Health Care, Education Ripe for Disruption: Groupon CEO

Groupon Inc. Chief Executive Officer Eric Lefkofsky said two industries that are ripe for disruption are health care and education.

In a wide-ranging discussion about innovation at The Year Ahead: 2014, a two-day conference in Chicago hosted by Bloomberg LP, Lefkofsky and other panelists said technology -- particularly mobile software and devices -- will play an important role in changing how health care and education are delivered.

Qualcomm Inc. CEO Paul Jacobs, who also spoke at the panel, said his San Diego-based company is working on technology initiatives that will pre-emptively inform a consumer about their health. Qualcomm is working on tiny sensors that will go into someone’s bloodstream and can alert them two weeks before a heart attack might happen, he said.

Technology also should help improve the way people consume entertainment in their homes, Jacobs said during the event. Smart televisions are making media and content more interactive with consumers, he said.

Bloomberg is looking for new ways to distribute its video content as it grapples with an entrenched cable industry that makes it difficult to get Bloomberg TV on desirable channels, said Daniel Doctoroff, CEO of Bloomberg.

There is an “opportunity for us to deliver content across multiple platforms in different forms, not just linear TV,” he said

Doctoroff added that innovation and disruption are topics that all companies are discussing.

“Literally every institution is talking about how do we break out of silos,” he said.

Lefkofsky said innovation in the next few years will increasingly focus on software. Much of the technology battle recently has centered on mobile device makers such as Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., with the next six to seven years set to be the “dawn of software” as a means of differentiating the gadgets, he said.

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