Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Hospital "does the right thing" but May Hurt Itself in the Process

An interesting article about pediatric asthma has been making rounds at work:
A Hospital Prevents Readmissions, but Threatens Revenue

The article describes a program at Boston Children's where the hospital reaches out to families of children with asthma and provides them with stuff like HEPA filter vacuums and hypoallergenic bedding. The program costs $2,600 per child but saves $3,900 for the hospital for the insurance companies and actually hurts the hospital's bottom line since it cuts back on admissions.

The hospital does this program because "it's the right thing to do" but it can only be sustainable if funded. If the government and health insurers had the foresight to support programs like this they could save their money in payouts to hospital and in the end our money in insurance payments and taxes.

Just one example of the problems in our medical system...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Android vs. Apple: Super Bowl Commercials

Apple has always positioned itself as the hip counter culture alternative the mainstream PC; the David to IBM's Goliath. This branding began with their iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercial introducing the first Macintosh.

Now, 27 years later thanks to the iPhone and iPad Apple has become the Goliath. In the mobile arena Google's Android is now trying to position itself as the hip, counter culture alternative to Apple. Here's the latest commercial from Motorola advertising their new Xoom tablet. Note the similarities. The guy is even reading 1984 on his tablet!

Note: I'm not emotionally tied to either of these two companies. I use an Android phone along with an iMac, Macbook, and HP netbook at home. I most likely will end up getting the iPad 2 when it comes out or the tablet above.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dr. Offit looking like a bad ass on The Colbert Report!

Like most pediatricians I am vehemently pro-vaccine. When you look at the data there's really no question that vaccines save lives with minimal to no side effects. To put my money where my mouth is, both my of my own kids have received their shots as per the CDC recommended schedule.

Unfortunately, for a variety of factors there's a pretty active anti-vaccine movement in this country. Dr. Paul Offit is a frequent target of these attacks. He is the head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, noted vaccine proponent, world renowned scientist and developer of the RotaTeq vaccine for rotavirus (causes massive diarrhea in children). He recently published a book: Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All.

Last night he was on The Colbert Report to discuss his book. I'm hoping that the folks who aren't swayed with science to vaccinate their kids will be swayed with humor. It's nice to see pediatricians who are often the geeks-who-get-tossed-in-the-locker of the medical "high school" looking hip and cool on national TV!

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Paul Offit
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