Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Dr. Alexa to the Rescue?

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have vowed to attempt a disruption of health care with an extensive use of technology. According to this New York Times article, their vision is already a reality in China.

Technology companies such as Alibaba and Tencent are developing artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic tools to assist overburdened physicians. Setbacks in telemedicine and online drug sales did not discourage Alibaba from forging ahead with AI software for CT scan interpretation and for diagnosis assistance.

Tencent has been engaged in similar initiatives. Not only has the technology brought more efficiency in large hospitals, but it has also expanded the access to care in small, rural areas.

This post is based on the New York Times article, Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have, by S.-L. Wee and P. Mozur, January 31, 2018.

Discussion Questions

1) What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology as a diagnostic aid?

Guidance: Advantages: better utilization of health care staff capacity, more accurate diagnoses, increased patient access to healthcare, lower costs, higher consistency of treatments for given condition, more convenience for patients, less wait for appointments and test results, etc. Continue reading

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The Skinny on Airline Seats

The Skinny on Airline Seats

Article Title: Air Travelers Resisting the ‘Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat’

Author of Article: M. C. White

Date of article: November 6, 2017

Source URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/business/airline-seat.html

This New York Times article illustrates the clash among marketing, finance, and operations strategies in the airline industry.

On one side, marketing departments and consumer advocate groups insist on preserving existing leg room standards.  On the other, revenue management departments push for efficiency-oriented plane redesigns that squeeze more seats into an airplane.

Slimmer seat designs can offer passengers more room. However, they also provide the opportunity to add one or two extra rows without compromising existing leg room.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of including more seats in an airplane?

Guidance: Discussion may focus on unit costs, revenues, number of planes needed, fuel costs, flight attendants’ morale, passengers’ expectations, and/or potential litigation.

2. Do you think the House of Quality framework was used to design the slimmer seats? Can the seats be improved further?

Guidance:  There is evidence the HOQ framework partially guided the design of the seats. The slimmer seat design features conform to customers’ requests for more room, fewer hard points, and better Continue reading

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