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Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta

New Business Technologies Profiled; Real Estate Businesses Using Virtual Reality for Listings; Movie Theaters Using Technology to Improve Viewer Experience; Hospitals Using Technology to Treat Patients from Home. Aired 2:30-3P ET

Aired September 10, 2016 - 14:30   ET



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to "Agility in Action." I'm Vanessa Yurkevich. Our world is connected through people, through business and now more than ever, technology. We often take for granted everything that's right at our fingertips, how we eat, how we shop, and how we connect. But progress isn't always instantaneous and industries are facing new challenges that aren't always so obvious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to be able to produce more with fewer natural resources.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're spending half of your health care dollar while your quality of life deteriorates. And so we need an answer for that.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look lovely today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a few years I don't think we're going to think about these businesses in terms of distinct channels of online and offline.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't really enjoy with your mobiles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're on the edge of retail Armageddon. What would Amazon be without insights and analytics?

YURKEVICH: But with today's best innovations in technology, companies now have the agility to take action and solve the problems that affect us all.

We traveled the country to find those businesses propelling us forward and making our world even more connected. Our first story takes us to San Francisco where virtual reality is changing the way we live.

Buying a home can be one of life's biggest milestones. How many square feet is this home? Buyers might look at dozens of homes before they settle on the perfect one. It can be a long and laborious process, and even more for out of town buyers. GREGG LYNN, SOTHEBY'S ALTERNATIVE REALTY: The price of real keeps

going up. Consumers get more discerning about their choices, and sellers want to present their properties in the best light possible.

YURKEVICH: Typically real estate companies use photos and videos to sell homes online. But it's only a 2D experience. That's why real estate companies are investing in virtual reality.

LYNN: Open houses are only a couple of hours a week. But when you have virtual reality, we can be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

YURKEVICH: Somebody hires the VR company Matterport to film their listings with a virtual reality camera.

MATT BELL, CO-FOUNDER, MATTERPORT: There's this visceral sense of being there that you get with the 3D tour that you simply don't get from photos or videos.

YURKEVICH: Real estate brokers can by the cameras themselves to film properties, but the editing is usually done by the VR company.

BELL: All you have to do is place it in a couple of different locations in each more of the house. The camera takes about 30 seconds to spin around and it grabs 3D, 360 view of its surroundings. And as you move the camera from place to place, you'll see these 3D views get stitched together on the iPad.

YURKEVICH: One third of some of these listings in the San Francisco Bay Area can now be viewed in VR. The next year they plan to make VR the norm in other to markets.

LYNN: VR has changed the game because it's at a third dimension to real estate. It allows viewers to step into the living room, to open the doors and walk into the terrace. Can I look at the Golden Gate Bridge from the bedroom? We're having a very different, richer experience.

YURKEVICH: Sports teams don't just have worry about winning games. They also have to worry about winning fans, and especially when you come to a live game. One way they're doing it is by investing millions of dollars in new stadium technology.

It costs $481 on average for a family of four to go to an NFL game. It's a lot less expensive to watch game at home, and even the experience is tough to beat. Technology offers easy access to instant replays and you can switch between big games. Stadiums are taking notice. Last season attendance slipped.

Is the game just not enough anymore?

SETH RABINOWITZ, NEW YORK JETS SVP, MARKETING: I think the game still is enough, but modern audiences want to be as immersed in the game and have as much access to the game, as much information about the game as they possibly can. YURKEVICH: MetLife is one of dozens and stadiums and arenas investing

in technology, everything from Bluetooth speaking to mobile apps to virtual reality in other words to help fans better connect and get them back in the seats.

RABINOWITZ: Now we have a tremendous Wi-Fi network in the stadium. So you can use our app to stay connected to all of the scores and stats and everything from that game.

[14:05:05] You can now have your tickets on the app. We have a rewards program, a frequent attendee loyalty program for season ticket holders, and that's baked into our app now.

YURKEVICH: Virtual tickets show stadium where the lines are longest and help redirect traffic. The Jets say having a ticket on your phone speeds up lines by 10 percent.

And ideally once you get the people in the stadium, you do want them to spend money to be here.

RABINOWITZ: When more people have chance to purchase something, all the better of course. We find certain groups of people aren't trying types of products that we want to promote. Now we can target just those people and deliver a message just to them.

YURKEVICH: And according to a Northwestern University study, almost half of season ticketholders would pay even more for a better in- person experience.

RABINOWITZ: The great thing in the sports business is we serve the fans right we will make a fair return on our investment. We have a very stable business model. We know how to generate revenue. And if we do a good job serving the fans, we can plan for the long term that we have a stable foundation to build our business on.

YURKEVICH: I'm staying in a hotel. I'm in and out. But when I come back I want to make sure the extra towels are in my room and whether or not my room has been cleaned. And that's also something hotels want to keep track of.

There are nearly 175,000 hotels around the world with 16-and-a-half million hotel rooms to choose from. With so many choices and other type of competition like Airbnb, hotels are looking for new ways to distinguish themselves. One way they can do that is better customer service and a more efficient way to manage your requests.

OSAMA ADUIB, GENERAL MANAGER, HOTEL AMERICANO: A lot of paper and a lot of pencils, you leave thing open to human error and sometimes things will get missed.

YURKEVICH: Hotel Americano is one of over 100 hotels on a digital platform called Alice. The technology streamlines guest requests so they never get lost or missed by hotel staff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.

YURKEVICH: I wanted to get an extra towel sent up to my room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. We'll send this right away.

YURKEVICH: Anyone who works at the hotel can enter the request into Alice, then another hotel employee can choose to accept it from anywhere in the hotel on their phone. The request is tracked and monitored to completion.

Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

How does Alice help shorten the amount of steps it takes to get the guests simply what they need?

ALEX SHASHOU, CO-FOUNDER, ALICE: So think about asking for your room to be cleaned. You normally ask the front desk. They have to communicate that with someone. That would be the housekeeping operator who then needs to contact the housekeeper who is actually going to clean your room. No one, not the guest, not the front desk, actually knows when the room is cleaned nor that the request was made in the first place.

ADUIB: With Alice we actually have the data showed to us exactly how many times we were delivering extra towels to rooms. So instead of having just two towel in the room, we say to ourselves it makes more sense to have four towels in the room. It was actionable data. It was real-time information. That's just one example.

YURKEVICH: Alice isn't just for hotel staff. Guests can interact with it too.

SHASHOU: With Alice the guests can see the state of the request as it gets completed, similar to how you may track a FedEx package. You can message them saying I'm coming back in an hour. Can you please prioritize this? You get to plan your day. You get to be more efficient when you work, which is what we crave today.

YURKEVICH: Coming up, is this the new Lazy Boy 2.0? It's not for your living room but it is part of the future of the movies.


[14:42:41] YURKEVICH: We're back with "Agility in Action." These days when I watch a movie, it's usually on my couch and I've waited for it to come out On Demand. But today, I decided to get off my couch and actually go to the movies for an experience you can really only get in theaters. I'm not talks about 3D.

Need to escape life for a few hour? The movies are an easy answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to load up the car.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. YURKEVICH: And millions of people agree. The cinema brings in merely

$40 billion worldwide. But it's starting to face major competition from your couch. There's a shorter release time to video, which means you could be watching the latest blockbuster at home in just a couple of months. And that quick release leads to piracy which cuts into theater profits by nearly 15 percent.

Water on, water off?

BRANDON CHOI, 4DPLEX AMERICA COO: I think 4DX is the answer from preventing pirates because you can't enjoy 4DX with your TV sets and home theaters.

YURKEVICH: That's for sure. This is what it's like to experience a movie in 4DX. CJ CGV is the company behind it. They are trying to help theaters get people out of their homes and back to the movies.

CATHERINE YI: So in "Jason Bourne" there are a lot of fight scene where you have a lot of hand to hand combat. And for those kinds of scenes, it's really cool to use your air shots. We like to put it in sync with those punches like that so you feel like you're a part of story.

YURKEVICH: The technology was created in South Korea, but it's now made its way to the U.S. Big theater companies like Regal and AMC are spending up to $2 million per theater to bring this experience to their audiences.

TODD GOLDSTEIN, CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, AEG: People love it. They love to be here. They love the experience and they want to come again and again. They haven't been shied away by the increased cost that the movie ticket is. We've paid back our dollars in really just the first six months. So we've seen results that have tripled the amount of dollars we were getting year over year.

YURKEVICH: And it doesn't stop at 4DX. There's Screen X and Photo Ticket.

CHOI: It's just not about earning more revenues in terms of ticket prices. It's providing difference experiences.

[14:15:03] GOLDSTEIN: Fans demand it. They always want the best. They want what is the newest technology to be able to experience.

YURKEVICH: Shopping for glasses isn't really the most exciting thing you could be doing. So I'm here to visit Warby Parker where they are trying to make shopping for glasses as seamless and fun as possible.

Online shopping is expected to reach almost half-a-trillion dollars in the next three years. But brick and mortar stores still bring in ten times that. So how do you appeal to the shopper of today and tomorrow? Be in both places at the same time.

DAVE GILBOA, CO-FOUNDER, WARBY PARKER: We're finding that customers are really responding with their wallets when we open a store. And it also creates awareness to online sales as well. YURKEVICH: Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa started Warby Parker out

of their New York apartment six years ago. Today the company has been valued at more than $1 billion. In just three years they've opened 31 stores in the U.S. and increased online sales.

NEIL BLUMENTHAL, CO-FOUNDER, WARBY PARKER: In a traditional optical stop, you walk in. The glasses are under a lock and key. They are behind the counter, out of reach. You can't interact with them. In our stores we've used technology that we built ourselves. So when you go to check out, there's not a cash register. All of our sales associates have iPad minis and uses software that we have written to help you check out seamlessly.

YURKEVICH: So you're essentially making it very difficult for people not to buy your product?

GILBOA: We're trying to use technology to enhance customer experiences and really rethink the way that glasses are sold.

YURKEVICH: That includes a user profile just like you would have on social media.

BLUMENTHAL: That sale associate can take a picture of you wearing the glasses, several of them, send you a nicely formatted e-mail. You can shop out on your way home and once you get home share that photo.

YURKEVICH: According to Warby, 85 percent of people who go to their stores have been to their website first, and their online sales are still more profitable. But by the end of this year Warby says they plan to open 15 more stores in North America.

BLUMENTHAL: The majority of our businesses still online. It's funny, in a few years I don't think we're going to think about these businesses in terms of distinct channels of online and offline because it's so integrated. So we just need to build a company that's adaptable regardless of the medium.

YURKEVICH: Some retailers aren't interested this being online. They're your mom and pop stores or boutique shops that really rely on an in-person experience. That's why stores want to learn as much about you as possible.

This type of shopping is becoming the old way of doing things. E- commerce is nipping at the heels of brick and mortar retail sales. That's because online retailers know you better. They can track your every move, what we like, what we buy, and how we shop. But a new heat mapping technology called Prism is evening the playing field for brick and mortar stores.

RACHEL SHECHTMAN, FOUNDER, STORY: I think we're on the edge of retail Armageddon, which might be a little bit extreme. But I do think what would Amazon be without insights and analytics.

YURKEVICH: If you can't track them while they shop, customers might as well be invisible. Prism figured out how to use security cameras to captures shopper's motion, what they touch, which way they entered, and which areas they like most.

Is red good or bad?

CLIFF CROSBIE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PRISM SKYLABS: Red is busy. The same way these Amazon or all these big online guys understand their customer through what they do, the retailers need to understand that as well. So we get that same kind of data.

YURKEVICH: There's 25 things on this table. How do you know what people are picking up?

SHECHTMAN: So when you're looking at the map, it will give you a sense of where the most action is. Look at that and then pull the skews here. Look at sales and say, you know what, this journal is not selling, and maybe it's because this sign is right in front of it. So I think we might have to play a little bit of retail Tetris.

YURKEVICH: Retailers can access Prism platform in real time which helps them make quick adjustments to store's layout or placement and price on an item.

SHECHTMAN: What is it about that corner of the store where people are lingering but we have the lowest sale through? Anything a retailer can learn about how people are engaging in their space, then it says something, you know.

YURKEVICH: Prism's clients range from supermarkets to furniture stores to big tech retailers.

CROSBIE: That ability alone from a retailer just to make sure that all my stores conform is an action that is going to increase sales if every one is executed properly, or it's going to save costs because I didn't need to travel around 20 stores to do that, because retail is a real life thing that's happening every minute. So every minute you don't change something in retail, then you probably missed an opportunity.

[14:50:09] YURKEVICH: Up next, we visit two very rural and very distinct parts of the country that are using the latest technology to stay connected. These businesses are putting the power back in the hands of the consumer.

Instead of going out there with your pitch fork, you're going out there with your iPad?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your smile, Dan. That helps. That's the best therapy in the world.


YURKEVICH: We're back with "Agility in Action."

It's going to be cozy.

Farmers are constantly asking themselves, how can they do more with less? Less land, less waters. The answer might be something called digital agriculture.

Farmers are facing a scary reality. Their land size is decreasing. Soil is eroding by one and a half billion tons per year.

[14:55:04] It's becoming harder to predict the weather and harder to predict how much they will grow. Corn farmers get on average 168 bushels an acre. But with better measurement tool they could be getting a lot more.

MIKE STERN, CEO, CLIMATE CORPORATION: So between this optimal conditions where a grower can produce 530 Bushels an acre, across all 90 million acres you ends up at about 168. That's the opportunity. And what's going on is it's saying that the corn plant is capable of very, very high yields. You have all these different variables that affect that corn plant on many, many acres that drive the yield average much lower.

YURKEVICH: Mike Stern is the CEO of the Climate Corporation. The company helps farmers like Keith increase their production. In two years he's increased his yields by 10 percent. He went from about 180 bushels per acre to 200.

What would you be checking out this morning?

KEITH GINGERICH: We'll check to see if there's any red spots in this field that are not usually there.

YURKEVICH: The technology shows Keith what's happening live on his 10,000 acre farm, whether it be a germ infestation, too much water in a certain part of the field or lack of nitrogen. Red means bad, green means crops are growing.

STERN: We begin to get a complete digital picture of the farm.

YURKEVICH: How precise is this, really?

STERN: We can begin to farm, you know, on a meter by meter basis as opposed to an 80 acres field basis. That's where we're trying to go, on a field by field basis.

YURKEVICH: Is this the future of farming?

GINGERICH: Yes, it's here to stay. It allows us to shift some of our manpower around and look at more fields at less time in a day.

YURKEVICH: Digital technology is also the answer in our last story. We follow an older couple from Missouri who has realized it's never too late to learn something new, especially when it means being in good health.

LEROY STRUBBERG, MERCY VIRTUAL PATIENT: That's that best therapy in the world. YURKEVICH: I'll keep him in line.

STRUBBERG: We screwed up a lot the first week. Then the second week got a lot nicer. Now we're getting to be pros at it.

OK, it says ready for blood pressure.

YURKEVICH: Leroy Strubberg lives 60 miles from any major city in Missouri. He's 80-years-old and he's recovering from three small strokes. Heart disease like Leroy's cost the U.S. $358 billion per year, costs for care that's only increasing. To keep costs down but still provide efficient care for people like Leroy, hospitals are going virtual.



STRUBBERG: You look lovely today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look lovely as well. I like the pink shirt.

STRUBBERG: Now that we're done lying to each other, let's get down to business.


YURKEVICH: Leroy is one of 250 starter patients in the Mercy Virtual Care Program. It's part of Mercy Hospital, and the goal is to keep people from continually using the emergency room. Leroy talks to nurses twice a week through his iPad. Back at Mercy they analyze vital that can raise red flags and report it back to the patient's doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I see your elbow again?

YURKEVICH: Leroy is being treated for a bad fall while using his Walker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some more exercises. I'll send you a few things. Make sure he does him Ruth Ann.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't worry. You know what this finger means.


MEGAN DONOVAN, PATIENT NAVIGATOR, MERCY VIRTUAL: Some people don't adjust to it as well as others, but a lot of our patients that have been in the program for a while, they are pros at it now. They are really comfortable with it.

DR. J. GAVIN HELTON, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, MERCY VIRTUAL AMBULATORY MEDICINE: The sickest five percent of patients are typically responsible for about half of the health care spent. Many times the traditional health care system is not able to meet their needs, and that's where they fall into those gaps in care and end up back unnecessarily many times in the hospital. They're spending half of your health care dollars while their quality of life deteriorates, and so we need an answer for those patients.

YURKEVICH: And under new federal guidelines, hospitals are partly responsible for keeping costs down, and continual emergency room visits could mean a penalty. Mercy estimates that they have reduced emergency room visits for their patients by one-third.

STRUBBERG: When I was a kid, when you were sick the doctor came to your house, and then you go through the time where you can't get to see a doctor. That has been a big reward for me, the satisfaction that I get somebody to talk to and to help keep track of me, and am I OK.

YURKEVICH: Want to learn more about the companies featured on "Agility in Action"? Head over to our website at

I'm Vanessa Yurkevich. Thanks for joining us.