The healthcare industry is confronting fundamental change. Increasing cost pressures, heightening patient expectations, technological change, and regulatory uncertainty are all combining to compound risk and drive industry players to experiment with new markets and models. These new realities are especially pressuring providers such as large health systems, regional community hospitals, elite academic centers, physician practice groups, and home care and nursing-care companies.
Providers will need to help patients manage and analyze that data so that patient and physician both end up with meaningful insights that lead to better health. Centralized data management will be especially important for patients seeing multiple doctors, such as a patient with diabetes who consults an internist, an endocrinologist, a dietician, a wound specialist, and more.
What keeps me up at night? Knowing that patient e-Care will have to be more than a device strapped to a patient’s wrist. To see patient e-Care deliver on its promise, healthcare providers will need to invest in innovative applications of technology that provide tangible, ongoing value to patients. And they’ll need to integrate that technology with core systems and data in ways that help them attract and retain more customers—by providing better patient services, one step at a time.
Providers could take a similar approach on a more formal basis. Many providers already offer health portals where patients can monitor their care. They might also consider establishing private social networks that would include patients’ family and friends, and where patients and providers alike could better coordinate care.
Such a social network could support patients with specific health events like a premature birth, or with ongoing wellness issues such as taking medication, monitoring glucose, quitting smoking, or maintaining a healthy diet. Of course, robust security policies and technologies would be important for protecting patient privacy.
With the emergence of Internet-only banks, mobile payment services, and non bank transaction providers, like Google Wallet and PayPal, retail banks are facing new competition. And the competition is favored by consumers who perceive them as being more customer-centric and user-friendly than banks, which are mostly seen as repositories for storing and transferring money. But banks have an advantage over this new competition – the ability to integrate across channels.
BBy offering integrated branch, online, mobile, and ATM services, retail banks can meet consumers’ needs and position themselves as trusted advisors for all their financial needs. An integrated experience, combined with more personalized services, offers, and products, can help retail banks protect their core transaction business, while increasing customer loyalty and profitable growth.
While there isn’t a definitive road map for business transformation, retail banks can start the process by:
- Developing a customer-centric vision
- Adopting processes from customer-centric industries, like retailers
- Creating a business and financial case for change
- Tying core systems transformation to the corporate vision
- Creating a compelling narrative that tells employees and customers why the bank must change
- Responding faster to customer needs, rather than making incremental changes
- Identifying short- and long-term benefits of a transformative strategy
- Evaluating and realigning the corporate vision with business challenges each year
- Tracking and reporting on the benefits of IT investments before, during, and after go live
Customer-centric banking doesn’t have to be a daunting process with the right technology, processes, and corporate support. And banks that get transformation right, will be prepared to survive and grow in an environment where the ability to change is a prerequisite for doing business.
You wear Google Glass – short “Glass” – exactly like normal glasses, on your nose. Glass comes with clear as well as tinted shades, but you don’t necessarily need them. What makes Google Glass so special is a tiny screen that sits a little bit above your normal eye-view. Glass can connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth and has a pretty good voice recognition. In addition, it touches the bones behind your ear and in this way allows you to hear sound through vibrations.
This combination makes it possible for you to call people without taking the phone out of your pocket, you can even do video calls. You can also connect Glass with your Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, or Evernote account. Glass can then notify you of incoming emails or tweets and you can write notes and send them wherever you want to. Through its built-in camera you can take pictures and videos and share them right away like I took from my daughter while she was riding her bike.
RAt the moment Google offers Glass only to selected people. From a marketing perspective this is brilliant: They build hype around it because not everybody can just go and buy it. Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wear it at public events. And the people who are willing to spend more than US$1,600 are called Glass Explorers. This restricted access and the high price prevent Glass from becoming a mass consumer product right now. But this might already change pretty soon. According to multiple people who disassembled Glass the pure hardware costs are not more than US$300-400.
Even though the Explorer edition of Google Glass that you can currently get is an amazing piece of technology, it also still is an early version of it. For example, there are only a very few apps for Glass approved by Google so far. But this will change very soon after they start selling it to everybody. Also its battery life is unbelievably bad at the moment. But this should also not be a difficult thing to improve – maybe even before the public launch.
RIn our opinion, instead of having our mobile phone in our hand all the time and sporadically using Google Glass, this behavior will switch: Glass will include all technology you need to connect to your services on the internet and your work- or reading-device will connect to the internet through Glass. Because all the major hardware is moved into Glass, your phone or tablet won’t need all that hardware anymore and will become incredibly light. What stays is basically just a screen. Now this screen can become bendable, maybe you can even fold it or roll it. And you will only have to use it when you really need to read a lot of text or work in spreadsheets or presentations.
Nuclear energy suffers from an undeserved stigma of dirt, death, and destruction. But the reality is nuclear power is a clean, reliable, affordable, base load energy source. Major world powers are investing in nuclear energy and so should you. But first, more myth busting:
1. Death? Americans get most of their yearly radiation dose from nuclear power plants >> Myth
Truth: We are surrounded by naturally occurring radiation. Only 0.005% of the average American’s yearly radiation comes from nuclear power: 100 times less than we get from coal, 200 times less than a cross country flight and about the same as eating one banana per year. Speaking of bananas, did you know the Fukushima radiation leak is equal to 76 million bananas, not quite as scary as people think?
2. Dirt? Nuclear energy is bad for the environment >>Myth
Truth: Nuclear reactors emit no greenhouse gasses during operation. Over full lifetimes, results are comparable to emissions from other renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar. Also, nuclear energy requires less land use than most other forms of energy.
3. Destruction? A nuclear reactor can explode like a nuclear bomb >> Myth
Truth: It is impossible for a reactor to explode like a nuclear weapon; these weapons contain very special materials in very particular configurations, neither of which are present in a nuclear reactor.
As the world shrinks and emerging markets continue to grow, the need for electricity has never been greater. Since 1980, global electricity consumption has tripled and is predicted to increase by 70% over the next two decades.
Cameco (CCJ) (one of the world’s largest uranium producers) plans to ramp up production by 60% from 21.9 million pounds produced in 2012 to 36 million pounds annually by 2018 based on several indicators:
- 62 new plants are in construction (50 of which are in Asia) and 150 more are in the planning phase. Even oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia are investing in nuclear power
- Japan is planning to restart 50 idle nuclear plants that have been shut down since Fukushima, as importing 84% of its energy has proven too costly both economically and environmentally
- The Megatons to Megawatts agreement between the U.S. and Russia has expired. This previous agreement translated into roughly 25% of U.S uranium needs and 10% of all electricity produced in the U.S. through the deconstruction of Russian warheads, recycled into fuel (over 20,000 warheads were eliminated through this treaty)
Even though the price of Uranium is roughly half of what it was prior to the Fukushima disaster, Cameco has remained profitable at producing and purchasing uranium at low costs.
On the topic of which mobile operating system is better, you can’t go long before discussing market share. But does market share really matter?
With the rise of app stores, it seems to me that mobile wallets (both for Google, and now it seems also for Apple and other post-
purchase services are a better measure how much your users spend. And isn’t that a better success metric?
So who spends the most? During the holiday shopping season, iOS users outspent others. They also gave more in charity donations, as this press release explains, “Donations from mobile devices have overwhelmingly come from Apple users, who have donated a staggering £4.4 million using their iPhone or iPad.”
And it isn’t just on mobile OSes that you see the difference. Take Humble Bundle, a website where you pay what you want for ‘digital creations’ (including books, games, etc.), and the site splits your payment between developers and charity. There is a marked difference between platforms. Here’s a snap from my account for the current Bundle X. Compare Windows, Max and Linux users in the list on the left.
No question that Android has, and will likely continue to have, a bigger ‘market share’ than iOS, especially as Android moves to non-phone devices like laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles (OUYA, GameStick, etc.).
But perhaps rather than only counting raw numbers, we should start looking at average revenue per user, or ARPU.
Once we take the wallets, app sales, etc. into account, it’s clear that we’re talking about the ‘razor blade’ business model, so ARPU starts to be more important than sheer volume of devices. If that’s the case, then iOS customers appear to be more valuable—and that may be what wins in the end.