Enterprise hits and misses - healthcare transformation gets scrunitized, Oracle and Salesforce get an adtech challenge

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed August 17, 2020
This week - COVID-19 is forcing a healthcare transformation, but will it stick? Oracle and Salesforce get an adtech legal challenge, but is it a nuisance lawsuit or the real deal? The postal services reaches out for... blockchain? As always, your weekly whiffs.

King Checkmate

Lead story - COVID-19 may have accelerated digital transformation in healthcare, but will it be a permanent shift?

MyPOV: Coronavirus has forced digital-by-necessity change in every industry, but healthcare may be the most unique. Uniquely impacted, for certain.

But will changes in healthcare policy (e.g. telemedicine) hold up as we go forward? Stuart's lead-off tackles these issues. Start with the problem of inclusion:

A problem that's always been thrown back in the faces of digital health evangelists when they extol the virtues of online healthcare, is how to ensure that everyone in society is able to participate?

I worry about two things: the digital literacy of healthcare policy makers, and how to incorporate the right virtual mix going forward. As Stuart points out, the UK's latest mobile forays don't inspire confidence:

The recent inability of the so-called 'app-happy' Health Secretary Matt Hancock to make a Track and Trace mobile app work will have done nothing to inspire confidence in the digital future of health sector IT!

Then there is the ginormous issue of healthcare data privacy, a digital obstacle Stuart takes up in GDPR vs the greater good - is COVID the driver for re-thinking attitudes to sharing health data?  Now, try to balance that versus public interest. Stuart quotes Visiba Care:

We're unable to share data and critical data at national level, so we can't really see real trends in real time.

We should also factor "AI" in all this, an issue Neil takes on frequently (e.g. AI in healthcare - will it help or just make things worse?)

Opponents of telemedicine cite the need for compassionate, face-to-face treatment. I'm not so sure. If you're a thoughtful caregiver, that comes across pretty well on video too. If your bedside manner is stunted, that's a "you" problem, not a video problem. There is a big difference between pandemic adaptations and smarter policies. We're still waiting on the latter.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Top story: 

Oracle and Salesforce hit by €10 billion privacy violation class action - and there's an Elliott Management angle to stir the pot further - Stuart got his Friday trip to the pub ruined filed this late breaking news last week. It's one of those problematic stories that many vendors will be watching - adtech is not exactly under-used in our industry. For now, Stuart concludes:

It would not at this point be appropriate to get into commenting on the validity or otherwise of a contentious piece of litigation that will potentially drag on through the courts for years to come. That said, I do find the Innsworth/Elliott involvement very interesting and worthy of future contemplation. It's also more than likely that this will turn out to be an important adtech test case that needed to happen at some point, whoever ended up having to fight it out.

More top choices from our vendor coverage:

Stuart also snagged a couple use cases from the Qualtrics Work Different event:

Jon's grab bag - Kurt peeled back the surprising resilience of the Internet in How the internet bent, but didn't break under COVID-19 pressure (More stress tests to come when the school year kicks in). Neil presses the issue of AI ethics in AI readiness isn’t just a technology issue – ethics matter too.

Finally, I warned against "enterprise guru syndrome" revisited the enterprise fake news question in Honing our enterprise BS filters - with tips from Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Lead story - politics and tech intersect as the postal service, gig economy, and remote work futures heat up 

MyPOV: It was another week where we can't separate the tech from the politics. The overriding US political/technology story will doubtless be the election, including the problematic role of the US postal service. Via the New York Times: Postal Crisis Ripples Across Nation as Election Looms.

But... blockchain to the rescue? (U.S. Postal Service Counters Trump Attacks On Mail-In Voting With A New Blockchain Patent). If blockchain secures the US election, I'll have years of blockchain-isn't-ready snark to (gladly) take back.

Two more topicals:

On cybersecurity

Honorable mention

Overworked businessman


So a Chinese restaurant has apologized for weighing customers - loyalty programs keep getting stranger, eh?

In our unsung heroes segment, a bald eagle attacked a government drone and sent it to the bottom of Lake Michigan. Granted, the drone was doing useful ecological work, but "A for attitude" still applies...

And in the "Is my job safe from AI?" segment, check this one:

Not sure what it means that "self-help" is AI's low-hanging literary fruit, but it doesn't seem to reflect well on the human side of the equation.

Finally, Den Howlett broke our don't-Tweet-on-vacation, you're supposed to be goofing the f off rule took a break from his vacation to send along this doozey:

Some classic responses as well:

And we go kicking and screaming into the future of work... See you next time.

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.