Hi Alex, really interesting topic! One of the things that I often wonder about with proven appliances like the refrigerator that add additional layers of technology is whether or not the value add from that technology is worth the tradeoff in shorter lifespan (although it appears Samsung is working to find a way around that concern) and decreased reliability (more sensors means more things that can break). Are digital sticky notes really that much more convenient that regular sticky notes? Do I need a digital list of what’s in my fridge rather than just opening it in the morning before I leave for work and noting the items I need to buy? While this technology is really interesting, I think that manufacturers have some work to do in defining and communicating the applications where it can truly provide significant added value.
Really interesting article Ethan! One of the things I’d love to learn more about is AdhereTech’s business model. I can see benefits to insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies subsidizing the cost of the bottle, but given the cost / pricing pressure they are under, I wonder if it is a tough sell, particularly outside of very high cost therapeutics. Additionally, I wonder a little bit about the practicality (both cost and convenience) of a senior citizen having six or 10 blinking, chirping pill bottles sitting in their cabinet. While those are probably among the patients that could use this technology the most (and who likely struggle with adherence), this is a far costlier and more cumbersome solution than a “day of the week” pill holder.
The lack of standardization with electronic health records is a major issue without a clear path forward. While it would be great for the major producers of EHR platforms to come together behind a common standard, it isn’t clear what the motivation for Allscripts (or other EHR companies) would be to take on that cost without an external stakeholder – whether regulatory or customers – pushing them to do so. However, low sharing rates between providers on the same platform seems like lower hanging fruit that could be solved with additional training that helps providers see the value EHRs provide, perhaps combined with targeting specific key decision makers that could encourage their colleagues to create a culture of information sharing.
Brittany, this is a really interesting company and problem that I had never heard of before. Companies throughout the medical device market are struggling with how to enter the medical device monitoring market and help customers aggregate / use the data created from their products. The additional challenges created by operating primarily in developing markets with potentially limited communications infrastructure make this an even more difficult issue.
Lady, you did a great job of bringing me up to speed on the impact of changing wind patterns, an issue I’d never even considered for airliners (despite the amount of time I spent on a plane in my former life as a consultant). I’ve heard a lot about airliners pushing for a higher percentage of filled seats on flights, largely driven by an effort to decrease variable passenger costs, but also having the side effect of decreasing per passenger emissions. One of the areas that I’m really curious about is the impact of more fuel efficient planes, such as the Boeing Dreamliner, on airliner efficiency and climate impact. These planes have the ability to dramatically increase air travel efficiency, and I hope that airliners continue to invest in efficient airplanes for efficiency purposes, even as the cost impact has decreased due to lower oil prices.
JL, really interesting take on H&M and I think your point on the reduction of environmental impact due to the use of organic cotton is fascinating. Organic is something that has gone mainstream in food, yet still seems relatively under-marketed in clothing (at lease to a non-fashion forward guy like me). I’d also love to learn more about H&M’s clothing recycle program. While I understand that eliminating the need to produce additional cotton for newly produced shirts, I’m curious about how difficult it is to recycle cotton already used for old clothing. Honestly, the primary clothing recycling I’m currently aware of is donating clothes to charity organizations. It feels like it may be difficult to unweave / un-dye cotton that has already been turned into a certain type of cloth or dyed a current color, but it would be absolutely incredible if it was possible to turn my old ratty t-shirts into a new (perhaps more fashion forward) shirt!
I agree with Zach. Given the challenges that Doosan faces in the future with an uncertain future for coal power as the world moves towards low emissions energy sources, nuclear power seems like a reasonable place to bet. Through the construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, Doosan has proven they already have the internal expertise to pull off such a project. While there are undoubtedly risks there as well, those accidents have been so few and far between with relatively little collateral damage in terms of loss of life (although accidents like Fukushima have undoubtedly been tragic) that I wonder if we would be willing to accept the tradeoff of a minor accident every 2-3 decades in exchange for a material decrease in dangerous emissions.
While it is interesting that Lockheed Martin is exploring a larger business in energy, I’m honestly a little skeptical that they will be able to successfully make that transition from an aerospace and defense company to energy. Specifically, their plan to create a truck sized fusion reactor within 10 years is so far fetched, it makes me wonder if they are actually serious about this plan, rather than this being a public relations stunt. Major scientific institutions and governments have devoted billions of dollars of research and decades of time into creating a viable fusion reactor and have failed, so it seems unlikely that Lockheed Martin will not only be able to invent the technology necessary for fusion, but also miniaturize it in such a short time period.
MH, this issue is near and dear to my heart and you’ve done a great job outlining the issues ski resorts are going to need to work to overcome in the coming decades. While this is definitely becoming an acute issue for ski resorts in the northeast right now, ski areas in Colorado aren’t immune to this either, and Tahoe in California has been crushed the last couple of seasons by low snowfall related to the drought. While participating in the National Ski Areas Association’s (NSAA) Climate Challenge as you suggested is a good idea, I’m not sure it will have a material effect on the long-term trend of decreasing snowfall. As you mentioned, I think the best path forward for ski resorts, unfortunately, is diversifying their business models toward non-snow related activities.