Careers: Interviews
Adam Chee - Microsoft Certified Professional Hall of Fame Inductee; Noted International Healthcare Informatics Authority

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., DF/NPA, MVP, CNP has an exclusive interview with Adam Chee.

Adam CheeAdam has several years of professional working experience in various technical and operational aspect of the IT industry before specializing in Healthcare Informatics. He spent 5 years in the Healthcare IT industry with specific focus in Medical Imaging Informatics and related technologies before joining Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consultancy company where he focus on Healthcare Informatics developments across Asia Pacific.

A recognized subject matter expert on the area of Health Informatics, Adam has presented at several international conferences and was invited as a Theme Sub Chair (Telemedicine and Healthcare) for the 15th International Conference on Mechanics in Medicine and Biology (ICMMB) organized by the National Technological University of Singapore (NTU). He also holds the honour of being the first inductee of the Microsoft Certified Professional Hall of Fame International. (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/technologynews/view/189725/1/.html).

On a personal level, Adam contributes to both the IT and Health Informatics industry by authoring commentaries and technical articles for various international web portals and publication as well as giving talks at professional societies and tertiary institutions as on various aspects of Healthcare Informatics to help raise the level of competency in the industry.

In addition, Adam participates in various popular online forums and replies to email enquiries from people seeking advice on gaining IT certifications. He is also the founder of binaryhealthcare.com (BHC), a vendor neutral knowledge based web portal on Healthcare Informatics and is currently working with other subject matter experts across Asia to develop BHC into a global resource/presence. His other contribution includes being the editor for Open Directory Project on their Digital and Tele-Radiology category.

An avid learner, Adam has a Post Graduate Diploma in Medical Informatics, a Bachelors Degree in Information Technology, a Specialist Diploma in Infocomm Security as well as several industrial certifications including the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Microsoft Certified Database Administrator from Microsoft and the Certified IT Project Manager from Singapore Computer Society. Adam is also a full member of the Singapore Computer Society, Australia Computer Society, Biomedical Engineering Society (Singapore) and the Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics (Singapore).

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.
http://blogs.technet.com/cdnitmanagers/

Index and links to Questions
Q1   What led to the MCP Hall of Fame honour?
Q2   You have a substantial educational background in technology including a degree, Microsoft certifications, diplomas in medical informatics and security, and a project management certification from the Singapore Computer Society. What is your recommendation for ICT professionals in this area?
Q3   You are a member of the Singapore Computer Society, Australia Computer Society, Biomedical Engineering Society (Singapore) and the Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics(Singapore). We have similar groups in Canada such as CIPS-Canada's Association of IT Professionals. In the US, there's the Network Professional Association (NPA). I should note that CIPS, the Singapore Computer Society, and Australia Computer Society are also members of the UNESCO-founded IFIP (International Federation of Information Processing) who are launching a worldwide Professional Practice Program in 2008. What are the benefits of membership in these groups and why would you recommend IT and Business Leaders and Professionals to get involved?
Q4   Adam, you are an active participant in popular online forums together with founding binaryhealthcare.com (BHC), a vendor neutral knowledge based web portal on Healthcare Informatics. Why would you encourage ICT leaders to contribute in a similar fashion?
Q5   Can you describe your vision, mission, strategy, goals, and objectives around your current role?
Q6   What are the top pressing issues in the area of Health Informatics and what do you propose as solutions?
Q7   You are a known world authority in Health Informatics including authoring papers and presenting at conferences. Please share your most useful tip.
Q8   How will Health Informatics evolve in the future?
Q9   When working with your clients you come across best practice scenarios. Can you share five best practices from your long history of success?
Q10   What are some critical issues facing organizations today and how can they be addressed?
Q11   What are some challenges facing ICT professionals and give some possible solutions?
Q12   In your current role, what is the biggest challenge? How does this relate to business?
Q13   What is the biggest issue facing user group communities and IT societies today? Do you have a recommendation for meeting this challenge?
Q14   Make five predictions for the future (no boundaries or topic limits here).
Q15   Which are your top recommended resources?

Discussion:

Opening Comment: Adam, you were the first inductee to the international Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Hall of Fame due to your outstanding contributions and leadership over many years. We thank you for taking the time to share experiences and insights with our audience.

A: It is my pleasure, Stephen. It is really my honor to be invited for this interview.

Q1: What led to the MCP Hall of Fame honour?

A: I think it was a combination of good luck and great community support. I never expected myself to win as the other nominees were all outstanding IT professionals in their own area of expertise.

Q2: You have a substantial educational background in technology including a degree, Microsoft certifications, diplomas in medical informatics and security, and a project management certification from the Singapore Computer Society. What is your recommendation for ICT professionals in this area?

A: The general recommendation to all ICT professionals is Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Technology is evolving at a rapid rate, there is something new and interesting every other day, what you learned previously can 'work against you' simply because you are not aware of how technology has changed, also the convergence of old and new technologies translates to feasibility of solutions previously deem impossible.

Q3: You are a member of the Singapore Computer Society, Australia Computer Society, Biomedical Engineering Society (Singapore) and the Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics(Singapore). We have similar groups in Canada such as CIPS-Canada's Association of IT Professionals. In the US, there's the Network Professional Association (NPA). I should note that CIPS, the Singapore Computer Society, and Australia Computer Society are also members of the UNESCO-founded IFIP (International Federation of Information Processing) who are launching a worldwide Professional Practice Program in 2008. What are the benefits of membership in these groups and why would you recommend IT and Business Leaders and Professionals to get involved?

A: My personal take on professional societies is that they represent you as a professional for your chosen field. IT is a profession that requires multiple skill sets to address diverse technology and business issues. Professional societies provide a medium where one can develop such skills.

In addition, professional societies provide members with opportunities to get involved and help shape the changes in their field. I would definitely recommend anyone who is passionate about their industry to join the relevant professional societies.

Q4: Adam, you are an active participant in popular online forums together with founding binaryhealthcare.com (BHC), a vendor neutral knowledge based web portal on Healthcare Informatics. Why would you encourage ICT leaders to contribute in a similar fashion?

A: The reason why I am so active online is the same as to why I join the relevant professional societies, it's just a different avenue for me to contribute to my profession. There are already a lot of prominent IT professionals out there contributing in online forums and blogs.

Q5: Can you describe your vision, mission, strategy, goals, and objectives around your current role?

A: I see myself as an Industry Evangelist for both traditional ICT and Health Informatics, to promote our profession and bring it to a higher level. I believe in the importance of promoting technology and our true worth as professionals.

Q6: What are the top pressing issues in the area of Health Informatics and what do you propose as solutions?

A: Some the current pressing issues in Health Informatics includes:

  1. The pressure to ensure maximum Return of Investment (ROI) in terms of monetary results sometimes results in possible cost cutting measures that can affect operations and even quality of care.
  2. Acceleration in the adoption of new technology while reducing medical errors can be tough to juggle.
  3. Change management. Physicians are one of the most challenging group of end-users.
  4. Security and privacy of patient's records. There is a huge area to be discussed.
  5. Integration of vastly disparate systems, some not conforming to industry connectivity standards, especially legacy systems that are too costly to replace.
While there are solutions available, the viability remains largely on the organization's culture and workflow.

Q7: You are a known world authority in Health Informatics including authoring papers and presenting at conferences. Please share your most useful tip.

A: There is no real secret Stephen, passion is the key. Just do what you like and the rest will follow.

Q8: How will Health Informatics evolve in the future?

A: The medical industry is one that utilizes high end technology but Healthcare Informatics is still pretty much in its infancy stage, the potential for growth is huge.

I personally feel that it is a great time to be in Health Informatics and I am very excited to be part of the evolution.

Q9: When working with your clients you come across best practice scenarios. Can you share five best practices from your long history of success?

A: Integrity, constant learning, good communication, managing changes, putting yourself in other's shoes are five of the best practices that have served me well over time.

Q10: What are some critical issues facing organizations today and how can they be addressed?

A: Organizations are increasingly utilizing technology as a differentiator to gain competitive edge. In the quest to achieve this goal, some of the important issues such as cost justification, organizational structure, delivery processes, expectation and change management are inevitable.

There is no cookie cutter solution to the issues mentioned above as every organization is unique, but good leadership and higher management support are crucial along with the solutions deployed.

Q11: What are some challenges facing ICT professionals and what are some possible solutions?

A: Constant upgrading is paramount to ICT professionals and with it comes a few requirements - time, effort and money, all these are valuable resources to any working individual with family commitments.

Having to handle a myriad of diversified technology, (with the impression from end users as being 'simple' and 'common'), also adds burden to our workload because the expectation is that we should be able to resolve any issues 'immediately and with ease' (without available resources).

Possible solutions include educating end users (and upper management) on our work, hence, my personal uptake on the role of being a technical evangelist for my chosen industry.

Q12: In your current role, what is the biggest challenge? How does this relate to business?

A: I keep my personal endeavors separate from my day job. However, the relationship and trust established in the process of my work never fails to aid me in my professional life work

My biggest challenge is the limitation on the amount of time I have available. The result is that it slows down what I want to achieve. The good news is, although progress moves slowly, it doesn't stop.

Q13: What is the biggest issue facing user group communities and IT societies today? Do you have a recommendation for meeting this challenge?

A: User group communities are usually run by volunteers and this poses the issue of available time and commitment. In addition, the support of the industry is important.

Q14: Make five predictions for the future (no boundaries or topic limits here).

A: I predict that:

  1. The internet will integrate completely into our daily lives.
  2. Education will be completely free.
  3. We will find new source of renewable clean power source.
  4. Countries will ease to exist but unite to form a single (biggest) nation.
  5. Space colonies will happen.

Q15: Which are your top recommended resources?

A: My top 5 recommended resources for techies would definitely be:

  1. http://www.mcmcse.com
  2. http://technet.microsoft.com (Microsoft Technet)
  3. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/support/index.html (CISCO Support)
  4. http://www.wikipedia.com

  5. And Most importantly:
  6. http://www.google.com

Closing Comment: Adam, we thank you for sharing your time with us and we wish you continued success for the future.

A: My pleasure, Stephen. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

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