Google opens healthcare API to connect providers

Google opening healthcare API

Google’s Cloud unit continues to pursue the connected health industry by opening its health information interface, called Google Healthcare API. This action enables different healthcare information providers, regardless of if they are using Google’s cloud, to connect to a common data interface intended to integrate disparate health information sources. The Department of Health and Human Services previously issued a mandate restricting vendors from a common practice of blocking information exchange between systems. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Microsoft’s Azure cloud service has pursued a similar path to encourage standardization and information exchange. The healthcare industry, quite simply, has used data as a competitive advantage, making it difficult for consumers and doctors to shop for competitive services. Creating an open data exchange will enable willing healthcare providers to de-mystify the healthcare pricing and payment system, and empower consumers to choose what they pay to whom. Fear of sharing personal information with BigTech will hinder some, but when shopping for care becomes as easy as ordering an Uber ride, consumers will overcome their privacy concerns.

The rise of the Apple watch

The Apple Watch is now five years old, and last year, according to Strategy Analytics, the company shipped an estimated 31 million units while all Swiss watch brands combined shipped about 21 million units. Today the Apple Watch offers about 20,000 apps, most that require the use of the iPhone (which offers 2 million apps), and include many health and fitness apps, including an FDA approved EKG sensor. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Apple is, in fact, redefining the definition of the watch, much like it did a phone. Calling an iPhone a phone is almost a misnomer, given that voice communication is such a small part of the utility it offers. Soon an Apple Watch will provide so many seemingly-essential functions that comparing the device to a wrist watch will be for the purposes of nostalgia only. As CNET says, watch makers that have not joined the smart watch race have essentially missed the window to do so.

Facebook’s Portal is a Coronavirus winner

As often covered, Facebook’s smart display offering, the Portal family, was received tepidly when introduced, mostly due to people’s lack of trust for Facebook’s privacy policies. Now the devices are out of stock on most online stores. Strategy Analytics estimates that Facebook has sold about one million units in 2019 and 200,000 units so far this year. This success, however, represents only 2% of the market, of which Amazon has 45%. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The pandemic may have saved this product line from extinction, and it seems that many people believe that Portal is a better solutions for seniors than its competitors. Will Facebook seize this opportunity and seek to carve out its place in the aging-in-place market, or will it continue to throw small stones at Goliath? Facebook has an opportunity to double down on attempts to prove that the company is trustworthy, and winning over seniors would be a smart way to build a beachhead of consumer support.

Battling slow Wi-Fi?

If sheltering in place has made you more aware of the ups and downs of your home Internet service, then read CNET‘s explanations and suggesting course of correction. First, the review suggests that inconsistent Internet speeds are the result of your provider throttling your speeds to better share bandwidth across customers. They can do so given legislation that gave them that right (net neutrality). Step 1 in the diagnosis is to run some speed tests through M-Lab. If this test verifies inconsistencies, then you may wish to install a virtual private network (VPN) through software, to conceal your streaming volume and schedule from your provider. In theory, this will reduce fluctuations they impose.

dis-rup-shun: The article also suggests that you call your provider and threaten to switch if they won’t stop jacking with your speeds. It seems that we are as dependent on Wi-Fi for living as we were with dial tone and maybe even moreso, but the mysteries of getting constant, stable coverage are battles faced my most households. Is it poor infrastructure to the home, or is an old router, or inadequate signal to cover the home? It seems that there is a real opportunity for an Internet Doctor service to replace the dying Cable Guy.

Amazon gives and takes away

Amazon essential items policy is killing retailers

Many small retailers have built their businesses using Amazon as their only channel to market. Thousands now find that Amazon will not accept or ship their products for weeks, given its “essentials only” policy to deal with the pandemic. While retailers understand the need for the policy, they must quickly find alternative channels such as through which to sell products. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Amazon, for many small businesses, does all the heavy lifting in terms of sales and distribution. Their policies — be they the order that products appear on a web page, or when shipments are de-prioritized — are a reminder of the need for diversification in most all things: suppliers, customers, lenders, and investors.

Facebook Portal a pandemic winner

Facebook’s Portal is a web conferencing device built for families and friends to watch TV together and enjoy video chatting. The devices were discounted by journalists and serious tech fans when they were announced just prior to holiday season in 2019. Facebook’s privacy problems were seen as a barrier to acceptance of the device. Now, the simplicity of the device is making it a favorite of consumers. Facebook Portal TV is now sold out. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: My how circumstances can change things. The simplicity of Portal TV and its fun features is well aligned with a literally captive market that is hungry for human connection. Call Facebook lucky or prophetic, but Portal is turning out to be a visionary product.

Amber smart circuit breaker a home electrical game changer

Amber Solutions, a Silicon Valley startup, has developed a semiconductor that manages electricity. The product, when placed in a circuit breaker, can sense and manage changes in current, power surges, shorts, and enables both remote control of circuits as well as reporting of energy usage. Amber Solutions

dis-rup-shun: The implications for smart circuits include the ability to control all devices in the home with a single app or single skill. The app could easily enable different scenarios such as conservation mode, vacation mode, security mode, and could detect problems with appliances, such as HVAC systems, long before they gave out. The question is how Amber will win over the circuit breaker giants such as Eaton, ABB, Leviton, Square D and others.

Apple releases new laptop like iPad

iPads continue to look and feel more like light, thin, touchscreen-capable laptops, and the latest release from Apple even claims to be a replacement for a laptop. The new iPad Pro is more powerful, supports a stylus, supports a mouse or trackpad, has new camera technology and LIDAR support. LIDAR technology enables augmented reality — the ability to superimpose dynamic images on top of photos. You need to watch the full Apple video to appreciate the potential.

dis-rup-shun: It seems more and more people are using iPads as their daily computing device. The question Apple has to ask is if pushing the iPad as laptop cannibalizes more PC sales or MacBook sales. Given that there are more PC laptops in the world, the math would likely reveal that the new product wins over more PC users in volume. Nonetheless, Apple has, many times, shown that there is room for a new class of device, and getting more people to use iPads as their “travel computer” may not reduce sales of full strength MacBooks. Time will tell.

How China can bruise Apple and slow the global economy

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]If China retaliates for Huawei’s banishment

Wired offers some damaging scenarios for Apple if Chinese leaders decide to pay back damage to state influenced telecom maker, Huawei. China could offer some severe blows to the world’s largest company that derives 19% of its revenues in China by:

  • Interfering with Apple’s supply chain and manufacturing that take place in Shenzen
  • Placing limits on Apple’s retail stores or on its online app store
  • Requiring certain Chinese manufactured components to be included in iPhones
  • Fueling a nationalist campaign against buying Apple

dis-rup-shun: Apple moved much of its production to China’s Foxconn several years ago, and the company should hope that Chinese authorities are still appreciative of the action. Apple’s performance is undoubtedly a lever of global economic health that, if pulled by China, will certainly contribute to economic turbulence in the year ahead.

Google, Amazon and now Facebook want you to use their home portal

This week Amazon released a new version of its home portal, Echo Show 5. Also this week, Facebook released software to make it easier to send content from a smartphone to the Facebook Portal device, and to place video calls to the device. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun:  Facebook Portal is a quality hardware device if you like using Facebook messenger for calls, and like a large photo viewing screen. Will smartphone apps increase demand for the in-home device? This product is expensive and appeals to a niche market – the Facebook Messenger junkie. Without the home automation device support offered by Amazon Echo, and without the integration with the Google search engine that Google Home offers, the Portal remains a specialized device taking up valuable counter space. And, by the way, Amazon and Google are selling their devices at a loss, seeking to be the razor that will sell their growing portfolio of services (blades). Facebook will have to add functionality to Portal and sell at a deep loss to succeed with devices. This device just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

iRobot knows how tall is your grass 

iRobot, the $1 billion maker of Roomba vacuums and Braava robotic mops is now offering a robotic lawn mower, the Terra, which, unlike prior products that navigate with cameras, uses beacons buried in your yard to guide the device.  ZDNet

dis-rup-shun:  iRobot is launching robotics 2.0, devices that reuse both data as well as code bases to know more about your home. After cleaning your floors, iRobot’s devices have mapped your home using cameras and now have the intelligence to clean up a bathroom or work in specific areas, as well as pass that information on to other devices such as the robotic mop. The map of your home is stored in Amazon’s cloud and will someday be shared with other authorized devices with a need to know.

Finally, a really smart (and beautiful) universal remote control

A new universal remove from Sevenhugs is separate remote for every device. Based on beacons placed discretely in your primary viewing room, the Sevenhugs remote knows which device you are pointing to and “changes” its layout to take on the attributes of each individual device. Sevenhugs

dis-rup-shun: Though the year is 2019, universal and smart remotes are still often very difficult to set up and frequently inconsistent in their operation, not to mention that some important control functions get lost or omitted from some universal devices. The elegant design and small size makes this remote one that will not have to be hidden away before parties. Its blank touchscreen changes according to the device it is pointed to. Now that’s smart.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]