PandemicEX: The Employee Experience Of A Pandemic

The health and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, are important to track. But what about the effect on your employees? As our security and risk team wrote early on in this epidemic, not only do companies need a business continuity plan, but they must also recognize employees as the asset that will keep the business going ahead of, during, and after any coronavirus effects. The UK government is considering a three-month work-from-home policy, and companies like Twitter are asking everyone to work from home when possible to reduce contagion. If you are facing similar policies, you must pay attention to the practical and emotional impacts of managing so much distributed work and introducing so much change at a time of great uncertainty. Our newest effort, #pandemicEX, is designed to measure exactly this. Please take this survey and add your data to the hundreds of cases we already have. In the coming weeks, we’ll share with you how confident employees are in the plans their companies have and how well they believe their leaders are managing the risk. An early peek at the data reveals that just 43% of US workers agree that their companies even have a plan in place. Follow #pandemicEX and @forrester on Twitter to get updates as they are posted.

Waymo Raises $2.25 Billion To Accelerate The Next Phase Of Autonomous Vehicles

Waymo, which Google has nurtured since 2009, is going big in a quest to dominate the driverless roads, raising $2.25 billion from pension plans, risk investors, and an Abu Dhabi foundation fund. Waymo’s first external funding round has two notable takeaways for execs. First, it reveals more of Alphabet’s opaque business structure. It’s clear that “Other Bets companies need more capital than they can siphon off Alphabet’s cash-cow advertising engine. Seeing this structure, can you understand its priorities to see how the parts line up against your needs? Second, Waymo is looking like an increasingly safe bet as a technology provider for your business’s autonomous vehicle needs. Lidar-sensor company Ouster told us that it serves 500 customers in 15 different sectors. If Waymo does anything similar, you should rethink how self-driving vehicles can play into your physical future: warehouse robots, yard engines, subterranean explorers, site mapping, shelf inventory taking . . . and the list goes on and on.

Alexa, What Is Aspirin Used For? Amazon Makes Medication Insights Available Through Alexa

Consumers can now ask their Amazon Alexa devices about the side effects of certain drugs to better manage and benefit from their prescribed medications. The results come from First Databank (FDB), a major provider of drug and medication insights, and include drug effects, side effects, interactions, and precautions. Bob Katter, FDB’s president, said, “Ultimately, we believe that more informed consumers will lead to improved medication adherence, the reduction of adverse drug events, and better patient outcomes.” This latest move compliments Amazon’s prior healthcare empowerment innovations for Alexa since it announced its HIPAA compliance in April 2019. Amazon’s deep pockets and customer-obsessed “outsider” status make it a fitting disruptor of the healthcare status quo. And it’s investing heavily in making healthcare a viable revenue stream — from virtual front doors to a cure for the common cold.