Daily Debriefing

by Madison Pauly | 1/3/12 11:00pm

Correction Appended

The Smartphone Sensing Group, led by computer science professor Andrew Campbell, has released a preliminary version of a free mobile application called WalkSafe, which aims to combat pedestrian injuries by sensing and alerting the user to approaching vehicles, WGBH reported. The app, designed for the Android platform, uses phones' cameras to detect oncoming traffic and warn users talking on the phone while crossing the street. The Smartphone Sensing Group develops applications that utilize the sensory hardware of smartphones as an interface for communication between the digital and real worlds, according to the group's website. While increased pedestrian distraction may not have caused of a 19 percent spike in pedestrian injuries, recent public policy initiatives regarding distracted driving highlight the temptation and the danger that may be posed to travelers by the modern ubiquity of smartphones, according to the WGBH report.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center announced on Dec. 19 that it had been selected to take part in the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization model, a new initiative in patient care designed to reduce Medicare costs by streamlining health care delivery, promoting coordination within provider organizations and improving the quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients, according to the DHMC website. Sponsored by the United States Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center, the model will require DHMC to meet quality standards based on patient outcomes and care coordination by patient-selected providers. CMS will provide incentives to DHMC based on reduced growth in Medicare costs in conjunction with its achievement of quality standards, according to the CMS website. DHMC is one of 32 provider organizations selected to participate in the model.

The top executives of Netflix, Research in Motion and Hewlett-Packard were the worst CEOs of 2011, according to a list released by Tuck Business School professor Sydney Finkelstein. Despite a "textbook" strategy to divide Netflix's mail delivery DVD business from its online streaming business, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' decisions to increase prices and complicate its ordering services caused financial disaster for the company, Finkelstein said in an interview with NPR. The sluggish business strategy of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, co-CEOs of Research in Motion earned them a spot on the list, he said. According to Finkelstein, the BlackBerry outage in October 2011, in addition to the company's poor response to competition from Apple and Google, caused the company's downfall. Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker wavered between keeping and eliminating the company's profitable consumer PC business, causing the company to miss financial targets and see its stock to decline by 50 percent. These missteps led the board to fire Apotheker, albeit with a $25 million severance package, Yahoo Finance reported.

**The print version of this article misspelled Sydney Finkelstein's last name.*