The Plaza Offers iPads With Virtual Concierge FunctionNew York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineThe Plaza, New York City’s classic luxury destination, announced it will offer iPads in all guest rooms and suites featuring the first virtual concierge application available on the tablet devices. The landmark hotel on Central Pak South is partnering with Orlando-based Intelity to become the first hotel in the world to provide guests services and amenities using iPads and Intelity’s ICE (Interactive Customer Solution) software solution.The iPads will feature a multimedia video welcome and provide guests easy, touch screen access to control their entire hotel experience. Services guests will have at their fingertips include ordering room service, making restaurant reservations, communicating with the concierge, requesting wake-up calls, exploring NYC destination guides, and even checking airline schedules and printing boarding passes. The devices will also be pre-loaded with leisure and business friendly applications such as newspapers, and guests will also be able to browse the Web. The Plaza first started offering iPads for guests to use while dining in The Palm Court. Hotel managers quickly realized the popularity of the devices with guests, and decided to extend the program beyond the restaurant, into the guest room.“For over 100 years, The Plaza has set the standard for luxury and since opening our doors, guests at our hotel experienced many firsts in travel. Today, luxury is being redefined to not only include actual products but how something enhances an experience or fulfills a need,” said Shane Krige, general manager of The Plaza. “Guests can now enjoy in-demand, innovative technology and access to our five-star offerings at their convenience – a true luxury for many.” According to David Adelson, president and chief executive officer of Intelity, “The premier of ICE on in-room iPad tablets will fittingly be New York’s famed hotel, The Plaza.” Adelson said, “Guests will have service options at their fingertips and hotel management will have an increased ability to add to and evaluate the delivery of those services.”In addition, The Plaza will also offer ICE Mobile, allowing guests to download the hotel’s Virtual Concierge Application on iTunes or www.theplaza.com, with versions for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. Ideal for guests on the run or future guests who want to get a head start on trip plans, the application will offer the full array of services offered in-rooms on guests’ mobile phones, whether it be setting up a wake-up call, pre-ordering room service, making a spa appointment or simply requesting an extra towel.The iPads featuring ICE technology will be available in The Plaza’s guest rooms and suites in September 2010. The mobile application will also launch at that time.www.theplaza.com
The campaign supporting Ohio Issue 2 contests the cease and desist letter attorneys for the Cleveland Clinic sent Tuesday, calling for the campaign to stop using CEO Toby Cosgrove’s photo and comments on a flier it mailed across the state. The campaign, Ohioans for Lower Drug Prices, said it had the right to use Cosgrove’s comments because they were made during a public forum. (Christ, 10/4) NPR: Gov. Brown To Sign Or Veto Controversial Drug Price Law Insurers, hospitals and health advocates are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to deal the drug lobby a rare defeat, by signing legislation that would force pharmaceutical companies to justify big price hikes on drugs in California. “If it gets signed by this governor, it’s going to send shock waves throughout the country,” said state Sen. Ed Hernandez, a Democrat from West Covina, the bill’s author and an optometrist. “A lot of other states have the same concerns we have, and you’re going to see other states try to emulate what we did.” (Dembosky, 10/4) In a surprise move, U.S. regulators approved a generic version of Teva Pharmaceutical’s (TEVA) Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug earlier than investors expected. And the decision portends big changes not only for Teva — Copaxone is a key contributor to its sales and profits — but also for generic companies more broadly, as far as some Wall Street wags are concerned. The approval creates a heightened challenge for Teva, which is already in disarray. (Silverman, 10/4) Stat: A Drug With The Power To Mute Defective Genes Raises Hopes — Cautiously Early Approval Of Generic MS Drug Signals Big Changes For Teva And Other Drugmakers Teva had lobbied the Food and Drug Administration to reject Mylan’s generic version of its Copaxone multiple sclerosis medication. In other drug industry news: an experimental drug is found to work on a mutant gene; advocates await Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision on a drug pricing bill; and Cleveland Clinic’s CEO wants supporters of a drug pricing ballot measure in Ohio to stop using his image. Stat: What Are The Implications Of A Generic Teva MS Drug? Here’s What The Wags Say The experimental drug has startling powers: It can turn down a mutant gene in a patient’s body, stopping the production of proteins that cause a terribly painful rare disease. A crucial, late-stage clinical trial showed that the drug works — and that it’s safe. And now the biotech company behind it, Alnylam, is poised to bring this first-of-its-kind therapy to market. (Keshavan, 10/5) Cleveland Plain Dealer: Yes On Issue 2 Group Contests Cleveland Clinic’s ‘Cease And Desist’ Order This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.