Crisis Management in Healthcare – name calling and other techniques to tackle Ebola!


ebolaWith reference to the current Ebola crisis, Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, describes the pharmaceutical industry as a “profit-driven industry [that] does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay”.

Is this the right approach towards your allies when tackling a global crisis?

Ebola is obviously a crisis and requires massive cooperation between all entities in the health space. Predictably, helplessness does cause one to lash out at anyone and everyone. But this kind of angry outburst and name calling is definitely not going to help – especially when coming from the leader of the WHO. In fact everything I have been reading in the news points to furious R&D, accelerated trials, and improvisation in the pharmaceutical industry to try and find a cure.

We all know that getting FDA approvals for medications before they can be used among the general population as an “approved” drug is a time consuming process. At a time when everyone is battling against all odds, I can’t understand why a leader of the WHO would resort to name calling or branding the whole industry as bad! What if the industry came up with a “solution” that has unknown side effects that surface much later; would leaders like Margaret Chan come to their defense then?

Crisis is a time when partners lean on each other and leverage each other’s strengths to collectively overcome an adverse situation. It is not the time when you point fingers and resort to name calling. Synergy between horizontals / inter-sectoral players is critical to overcoming crisis and achieving success. This is as fundamental in health care as it is in any other industry. Isn’t this one of the key points they put together in the declaration at Alma Ata?

Note: I am not making a case for or against pharmaceutical companies here. The focus of this post is “leadership in crisis”.

Posted in Uncategorized

Microsoft Windows 10 – its official !


Windows 10

Its official! Windows 10 is here. Microsoft has skipped 9 and jumped straight ahead to Windows 10.

Target release date is September 2015 (Fall).

It was originally code-named Windows Threshold. Its done away with the tiled metro user interface that’s not really been a big hit. The original Start Menu is back but with a twist; it also sports live tiles.

Why did Redmond skip Windows 9 and go straight to 10 ?!! Well according to them – its a significant update.

Check the official Microsoft Video.

Take the Windows Upgrade Poll to know who is planning to upgrade.

 

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Posted in 1. New Technology, 7. Windows Blue, Productivity Tools

Stock buybacks by Apple and IBM – who benefits?


stock buyback

#IBM and #Apple are two of the major companies that have extensive stock buy-back programs – to the tune of billions of dollars! What does this mean and is it really good for you the shareholder? To answer that question, you first need to understand the reasons why they do buy-backs. A company could do a stock buyback for a number of reasons; some that may be favorable to the shareholder and some that may not.

Why do companies “officially” buy back their own stock?

  1. A large cash hoard / surplus cash.
  2. No other viable investment options around.
  3. They have confidence in their own stock and they express that confidence by buying it back from the market.
  4. Want to use the shares to reward employees (stock programs) without diluting ownership
  5. Want to reward shareholders while minimizing tax implications

On the other hand, the reasons they don’t want you to know are:

  1. They don’t want to pay out /increase dividends.
  2. The public demand for the stock is going down so they need to prop up stock prices by “creating” a demand by buying back i.e. “prop-up” investor confidence.
  3. The CEO’s performance is getting measured by stock appreciation – so s/he proposes a stock buyback.
  4. Easy and least risky way of increasing stock price – which makes those running the company look good.
  5. Increases the EPS (Earnings per Share) giving the public a perception that the company is showing improved performance.
  6. The company wants greater ownership of the stock to have increased control in decision making
  7. To fend of potential hostile take overs.

Now out of the seven reasons above that they don’t usually tell you about, the first six are also probably the most likely reasons why they do the buyback in the first place.

Of course a company may engage in a buyback for more than one of the above reasons; you as the shareholder have to be the judge depending on what you were hoping for in the first place – a dividend or a stock appreciation or both. VOTE below to see what other savvy readers like you think about why these companies do stock buybacks.

Thanks for reading and keep safe till my next post.

 

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Posted in 2. Social Media

iPhone 6 Features and Specs


iphone 6 - sizes

The iPhone 6 is official as of today!

Key Features/Specs of the iPhone 6 are:

  1. Comes in 2 sizes 4.7″ and 5.5″
  2. Operating System: iOS 8
  3. Processor: A8
  4. Thickness – 6.9 mm and 7.1  mm for the Plus model
  5. Landscape mode for home page
  6. Screen: Super tough ion-strengthened
  7. Display: Retina display on both models
  8. Storage/memory: 16/32/64/128 GB
  9. Camera: iSight / 1.5 µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture
  10. Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  11. Colors: Space Gray, White/Silver, Gold
  12. Inbuilt health application
  13. Environmentally friendly – Beryllium, Mercury, Arsenic, BFR, and PVC free
  14. Predictive keyboard – learns as you type
  15. Burst mode in camera for Selfies
  16. Timelapse and slo-mo video capture
  17. Focusing capabilities of a DSLR camera
  18. WiFi: 802.11ac, iPhone 6 Wi-Fi speeds are up to three times faster than iPhone 5s.
  19. 50% more energy efficient

 

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Posted in 1. New Technology, 2. Social Media, Productivity Tools

Apple, September 9 – iPhone 6, iWatch or both?


Apple September 9

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Posted in 1. New Technology, 2. Social Media

Data Privacy


Data Privacy Cartoon

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Posted in 1. New Technology, 2. Social Media, 4. Software Development, 6. Big Data, Risk Management

Yahoo Finance Portal Crashes as Nasdaq drops 100 pts


When Marissa Meyer took the reins of Yahoo in July 2012, she promised a better and more reliable portal experience. However, Yahoo’s share of portal users has been steadily declining over the years, and today we got first-hand experience in one of the reasons why! The Nasdaq dropped a 100 points at 14:30 EST today in anticipation of a lack luster 1st Quarter earnings season and as a result, Yahoo’s Finance portal got overloaded and died on us! I guess it could not handle the load of a couple of million investors who probably rushed to it to see the effect of the market on their personal portfolios.Yahoo Finance

What I fail to understand is that in this day and age of super-scalable,  super-elastic cloud network  infrastructure, why is it that Ms. Meyer’s company can’t keep the portal up an running.  It’s not even like we had a Black Monday kind of scenario today. Its just a 100 pt drop! And given that their user base is only shrinking, why?!

And no, I am not a freebie user of yahoo services venting here; I am a paying customer on one of their subscription plans for web hosting, business email and portal use.

 

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Posted in 1. New Technology, 2. Social Media, 5. Cloud Computing, Uncategorized
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