Dr. Darrell Kirch on the rapidly arriving future

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“None of us – globally – has gotten health care right.” Those are dramatic words, uttered by one who should know, and, thankfully, one who is in a position to identify and support needed improvements.



Darrell Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, spoke at a special session following the keynote by UCSF Department of Radiology Chair and outgoing RSNA President, Ronald Arenson, MD, at the 101st meeting of the Radiology Society of North America. RSNA is consistently one of the country’s top three medical conferences, drawing nearly 55,000 attendees.  


In his talk, “Radiology, Medicine, and Healthcare: Will Inaction or Innovation Determine Our Future?” Dr. Kirch did not sugarcoat the problems facing modern health care. “There’s a great transformation going on in health care around the world, and we need to take steps to prepare for this change,” he said. Among the coming changes he noted:


-increased cost-cutting pressures that impact patient care;

-NIH funding and the education of the next generation of physicians;

-the global shortage of physicians, due to an aging population.


He also noted that, as income from patient care and NIH funding is reduced, students are shouldering a heavier cost-burden for their education.


Kirch had straight talk about problems, but he was also ready with hope– and thoughtful solutions. Kirch suggested a two-pronged approach. First, “We need more doctors to solve the shortage,” he said. “We have not had an increase in budget to train students in the residency pipeline in the last 18 years. The physician shortage is a real issue linked to aging population.”


Second, organizations need to be open to and ready to take on change. That requires they focus on their culture to develop the skills necessary to be flexible to the changing demands of the market.


He pointed out that academic medical centers can take the lead and set a good example of cultural nimbleness. “Academic centers are indispensable, and as such can’t afford complacency,” he said.


We often hear the call for medical organizations to remake our internal and patient-facing operations, and move from top-down management to a culture of teams, but what does that really mean in the daily work environment?  What is your institution or department doing to innovate out-of-date practices and prepare for the rapidly arriving changes in health care?  

Clean, clear messages inspire employees at Linked In

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Today I visited Linked In in San Francisco. Like my visit to the Silicon Valley campus, this one was inspiring. In addition to great food, massive bean bag chairs, inspired employees, I also noticed that the mission and vision were posted everywhere, along with reminders about shared values like: “Connect talent and opportunity at a massive scale”, “Relationships matter” & “Be honest, open and constructive.” This article speaks to Jeff Weiner’s commitment to inspiring leadership:

“Influencer marketing” on the rise

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“Influencer” marketing* is trend worth following.

Social tools on the Internet are only making it easier for individuals to share  with others and influence their habits (what they buy, do, believe in). This expands our concept of a marketing term called “influencer marketing,” where those we know have an impact on our lives.

Pinterest is an obvious example. Another is a new player, Luvocracy, which launched recently. It was founded by two executives with deep ties to Direct Sales: Roger Barnett (Chairman & CEO of the Direct Sales leader, Shaklee Corporation) and his business partner from Google. Read more about their concept in this TechCrunch article:

In marketing, we use “influencer marketing” as one of the tools in our marketing mix. But one wonders, could the concept grow to supersede other tools in the marketing mix? For example, will press become less important if the influencers in our own lives are easier for us to access and/or more credible for us? I’ll be eager to continue the dialogue with the “influencers” in my own life – my FB/LI connections, and beyond.

* How is it defined?

This w/e, I wanted to learn more about the concept, so enjoyed dipping into Wikipedia and otherwise refreshed my memory about the types of Word of Mouth marketing that have evolved over time, and what people are saying about them.

I also appreciated a piece written in 2009 called “Word of Mouth and Influencer Marketing Literature Review Summary” by David Roberts. He traces the concept back to the 1950’s and defines this concept as “influencing the mass[es] through the influence of a few….”




5th anniversary of apps – impact on marketing tool kit

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success diagramIt is the 5-year birthday of the Apple iTunes Store, and, at the same, the rise of the world of apps. iTunes has become a powerful market space, and yet one that is still very tightly controlled by Apple.

Recently, I met with a friend to discuss his highly ranked app business (10,000 new users a day). I mentioned his rather poor ranking in Google search results. He seemed unconcerned: “Customers do not find me with Google. My world revolves around my ranking on iTunes.”

What he IS concerned about, however, is the tight control exerted by Apple over the marketing of his business within iTunes. There are very few tools that he has to affect Apple Store searches. His objective is to develop a means of mastering the Apple Store Optimization (ASO) tools he does have (though very few), and strategize about creating marketing to affect his iTunes ranking to win loyal customers.

Obviously, the “history” of technology and how it impacts our businesses is being written day-by-day, but it seems clear that learning to negotiate the world of app marketing/ranking will be crucial.

I suggest taking a glance at this great guide  to app SEO.