Smart City System Architecture: The Importance of Proper IoT Research and Understanding

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we work, learn, and live. With Intelligent Communities and Smart Cities on the rise, IoT appears to have an immense impact the way we plan and design the system architecture amongst the new structures within these cities. The improvements in computing has enabled systems to analyze and understand the physical world at a better pace than people. This new era of Intelligent Communities is creating new unforeseen problems that need to be addressed and resolved due to the unforeseen challenges of IoT. Our current methods and practices in system architecture and design are not advanced enough to handle the widespread integration that we will require as IoT and Smart City development becomes more common. In order to reach Smart City’s full potential, high investment into research about the inadequacies amongst our current methods and practices is needed. Otherwise we could see the end of a very influential and beneficial era before it even begins.1

The starting point for system design was traditionally open ended. The architect has a blank canvas to work from with ample amounts of hardware and software at their disposal. The growth of IoT has required architects to rethink this traditional way of thinking as IoT has increased the amount of functionality structures and the people within them are able to use and acquire. Pete Lomas, director of engineering with Norcott Technologies, believes this has made the design process a much more complex procedure. He stated, “You might have had sensors, actuator interfaces and the associated control logic in one ‘module’,” he noted. “The IoT model potentially disrupts that. Will the sensors and actuators be connected directly to the controller or will you use something like Bluetooth LE or Wi-Fi to create separate modules at the point of use?.” IoT has made system architecture the hardest to plan for and control, and much more investment and research is needed to ensure proper and effective development is reached.2

Security issues are one of the number one focuses amongst system architects because they have the ability to take down the entire system infrastructure as well as create immediate and catastrophic financial implications for everyone involved. IoT faces security threats at the many layers of the OSI model, network security issues, and data transmission issues. Although there are counter measures for most problems and threats, the constant evolution of these issues leaves little relief from architects as unplanned or unknown threats can destroy the system. IoT is still an upcoming technology that is being used and implemented without proper knowledge and understanding of developmental threats. In order for it to be used for wide-range use, such as in Intelligent Communities, a higher investment into research is needed for successful implementation. Environments that have the capabilities to become Smart City’s need to full understand the technology and design they are using for secure execution. Currently, system architecture is beginning to see the problems and obstacles this upcoming technology provides, but more work and research is still needed.3




Research Leaders: A High Need in Today’s Healthcare Market

Research Leaders: A High Need in Today’s Healthcare Market

Healthcare technology research is among the greatest areas of focus the world needs to address, as we are facing immediate threats that need our attention. Currently, as bacteria and disease adapt to the antibiotics that are currently on the market, the businesses that have the ability to fund the extensive research needed have no incentive to contribute as there is no guaranteed immediate revenue. The market is in high demand for a research leader who will understand this threat and take a proactive approach to address this issue. However, the general public are also responsible for taking a leadership role in understanding what they need to do to help slow down the rise of drug resistant bacteria.1

Drug resistant bacteria have become heavily prevalent in recent years and have only been growing stronger. The more antibiotics are used, the less they are effective. Penicillin, which launched this “antibiotic age” in the 1940, was already learned and combatted by the evolving and learning bacteria in just a few short years. Alexander Fleming, the creator of penicillin, understood the danger of the overconsumption of antibiotics and the ability of the bacteria to evolve. He stated, “The thoughtless person playing with penicillin treatment is morally responsible for the death of the man who succumbs to infection with the penicillin-resistant organism.”2 This resistance is growing at an exorbitant rate from 10-15 percent in the 90’s to over 60 percent today. If this trend of lack of research continues, our kids will become the first generation in a century that will die more commonly from infectious disease than lifestyle behaviors and cancer. A trend that is avoidable but difficult to put into fruition.3

We’re currently facing an immediate threat that is being swept under the rug by the CDC and news outlets. Research departments have become less R&D oriented and more business oriented and we may suffer because of it. Funding and time are the driving forces that are needed to combat these diseases and the research and pharmaceutical companies don’t believe that is a reliable business model. In order to leave behind a better future, incentivized research, more grant funding, and realistic time deadlines are needed to get these players into the market. Between the general public and the pharmaceutical companies, leadership in the research field is imperative if we want to continue our way of life. Without this radical and necessary change, we will see a very different and very problematic world.




Benigno Aquino III and the Philippines Displaying Technology Leadership

On May 23rd 2016, The President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines singed a new law into place creating the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT). This is a move that is aimed to play a vital and important role bringing universal access to information and communication technologies throughout the Philippines.

The bill places an emphasis on ensuring “the provision of a strategic, reliable, cost-efficient and citizen-centric information and communications technology infrastructure, systems and resources as instruments of good governance and global competitiveness.”

In signing this new law, many current agencies will dissolve and be transferred over to the DICT such as the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), National Computer Center (NCC), National Computer Institute (NCI); Telecommunications Office (TELOF), National Telecommunications Training Institute (NTTI), and all operating units of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with functions and responsibilities dealing with purely communications.1

The passing of the law shows that the rest of the world is understanding the importance ICT and the role it plays on maintaining and establishing a strong global presence aimed for growth. President Benigno Aquino III used to oppose the bill due to the presence of existing agencies but the passing of this law shows the growth and importance ICT has had in the past few years and how much power a strong ICT plan in place can add huge benefits for an improving country.

Republic Act 10844 will prescribe rules and regulations to the civic, public, and private sector as well as establish and maintain a free internet service throughout the country which can be accessed through government offices and public areas.2

We should expect to see more laws like this coming from developing and underdeveloped nations who are trying to increase their presence in this information renaissance and global economy. Although much work lies ahead, the Philippines have made enormous strides in increasing their ICT and demonstrating technology leadership with the passing of this bill.


Connor Morse: Center for Information and Communication Sciences

My name is Connor Morse and I am a graduate assistant at the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS- see link below).  I attained my bachelor’s of science in health science at Ball State University in July 2014. After graduation I obtained a position as a research coordinator at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health where I stayed until August 2015.

My responsibilities included acquiring and managing blood and saliva samples for various research studies as well as the role of primary recruiter for the Indiana Biobank in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and the pediatric hematology/oncology outpatient center. While fulfilling my obligations, I detected a growing necessity in the healthcare industry, health informatics. In an effort to increase my technical skills, I left my position at Riley to obtain my master’s of science in information and communication sciences at the CICS at Ball State University in August 2015 where I still am currently.

Here I have served under the director of the program, Dr. Stephen Jones, as well as Dr. Jay Gillette. Currently I am chairman of Ball State University’s sectional branch of IEEE as well as a contributor in the Applied Research Institute (ARI).

After my expected graduation in July 2016, I have accepted position as an analyst at Impact Advisors, a healthcare consulting company, which I will start in August 2016. I would like to continue my future career in the healthcare industry to some capacity, eventually acquiring a position with more management responsibilities. In this course I would like to further develop my research and project management skills as well as continue my current Muncie smart city development research form last semester.

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Interoperability in Smart Health Systems: Reshaping Healthcare Policy

Interoperability in Smart Health Systems: Reshaping Healthcare Policy

In modern medicine, healthcare information systems are the driving force behind interoperability in the surrounding communities. As interest in smart cities continues to become more popular, the model behind interoperability begins to take a new shape. Political boundaries in the healthcare market are always existent and as we approach a time where uncertainties about where the direction of healthcare is headed, these obstacles are greater than ever. Policy in healthcare is rapidly changing and doctors today are facing more pressure and scrutiny for their actions than ever before. Recently, general practitioner Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, was found guilty of second degree murder for overprescribing medication that resulted in a teenager’s death. The first ever case in the United States.1 Doctors are more fearful than ever about the strict consequences of their actions and fluctuating and developing healthcare policies aren’t helping either.  The development of smart cities and the forever changing healthcare policies are leading to a new method that will lay the foundation of the implementation of information systems for the next generation of healthcare providers. Semantic interoperability (converting information into equivalent meaning to allow seamless information transfer) and pragmatic interoperability (how healthcare processes and contributors interact with information systems) are two frameworks that are being tested for their effectiveness in the implementation of information systems.2 These frameworks contain many key sub factors that may be the preferred integration method for smart cities of the future. As the development of smart cities continues, we should see the effectiveness of these integration methods begin to take shape.

  1. Gerber, Marisa. “Doctor Convicted of Murder for Patients’ Drug Overdoses Gets 30 Years to Life in Prison.” Los Angeles Times14 Mar. 2016: n. Retrieved from:
  2. Shixiong Liu, Weizi Li and Kecheng Liu, “Pragmatic Oriented Data Interoperability for Smart Healthcare Information Systems,” Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid), 2014 14th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on, Chicago, IL, 2014, pp. 811-818.


The Growth of Smart Technology: Futility in Privacy Regulation and Policy

Smart technology is bringing new found innovation into our everyday lives. However, many are uninformed about how much personal information is being gathered from these new technologies and what these companies are allowed to do with this material. Consumers are discovering the sale of their personal information to third party vendors without their consent, such as the class action lawsuit recently filed: STRADER v. VIZIO, INC. In this case the plaintiff, Trent Strader, is alleging that the television company Vizio is collecting personal identifying information and disclosing it to third party vendors without consent. This allows these vendors to target ads to the consumer that share the same home network as the smart TV1. Privacy concerns over smart technology could also hinder the development of smart cities. Private homes will need to be linked to the smart city’s network which could make the concept of a smart city unappealing to many if the security and disclosure of personal information continues to remain without legal policy in place2. As the growth of smart technology continues, consumers will become more informed and familiar with the technology they use. Because of this, privacy and security issues will undergo even more scrutiny from the public eye. Until policy regarding the regulation of personal information gathered from smart technology is established, the acceptance of this technology will be hampered by negative public opinion.


  • Strader v. Vizio, Inc., 1:16-cv-00381 Retrieved from:
  • Bartoli, A., J. Hernandez-Serrano, M. Soriano, M. Dohler, A. Kountouris, and D. Barthel. “On the Effectiveness of Today’s Privacy Regulations for Secure Smart City Networks.” Centre Tecnologic De Telecomunicacions De Catalunya (CTTC). (2012): 1-6. Retrieved from:

Information Technology and Personalized Medicine: Leading a Healthcare Revolution

Technological advancements have allowed those in the healthcare industry to improve how they keep not only health information, but how they treat their patients as well. Until the last decade, personalized medicine seemed as if it came out of a science fiction novel. Now personalized medicine appears to be the answer to revolutionize the healthcare industry in a time where demand for care continues to grow while supply stays stagnant. Having the ability to track and understand a disease at its earliest stages opens the door from more efficient yet cheaper care. With the rapid expansion of technological advancements in personalized medicine in the last 10 years, many types of melanomas and leukemia diagnoses are offered as a “molecular diagnosis”1. Genotyping the drugs administered with these treatments has also allowed the ability to reduce and study harmful side effects. Childhood obesity is a side effect from a routinely administered chemotherapy drug for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Understanding the genomic makeup of these individuals can limit and prevent this side effect rather than the previous “one size fits all” treatment.2 Personalized medicine gives physicians the ability to focus on prevention, choose the ideal type of treatment, improve quality of life and costs, and administer the most effective type of therapy1. Information technologies role on the development of personalized medicine is leading a healthcare revolution.

(1). The Case for Personalized Medicine. (2015). Personalized Medicine Coalition, 4(1), 1-68. Retrieved February 5, 2016, from

(2.) Iughetti, L., Bruzzi, P., Predieri, B., & Paolucci, P. (2012). Obesity in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in childhood. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 38, 4.

Defining Human Communication: The Basis of Human Life & and Society

Human communication is essential for life. However, defining it can be a daunting task. Conveying a definition of a topic so broad is not simple as there are many perspectives one can find in such an extensive field. Human communication is a concept that has multiple interpretations and characterizations leading one to determine which example would best exemplify their existence. Types of transmission methods would include verbal and non-verbal approaches but the extent of which each of these are used is dependent on numerous factors such as society or culture, and interpretation as a central or secondary process. Although it may be impossible to give a single universal definition, human communication remains a vital component for human life and understanding.

Communication affects every part of our day to day lives. How one delivers and receives information is all dependent on different forms of communication. Verbal communication would include oral or written methods. Spoken words are the primary method of oral communication. This can come from face to face interactions or any technological medium such as phones or video.  Oral communication is dependent on clarity, pitch, and speed in order to convey the intended message accurately to the recipient. Written communication comes from hand-written or printed words and symbols. Clarity, language, grammar, and vocabulary are required in order for effective written communication (Nayab, 2015).

Nonverbal communication methods would include body language and paralanguage. Eye contact, facial expressions, body posture, and hand gestures would all be examples of body language. The use of these features allows one to convey messages that would typically be difficult to deliver verbally.  Paralanguage is the tone, quality, pitch or voice style in a message that is delivered. Typically, it’s how the message is delivered rather than the actual information in the message (Nayab, 2015).

However, human communication isn’t as simple as sending information verbally or nonverbally to another individual. As Littlejohn explained (1983), “Some definitions include a statement of success, effectiveness, or accuracy; other definitions do not contain such implicit judgments” (p.4). Communication has occurred if the message intended by the creator is received and understood by the receiver, but there are multiple categories of verbal and nonverbal communication that are being sent and received at once. This is also implying that message sent was successfully interrupted. Culturally, hand signals or body language may be interrupted completely different than what was intended just due to an individual’s location. In this instance the information was transmitted but was unable to be understood by the recipient. When defining human communication, one needs to also focus on whether communication is a central or secondary human element. According to Littlejohn (1983), when referencing scholarly departments of communication studies, said they “share a focus on communication as central to human experience. In contrast, then, to researchers in other fields like psychology, sociology, anthropology, or business, who tend to consider communication a secondary process or something important for transmitting information once other structures are in place” (p.6). This is important to consider because someone may interrupt the definition of human communication very differently than another individual and it clearly shows the complexity behind the characterization of human communication. Although determining a single definition may be difficult to explain, human communication has had a profound impact on society that cannot be understated.

Without communication, the spread of knowledge and information would be impossible. People would be unable to share ideas, experiences, and emotions to one another. The ability to share ideas and communicate to others around the world has allowed human culture to expand and develop faster. As communication methods have developed and improved, so has society.  Human communication is important because it allows the formation of relationships, the accomplishment of tasks and needs, and the ability to develop and share information from person to person.

Human communication can be explained through its basic principles but it is imperative to understand that it is a complex concept that has no one true definition. Its interpretation is dependent on method of delivery, societal and cultural factors, and perception of its classification in human interaction. The ability to communicate from person to person is necessary for culture to expand and has had a profound impact on the development of society today. Human communication remains a vital component to human existence and will continue to develop just like its interpretation and understanding.


Littlejohn, S. (1983). Theories of human communication (2nd ed.). Belmont, Calif. Wadsworth Pub.

Nayab, N. (2015, June 3). Three Different Types of Communication: Verbal, Nonverbal, & Visual (R. Scudder, Ed.). (2015, September 5). Retrieved from