Tag Archives: health care

Drones Can Help Save Lives

In the United States there are roughly 350,000 cardiac arrests each year, and in Europe nearly a million people each year suffer such cardiac arrests. And, each minute to health care and a defibrillator is critical to survival. Today, people outside of hospitals who have a heart attack have only an 8-10% survival rate due to the slow response time of emergency services. This calls for a new solution to this critical health issue: drones.

Drones can help save lives of heart attack victims by delivering defibrillators remotely, much faster than it takes an ambulance to arrive on the scene. In a recent study in Sweden, the Swedish Transportation Agency equipped drones with light-weight defibrillators (1.7 pounds) and deployed them from fire stations north of Stockholm.

In tests, drones can average 100 km/hour, making the average arrival time of the drones 5:21 minutes; this is compared to the average ambulance arrival time of 22:00 minutes, shaving more than 16 minutes off defibrillator arrival time. Time that is critical to a person’s survival. When not flying, the drone can be folded and become a tool box for emergency supplies.

Drones to the rescue!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of new technologies such as drones with students.
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/y-rEI4bezWc
  3. Divide students into team: What other applications could drones have in the marketplace and health care industry?
  4. Have each team share its recommendations.
  5. Select the top recommendation. Have students develop a marketing program for this solution using drones.

Source:  Los Angeles Times, Tribune, other news source

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Smart Pills to Monitor Health


Technology surrounds us. Look around the room and list all the technology-enabled devices that can be seen. Now consider this: are there other technology devices that are in use, but cannot be seen? There soon might be if you are use medications that contain computer chips. The ingestible technology transmits signals that indicate when a person has successfully taken medication, even monitoring times and the medications’ effects on health, and then transmitting all the data to a family member or physician.

Dozens of companies and research institutions are currently developing ingestible and implantable microchips that can help patients track their bodies in real time, and with a significant level of detail never before possible. Applications include transponders injected under the skin that contain medical history, a camera pill that can scan a colon for tumors, and medications that make sure older people take their daily medications. And on the horizon are nanosensors that would live in the bloodstream and send data to smartphones when an infection or heart attack might be coming. Soon, when someone asks about our health, all we will need to do is swallow a pill and link to their smartphone.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the product at company Web site (includes video): http://www.proteus.com/
  2. Discuss ethical considerations for ingestible technology.
  3. Have students research similar health technologies.
  4. Divide students into teams and have them build a SWOT grid for the product.
  5. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  6. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source:   Washington Post

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Google Contact Lens to Combat Diabetes



Google is testing prototypes of a new, smart contact lens that will monitor the glucose levels of diabetes patients by using their tears. While the device looks like a regular contact lens, it uses a tiny glucose sensor with a wireless transmitter – and it is the smallest one ever made. It contains two glitter-specks packed with tens of thousands of miniaturized transistors and ringed with a hair-thin antenna.


The market for the future device is large; the International Diabetes Federation estimates that there are currently 382 million diabetics today, growing to 590 million by the year 2035. Diabetes affects nearly one in every 19 people in the world. Today, diabetics test their own blood glucose levels multiple times a day by using needles to prick their fingers. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause damage to the eyes, kidney, and heart.


The market size is estimated at $16 billion by the end of 2014. Google is currently testing the device, working with the FDA, and is looking for partners who are experts in bringing sophisticated health care devices to market.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

1. Show the video:
2. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies (e.g., market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification).
3. Which strategy is Google using for this product? Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market the contact lens devices.
4. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
5. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Google, Brandchannel.com, New York Times, other news sources, 1/17/14

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