May 17, 2020 Weekly Review
Written: 05-17-2020

Each week I spend a lot of my time following trends in technology, with a specific interest on the impact it has on health behaviors. The impact that COVID-19 has already had on our cultural norms is pretty impressive. As a result, I have decided to share some insights and discovery gained each week. At a minimum, it will be a way for me to filter through the changes being observed and try to derive meaning. I will also share a little about random things I find through the week that are interesting.

Organ transplants, COVID-19 and Technology.

My day job is working as the director of product at OmniLife. Our mission is to help provide the right information, at the right time, in one place to stakeholders within the organ transplant process. We are currently focused on helping organ procurement organizations with their needs.

That is context as to why the following article from USA Today caught my attention.

The coronavirus pandemic has slashed US organ transplants in half, analysis shows

This has been a regular topic of discussion since March, but it was interesting to see the discusison in the public. This highlights just one area where the COVID-19 policies have secondary impacts that were probably not evaluated in the moment back in March. My personal opinion is that our first order of business was putting a plan into place that stopped the exponential growth of the virus, which by most accounts we have had taken half measures. That story is a long way from being complete.

There was another article, published by Reuters that discussed the prevelence of kidney inury within patients with COVID-19.

Kidney injury in COVID patients

The reason that this sparked my interest is due to the fact that the majority of organ transplants are kidney transplants. Once we make our way through the acute situation with decreased donors, will we have to live in a new environment where kidney evaluations change within the organ procurement and transplant process?

I have no expertise or knowledge of these areas, but as I talk to people everyday who do. The long-term morbidity considerations for COVID-19 are something I am going to pay attention to. We have zero observed knowledge of what this virus will do as it relates to long term health, just educated hypotheses. I had not begun to think about the morbidity issue, until it was brought up by Balaji Srinivasan (who I have admittedly become a fan of throughout these COVID discusisons).

From the persprective of technology and innovation, there will be many different outcomes, here are the top three on my list today:

  1. Software and services will continue to face lowered barriers to entry, as people search for solutions and understand that previous adoption cycles in healthcare were too slow. The obvious example in the past six weeks has been telemedicine adoption.
  2. There will be a place for solutions to improve healthcare, leveraging unutilized technologies in healthcare today. One example has been 3-D printing. There were multiple groups using 3-D printing to solve the ventalator shortage issues. I also have a friend who started 3-D printing a solution that helped with the comfort issue associated with wearing face masks. Many more solutions like this will occur.

See handprint technologies ear savers for my friend’s solution.

  1. This pandemic will accelerate the need for technologies similar to those being done by The Kidney Projectand United Therapuetics organ manufacturing therapuetics platform.

Startup story this week that caught me.

The rapid pace that Clubhouse went from 0 to 100 Million dollor valuation. What happens next? As a product person, I love to see products that just catch a markets imagination. It allows me realize that there is a world that I do not understand.

I am still waiting for an invite so I can check out the product (like most people).

What I learned this week: Figma

I have never tried to fool myself and believe that I was good at design (just look at my personal blog!). That has not stopped me from being interested in it and wanting to learn. The discussion on twitter is that Figma was becoming not only a design tool, but a social tool for co-workers. I have tried Figma once before, but only got far enough to know that it existed. This week I decided to focus on creating a design system within Figma. The following youtube videos, along with a response on Twitter from Figma support was helpful.

App that caught my attention (again) this week. Todoist

A co-worker referenced the user experience with todoist a couple times. It is an app that I’ve downloaded previously and deleted because it did not make it into my regular routines. I decided to give it another chance this week. So far I have loved the experience and usefulness. There are a million checklist apps out there, I always revert back to the Apple notes app, will this be the exception?

A couple quick takes.

  1. Using twitter with lists is a better experience. I unfollowed everyone a couple weeks ago and moved them into appropriate lists. It works well for me.
  2. Watch. Win the Wilderness on Netflix. The couples competing for the homestead in Alaska is the primary story, but the true story is about how a couples collaboration is essential for living successfully.
  3. Reading. A Confederacy of Dunces.