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LINPING ZHANG, PhD, MBA Consultant

Dr. Zhang is a consultant for BioMed Valley Discoveries. Prior to her consulting role, Linping was an Executive Director of Translational Sciences at BioMed Valley Discoveries. Her previous positions include Associate Director for Project Management at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where she managed programs ranging from IND-enabling stage to phase II clinical development, and founding scientist and project leader at Infinity Pharmaceuticals with increasing responsibility in chemistry research and development.

Dr. Zhang earned her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the SUNY/Buffalo, and completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University. She holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management as a Sloan Fellow.

JONATHAN S. THOMAS President and Chief Executive Officer, American Century Investments

Mr. Jonathan S. Thomas is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Century Investments. Mr. Thomas joined American Century in 2005 as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, and a member of the American Century Companies Board of Directors. He became CEO in March 2007.

Prior to joining American Century, Mr. Thomas was Global Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the Investment Management division at Morgan Stanley in New York City. Mr. Thomas received a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and a MBA from Boston College.

RODERICK L. STURGEON, MBA Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Mr. Roderick L. Sturgeon is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Mr. Sturgeon joined the Stowers Institute in February 2007 from a position as Senior Vice President, Personal Expression Group Finance at Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Mr. Sturgeon received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a MBA from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He serves on the Kansas State University Business College Advisory Board and the Community National Bank Board.

WILLIAM B. NEAVES, PhD President Emeritus, Stowers Institute for Medical Research

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American Affairs Journal

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Summer 2018 / Volume II, Number 2
May 20, 2018
By Frank Pasquale
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F riedrich von Hayek, the preeminent theorist of laissez-faire, called the “knowledge problem” an insuperable barrier to central planning. Knowledge about the price of supplies and labor, and consumers’ ability and willingness to pay, is so scattered and protean that even the wisest authorities cannot access all of it. No person knows everything about how goods and services in an economy should be priced. No central decision-maker can grasp the idiosyncratic preferences, values, and purchasing power of millions of individuals. That kind of knowledge, Hayek said, is distributed.

In an era of artificial intelligence and mass surveillance, however, the possibility of central planning has reemerged—this time in the form of massive firms. Having logged and analyzed billions of transactions, Amazon knows intimate details about all its customers and suppliers. It can carefully calibrate screen displays to herd buyers toward certain products or shopping practices, or to copy sellers with its own, cheaper, in-house offerings. Mark Zuckerberg aspires to omniscience of consumer desires, by profiling nearly everyone on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and then leveraging that data trove to track users across the web and into the real world (via mobile usage and device fingerprinting). You don’t even have to use any of those apps to end up in Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp files—profiles can be assigned to you. Google’s “database of intentions” is legendary, and antitrust authorities around the world have looked with increasing alarm at its ability to squeeze out rivals from search results once it gains an interest in their lines of business. Google knows not merely what consumers are searching for, but also what other businesses are searching, buying, emailing, planning—a truly unparalleled matching of data-processing capacity to raw communication flows.

Nor is this logic limited to the online context. Concentration is paying dividends for the largest banks (widely assumed to be too big to fail), and major health insurers (now squeezing and expanding the medical supply chain like an accordion). Like the digital giants, these finance and insurance firms not only act as middlemen, taking a cut of transactions, but also aspire to capitalize on the knowledge they have gained from monitoring customers and providers in order to supplant them and directly provide services and investment. If it succeeds, the CVS-Aetna merger betokens intense corporate consolidations that will see more vertical integration of insurers, providers, and a baroque series of middlemen (from pharmaceutical benefit managers to group purchasing organizations) into gargantuan health providers. A CVS doctor may eventually refer a patient to a CVS hospital for a CVS surgery, to be followed up by home health care workers employed by CVS who bring CVS pharmaceuticals—all covered by a CVS/Aetna insurance plan, which might penalize the patient for using any providers outside the CVS network. While such a panoptic firm may sound dystopian, it is a logical outgrowth of health services researchers’ enthusiasm for “integrated delivery systems,” which are supposed to provide “care coordination” and “wraparound services” more efficiently than America’s current, fragmented health care system.

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Hard to Fit Contacts

> Eyecare Services > Hard to Fit Contacts

Contact lenses are not an easy solution for every person suffering with vision problems. Some eye conditions make wearing contacts a difficult proposition. However, it does not rule out wearing contact lenses altogether. It just means patients need to discuss options with their eye care provider and obtain specialized hard to fit contacts for their specific vision problems.

Reasons for Hard to Fit Contacts

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

Astigmatism : Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

Dry Eyes : When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

GPC : This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.

Keratoconus : This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

Presbyopia : Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

Solutions for Hard to Fit Contacts

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.

Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.

Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

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