December 3, 2015

I.  Announcements

Gary Ma, Duke Kunshan University's newly hired IT director, join us today.

OIT asked Santa for 5 more 3D printers for Christmas.  OIT now has 27 instead.

Altimaker brand, which has been the least problematic of those we've used.

A 3D printer is on display outside today's conference room.

The Computer Store will be able to carry these at a discount.

II.  Agenda Items

4:05- 4:30 – School of Nursing Data Analytics Online Course, Glenn Setliff Sr, Dr. Ryan Shaw, Assistant Professor SON (15 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is:  Dr. Ryan Shaw has developed a new online Informatics Data Analytics Course beginning in summer 2015.  The course allows students to learn techniques for data analytics evaluation and visualization of clinical data.  Additional specific topics include: big data, data marts, data security, business reporting, segmentation, and hierarchical clustering.

Why it’s relevant: Dr. Shaw will talk about engaging distance-based students using the IBM SPSS Modeler software in a virtual machine for teaching Data Analytics to online students. He will also briefly speak about ongoing and future work where distance-based clinical students engage in classes using telepresence robots and work with electronic health records and mobile health technologies remotely

Dr. Ryan Shaw is a new research faculty member at School of Nursing.

We've been working with Ryan to set up statistical models for research.

This is part of our distance-based Masters program in Health Informatics.

Course topics

Data mining: how to extract information from an electronic health record, including clustering; statistical analysis; decision trees; text mining; and extracting structured information from a clinical note.

I taught this course at 8PM, online.  We used a one-way webcam, instructor to student; only one-way due to limited bandwidth.

Master students used IBM SPSS Modeler in the Virtual Computing Lab at .Students created a reservation with the virtual machine; this avoided the need to download specialized software.

Dr. Shaw demonstrates setting up a reservation, logging in, and connecting to the virtual machine.

We had to have Adobe Reader installed since students would work with PDFs within the virtual machine.

Assignments: Students worked on a final project that involved mining data from health records.


Students were able to learn how to use analytics online in a virtual machine, which meant they didn't have to download any software.  This worked on PCs and Macs.  There were no issues with limited computing power, which was important since they were analyzing a large dataset.  Duke resources made it possible to analyze larger datasets than would have been possible otherwise.

This also was cumbersome for students.  Transferring data was frustrating since they were working in a VCL virtual machine rather than a VMmanage machine (where data can be stored locally).  It was more challenging to help students with software issues since they were all remote.  There also was a decent learning curve for the faculty.

Originally we weren't going to recommend this approach since our Citrix environment wasn't designed for this.  Since no PHI was involved, we were able to use the Virtual Computing Environment.  If PHI were involved, we'd like to find a solution that offered the same benefits and also supported PHI.  PHI is required for some doctoral studies.

We had a Citrix environment for research, but it became unusable due to lack of resources.  The resource planning model for that environment didn't meet our needs.


Q: Students were all in the US?  What was their experience with the latency of refreshing the screen?

A: Yes.  Screen refreshes seemed to go well; we received no feedback on bad performance.

Suggestion: WebEx Meeting can be used for screen sharing.  This takes a short investment of time up front.

Q: How did you handle data transfers?

A: I started out using Box, but then moved to Sakai to simplify the software environment.  Didn't want students to get lost in various applications, which would distract them

We also had a number of students ask if they could do this on a mobile device, since they were used to listening to the lectures on one.  I advised against this.

Q: Would you follow this model in the future?

A: I would advise the same model, using a virtual machine, in the future.  I wouldn't recommend SPSS Modeler in the future specifically due to cost.   I do think this is a good model for reaching remote students.

Q: Would you use this for the database course?

A: Yes, if there's a large enough database.

Q: How did you solve technical issues that emerged?

A: Sometimes I met via Adobe Connect for screen sharing, but I found this glitchy.  I also asked students to send me screenshots, which worked.

Q: The virtual machine environment might offer an alternative to VCL.  Have you looked into that option?

A: We investigated several options and due to time limitations went with what was known to work.  If other solutions don't work out in the future, we know can fall back to the one we've chosen here.

4:30- 4:55 – Cisco Jabber Demonstration, Joe Lopez (10 minute demonstration/15 minutes hands on interaction)

What it is: Cisco Jabber is a multimode communication tool integrating telephony, instant messaging, video, conferencing, and desktop sharing on a variety of devices (desktops, notebooks, phones, tablets) and all major operating environments (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows).

Why it’s relevant: As integrated with Duke’s phone system and other IT infrastructure, Cisco Jabber provides an opportunity for Duke University and Duke University Health System to unify communications across platforms  and devices.  It supports a number of new communication modes, such as taking calls to your Duke number on your personal cell phone but only at certain times, that were not easily supported in previous environments.  Joe Lopez will provide an overview of the product and demo some of its features.

ITAC Participants will be divided into small groups to preview Cisco Jabber features through hands-on interaction using PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

We did a quick demo back in June.

Most of the room is using Cisco Jabber.

Not everyone's phone number is listed in the directory, so we require you to provide your number so we can associate the right number with the right person.

This will replace our existing mjabberd, which we'll shut off December 15th.

We're at about 1200 users now, between DHTS and the university.

This will be rolled out to PIN stations so it's available to nurses.

Macs and Windows machines look a little different.  Cisco is working on bringing parity to the various devices.

Joe Lopez demonstrates making a call and using video and screen sharing.

People in the Duke directory are added to this directory.  You can add external contacts individually.

Joe Lopez demonstrates "Meet Me Now" to initiate a WebEx meeting.

We'll be able to communicate with other sites that use SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) calling.

PC users can also name up to eight locations; the client can indicate where you're connected from.

The Cisco Jabber client supports block lists and allow lists to control who can contact you.

Joe demonstrates initiating a chat from Outlook on a PC.

If you've associated voicemail with your main Duke phone number, you can use the Cisco Jabber client to listen to and manage voicemail; you can also choose to have voicemail sent to your email.

Joe demonstrates persistent chat rooms, which can be created by Windows users.  Macs can join chat rooms if invited.

You can also make phone calls from your computer.  You can also transfer calls to a desk phone from  your client.

Doctors use Cisco Jabber to call patients from their cell phones, but without revealing their private cell phone number.


Q: What about the certificate error I'm getting on my Mac?

A: Check your client version.  In Duke Medicine, clients are updated manually.  For university users, in the future we'll be able to self-update if you have local administrative permissions.

For now, download the current version from the OIT website.

Q: Today I'm one of the few in my department who uses it.  Are you planning a PR push?

A: This is part of it.  We're starting with people who have used the old Jabber service, and will fan out from there.

Q: You mentioned both address books / contacts and calendars.  You're referring to Exchange-based systems.  Is there any way to interface with external systems like Google Calendar?

A: You can create individual contacts or import from a file.

4:55-5:30 – Year-End Celebration