Verily’s new insurance subsidiary will leverage its health gadgets

Alphabet’s Verily has announced plans to launch Coefficient, a health insurance subsidiary that will eventually leverage Verily’s various technologies and health-related devices. The insurance subsidiary will be backed by Swiss Re Group’s Swiss Re Corporate Solutions commercial insurance unit. According to Verily, its Coefficient will, among other things, offer ‘novel insurance and payment models.’

Verily Life Sciences is a health-centric business owned by Alphabet. In an announcement on Tuesday, the company said that it is launching its Coefficient insurance subsidiary to offer stop-loss insurance for employers, meaning they’ll get reimbursed for money spent toward employee health claims beyond a certain pre-determined amount.

Coefficient will, according to Verily, offer a ‘data-driven model that is unique in the traditional employer stop-loss market.’ The precision risk data-driven solution will take advantage of Verily’s data science, as well as its hardware and software products, to offer customers what the company says is ‘more predictable

Read More

Trump’s plotting for a pre-election vaccine carries real dangers for your health

The Trump administration is plainly counting on a vaccine for COVID-19 becoming approved by the Nov. 3 election, in the expectation that news of the discovery will inspire a tide of public optimism that will sweep Trump to reelection.

Here’s a more judicious counsel about how you should be reacting to the administration’s push for rapid approval of a vaccine: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Premature approval of a COVID-19 vaccine will sabotage public confidence in its safety. That in turn will give fuel to the anti-vaccine movement, undermining public health by allowing a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.

When I hear things like ’emergency use authorization’ I get very worried, because we’ve never done that for a vaccine that’s going to be given to a large segment of the population.

Dr. Peter Hotez, Baylor School of Medicine

Trump’s attacks on the Food and Drug Administration, which must

Read More

Amazon gets into health tracking now with wearable gadget, challenges Apple & Fitbit

a group of people posing for the camera

© Provided by The Print

Los Angeles: Inc. introduced a wearable fitness gadget called the Halo Band, entering the market for health monitoring devices dominated by Apple Inc. and Fitbit Inc.

The wrist band uses what Amazon describes as artificial intelligence software to monitor a range of personal wellness metrics, from physical activity to sleep and even mood. The device’s features include 3D scans for body fat and voice-tone detection to analyze emotion. The related Halo service will come with an app, and users will be able to connect their accounts to third-party programs to further monitor weight and health.

Amazon started a gadget business with its Kindle e-readers more than a decade ago. Today the company is among the largest sellers of consumer electronics in the U.S., led by Echo smart speakers and Fire TV streaming devices. Much of that unit’s activity in recent years has been geared

Read More

Beware of computer vision syndrome amid the COVID-19 pandemic – Health

The COVID-19 epidemic has been going on for six months in Indonesia. The government has implemented policies such as large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), physical distancing, contact tracing and the establishment of emergency hospitals to overcome and reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 

Due to the pandemic, we have been forced to spend a lot more time at home, both for school and/or work. Inevitably, the use of gadgets continues to increase. In the latest research by GlobalWebIndex, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing changes to digital behavior. Based on a survey of internet users aged 16-64 years old conducted in 17 countries in March through April, there was a significant increase in people’s use of digital media, especially television, laptops and social media activities. Indonesia ranks third in the use of social media in the Asia Pacific.

An increase in the use of digital media means an increase in screen time.

Read More

Sharp HealthCare first to deploy Amazon’s new health wearable

Amazon on Thursday unveiled a new health gadget, dubbed the Amazon Halo Band, with plans already underway to distribute the wearable device to some patients at Sharp HealthCare in San Diego.

Cerner Corp. customers, such as Sharp HealthCare, will be able to let patients share data from the wearable into their medical record—the latest step in a partnership with Amazon that Cerner announced last summer.

Sharp HealthCare will be the first health system to implement Amazon Halo, the tech company’s new health tracking product. Amazon Halo comprises a wearable wristband that tracks wearers’ exercise activity, heart rate, sleep and body fat percentage, as well as an app that analyzes users’ data to provide health insights as part of a monthly subscription.

Amazon officials say one of the company’s priorities for the service is giving users “actionable” information, in part through offering access to challenges and workouts developed by partners like

Read More

Amazon’s Halo health wearable judges your voice and your body

The Halo is a $100 wrist-worn device that, among other functions, listens to your conversations so you can understand how you sound to others. And it comes with a companion app that scans your body three-dimensionally to track your progress gaining your “quarantine 15.”

Amazon is upfront about these invasive functions, which users of the Halo have to opt into using. What’s revealing is that one of tech’s biggest companies thinks consumers in 2020 might want them.

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, but I review all tech with the same critical eye. Amazon declined to let me speak with an executive about the product, and it didn’t offer me the chance to get my hands on one for first impressions. (Anyone can sign up for the product’s waiting list, and I did. Hope they pick me!)

It makes sense that Amazon wants to push into health.

Read More

Cyborg: Human organs could soon merge with computers to monitor health

A new ‘cyborg-like’ technology has been developed to safely merge electronic devices with human tissue to better monitor health and track tumours.

Scientists from the University of Delaware found a way to attach devices inside a human body by connecting it to tissue using a coating that is more energy efficient. 

Connecting electronics to tissue is a ‘huge challenge’, researchers say as materials used in technology like gold and silicon cause scarring that can interrupt data flow.  

For applications inserted into muscle or brain tissue, electrical signals need to flow for them to operate properly, but scars interrupt this activity, the team explained. 

The US researchers have developed new coatings for ‘human-machine’ devices that counteract issues from scarring caused by materials used in microelectronics. 

Scientists from the University of Delaware found a way to attach devices inside a human body by connecting it to tissue using a coating that is

Read More