Tag: health

Frost and Sullivan predict Blockchain will push into health

blockchain-health-care-tech-analytics-records-securityThe divination and oracles section of Frost and Sullivan has been shuffling its tarot cards and consulting the entrails and reached the conclusion that in the next five to 10 years, a blockchain ecosystem will emerge which will take control of the health industry.

A new report said that on-going digital democratization of care delivery models towards a much-anticipated personalized and outcome-based treatment will be the major impetus for blockchain adoption.

The convergence of blockchain with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, mHealth and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) provides new opportunities to explore digital health economies. At its core, blockchain would offer the potential of a shared platform that decentralises healthcare interactions ensuring access control, authenticity, and integrity while presenting the industry with radical possibilities for value-based care and reimbursement models, the report said.

Frost and Sullivan Transformational Health Industry Analyst Kamaljit Behera, who penned the report said: “Burgeoning connected health devices and the need to protect against data breaches make blockchain, with its ubiquitous security infrastructure, the obvious foundation for emerging digital health workflows and advanced healthcare interoperability. It creates an additional trust layer through unique distributed network consensus that uses cryptography techniques to minimize cyber threats.

“Blockchain technology may not be the panacea for healthcare industry challenges needs but it holds the potential to save billions of dollars by optimizing current work-flows and dis-intermediating some high-cost gatekeepers”.


UKCloud wants to get into healthcare

market_street_thumbG-Cloud supplier, UKCloud wants to push into the cloud-hating healthcare market.

The outfit has opened a new division which will deliver a “sovereign, secure and open” platform to NHS bodies and the wider healthcare sector.

Dubbed UKCloud, Health the new division will learn from UKCloud’s government experience. The outfit saw a 37 per cent share of Infrastructure-as-a-Service spend through the G-Cloud public sector framework.

CEO Simon Hansford said that cloud adoption in government stands at eight per cent, compared with two per cent adoption in healthcare.

He said that the market is ripe, and when they see that there is a sovereign, secure and open platform they will go for it.  He said the situation was similar when UKCloud launched six years ago.

It built a platform at its own cost and risk, and stood it up, and believed customers would come to us.

The new UKCloud Health platform is a replica of its existing platform and would encompass “tens of thousands of VMs and petabytes of storage”. It will run on the same physical datacentres, but it’s a segregated platform.

One important aspect of the platform is that it allows healthcare bodies, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies to share data sets with each other and partners in the supply chain, where appropriate, Hansford explained.

Hansford said that UKFast is price neutral, and in the majority of cases cheaper, than AWS and Azure across the whole basket of storage and compute.

He also claimed the US hyperscalers’ recent investments in UK datacentres were “tiny” and that their data residency claims were no more than ‘FUD’.

Hansford pointed out that last week, Azure ran out of storage capacity in the UK, so moved customers over to the Netherlands. Amazon has also run out of a compute platform in the UK and moved over to Ireland.

The big outfits had made tiny investments in the UK to win hearts and minds and they don’t give data residency, let alone data sovereignty.

IBM deepens Apple partnership

1930s-couple-620x400IBM suits are deepening their partnership with Apple to make use of health information gathered by millions of Apple devices,

Biggish Blue, is creating a unit dedicated to providing data analytics to the healthcare sector and think that the millions of Apple watches which people bought by mistake will provide them with the data.

Of course the only problem is that Apple’s watch’s are not collecting any health data because after two years of delays Jobs’ Mob could not get them to work. Instead it seems that they will run on data collected from iPhones.

This of course means that only people using Apple gear will be providing the sort of data that IBM can use.  This might mean that Android users will just die — only this seems to be a data gathering exercise more than anything.

Nevertheless IBM plans to use its new Watson Health unit plans to aggregate health information from a large number of devices and providers in the cloud and offer insights to health companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, which can then integrate results into services they sell to healthcare companies.

IBM said it will create headquarters for the unit in Boston with 2,000 employees, including about 75 medical practitioners. IBM also said it bought two health technology firms, Explorys and Phytel, for an undisclosed amount, to add to its skills in health data analytics.

IBM already has an arrangement to work with Apple on numerous enterprise applications, but is extending its co-operation in the area of health.

Watson Health is named for IBM’s artificial intelligence supercomputer which now write’s cookbooks for Amazon. It will bring cloud services and analytics to Apple’s latest forays into the health business, HealthKit and ResearchKit, IBM said.

Broadcom intros combo chip

broadcom_logoSemiconductor firm Broadcom has completed work on integrating global navigation satellite system and a sensor hub combination chip on the same die.

The company said the chip will be used to create apps for health, fitness and so called “life logging”, by providing software with an always on background location. Life logging means a mobile device knows where you are and the chip will manage functions to maximise battery life.

The integrated global navigation chip will provide a direct connection to wi-fi technology and so will improve battery power and context awareness.

The chip, the BCM4773 allows information from wi-fi, Bluetooth Smart, GPS and MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) to be calculated on one SoC (system on a chip) instead of having to use the application processor.  The design, claims Broadcom, will reduce the printed circuit board area by 34 percent and can offer up to 80 percent power savings.

Broadcom says the chip will support five different satellite systems including GPS, GLONASS, SBAS, QZSS and BeiDou.  The chip is already in production.

Heavy drinkers get a jolt of brain juice from booze

boozebeltA study could comfort quite a few alcoholics in denial. It found that long term alcohol use boosts brain levels of acetate, an energy rich by-product of alcohol metabolism and it gives drinkers a nice jolt of energy for the few grey cells they did not manage to kill off yet.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and it found that people who drank at least eight drinks per week stood to gain more brain energy from acetate than light drinkers, although eight drinks a week hardly qualifies as heavy drinking, but eight drinks at lunch does.

However, there is a downside, too. Study co-author Graeme Mason of Yale University believes the jolt could be responsible for giving drinkers more incentive to drink and that it might also explain why dropping booze is so hard, reports sciencenews.org.  Duke University biochemical geneticist Ting-Kai Li believes Mason’s hypothesis is good and that it proves previous assumptions that heavy drinkers absorb more acetate.

Acetate is usually associated with vinegar, which is often used as an excuse to justify the existence of salads. However, simply pouring more vinegar on salads won’t help. When people drink alcohol the brain breaks it down and pumps out plenty of acetate as a by-product. Although the brain prefers sugar, it can also burn acetate. Researchers proved their point by injecting sober volunteers with acetate tagged with a traceable atom. Then they measured how much acetate was used up in the brain and learned that heavy drinkers burn acetate at twice the rate of light drinkers. Mason likened the process to a bi-fuel car, which can run on ethanol once it runs out of petrol.

Mason said he was very surprised by the results, which proved his suspicions that people with high acetate levels would be tapping energy from it.

“The effect was way bigger than I thought,” he said.

Mason now wants to see whether administering some acetate could help addicts get over their alcohol withdrawal symptoms. However, he warns that people should not go out and start drinking vinegar to wane themselves off booze. People would have to ingest too much vinegar to get as much acetate as they would from drinking alcohol. Salads aren’t a very good delivery platform and simply chugging vinegar doesn’t work, either.