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Tallying the return investments in medical records

Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00

Let's face it, a lot of government reports tend to suffer the indignity of dust -- they get set aside, forgotten about. 

But some health experts think a new report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology may force a change. That’s because after taxpayers have spent around $30 billion in part to share patient data, the government has said it’s not getting enough for its money.

And hospitals and software IT vendors all share some of that blame. This report has done something that’s been a long time coming; it’s named a pernicious problem in health IT.

It’s called data blocking, says Michigan’s Julia Adler-Milstein. “This is a strong statement of who they believe is engaging in bad behavior,” she says. 

Both software companies and hospitals have engaged in this bad behavior according to the report, which costs us billions in wasted care every year.

Adler-Milstein says today just 14 percent of doctors share patient data, and only a third of hospitals because some companies have put their own financial interests before the common good. Former Washington health IT chief Farzad Mostashari says the report put people on notice this won’t be tolerated anymore.

“The lens is focusing on you. You could have thought that no one is able to see me, but now comes it comes into clear focus, “he says.

Software vendors says they have gotten the message.

“This is a clear case where the perception becomes reality and it has to be addressed seriously,” says Mark Segal, chair of the Electronic Health Records Association, an industry trade group.

Segal says this is an important step towards building standards so more patient data flows freely.

Atlanta is a new hub for video game developers

Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00







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Asante Bradford promotes video game development for Georgia. Eight years ago, he says, there were only about six gaming companies in all of metro-Atlanta. Now, there are more than 70.

“Every time we put together a list, it changes that quickly," Bradford says. 

He says one reason may be that there are more gaming conventions being held in Atlanta, giving the city more exposure. And there’s a lot of local talent. The Savannah College of Art & Design and Georgia Tech are ranked among the top schools for game design.

Nikhil Deshpande teaches game development at SCAD in Atlanta. He says alumni of these schools are the ones who help create a strong network in the city.

“Retaining talent has helped the overall gaming landscape here," Deshpande says. 

So when it comes time to finding a job, it’s not that hard, he says.

Take Hi-Rez Studios. Its 50 new jobs will help push out a new a mythology-themed video game SMITE on a new platform, XBOX One, and in a new market, China. They also plan to build a new studio so people can watch others play.

 

“People play video games, but over the last two years, it’s actually become quite popular for people to spectate video games," says Hi-Rez Studios Chief Operating Officer Todd Harris. 

Harris says it helps that Georgia’s popular film tax credit – which was just renewed for another three years – extends to digital entertainment, and that living in bigger markets, like San Francisco and Los Angeles, is becoming more difficult. 

“Georgia’s low cost of living has been very effective in recruiting experienced game developers, and then you combine that with really, really strong entry-level talent out of our universities and technical colleges,” Harris says. 

The average starting salary at Hi-Rez Studios is about $58,000 – in line with the national average.  

 





 

 



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The Art of Selling

Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00

When museums face budget cuts, should they turn to their art works for income? For that, we consult Blake Gopnik, art critic and contributor to the NY Times. We talk about the valuation of art, opportunity cost of selling, and what this means for the next generation. 

Click on the multimedia player above to hear more. 

Apple Watch: Day 1

Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00

The much-awaited Apple Watch was finally available for a preview on Friday. Customers could try on the smartwatch in Apple stores in nine countries, including the U.S., China and Japan.

As expected, people made appointments and lined up at Apple’s flagship store in Manhattan—the one on fifth avenue where you walk into a glass cube and down a spiral staircase to reach the store. What was the scene like?

“It was pretty subdued,” said Meg Cramer, producer at Marketplace Tech, who also made an appointment to check out the Apple Watch on the very first day. "There was a line of maybe a dozen people out front waiting to get in. Everyone had made an appointment already.”

What was unexpected was how they were greeted as they walked down the staircase. “This is the weirdest part,” said Cramer. “There were like a 100 apple store employees cheering and clapping.”

The applause continued until the store was full. They were cheering, Cramer suggested, because these customers had been waiting for the Apple Watch for a long time.

“I think if you’re there for the very first appointment on the very first day, you already know more about the Apple Watch than any Apple store employee could tell you,” said Cramer.

Some of the visitors had already pre-ordered the Watch, meaning they had woken up at 3 am to make the appointment just so they could go to the store and try on the smartwatch. Kelvin Hall was one of the lucky few to nab an appointment.

“It definitely does look like something you would wear on your wrist anyway,” said Hall. “I am sure it will take me a little while to get used to using it, but I definitely bought into it with my money as well as my fashion.” 

People might be surprised at how the Appel Watch actually looks, said Cramer, because most similar wearable devices look like “a mix between a watch and a smartphone.”

“The Apple Watch looks cool, it looks fashionable, and I think it looks better than any other smartwatch out there right now,” added Cramer.

But why would someone want to try it on if they had already decided to buy it?    

“It’s just fun to be there,” said Cramer. “I have been following the Apple Watch since the fall, and I am not going to buy one, but I got a little excited holding this piece of technology that one of the most important technology companies in the world has been working on for years and years.”

It's the final countdown...to elections

Mon, 2015-04-13 01:00
More than 70

That's how many video game companies are headquartered in Atlanta. Eight years ago, there were just six. Thanks to a bill that renewed Georgia's tax credit for video game companies, the state can expect more gamers to relocate to the metro-Atlanta area. More and more gaming conventions are held in Atlanta, in addition to a lot of local talent from technical schools. 

$200 million

That's the revenues Etsy generated in 2014, a jump of about 56 percent from the year before, according to SEC filings. The online retail platform is going pubic this week. To raise cash from this week's IPO, Etsy is reportedly eyeing smaller, individual investors. 

$153 billion

A new report out Monday by the UC Berkeley Labor Center looks at the amount of money state and federal taxpayers spend on public assistance programs for low wage workers between 2009 and 2011 they cost nearly $153 billion per year, more than half of the total spent on public assistance. While the purpose of the social safety net to help low income families get by, the worry is that employers may be building their pay structure around this taxpayer support.  

575

The number of days to the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton officially threw her hat in the ring Sunday, though to many, she's long been considered the inevitable Democratic nominee and even winner. Some measures this out, the Upshot notes, with Clinton polling about 20 points higher than she was at this time in 2008. That said, she's still facing several challenges and, of course, there's a lot of time left.

31.4 million

That's how many subscribers HBO had at the end of last year, according to SNL Kagan. That's a very solid customer base, but it's been overtaken by Netflix and new streaming competitors are popping up each day. The network's bid for cord-cutters, HBO Now, launched Sunday night, and the New York Times profiled chief executive Richard Plepler for the occasion. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal talked to the head of HBO-owning Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, about pivoting a huge media conglomerate toward cord-cutters without alienating cable providers.

957,000

That's how many people ordered an Apple Watch in the U.S. when they went on sale Friday, according to projections from e-commerce intelligence firm Slice. Quartz notes the average Watch buyer paid about $504, and 62 percent opted for the cheaper, Sport model. There are a lot of different bands to choose from, but Slice projects a whopping 49 percent of first-day orders were for the black rubber "sport band."

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