Really interesting and inspiring post. It is great to see a large, private institution trying to democratize data to help people all over the world. I am a firm believer that data needs to become a bigger part of patient diagnosis and management. Many physicians do not stay up to date on the latest medical treatments and PCPs in rural areas are unlikely to have experience with rarer forms of diseases. Having Watson have an 85-95% accuracy and being used in conjunction with doctors could really save lives, provide earlier diagnoses, and help identify the most effective treatments.
I agree with Joanna’s comments – it will take a lot for them to compete with the established EMR systems at hospitals or even at PCP’s that are already using a system. Another point that I didn’t see in your post is how athenahealth interfaces with patients. I did some reading on their website and was pleased to see that they have a patient portal allowing them to review their health history, sign practice forms, pay bills, schedule appointments, communicate with doctors… They have also made the portal mobile and accessible 24/7. Some next steps could be including accessibility to radiology images, ability to share the EHR with specialists or other physicians, connection to pharmacies to manage prescriptions, or incorporating lifestyle content to help drive behavioral changes to improve or manage health conditions.
Source: http://www.athenahealth.com/practice/athenacommunicator/patient-engagement; Accessed: November 20, 2016
Really interesting post on a digital company incorporating what they do best into a traditional business model. It will be interesting to see if these stores are profitable or really drive new sales and efficiency. It actually reminds me of Apple’s retail model, and I wonder if it is an opportunity for Amazon to improve or gain new insights on the consumer experience. It would also be interesting to see what portion of Amazon’s investments are going towards stores vs. video streaming vs. cloud services etc… They seem to be spreading themselves all over the place.
The concept of quantum technology has been exciting for a lot of people. I did some additional browsing and many people feel that we are still 10-20 years away from the technology becoming mainstream. It will be interesting to see if D-Wave is able to stay afloat and ahead of competitors in the years to come. Are they doing anything to create applications for the technology in the areas mentioned (i.e. Healthcare)?
In the last ten years, the average NFL ticket price has increased from $62 – $93 per game. Do you think the drop in interest could be due to the rising costs without consumers believing they are getting increased value? Is the NFL doing anything to use automation or digital technology to try and lower costs in order to attract more consumers? I am also glad to see that you addressed them needing to take additional steps to protect their players – it’s disappointing that they haven’t done more.
Interesting post! Your last comment on transparency mirrors my thoughts as well. I have read several posts now regarding initiatives by companies or non-profits that they are partnered with, and all of them have a lack of transparency on what is considered “insufficient” or in your case, “reason to preclude investment”. It has also amazed me that as I try to research the “hard” requirements for a lot of these projects, they are buried on the corporations’ website or non-existent. Thank you for a good example of an industry that affects a lot of others.
Interesting post that applies to many places in the world. I agree with Casey that it would be interesting to understand at what point it is no longer feasible for Miami to exist. Having tried to build sand castles that could outlast the tide, engineering solutions only last so long… I looked up some of the predictions: 2025  and 2045 . However, all sites were consistent that it was too late for Miami .
Thank you! Great post – it’s good to see more discussion of climate change in the government. I agree with the comments above and your own observations around what is FEMA’s role in prevention. My first question was if they applied any kind of “risk management” process to direct funds where they could mitigate the most risk. This is an approach I have seen other budget-strapped organizations take to get the most bang-for-buck. Doing a little research, I found that they are doing this for Floods. They require any federal funding used to either 1) repair from already damaged floods (i.e. Sandy) or 2) build new structures meet a set of minimum requirements that reduce the flood risk in the future. I thought this was a good approach that we should see applied to other natural disasters – hurricanes, fires, snowstorms etc…
Great post! The part that most interested me was the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). I was curious to know exactly how they were making cotton farming more sustainable or if it was just a PR stunt with little impact. BCI actually has a lot of corporate sponsors (including IKEA). Overall, I found the program was addressing a lot of areas in regards to sustainable cotton.
However, from a water conservation perspective, I found the BCI to be lacking – it also took several click-thrus to get to any information of value. The only items they discuss in regards to “conservation of water” are that farmers with irrigation-fed farms should: 1) consider all points where water is moved in the irrigation system, 2) Optimize water storage, water delivery and irrigation of crop, and 3) manage salinity of the water. For rain-fed, farmers should focus on capturing water and preventing erosion. Reviewing the auditing standards, it appears farmers are only required to report their water use to meet the water principle. There is no auditing of actual practices. Overall, it seems like the program is fairly lax, but it is a step in the right direction.
Source: http://bettercotton.org/. Accessed November 6, 2016.
I never knew how much energy these data centers used! I read an additional article that said in 2013, the amount of energy used by 3 million computer servers could have powered New York City for two years . Another fact was that if worldwide data centers were a country, they would be the 12th largest consumer of electricity in the world. This is a crazy amount of energy consumption!
One point that this article brought up was that approximately 30% of US servers are “Comatose”, i.e. they are not being used, but are plugged in and consuming energy. It would be interesting to know the utilization of AWS servers that are consuming energy. It would also be good to see partnerships between data centers to increase utilization as a whole across the US.
 America’s Data Centers Are Wasting Huge Amounts of Energy. August 2014. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/data-center-efficiency-assessment-IB.pdf