Tag Archives: Health

Updates from GE

Is Health Care Too Big To Fail? Or Is Failure Exactly What We Need?
By Sam Glick – There is a looming challenge facing U.S. hospitals, which are being forced either to reduce costs at the expense of creating potentially devastating impacts on their local communities, or take less aggressive cost-cutting measures and risk going broke.

The backdrop to this veritable Sophie’s Choice has developed through a series of public policy and market moves to shift financial risk onto local health systems that have little experience in such areas. When the hospital is the largest employer in many towns, with financing coming from insurance companies and mutual funds, we have the makings of 2008-financial-crisis-style systemic risk.

This year, nearly one in five dollars in the U.S. will be spent on health care. As a percentage of GDP, this is nearly twice the global average, yet we receive no clear benefit from a significant portion of this spending. The U.S. ranks first in per capita health care spending, but last in the Commonwealth Fund’s assessment of health system performance in 11 major developed countries. As a society, we have a health care return-on-investment problem. more> https://goo.gl/oedfxf

Updates from GE

By Mark Egan – As the approaching winter solstice shrouded Oslo in gloom and darkness last month, the workers at a GE factory located in the Norwegian capital found their cheer in a bright green robot known affectionately, if not officially, as “Hulk.”

The facility, which belongs to GE Healthcare, makes contrast media — the fluids doctors inject into patients to highlight organs during X-ray and CT scans. But last year a swell in orders set off by an increased demand from global customers was starting to tax the muscles of some workers. “We experienced an increase in injuries and sick leave,” says Fadi Fetyan, lean manufacturing leader at the Oslo factory.

Fetyan says that as each 6.5-pound box of contrast media came off the production line, a worker would lift it, turn sideways, lean over and place it on a pallet for shipping. A worker had to perform that physical operation seven times per minute, or as many as 3,150 times during an 8-hour shift. The repeated twisting and leaning motions caused back, shoulder and neck aches as well as hand and wrist problems.

That’s when Fetyan started thinking about help. As lean leader, he is a key player in making the factory smarter while lowering costs. So he proposed bringing in a collaborative robot — or cobot.

He reached out to FANUC, a Japanese company that specializes in building robots that automate factories, which had just the machine he needed. The robot’s first trip was to GE Healthcare’s Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (AME) lab in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The lab typically tests new automation technologies designed to make machines and factories work more efficiently. more> https://goo.gl/jDdEZC

Creating a Sense of Purpose at Work

By Art Petty – Too many people I encounter have given up striving to move beyond what they characterize as the daily grind. Instead of creating and building, they are surviving. And while some cultures seem adept at sucking the souls out of their employees, I believe you choose your attitude, and you can frame your work in terms that give it meaning or words that make it mundane.

Most of us have encountered the story of the two stone masons busy cutting stones. One described himself as simply a stonecutter The other described himself as a mason and announced triumphantly, “And I am building a great cathedral.”

Which one are you? more> https://goo.gl/h5OrTb

The Irrationality Within Us

By Elly Vintiadis – After decades of research, there is compelling evidence that we are not as rational as we think we are and that, rather than irrationality being the exception, it is part of who we normally are.

So what does it mean to be rational? We usually distinguish between two kinds of rationality. Epistemic rationality, which is involved in acquiring true beliefs about the world and which sets the standard for what we ought to believe, and instrumental rationality which is involved in decision-making and behavior and is the standard for how we ought to act.

We are epistemically rational if we believe things for which we have good evidence and if we would change our beliefs in light of evidence against those beliefs.

We are instrumentally rational when we act in ways that are appropriate for achieving our goals.

In contrast, one is irrational when one’s beliefs or actions are not in accord with the requirements of rationality. For instance, if one wants to achieve a certain goal but acts in ways that do not lead to that goal; when one forms beliefs for which there is no evidence, or that fly in the face of available evidence; when one reasons faultily and so on. more> https://goo.gl/utg5OO

Innovating Medical Treatment

By Stephen Chadwick – When the medical industry uses big data, new kinds of clinical care can be delivered and treatments that exactly match an individual’s genetics, environment and lifestyle will be devised, administered and monitored. This is the dream of Precision Medicine that delivers the right treatment, to the right person, at the right time.

It’s a revolution in healthcare that’s been predicted ever since the first human genome sequence was announced at the start of this century. Each person’s genetics inform their personal medical care through their lifetime and more effective treatments are then developed around that information. Giving the same treatments to everyone is a medical model the days of which are numbered. more> https://goo.gl/kk5LNh

Updates from GE

No Laughing Matter: The World Is Running Out Of Helium, But It Won’t Hold These MRI Engineers Down
By Tomas Kellner and Dorothy Pomerantz – MRI machines explore the body by using powerful magnets and pulsing radio frequency signals. For the magnets to work, MRI manufacturers such as GE use liquid helium to cool them to minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 269 Celsius), just above absolute zero. At that temperature, they lose all electrical resistance and become superconducting.

“When you power up a super-cooled magnet, it can produce the same magnetic field for a thousand years with no more power required,” MR engineer and inventor Trifon Laskaris told GE Reports. The problem is that some machines need as much as 8,000 liters of the helium, and the world is running out of it, to the chagrin of radiologists and party-store owners alike.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 got the government out of the business of producing the gas. But sales from the huge U.S. helium reserve stored in porous rock deep underneath Amarillo, Texas, kept down prices and gave private producers few incentives to enter the market. The shortage followed. more> https://goo.gl/emDpN3

Is Clear Thinking Morally Superior?

Many of us think so, a new study finds, and that could explain why arguments over science and faith get so heated.
By Nathan Collins – Our traditional founts of moral wisdom, religious institutions, have not always been the strongest supporters of clear, empirically based thought. Just ask Galileo, Darwin, or pretty much any climate scientist.

“Opinions grounded in moral conviction are different from equally strong but amoral opinions, in that they are perceived as ‘oughts’ rather than as personal preferences, and lead to intolerance towards those that are attitudinally dissimilar,” psychologists Tomas Stahl, Maarten Zaal, and Linda Skitka write in PLoS One. “However, it is not only the morally motivated defenders of traditional beliefs that have been characterized as intolerant in these debates.”

“More specifically,” they continue, “we suggest that people can come to view it as a moral virtue to form and evaluate attitudes and beliefs based on logical reasoning and evidence, and to view it as a vice to rely on less rational processes, an inclination we refer to as moralized rationality.” more> https://goo.gl/g6XgM5

Trump’s Guide to Team Building Is His Instinct

By Albert R. Hunt – Most new Republican administrations are filled with experienced hands from a previous government — a few governors and members of Congress, a prominent corporate chief executive or two. That’s not likely with Donald Trump; look instead for fellow deal-makers, political pals and fervent early supporters.

More than any modern president, Trump doesn’t come from the party establishment and owes it nothing.

Trump is likely to continue to rely on instinct. That’s what led to his upset victory and is likely to be the model for assembling an administration.

It’s not unusual to bring campaign operatives into top staff jobs. But there were no policy or political heavyweights in the Trump entourage.

Donald Trump got to the White House by running his own show. That’s the way he’s likely to govern. more> https://goo.gl/fJQ10q

Updates from Georgia Tech

Study Finds “Lurking Malice” in Cloud Hosting Services
By John Toon – “Bad actors have migrated to the cloud along with everybody else,” said Raheem Beyah, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The bad guys are using the cloud to deliver malware and other nefarious things while remaining undetected. The resources they use are compromised in a variety of ways, from traditional exploits to simply taking advantage of poor configurations.”

Beyah and graduate student Xiaojing Liao found that the bad actors could hide their activities by keeping components of their malware in separate repositories that by themselves didn’t trigger traditional scanners. Only when they were needed to launch an attack were the different parts of this malware assembled.

“Some exploits appear to be benign until they are assembled in a certain way,” explained Beyah, who is the Motorola Foundation Professor and associate chair for strategic initiatives and innovation in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “When you scan the components in a piecemeal kind of way, you only see part of the malware, and the part you see may not be malicious.”

In the cloud, malicious actors take advantage of how difficult it can be to scan so much storage. Operators of cloud hosting services may not have the resources to do the deep scans that may be necessary to find the Bars – and their monitoring of repositories may be limited by service-level agreements. more> https://goo.gl/hiLHXk

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Updates from GE

London Calling: How GE Left A Legacy In An Olympic City
By Kristin Kloberdanz – For years, GE has had a tradition of leaving behind a “legacy gift” for each city where the Olympic Games are held. In Torino and Vancouver, GE sponsored ice rinks that remain part of the local communities. In Beijing, it helped build the Imagination Center, a two-story, 16,500-square-foot building that GE then donated to the city and is now an office building.

In London, GE gave a gift that literally saved lives. Tony Gale, general manager for GE’s sponsorship for the London 2012 Olympic Games, had called a meeting with Nancy Hallett, then CEO of Homerton Hospital in Hackney, a traditionally deprived area in East London, to draw up a list of things the hospital needed. Her requests were modest. Could they help fund the painting of some walls? “In your wildest dreams,” Gale asked her, “and if you had the money, what would you really want to do?”

Hallett went away again to draw up a “fantasy” shopping list that included top-quality incubators and equipment for a neonatal unit under construction at the hospital.

Hackney had some of the worst infant mortality rates in the United Kingdom. If Homerton could get better equipment for the premature babies being born in its wards, it could boost survival rates.

GE shocked even Gale by agreeing to everything on Hallett’s wish list, including fetal monitors, magnetic resonance imaging machines and 16 Giraffe OmniBeds, the Rolls Royce of incubators for high-risk newborns. All told, GE donated $9.2 million worth of equipment. “I was dumbfounded,” he remembers.

While most tourists never see a place like Homerton, almost every visitor to London benefits from another of GE’s Olympic Games legacy in London: LED lights along the Tower Bridge. more> http://goo.gl/0W24e1