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There are many aspects of the healthcare industry that are ripe for streamlining with blockchain. For instance, my last Blockchain Spotlight article focused on a new telehealth company called WELL. This time around I’m talking to Synthium to find out more about their platform to address the costs and inefficiencies in the medical device market, of which there are many. Small- to medium-sized manufacturers of medical devices cannot afford to employ large sales teams to go out face-to-face and hard sell products, so they end up white labeling them to larger manufacturers which have the sales teams. Adding a couple extra layers into the mix that increase prices, and combine that with complex ordering systems, insurance reimbursement and rebate procedures. Then combine that with other problems like miscommunication on delivery of important items for surgery, and you have a system that really hasn’t changed much since the 1940’s. Did you know that a significant number of surgeries get delayed because the equipment didn’t arrive in time? It is usually logged under something else, but oftentimes the hospital will scramble to keep the schedule and pay more for overnight delivery to keep the surgical schedule. In the universe of healthcare expenses, supplies make up a significant portion of the expense, with millions of products moving through the supply chain every day. The opportunities to boost profits through innovation in the supply chain are estimated to be about 6% in the retail space and 20% in the hospital and medical device manufacturer settings. Some of the other challenges faced in this supply chain are lack of trust and partnerships, conflicting goals across supply chain activities, lack of automation and a high variation in client preferences and demand. What Synthium does is provide a platform to connect the buyers and sellers of medical devices directly, and they have a live and functional system operating since the summer of 2015. What they are currently working on, and the impetus for the ICO, is the integration of blockchain as an enabling platform for supply chain management and transparency, contract management, delivery management, order management and payment processing. Their existing partners are very interested in the new platform and are committed to evaluating it when it is available. An introductory video that gives a nice summary is available here . The Synthium Health Platform (SHP) token is used initially as a membership fee into the platform, and it can also be used as currency within the platform for transactions where both parties accept it. Tokens can be acquired through the ICO and later through their platform or from other users of the platform. There are three types of memberships: Buyers (Hospitals, physicians groups, surgery centers, etc.) Sellers (Manufacturers, suppliers and distributors) Public (Personal consumers) Value-based purchasing programs for hospitals are administered by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, and there are financial incentives to cut costs by making smart purchases of supplies and medical equipment. The Synthium supply chain management platform will track real-time price purchasing accuracy. In addition, the platform can be integrated into existing hospital software systems to enhance purchasing, scheduling and delivery of critical supplies and equipment. The current state of the Synthium platform requires a membership fee of one token ($0.65) per month. They have created their digital wallet to manage the tokens that is in the process of being integrated with the platform right now. A central warehouse of supply contracts for automatic distribution of rewards through smart contracts is nearing a beta release. Synthium is arranging partnership deals with various providers, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers and 3PL companies to participate in the pilot project. The SHP token sale began on November 27, 2017 and ended February 28, 2018. There will only ever be one billion tokens once the system is live. Synthium has secured at least one crypto exchange deal with for their token and will work on others now that the ICO is over. With the ever expanding costs of healthcare and razor thin to non-existent profits, the quickest and smartest thing to do is find how to cut costs without affecting care. The idea of streamlining existing processes to reduce those costs seems like some low hanging fruit that can have a big impact. Read more from this Blockchain Spotlight series . Article written by Shawn Gordon Image credit by Synthium Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
Big data analytics has rapidly become a critically important driver of business success across different sectors. Big data can offer a lot of value only if organizations know how to claim it. Today, big data is given high preference. Organizations worldwide see big data as an opportunity and plan to increase their investments in big data in the upcoming years. The value of big data doesn’t come from the gathering of information, that is just where it starts. The real value of big data is the ability to combine and evaluate it and uncover new insights that drives business value. In its latest whitepaper, analytics solution provider Quantzig outlines five well-known ways to convert big data analytics into big value. 1. Choose the right environment for big data analytics Accessing and analyzing data is different for different organizations. All organizations have different needs, different cases, and different infrastructure environments. The method and the environment chosen depends on the particular user requirements you need to meet, compared to various tradeoffs you are ready to accept. 2. Make sure you can relate the data – not just collect it The difficult part is not identifying and managing the wide range of data because this has become easier with the availability of flexible platforms. With the changing structure of data storage that includes on-premises, private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud options, what’s important is whether you can collect and integrate all of this data together – no matter where it comes from or how it’s arranged – to find out all the possible relationships across it. 3. Give your entire organization access to big data – while keeping it governed When big data analytics was first introduced only a few data scientists and expert analysts could realize its massive potential. Others did not have the tools, knowledge, or the experience needed to use the data in a meaningful way. But now it’s important that you put big data in the hands of those people who are closest to your business, who know what questions to ask, and who integrally understand, which data-driven insights will have the most impact. 4. Make it easy for users to find the data they need Business managers are increasingly expected to support their decision-making process with hard evidence. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find answers within a massive, evergrowing data repository. To help business users get more ROI from big data – you need to make it easy for them to explore and discover relevant data sets. 5. Drive collaboration to drive innovation Great discoveries are almost inevitably a team effort. Bringing together a range of people with a spectrum of perspectives, skill sets, and areas of expertise to collaborate around your data greatly increases your chances of uncovering something new and profound. And that’s not all. When you take steps to enable collaboration, you set the stage for faster innovation and greater ROI. The faster you get the data into analysis, the faster you arrive at insights; the faster you arrive at insights, the faster you can get to market. According to Quantzig's' big data analytics experts, “Big data can mean different things to different businesses. But, the challenge and the goal are the same for every business – getting the most value out of it.” Download and read the whitepaper . Article published by Anna Hill Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
New research shows corporate demand for cybersecurity skills is rising faster than internal supply, with innovative thinking needed to plug the gap – both in the acquisition and retention of key talent. The report "Cybersecurity Talent: The Big Gap in Cyber Protection" by Capgemini's Digital Transformation Institute demonstrates that, of all the digital skills necessary for organizations with aspirations of digital leadership, cybersecurity represents the biggest gap between demand for those skills and internal supply. The report surveyed more than 1,200 senior executives and front-line employees and analyzed social media sentiment of more than 8,000 cybersecurity employees. Sixty-eight percent of organizations reported high demand for cybersecurity skills compared to 61 percent demanding innovation skills and 64 percent analytics skills. Demand for these skills was then set against the availability of proficient skills already present in the organization. This identified a 25 percentage point gap for cybersecurity skills (with 43 percent availability of proficient skills already present in the organization), compared to a 13 percentage point gap for analytics (51 percent already present) and a 21 percentage point gap for innovation (40 percent already present). "The cybersecurity skills gap has a very real effect on organizations in every sector," said Mike Turner, Chief Operating Officer of Capgemini's Cybersecurity Global Service Line. "Spending months rather than weeks looking for suitable candidates is not only inefficient, it also leaves organizations dangerously exposed to rising incidents of cybercrime. Business leaders must urgently rethink how they recruit and retain talent, particularly if they wish to maximize the benefits from investment in digital transformation." The demand for precious cybersecurity talent is projected to grow over the next 2-3 years with 72 percent of respondents predicting high demand for cybersecurity in 2020, compared to 68 percent today. Set against increasing incidents of cyberattacks and the need for organizations to not only protect themselves but also maximize competitive advantage from digitization, the report recommends a series of tactical priorities for business leaders. Priority 1 – Integrate security The first priority for companies is to assess how well security is integrated across the organization. What is the culture of cybersecurity outside the team with direct responsibility for keeping data protected? How security-savvy are app developers and network managers? "It's important to make the organization as a whole better at cybersecurity, aligning the enterprise with principles and processes that are secure from the ground up," explains Turner. "Get the basics right, in terms of application development. Develop secure code. Make your network engineers and cloud architects better at securing the cloud. That's a good way to fight the skills gap, because it teaches the organization to be secure by design." Priority 2 – Maximize existing skillsets "Another priority is to look at the, as yet, unrecognized cybersecurity skills that lie within," said Turner. "Half of all employees are already investing their own resources to develop digital skills, showing an appetite to upskill. Organizations that struggle to recruit externally may be able to uncover candidates with adaptable skillsets who can be trained. Those functions with complementary and transferable skills include network operations, database administration and application development." In addition, companies should look at the requirement to embed security into every service and application, and hire business communicators to complement the technical skills in their team. Business analysts and technical marketers could be transferred to cybersecurity roles to enable the company-wide adoption of best practices. Priority 3 – Think outside the box A third priority is for organizations to think beyond the normal recruitment strategies and understand the root skills of cybersecurity. Look at traits and skills present in completely different job roles and interview candidates the organization might not usually consider. Those currently in math roles for example, are often highly skilled at pattern recognition. "Thinking outside the box is about understanding the transferable skills," adds Turner. "For example, people on the autism spectrum are fantastic at pattern spotting and are often blessed with numerical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail and a methodical approach to work – all useful traits for cybersecurity best practice." Priority 4 – Strengthen retention Finally, look at retention of talent. In a highly competitive recruitment market, organizations must also look at engagement of existing employees to ensure talent gaps don't worsen. Cybersecurity employees value organizations that offer flexible working arrangements, encourage training and prioritize clear and accessible career progression. Within the report, a difficult work-life balance was discussed as one of the five worst aspects of the job by cybersecurity professionals on social media and a main reason why they leave or remain dissatisfied with their company. The clear majority (81 percent) of cybersecurity talent agreed with the statement, "I prefer joining organizations where I have a clear career development path," compared to 62 percent of all respondents in our survey. The number is even higher (84 percent) for Gen Y and Gen Z employees2, who highlighted a lack of career progression as their number one concern. Managing these softer but equally important retention issues is a key requirement for building a viable and sustainable cybersecurity offering. Research methodology Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute surveyed 753 employees and 501 executives at the director level or above, at large companies with reported revenue of more than $500 million for FY 2016 and more than 1,000 employees. The survey took place from June to July 2017, and covered nine countries – France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States and seven industries – Automotive, Banking, Consumer Products, Insurance, Retail, Telecom and Utilities. Capgemini also analyzed the sentiments of around 8,400 current and former employees at 53 cybersecurity firms with at least 100 employees on social media. Selected firms operate primarily in the cybersecurity space covering (but not limited to) data security, cloud security, mobile security, enterprise security, email security and application security. Download and read the full report . Article published by Anna Hill Image credit by Getty Images, Tinpixels Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
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