Article | March 29, 2020
COVID-19 related data sources are fairly easy to find. Libraries in R and Python make it super easy to come up with pretty visualizations, models, forecasts, insights and recommendations. I have seen recommendations in areas like economics, public policy, and healthcare policy from individuals who apparently have no background in any of these fields. All of us have seen these 'data driven' insights. Some close friends have asked if I have been analyzing the COVID-19 datasets. Yes, I have been looking at these datasets. However, my analysis has been just out of curiosity and not with the intent of publishing my forecast or recommendations. I am not planning to make any of my analyses on COVID-19 dataset public because I sincerely believe that I am not qualified to do so.
Article | March 9, 2020
With the announcement of the HIMSS conference cancellation the healthcare IT industry is hit hard. Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the super bowl of healthcare tech. 45,000 attendees from 50 countries were scheduled to fly into Orlando and spend 5 days immersed in innovative healthcare tech – and of course, shop around on the Expo floor. For many companies, the HIMSS event is the lifeline of their sales pipeline for the entire year – we’re talking tons of leads. Not having HIMSS means major threats to healthcare technology company revenue. We need to be more prepared to deal with pandemics no matter what. And as an industry, we need to be focused on developing technology solutions for disease detection, tracking, and prevention. And we need greater emphasis on data interoperability. Every time a crisis happens, the world is reminded of why it’s so important for systems and entities to share information. We learned this lesson when 9/11 happened. Data interoperability can help us identify problems earlier and get a handle on mitigation before issues get out of control.
Article | September 9, 2020
© 2019 American Cranes & Transport Magazine.
Moving over-sized, over-dimensional loads during the day is no easy task. Adding darkness and poor visibility to your trip adds numerous hazards that must be thoroughly identified and mitigated.
When planning a specialized transportation project, there are three primary objectives:
Ensure the safety of the transport crew and the general public.
Protect the integrity of the cargo and transport equipment.
Protection of Infrastructure – roads, bridges, traffic control devices, utilities and the like.
For the most part, specialized carriers perform night transports to reduce the impact on day-time commuter traffic. Route challenges – construction, road closures, lane crossovers, bridges and other obstacles – are often better solved at night. Police and utility support are often more readily available at night.
Night transport hazards include employee fatigue, slowed reaction time and poor visibility for both the transport crew and motorists. Decreased visibility increases potential for trips, falls, runovers, back overs and equipment strikes.
It can’t be emphasized enough how critically important it is to ensure that all transport crew members have had adequate rest for these projects. Workers need complete rest before the transport takes place. A fatigued worker is a danger to himself as well as his fellow crew members. And while impaired drivers can be out on the streets during the day, there is often an increased number of these drivers on roadways at night.
Limited visibility is a given when it comes to night-time transports. Limited visibility increases the chance of going off route and striking objects, and the transport driver’s maneuverability and reaction time maybe be reduced. Road conditions can abruptly change during a night-time transport. Therefore, it is critically important to know the route and to have drivers run it in advance. Statistically speaking, accident frequency increases when the transporter goes off route and attempts to correct itself. While providing the necessary lighting to make night transport is important, artificial lighting can pose visibility hazards, especially to the drivers. Other hazards may include bright work lighting that produces glare.
OSHA has identified the “Focus Four” accident events that make up the most serious injuries and fatalities in the construction business. They are also known as the “Fatal Four.” Many carriers have had employees injured in the past as a result of one of these four incidents.
Caught-in-between hazards are injuries resulting from a person being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched or compressed between two or more objects or between parts of an object. This is also referred to as “pinch points or entrapment.” As the transporter navigates its designated route the landscape is continuously changing. It is imperative that all ground crew members maintain situational awareness and not place themselves between the moving transporter and fixed objects such as guardrails, parked vehicles, buildings, etc.
Struck-by hazards are injuries produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment. There are many potential struck-by hazards. Guide wires that must be raised can snap and strike workers on the ground. Tag lines should be used to control loads. The primary purpose of using tag lines is to control the load but more importantly give the worker a safe buffer distance away from suspended and the uncontrolled movement of these loads.
Fall hazards are anything that could cause an unintended loss of balance or bodily support and result in a fall. To prevent fall hazards all workers should have either fall prevention or a means of fall protection in place. As a rule, 100 percent tie off is required when using a fall arrest system (FAS). FAS’s should be thoroughly inspected before each use.
Electrocution hazards result when a person is exposed to a lethal amount of electrical energy. Maintaining minimum approach distances (MAD) is a critical safety practice. As everyone knows, equipment does not have to physically make contact with energized equipment or lines to cause serious injuries and even death. Electrical energy can “jump” from lines into equipment that has encroached the Minimum Approach Distance based on its voltage.
As noted above, it is critically important to ensure that crew members have had adequate rest and are not fatigued. Night transports are difficult enough, and the last thing you want to introduce are tired and fatigued workers. Being fatigued creates a risk for anyone who undertakes an activity that requires concentration and a quick response.
All companies should have an “Hours Worked Policy” that clearly spells out the number of hours allowed to work before a mandatory rest period. This policy should ensure that the transport crew has had adequate rest during day, that a fatigue assessment is conducted on all team members, that crews are never allowed to work double shifts and that employees are prohibited from driving long distances to return home.
Dealing with darkness
Visibility and slowed reaction times should be a part of the project planning. A limited amount of ambient light that only projects upward and outward impedes vision and increases blind spots for drivers. Lights cast shadows, increasing the potential for slips, trips and falls.
All transport moves should establish pre-planned Emergency Action Plans. When an emergency occurs, time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life and death. If it is a long-distance move the emergency numbers and first responder information can change. Crews should know when it’s time to seek emergency “safe harbor.”
When approaching overhead obstructions such as guide wires, electrical lines, communication lines and overpasses, travel speed is of utmost importance. Again, pre-route surveys provide advance knowledge of obstructions. At night, visual identification of roadway obstructions is reduced and delayed and last second reactions to oncoming hazards can lead to accidents. Support personnel in bucket trucks also have the challenge of reduced visibility.
In darkness, overhead hazards often require more utility support for height clearances, which means the need for raising energized lines, lifting traffic control devices, trimming tree limbs, releasing tension on guide wires, removing highway signs, repositioning street lights and raising railroad crossing arms.
Traffic control can also create hazards. The general public may ignore pilot car lights at night, so it’s often advisable to also use police escorts. All support vehicles and trucks should be properly marked and equipped with strobe lights.
The configuration of the transport system can also be a hazard. Navigating sharp turns or crossovers is greatly reduced based on the length of transporter. Snake-like maneuvers of trailers pose an increased risk.
It’s important to never allow personnel to take shortcuts by walking through or under transporter while it’s in motion. Stop or have the worker go around.
The transport crew must always maintain “situational awareness” to prevent being in line of fire or entrapped between moving and fixed objects.
All the equipment used in the transport must be deemed safe. You should have procedures to conduct thorough assessment of all new equipment.
Ensure machine guard devices are in place especially around moving components.
Provide secured areas using catwalks/railing system.
All steps should be designed with slip resistant material.
Ensure that all deck openings are properly protected and covered.
Components that hydraulically extend and retract should be clearly posted with DANGER signs.
Roadway conditions are always a bigger concern at night. Assess weather conditions prior to start of the project and don’t take chances. A “Go – No Go” criteria should be developed for each project. Once the decision is made to transport the load there is no turning back. Changing weather can cause the transporter to lose traction. Underpasses that are shaded during the day will likely freeze up more quickly. If the temperatures drop significantly during the move, equipment performance may be affected – especially those with hydraulics.
Because the reaction time of the transport crew is reduced, speeds are often reduced, causing potential for curfew violations. Boarding and deboarding the transporter increases risk for slips and falls. Other potential road condition hazards include grade of road, width of road, shoulder surfaces, railroad crossing clearances and bottoming out, overpasses, tight and narrow turning lanes, parked vehicles and frequent grade changes.
Crew prep is essential and should be a part of the job plan and job training. The team should be briefed each day to identify the responsibilities of all crew members. The crew should know it is empowered; everyone has the authority to stop the transport if something looks unsafe or when someone is unsure. In the event of a complication, crews should be informed of how to regroup and formulata mitigation plan. There should be an established means of communication that is limited only to transport issues. Most importantly, crew should embrace these words: When in doubt, call time out!
A Task Hazard Analysis (THA) should address all scope of work activities, identify hazards and have a mitigation plan for each, clear channels of communication, the traffic control plan and an “Emergency Preparedness Plan.” And finally: Know the route; ride the route and expect the unexpected.
Edwards Moving performs a night move using it’s Goldhofer Faktor-5 transport system.
Keys to a successful night transport
Early planning and attention to detail. Anticipate roadway hazards such as guardrails, poles & hydrants that pose obstruction with travel path or turning radius.
Preparing a detailed traffic control plan.
Thorough due diligence throughout scope of work.
Established contingency plan for equipment.
Article | March 26, 2021
Health tech marketers tend to have a real bias problem. Everyone wants to believe that they have the best product available in the market, and are quite vocal about it on social platforms. But, are those the things your buyers want to know about your products?
The biggest mistake you can ever make in health tech marketing is leading it with a technology bias. It will immediately create a distance between your audience and you. If you are working in technology, you can easily assume that everyone knows what you are talking about all the time. You breathe and live your industry. And as the marketer of your company's products, it's your responsibility to go to prospects with your tech company’s message. In your personal life, too, you may talk to your friends and families about your work and realize they have no interest in what you say as they have no idea what you are talking about. That is because they are not immersed in your company or industry.
The same can happen in your health tech marketing process with your prospects and customers. Instead of focusing on their problems, if you lead with your technology solution and features of your products and company, you will lose them. It is vital to step back and see the bias you have in your company’s marketing initiatives.
How Technology Bias Affects Health Tech Marketing
The effects of technology bias in health tech marketing are strongest when the health tech marketer focuses more on technology, product, or company than the buyer's pain points. Customers do not want to know everything about your product. They probably want to know how your product can solve their issues. When approaching buyers with your product, this health tech marketing technology bias can have many adverse effects on the buying process.
Technology bias in health tech marketing will lead to failure to get the customers' trust. They feel you are just trying to sell your product by explaining your product's features rather than solving the customer's issues. Technology bias in health tech marketing also will result in a negative effect on brand performance. As a health tech marketer, you are wrong in assuming you can sell your products by boosting the company or products of the company. It will only result in losing the customer's trust if you are not considering the buyers' problems. If you are going on with the practice, it will eventually affect your brand's performance as buyers view you as not genuine.
This unfair practice of technology bias in health tech marketing will make you realize that you are losing the customers, even the existing ones. No buyer wants to hear more about the features or the technologies used in your products. They are focused on their issues and want to know how your product can solve those issues. Thus, as a health tech marketer, you may have to focus more on the customer pain points when approaching buyers; this will help you convert potential customers into clients.
How to Get Rid of Technology Bias and Improve Health Tech Sales
FPX Digital Transformation Study 2019 says that B2B companies have shifted their focus to customer experience from internal efficiency. Most of the respondents agree that they spend much of their digital transformation funds improving the customer experience.
An important way to implement a buyer-centric or customer-centric marketing approach is to remove bias about your product from your health tech marketing efforts. Mainly, this has to be removed from the messages you send out in the early stages of the buyer journey. However, making it practical is difficult as it is ingrained in how you write, speak, and present your company to external and internal audiences.
Here are some tips to get out of technology bias in health tech marketing and get closer to your customers.
Listen to Customers Clearly
Successful marketers excel not only in communicating but also in listening. It is impossible to create a message about your health tech product if you do not know what problem it can really solve. It will help if you take the time to know your prospects and customers. Do not let your mind wander thinking about which benefits and features you have to push in your health tech marketing. Remain fully present in video, phone, and in-person meetings. That will help you find they have different problems, and you can solve them differently.
When you give importance to listening, you will not waste time and effort solving a problem that you think exists. Instead, you will start developing buyer-centric health tech marketing messages that align with your business.
Don’t Assume Anything
You hate being in a room where people are talking about a subject you know nothing about. Your health tech buyers may have the same experience if you assume your customers know what you do and how they fit into your space.
That’s why it’s essential not to take a “features-first” approach in your marketing interactions. You understand your product's ins and outs, but your prospects don’t and are likely not ready for that. As an effective health tech marketing technique, before you assume anything, give them the complete picture of who you are.
Simplify the Message
A product-driven language full of jargon will make your brand unapproachable for your audience. You can apply the old phrase here, “keep it simple stupid.” You have to position your technology as sophisticated and robust, not convoluted and tricky, through an effective health tech marketing process.
Your health tech marketing content should make sense to people both outside and inside your industry and company. Visitors of your website should not go for additional research to understand what you do precisely. It should be clear from your content. Thus, simplifying your content is essential.
Make Your Customer the Hero
The hero of your health tech marketing story is not you but your customer. After all, your customers in your industry work hard to deliver better service and results to their customers.
Your messages should position you as a mentor for your customers that provides technology support in the job of your customers to drive success. The “customer hero” approach should have a fundamental change in how you speak to your customers. The approach is not fully taken hold in the B2B health tech marketing space so far.
Share Real World Stories
One of the most practical ways to eliminate technology bias from your health tech marketing is to talk more about your customers and less about your products and company. You have to show you have the purpose of bringing in a fundamental change in your industry that enhances the day-to-day business lives of people and not just sell great technology.
Testimonials and customer case studies help a lot in shaping your brand story. Using them, narratives can be created about your customers' journey after and before using your technology. Rather than detailing the benefits and features of technology, narratives highlight the platform's tangible business value for real people in businesses.
Technology brings a change in companies, and most people do not accept changes so quickly. It is because the change pushes people to do things differently by moving beyond their comfort zones.
As part of health tech marketing, your job is not to make this change terrifying, but compelling for your buyers. This will happen only when you take your technology out of your head and start focusing on your clients' requirements, problems they face, and what exactly they need from you. It will then surely make you put your product and technology bias aside. And you will be capable of effectively executing your health tech marketing initiatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does health tech marketing become effective?
Effective health tech marketing is essential to reach out to potential clients and grab their attention. Health tech marketing becomes effective only when the marketer focuses on the requirements of the clients rather than on the features of the product or company.
What is technology bias in marketing?
Technology bias in marketing is focusing much on your product or technology when you market a technology product to your prospects. Getting rid of this bias will make you attract more clients and successful in your marketing.
How to get rid of technology bias in health tech marketing?
Technology bias in your health tech marketing makes the customers put a distance from you. The best way to get rid of it is to make the customer the hero of your marketing messages by focusing on their issues.
"name": "How does health tech marketing become effective?",
"text": "Effective health tech marketing is essential to reach out to potential clients and grab their attention. Health tech marketing becomes effective only when the marketer focuses on the requirements of the clients rather than on the features of the product or company."
"name": "What is technology bias in marketing?",
"text": "Technology bias in marketing is focusing much on your product or technology when you market a technology product to your prospects. Getting rid of this bias will make you attract more clients and successful in your marketing."
"name": "How to get rid of technology bias in health tech marketing?",
"text": "Technology bias in your health tech marketing makes the customers put a distance from you. The best way to get rid of it is to make the customer the hero of your marketing messages by focusing on their issues."