Really interesting post! Despite the risks of changing their business model to a higher-touch model, I think the contact with actual coaches is very important to establish trust with mental health patients, especially because mental health conditions can be very isolating to the patient. I would be curious to see some data on how member volume has changed since they introduced more high-touch elements.
One major concern I have for this type of digital mental health platform is the degree to which Ginger.io is held responsible/accountable for their online patients’ health. For example, what would happen if Ginger.io detects that a patient is sliding into a major episode of depression with risk of suicide, and they are prompting the patient to see a professional, however the patient refuses to do so. How would Ginger.io approach this issue? Who is liable?
This is a really great article that highlights how digital technology can be applied to a very traditional, capital-intensive sector. Clearly, there is a lot of value in better predicting maintenance and repair work while reducing the risk involved in these evaluations. What I would like to understand better at this point is how accurate the current predictive analytics are with respect to accuracy. I imagine that is is very difficult to develop sufficient amounts of data input to accurately identify potential maintenance risk across different industrial equipment, especially because this equipment is built to last for many years before significant repair is required.
For KONUX in particular, I would be worried that large players like Siemens and GE have a competitive advantage, as these companies manufacture and service their own products (e.g., trains) such that they could easily provide the sensors and analytics software with their products.
Great article, especially as healthcare costs in the United States are soaring, and inefficiencies in treatment are surfacing all across the healthcare chain. I like the idea of making pill intake easier and more user-friendly. As I think about the future of medication intake and this technology, the first thought that comes to mind is: How can we better support very sick patients who may be overwhelmed by the amounts of medication they have to take?
Serious illnesses often require an entire treatment regime, which can be very difficult to adhere to, especially if patients are at home on their own. In that case, I think the smart pill bottles absolutely help to remind patients if they forgot to take one of their pills. However, I wonder if this technology can be further developed to also remind patients at what time of day they need to take a certain pill, and which other medications to take at the same time. This is definitely a more tricky task, and I would be curious what the current R&D is around that, and what the potential cost savings could be given that this is likely a small – yet perhaps costly- segment of the patient population.
Hi Liz, this is a fascinating blog post- I had not heard of this new way of tracking individuals at the workplace. I think Professor Petland’s point that people will feel more comfortable with being tracked if they feel in control over their own data is critical in this type of data collection and tracking. I would really like to know how these data tracking ID cards were introduced at Bank of America and how employees Bank of America reacted to this introduction. I believe that in addition to allowing each individual access to their own data, it is critical that employees understand what the intended outcome is when such trackers are introduced. Having a very specific outcome (e.g., examining how we can improve customer satisfaction in call centers) has a very different flavor that simply using the device in a broad surveillance way that may seem like we live in George Orwell’s world of “1984”. Therefore, I could imagine that using these trackers during a limited time period to answer specific questions may be received more openly by employees than compared to a constant, never-ending use of the tracker.
Hi Roanna, this is a great example of a new product in the market with a strong tension between the potential benefits it may bring to the customer, as well as the potential threats to security and privacy. I appreciate how you outlined both the strengths as well as opportunities, risks and challenges.
I personally am still quite torn about this product, and the articles I have read about Echo so far have been mixed. I believe one of the reasons is that people are still trying to figure out how helpful and useful Echo can really be as a “home assistant”, or whether Echo is just another gimmicky product that will lose interest over time. As you wrote about in your article, I think a big part to Echo’s success will be developing new features (including third party), to expand Alexa’s capabilities and to really “prove” to customers that Echo is worth the purchase.
I think a bigger risk/challenge for Echo’s success may be abroad, in particular in countries where privacy protection measures are higher than in the United States, such as in the EU. One recent example is Facebook’s struggle against regulations that limit the amount of user data collected, stored and shared (e.g., The Wall Street Journal’s article “Facebook goes on privacy offensive in Europe”). This could drastically limit the international adoption to Amazon’s new product, and thus reducing attractiveness to third party developer to provide software add-ons. I think time will tell how other countries react to the product, though if I were leading the Echo team at Amazon, this would be top of mind.
Wall Street Journal: “Facebook Goes on Privacy Offensive in Europe”,Sam Schechner, Oct 13, 2015.
Great post, Karla! It makes me sad to see the predictions regarding ski season duration for the next years. It must be really tough being in the ski industry, because even though you can take steps to reduce your own impact on climate change, it is unlikely that the current effects (as projected) will be reversed. So really, ski resorts are incredibly vulnerable and the most direct variables (temperature and precipitation) are entirely outside of their own control. That being said, I admire that these industries ARE taking steps to reduce their own footprint to inspire others and be part of the change. I wonder whether ski locations could do more to partner with hotels/resorts in the area to reduce the overall “ski tourism” footprint. That could be a strong lever for them to pull and to increase impact significantly.
Furthermore, this blog post makes me want to learn more about all the different ways in which the tourism industry is impacted by climate change. There is ski tourism on one end of the spectrum…and there are ocean resorts and islands (some of which are disappearing due to rising sea levels) on the other end.
As stated in the blog post, Aramco plays in an industry that is heavily affected by the ramifications of climate change. Aramco’s livelihood is at stake, which makes me wonder to what extent any oil company will fight regulations to climate change versus actually taking measures to adapt. When reading this blog post, I wondered what exactly it means for Aramco to “Play an active role in the conversation” as I imagine there is a clear conflict between pushing for stringent emission measures versus considering the company’s viability and profitability. Furthermore, I would like to understand how urgently oil companies are truly attempting to adapt their processes to climate change, given that currently, any renewable energy is far from able to supply energy anywhere close to what oil companies are generating. I am very curious how this plays out in the next few years, and this blog post helped gain insight into the dilemmas and opportunities oil companies are facing.
What struck me most in this post is the idea that climate change can also affect the output/yield of livestock (e.g., through dairy or even meat supply). Given that animal products are a key component in most diets, especially in the Western Diet, the effects of climate change may be even worse than currently anticipated. For example, if dairy cows cannot get sufficient food supply due to droughts, and are impacted by higher temperatures, then their milk supply decreases, which in turn affects so many different consumer-product companies. The implications of livestock affected by climate change are vast, and I am not certain to what extent this is currently included in conversations around climate change. I wonder to what extent companies will begin to include this into the conversations around climate change and sustainability.
I appreciate how you show a really great example of a company that sees climate change as a business opportunity! There is no doubt that farmers are in need of technology to help them monitor farming conditions to ensure more stable yields despite more drastic changes in weather patterns. However, the big question in my mind with regards to Planet Labs is whether farmers in developing nations will have the resources and infrastructure to utilize the data and insights generated by Planet Labs. Specifically, does a farmer in rural Northern Africa or South America have access to sufficient internet bandwidth and the right devices to download the data from Planet Labs and to determine what actions to take in response? Does Planet Lab provide any data insight generators or actionable suggestions to the farmers?
Great blog post, Brittany! What fascinates me most about this issue is the clear dichotomy between producing a good in a low-cost environment and the potential benefits this may have for the consumer versus the incredible cost of transport and logistics to reach the end-consumer. In this case, I would imagine that a significant portion of the cost could be passed on to the consumer if transport cost (through fuel cost, for example) were to rise or if supply were to decline drastically due to water shortage issues. In both cases, prices would go up substantially, thus directly impacting consumers.
A few years ago, I was watching a documentary, which also referenced the flower industry in Kenya and the trade with Amsterdam. Another interesting aspect of this supply chain was the incredible amount of waste produced when flowers wilt or get damaged in the transportation process. I wonder if the industry has taken any steps since then to reduce waste and ensure more flowers reach the destination. By doing so, we implicitly increase supply and improve efficiency of production.