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On November 20, 2016, Stefan commented on Can Digitization Save Healthcare? Athenahealth Thinks It Can :

Great article putting light on disruption in the healthcare space Ginger!

I wonder how we can motivate more clinics to adopt the EHR model offered by Athenahealth and others. Are there initiatives by Medicaid and Medicare to reward institutions for switching to EHR. Surely adoption requires a lot of initial investment and training of staff – this should be subsidized by the government.

A second point is data regulation and standardization. In how far are EHR products driving standardization in medical records, is there a commonly agreed set of metrics and data points that are captured in a standard way across the US and maybe even across developed countries?

On November 18, 2016, Stefan commented on F-35 – Fighter Jet Maintenance in The Age of Data :

Great article Aviad!

What you are proposing for fighter jets is already implemented for commercial airliners. For example, Rolls-Royce has the Engine Health Management Program. Every single Rolls-Royce engine in operation world-wide sends data from multiple sensors back to Rolls-Royce through satellite links. When an engine experiences issues on a cross-Atlantic flight, by the time the aircraft lands in New York, the maintenance crew on the ground already stands ready. In addition to that, the permanent engine monitoring allows damage-preventive measures to be taken. For example, if an engine shows abnormal behaviour it can be switched off before damage is done.

On November 18, 2016, Stefan commented on A Bright Driverless Future for Siemens :

Great article Blaine!

Driverless trains are definitely the future. Rio Tinto is already using autonomous trains to transport iron ore from their Australian mines to ports. While the complexity here is not comparable to running a subway system in London or New York City it still is a proof of concept. While it will be rather straightforward to integrate autonomous technology into newly built subway systems like the one in Riad, the biggest challenge surely lies with upgrading outdated systems like in NYC. However, here we will also see the largest benefits to mitigating congestion and improving passenger comfort.

Highly interesting article! I agree that drones offer a huge business opportunity in real estate photography. Beyond real estate there are numerous industries that will be disrupted by the easy and cheap access to aerial image capturing: Pipeline inspection, agriculture, furnace inspections, policing, border patrol and many more. Essentially the technology is ready and businesses are just waiting for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to catch up. There has been great progress with the FAA coming out with the Rule 107 which regulates commercial drone usage. This has given many drone startups regulatory certainty and paved the way for the future.

Great article Koulick! I fully agree that there are huge efficiency gains to be made in trucking. You mentioned the spoilage of food on trucks due to poor planning and delays. Another general issue due to the large fragmentation of the industry is a low capacity utilization of trucks. In Europe, for example, trucks are on average only 60% loaded. One great way to improve overall industry efficiency would be to connect smaller trucking firms and allow them to share loads among each other, increasing overall profitability. Excited to see where Rivigio is heading!

Thanks for the insightful article! I wonder what the impact of shifting funding in countries affected by Malaria from things such as infrastructure to healthcare will be. While health is arguably a higher priority than infrastructure the overall net impact on countries will be negative as a result of increasing malaria. International organisations need to shift their priorities of which countries are in most need and allocate funding accordingly.

Another issue to consider is that with rising temperatures many other tropical diseases (like dengue fever) will thrive in more countries. Are there diseases that are currently ‘under control’ but might escalate as more countries are affected?

On November 5, 2016, Stefan commented on Green Aviation at Airbus :

thanks for your comment Miras! Electric airplanes are definitely a huge growth area. In particular the vertical take-off vehicles that many startups are working on will provide efficient short-distance transportation in the 100 – 200km range. For longer distances such as international and intercontinental travel, the energy density of batteries is simply too low compared to fossil fuels to provide a feasible alternative in the foreseeable future

On November 4, 2016, Stefan commented on Will Sustainable Biofuel Power the Airplanes of the Future? :

Great article!

To respond to Kelly’s comment I would like to add that indeed so far only a 20% biofuel – kerosene blend has been proven. However, ongoing research is pushing that number upwards. On your second point, innovation in this sector is driven by the airframe manufacturers, engine makers, component makers and even material scientists. It is a highly competitive industry where only marginal advantages in fuel efficiency (and therefore lower emissions) can make big differences for the airline. Ultimately the airlines will buy from whichever supplier provides the highest fuel efficiency.

With current low oil prices the pressure on fuel efficiency has slightly decreased but long-term there is no question of its importance with fuel making up more than a quarter of airline’s operating expenses.

As for biofuel, however, it is critical that it will come at a price that matches fossil fuels. Here it is also up to the regulators to step in and potentially introduce a carbon tax on airlines to encourage use of biofuels.

Great article Miras! I like how you outline the economics and trends in Mongolian coal. However, I am slightly frustrated by the fact that there seems to be no short-term solution to the issue.

One possibility I could imagine is for other more developed countries, who have already burned their fair share of coal to achieve industrialization, to pay into a fund for developing markets to reduce their consumption of carbon emitting resources. This is already done in a similar fashion with deforestation where for example the UN and other international organisations pay Indonesia to limit its deforestation. Mongolia could use these funds to invest in other more sustainable industries.

On November 4, 2016, Stefan Schmidt commented on Shipping: Global trade’s dirty secret :

Thanks for the article, I really like how you clearly laid out the carbon emission issues regarding shipping.

While I do think that the current initiatives, such as biofuels, the arctic shipping route and low steaming, will reduce emissions by some extent I believe that we need more accountability of the industry. One way to do that would be by focusing on the environmental foot print of products that are shipped using cargo vessels. If governments would tax products based on associated carbon emissions there would be higher pressure to reduce cost along the value chain and pursue more environmentally friendly transportation methods.

Another possible option for addressing the lack of accountability of cargo ships would be to charge carbon fees in their port of departure and port of entry. This tax could scale with the distance covered by the ship and ultimately feed into carbon offsetting projects.

Again, great article, these are just some further ideas …

On November 4, 2016, Stefan Schmidt commented on Tesla: Leading The Charge Toward A More Sustainable Future :

Great article Raphi! The only thing I am wondering about is the entire resources consumed for manufacturing the car. If we truly want to understand the environmental impact we need to analyse all emissions related to production, use and disposal of the product. In particular with electric vehicles I am concerned about the amount of resources (lithium) required for building the batteries and their recyclability.