How the US Coast Guard met the America’s Cup Challenge

Beset by dense fog and powerful currents, San Francisco Bay is one of the most treacherous waterways in the country. In 2007, a container ship plowed into the Bay Bridge in heavy fog. Five years later, an oil tanker followed suit. So when America’s Cup organizers approached the U.S. Coast Guard in 2012 about hosting the iconic cup races in San Francisco Bay, the prospect furrowed a few brows.

TamaFor Coast Guard Commander Jason Tama, SF ’11, however, it was an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of a promising new technology. A career military officer and recent Brookings Institution Fellow, he has a particular interest in fostering innovation within the military. Working closely with the America’s Cup team, Tama and his Coast Guard colleagues led an initiative to develop a solution to the traffic challenges posed by the race.

“The traffic in San Francisco Bay can get as congested as other California thoroughfares,” Tama points out, “with 130,000 vessels traversing it annually. Waterways are divided by lanes just like automotive highways, and fully delineating those lanes and calling attention to obstacles like the Bay Bridge is a fairly outsized task. Buoys are expensive to place and maintain and tend to drift, especially in deep water.”

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Healthcare: There’s an app for that

Dapo TomoriDigital doesn’t necessarily mean impersonal. At least not in the healthcare industry, according to Dapo Tomori, SF ’09, Senior Director of Medical Affairs, CNS, at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. “Digital tools give us the opportunity to personalize care to an unprecedented level,” he says. “Digital can be a better way to get information to patients, physicians, payers, and policymakers so that all of them, individually and in concert, can make more informed decisions with better outcomes.”

Dr. Tomori believes that the healthcare industry has a responsibility to continually tap the latest digital capabilities—a broad spectrum of technologies that are increasing the pertinence and personalization of information. “It’s important to channel the latest innovations in science and medicine to improve real-world patient and population outcomes. The digitization of the healthcare ecosystem improves communication on multiple levels, and communication is at the root of so many advances in healthcare. Technology innovation can enable what we call P4 medicine – predictive, preemptive, personalized, and participatory.”

It’s critically important, Dr. Tomori notes, to take into consideration behavioral factors and societal trends when developing technology-enabled patient solutions and gives as an example the current impulse to simplify our digital lives. “Our messaging, music, camera, and GPS are integrated now into a single device—our phone—which we carry with us everywhere out of necessity. People don’t want to have to keep track of additional devices, so inventing a new handheld gadget may be less helpful than inventing a phone app that accomplishes the same task.”

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