Thursday, January 30, 2014

Medical Adherance - A Crowded Market?

I came across this blog the other day written by George Van Antwerp (see From a customer performance perspective, it provides a very comprehensive list of solutions related to medical adherence - that is, patients (customers) doing what doctors and nurses tell them to do to get better. As you can see from the list, the various solutions touch all the different parts of the Coproduction Experience Model (Vision, Access, Incentive, and Expertise), using a variety of different technologies/media (devices, mobile/web, and so on).

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A New Twist on Emergency Alerts

Yesterday my smartphone started cackling like and old witch. I had never heard anything like that before. It certainly caught my attention! I picked it up, looked at the screen, and it was the National Weather Service alerting me to the fact that there were dust storms in the area and for me to take precautions.In the other room my wife was listening to the radio. The radio cackled as well and communicated the same alert.

I initially thought that what I received from the NWS was a text message, and I wanted to figure out how I could attach sounds to my text messages the same way. Alas, that is not possible, because this special feature is part of FEMA's Wireless Emergency Alert Network. The Notifications setting on the smartphone controls when it is activated. Not sure if it is based on my actual location or where I live. I hope it is the former.

What a cool extension of an idea that's been around since I was a kid, the Emergency Broadcast System. It certainly initiated some customer performance around my house.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Royal Nuances in a Subway

A friend just sent me this. The interior of the RER train that takes one from Paris to Versailles has been transformed into a replica of the palace itself. It is a great example of how nuances (Access) like this can surprise customers and set their expectations (Vision) for what is to come.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

How to Listen to Customers

Check out my recent article in The Spark, the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization's resource for entrepreneurs -


You Can Lead a Person to Water, But Will They Purify It?

I was intrigued by a story on NPR this morning titled A Surprising Barrier to Clean Water: Human Nature. The story was about Innovations for Poverty Actions' efforts in Kenya to encourage people to purify their water. Most water comes from springs or wells, and it is contaminated. The co-creation of value story here encouraging Kenyans to add a few drops of chlorine to their water containers. The first design was to sell chlorine cheap at stores ($0.30 per month) with a social marketing and communication campaign. Adoption was very limited. The next design was to place chlorine dispensers next to the well or spring. 61% of water in Kenyan's homes tested positive for chlorine treatment, compared to 8% for a treatment group. A good trend.

From a customer performance perspective, the designers were primarily manipulating the Access component of the coproduction experience model by providing the tool (chlorine and its dispensers) and manipulating the interface (how and where it is dispensed). They also manipulated Incentive (making chlorine free). I assume that there is some customer education in the mix as well (it is not discussed in the project details I found), and the Vision, well, is self-evident: better health for kids and fewer deaths. You would think that would be enough for 99.9% adoption.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Isn't Being Healthy a Good Enough Incentive?

There has been a rise in news stories about new innovations in encouraging customers to stick to taking their prescriptions as directed. The motivation? It seems that Medicare is providing financial rewards to insurers and pharmacies for improving patient compliance. The latest story (WSJ, 5/21/13, p. B7) introduces a whole host of customer performance tactics, such as:
  • Big data analytics (scan patient claims and clinical data to identify people with high non-compliance risk)
  • Earn points and prizes for taking medicines as directed
  • Including sensors in pills themselves that report to a mobile device when a pill was ingested (with reports delivered to doctors and family members)
  • Including sensors in pill bottles to assess remaining medicine
  • Designing a pill bottle that develops "banana" spots to indicate expiration

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Smart Cities, Data, and Coproduction Experiences

It seems that the word "smart" is appearing everywhere these days - and it is no stranger to many posts in this blog. The Economists' recent article in its The World in 2013 report (pg. 85) talk about how cities are mining urban data, and using that data to facilitate the performance of its citizens and visitors. For example, transportation information (buses, subways, and so on) is being analyzed and published to on-street digital displays and smartphones so citizens can plan trips, estimate arrival times, and so on to achieve their performance goals. The article suggests that Londoners are modifying their travel behaviors based upon the advice "big data" analytics offer them. The value of smart cities is clear: efficiency and productivity, which not only makes citizens feel good, but also enhances the economic opportunity in that city.

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Big Mother!? Are You Kidding Me?

As reported in this blog, the past couple of years have seen a significant rise in devices, gadgets, and apps that fit the Vision component of the coproduction experience model, specifically around goals and feedback. Well, someone has coined a term for these solutions - Big Mother (WSJ 4/23/13, A1). If you are slouching, driving like a jerk, or haven't brushed your teeth, these solutions will remind you, nag you, nudge you, to change your behavior. Data about your various performances can be uploaded and tracked in the cloud, and if you so desired, beamed to your friends, even your mother, for that extra bit of social support that you need to achieve your goals.
The Beam Brush, for example, tracks the brushing of your teeth and publishes reports to your smartphone. The smartphone app praises you when you've met your goals (it even offers prizes), and marks your calendar with "missed brushings" when you haven't been so diligent.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Simplicity Drives Customer Performance

Simplicity is a key foundation for customer performance, especially within the Access domains of tools, interfaces, and information. A recent WSJ review of the book Simplicity examines the need for enhancing the simplicity of pill bottles (and instructions), end-user license agreements, processes (such as a hospital experience) and even the number of choices a customer is offered at a grocery store. The key principles of simplicity are empathy, distillation, and clarification.