and Information Science Faculty Publications. Paper 1.

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Social media adoption across the generations (charts) – 2013 update

I am having a conversation with my colleagues in the Kaiser Permanente Colorado (@KPColorado) region in August about communicating in the era of social media, so an update of the latest data of internet and social networking adoption is called for :). Luckily, the data is easy to get, easy to trend, with a trip to the Pew Internet & American Life Project (@pewinternet).

The chart above has the latest published data, from February, 2013, based on surveys done in December, 2012. (see: Pew Internet: Social Networking (full detail) | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project)

So what’s new?

  • There are more Americans using the Internet, it’s now up to 85 % across the population, mostly because it’s 56 % in people age 65+
  • There’s a slight flattening of adoption curve, meaning the generations are starting to resemble each other more in their use of social networking sites
  • As the PewInternet team points out, Twitter use has doubled since November, 2010, but it’s still only 16% across the population – not that many people as one might think

Remember, these numbers are adjusted

To look at these numbers from a health care perspective, you have to look at total population users of social networking and twitter rather than % internet users, as these are reported. The methodology of how this is done is in the 2nd slide of this deck. It mostly affects the more mature generations, since 98% of people age 18-29 use the internet now.

Trends from 2005 – 2013 – in slides below

Enjoy, feel free to use, and thank you Pew Internet and American Life Project!

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Now Analyzing: Temperature and snowfall data for Washington, DC, Implications for Health

In preparation for my attendance at CleanMed Europe this fall (@CleanMedEurope), and also as a member of the Executive Committee for Environmental Stewardship for Kaiser Permanente, I have been taking a course in Climate Literacy on one of those MOOCs (you guess which one..:)). Our first assignment beyond the quizzes was to look at a climate issue locally and do some research on it. So, I did some research on my favorite city. Here’s what I found:

It really is getting hotter

When people from here say it snowed more when they were kids, they’re right

There are certainly snowpocalypses here and there, but the trend is toward less snow.

There are more 90+ degree days

This one needs to be interpreted with caution, note the number of missing observations. I had to pull out 2002 entirely. Which brings me to my next point….

“Open Data” does not mean “Easy Data”

So the NOAA is always cited as the example of what good can happen when you make data available. The problem is that there’s tons of it, and it’s a little challenging to find what you’re looking for. And then there’s missing observations and unclean data sets. I finally found some cleaned up data by locating a text file referred to in the DC Sustainability Plan (which is excellent, I’ll blog on that later). I’m not even 100% sure where the actual front door is to the NOAA to grab data – I *think* I went to the right place.

So, celebrate that it’s there, hope it will be easier to find and use in the future because these questions are important.

Washington, DC is getting hotter and drier. In a future post I’ll write about what it’s doing to plant life here (the topic of my assignment) which is in turn impacting human (and specifically my) health. Not that I don’t love DC, just that during parts of the year it doesn’t love me back as much. Comments and questions welcome – have you looked at temperature records where you live?

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Do physicians tweet about environmental stewardship in health care?

More goodness from the MDigitalLife study courtesy of Greg Matthews (@chimoose). I asked him (very nicely) if he would take a look at the database he’s got of 3,200 verified physicians’ 2.1 million tweets for frequencies of environmental / sustainability topics, and here’s what he found.

For comparison, the same study found around 11,000+ tweets about diabetes. The hashtag I personally use to talk about this topic, #greenHC is well represented in my tweets – and I’m the only person who uses it :).

So the answer is, “not very much,” yet. This analysis was done in prep for the discussion I’m helping lead at the AAMC Joint Meeting of the… (see this blog post : Crowdsource request: Help our dialogue with leaders in academic medicine regarding social media | Ted Eytan, MD ).

Why? Because I want to show that health professionals come to social media with a mission to educate and improve health.

This is an outlet for them/us where we can advance ideas that may be far ahead of their time, kind of like a testing ground to see where the rest of our profession is.

Seeing an IV bag that’s PVC-Free and DEHP-Free for the first time may not excite you like it excites me. But it will. Someday, when you understand how they help save lives.

Simulation Training Center for Total Health 20502

Thinking Green: Safer for humans of all ages

So, the data confirms I’m ahead of my time. It’s okay, @futuredocs , @Doctor_V and I are coming to the #AAMCJtMtg from the future, to share how we use this medium to participate and thrive. Don’t forget to tweet us!

Greg manually reviewed some of the terms because they are overly inclusive, for a more accurate result in this dataset. That’s dedication to helping our profession and our patients. Thank you!

To read more about the MDigitalLife study, click this link.

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