Because my childhood baseball team won the World Series last night, and because I managed to fly home from San Diego in time to watch the jubilant end with my family, I’m going to devote this morning’s essay to an upbeat-only review of the just concluded Brainstorm Health conference.
Sure, there’s plenty about the sorry state of the healthcare industry that one could gripe about. But why be negative when instead you can consider the attitude-changing and cancer-doctor-wrangling efforts of billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker? And yes, big data is no panacea for curing cancer. But instead let’s celebrate the work of Greg Simon, executive director of the White House’s cancer “moonshot” task force, who is helping to foster a culture of information sharing among researchers. Or consider the pioneering work of University of Utah radiologist and health system CEO Vivian Lee, who got an MBA and returned to medicine with a focus on cost accounting, of all things. Lee’s epiphany: Simply nudging doctors to understand the costs of the procedures, devices, and tests they order unleashes their competitive juices to be more economical in how they practice medicine.
The really positive news here is that Fortune has once again worked its “live” media magic by starting a conference that brought together a unique blend of healthcare practitioners, administrators, and policymakers to discuss real solutions to improving what is arguably the most important industry in the land. All the coverage, including videos from many of the panels and interviews, is available here. My colleagues and I already can’t wait until next year for this conference to happen again.
Speaking of waiting ‘til next year, or in this case, not having to wait, did I mention the Chicago Cubs won the World Series?
Have a winning day.
BITS AND BYTES
It's game on between Microsoft and Slack. As widely anticipated, the goliath software company has added a chat and messaging application, called Microsoft Teams, to its venerable Office product portfolio. The category's startup darling Slack, which boasts about 4 million users, preemptively welcomed its rival with a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. (Fortune, New York Times)
Facebook investors are skittish about the future. Despite reporting a bang-up third quarter—the social network's revenue grew 56% to just over $7 billion—Facebook's stock slipped at least 7% in after-hours trading Wednesday. The cause? CFO David Wehner's comments that growth could slow "meaningfully" as Facebook visitors reach their advertising saturation point. (Fortune, New York Times)
Fitbit expects anemic growth in important holiday quarter. That revelation, shared during the fitness gadget maker's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, rattled investors and sent Fitbit's stock down more than 30% in just 10 minutes. (Fortune)
Department store Kohl's will sell Apple Watch. The retailer plans to merchandise the wearables technology within its fitness department, starting Nov. 15, rather than alongside other electronics gadgets. That's a different strategy than rival Macy's. By the way, did you hear that Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer just opened a Silicon Valley office? It's on the campus of its smartwatch partner Intel. (Fortune, Bloomberg)
Mobile apps still growing like gangbusters. The market could reach $189 billion by 2020, compared with $70 billion last year, according to a new forecast by analytics company App Annie. Growth will be particularly strong for shopping and transportation apps. (VentureBeat)
While Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is concentrating on data center technology, HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler is trying to turn around his company’s core printing and personal computer businesses. With fewer people buying PCs and printers over the years, he has a difficult task. Weisler reflects on lessons learned over the past 12 months and how he feels about a certain software giant's forays into hardware.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Why Blockchain Fails—and When It Will Succeed, by Jeff John Roberts
Apple's Rumored Car Technology Could Come With Augmented Reality, by Don Reisinger
Here Are Important New Details About Tesla's Solar Roof, by Katie Fehrenbacher
Adobe Seeks Respect for New Artificial Intelligence Tool, by Barb Darrow
Gawker Media Agrees to Settle Hulk Hogan Case for $31 Million, by Mathew Ingram
ONE MORE THING
Uber gets a "radical" redesign. The ride-sharing service has streamlined its app so that it's simpler to choose the destination and to see costs and estimated wait times. (Fortune)