Almost all B2B companies suffer from contact databases that are “unreliable” (64%) or “questionable” (34%), according to [download page] a new study from NetProspex. The study examined hundred of millions of B2B contacts over the past year, evaluating database health across 4 best practice areas – record duplication, record completeness, email deliverability, and phone connectability. Using […]
85% of American adults have a cell phone, yet just 9% have signed up for health alerts via text. What is the potential for this type of intervention?
A couple weeks ago, Cipla pharmaceuticals ticked off the larger pharmaceutical firms when it announced it would begin offering its cancer treatment at a price 75% lower than its competitors. Specifically for kidney, lung, and brain cancer, the treatment is basically a copy, or generic, of Nexavar, co-developed and co-marketed by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
If Big Pharma thought that was bad, now they have to cope with the Indian government’s new plan to give away $5.4 billion in prescription drugs over the next 5 years, according to Reuters. And the news just kept getting worse, as India announced that branded drugs would be banned from the plan.
The policy, only operating in state-run hospitals and clinics, will allow public doctors to prescribe free generic medicines to ailing Indians. If doctors are caught prescribing branded drugs, disciplinary action will result.
With 40% of the population under the poverty line (living off of $1.25 or less), the average citizen spends just $4.50 in medial costs per year. Health care is seen as a luxury for the well-off, private clinics accounting for four times more health spending than public hospitals. Indian officials hope this plan helps change that, predicting that by the end of 2017, at least 52% of India’s 1.2 billion citizens will take advantage of the policy, according to the same Reuters article.
While figures for Big Pharma companies like Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline will surely be hit, Indian generic makers including Cipla will be set to benefit the most.
Monsanto, the biotech company whose proprietary genetically modified corn has been fingered as the possible culprit in the collapse of the bee population, has gone ahead and purchased Beelogics, a research firm committed to “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination.”
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest natural coral formation on Earth and you’ll soon be able to see it in all its glory—from your desk.
The Catlin Seaview Survey, a collaboration between Google, the University of Queensland, and the Caitlin Group, will perform a diagnostic on the reef system’s health via a panoramic underwater photographic and video survey. The program has already taken some preliminary surveys, though the group plans to undertake the projects main component—three surveys begin at 20 points around the reef—in September.
Images will be captured by a 360-degree camera (actually four conveniently positioned fish-eye lens SLR’s) affixed to the front end of an Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) for shallow surveys, and robotic subs for surveys between 30 and 100 meters. The group hopes to also study how and if the migratory behavior of tiger sharks, green turtles and manta rays has been affected by global warming.
Starting today Internet users should be able to access these images via Google Street View and will also be able to watch video of each study section on YouTube. [University of Queensland via New Scientist]
Image: Caitlin Seaview Survey
Google recently announced it was unifying its privacy policies and would be sharing the data it collects about users between all of its products, starting March 1st. That means your web searches and sites you visit will be combined with other Google products like Google Plus and YouTube. If you’d rather avoid that, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reminds us you can remove your Google search history and stop it from being recorded.
Turning off search history is one of the top Google settings you may already know about anyway if you didn’t want Google recording any sensitive searches (health, location, interests, religion, etc.), but with Google becoming more like AOL these days, now’s as good a time as any to check if you’ve got your web history paused or not.
If you’re not logged into Google already, log in. Then, go to https://google.com/history. Click “remove all Web History” and “OK”. Doing so will pause the recording of your searches going forward until you enable it again.
Hospitals are increasingly milling their patients’ confidential medical records to target their promotional mailings for services, reported Phil Galewitz of USA Today.
It’s not illegal, but the practice doesn’t sit well with consumer advocacy groups who point out that many health care providers are choosing to ping patients with better insurance coverage.
That creates a sort of indirect discrimination, as hospitals make it harder for consumers with less insurance to learn about services they may very well need.
To target the ads, hospitals determine the likelihood that patients would need certain services based on age, income and insurance status. Hospitals have said they target patients with private insurance because the companies tend to pay higher rates than government-backed plans like Medicare and Medicaid.
The mailings also advertise a variety of tests, such as screenings for cancers and cholesterol, which are generally more expensive.
As record numbers of Americans go without health insurance, hospitals targeting consumers who are more capable of shelling out money for services has been an inevitable outcome, along with soaring health insurance premiums (Read why the rich are building their own hospitals.)
To make matters worse, employers are also reducing health insurance benefits in the workplace.
As we recently reported, one in five Americans are experiencing difficulty paying off their medical debt, while 25 percent have considered filing for bankruptcy because of rising medical bills.
Though targeted mailings might place others without insurance at a disadvantage, hospital officials insist they target patients who pay more to make enough profit to serve everyone.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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