MacWorld/iWorld 2014 Returns to Moscone North

SAN FRANCISCO (HighTech Reports), Moscone North, March 27, 2014 – MacWorld/ iWorld 2014. It was refreshing to see that MacWorld/ iWorld returned to Moscone North, MacWorld’s former location of years ago. There were around 30,000 attendees at this year’s MacWorld. The exhibit floor seemed bigger than last year and highlighted more booths that we visited. We spent some time in the MacIT room where companies that had booths gave presentations. While there, we learned about products from Printer Logic, Lantronix, Absolute Software, Parallels, and Crash Plan.

Printer Logic sells an enterprise software app that attaches to Windows 2008R file server. The app replaces print server boxes in the enterprise. A license for up to 50 printers costs $5,000. The spokesperson said that most users have 25-30 printers. Each client driver for Mac/Windows PCs links to the printer app via Wi-Fi that scales very big in the enterprise. For example, the Department of Homeland Security used its service to reduce support calls for print servers that went down. The app solution was more efficient and saved the client money.

Absolute Software makes software that helps organizations manage all types of computer assets: PCs, laptops, tablets, phones, etc. It helps track the life cycle of all IT equipment assets to end-of-life. For example, the software helps Apple track iTunes content licensee IP assets. The firm’s solution helped the Columbine school track tablets, laptops, and thefts from intruders entering its campus. The company puts a special sticker on devices with a phone number to call if a child gets cyber bullied. The victimized child connects to a caring person to talk to and so forth. Absolute Software is also exploring other vertical markets.

 

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Translating Medicine from Civilian Life to the War Zone and Back Again.

I recently viewed a PBS documentary tv show called ‘Battlefield Medicine’ from the BBC hosted by a UK doctor from the UK’s NHS to see what is going on in wartime medicine that might be helpful back home in the UK.  He travelled all thje way to a medical base in Afganistan to see first hand of how doctors there save the lives of wounded soldiers.  I noticed that there are some new methods and technologies being used to help reduce the death rate of soldiers suffering from some horrific trauma injuries from gunshot, shrapnel and IED explosions.

Injured soldiers can bleed out 5 litres of blood in 5 minutes.

Solution: comrades in the field are trained to use nylon tourniquets that they all carry to stop bleed outs from arm and leg wounds. The do so in the 1st 10
mins. after a soldier is wounded.

Solution: airlift helicopter now comes with a Dr and nurse on board are prepared for incoming injured soldiers, they can do  in-air surgury, transfusions, etc. Special blood infusion technology devices was created to infuse blood into shoulder bone and or sternum in chest.

Solution: At trauma hospital ER, bleeding patients are given a 50-50 mix of whole blood and plasma rather than just whole blood because more plasma is needed to make clots faster to stop bleeding. Localized pain drip meds target nerve via catheter that connect to injured area rather than treat whole body with morphine.

The Dr traveled to the USA to an Atlanta hospital ER to learn about a clinical trial that uses progesterone to increase blood flow in patient brains that suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Rat studies showed that brain damaged rats given progesterone had less dead tissue areas than brains of untreated rats (controls).

The Dr traveled to a Pittsburg med. center and learned that ER is using extreme cold water (saline) infusion (10 deg C) to put patient in coma-like condition for nearly 1 hr (rather than 5 mins.). This procedure suspends activity in brain and heart while surgeons work in patients trauma issues. When stabilized, patients blood is re-infused to bring back body temp to normal range.
The UK Dr. concluded that advances in civilian trauma medicine often is used in military medicine but is modified to fit the field hospital situation.
Knowledge gained from the military applications can often be used in civilian trauma medical applications.  The UK Dr working with the UK NHS hopes to see
some of the military trauma procedures and technologies that he has seen would someday help save more lives in the civilian trauma ER situations such as car crash victims.

Maria Bartiromo and J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon On Business in 2012 at SF Healthcare Meeting

On Monday January 9, 2012, I attended the J.P.Morgan Healthcare Conference luncheon at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.  During the luncheon, Maria Bartiromo, journalist and news anchor at CNBC, interviewed Jamie Dimon, Chairman, President and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase about a number of issues facing his company, the U.S. economy and Europe in 2012.

I compiled a list of some of the answers to questions from Bartiromo and Dimon’s answers to those questions.  Bartiromo asked Dimon about the financial health of J.P. Morgan Chase.  The stock is lower, but the company is better with record earnings, Dimon said.  When asked about the U.S. economy, Dimon’s answer was that the U.S. economy is in a mild recovery.  He sees small business in better shape.  He does not see a huge formation of small businesses, however.  It is not access to capital that is the problem, but demand for their products.  There are also IPO backlogs.

He said that early indicators for the recovery include: housing improving and near bottom and shadow inventory is getting better.  He also believes that more people working, the better it is for the economy.  He is not nervous about the capital markets.  However, he did say that geo-politics is always the wild card.   When asked about the European debt crisis, he said that it has to be fixed for the health of the world.  He said that “countries have to be responsible.  They need to change their fiscal policies.”  J.P. Morgan has cut back exposure, but still is investing in Europe.

Bartiromo also asked Dimon about the “Basel Stress Test”.  He said he is in favor of a good  stress test.  Dimon said that J.P. Morgan will be fine with worst case scenario.  He added that J.P. Morgan never lost money in a quarter after the greatest stress test, which was the “Financial Crisis” in 2008.  He wants fairness around the world for derivatives.   He also commented on the Fed’s “Volcker Rule.”  “The Feds do not want us to take any risks,” Dimon said.  He wishes that people “writing these government rules were business people.” However, he is not opposed completely to regulation.

When asked about ObamaCare, he said he wants healthcare for everyone, but he believes that “ObamaCare just added to the mess.”  Bartiromo asked him about Fannie and Freddie.  He said they should have a hybrid or eliminate them.

When a member of the audience said he should run for President, there were huge laughs.  However, he said he has no plans to do so.

Biotech Drugs Navigate Tricky Path to Fight ‘SuperBugs’

On October 26, 2011, I attended the BIO Investor Forum in San Francisco.  The Therapeutic Workshop about Infectious Disease, titled “Resistance is Futile—SuperDrugs for SuperBugs.”  Moderator Susan Schaeffer, Sr. Editor at BioCentury Publications said that the economics are unique in this category.  Antibiotics can get developed and approved, but then they sit on a shelf.  The problem is real, but it has to be resolved through price, which is tricky, Schaeffer said.

Urgent Need for Antibiotics

According to David Perry, CEO at Anacor Pharma, Inc. there is an urgent need for antiobiotics to fight certain gram-negative bacteria.  Mark Leuchtenberger, President at Rib-X Pharma. Inc. told a sad story about a man with a congenital heart defect who was in the hospital and the MRSA he contracted mutated 35 times before he died.  Jeffrey Stein, President and CEO at Trius Therapeutics, Inc. said they have a gram-negative program just started.  They also have gram-positive program.  He believes that the gram-negative market is underserved.  He also said that anti-infective companies are tapping into government contracts.  The government is partnering with VCs.  They are looking for dual-use compounds (anthrax).

Antibiotics Are Big In China

According to Stein, there is a rise of MRSA in China. Unlike the U.S., antibiotics are the largest growing class in China.  China is big into IV treatment for infections.  They are big on IV treatments for a lot of things.  Perry said that for some reason money is not flowing into antibiotics.  He gave some reasons such as the time lag is so long and regulatory hurdles.  He said there is only 5 percent resistance now.

New FDA Guidance Adds Clarity

Stein told a story about FDA’s new guidance right before the company went on its roadshow, which delayed their IPO.  They had to adjust their protocols according to the new guidance.  The FDA has finally given clarity and it has pretty strict outcome priorities.  One of them is fever.  However, Stein believes that the FDA probably will remove this as a criteria outcome.  He said he is looking for rational thinking from the FDA.  The FDA actions have been unexpected in past, said Stein.  The Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act is a bill that has been introduced to provide incentives for the development of new antibiotics needed to treat new and emerging resistant bugs.

J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Conference 2011

SAN FRANCSICO – The J.P. Morgan 29th Annual Healthcare Conference was held at the Westin St. Francis this week (Jan. 10-13, 2011).  This four-day healthcare industry investor event hosted about 350 company presentations, an increase from 338  last year. Compared to last year’s 7,250 attendees, this year’s event brought in about 8,700 registered attendees.  This increase suggests that investors are more optimistic about healthcare companies in 2011.

I heard from some attendees that suggested that perhaps more than 30,000 healthcare and investment industry professionals gathered throughout San Francisco this week as a direct result of the J.P. Morgan event.

This year’s event continued its traditional approach of hosting  presentations of a broad mix of small-cap to large-cap healthcare companies from across multiple sectors.  In addition, the conference this year included presentations from 22 not- for-profit organizations and 17 healthcare companies from China.

The conference included an interesting luncheon talk on Monday from Nancy-Ann DeParle.  She is Counselor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Heath Reform.  Her talk provided an information update on the Affordable Care Act that was enacted in 2010.  She spoke to an audience of about 1,500-2,000.

While her talk covered familiar themes about healthcare policy that was made in 2010, such as how we can lower costs, how to lower waste, how to change the delivery system, the high cost of US healthcare and so on, she tended to zero in on the small business and individual healthcare insurance market and the impact on entrepreneurial companies.  She said that she sees a failed healthcare insurance market for small businesses and individuals.  She said that the reality of  “job lock” stifles innovation.  That is, people cannot move to new jobs or to startup new innovative companies without the fear of healthcare insurance loss.

She spoke about the ‘Patients Bill of Rights’ that include consumer protections; the CMS Innovation Center which would be helpful to entrepreneurs; and the small business tax credits among other comments.

DeParle pointed out that there is a lot of misinformation going around the new healthcare law.  She said that the Affordable Care Act does not set prices, it does not disturb the doctor-patient relationship and there is no government take-over of healthcare.  She brought attention to the new information website: HealthCare.gov.  DeParle said that the opportunity for healthcare businesses is that is that there will be millions of new customers for health insurance, drug, medical device and other healthcare companies.

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