OK Google, Am I Depressed?


See gif of how it works here.

As reported by The Verge, yesterday Google rolled out a new mobile feature to help people who might think they’re depressed sort it out. Now, when someone searches “depression” on Google from a mobile device (as in the screenshot above), it suggests “check if you’re clinically depressed” – connecting users to a 9 question quiz to help them find out if they need professional help.

Why It’s Hot:

As usual, Google shows that utility is based on intent – instead of just connecting people to information, they’re connecting information to people. In this case, it could be particularly impactful since “People who have symptoms of depression — such as anxiety, insomnia, or fatigue — wait an average of six to eight years before getting treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.” 

Oscar and the design of healthcare apps

The design team behind Oscar started and ended their process fixated on the user experience. Many healthcare providers still send new customers stacks of paperwork for onboarding, and Oscar jumped wholly into online questionnaires, tutorials, and app. Over the iterative lifecycle, here are a few key learnings they found:

  • Like enterprise app design, healthcare apps should be seen as a consumer product (people don’t shed their skin and become mindless patients).
  • 87.8% of people who avoid early care do so because of bureaucracy, insurance issues, and price. Telemedicine is a glimmer of hope – connecting doctors directly with patients.
  • With healthcare apps, less is truly more. People tend to use healthcare apps rarely and often forget about them in between uses. The app needs to be more intuitive than innovative. Make it SIMPLE.
  • Test early and often using prototypes to course correct along the way.
  • The team was successful in limiting navigation buttons to give users a more guiding approach (forcing function).
  • They added CTAs for calling their doctor throughout the app at key touchpoints. This way, users understood WHEN they should be seeking help.
  • Getting users to spend LESS time on the app (meaning, they got what they needed and got off) became the goal. They needed to define success differently than other kinds of apps.

 

Amazon’s next big industry conquest

Amazon has a has a “secret” skunkworks lab called 1492, dedicated to health care tech and complementing another Amazon unit announced earlier this year to disrupt the world of pharmaceuticals.

Jeff Bezos

The new team is currently looking at opportunities that involve pushing and pulling data from legacy electronic medical record systems. It is also looking to build a platform for telemedicine and exploring health applications for existing Amazon hardware, including Echo and Dash Wand. It’s not clear whether Amazon is building any new health devices, but sources didn’t rule it out.

1492 isn’t the only team inside Amazon that is working in health and life sciences. Amazon Web Services has also hired a slew of health experts to beat out Microsoft and Google for contracts with large hospitals and pharmaceutical vendors. The company has also invested in a health startup called Grail, an early cancer-testing startup founded by a Google exec.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/26/amazon-1492-secret-health-tech-project.html

Why It’s Hot
Um do you really need to ask?

Condoms or IUD? Ask Tia…

Ask Tia is an iOS app designed to assist and inform women about reproductive and sexual health. Through personal, private text-based conversations, users can find the best birth control, get answers to sexual health questions, find doctors, and track periods and symptoms. It’s the first product from Tia, a company “for millennials by millennials” that aims to help women make informed healthcare decisions.

Tia

Building a trusting relationship with an app isn’t easy. Tia has prioritized personalizing the information for each user. Even a simple question about missing a birth control pill has several factors (type of pill, where in your cycle, etc.), which is why Tia’s guiding questions and personalized assessments so much more valuable than, say, a Google search.

“Our goal is to expand Tia to be your comprehensive go-to women’s health assistant for all of your health care information needs,” says Witte, Tia’s co-founder and CEO.

https://magenta.as/simplifying-the-search-for-birth-control-with-a-conversational-interface-e98d0b2a5af1

Why It’s Hot
Sexual health support made accessible through behavioral insight? Yes please.

Combating the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic with Patient Data

Non-identified patient-level data has been critical in developing an understanding of the ways drug abusers interact with the medical system, particularly in understanding patient shopping behavior. For opioids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulants – both subject to abuse – patients are known to obtain prescriptions from multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”).

Non identified patient-level data can reveal patterns of health behaviors among patients and physicians. Behaviors such as physician prescribing patterns, the doctor or hospital visits made by patients, or use of preventative care and medicines are all visible in such data for analysis. This ability to see patient behavior has been put to good use to combat the drug abuse epidemic by identifying and modeling patterns of prescription filling known as “shopping behavior,” employed by abusers to gain access to prescription drugs inappropriately.

While drug abuse is often associated with illicit substances, the non-medical use of prescription drugs such as painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants is widespread. Over 52 million people in the United States are estimated to have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime resulting in as many as 1.4 million emergency department visits per year.46,47 The number of prescription medicine abusers over age 12 in 2013 was 6.5 million, with as many as 4.5 million people abusing painkillers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, alone.

Manufacturers have worked to combat this issue through the recent launch of several abuse-deterrent formulations of painkillers, but despite these efforts, this and other classes of drugs remain highly addictive and prone to abuse.49 It remains critical to understand patterns of misuse of prescription drugs, gauge which agents pose a greater risk of abuse, and assess the impact of efforts by various stakeholders – including the Drug Enforcement Administration, pharmacy chains, wholesalers and manufacturers – to combat this major public health issue.

Non-identified patient-level data has been critical in developing an understanding of the ways drug abusers interact with the medical system, particularly in understanding patient shopping behavior. For opioids and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulants – both subject to abuse – patients are known to obtain prescriptions from multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”).

Good behavioral models of this phenomenon – intended to define shopping behavior while avoiding the inappropriate flagging of individuals with legitimate use – have been created using non-identified patient data by comparing patient use of drugs prone to abuse with patterns of drugs not typically abused. For instance, one study compared patient use of ADHD drugs to that of asthma drugs, and an earlier study for opioids similarly compared the use of opioids to diuretics (non-abused) using longitudinal patient data.

In both studies, researchers found that being a patient with overlapping prescriptions written by two or more prescribers and filled at three or more pharmacies was the best predictor of abuse. In the ADHD study this pattern was 400% more frequent among those shopping for ADHD drugs than those prescribed asthma medications. Applying this definition, this study was also able to show that shopping was most common in younger subjects aged 10–39 years, and that a small number of abusers accounted for most shopping behavior. Among patients who shopped, 9.2 % of them shopped six or more times and accounted for 42.0 % of all shopping.

Connected healthcare also fundamentally needs a connected understanding of the patient. To ensure that the entire healthcare system delivers integrated care for the benefit of an individual and larger populations, action based on shared information that tells a complete and accurate story, is needed. Only with a shared understanding of patient experience and what benefits patients across the medical system can healthcare stakeholders deliver connected healthcare.

“To accomplish the goal of optimizing the system and care, nationally merged datasets are strongly needed, since if you are only seeing only one part of a patient’s experience (some part of time) then you cannot optimize.” David M. Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard University

Why It’s HOT: Patients are turning to social media as an integral forum to find and share information relevant to their health. The use case above for non-identified patient data shows additional value in active social listening at a brand and category level; said best by Murray Aiken “This trend only heightens the need for relevant, accurate content that can be accessed and used throughout the patient journey. Healthcare professionals, regulators and pharmaceutical manufacturers all need to overcome their reticence and acknowledge the vital role that they can and should play as participants in the healthcare conversation.”

 

Source: Closing the Healthcare Gap – The Critical Role of Non-Identified Information

The IoT for Kids

A few months ago, I told my in-laws that we had microchips implanted in our kids, so that we could locate them if lost or stolen. They said they did the same with their dogs. I was so surprised that I forgot to tell them I was kidding…and maybe I’ll never have to, because micro-chipping (well, not exactly, but close) may be available at retail by the next holiday season!

Fuhu, the company that makes Nabi tablets for children, wants to open the IoT’s market to kids. They’re in the early stages of devising a “connected room” platform for kids built around sensors, monitors and cloud services, all designed to supply information – and hopefully peace of mind – to parents.

Baby products can track feeding and sleeping. Products aimed at toddlers may track the child’s movement around the house, so that a parent can be notified if a kid wanders to an unsafe space, such as one with cleaning products or power cords.

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The various items under development include a mini light for the changing table that can track how often you change a baby’s diaper. Another is an air pollution sensor that tracks pollen, mold and dust. One sensor is meant to be worn by mom to track how often and how long she nurses her baby.

All the devices can be controlled by mom and dad through an app on an iPad or one of Fuhu’s Nabi tablets. The goal is that the data that’s collected will be analyzed to help identify patterns in a child’s health. The products will be modular, useful and affordable, priced at $49-99 a piece.

Why it’s Hot: Parents worry about their children’s well-being all the time. Information alone may allay concern, and if not, will enable the parents to conduct better research or have more productive discussions with a pediatrician. Further off in the future, perhaps these devices will enable two-way communication, so that under certain circumstances (e.g., baby is dehydrated or episodes of upset stomach can be attributed to a particular food, implying allergy), helpful information is sent to the parents…and we all know who likes to sponsor or underwrite helpful information…Pedialyte, Gerber, Enfamil, Huggies, Piedmont Pediatrics, United Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, et al.

 

 

 

 

 

Mini-robots swim through bloodstream

Imagine the ability to clear arteries or deliver medications with tiny micro-robots that propel through your bloodstream.  Developed by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, along with 10 other institutions around the world, including Drexel University in Philadelphia, these corkscrew-shaped “microswimmers” are made up of “inorganic biodegradable beads so they will not trigger an immune response in the body. And we can adjust their size and surface properties to accurately deal with any type of arterial occlusion,” says MinJun Kim, a bioengineering professor at Drexel.

According to an article in Fast Company, Kim also said these microswimmmers could replace traditional artery cleaning methods like stents and angioplasty. “Current treatments for chronic total occlusion are only about 60 percent successful,” Kim says. “We believe that the method we are developing could be as high as 80-90 percent successful and possibly shorten recovery time.”

Why It’s Hot

Advances in healthcare often occur through new and innovative uses of technology. Micro-robotics can have a significant impact on health outcomes for ill patients in need of new medication delivery systems, those suffering from high cholesterol or those with heart and other organ disease. This is a less invasive technique, as well, negating the need for surgery or prolonged hospital stays and possibly resulting in reduced costs to the patient.

Doctors code bills for payment. On October 1st, 2015, this will blow-up. Welcome to ICD-10!

ICD-10 COFUSION 5.29Ever look closely at the form the doctor or nurse gives you as you leave? There are codes that describe your specific medical reason for the visit; and thus, the specific amount of money they will be paid.

This is about to be turned on it’s head and everyone is scrambling. ICD-10 is about to cause potential chaos in our healthcare system.

Once again, government regulation is kicking into place another level of complexity for the entire healthcare system. It’s pretty straight-forward: as of October 1st, 2015, ALL doctors need to use a new coding system called ICD-10. Sounds simple enough until you realize the complexity of switching from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and how the market is reacting; it reveals both the inate fear and reminds us that as consumers we need to pay attention.

ICD-9 vs ICD-10 chart 5.29

ICD-9: 13,000 codes. ICD-10: 68,000 codes. Imagine the fear if they get it wrong. One of the leaders in electronic Health Records, Athena Health, is using this countdown (fear) with an aggressive offer (guarantee) to drive new business. Here is their guarantee:

“We take on the burden of the ICD-10 transition for our practices with a combination of continuously updated cloud-based software, including a team of experts handling payer and interface outreach and testing.  And, because we align our overall financial goals with yours, we put ourselves at risk for your resultsSee full details.”

They use a compelling video, too: http://www.athenahealth.com/guarantee/icd-10

ICD-10 Athena Hot Sauce

Why is this hot? Complexity that requires simplicity is a challenge we all face as communicators and strategists. This is a great trend to watch to see how true disruption is managed. The software mentioned in an earlier post — Sensentia — is a great example of innovation meant to remove the complexity and humanize it. Hot Sauce Sensentia page 1

 

“That’s how much that hospital charges? I’ll go somewhere else!”

We all know the hospital/cost/insurance makes no sense from a consumer perspective — I know someone who got a $30K bill for a gall bladder operation, only to be told a week later he only had to pay $3K. What happened? What deal was made? Where did that $30k come from and why did it go away? As of today, we have no view into the arcane health system cost structure.  With high deductible plans, the ability to chose your own hospital, transparency is critical to have to make informed decisions.

Sensentia is about transparency of medical costs and information…will it take off? Patient empowerment is often discussed but rarely delivered; Congress has mandated that eventually — and they keep pushing the date out — hospitals will be required to post ALL their costs for patients to be able to chose which hospital to use. Hot Sauce Sensentia page 1

This week, a report on health care innovation mentioned Sensentia out of the Healthbox incubator in Miami. Not only is this a cross-platform, interoperable User Experience, it is a great Customer Experience in that the combination of easy interface, natural-language queries and how it summarizes complex financial information makes it a great tool for life-critical decision-making.

Why is it hot? One reason: money. Hospital transparency and patient adoption of hospital-related decision tools are being mandated by the government. This natural-language tool crosses devices, platforms and basically connects all the parts of the system — patient, hospital and insurance company. The patient is key — their adoption will accelerate the transparency we need. Perhaps even better, the User Experience is so easy and natural that it removes so many of the complex barriers that surround healthcare costs, making complexity move to simplicity.

Tools like this may be slow to be adopted by the health system, but there are government mandated Star Ratings and other metrics that have been put in place — like Meaningful Use 2 — which financially reward a hospital if they meet milestones and deliver quality care; there are also financial punishments if they do not adopt such technologies and then train patients to use them.

This is about Patient empowerment and how it can shape what is a creaky, deal-making, back-room, mysterious system to one where I, as a patient, can make an informed choice.

Facebook Private Conversation Insights Now Available via DataSift

Yesterday’s DataSift Facebook webinar revealed a huge breakthrough for healthcare marketers. Through their partnership, Facebook is providing aggregated topic data to marketers on DataSift’s API. This represents the first time we’ve been able to pull back the curtain and see what Facebook users are talking about in their private conversations.

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DATA PRIVACY

Now, before the Facebook Privacy conspiracy theorists get wound up, the data coming through DataSift’s API is:

  • Anonymized with no personal data available
  • Limited to adults 18+
  • Only available on topics with 100+ posts in any query

Until this option, the only way to get insight into what was happening on Facebook was to engage in the channel. Even then, marketers only got insight what happened on and around their own pages so of course that was a very limited and self-selected audience.

INSIGHTS

Now, marketers will be able to get insight into volumes of conversation on Facebook by using three different criteria:

  • Category (the example used was automotive)
  • Brand (for example, BMW, Ford, and Honda)
  • Media (defined by URLs for properties like BBC or CNN)
  • Feature / topic data (as defined by Boolean queries)

However, DataSift shared the image below on Facebook with the post:

“And #topicdata is all about #privacyfirst

Facebook_Datasift

KLICK: “…it looks like social listening may be on the cusp of removing one of the most troublesome blinders we’ve had to live with to date.”

Why It’s HOT: This tool will help marketers see what is happening on the world’s #1 social channel, Facebook.

Source: Klick Health

CliniCloud’s DIY check-up kit lets you skip the doctor visit and stay in your PJs

Pretty soon, you won’t have to actually see your doctor to get a check up. The Internet is breaking down the distance barrier between between you and your physician, and now there are all manner of web-connected health monitoring devices that make remote medical care more detailed and accurate than ever before.

The latest device to pop up in this category is CliniCloud. In a nutshell, it’s basically a connected medical kit that allows you to perform your own basic checkups and even get live consultations from your doc when you need them.

The kit consists of two components: a digital stethoscope for capturing the sound of your lungs and heart and a contactless infrared thermometer. Both devices connect to CliniCloud’s accompanying smartphone app, which guides you through the check-up process with intuitive prompts and diagrams. These explain exactly where to place the stethoscope and thermometer, so you don’t need any prior medical knowledge to perform a check-up.

In addition to step-by-step guides, the app also tracks recorded health data over time to provide analytics and allows you to create multiple user profiles, so you can keep track of the entire family’s health stats. On top of that, CliniCloud has partnered with Doctor On Demand to give users the ability to video chat in real time with a licensed physician.

To help jumpstart production, CliniCloud has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Tilt, so you can currently pre-order the kit for a pledge of $109. If the campaign is a success, the company expects to ship the first units sometime in June. Until then, you’ll just have to visit your doctor the old-fashioned way.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/clinicloud-connected-medical-kit/#ixzz3RZlYa6Tx

Why It’s Hot

Going to the doctor can be a hassle.  Besides that, taking a sick kid out of the house is probably not a pleasant experience.  With a partnership like this, parents can connect to virtual doctors to get treatment for a loved one, while the person who’s not feeling well doesn’t have to get out of bed.  It’s a smart way to reduce the clogged waiting rooms of a doctor’s office, and get help for a sick loved one quickly.  This doesn’t replace going to a live doctor completely, but in certain cases, it could be a big help.

Swift FDA Approvals and Recent FDA Exemptions Make 2015 The Year of Healthcare Innovation

The FDA approved a new share platform for a diabetes continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system making it the first on the market to be able to wirelessly transmit (via Bluetooth LE) glucose readings directly to an iPhone.

dexcombooth-580x537“The FDA approved a new version of the Dexcom Share platform, which will make the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) the first on the market to be able to wirelessly transmit glucose readings directly to an iPhone.”

A wearable device sensor (worn on the body) will transmit CGM through the Dexcom receiver to the Dexcom iPhone app. The iPhone app will then transmit the data through the cloud to share it with up to 5 user-approved followers of the Dexcom Follower app such as caregivers, certified diabetes educators, and spouses.

dexcom gen 5 app

The push to partner component with third party app and device manufacturers is HUGE . This system is the first time there will be official, live continuous glucose information available on the iPhone and in the Cloud.

Dexcom-approved partner iPhone apps such as Meal Memory and Apple Healthkit would be able to pull live glucose data on demand, without requiring user input.

Secondly, during the FDA approval process, the apps themselves were down-classified to a Class II device exempt from pre-market clearances. Therefore, future “Follower” apps from Dexcom and other companies will not require separate pre-market approval from the FDA,  as long as they do not claim to be the primary readout of the data.

Capture

 

Why it’s HOT: The FDA has made a landmark move forward with this “Dexcom Share” platform approval. This approval included Bluetooth-enabled transmission of health data via wearable device sensors to an iPhone app putting health data in the cloud in conjunction with third party apps down-classification by the FDA is making 2015 quite an exciting year for Healthcare Technology Innovation.

Photo credit: Klick Health // Article Source: http://www.imedicalapps.com/2015/01/fda-approves-diabetes-app/

 

Insurer Offers ‘Cash’ for Every Health Goal You Hit

Oscar Health Insurance is trying to improve patient outcomes the old fashioned way: cold hard cash. Running with the tagline, “a new kind of health insurance company,” Oscar is challenging the health insurance model by offering rewards to subscribers who achieve set lifestyle/health outcomes with a new wearable device they call “Misfit.”

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The Misfit initiative makes it easy for anyone to participate. Oscar customers order their free Misfit wearable through the Oscar’s iOS or Android apps. Misfit syncs to their app automatically, eliminating the requirement for setup. Next, Oscar’s algorithm calculates what appropriate activity milestones should be set for individual users based on their health data. For each goal passed, users earn $1. Once they accrue $20, users can cash out their earnings in the form of an Amazon gift card.

Misfit may be an innovation to the health industry category, but it is hardly new to the world of insurance. Oscar co-founder Mario Schlosser explained the idea came to him by looking to other insurance categories, such as auto: “If I stay accident free, my car insurer will lower my rates,” says Mario Schlosser, “Why don’t we give these rewards to people when they stay healthy?”

Oscar is no stranger to cash reward programs either. The company previously offered customers $20 to get a flu shot at their local pharmacy. And though cash rewards might not work on everyone, Oscar found that customers were 2.5x more likely to get a flu shot with the reward system in-place.

Why It’s Hot

Misfit by Oscar Health Insurance is a disruptive program in a historically antiquated category. Ambitious, and certainly news-worthy we will see how successful the program becomes over time. Consumer health tracking technology offers insurers, healthcare providers and even pharmaceutical companies new opportunities to improve health outcomes and create meaningful shifts in behavior. And the more consumer healthcare data can be tied back to cost-savings and healthier patients, the sooner we’ll see more “Misfits” enter the marketplace.

Phone Apps Might Know When You Are Depressed

Motion, audio, and location data harvested from a smartphone can be analyzed to accurately predict stress or depression.

Many smartphone apps use a device’s sensors to try to measure people’s physical well-being, for example by counting every step they take. A new app developed by researchers at Dartmouth College suggests that a phone’s sensors can also be used to peek inside a person’s mind and gauge mental health.

When 48 students let the app collect information from their phones for an entire 10-week term, patterns in the data matched up with changes in stress, depression, and loneliness that showed up when they took the kind of surveys doctors use to assess their patients’ mood and mental health. Trends in the phone data also correlated with students’ grades. The results suggest that smartphone apps could offer people and doctors new ways to manage mental well-being.

Previous studies have shown that custom-built mobile gadgets could indirectly gauge mental states. The Dartmouth study, however, used Android smartphones like those owned by millions of people.

This app, called StudentLife, collects data including a phone’s motion and location and the timing of calls and texts, and occasionally activates the microphone on a device to run software that can tell if a conversation is taking place nearby. Algorithms process that information into logs of a person’s physical activity, communication patterns, sleeping patterns, visits to different places, and an estimate of how often they were involved in face-to-face conversation. Many changes in those patterns were found to correlate significantly with changes in measures of depression, loneliness, and stress. For example, decline in exposure to face-to-face conversations was indicative of depression.

 

Why It’s Hot: Smartphone sensors have become much more energy-efficient, so detailed, round-the-clock data logging is now feasible without wiping out battery life. Collecting meaningful mental health data from people’s devices could open up new ways for them to get help.

 

JMIR Publishes Scientific Study Testing Sponsored Health Consultation on Facebook

JMIR.org has posted a new clinical paper that investigates how the parents of young children would interact with a sponsored health consultation service facilitated through Facebook. The goal of the study was to present a model for delivering helpful and relevant pediatric health information to parents through a social media site.

To test this idea, a Facebook page was launched for 11 months based on a question-and-answer service produced by a pediatrician. The page was open to Facebook users over 18 years old. If the answer did not include a further referral to a health care service provider, the question was considered comprehensively answered.

Here’s the kicker: The site was funded by a pharmaceutical company, and it included an advertisement of a pharmaceutical product for children’s fever and pain.

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During the study:

  • 768 questions were submitted: an average of 69.8 per month
  • 245,533 users visited the page, averaging 727 visitors per day

Why It’s Hot

The results here demonstrate that among the target population, Facebook was seen as a positive digital resource to users. The study shows that delivering personalized healthcare information was not only possible, but also reduced the number of referral visits to healthcare providers (50%)–saving time and money. Brands and agencies need to rethink how sponsorship can enable a new model for patients/caregivers to interact with healthcare specialists, and the relationship that social media can have to creating a more educated consumer population.

Source: Pharma Guy

“Healthcare Advertising Done Differently”

Kids aren’t little adults. They see the world differently. So when Lehigh Valley Health Network built the region’s most advanced Children’s Hospital, they designed everything from a child’s perspective.

To communicate the depth and breadth of the Children’s Hospital, and to demonstrate that the focus is totally on the children, the campaign “From a Child’s Eyes” was created.

The campaign kicked off with two TV spots showing life from a sick kid’s perspective. We see ordinary things and people such as a patient’s room, wheelchair, MRI machine and nurse. But what we hear is a child’s voice describing them as “secret lair,” “rocket mobile,” “laser beams,” and “sidekick.” The award-winning campaign, “Through a Child’s Eyes,” was launched to help the community understand that the Children’s Hospital doesn’t just know how to treat diseases. They know how to treat kids.

Why it’s HOT: I thought this was another example of looking at healthcare from another perspective. I’ve personally worked on many health and pharma new business pitches and I’m always curious to see what other ideas the other ideas think up. I’m interested in hearing other people’s thoughts and who they truly believe the target audience of this commercial is. Is this the reverse strategy of that used in the cereal industry?