This is a touchy subject and has more to it than I could ever hope to address in this single post, but when you look at the cold hard facts today about the dismal job report, we seem to be chasing the elusive algorithms of data and how to market them and make some fast cash.  They all have their place but with recent moves with technology do we have any type of balance?  I read articles all the time that are well written about how we seem to have lost our backbone for creating wealth and those who write about this concern have some valid points.  What is important and where is all of this going? 

Investing in a software company certainly creates results much faster than investing in biotech and many healthcare related areas as the success or fall is realized much faster and it’s just software without any tangibles attached, so a simpler process if one were to invest; however it seems that we have a huge imbalance here as everyone seems to be jumping over to that side and there’s not enough left on the science and research side for drugs, devices, etc. that we need to either cure or treat our healthcare needs.  We seem to have lost the focus on how tangibles still need enough backers as well.  Sure they are not all gone, but it’s not good with doing a comparison.  Only 1 in a 100 start ups make it, so we have a temporary job increase and as soon as many fall by the wayside, there go those jobs.  Of course there are more start ups that open for business and some find employment there but the entire cycle keeps repeating itself and the newer software start ups require fewer workers, let’s face it. 

Life and Healthcare A Big Batch of Non Balanced Algorithms With Insufficient Intellectual Interpretations–Tax Breaks Maybe For Those Producing Tangibles Vs Formulas

All of the variants have a place and need to exist today but we just appear to be a little off balance as the long term investments are tough and even harder to predict.  Sciences goes bad too and the article below is a sad story on a project at Duke University.  It’s worth reading as it is in fact “sad” and is also one of the reason for investors to steer clear of such long term investments.  The one paragraph below kind of says it all.  When the science was checked on this project it was not accurate.  The marketing and business model though was right in place but it of course fell through too and rightly so.  People lost their lives based on bad science.

“Dr. Baggerly and Dr. Coombes found errors almost immediately. Some seemed careless — moving a row or a column over by one in a giant spreadsheet — while others seemed inexplicable. The Duke team shrugged them off as “clerical errors.”

Regulators in many areas are having difficulties and keeping up with current IT infrastructures is always a challenge.

“It is a technological arms race in financial markets and the regulators are a bit caught unaware of how quickly the technology has evolved”

Back to the point here, when I am sick and need care, do I go take a “Facebook pill”, or get some “Twitter therapy”, or get admitted to a “LinkedIn hospital”?  Sure there’s a bit of satire with that comment and I use and like all the social networks, but again when I see valuations of social algorithms versus human lives today, it doesn’t look so hot by comparison.  I might even venture to say individuals like Bill Gates saw this coming a long time ago and thus we have his foundation dedicated to better care, cures and diseases.  He’s a great thinker and ahead of his time as for years he has testified before Congress with his message that was received but made little impact. Again, look at what he’s doing today for a hint. 

I don’t dispute the fact that everyone should be able to invest and generate a return but again at some point all of this without balance is going to eat us up.  It has been building slow but there’s a shortage of drugs out there right now too and again until this probably grows a little larger, nobody will pay attention.  Drug companies are going where the money is as well and again we hope they have “good science” working for us.

Shortage of Leukemia Drug Cytarabine Serious as Some Hospitals Turn Patients Away And They Will Die Without the Drug

We want productive hospitals and healthcare facilities however without balance you have people that are not being efficient like at UCLA having to find and search out cancer and other life saving treatments. So again none of us ever know when we might be in this situation and all it takes is one diagnosis to see the other side sometimes.  The American Society of Health System Pharmacists have a website with up dated information to reference.  They also note when shortages have been corrected.  FDA has a page too but theirs better and more user friendly.  In the meantime we have tons of new social algorithms with plenty of investors and banks inflating values beyond reasonable and the result is kind of what you see here. 

Drug Shortages Continue–UCLA Spends 2 Hours A Day Checking on Cancer Drug Availability–ASHP Website Lists All Current Shortages

Doctors rely on journals and there have been quite a few stories on false journal publications and the doctors and the patients are the ones on the line relying on this information for authenticity for treatments and when you see bad science and efforts maybe with a higher financial directive, well you get the picture as t what happens and gets diluted. 

You just wonder sometimes with all the data mining that is taking place and the priorities given, if we have embraced the world of the intangibles and forgetting some of the real values of what we need to exist?  This chase will continue until something really hits the wall and in time it will. 

We also have a Congress that I think is oblivious to a lot of this and fails to use technology to create laws that can adequately cover current day technologies too, and we all suffer there, so they are a big part of the process as well as companies today just adjust their business operating algorithms once a law is passed to find a way to shift funds, use new algorithms and so forth.  Just look at insurance companies, they probably do this better than anyone else as they invested a long time ago in IT infrastructures and let’s fact it, they have the data and system in place.  Congress unfortunately didn’t appear to recognize the importance of such tools that could help them. 

IBM Watson Capabilities Being Pitched to Financial Industry-Congress Must Not Have Felt They Needed This So Further Behind We Fall With Effective Intelligent Lawmaking

I do get tired and it’s also depressing covering the status of hospitals in the US today too.  It’s not a good picture and so many are running out of money, going bankrupt and again those are the places we go for care but not enough money around but billions around for social algorithms, so again where’s the balance?  Even when private equity purchases facilities, there’s some shaky financial arrangements there that take place and this is one example that happened in Massachusetts recently.  They were in financial straits and the only way the private equity firm would buy them was if they filed bankruptcy so creditors, doctors groups and so forth were left holding the bag.  There’s a lot of this type of activity going on all around the US today but again are we blind sided watching social algorithms?  This is the side of our society that is in danger today with not having enough financial backing for our immediate needs and it will get worse. 

Quincy Medical Center Files for Bankruptcy Protection And Will be Acquired by Steward Health System

It’s funny how the richest people in the US commit through the giving pledge to give away much of their fortunes but when tax increases are discussed, everything hits the wall, so again, the tech folks at the top giving away fortunes see this, otherwise they wouldn’t do it.  Funds to keep the health system going have to come either from one direction or another or both, donations or tax.  Again I do like all the new technologies and social networks but where’s the balance here?  There is value but someone along the line began a huge skew that keeps feeding itself. 

Until we see a return of the long term investors, accurate science, and again the interest in healthcare it appears that this long term roller coaster of imbalance will be with us for a while and the job market in essence with intangibles carrying the interest of all will not do much so look forward to more of the same in that area.  In the article below one other line kind of says it all too…the financial push is outreaching science and pretty scary.  BD 

“There is already “a mini-gold rush” of companies trying to market tests based on the new techniques, at a time when good science has not caught up with the financial push. “That’s the scariest part of all,” Dr. Ramsey said.

When Juliet Jacobs found out she had lung cancer, she was terrified, but realized that her hope lay in getting the best treatment medicine could offer. So she got a second opinion, then a third. In February of 2010, she ended up at Duke University, where she entered a research study whose promise seemed stunning.

Doctors would assess her tumor cells, looking for gene patterns that would determine which drugs would best attack her particular cancer. She would not waste precious time with ineffective drugs or trial-and-error treatment. The Duke program — considered a breakthrough at the time — was the first fruit of the new genomics, a way of letting a cancer cell’s own genes reveal the cancer’s weaknesses.

But the research at Duke turned out to be wrong. Its gene-based tests proved worthless, and the research behind them was discredited. Ms. Jacobs died a few months after treatment, and her husband and other patients’ relatives are suing Duke.

Dr. Scott Ramsey, director of cancer outcomes research at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Center in Seattle, says there is already “a mini-gold rush” of companies trying to market tests based on the new techniques, at a time when good science has not caught up with the financial push. “That’s the scariest part of all,” Dr. Ramsey said.

First, though, he asked two statisticians at M. D. Anderson, Keith Baggerly and Kevin Coombes, to check the work. Several other doctors approached them with the same request.

Dr. Baggerly and Dr. Coombes found errors almost immediately. Some seemed careless — moving a row or a column over by one in a giant spreadsheet — while others seemed inexplicable. The Duke team shrugged them off as “clerical errors.”

In the end, four gene signature papers were retracted. Duke shut down three trials using the results. Dr. Potti resigned from Duke. He declined to be interviewed for this article. His collaborator and mentor, Dr. Nevins, no longer directs one of Duke’s genomics centers.

How a New Hope in Cancer Fell Apart - NYTimes.com

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