Category Archives: Information

When Healthcare Advertising Hurts Patients

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PETERSON | Law

Osler “Pete” Peterson

617-969-1500 – Newton

November 2018

Attorney Photo

Drug Makers Spend Millions on Advertising Because It Works

Most Americans take anything they see advertised on television or the internet with a grain of salt. Good, but the fact is that advertising works even if we think we are not swayed by the latest jingle or funny slogan. Otherwise, why would companies spend millions on ads to try and convince you to buy their product or service? The same holds true for drug and healthcare marketing, which often uses emotional hooks to gain your trust. But the stakes are much higher when it comes to your health. And that’s why you should read this newsletter for tips on healthcare marketing that goes too far.

Elder Care

When Do Drug and Healthcare Ads Push Ethical Boundaries?

You’d be right if you suspect that drug makers are spending A LOT more on TV advertising. Pharmaceutical companies have more than doubled ad spending in just the past four years, making it the second-fastest growing ad category in the nation. Other healthcare providers – from local hospitals to nationally-known cancer treatment centers – are also upping the advertising ante. But when do healthcare promotions cross ethical boundaries and the ancient pledge to all patients of  “do no harm?” You should know!

BY THE NUMBERS

1 in 20

One in 20 Google searches are health related and the first place consumers turn for answers, 57 percent versus 32 percent who start with a doctor.

VIDEO BOOKMARK

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor

Parsing fact from hype starts with good doctor-patient communication. Doctor Mike shares the questions he would ask in this video.

THE DOCKET

POSITIVE BUT PAINFUL ADS

Some patients say healthcare ads that feature happy, healed people and miraculous recoveries spread false hope.

You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by the attorney shown above. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter, and your request will be honored immediately. You may also submit your request in writing to: Steven L. Miller, Editor, 4907 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Be sure to include your email address.

Planning for Autonomous Vehicles

From Route Fifty – see on-line here

Most Big Cities Are Planning for Autonomous Vehicles

Waymo cars are displayed at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California, on May 8.

Waymo cars are displayed at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California, on May 8. JEFF CHIU / AP PHOTO

The National League of Cities has seven recommendations for those looking to launch pilots.

More than half of the largest U.S. cities are preparing for autonomous vehicles in their long-range transportation plans—up from less than 10 percent three years ago, according to a new National League of Cities report.

Between 2011 and 2017, 22 states passed 46 bills, and five governors signed executive orders related to AV development and use—most permitting pilots. A second wave is underway with 28 states introducing 98 bills in 2018, according to “Autonomous Vehicle Pilots Across America”.

Pilot projects range from informal agreements to structured contracts between cities and AV companies.

“Mayors are welcoming in that innovation and really trying to get an understanding of how these self-driving cars will interact with the urban environment in a particular place,” Brooks Rainwater, senior executive and director of NLC’s Center for City Solutions, told Route Fifty.

Close to fully autonomous vehicles are being piloted by Google subsidiary Waymo in Chandler and Phoenix in Arizona. Several companies are operating in Pittsburgh.

Uber saw a setback in Tempe, Arizona, when one of its AVs hit and killed a woman walking her bicycle across the street in March, and local police are seeking a manslaughter charge against the driver, who video shows was watching “The Voice” on her phone at the time.

Still, AVs bring with them the promise of 90 to 99 percent fewer traffic fatalities, Rainwater said.

Waymo is testing in 15 to 20 markets because much of the work around self-driving cars is based on data and mapping; the more miles traveled, the better, he added.

Arlington, Texas has already purchased autonomous shuttles and is working with the private sector on a pilot, while no Arizona city has a formal agreement with an AV company because the state controls everything.

Transportation officials and automakers have both pressed Congress to codify a federal framework for testing and operating AVs, but no timetable exists for what seems like a nonpartisan issue. In the meantime, states and localities have shown few signs of slowing down on their own regulations.

“I think that we’re in a place where [federal rules] can be rolled out with existing regulations and legislation on the books,” Rainwater said. “Final rules of the road will help the industry long term, but I don’t see what’s been playing out as a true impediment.”

NLC’s report recommends localities thinking about setting up a pilot of their own start by outlining their goals and metrics before partnering with consultants, tech companies, outside groups, or academia to form a consortium.

After engaging the private sector, governments should consider creating a regional alliance because AVs will inevitably cross jurisdictions, Rainwater said.

To scale a pilot appropriately, finances, timeframes, geography and safety precautions must all be taken into account, according to the report.

Intergovernmental coordination is important, as is a phased plan that gradually introduces AVs to a community, Rainwater said.

Boston is in the midst of AV mobility tests backed by the World Economic Forum, while Portland remains in the planning phase. But those plans are focused on service delivery rather than vehicle delivery because the city wants to improve residents’ access to education and jobs while avoiding congestion privately owned AVs could bring.

Portland’s pilot is targeting a 2019 start, so there’s time to incentivize ride-sharing and deployment in high-need areas, Rainwater said.

“This new technology has the potential to build equity and create opportunities for vulnerable populations,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of NLC, in a statement. “As always, cities are supporting the needs of their residents and meeting them where they are, both literally and figuratively.”

 

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

Car ownership to cease

I think that the Town of Medfield will need to plan for this coming sea change in how we get around.  I see:

  • less need for buses at the Council on Aging;
  • requiring fewer parking spaces for the Medfield State Hospital development;
  • no real need to spend money to alleviate the current parking congestion in the downtown, as it will disappear on its own; and
  • since we receive about $2m. a year from the auto excise taxes residents pay, the town will need to find a replacement source for those receipts as they dry up as car ownership declines.

 

Click here to read on-line

 

Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

  • 10 October 2018
A Matreshka self-driving taxi cab performs a test drive at the first autonomous transport training ground at the Kalibr technoparkImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDriverless taxis – the transport of the future?

I’m guessing you are scoffing in disbelief at the very suggestion of this article, but bear with me.

A growing number of tech analysts are predicting that in less than 20 years we’ll all have stopped owning cars, and, what’s more, the internal combustion engine will have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Yes, it’s a big claim and you are right to be sceptical, but the argument that a unique convergence of new technology is poised to revolutionise personal transportation is more persuasive than you might think.

The central idea is pretty simple: Self-driving electric vehicles organised into an Uber-style network will be able to offer such cheap transport that you’ll very quickly – we’re talking perhaps a decade – decide you don’t need a car any more.

And if you’re thinking this timescale is wildly optimistic, just recall how rapidly cars replaced horses.

Take a look at this picture of 5th Avenue in New York in 1900. Can you spot the car?

5th Avenue in New York in 1900Image copyrightNATIONAL ARCHIVES

Now look at this picture from 1913. Yes, this time where’s the horse?

5th Avenue in New York in 1913Image copyrightLIBRARY OF CONGRESS

In 1908 the first Model T Ford rolled off the production line; by 1930 the equestrian age was, to all intents and purposes, over – and all thanks to the disruptive power of an earlier tech innovation – the internal combustion engine.

So how will this latest transportation revolution unfold?

The driverless Uber model

First off, consider how Uber and other networked taxi companies have already changed the way we move around. In most major cities an Uber driver – or one of its rivals – is usually just a couple of minutes away, and charges less than established taxis, let’s say £10.

The company’s exponential growth is evidence of how powerful the Uber business model is.

Now take out the driver. You’ve probably cut costs by at least 50%.

Uber self-driving carImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionUber has been experimenting with driverless cars

So if we’re trying to work out when this revolution will begin in earnest the key date will be when self-driving vehicle technology is available and – crucially – has regulatory backing.

That could well be sooner than you think. The UK has said it hopes to authorise the first fully autonomous cars as early as 2021.

And, say enthusiasts for autonomy, it will only take one city to prove the technology is safe and useful and the rest of the world will very quickly rush to catch up.

So self-driving cars have cut our £10 journey to £5.

The switch to electric

Now imagine the current mostly fossil fuel-powered taxi fleet is replaced with electric cars.

At the moment electric vehicles are more expensive than similar models with internal combustion engines, but offer significantly lower lifetime costs.

They are more reliable, for a start. The typical electric car has around 20 moving parts compared to the 2,000 or so in an internal combustion engine.

As a result electric vehicles also tend to last much longer. Most electric car manufacturers expect their vehicles to keep on going for at least 500,000 miles.

These factors aren’t that important for most consumers – after all, the average driver in England does less than 10,000 miles a year and our cars are parked 95% of the time. However, they are huge issues if you’re using a vehicle pretty much continuously, as would be the case with a self-driving taxi.

Internal combustion engineImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe end of the road for the internal combustion engine?

Add in the low cost of recharging batteries compared to refuelling and you’ve got another dramatic reduction in costs.

And it’s worth noting that the cost of electric vehicles is likely to continue to fall, and rapidly. As they become mainstream, returns to scale will drive down costs. That’s the logic behind Tesla’s $5bn (£3.8bn) battery plant, the so-called “Gigafactory”.

How does this affect our £10 journey?

It brings another dramatic reduction. Fully autonomous electric taxi networks could offer rides at as little as 10% of current rates.

At least that’s what tech prophet Tony Seba reckons. He and his team at the think-tank RethinkX have done more than anyone else to think through how this revolution might rip through the personal transportation market.

‘Transport as a service’

We’ve now cut our £10 fare to just £1.

Mr Seba calls the idea of a robo-taxi network “transport as a service”, and estimates it could save the average American as much as $6,000 (£4,560) a year. That’s the equivalent of a 10% pay rise.

And don’t forget, when the revolution comes you won’t be behind the wheel so now you’ll be working or relaxing as you travel – another big benefit.

You still think that car parked outside your flat is worth having?

What’s more, once this new model of getting around takes hold the benefits are likely to be reinforcing. The more vehicles in the network, the better the service offered to consumers; the more miles self-driving cars do, the more efficient and safer they’ll get; the more electric vehicles manufactured, the cheaper each one will be.

Electric car charging at charging pointImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionDon’t worry about running out of charge

Don’t worry that rural areas will be left out. A vehicle could be parked in every village waiting for your order to come.

And range anxiety – the fear that you might run out of electricity – won’t be a problem either. Should the battery run low the network will send a fully charged car to meet you so you can continue your journey.

You’ve probably seen headlines about accidents involving self-driving cars but the truth is they will be far safer than ones driven by you and me – they won’t get regulatory approval if they are not. That means tens of thousands of lives – perhaps hundreds of thousands – will be saved as accident rates plummet.

That will generate yet another cost saving for our fleets of robo-taxis. The price of insurance will tumble, while at the same time those of us who insist on continuing to drive our own vehicles will face higher charges.

Human drivers banned

According to the tech visionaries it won’t be long before the whole market tilts irreversibly away from car ownership and the trusty old internal combustion engine.

RethinkX, for example, reckons that within 10 years of self-driving cars getting regulatory approval 95% of passenger miles will be in these electric robo-taxis.

Cars parked outside housesImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionWill cars parked outside houses soon be a thing of the past?

The logical next step will be for human beings to be banned from driving cars at all because they pose such a risk to other road users.

Take a moment to think about the wide-reaching effects this revolution will have, aside from just changing how we get around. There will be downsides: millions of car industry workers and taxi drivers will be looking for new jobs, for a start.

But think of the hundreds of billions of dollars consumers will save, and which can now be spent elsewhere in the economy.

Meanwhile, the numbers of cars will plummet. RethinkX estimates that the number of vehicles on US roads will fall from nearly 250 million to just 45 million over a 10-year period. That will free up huge amounts of space in our towns and cities.

And, please take note: I haven’t mentioned the enormous environmental benefits of converting the world’s cars to electricity.

That’s because the logic of this upheaval isn’t driven by new rules on pollution or worries about global warming but by the most powerful incentive in any economy – cold hard cash.

That said, there’s no question that a wholesale switch away from fossil fuels will slow climate change and massively reduce air pollution.

In short, let the revolution begin!

But seriously, I’ve deliberately put these arguments forcefully to prompt debate and we want to hear what you think.

You can comment below, or tweet me @BBCJustinR.

Open farm day – 10/28

Borgstein Alpaca Farm Open Farm Day 10/28

baf-openfarmday2018_3_orig

I saw the Borgstein Alpaca Farm booth at Medfield Day, loved it, and said I would post about their open house.

I really like that we have an operating farm in town.  Plus pictures of alpacas on the Internet makes for a nice change from pictures of cats.  The Borgensteins have 17 of their goal of a 20 alpaca herd, per the count up screen.

Blog upgrade

Congratulations on your purchase!

Your new domain Medfield02052.blog is being set up. Your site is doing somersaults in excitement!

 

Today after years of fooling around, I finally got serious about this blog.  I paid a fee so you will no longer see the underwear ads next to my posts.  There must be no complaining, and there is no turning back, as the Rubicon has already been crossed.

I also added the domain name = Medfield02052.blog, so you should be able to find the blog there from now on.

The upgrade also got me to the stats page, and I noticed a bump to 612 views for the E.coli water test post.

Injuries from Falls Up for All Ages

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PETERSON | Law

Osler “Pete” Peterson

617-969-1500 – Newton

October 2018

Attorney Photo

U.S. Deaths from Falls Skyrocket

You don’t see many prime-time news headlines about fatal injuries from falls, yet the numbers have skyrocketed since 2000 and now approach annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council recorded 34,673 fatal falls in 2016 compared to 13,322 in 2000, a 160 percent increase. Americans killed in car crashes in 2016 totaled 40,327. A driving factor in this tidal wave of falls is the growing number of elderly Americans. But as we discuss here this month, falls occur to people in all age groups in all settings. Learn more about how we can all help prevent falls.

Elder Care

Injuries from Falls Affect People of All Ages, Not Just Elderly

According to the National Safety Council, over 34,000 Americans died in 2016 from the common and preventable injury of falling. Even more worrisome is that this number has only increased since 2000 and shows no sign of slowing. You should know surprising facts about falls, what causes this avoidable injury and how people of all ages can help prevent falls.

BY THE NUMBERS

#2

Falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths worldwide.

VIDEO BOOKMARK

Fit in Five: Balance

Improve your balance and prevent falls with this daily five-minute workout.

THE DOCKET

PREVENT FALLS IN COLLEGE DORMS

Safety precautions should be strengthened for bunk and loft beds in college dorm rooms as this Indiana University study illustrates.

You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by the attorney shown above. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter, and your request will be honored immediately. You may also submit your request in writing to: Steven L. Miller, Editor, 4907 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Be sure to include your email address.

Medfield Press article on the Medfield Foundation Camp Fund

In case you have not seen the Medfield Press recently, Mike Gleason is one of the best reporters to ever cover the town.  He is journalist who understands the stories he covers and he gets the facts right.  It is truly refreshing to have a high quality journalist covering Medfield.  If you subscribe you can read his 2-3 bylines for $1 a week.

medfield_presss

Fundraiser helps Medfield kids attend summer camp

MEDFIELD – A local effort to help needy children attend summer camp raised more than $5,000 this summer.

The initiative – organized by the Medfield Foundation – is now in its second year, said foundation member Osler Peterson. With the funds raised through the program, a total of 18 local children were able to attend 28 weeks of the camp put on by the Medfield Parks & Recreation Department. The money also allowed for nine additional swim pond passes, which gave about 34 people access to the pond.

Peterson said Medfield Youth Outreach leaders had first raised the matter with the foundation in 2017, as that group interacts quite a bit with people in need.

“Kids going to camp is not just about a fun time for the children,” he said. “It also allows parents to go to work.”

However, the idea was first discussed in June, forcing the foundation to move quickly to raise its $5,000 goal.

“We started it at the eleventh hour,” Peterson. “There was sort of a blitz to get information out on social media.”

This year, the drive was greatly bolstered by a $5,000 grant from the Medfield Home Committee.

“The Home Committee was impressed by the Medfield Foundation’s Camp Fund during its initial year last summer,” Committee Chairwoman Kathy Thompson said in a statement. “This year, the Home Committee wanted to support such a great, local goal for Medfield kids.”

Though the Home Committee provided the bulk of the money raised, the foundation was able to garner about $1,000 from other community donations, Peterson said. Those who wish to contribute to the drive may do so at the foundation’s website, www.medfieldfoundation.org, or by mailing checks to the group, care of the Medfield Town House.

The Medfield Foundation itself, Peterson said, grew out of a desire to bolster private philanthropy in town. Under its aegis, there have been efforts to provide a new football field for the high school and build an outdoor classroom for the Dale Street School, among other projects.

Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-316-2809 or mgleason@wickedlocal.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter@MGleason_MDN.