May 17, 2020

The Ultimate Business Traveller Workout

3 min
Tony Horton

Tony Hortons positive brand of fitness, including this years best selling P90X fitness DVD series, has exploded across the globe. P90X has become a ho...

Tony Horton’s positive brand of fitness, including this year’s best selling P90X fitness DVD series, has exploded across the globe. P90X has become a household name in the world of fitness, the benchmark against which all other exercise routines are measured. Horton’s program has not only helped over two million people get into better health, but also continues to sell as well now as it did when it first hit the scene in 2004. Why? Beyond the masochism of its adherents, the P90X program is admired because it actually delivers results.

Healthcare Digital caught up with the 51-year-old celebrity fitness guru to learn why P90X works. “It’s simple: muscle confusion,” explains Horton. His regimen forces your body to continuously adapt to new movements, challenges and stresses so that it never plateaus, never grows comfortable with one basic series of exercises and consequently slows down and adapts. Mixing yoga with weightlifting, plyometrics with Kenpo karate, P90X keeps your body in a raw state of confusion, forcing it to continuously adapt while getting in shape at an astounding rate. Your body never gets comfortable and you never get bored.

“What’s great about P90X is that I can take it on the road,” says Drew Tripp, Director of Client Delivery, for an international software company. “Before I go on a trip I download a few workouts to my iPhone and then work out in my room or at the hotel gym.” One reason Horton is such a fan of the program is the flexibility it offers professionals trying to stay healthy while maintaining a hectic lifestyle.

Horton has also created a special workout based on P90X that you can do anywhere. “It’s called UCML and I created it for R&B superstar Usher, conducting this program in Washington D.C with a group of senators and congressmen at the congressional gym. It’s a sequence of four different types of moves – essentially muscle confusion all in one workout.”

The acronym UCML stands for Upper, Cardio, Middle and Lower. In addition, Horton says, all you need is “gravity and a floor” to have an excellent workout.

Horton explains that you start with your upper body and suggests any kind of push up or pull up for 30 or 40 repetitions. Next, do some cardio for one minute, such as jumping jacks or running in place. For your middle area, do any type of sit up or core movement for another 30 or 40 repetitions. And for your lower body, legs, Horton suggests lunges or squats, and once again do the move for 30 or 40 repetitions.

“Any kind of push up you want or have seen with P90X, some jumping-jacks, lunges or squat type moves will make a difference because, after you do your first round of UCML, it’s time to start again for up to an hour. You will get a tremendous workout, you will burn a bunch of calories and you won’t have needed anything other than gravity,” Horton says.

When it comes to eating on the road, Horton has a five-word answer: “Ask for what you need. If you need healthy food, ask for it. If you really care about your fitness just ask for it. The excuse I was traveling and had to eat out doesn’t work anymore.”

Horton’s motivation is focused on the core belief that you need to “create a life with purpose and a plan. Many people care too much about how they look. To be effective in getting in better shape and health, you need to focus on yourself and ignore the rest. Find a purpose that affects who you are and what you can change today. If you exercise today and you eat well today, you have improved your health, you have improved your fitness, and you have improved the quality of your life.”

After speaking with Tony Horton, it’s obvious why he has motivated millions to live more healthily.

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Jun 11, 2021

How UiPath robots are helping with the NHS backlog

6 min
UiPath software robots are helping clinicians at Dublin's Mater Hospital save valuable time

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many hospitals to have logistical nightmares, as backlogs of surgeries built up as a result of cancellations. The BMJ has estimated it will take the UK's National Health Service (NHS) a year and a half to recover

However software robots can help, by automating computer-based processes such as replenishing inventory, managing patient bookings, and digitising patient files. Mark O’Connor, Public Sector Director for Ireland at UiPath, tells us how they deployed robots at Mater Hospital in Dublin, saving clinicians valuable time. 

When Did Mater Hospital implement the software robots - was it specifically to address the challenges of the pandemic? 
The need for automation at Mater Hospital pre-existed the pandemic but it was the onset of COVID-19 that got the team to turn to the technology and start introducing software robots into the workflow of doctors and nurses. 

The pandemic placed an increased administrative strain on the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) department at Mater Hospital in Dublin. To combat the problem and ensure that nurses could spend more time with their patients and less time on admin, the IPC deployed its first software robots in March 2020. 

The IPC at Mater plans to continue using robots to manage data around drug resistant microbes such as MRSA once the COVID-19 crisis subsides. 

What tasks do they perform? 
In the IPC at Mater Hospital, software robots have taken the task of reporting COVID-19 test results. Pre-automation, the process created during the 2003 SARS outbreak required a clinician to log into the laboratory system, extract a disease code and then manually enter the results into a data platform. This was hugely time consuming, taking up to three hours of a nurse’s day. 

UiPath software robots are now responsible for this task. They process the data in a fraction of the time, distributing patient results in minutes and consequently freeing up to 18 hours of each IPC nurse’s time each week, and up to 936 hours over the course of a year. As a result, the healthcare professionals can spend more time caring for their patients and less time on repetitive tasks and admin work. 

Is there any possibility of error with software robots, compared to humans? 
By nature, humans are prone to make mistakes, especially when working under pressure, under strict deadlines and while handling a large volume of data while performing repetitive tasks.  

Once taught the process, software robots, on the other hand, will follow the same steps every time without the risk of the inevitable human error. Simply speaking, robots can perform data-intensive tasks more quickly and accurately than humans can. 

Which members of staff benefit the most, and what can they do with the time saved? 
In the case of Mater Hospital, the IPC unit has adopted a robot for every nurse approach. This means that every nurse in the department has access to a robot to help reduce the burden of their admin work. Rather than spending time entering test results, they can focus on the work that requires their human ingenuity, empathy and skill – taking care of their patients. 

In other sectors, the story is no different. Every job will have some repetitive nature to it. Whether that be a finance department processing thousands of invoices a day or simply having to send one daily email. If a task is repetitive and data-intensive, the chances are that a software robot can help. Just like with the nurses in the IPC, these employees can then focus on handling exceptions and on work that requires decision making or creativity - the work that people enjoy doing. 

How can software robots most benefit healthcare providers both during a pandemic and beyond? 
When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, software robots were deployed to lessen the administrative strain healthcare professionals were facing and give them more time to care for an increased number of patients. With hospitals around the world at capacity, every moment with a patient counted. 

Now, the NHS and other healthcare providers face a huge backlog of routine surgeries and procedures following cancellations during the pandemic. In the UK alone, 5 million people are waiting for treatment and it’s estimated that this could cause 6,400 excess deaths by the end of next year if the problem isn’t rectified.

Many healthcare organisations have now acquired the skills needed to deploy automation, therefore it will be easier for them to build more robots to respond to the backlog going forwards. Software robots that had been processing registrations at COVID test sites, for example, could now be taught how to schedule procedures, process patient details or even manage procurement and recruitment to help streamline the processes associated with the backlog. The possibilities are vast. 

The technology, however, should not be considered a short-term, tactical and reactive solution that can be deployed in times of crisis. Automation has the power to solve systematic problems that healthcare providers face year-round. Hospital managers should consider the wider challenge of dealing with endless repetitive work that saps the energy of professionals and turns attention away from patient care and discuss how investing in a long-term automation project could help alleviate these issues. 

How widely adopted is this technology in healthcare at the moment?
Automation was being used in healthcare around the world before the pandemic, but the COVID-19 outbreak has certainly accelerated the trend.  

Automation’s reach is wide. From the NHS Shared Business Service in the UK to the Cleveland Clinic in the US and healthcare organisations in the likes of Norway, India and Canada, we see a huge range of healthcare providers deploying automation technology. 

Many healthcare providers, however, are still in the early stages of their journeys or are just discovering automation’s potential because of the pandemic. I expect to see the deployment of software robots in healthcare grow over the coming years as its benefits continue to be realised globally. 

How do you see this technology evolving in the future? 
If one thing is certain, it’s that the technology will continue to evolve and grow over time – and I believe there will come a point in time when all processes that can be automated, will be automated. This is known as the fully automated enterprise. 

By joining all automation projects into one enterprise-wide effort, the healthcare industry can tap into the full benefits of the technology. This will involve software robots becoming increasingly intelligent in order to reach and improve more processes. Integrating the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into automation, for example, will allow providers to reach non-rule-based processes too. 

We are already seeing steps towards this being taken by NHS Shared Business Service, for example. The organisation, which provides non-clinical services to around two-thirds of all NHS provider trusts and every clinical commissioning organisation in the UK, is working to create an entire eco-system of robots. It believes that no automation should be looked at in isolation, but rather the technology should stretch across departments and functions. As such, inefficiencies in the care pathway can be significantly reduced, saving healthcare providers a substantial amount of time and money. 

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