Why Alphabet’s hiring of former FDA commish is a good thing

Google parent hires former FDA commissioner to run health strategy

Google’s parent, Alphabet, has hired Robert Califf, former FDA commissioner, to head policy and strategy for the company’s Verily Life Sciences and Google Health divisions. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: No doubt hiring a government insider to help grease the skids of the difficult FDA approval process is smart. Before jumping to the conclusion that this is just another example of hiring a fox to direct the hen house, it is important to think about how beneficial to our greater society this move could be. The care economy is in big trouble as not enough workers are entering the field(s) to address the needs of a fast growing, aging and unhealthy population. At the same time, great technology innovations are flooding the market. Many of these innovations are highly effective at augmenting care tasks, but most will not survive a consumer unfriendly care distribution system, or become approved for health care reimbursement as determined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Califf is in a position to teach both Alphabet and our Federal Government how to work together and streamline the adoption of technology products to play critical care roles. There is big money to be made by tech in the care business, and even bigger money to be saved. We all stand to greatly benefit from the integration of tech into the care industries and need it to occur sooner than later.

Levis and Google team up on smart jean jacket

Google and Levi’s are resurrecting the Jacquard smart sensor and app — a small sensor that fits into the sleeve of the jacket and reacts to conductive thread in the sleeve to enable remote control of your smartphone functions. Using the app, one can program what taps, swipes or gestures control. These controls could include phone volume, camera apps, or headphone noise cancelling. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Smart clothing may not be mainstream for some time, but a $200 smart jean jacket, for the sake of cocktail conversation, may just be a hit. What are some more valuable applications for this technology? How about unlocking your car remotely when you are hands are full, or turning on garage lighting? The smart home and the smart clothing industries will definitely find some synergies.

Best live TV streaming services

Wired offers a look at four streaming services that have apps to get to live TV. It suggests, in order of recommendation, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sony PS Vue, Sling TV and then, of course, buying a $44 digital TV antenna is a good complement to streaming TV services.

dis-rup-shun: The digital economy has eaten a hole in our wallets, one $9.99 bite at a time, and the traditional services like pay TV are starting to look like hogs at $179 and $219 per month. Consumers, for many years, asked for a la carte channel pricing and cable providers said no, forcing us to subscribe to packages which have now devolved into dozens of channels covering the Shark Vacuum and Cindy Crawford’s makeup secrets, 24 x 7. Even tech laggards are considering cord cutting, and a three or four streaming services with some option to access local programming will do the trick. Once a majority of subscribers cut the TV cord, the wireless phone bill will be the next pig to slaughter as consumers seek some angles to cover their rising health care bills.

Dogs need technology too

Wired provides a review of some of the best dog gear, both tech products and dog boots, for hikes in rough places with mollusk shells or volcanic rocks. The Whistle Go, for $100, is a collar with GPS for tracking your dog as well as its activity level, and keeping it geo-fenced.

dis-rup-shun: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are constantly offering things like iPads for a $10 if you agree to tether them to a cellular network for several years. Seems like the carriers should be pushing things of real value, like pet trackers as most any pet lover will spend stupid amounts of money for their furry friends. It is time for BestBuy and AT&T to have a pet section in their stores.

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