Thursday, June 26, 2014

Even when we lose, we win.

This morning we woke up for a presentation, but we didn’t have to go far. We had a meeting with Vladimir Kosek from Johnson & Johnson and he came right to our hotel to give us his presentation. Johnson & Johnson is a company that we all know from their baby products and their band aids. But that sector of their business is only 24% of what they do. They are mostly a company that produces medical devices and diagnostics. In the presentation the Vladimir gave, he talked about the healthcare industry in the Czech Republic and also about the challenges they face as a company working in Europe.
                Vladimir gave us a quick rundown on how much money comes from paychecks to supply the healthcare system. He says that 13.5% of a person’s salary goes to health care, or what he calls “Sickness fund.” He also showed us how they will be in trouble in 2050 because they have a large population that is currently between ages 30-45 that will be retiring all at once. This is similar to what we are experiencing with the baby boomers in America.
                An interesting thing that I learned from his presentation was that there are no co-payment options for people seeking medical treatment. Of course, everyone has health insurance, but if someone wants better quality treatment, they must pay for the whole procedure without any government assistance.
Synagogue from walk
                We then talked about how a lot of Eastern Europe is facing some corruption. He says that Czech Republic is at about the mid-level, whereas central Europe doesn’t have very much corruption at all. They are working really hard to stop the corruption in Czech. They are limiting the gifts that they are allowed to give to customers, there are no cash gives allowed and nothing that is over a specified value limit. They are also cracking down on re-sterilization of devises that are meant for single use. There are hospitals that would use a single use product for one patient, sterilize it, and then use it on another patient. They are working hard to completely stop this though.
                We had a long break for lunch and then we walked to Cisco. The building wasn’t very far from out hotel, and on the way we walked pasted a beautiful synagogue where we were able to stop and take some pictures.
Meeting via TV/video with our group at Cisco
                Once we got to Cisco, we had a presentation over the trends that we see for our future in technology. Of course, we are becoming more mobile and simple, but there is a new thing called a “smart building” that most of the presentation was over. A smart building is a building that is run though one network and it has everything from your computers to the lights and air-conditioning running on it. We were told how revolutionary this system would be, and that it would save a lot of energy. I brought up the point that if the network goes down, then everything shuts off and that that might be more hazardous than before. But I was just reinsured that the network would be 100% efficient, but I am still skeptical on that.
                After we visited Cisco, we all went out to get dinner and watch the soccer game. USA was playing against Germany and we made sure to wear our red, white and blue colors to show our pride. Unfortunately we lost the game 0-1. But even when we lose, we win. USA USA USA!

Stephanie Robinson

Our beautiful group and our American pride! <3

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