Kaitlyn Ronning

To Define the term…Big Data Is data that is so huge and vast it is difficult to understand and process. It is used across a variety of businesses including retail and banking. Its role in these sectors is to track customer spending and look at trends and patterns of consumers in which the company can better target their customers and make the most of having this information about consumers. This benefits both the business and consumer satisfaction. Health big data is the term used for the databases associated with the healthcare industry. It’s beneficial to the industry as it improves care and outcomes of patients, increases patient security, can bring useful information to create and improve health policies as well as eliminating unnecessary costs and burdens to the healthcare industry. It can be used by employees to foresee ongoing patterns and trends amongst people’s health, what potential risk factors patients have in common allowing better preventative care and improved targeted treatment. Organisations are using big data to collect patient information which can potentially contribute to building sustainable healthcare systems and increasing access to healthcare.

The Soon Chun Hyang Hospital in South Korea is an excellent example of where Health big data has been beneficial and successful. As the number of patients continued to rise, there was an increased need for efficiency meaning the time used for administration, processing test results and transferring patients needed to be greatly reduced in order for this to happen. The hospital believed that by having medical documentation on file such as X-rays meant they could continue to provide good service and care to patrons as different doctors would be able to access the results quickly and easily. Before the use of a big data system, the hospital used several IT systems in which employees had the tedious, time consuming job of loading patient information and data onto. These systems included Electronic Medical Records (EDM), electronic payment systems and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS).

As the Hospital worked with IBM Technologies, a system was produced which combined all of these individual systems into one single datacentre. This had huge benefits for staff as well as patients as now the hospital can prepare data 95% faster which improves overall efficiency, lowering overall operating costs by 40%. By using a data system this also reduces the concern of potentially misplacing the original hard copy of the file or set of information.

This case study reflects the benefits of big data and the way in which it can be used to assist a company. I think this is a really great benefit for the healthcare industry if the data is used to assist patients and improve the overall quality and effectiveness of healthcare.


IMB Technologies, Harness your data resources in healthcare, accessed 16th October 2014,

IMB Technologies, Soon Chun Hyang Hospital augments its care experience, accessed 20thth October 2014, <;

Kivatinos,D. 2014, How big data is beginning to change how medicine works, Venture Beat News, accessed 20th October 2014, <;

Kuo,M., Sahama,T., kushniruk,A., Borycki,E. Grunwell,D., 2014, ‘Health big data analytics: current perspectives, challenges and potential solutions’, International Journal for big data intelligence’, vol. 1, viewed 20th October 2014, <;

Raley, Rita. 2013, ‘Dataveillance and countervailance,’ in Gitelman, L. (ed) “Raw data” is an oxymoron,Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, pp. 131-9.


The use of technology and how dependent we are all to it now days is a topic I really wanted to look at for this blog post. I decided to interview my younger brother Lachlan (9 years old) about his views on technology and the future. I thought a child’s perspective would be interesting, particularly since children are so easily influenced and I wanted to see if his perspective was different to what I knew at his age, ten years ago. I firstly asked “what is technology?” his response was “Ipads and gadgets…anything that uses power” As a kid who loves playing on his ipad and family computer for hours, I think this actually sums up the question really well, especially considering the answer to the same question in the Hybrid By Nature lecture was “gadgets, devices, machines, appliances and electronics’ Comparing this to myself and how often I used technology at his age 10 years ago, the use of technology has dramatically increased. I used to play on the computer for 1hr or at 2hrs being the absolute maximum time limit, comparing to now, 10 years later with not only children but adults becoming so dependant and ‘hooked’ on technology and gadgets using them for hours and hours daily. There are great benefits for my brother using the ipad frequently such as the ability to skype one of his close friends who moved to china last year, as well as educational games and games that allow him to be creative. However I think children are starting to use technology as a source of entertainment more often, instead of using their imaginations or playing outside and being creative with toys like I used to. My brother and his friends all play sport together as a team and have fun playing with scooters or jumping on the trampoline outside, just as I used to as a child, however technology is something they are still all addicted to as well. It’s about finding the right balance between the two. I further asked his view on global warming/The Anthropocene and what he knew about it. He told me that he knew pollution contributed to global warming and therefore heats up the world. When I asked “what do you think the future will be like?” he responded with “there will be cars that are better for the environment”. I was pleasantly surprised with this answer as I was half expecting to hear something along the lines of space ships and floating cars, but mentioning environmentally friendly cars being something mechanics and scientists are actually working on for the future was a really great answer to the question. I think it’s great a school is teaching about global warming and environmental sustainability as the actions and choices we make today do have an impact on the world and the future.  I was not sure what would happen when I asked a child some pretty big questions however I was really pleased at all the responses.


L. Ronning (2014, pers. comm., 16th October)

As we look at the past approximately 250 years since the commencement of The Anthropocene being the Industrial Revolution, dramatic changes to our planet have occurred during this period. The large emission of greenhouse gasses causing climate change is a big issue that we as both humans and designers have to look at. As climate change over more recent times has caused a rise in the occurrence of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis; and devastation such as rising sea levels and flooding due to melting ice caps, we need to consider the effects not only to the environment and the planet but also have to understand, design and plan for future disasters and saving those who live in these high risk areas.

Environmental refugees are those who must leave their homes due to natural disasters. Climate refugees fall into this category as they too are forced to flee due to the effects of climate change – being increased flooding and natural disasters due to greenhouse gas emissions. As reported by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘36 million people were displaced by natural disasters in 2009…this number will rise to at least 50 million by 2050’ With this future prediction potentially devastating millions of lives, the need for survival plans, innovative designs and strategies for attack during devastation need to be developed and put into action by governments and corporations. The trailer for the movie ‘Climate Refugees’ is a great summary for the situation of these refugees that is currently happening and will continue to occur on our planet.

The article “Climate change refugees a reality” published by the Sydney Morning Herald raises the question of how do we plan for the displaced people of these devastated areas? One idea is to put forward the option of planned migration, moving those living in areas prone to the adverse effects of climate change to areas less likely to be affected by climate change. Some migration may be as simple as moving from a low lying area to higher ground in order to evade flooding however governments, in particular the Australian government needs to have a plan to accommodate for displaced people in the event of disaster to the neighbouring South East Asian countries, as Australia is closely situated to this region.

Looking at Lucy Orta’s piece labelled ‘connector motor village I’ a product like this would be greatly useful to environmental refugees who have been displaced in a time of disaster. This design is easy to transport and install making this item extremely practical in times of devastation. The product can be connected to other tents and rearranged to accommodate for more people. This product is also a much easier way to set up shelter and aid as it can accommodate for more people, particularly if an unexpected natural disaster occurred.

With an attempt at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, government planning and utilising innovative designs, climate refugees will be able to gain safety and security in areas less prone to natural disasters and devastation.


McDaniel, M., E. Sprout, D. Boudreau, and A. Turgeon. “Climate Refugee”, National Geographic Education. N.p., n.d. Web, viewed 16th September 2014

Nash,M. 2010, Climate Refugees Trailer, Video Recording, YouTube, Viewed 16th September 2014, <>

Orta,L., Studio Orta, UK, viewed 17th September 2014 <;

Wahlquist A. 2014, ‘Climate change refugees a reality’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18th February, viewed 18th September 2014,

The Anthropocene: A geological period or time when humans have been responsible for changing the conditions of the planet.

The question that comes to my mind when I think about The Anthropocene is how do we know when it begun? Was it the invention of electricity that caused such change? The industrial revolution? Or perhaps it is today, how large our human population is and the use of resources and power in such high volume that are responsible for the condition of our planet.

Some believe The Anthropocene to have started when the extinction of animals such as the mammoth occurred. Others believe farming and the increase of agriculture that occurred 15,000 years ago as the starting point of The Anthropocene. However, a more supported point is the rise of the Industrial Revolution in 1760. This brought major changes to agriculture, manufacturing, transport and increases in the use of coal for power. More specifically, some scientists turn to the invention of the steam engine in 1784 as the start date of The Anthropocene. This is due to the fact the steam engine powered the industrial revolution and therefore increased the demand for wood, coal and petrol to keep everything running. The need for these supplies meant the planet had been changed as of excavation and logging to produce these materials, therefore with humans altering the planet, being a contributor to the Anthropocene. I have to agree with the industrial revolution being a starting point of the Anthropocene as until this point, the need for new materials/fuel and the gasses and fumes produced by machinery had never been so high and abundant on the planet. As the industrial revolution brought advances in medicine and improved living standards, this resulted in a population boom – growing from 700 million in the mid 1700’s to one billion in the 1800’s. Again, this meant the demand for resources grew, contributing to the increased use of manufacturing and deforestation resulting in greenhouse gas emissions and destruction of natural resources. With such change to the planet resulting from the Industrial Revolution, I think it is an appropriate time in history to look at as the start of the Anthropocene. As the revolution caused such damage to the environment, it could also be argued that this is the underlying cause of many other issues present in today’s world such as climate change and the melting ice caps, also part of the Anthropocene. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that greenhouse gases were being emitted to the atmosphere so with the levels of these gases increasing over time due to population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation it is agreeable to place the Industrial Revolution as the Anthropocene, the starting point of destruction and changes to the planet, which humans are responsible for.


Lorber Kasunic,J., 2014, ‘Change us to suit the world’: Living in the anthropocene and why designers need to
act now, lecture, 8th August

McLamb,E. 2011, The ecological impact of the industrial revolution, Ecology Global Network, 16th August 2014, <;

Rafferty,J.2013, Anthropocene Epoch, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 16th August 2014, <>

Stromberg, J. 2013, What is the Anthropocene and are we in it?, Smithsonian Magazine, 16th August 2014, <>