health

Ford launches on-demand medical transportation service

Ford is launching an on-demand transportation service for non-emergency medical needs. The idea is to better help patients get to their doctor appointments. Ford is initially launching this in partnership with Beaumont Health in Michigan to serve more than 200 facilities. Called GoRide, the fleet has 15 transit vans to accommodate people with varying needs. By the end of the year, Ford plans to have 60 vans, all driven by trained professionals, as part of GoRide’s services. The GoRide fleet can accommodate people with wheelchairs, thanks to flexible seats that can flip up and a wheelchair lift. “There’s no excuse for the fact that so many people have trouble simply making it to their medical appointments,” Ford Mobility Business Group VP Marion Harris said in a press release. “By merging o...

UK report urges action to combat AI bias

The need for diverse development teams and truly representational data-sets to avoid biases being baked into AI algorithms is one of the core recommendations in a lengthy Lords committee report looking into the economic, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence, and published today by the upper House of the UK parliament. “The main ways to address these kinds of biases are to ensure that developers are drawn from diverse gender, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and are aware of, and adhere to, ethical codes of conduct,” the committee writes, chiming with plenty of extant commentary around algorithmic accountability. “It is essential that ethics take centre stage in AI’s development and use,” adds committee chairman, Lord Clement-Jones, in a statement. “The UK has a ...

Walmart reportedly in talks to acquire prescription delivery service PillPack

Walmart is in discussions to acquire medication delivery service PillPack for “under $1 billion,” reports CNBC. CNBC’s sources said the deal isn’t final yet, but talks have been going on for months and Amazon was also a potential suitor for the startup, which delivers medications to tens of thousands of customers in the United States. Launched in 2013, PillPack has raised $118 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, Atlas Venture and CRV. PillPack doesn’t just fill prescriptions: it also helps patients manage their medications by sorting pills into packets for individual doses, automatically delivering refills to homes and providing 24/7 customer service, all major selling points for seniors and people with multiple conditions. Last year, PillPack also unveiled prescrip...

Oscar Health raises $165 million at reported $3B valuation

Oscar Health, the startup run by Josh Kushner (yes, brother of Jared), has raised $165 million at a reported valuation of $3.2 billion, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports. The funding comes from Alphabet’s Capital G investment company and Verily life sciences corporation, Founders Fund and others. Oscar’s goal is to outpace existing industry-leading insurers, including UnitedHealth and Aetna, with an emphasis on mobile technology, including an appointment booking app and other tools for encouraging engaged consumers across its platform. The startup seemed to be in some potential trouble because of its focus providing an insurance marketplace for Affordable Care Act beneficiaries, but the company has changed its model to one in which customers are charged higher premiums, and with closer relatio...

Monarch is a new platform from surgical robot pioneer Frederic Moll

Auris Health (née Auris Surgical Robots) has done a pretty good job flying under the radar, in spite of raising a massive amount of capital and listing one of the key people behind the da Vinci surgical robot among its founders. With FDA clearance finally out of the way, however, the Redwood City-based startup medical startup is ready to start talking. This week, Auris revealed the Monarch Platform, which swaps the da Vinci’s surgical approach for something far less invasive. The system utilizes the common endoscopy procedure to a insert a flexible robot into hard to reach places inside the human body. A doctor trained on the system uses a video game-style controller to navigate inside, with help from 3D models. Monarch’s first target is lung cancer, the which tops the list of deadliest ca...

Experience The Most Perfect Underwater Yoga Class In The Maldives

For those people who aren’t huge fans of hot yoga, we’ve found the perfect alternative for you. Hurawalhi Island Resort, on the Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives has combined the beauty of the ocean with the calming properties of yoga. If you ask us, there’s nothing better. The resort’s 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is actually being converted into a yoga studio to accommodate this new feature. You don’t even have to worry about being experienced, because there will be featured yoga classes led by fitness expert Jessica Olie, author of #LETSSTARTYOGA. Source 1 The space itself is incredible, but when you combine yoga with it, it takes it to the next level. The aquarium-like feel allows you to experience tropical fish, turtles, dolphins, manta rays, and over 200 species of coral, all from the comfo...

Water Abundance XPRIZE finalists compete in gathering water from thin air

Despite being a necessity for life, clean, drinkable water can be extremely hard to come by in some places where war has destroyed infrastructure or climate change has dried up rivers and aquifers. The Water Abundance XPRIZE is up for grabs to teams that can suck fresh water straight out of the air, and it just announced its five finalists. The requirements for the program are steep enough to sound almost like science fiction: the device must extract “a minimum of 2,000 liters of water per day from the atmosphere using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of no more than 2 cents per liter.” Is that even possible?! For a million bucks, people will try anything. But only five teams have made it to the finals, taking equal shares of a $250,000 “milestone prize” to further their work. There...

Jack Dorsey wants to measure how Twitter affects society

Earlier this month, Twitter began soliciting proposals from the public to help the platform capture, measure and evaluate healthy interactions. Today, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other members of the team held a public conversation via Periscope about the company’s new initiative to measure healthy interactions on Twitter. As Twitter previously noted, the goal is to come up with metrics to measure the health of the interactions on Twitter. But Twitter eventually wants to take that a step further, Dorsey said today. “Ultimately we want to have a measurement of how it affects the broader society and public health, but also individual health, as well,” Dorsey said. Although Twitter does not have the tools to measure the effectiveness of longer content, Dorsey says increasing the character lim...

23andMe gets FDA green light for cancer risk test

Genetic testing powerhouse 23andMe announced today that it’s officially received the FDA go-ahead to launch a direct-to-consumer testing kit for genes linked to various forms of cancer. The forthcoming kit, which will be made available without a prescription, tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are linked to higher risk of ovarian, break and prostate cancer. “Being the first and only direct-to-consumer genetics company to receive FDA authorization to test for cancer risk without a prescription is a major milestone for 23andMe and for the consumer,” the company’s CEO Anne Wojcicki said in a release tied to the announcement. “We believe it’s important for consumers to have direct and affordable access to this potentially life-saving information. We will continue pioneering a path for greater ac...

Lyft commits to cutting the problem of health care transportation in half by 2020

In the wake of Uber’s entry into the healthcare transportation market, Lyft wants to remind people that’s a space it’s been working at for years, with partnerships across brokers of non-emergency medical transportation that cover nine of the top 10 health care systems in the U.S. It’s adding Allscripts today, and already counts Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ascension and others as platform partners. Lyft provides API access to these partners and their platforms, and with Allscripts, it’s going to integrate its ride hailing system into their open health platform as well as their electronic health records (EHR) services. The service Lyft providers to health care companies works via their Concierge offering, a B2B version of its ride-hailing service that allows businesses to schedule and call rides...

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera bumps the Pixel 2 for DxOMark’s top spot

You know the drill, right? A new flagship comes out and bumps the last big name out of the top spot. We’re still a couple of weeks out from the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ release date, but the premium handset just got the DxOMark treatment, and it seems the company’s got another feather to put in its flagship’s cap. The site posted a 99 for the S9+, edging out the Pixel 2’s very good camera by a point — and the iPhone X by two. Sure, that’s not exactly the “camera reinvented” message the company was pushing ahead of last weekend’s big announcement at MWC, but it’s certainly in line with the camera-first approach it was promising handset, besting the Galaxy Note 8’s score by five points (the site rated the S8, but not S8+, mind). The site gives the S9+ its highest photo score for a handset so fa...

This Olympic Skier Rescued 90 Dogs From A South Korean Dog Farm

Gus Kenworthy is an Olympic freestyle skier who has a reputation for rescuing dogs. During the 2014 Games in Sochi, he saved five strays that he found wandering around the city. His most recent act of heroism just took place in Pyeongchang, South Korea where he’s competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Working alongside the Humane Society International, Kenworthy was able to talk a dog farmer into shutting down his farm and allowing them to take his 90 dogs to the US and Canada. Actually, they’ll be finding homes for only 89 dogs, because Kenworthy couldn’t resist adopting one himself and naming him Beemo. Sadly, the practice of eating dog meat, known locally as Gaegogi, has yet to be banned. Koreans believe that it restores virility, and while they did adopt a law in 1991 that prohibi...