Partha Ray

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On May 2, 2020, Partha Ray commented on “Zoom by Day, Houseparty by Night” :

Hi Brian,

Thankyou for reading my post and for your kind words. I think one advantage that Houseparty has over Zoom is that the video chat is completely free. Zoom’s free service caps at 40 minutes with subscription fees for longer chats. This is significant since the average time people spend per day on Houseparty is 80+ minutes. I don’t think the gaming aspect is as attractive to the older generations, but they could add other partnerships that may appeal to them such as with dating apps (certainly during the pandemic). I think Zoom, WebEx and Skype can be appropriate for a casual chat, but I don’t think they necessarily mimic real life’s spontaneity. For example, the need to have meeting ID’s and dial in numbers are not always reflective of a spontaneous get-together which is closely resembled by Houseparty’s functionality. Very good point about how Houseparty could try and enter the professional space. Honestly I don’t think they could compete since their gaming add-ons would not be an appropriate revenue model in the work place. Perhaps they could add an enterprise subscription model.

On May 1, 2020, Partha Ray commented on “Zoom by Day, Houseparty by Night” :

I think the problem Houseparty will face is if it can maintain their user base it has accumulated during the pandemic, once the social distancing orders subside, and I think they must offer products beyond video chatting that differentiates itself from competitors. Epic Games owns Fortnite which is hugely popular and I think it would be wise to integrate live streaming of gaming, which is already popular on several platforms like Twitch. Alternatively, partnerships with music and video streaming services could facilitate group listening through Spotify or Netflix watch parties, which could diversify revenue streams. However, these are just my opinions.

On May 1, 2020, Partha Ray commented on “Zoom by Day, Houseparty by Night” :

Hi Nicholas. Thanks for reading and for your kind words. Yes, unfortunately, I don’t think Houseparty has what it takes to last once COVID has subsided. And yes, leaving the door unlocked can be a terrifying concept. However, I believe you can lock the door so that nobody else can enter, but the user needs how to do this first. Thanks again!

On May 1, 2020, Partha Ray commented on “Zoom by Day, Houseparty by Night” :

I suppose with Facetime, it embedded software within all iOS products so it doesn’t generate its own profits so simplicity is probably best. With regards to Zoom and Skype, they are professional platforms by default, so I suppose using the spontaneous and informal features of Houseparty may put off the target market. Perhaps added features and add ons wouldn’t be a bad idea.

On April 30, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Peloton: Riding Quarantine into a Demand Boom :

This is a great post and its really interesting to hear about how Peloton is doing in response to COVID-19. I agree with you, the high price tag locks in the customers since they feel obligated to continue their subscription and this is a great tactic. I was also reading about Tonal, which has been dubbed the “Peloton for weight training”. It costs $3000 and similarly, sales tripled within a week of social distancing orders. It would be truly interesting to see how all these companies perform once the pandemic is a thing of the past.

Thanks again for a great post!

Hi Jona,

This is a really great post and I enjoyed learning more about ClassPass. My wife is a huge fan and I joined her for a live class on ClassPass last weekend over Zoom. I think there were over 100 people dialing in for the 30-minute class, and at the end, the instructor asked for a $5 Venmo transfer. If the online home workout platform still continues in popularity after the pandemic, it can be a lucrative option for trainers, since I doubt the instructor would only be teaching one class per day, and $500 is great for 30 minutes of work.

I do think ClassPass is filling a huge void that the pandemic has left in its wake and providing an opportunity for partner fitness instructors to gain exposure to a customer base they may not have had before.

Again, great post. Thank you!

On April 30, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Teladoc Health: A Clear Winner During (and After) COVID-19 :

Hi Loti,

Thanks for this brilliant post. Teledoc’s offerings really are filling a void that COVID-19 has created and as you pointed out, telemedicine had major benefits for all stakeholders even before the pandemic. I agree with you that the current situation has put a spotlight on telehealth and while its usage will be greater than it was pre-pandemic, I am not sure that it will continue to be quite as high as during the pandemic, currently.

So many patients are only using telemedicine during the pandemic because they are unable to visit their PCP, making it the only option, and Medicare is giving practices the option to waive cost-sharing. In addition to this, more doctors are providing consultations via telemedicine because the number of physical consultations may have reduced, plus we cannot ignore the fact that during this time, some payers are reimbursing telehealth at the same rates as in-person visits. Plus, the pandemic has led to more geographical flexibility and rural and site limitations have been removed. I do not anticipate all of this being the case in a post-pandemic era, which will consequently affect the usage of telemedicine.

Thanks again for a great post!

On April 30, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Pager: A Digital Doctor in Every Patient’s Family :

Hi Matt,

This is a great post and I really enjoyed learning about Pager. I agree that it has shown a huge impact during the COVID-19 pandemic and really is a fantastic telemedicine and triaging tool for patients when deciding whether they need to visit a hospital. However, I’m not sure how useful it is once the patient comes into the hospital. As a practicing doctor, I think calling the product “pager” is misleading because I do not believe this product will replace pagers, nor does it fulfill the role of a pager within a hospital setting.

During a shift, nursing staff and other allied health professionals will bleep/page doctors to physically see patients or perform emergency procedures. At the moment, based on Pager’s website, the product does not do this (at least based on the information I read on your post and their website). That being said, it might be in the company’s plans to expand its product offering and I imagine its something they can do quite easily. I do know of another company called “Medic Bleep”, which does this quite well in the UK’s NHS:

Again, great post, and I look forward to seeing how Pager progresses in the future.

On April 21, 2020, Partha Ray commented on AstraZeneca: AI in Drug Discovery & Development :

Hi Joe,

Thanks for your kind words. Very interesting question. From what I gather, access to data is the most valuable resource. It is my understanding that external data is not nearly as valuable since its reliability and accuracy cannot be verified, so the more internal data a company has, the better. Therefore, Life Sciences companies that are nurturing their own AI capabilities such as AstraZeneca and Phillips are ahead of the game when compared to Big Pharma companies that are partnering with AI-enabled biotechs. As the wealth of data strengthens, the more robust the machine learning models become (from my understanding anyway). One thing I think that AstraZeneca is doing that is beyond its competition is that it is utilizing AI in all steps of the R&D chain, whereas some of the competitors are only using the technology for discovery or development.

I too am excited at the prospect of healthcare shifting from supervised to unsupervised machine learning and seeing how the life sciences industry capitalizes on it.

On April 20, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Walmart: Using machine learning to reduce food waste :

Colm, thank you for writing about this. Eden is truly fascinating. This is a great way of reducing food waste.

Does Eden individually screen grocery deliveries for freshness and longevity? I remember reading an article a while back about several customers falsely complaining to online grocers claiming their produce was damaged/rotten upon delivery to claim a refund. Perhaps your recommendation to pass on Eden information to customers could also serve as insurance against fraudulent claims

Also, does Eden falsely identify produce that is fresh but not aesthetically pleasing as “bad”? If this is the case, I wonder if this inadvertently leads to a waste of produce that is actually fresh, but no pleasing to the eye. There is a rise in companies selling ugly produce. One that comes to mind is “The Wonky Food Company”.

On April 20, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Yes Health: Can AI help diabetes patients improve their fitness? :

Megan, this is a great post and I very much enjoyed learning about Yes Health’s capabilities. This does address a much-needed issue in obesity. I’m interested to learn more about how this company does. Specifically, how exactly the membership is integrated within insurance plans. Also, are physicians adopting this and encouraging patients to use Yes Health? I imagine younger patients and for that matter, younger physicians would find this useful. However, older patients and older physicians may find the technology too complicated, and chronic conditions tend to affect the elderly more. Another curiosity is that I assume the photography of one’s meal is wholly dependent on the user’s phone camera which I imagine would affect the accuracy of the software’s ability to identify food items. I recently used an app called “AI Mama” which uses a similar algorithm to identify meals from photographs taken on a smartphone to track macronutrients. The findings were vastly different when taking a photo on an iPhone 6 vs an iPhone 11 Pro. Regardless, I think this is a great idea with a lot of scope. Thank you for writing about it.

On April 20, 2020, Partha Ray commented on K Health: Your new primary care doctor? :

This was a great read and I was interested to read about K Health’s capabilities. I was particularly intrigued to see that the AI engine was initially trained with data from Maccabi. Like the Zebra case, this is another AI product utilizing data from Israel’s large HMOs.

I like how K Health has undercut the $20 copay of visiting a traditional doctor (for those with insurance) by $1, however, it seems the $19 is to have a text conversation rather than a Telehealth video consultation. For those who are insured, does this truly create value? I would anticipate that the majority of patients who are insured would prefer to pay $20 to visit a doctor for a real consultation rather than pay $19 for a text chat with one. I see the value in those who are uninsured however, where $19 is considerably less than $300.

Jona, thanks for sharing this. I had no idea LinkedIn used AI, but it certainly does explain a lot. These are some really interesting metrics you’ve provided. However, I wonder how much of these impressive statistics are due to LinkedIn’s AI capabilities alone. Do you know if LinkedIn uses more comprehensive AI technology in the premium version when compared to the free version?

On March 24, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Zoom: Prepared for a Pandemic :

Joe, I’m so glad you wrote about Zoom, especially with the current situation. I had no idea how much of a market share it had over its competitors. I’m surprised, and also curious as to how Skype hasn’t got more market share. As you mention, Zoom’s added features such as raising hand and virtual backgrounds are certainly an added bonus. I bet their users will skyrocket over the coming weeks and months.

On March 22, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Instacart – A Platform Thriving in a Pandemic :

Thank you for this post. I had never heard of Instacart and I imagine in the current situation with COVID-19, their users will probably increase dramatically in the coming weeks. I wonder if Instacart can continue its success especially as major grocery stores are offering online shopping and delivery. I wonder if Instacart can increase their offerings by focusing on supporting local businesses, who otherwise could not afford their own delivery services.

On March 22, 2020, Partha Ray commented on ASOS: Your one-stop shop for all things fashion :

This is a really interesting post. I have certainly benefited from ASOS’ growth over the years and its value creation to the customers. I was not aware of the machine learning approach that ASOS used to provide curated recommendations. I liked your point about ASOS being both a platform as well as a product as a means to address disintermediation. However, I do agree with some of the other comments that mimicking top sellers is similar to the approach Amazon has used to undercut third-party sellers. I am intrigued to see how ASOS does as competitors enter this space: especially Amazon’s Prime wardrobe.

On March 21, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Drizly: A refreshing business model in the delivery app landscape :

I really enjoyed reading this post and learning more about Drizly. I can imagine its use will probably skyrocket in the next few weeks as we are confined to our homes due to social distancing.

It is also interesting that Drizly’s success may be due to the fact that some usual suspects such as Amazon, Uber Eats etc. don’t provide alcohol delivery. At least not in the US. In the UK, Amazon Uber and Deliveroo all deliver alcohol, and I wonder if Drizly could create an impact internationally where there would be stiff competition.

On February 10, 2020, Partha Ray commented on One Medical wins at digital health :

Genevieve, this is a very interesting post and One Medical certainly has a brilliant offering. As with any telehealth consultation platform, it offers convenience that the average busy working person desires. As you said, when sick, the last thing you want to do is travel to the doctor’s office. Telehealth and other digital health platforms are fantastic for these reasons. Having said that, my major qualm with platforms such as One Medical, Babylon, etc. is the depersonalization of Medicine. A medical history over a video consultation can only give a clinician so much information. Many chronic conditions and acute issues require a thorough physical examination and further diagnostic investigations. And while I appreciate One Medical offer the option to schedule in-person visits with physicians, I would still be curious and somewhat concerned about the number of missed pathologies that go unnoticed due to the lack of traditional consults.

On February 10, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Monzo: A digital offering that has traditional UK banks scrambling :

Colm, this is a fantastic post. I’m glad that you’ve highlighted the meteoric rise of Monzo in the UK. I set up Monzo a couple of years ago while in the UK, and the best part of the platform for me is the budgeting tool. Monzo’s analytics tell me what I spend my money on and I am able to easily set aside money into the “Pot” so I save instead of spend. I think Monzo could be huge in the US since I feel there is nothing quite like it.

I do think one of the things Monzo is lacking, however, is international money transfer. In this respect, I feel the platform faces stiff competition from Revolut and Transferwise. Granted, the purpose of Monzo is different, but with its transatlantic presence now, I feel this could be a great opportunity.

While the lack of physical branches may be a cost-saving advantage for Monzo, I feel some older generations may feel put off from this approach, since the comfort of knowing you can walk into your bank branch with an issue gives you a more personalized experience. However, that may just be me being old fashioned.

On February 10, 2020, Partha Ray commented on Venmo – Winning a Larger Share of Consumers Wallet :

Robert, this is a really interesting post. I am from the UK, and prior to coming to the US last year, I had never used Venmo, and now cannot understand how it is not widely used internationally. Back in the UK, we continue to use banking host apps as well as platforms such as PayPal, Revolut, and Transferwise, which aren’t quite as user-friendly. I’d be interested to hear your opinions on this, and how Venmo can expand across the pond. Additionally, I am curious to know how Venmo has managed to achieve such success over similar platforms, such as Zelle, especially when Zelle has a partnership with Bank of America.