Big Data's Exciting Implications for Health Care

Collecting and interpreting health data -- from medical devices to smartphones -- is a golden opportunity.

Feb 3, 2014 at 9:30AM

Motley Fool analysts Max Macaluso and Rex Moore spoke with WLSA's Robert McCray at the recent mHealth Summit near Washington, D.C. AT&T (NYSE: T) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) are among the WLSA members heavily involved with integrating cloud computing and mobile health care.

Qualcomm hit the news recently when former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal talked about his involvement with the company. In a commentary published on CNBC, Shaq talked about how Qualcomm, which is an investor in FitBit, is teaching him "how wireless and health technologies can improve health and cut the costs of health care."

AT&T has its own mHealth division, supporting Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows platforms. Its apps help patients interact with their doctors and health providers, as well as keep track of their activity.

Rob talks more about the technology in this video.

A full transcript follows the video.

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Max Macaluso: You mentioned cloud computing. What are some of the biggest applications of cloud computing in health care?

Robert McCray: Think of big data. One of the most interesting places in "connected health," let me use that term, is in collecting information not just from traditional medical devices, but from our consumer devices -- everything that's around us. Our phone itself has lots of information about us and who we are and what we're doing or not doing.

Smart companies are mining that rich source of information to design new platforms, software applications, and services, intended to nudge us into different behaviors -- whether it's a healthy behavior like "move more, count your steps, have a race with your virtual friends that are around the world," or nudge you into remembering to take the diabetes medication that you have to take forever and you constantly forget.

It's working in both directions; that's the most interesting space in big data.

Max Macaluso, Ph.D. and Rex Moore have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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