Host Kimberly Adams speaks with Matt Day, a tech reporter at Bloomberg, about Amazon’s current state as it is still shipping out products during this pandemic when people are being ordered to stay at home. Workers at Amazon warehouses, Day says, have organized walkouts and speaking out about their working conditions — working more to ship out both essential and nonessential goods. Day notes, however, that Amazon’s core business model isn’t only e-commerce, but also anything regarding Amazon Web Services, so they will survive business-wise this pandemic.
Is it possible that Zoom is not ready for its moment in the spotlight?
Host Molly Wood speaks with Kim Zetter, a cybersecurity journalist, about the spike of Zoom bombing — a new phenomenon where strangers obtain Zoom meeting IDs and barge in digitally to disrupt the meeting. Zoom is also facing different scrutiny, Zetter says, now that it was discovered that the platform had been sharing data to Facebook without being fully transparent. Zetter adds that Zoom users — especially those hosting digital meetings — should be mindful of the privacy breaches the platform may have and start requiring passwords for Zoom guests to wait and be let into the e-meetings.
For the most efficient humanitarian response to COVID-19, mine the data
Host Molly Wood speaks with Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Back in 2014, Shah was in charge of leading the Ebola response in West Africa, and only with data metrics, he says, was his team of epidemiologists able to identify those who had tested positive with the disease and those who at least had symptoms of the disease. With that in mind, Shah says the U.S. should create some sort of data-driven response to identify the same issues with COVID-19 — who’s tested positive, who’s symptomatic, what is working with social distancing (or not) and what health care workers need.
The tech that can help crank out more critical care hospital space
Host Molly Wood speaks with Chris Giattina, CEO of the Alabama-based manufacturing and design firm Blox, which specializes in modular medical facility construction. During this time of crisis, when hospitals are reaching their capacity to treat regular patients on top of treating those with COVID-19, Blox is beginning production on its mobile isolation care units, or MICUs, to help alleviate hospital space. With Blox’s technology, these modular medical facilities are built in only weeks, rather than months — and they have everything a doctor needs to keep treating patients. They’re also cheaper than traditional hospital beds.
Creating COVID-19 tests is complicated science, and business
Host Molly Wood speaks with Jacqueline Linnes, a professor of biomedical engineering who runs a lab at Purdue University, about what sort of tech is needed to produce COVID-19 tests in the face of a shortage. She says production at scale during the pandemic is the biggest challenge. Linnes also says academia may be prompted by the accelerated work during the pandemic to rethink how peer reviews are conducted. A lot of peer reviewers are usually excited to read about the next big thing around biosensors, for example, but pay little attention to more mundane things regarding manufacturing.