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CoronaVirus guest blogs health Healthcare

From Clinical Trials to Pharmacies: How Supply Chains Affect Healthcare Advancements

On the surface, supply chain management might not seem like it plays such a crucial role in the healthcare industry’s ability to improve people’s lives but distributing medicine to those who need it is impossible without efficient shipping logistics.

From Clinical Trials to Pharmacies: How Supply Chains Affect Healthcare Advancements

And with the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines projected to be available for public use in the months ahead, supply chains are under renewed focus. As amazing as the work has been to create and verify a viable vaccine, that’s only one aspect of the work involved. “It’s just incredible. I think the vaccine supply chain is one of the most mind-bogglingly complex supply chains ever built,” Johns Hopkins University’s Tinglong Dai, an operations management professor who specializes in healthcare data, recently told USA Today.

Each vaccine candidate requires different storage requirements, and this adds complexity to the delivery process. Here are the solutions that supply chains will be used to meet these demands.

Cold Chain Monitoring to Deliver Medicines and Vaccines

Cold chain management is the process of maintaining the quality of perishable supplies. Examples of perishable products include food, sensitive industrial equipment, and medicines. In the medical supply chain, cold chain tech is indispensable, since certain drugs are ineffective if not stored properly. For example, insulin needs to be stored between 36F and 46F to remain effective.

There are different tools that companies use to implement and supervise the cold chain delivery process. The largest of these are freight vehicles carrying refrigerated containers. Companies can lease these containers fully from transportation firms, or they can rent a portion of them to transport their goods. 

Larger firms, as is the case with pharmaceutical companies, generally purchase fleets of trucks and containers for their use to monitor shipments. Sensors monitor the internal temperature of the container and also track other data such as vibration, changes in position, and spillage. These data are transmitted to control rooms that alert the fleet to possible damage.

Data can be captured by data logging software and by indicators on the scene, but transmitting the data back to the control room is a challenging process. Traditionally Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) instruments are used to carry out this process. These days, technology such as Logmore‘s data loggers, which display dynamic QR codes, do the job much more efficiently.

“Damaged vaccines can become ineffective or even harmful to the user. That alone is a big enough reason to make sure that no spoiled products make it to the end-user, whose life might depend on the medication,” Logmore CEO Janne Juhala recently told Tech Bullion.

“In addition to that, all the spoilage really adds up. Unusable products need to be disposed of, which often causes environmental harm. To consider a hard, cold ‘corporate’ worldview, every single mishap with products that led to issues is a hit on customer trust and could even lead to legal repercussions.”

Cold chain tech also comes in smaller sizes. Cooling gel packs, bricks, and bottles store smaller shipments of medicines. These solutions are used for last-mile deliveries. Last-mile refers to the supply of goods from warehouses to a customer’s doorstep. Monitoring the quality of goods throughout the process is essential for successful delivery. Vaccines and medical supplies are usually delivered using thermal boxes. They come as individual boxes or as full-sized carts that can transport supplies.

Condition Monitoring For Instrumentation

Medicines are what people usually think of when the word healthcare is used. However, healthcare items extend well beyond them. Medical labs require sophisticated equipment that can measure and log patient data. Doctors use these reports to arrive at diagnoses. Aside from medical reports, instruments are used heavily during drug trials, much like the ones the COVID-19 vaccine candidates are undergoing.

These devices are fragile and consist of a variety of sensors and meters. Transporting them is a sensitive task, and they require constant condition monitoring. Older supply chain tech focused on track-and-trace methods, which specifies where a product has been and where it’s headed. Modern supply chain tech uses predict-and-prevent technology, which implements artificial intelligence algorithms to predict potential disruptions. 

Condition monitoring extends to the entire fleet, instead of single containers, and the need for emergency backups reduces.

AI is also playing a role in helping companies reorient their supply chains. The pandemic has highlighted the need to bring manufacturing of essential supplies onshore, instead of relying on distant Asian factories. By predicting production timelines and monitoring en-route supplies’ conditions, medical instruments and drugs can be delivered in optimal shape.

Inventory and Order Management for Pharmacies

Order management is a collaborative effort between businesses and their supply chain partners. Accurate demand forecasts ensure that production timelines are optimized, and supply chains can align accordingly. When it comes to medicines, pharmacies project demand based on a variety of factors such as seasonality and local conditions.

The pandemic has changed consumer behaviors, and in-person visits have decreased. Online consultations and home delivery of medicines have increased. Such a change in demand patterns is unprecedented, and supply chain tech has helped pharmacies deal with the situation better.

“Any technology that enables the distribution of the pharmacist’s workload so they can focus more on patient care will have a major beneficial impact on society as a whole,” PerceptiMed CTO Ram Subramanian recently explained to Forbes. “We need to make sure we ride along with the wave of change and not behind it.”

Today, more medicines are stored on-site using cold chain technology such as thermal boxes. Online pharmacies use condition monitoring technology like QR codes and deliver goods using thermal boxes that monitor as well as prevent damage to their goods. Their inventory management systems are using AI algorithms similar to ones used to develop intelligent supply chains. All of these solutions help manage to change demand patterns and align supplies accordingly.

The Foundation of the Recovery

As the world deals with the pandemic and starts to move towards recovery, supply chain logistics will be at the heart of everything. As supply chains grow more intelligent, the delivery of medicines and vaccines are almost certain to be efficient, despite the challenges.

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Beauty and Skin guest blogs hair care

TIPS TO PREPARE YOU FOR A HAIR TRANSPLANT

The continued advancement in medical technology has had vast effects on cosmetic procedures, such as hair transplants being named having low risks. Although branded as a very safe cosmetic procedure, there are some steps one can take to allow for an effective and fast healing process. This article will discuss some tips you can use.

TIPS TO PREPARE YOU FOR A HAIR TRANSPLANT

FINDING A GOOD CLINIC

Any procedure’s success will mainly depend on the facility they choose to perform for them the service. In your search for a clinic to perform your hair transplant, it is crucial that you look to find a certified facility and have qualified and authorized personnel who look out for your well-being and advise you accordingly such as Capilclinic.

STAYING HEALTHY

As staying healthy is vital in allowing a quick and effective recovery, it is advised that you keep fit and eat nutritious foods to develop healthy skin and proper blood flow in your body. Fair, healthy skin will hold on to the newly inserted hair follicles, and it heals quickly. Avoid supplements and vitamins such as vitamins B and E. These vitamins do thin the blood increasing the risk of over bleeding.

MASSAGING THE SCALP

As you draw near the procedure date, it is crucial to massage your head for about 10 to 30 minutes daily to enhance your head’s blood flow. Having good flow will allow the follicles to remain healthy and nourished during the healing process and in the following years.

AVOID SMOKING

You must refrain from smoking cigarettes, vape, or using nicotine products if you are a user. Some of these products will have significant effects on the blood flow and lower the healing rate and, at times, not heal effectively. Smokers’ bodies tend to take a longer time to heal and, at times, don’t heal adequately.

AVOID ALCOHOL

Drinking alcohol can risk a hair transplant procedure’s success, mostly because alcohol can thin the blood, bringing up the risk of over bleeding during the process and even after. Also, not forgetting that alcohol consumption will weaken your immune system. Alcohol consumption should stop at least two weeks before the procedure.

MEDICATION

In the weeks that come before your hair transplant procedure, your doctor will most likely restrain you from taking some medication as they will have the capability to thin your blood, which affects the operations. You should avoid drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, and other medicines that thin the blood. If you already under a prescription, you should consult your doctor on how to go about it.

GROOMING YOUR HAIR

Wash your hair with shampoo in the weeks leading to your hair transplant to allow your hair follicles to remain healthy. By washing your hair and scrubbing your scalp, you wash off dead skin from your head.

By using these tips, you are assured that you will have a successful hair transplant, and you will heal in the best way possible. In case you experience complications, do consult your doctor.

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Cosmetic guest blogs health

A Few Trendy Treatments You Should Know About

Cosmetic treatments have seen a rise in popularity recently, thanks to their wider availability, decreasing prices, and increasingly promising results. But these aren’t just your average marketing points that the industry makes to convince people into trying out some treatments for themselves. The industry has seen a pretty rapid rise, all thanks to a change in the outlook on cosmetic treatments.

A Few Trendy Treatments You Should Know About

Nowadays if you live in a big city anywhere in the United States, you’ll find many cosmetic spas and clinics, each of which has their own roster of treatments and packages for their clients who are ready to try out something new. And so we’ll be looking into a few of the most popular treatments that have been rather trendy recent years and have sparked great interest in many people. MiracleFace MedSpa wants you to know about a few of them, which includes but isn’t limited to Coolsculpting, Cooltone, and the Sculptra NYC treatment plans.

Not only is this a little reminder that these treatments exist, but also that you can easily sign up for an appointment for any of them and be on your way to getting a little change in your life.

Cool sculpting

If at any point in your life you’ve felt like you’ve let yourself go a little bit, then you know that hassle that comes with routine exercising, strict diets, and an overall healthy lifestyle. Sure, it’s the most natural way to keep your body fit, but it’s not something everyone is capable of as a result of their busy days and very limited free time. It really is unfortunate that we spend more time at work than look after ourselves, but this is the reality for many people across the country.

Which is why modern science and medical technology has provided a very easy way out of this conundrum with a special treatment capable of trimming away unnecessary layers of fat, without the often harsh side-effects and recovery periods that come with other fat reduction treatments. 

Coolsculpting uses specialized suction cups, which clamp onto the skin and begin pumping a steady stream of cold air. The cold temperature stimulates the fat cells in that area of your body to go into apoptosis, a process where the cells shrivel up and die out, getting detached from the rest of the fat clump as a result. In the end, these inactive cells are then absorbed into the rest of the body and naturally evicted. Essentially, with the right stimulant, you can convince the fat cells into committing cell suicide and in the end, a tone that particular area of the body.

There are no injections required, your skin doesn’t need to be cut open; everything is done externally and the only side-effect you have to fear is the aching you’ll feel immediately after the procedure since your skin is having such a rapid change in heat.

Cooltone

While Coolsculpting focuses on the fat buildup and how to thin it out, Cooltone puts a greater emphasis on the muscles.

Part of looking fit isn’t just about having less fat but having stronger, more chiseled out muscles. The specialized magnetic technology utilized in the Cooltone treatment sends waves of electromagnetic energy through your muscles, causing them to contract at very rapid speeds. When they do this, they naturally get strong and firm, as if you were vigorously exercising and with a lot of momentum.

This makes it a very easy convenient way to tone and bring out muscles in specific areas of the body without having to spend hours at the gym. Much like Coolsculpting, Cooltone is a non-invasive procedure, as it does not require any incisions or injections, being performed completely outside the skin.

Sculptra

Sculptra injections function much like standard dermal fillers; they lift and shape certain areas of the body, smoothing out the skin and bringing out the vibrancy. But whereas dermal fillers work with the face, Sculptra works on the buttocks. 

Bigger, rounder butts are a big trend at the moment and many people wish to see themselves with a natural-looking, rounded out posterior. Obviously there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a slimmer one, but as with any other trend, some people simply want to enjoy themselves in a different light.

The Sculptra compound is injected into key areas of the buttocks, where it lifts and firms up the butt to make it look naturally plump and thicker. It also gives it a natural-looking shape and form, which is also really important, since it’s so easy to tell when a posterior is naturally big vs when it was treated. You can take a look through some before and after photos to see for yourself just how good the results look, as the added curvature really works to highlight the beautiful contours of the body.

And thanks to the compound being super safe, many clients all across the world are confidently going into clinics and leaving with more attractive curves.

Try All These Out With a Clinic You Can Trust

No matter how advanced a treatment it might be, as well as the tools and equipment it requires, you’ll need to find a good clinic if you wish to see great results, since high-quality tools also require an experienced pair of hands to operate them. You shouldn’t just settle for the first option that comes up, but rather be a little more prudent in your decision.

MiracleFace MedSpa will make sure that you won’t regret any decision you make. Their Coolsculpting, Cooltone and Sculptra NYC treatment plans are famous across the city as some of the most reasonably priced, allowing for a wide range of people with varying financial backgrounds to enjoy the privilege of modern cosmetics. This is what differentiates MiracleFace MedSpa from the competition: it’s their willingness to see more satisfaction on the faces of the people who visit the clinic.

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beauty and skin care guest blogs Skin Care skin care and beauty

What Exactly is Volume Restoration?

You’ve heard all about it and why it’s important and how volume is such an important part of a young case. Or have you? You see it in advertisements for dermal fillers and other anti-age cosmetic treatments, statements like “Restore volume” or “More face volume for a younger look,” but what do these actually mean and what are they referring to? After all, if we’re talking about cosmetic treatments, which have a science behind them, we’re not referring to some abstract idea of what it means to be young.

What Exactly is Volume Restoration?

We’re literally talking about a very much physically existing face and its features, or the lack thereof. In this case the lack of volume which makes the face look older. So, let’s clear up any vagueness and take a plunge into the world of volume and dermal fillers like Juvederm NYC clinics’ right hand when it comes to youth restoration and anti-aging.

And thanks to Manhattan’s own MiracleFace MedSpa, who’ve offered a lot of helpful information into the secret behind volume and how it works, we’ll get a better idea of just what it is and how it helps us look younger.

What is Volume

When you think of a younger vs older face, what are some things that come to your mind? On an older face, you’ll probably imagine wrinkles and stretched out skin, whereas smooth and perfectly even surfaced on the young. What about the pigmentation? Generally, younger faces have a more smooth color pallet and nothing is out of place, though obviously, everyone’s skin is different and some people may naturally have a larger variety in their skin pigmentation. However, it’s no secret that as the skin gets older, it naturally attracts a whole bunch of dark spots called “sun spots” which are quite visible and are a telltale sign of aging.

Volume does not work in such a visible fashion, it’s a lot more nuanced. While wrinkles and skin pigmentation are straight-forward and don’t need any extra examination to understand and notice, the volume is much more subtle and works behind the scenes. 

Now, sure, the structure of your skull will not change and the shape of your head will stay the same all throughout your life. But the shape of your face can and will change at some point, as your skin gets looser and saggier with age. Part of having tight skin isn’t just about seeing no wrinkles, but also seeing those curves and contours of your face, like the cheekbones, that straight jawline, and chin. 

All of these make up the smooth-cut shape of your face and give it that youthful and fresh appearance. But as times goes on and with that little thing called gravity always weighing you down, you’ll find your skin getting weaker and saggier. Once it begins to droop in this fashion, the smooth edges created by all those curves on your face are lost under folds of older skin, and the shape of your face sags.

You’ll notice how older skin tends to have bags in various places, like above the chin, below the jawline, and under the eyes. This comes from a loss of volume or tightness of the face. Basically, the older you get the more volume you lose and the more volume you lose, the saggier your face gets, looking more tired and droopy as a result.

How It’s Restored

Thanks to dermal fillers like Juvederm, skin volume can be restored quite easily and the face’s youthful look with it. When Juvederm is injected into key locations in the face, it lifts and tightens the skin, bringing out those curves, like the cheekbones and jawline once again, restoring volume and making the face look younger.

Thanks to the Juvederm compound’s clever engineering, it is able to lift the skin in a natural manner, without sacrificing any of your facial features that make it so special. It does not puff up the skin, nor does it make it look plastic and fake. Modern dermal fillers, not excluding Juvederm, can give you a naturally younger look.

So, if you’re worried about people being able to tell whether or not you’ve gone through treatment, then you have very little to worry about. Thanks to the method of injections, as well as the compound itself, discerning between treated and untreated faces is very hard to do nowadays. Also, thanks to the advanced compound, you also don’t have to worry about long-lasting side-effects and recover times.

Most clients report that the side-effects wear off within the first week after the treatment and the side-effects themselves are said to be very light in nature. You can expect anything from a little swelling to itching and dryness immediately after the treatment and this will continuously go away within that initial week.

After the treatment, there is also very little to do in terms of skin maintenance. The only thing you’ll be asked to do is not put more strain on your skin, especially the treated area than you need to. This especially refers to other cosmetic treatments; don’t get them unless you know that your skin has completely recovered. 

Put Your Trust in the Right Clinic

Picking the right clinic will only make your experience with volume restoration that much better, so you need to pick the right place and the right treatment plan in order to maximize results and get the best out of your budget. And if you happen to live in NYC, then MiracleFace MedSpa may just be one of your best options.

Thanks to its Ivy-League trained professionals, their Juvederm NYC treatment plan is responsible for many newly rejuvenated faces, which carry big smiles of satisfaction as they look in the mirror only to find a much younger and more vibrant face looking back at them. By putting your trust in MiracleFace MedSpa, you’re choosing one of the city’s finest clinics with a track record of satisfied clients who found exactly the kind of results they were looking for, but for a more reasonable price than its competitors.

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beauty and skin care guest blogs Skin & Beauty Skin Care skin care and beauty

The Story of Juvederm in NYC

Juvederm isn’t hard to find anymore, especially not in big cities like NYC. Being an NYC resident, you currently have the unprecedented opportunity to get a little delayed with the power of Juvederm and the amazing abilities of modern cosmetic technology. This all sounds too convenient to be true, but it’s actually very much true.

Juvederm NYC clinics’ favorite dermal filler is widely available in a wide variety of clinics across the city and for prices that won’t leave you with an empty wallet. But before we can talk about deals on the treatment, we must first understand how Juvederm and other dermal fillers work and what they accomplish.

It’s important to know exactly what to expect from treatment before we even think about the payment model or making an appointment. Luckily, dermal fillers including Juvederm are very straight forward, with a simple procedure that leads to some of the most shockingly effective results the beauty industry has to offer. No wonder why so many clinics, not just NYC based, are picking up Juvederm as their go-to dermal filler.

Looking at Volume

When you think of a youthful face, what are some factors that come to your mind? You imagine smooth skin that sits tight against the facial structure, you also imagine a lively pigmentation with a color that pops out and looks fresh and vigorous. But what about the actual shape of the face; what kind of form comes to mind when thinking about a younger face.

Youthfulness is more than just having smooth skin and no wrinkles. There are a lot of factors that come together to make a face seem young and full of energy, one of the biggest of which happens to be volume. Volume isn’t as easy to notice as something like a wrinkle or another age mark. Volume isn’t immediately noticeable, but once you see it you understand what it is and how it affects your impression of someone’s face.

Younger faces, we still have supple and tight skin, have more contours and angles which add more character to the face. These are areas like the cheekbones, the forehead, the jawline, and chin. When skin fits these parts snugly and tightly these contours are highlighted, making the face look fresh and young. An easy way to see volume is to look at a young face and notice how their two protrude cheekbones converge together along the jawline and meet at the chin, making this letter V-like in shape.

Older faces don’t have this. The saggy skin no longer hugs these contours tightly and as a result, flaps downwards. This is why you’ll notice that certain older individuals will have extra flaps of skin hanging from their jaw; this is because their skin has lost so much of its volume, that it can no longer stay tight to the face. This is how volume works and Juvederm is able to restore it to make a face look younger.

How Juvederm Works

Juvederm being the type of dermal filler, can accomplish many different tasks when it comes to de-aging a face. Dermal fillers are used to lift the skin and tighten it in specific areas of the face to make it look younger. This can be done on many different parts, anywhere from the forehead to the area around the lips. 

This is why with just a few injections of Juvederm, the skin can be lifted and the volume will be restored, as the skin tightly hugs the parts of the face which give it that extra contour to make it look younger and so much more fresh. The injections are very small and very quick, making them very painless and the procedure relatively short period if you’re worried about any kind of uncomfortable sensations, you have nothing to worry about since the specialist will apply numbing cream on the face before with the procedure to make sure that you don’t feel a thing.

Most clients report feeling a little tugging as the needle goes in and out of the skin, but other than there is no pain whatsoever with the procedure going by quickly and very cleanly. The Juvederm compound is then injected into certain parts of the face where after a short period of time it will position itself in a way that will lift up the skin above, stretching it out and tightening it.

After the Treatment

Immediately following the treatment you will already see some kind of results, in the form of your face being a lot smoother than you remember it period initially you’ll feel a little numbing sensation as the numbing cream wears off as well as your face getting used to the compound.

Within the first week, however, all the numbing and redness and swelling will have disappeared leaving behind smooth skin with no wrinkles. But this is not the end of your Juvederm journey. The compound still needs a little time to set into its final form and you’ll need to be a little more patient if you want to see the conclusive results. In any case, however, expect to notice a major difference that is very clearly visible.

You’ll also be needing guidance and assistance after the treatment as well. Sure, the procedure is rather quick and it’s very safe, but you’ll still need some extra advice for any questions or concerns you may have after the treatment. And a good clinic will need to provide you with this kind of support along with the quality treatment.

If you live in the NYC area, then Skinly Aesthetics is just the spa for you if you’re looking for not only reasonably priced and professional cosmetic treatments, but also all the help you’ll need before, during, and after the procedure. Their Juvederm NYC treatment plan gives you not only a reasonably priced opportunity to try out the compound for yourself but is also super effective and very much safe.

You can visit their website to learn more about their amazing offers and deals.

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CoronaVirus mental health

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health

It was shocking for everyone. COVID-19 has turned from a small cluster of cases to a global pandemic. We were surprised, sometimes sad, often depressed, but also motivated and united. Just as in normal life – you can think. However, we cannot stress enough how hard and dangerous it was for mentally impaired or psychologically troubled individuals to overcome the time of the world health crisis. The impact of the pandemic on mental health might not be here right now but it definitely happening and we will all see it in the near future.

The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health

The world health crisis is not only about people dying in hospitals

The direct impact of COVID-19 infection is the loss of lives and we cannot neglect the difficult psycho-social impact of the loss of family members and friends. If you weren’t infected and any of your close ones were, besides forced staying at home, what else would keep you anxious? Forced lockdown depends hugely on your housing circumstances, but it’s never a paradise. It’s likely to feel like a prison, it’s likely to make you sad at times. When it comes to worldwide problems related to the pandemic, issues include affected economies, trades, businesses, livelihoods, and also the physical and mental well-being of all populations.

The lack of resources, insurance, persistent economic threat

If you are lucky enough to have the necessary support to economically survive a pandemic with no great anxiety, you are one of a few that sleep calmly. We shouldn’t forget that the physical distancing and lockdown measures implemented to contain the transmission of the virus come with the inherent risk of depriving poor households of being able to sustain their livelihoods. In fact, many, not only small businesses experienced forced closure. The economic impact of the pandemic on financial markets, micro-businesses, and vulnerable industries have increased the risk of unemployment. Uncertainty and financial concerns for the least well-paid, self-employed, and daily wage workers can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to getting into depression. The shortage of food and essential services can have devastating effects on people’s mental health. 

Man as a social animal

Let’s not overlook the effects of physical distancing measures and movement restrictions on mental health. We heard a lot about suddenly reinforced the quantity of domestic violence acts, abuses, and witnessing the violence of a family member. Being confined at homes can have a serious influence on mental health, both for the oppressor and for the victim. Even our heroes’ mental health, healthcare providers, and other essential workers who have been providing essential services while being susceptible to the infection represent cause for concern. 

Adapting to change as the key to survival

The duration of lockdowns and the international fight against the global pandemic is unclear. When person to person interaction has reduced, schedules and routines have been interrupted and access to care providers has become limited, many psychologists provide free online counseling. It’s useful to learn to make use of the various telephone hotlines available. Otherwise, we can be part of reliable support groups on social media, either as supporters, if we stand firm on the ground psychologically, or as the ones expecting support. 

Managing mental health in the chaotic time

What helps? Learn to have a structured schedule, establish a simple morning routine. Don’t force yourself to be super productive. It’s not possible, we are experiencing a worldwide trauma, and we need to be good for ourselves as well as for each other. Don’t forget about taking adequate rest, and practicing self-care (learn strategies such as breathing exercises, relaxation exercises, and cultivating hobbies). Minimize the time spent on watching, reading, or listening to news about COVID-19. Also, limit the sources of news to only the reliable ones.

Experiencing ostracization brings in even more tension

Some frontline workers and people of certain ethnicities and nationalities may experience ostracization due to stigma. It’s not hard to guess that it can be detrimental to mental well-being. Let’s talk about it openly and strongly counteract misconceptions leading to the stigmatization of any population. Also when it comes to health care providers, we must take good care of them. If you are a medical worker, don’t forget to rest between work-shifts, take care of basic needs, and stay in touch with family and friends. Pandemic tests our solidarity and our abilities to cope with change. It’s vital that we take care of our mental as well as physical health.

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CoronaVirus

The Future of Workplaces: How Covid-19 Will Transform Office Life

Will offices reopen after the coronavirus pandemic, or will they turn into ghost towns? Covid-19 doesn’t stop surging the US. Currently, some companies let their employees re-enter the workplaces after months of working from home. After temporarily saying goodbye to work meetings and staff socials, now, with the temperature taken regularly and many other security measures followed, some of us can go back to work. But is this want we really want? And, even more interestingly, what we really need?

The Future of Workplaces: How Covid-19 Will Transform Office Life

Relying on an abundance of caution

Let’s call it the first step to fruitfully come back on the right work track. For those who are not going to transform their practice into online activity, here are some steps to make the office a safe place. In the absence of federal guidelines around the best practices, office managers will do what seems right to them. We will miss familiar gatherings by the water cooler and buzzing shared spaces. Such pleasures will surely disappear from office-spaces in the foreseeable future. The ‘social distancing’ of the future (a strongly abused term lately) now transforms into de-densifying. It is also used by many schools, and it refers to restricting the number of people who have access to a given space at any one time.

The concept of phased reopenings

Not all employees will return to a location at the same time. It will happen in waves over a while. In these after-pandemic new circumstances, business leaders will have to prioritize who returns when. Seems legit. What else will change? The physical layout of our offices. Submittable (the 100-person tech firm) reports experimenting with different seating arrangements to avoid cluttered workspaces. They are also planning staggered workdays. Teams will rotate between designated days in the office. Also, we should expect to have our temperature taken regularly.

The benefits of working out in nature 

There’s no doubt that working in open spaces positively affects your productivity. Currently, health officials predict another wave of the virus this fall. It means that this staggered standard will likely continue over the next six to twelve months. While big office meetings may not officially be a thing of the past yet, we will surely have smaller groups in large meeting rooms. Not to forget that everyone will be wearing a face mask. The new normal: the virtual meetings and social gatherings online in a more (one must admit) casual style that has developed over the last two months. Sanitary kits designed especially for companies include sanitizer, masks, gloves, tissues, soap, a stylus pen for use on high-touch surfaces like printers and elevator buttons, and brass antimicrobial hook-style keys that can open door handles. 

The new office normalcy

Offices will be, therefore, equipped with stations for personal protective accessories, safety kits, like hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves. Those articles will be new permanent fixtures in offices, placed at entrances, exits, and other strategic locations. Recycling masks and gloves mean taking this health practice even a step ahead. Workers will probably need to get into the habit of wiping down the surfaces of their desks and other office supplies. Employees will be forced to make health-dictated sacrifices, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Some businesses may spring for a body thermal scanner at office entrances, as Amazon has done at its warehouses. Willis Towers Watson’s research found that almost half of companies surveyed (47%) are enhancing healthcare benefits for employees in the face of Covid-19. Forty-five percent of respondents reported expanding wellbeing coverage, and 33% reported planning changes to paid time off policies. 

Everything has a price

Experts predict that health insurance premiums for employers will rise in 2021 anywhere from 4% to 40%. This forecast is based on recent filings from health insurance companies with the District of Columbia’s department of insurance, securities, and banking. A report from Covered California predicted employers ‘no longer being able to offer affordable coverage, or dramatically shifting costs to employees.

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CoronaVirus

No State is Free From Covid-19 but Florida Got Seriously Hit

As each state is under detailed observation and security measures are more or less strictly followed, Covid-19 existence should slowly but surely go down. In Florida, this is not the case. Let’s see how to come.

No State is Free From Covid-19 but Florida Got Seriously Hit

Sanjay Bharath, a 34 years old victim from Florida

Why is Florida becoming America’s coronavirus epicenter? The surge in the Sunshine State was associated with younger Americans. Along with Texas and Arizona, the state fast became one of the regions with the highest surges in the country. A hospital nurse in South Florida, Sanjay Bharath, claims that he caught the virus from a patient when the Covid-19 screening process for admissions was less strict. Symptoms like fever, dry cough, loss of taste, and chest pain appeared soon after he got infected. 34 years is not a virus-vulnerable age group, yet a young Mr. Bharath fell victim to Covid-19.

14 days after, he had coughed up blood and checked into the hospital as a result. Two days later, he had to be intubated. Still, Mr. Bharath hoped to be sent back home. He wasn’t so lucky, though. Due to events that followed up, as his symptoms worsened, he would wake up in a fever-sweat every six hours, feeling chills, breathless, and lightheaded. He would never respirate without coughing and choking, remaining on a ventilator for eight days. He claims that he felt as if he would be “running a marathon constantly just by sitting down”. In the course of the two weeks in hospital over Covid-19, Mr. Bharath lost 20 lbs – 9kg. Now, four months since his hospital stay, he is still recovering.

Last week in Florida, nearly 10,000 new cases per day!

The biggest daily rise in hospital admissions was on 9 July (more than 400 patients needing treatment, 120 residents, including an 11-year-old girl, dying due to the virus). Then, on 12 July, the state broke the national record – 15,300 cases in a single day. If Florida was a country, it would be fourth in the world for most new cases in a day – Reuters reports. The weekly average has risen to 81 people each day. Yet, Florida’s Disney World resort reopened with a limited capacity just recently, on 11 July. As for 14 July, over 4,400 Floridians died due to the virus, with the highest daily death toll on that day – 132 reported deaths. 

Critics say the number of deaths is probably higher than the one reported by the state

Florida doesn’t voluntarily report deaths suspected as having been caused by Covid-19. The state also has yet to report daily hospital admission rates. The positive test rate is nearing 20%, which is four times the standard for reopening set by the World Health Organization and double the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control. This measure indicates how much the virus is spreading even with testing increases. It’s now the highest since early March when the pandemic hit the US. Florida hit the 100,000 case mark on 22 June, and 13 days later, that number had doubled. Now, there are more than 287,000 cases.

A lot of misinformation all over the web

When it comes to the seriousness of this outbreak – says Dr. Aileen Marty, a Florida International University infectious disease expert –  Florida is now among the worst-hit regions because of the disinformation and inconsistency in messages coming from both the government and the state. It confuses people. In May and June, Governor Ron DeSantis had said the reopening was feasible as cases had declined. As they began rising, Mr. DeSantis in June reversed his decision on reopening. But he has refused to require masks statewide and has joined President Donald Trump is emphasizing the importance of keeping the economy open.

The way that the state after our initial lockdown has perpetuated the problem,” Dr. Marty, a World Health Organization adviser, assures. What would be the right way? Establishing a contact tracing and isolating system while the state was in lockdown, early testing of asymptomatic individuals, and first of all preventing weeks of civil unrest, between anti-lockdown protesters and marches against racial inequality. Mr. DeSantis said last week he felt the state’s numbers had stabilized, telling residents: “There’s no need to be fearful.” It probably wasn’t the best move to take. “They’re putting a lot of people at risk,” Mr. Bharath says, “there’s always the fear that I might catch it again or bring it home to more vulnerable family members”.

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CoronaVirus HealthTech

AI Is Screening Billions of Molecules for Coronavirus Treatments

One of the best features of AI, especially when used for science, is that it’s fast and efficient. Due to the global coronavirus spread, these days, AI has been utilized in medicine often. Recently, AI is screening billions of molecules for coronavirus treatments.

AI Is Screening Billions of Molecules for Coronavirus Treatments

A staggering speed

How much time would take evaluating 1 billion small molecules for their ability to bind SARS-CoV-2 proteins on casual computers? On the largest of them, probably around a decade. AI has shown us an amazingly variated speed in that matter. The work moved quickly. In a pandemic, “there are many drug candidates people would like to screen and, even with the proliferation of cloud and supercomputers, there just wouldn’t be enough computing to test them all” – says Shantanu Jha, a computational scientist at Rutgers University and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Together with his colleagues, they have integrated machine learning into the simulations they run on the supercomputers. It allows the programs to adapt to new information that gets uncovered as they run, thereby producing lists of candidate small molecules, much faster than traditional supercomputing methods.

Pilot study

COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The common ground that physicians from all over the globe seem to follow is repurposing existing drugs. The goal is clear – we need to find a cure that will help patients immediately get better. In a pilot study at the end of March, twelve COVID-19-infected people were admitted to the hospital in Italy. They received a daily dose of the rheumatoid arthritis drug, baricitinib, and an anti-HIV drug combination of lopinavir and ritonavir. Another study group of 12 received only lopinavir and ritonavir. Both groups were using it for two weeks. After the treatment, the patients who received baricitinib had mostly recovered – no coughs, no fevers, no short breath. Seven of them had been discharged from the hospital. The group who didn’t get baracitinib was still exhibiting symptoms. An artificial intelligence (AI) company based in the United Kingdom, BenevolentAI, was crucial to conduct this study. 

The team completed the work in only a few days

Justin Stebbing, an oncologist at Imperial College London and BenevolentAI collaborator, claims AI “makes higher-order correlations that a human wouldn’t be capable of making, even with all the time in the world. It links datasets that a human wouldn’t be able to link”. BenevolentAI’s vice president of pharmacology, Peter Richardson, says that it took him only an afternoon of work to use the company’s knowledge graph – an enormous, digital storehouse of biomedical information and connections inferred and enhanced by ML – to identify two human protein targets to focus on, AP2-associated protein kinase 1 (AAK1) and cyclin g-associated kinase (GAK).

These kinases mediate endocytosis – a process by which cells engulf things, including viruses – and, if disrupted, might make it harder for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to get into human cells. Having addressed those targets, they used another algorithm to find existing drugs that could hit the protein targets. The whole process took a few days – a situation impossible to imagine just a few decades ago when AI hasn’t been born yet. 

Next steps to succeed with AI-derived treatment

Eventually, the researchers cut the list of drugs for coronavirus down to about 30. Among the handful of those that showed the highest affinity for binding their targets (like toxic chemotherapy drugs, and others) baricitinib won clearly. The side effects were mostly benign and showed up after a longer period of treatment than COVID-19 patients need. It’s not metabolized by the liver and is instead excreted through the kidneys. It means that it might be safe to combine it with a traditional antiviral (such as lopinavir) that is metabolized by the liver. In addition to baricitinib’s predicted interactions with AAK1 and GAK, it’s a known Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. Because JAK mediates cytokine signaling that leads to inflammation, inhibiting JAK suppresses inflammation, which, at first blush, might have been a problem. Baricitinib not only prevents the virus from getting into cells but also reduces the intense immune reaction that causes so many problems, even as viral titers start to fall.

The pharmaceutical company takes up the AI idea 

Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company that makes baricitinib, has agreed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the drug’s effectiveness in COVID-19 patients in the US. The BenevolentAI team is one of several groups leveraging AI to find drugs that have already been approved by regulators and could, therefore, be repurposed to fight SARS-CoV-2.

What to believe in?

Coupling artificial intelligence techniques and algorithms with high-performance computing simulations to speed up the ability to screen billions of existing drugs for their interactions with and ability to disrupt SARS-CoV-2 proteins – this is what scientists do these days. Thanks to great minds and AI systems, the effectiveness of drugs against coronavirus will save a great number of lives.

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Alzheimer's Disease HealthTech

Predicting The Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease With AI

These days, armed with medical and scientific knowledge and with the newest digital tools, we are going to great lengths to fight every illness. No wonder that new Artificial Intelligence (AI) medical algorithms arise often. Alzheimer’s disease is the primary cause of dementia worldwide, with one in 10 people aged 65 and older exhibiting Alzheimer’s dementia. The newest AI systems can accurately predict and diagnose the risk of it. Let’s browse the scientists’ brand-new Alzheimer’s disease with AI, interesting discoveries. 

Predicting The Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease With AI

Current knowledge on treating Alzheimer’s disease

Pharmaceutical companies have invested hundreds of billions in Alzheimer’s research, however, the field has had little success over the years, with 146 unsuccessful attempts to develop drugs that prevent or treat the disease, between 1998 and 2017. Only four new medicines received approval and solely to treat symptoms. More than 90 drug candidates are still in development. Now, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are looking to partner with pharmaceutical firms to get the model implemented in real-world clinical trials for Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s disease and AI

With the use of Artificial Intelligence, researchers from MIT took time to develop tools to determine whether patients at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease would experience cognitive decline. The algorithm was able to predict patient cognition test scores for up to two years in the future. The deep learning algorithm, developed by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine, uses a combination of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing to measure cognitive impairment, along with data on age and gender, which helps to accurately predict the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. For new participants, researchers developed a second model that is personalized for each patient and continuously updates risk scores. 

Meta-learning scheme

To optimize the results of the personalized models, and to use newly recorded data at its best, researchers invented a “meta-learning” scheme. It learns to automatically choose which type of model works best, for any given participant, at any given time. While meta-learning has been used before for computer vision and machine translation tasks, the team said this is the first time when it’s used for Alzheimer’s. The meta-learning scheme helped to reduce the error rate for future predictions by fifty percent. “We wanted to learn how to learn with this meta-learning scheme. It’s like a model on top of a model that acts as a selector, trained using meta-knowledge to decide which model is better to deploy” – says Oggi Rudovic, a Media Lab researcher.

MRI scans at use. Expanding the use of neuroimaging data

How to create a useful database for treating Alzheimer’s medical predictions? The researchers collected MRI scans of the brain, demographics, and clinical information of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease as well as ones with normal cognition. Afterward, they developed a novel deep learning model to accurately predict Alzheimer’s disease status on the other independent cohorts.

This study has broad implications for expanding the use of neuroimaging data (among which MRI scans) to accurately detect risks. Researchers first trained a population model on an entire dataset that included clinically significant cognitive test scores and other biometric data from Alzheimer’s patients and healthy individuals between biannual doctor’s visits. The model analyzes data learning patterns that can help predict how patients will score on cognitive tests.

Preparing for the future

Why do we need these models? They could help with selecting candidate drugs and participants for clinical trials, and allow patients and their loved ones prepare for rapid cognitive decline. “Being able to accurately predict future cognitive changes can reduce the number of visits the participant has to make, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Apart from helping develop a useful drug, the goal is to help reduce the costs of clinical trials to make them more affordable and done on larger scales” – said Oggi Rudovic, a Media Lab researcher.

This algorithm can generate interpretable and intuitive visualizations of individual Alzheimer’s disease risk. These steps could be extended to other organs in the body, leading to improved drug development and care delivery. We can also already assume that it’s possible to diagnose other degenerative diseases with the help of AI. “If we have accurate tools to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease […], that is readily available and which can use routinely available data, such as a brain MRI scan, then they have the potential to assist clinical practice […]” – says Vijaya Kolachalama, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

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Artificial Inteligence HealthTech

What Makes Food Delivery Industry Bet Big on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

If you aren’t directly involved in the food-delivery industry (on the other hand, who isn’t, at least passively?), you don’t really think about how many cutting-edge technologies are being used for its upgraded functioning. It’s been years since we had to make exhausting calls at the pizza place, listing our favorite ingredients to the person on the other side of the phone. In the blink of an eye, things became so much easier and more comfortable. Not surprisingly, it’s quite a task to gain a front-liner advantage in this industry nowadays. 

What Makes Food Delivery Industry Bet Big on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Get in touch with experts 

Leading fast-food chains and food delivery companies are working on creating apps optimized by artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning algorithms to display the most relevant messages and offers to their users. If you are a professional operating in the business somehow related to food-delivery, you should talk to your analytics experts about the newest possibilities that AI and ML bring to the table. Specialists will provide you comprehensive insights on how artificial intelligence and machine learning for the food and beverage delivery industry are transforming the whole industry at its very core. Quantzig, global data analytics and advisory firm that delivers actionable analytics solutions, to resolve complex business problems, presents some comprehensive insights. The company has offices in the US, UK, Canada, China, and India, assisting clients across the globe with end-to-end data modeling capabilities to leverage analytics for prudent decision making.

The use of updated knowledge on AI and ML

Whether you are in it for a long haul or you’re not initially interested in this enigmatic topic, you should know a bit more. Get acknowledged with how you can use cases of machine learning for the food delivery industry, gain insights into factors driving innovation, and enhance performance by leveraging machine learning. Here are some reasons why machine learning for the food delivery industry is important. Such technologies deliver fact-based results to online food delivery companies that possess the data and the required analytics expertise. According to experts, “Food delivery industry players are now revolutionizing the food industry by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance their market reach and customer satisfaction rates”. After several years of being confined to technology labs and the pages of sci-fi books, today AI and big data have become the dominant focal point for businesses across industries.

Enhancing market reach and customer satisfaction rates

The food delivery industry is immensely popular among millennials. It’s not hard to guess why. It’s convenient, and its usage is easy and comfortable. Along with that, there comes the increasing competition among food delivery industry players to improve customer retention rates and improve product quality. Exploring new ways of development in this direction became a must for companies. Big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning came into the picture. What’s more, in the future, people don’t just want more technology in products and services. They want more human technology. 

Reasons why machine learning for food delivery industry is so important

AI and ML play an integral role in predicting food trends, helping online food delivery companies to identify and capitalize on the new flavors that are most preferred by their customers. They improve operational efficiency. ML for the food-delivery industry helps to understand customer behavior better and provide customized services. AI and ML analyze factors like the impact of temperature on food or the impact of market trends on consumption. The newest technologies enhance customer relationships. The proliferation of AI and machine learning in the food industry have contributed significantly to the growing popularity of chatbots. It is growing immensely popular due to its ability to drive better customer experiences. The new technology can drive online experiences and enhance market share by targeting tech-savvy users. 

Another reason for choosing brand-new technology for your service? Time matters.

AI and LM provide more than accurate delivery time estimates.  Machine learning for the food delivery industry helps to collect real-time data about traffic and route plans. Hence, it provides companies with an accurate estimation of the delivery time. What comes with it? The food delivery industry companies can take preventive measures for food wastage. Combined, AI and ML can predict the impact of factors, like being late with a delivery, on food items.   

Why opt for AI and ML? 

As cognitive technologies transform the way people use online services to order food, it becomes imperative for online food delivery companies to comprehend customer needs, identify the dents, and bridge gaps, by offering what has been missing in this business. The combination of big data, AI, and machine learning is driving real innovation, so don’t think twice before leveraging them.

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Artificial Inteligence HealthTech Technology

Drones Vs. Covid-19: Ensuring Airspace Safety And Security With AI

With the spread of COVID-19, few essential changes have been introduced to social behaviors. Whilst we often consider them as exaggerated, they are required to lower the rate of transmission and avoid overwhelming national healthcare systems. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated not only that drastic measures are essential, but also that we urgently need to use the newest technology. Let’s take a look at Drones Vs. Covid-19 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amirhusain/2020/06/10/drones-vs-covid-19-ensuring-airspace-safety-and-security-with-ai/?ss=ai#7297915a24b1

The most innovative measures across the globe

Across the globe, cutting-edge technology was used to efficiently knack Covid-19 over. Means include using 3D printers to produce face shields and ventilators, deploying hospital robots to transport equipment and protect doctors and nurses from the virus. Not less important are drones. For example, In India, the government is using drones to sanitize public spaces in areas with confirmed cases, such as hospitals and metro areas. They use 300 drones across the state to spray a disinfectant solution approved by the WHO. On the other hand, in France, Italy, and Spain, authorities use drones to monitor social distancing and enforce coronavirus restrictions with loudspeakers. With nearly 70,000 tests conducted so far, Ghana has one of the highest testing rates in Africa. How do they distribute them? Easy to guess, with drones! Drone delivery, sanitization, and enforcement measures enable a quicker response to the pandemic and help save lives.

Drones’ use in America

Where some of the similar actions taken by the government of the United States? These widespread protective measures just wait to be successfully copied. As for now, the challenge many businesses, nonprofits, and local authorities face is regulatory approval. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules for unmanned aerial systems include flying below 400 feet, in altitude within visual line of sight, during daylight hours. The FAA enables near real-time airspace authorization for flights that comply with these rules, but a Part 107 waiver is required to operate drones at night, over people, or beyond visual line of sight. Problems arise as these advanced operations are often core to missions that can help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Official requirements

Nearly 4,000 waivers were granted for advanced drone operations since the Part 107 rules’ implementation in 2016. At the same time, less than 200 were permitted for flights over people or beyond visual line of sight. Naturally, there is a reason for that. Regulators need assurances regarding the safety and security of the airspace. Commercial drone operators must prove that they are equipped to minimize risks and manage unforeseen circumstances. It couldn’t be underlined more how complicated it is to assure officials that we are not going to cause troubles up there.

Issues with low altitude airspace

At low altitude airspace, we aren’t provided with the air traffic services. Operators must be well-equipped, in order to plan, execute, and adapt their flights, as changes occur in the airspace. They are obliged to monitor regulatory dynamics (like temporary flight restrictions) as well as local conditions (like weather shifts), ground risks, and temporary objects (like construction cranes). Moreover, they need to monitor airspace traffic to maintain separation from other aircraft, including drones, helicopters, and planes. Not to mention, they need to protect their drones from a hardware malfunction and cyber threats that could put public safety in danger.

This long list of responsibilities understandably feels daunting. Fortunately, this is where AI enters to help. Being the key to analyzing crucial data (such as weather forecasts), ground risks, and vehicle performance, selecting the right drones for each mission, generating the safest flight paths, and autonomously adapting flights as conditions change – AI perfectly plays its role. Moreover, by being able to recognize hazardous objects, it’s critical to detecting and avoiding obstacles that otherwise would pose a danger to unmanned flights. 

The USA is known for its technological innovation and entrepreneurship

An AI-based approach, in aircraft safety, enables to analyze sensor data, across a drone fleet, and predict maintenance needs, before a failure occurs. From a security standpoint, AI can protect drones from previously unseen zero-day attacks that traditional anti-malware wouldn’t detect. Artificial intelligence can help fill the gaps in today’s airspace systems. It minimizes the responsibility put on drone operators, and it provides the safety and security assurances that regulators need when considering waivers for Covid-19 drone missions. It’s important to consider every option that can help fight the global crisis.

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Artificial Inteligence

Artificial Intelligence Examines ECGs Results. It Predicts Irregular Heartbeat and Death Risk.

With all the AI innovations, it doesn’t surprise that sooner or later, we would have arrived at significantly sharpening medical science’s tools. The newest discovery which upgrades count? It looks like scientists have trained a computer (a neural network or artificial intelligence) to evaluate electrocardiograms (ECGs), to predict which patients are likely to develop an irregular heartbeat. What’s more, its predictions are effective even if human forecasts were different. The AI tool was finding predictions of heartbeat errors among those previously interpreted by doctors as normal. Researchers also created a neural network to examine ECGs, which identifies patients at increased risk of dying of any cause within the next year.

Artificial intelligence examines electrocardiogram (ECG) test results

This common medical test (ECG) serves doctors to make assumptions about the patients’ heart’s health. The new medical AI tool’s objective is to pinpoint patients at higher risk of developing a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia, or of dying within the next year. The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions is an annual, premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science. Two preliminary studies on the above-mentioned newest AI discoveries were presented there, on November 16-18, 2019 in Philadelphia. 

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – What is it and how does it work?

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. Each beat is an electrical impulse (‘wave’) that travels through the heart. This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart. A normal heartbeat on ECG will show the timing of the top and lower chambers. An ECG gives two major kinds of information.

By measuring time intervals on the ECG, a doctor can determine how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart, in other words, if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity passing through the heart muscle, a cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked. The EKG testing doesn’t hurt, and there’s no risk associated with having it done. The machine records the ECG, but it doesn’t send electricity into the body.

The phase of gathering database

To conduct the research, scientists used more than 2 million ECG results from more than three decades of archived medical records in Pennsylvania/New Jersey’s Geisinger Health System. Subsequently, they trained advanced, multi-layered computational structures – deep neural networks. These studies are among the first to use AI to predict future events from an ECG, rather than to detect current ones. Brandon Fornwalt, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, and chair of the Department of Imaging Science and Innovation at Geisinger in Danville, Pennsylvania: ‘This is exciting, and provides more evidence that we are on the verge of a revolution in medicine, where computers will be working alongside physicians to improve patient care’. Looks promising, indeed!

A deep neural network for predicting incident atrial fibrillation directly from 12-lead electrocardiogram traces

Can a deep learning model predict irregular heart rhythms, known as atrial fibrillation (AF), before it develops? – scientists speculated. As atrial fibrillation is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart attack, they decided to use AI to dig deeper into this matter, creating room for innovation and effective forecasts. The number of analyzed samples was spectacular – 1.1 million ECGs that didn’t indicate the presence of AF in more than 237,000 patients.

With the use of highly specialized computational hardware, scientists trained a deep neural network to analyze 15 segments of data — 30,000 data points — for each ECG. As predicted by the neural network, within the top 1% of high-risk patients, 1 out of every 3 of them was diagnosed with AF within a year. These model predictions demonstrated a longer-term prognostic significance that we haven’t been conscious of before. Patients predicted to develop AF at 1-year had a 45% higher hazard rate in developing AF over a 25-year follow-up than the other patients. As senior author Christopher Haggerty, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Imaging Science and Innovation at Geisinger, said ‘many times, the first sign of AF is a stroke’. If this is the case, this cutting-edge AI tool seems to significantly change life’s opportunities.

Deep neural networks can predict one-year mortality directly from ECG signal even when clinically interpreted as normal

The results of 1.77 million ECGs and other records from almost 400,000 patients were analyzed to identify patients most likely to die of any cause within a year. Scientists compared machine learning-based models that either directly analyzed the raw ECG signals or relied on aggregated human-derived measures and commonly diagnosed disease patterns. What surprises is that the neural network was able to accurately predict the risk of death even in patients deemed by cardiologists to have a normal ECG. Sadly, these physicians were generally unable to recognize the risk patterns that the neural network detected. Fornwalt, who co-directs Geisinger’s Cardiac Imaging Technology Lab with Haggerty comments: ‘This could completely alter the way we interpret ECGs in the future’.

Categories
Artificial Inteligence

Keys for Healthcare Innovation? AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain!

There is namely one positive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows us, on a global scale, how important it is to be open to innovation in healthcare. Coronavirus is acting as a catalyst for the newest research and experimentations with technology in this field. It appears that AI, machine learning, and blockchain are vital to facilitating this change. Blockchain technology is one of the most disruptive technologies in the world. This rapidly evolving field provides fertile ground for proof-of-concept testing, experimentation, and investment.​ Let’s acquaint ourselves with the blockchain’s features that are going to change the future of the healthcare industry.

The importance of taking efficient action against COVID-19

What does blockchain technology in healthcare offer? A special edition of OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, has highlighted the importance of key digital technologies for innovation in healthcare in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Multiple industries are adopting blockchain technology to innovate the way they function – the healthcare industry is one of them. Blockchain technology has the potential to transform health care, placing the patient at the center of the healthcare ecosystem. Blockchain has all that is necessary to increase the security, privacy, and interoperability of health data. Vural Özdemir, MD, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of OMICS: “COVID-19 is undoubtedly among the ecological determinants of planetary health. Digital health is a veritable opportunity for integrative biology and systems medicine to broaden its scope from human biology to ecological determinants of health. This is very important.” 

Healthcare industry and its development

It will be impossible for us to overstate the importance of the healthcare industry. What’s even weirder, it’s one of the slowest growing industries in the entire space. Compared to two decades ago, hospitals still function pretty much the same way, because of the lack of innovation. Considering that this branch of the industry has the smartest and best-educated people in the world, the idea of no significant progress makes us wonder why it is so?

Challenges that come with the use of blockchain technology

As we read in the article by Erik Fisher, Arizona State University, Tempe, ‘Blockchain for Digital Health: Prospects and Challenges’: ‘[…] By reshaping both the technological and social environment, the rise of blockchain in digital health can help reduce the disparity between the enormous technical progress and investments versus our currently inadequate understanding of the social dimensions of emerging technologies through commensurate investments in the latter knowledge domain’. Forecasts say that blockchain technology in the healthcare market will cross $1636.7m (€1513.46m) by the year 2025.

A major concern? Privacy.

A lot of storing and sharing health data is needed to make use of the newest technology. With current healthcare data storage systems, lacking top-end security, it becomes hard to have everything under control. Yet, there is a quick fix to it. Blockchain can provide a solution to vulnerabilities such as hacking and data theft. But that’s not all. A variety of benefits such as time reduction, effective communication system, enhanced operational efficiency, can be achieved thanks to it. The use of blockchain means interoperability, and enabling the exchange of medical data among the different systems securely. The blockchain technology could provide a new model for health information exchanges (HIE) by making electronic medical records more efficient, disintermediated, and secure.

Vertical and horizontal progress

However, stating that no innovations have been done in the medical field, isn’t correct either. In the end, the average life expectancy has significantly increased. What does the “lack of innovation” really mean? This industry is rife with vertical innovation. However, it always lags when it comes to the horizontal one. This diversification is crucial to understand its future roads of development. 

Which problems can be eliminated with the use of blockchain?

One of the burning problems nowadays is how to efficiently counter fake drug supplies. The use of blockchain technology for claims adjudication and billing management application will register 66.5% growth by 2025, owing to errors, duplications, and incorrect billing. In 2017, in the US, nearly 400 individuals including doctors have been convicted for $1.3bn (€1.2m) fraud. The need to mitigate these problems in the future will, most probably, encourage specialists to adopt new technologies in this application segment.

Categories
Artificial Inteligence

Artificial Intelligence, Probabilistic Modeling Is Here to Improve the Survival of Cancer Patients.

Nothing is more important than health. This popular saying (might be even called cliche) is especially current nowadays, when a lot of people die, with no cure and no vaccines, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Others leave this world equally unnecessarily. For example, those who weren’t diagnosed in time, and lose their fight with cancer. Currently, thanks to Artificial intelligence and its probabilistic modeling, we can significantly improve the prediction of survival in cancer patients. Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death.

Artificial Intelligence, Probabilistic Modeling Is Here to Improve the Survival of Cancer Patients.

What can science do for cancer patients?

Apparently, it’s able to do a lot! Improving the prediction of survival indicators in patients with breast cancer is a real breakthrough. Not surprisingly, scientists are using tools from artificial intelligence and probabilistic modeling. One of the tools is ModGraProDep, an innovative system presented in a study led by Ramon Clèries, a lecturer at the Department of Clinical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona, and member of the Oncology Master Plan/ICO-IDIBELL.

How do cancer cells behave?

When cancer emerges in the human body, it produces aggressive cells. They can evade the body’s growth control mechanisms. These cells are also invasive because they enter and subsume adjacent tissues. And they are often metastatic, which means that they travel and colonize distant sites in the body. One of the greatest unsolved challenges in cancer treatment concerns the frequent relapse of patients being treated by chemotherapy and the emergence of chemotherapeutic resistance in cancers. Mathematical models allow us to quickly search and identify the most effective drug combinations for cancer patients. They deepen our understanding of how and why cancer cells sometimes become resistant to chemotherapy drugs.

The study published in the journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

To sum up the cutting-edge technology in medicine regarding cancer, let’s first look at the team that took part in creating the newest study. The new technology’s research has been carried out by a team of experts on epidemiology, oncology and data management of the Oncology Master Plan – IDIBELL, the University of Barcelona, the Technical University of Catalonia, the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), the Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBGI), the University of Girona, the University of Alicante, the Epidemiology and Public Health Networking Biomedical Research Centre (CIBERESP), Carlos III Health Institute, the University Hospital Sant Joan de Reus, the Medical Oncology Service of ICO Girona, the Cancer Registry of Girona and Tarragona and the entity MC Mutual.

Numeric modeling – inputs, and outcomes

To cross another frontier in the fight against cancer, it’s worth reaching for mathematical modeling. There is no denying that mathematics plays an increasingly prominent role in cancer research. Mathematical Oncology—defined as the use of mathematics in cancer research—complements and overlaps with several other fields that rely on mathematics as a core methodology. One of the applications of numerical modeling for clinical indicators on oncology is the creation of predictive models to help oncologists and doctors to classify and value future scenarios of evolution in patients with cancer. Mathematical Oncology has a broad scope, ranging from theoretical studies to clinical trials designed with mathematical models. The prediction of survival in patients, considering variables and ages, is a decisive element to consider treatments and identify subgroups among the patients. For example, we already know that nearly half of Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. 

The application ModGraProDep Technology

Although the information is sometimes estimated through numeric modeling, often, there is not enough sample population to calculate these indicators specifically. The application ModGraProDep Technology (Modeling Graphical Probabilistic Dependencies) led to two studies. The scientific team that created it, designed a web application of great clinic interest in the field of oncology. It enables having a prediction of indicators on survival, and risk of cancer mortality of each patient for twenty years! In the first case, ModGraProDep enables users to identify the structure of the database, and to create a synthetic population of patients with the demographic features of the original cohort. They can, therefore, identify potential patterns of patients and calculate indicators. For example, the survival of a patient depending on the values of his or her variables. In a second study, it’s a new technology that can allocate values in a probabilistic manner in variables, for which there was no information gathered yet.

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Artificial Inteligence

How AI Technology Is Changing Healthcare In Front Of Our Eyes!

It was never so visible to everyone. The current pandemic has underlined one shockingly fast development – the one, where AI technology and the health industry are joined and collaborate as never before. The future of healthcare, with advances in digital healthcare technologies such as 3D-printing, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, robotics, or nanotechnology, is currently right in the spotlight. Let’s explore how medical technology is efficiently reshaping healthcare.

How AI Technology Is Changing Healthcare In Front Of Our Eyes!

The closest future

The latest developments are at our hands, but, to get to know them, we need to get familiarized with some scientific explanations. We must control technology, and not the other way around! AI technology and healthcare workers need to cooperate and embrace emerging healthcare technologies in upcoming years. 

Will robots take over the jobs of nurses and doctors?

If you are scared that artificial intelligence will control the world within a couple of years or if you have nightmares about virtual reality, where we all live like zombies, then stop. Artificial Intelligence in the field of science will only serve us for the best! 

Dystopias, half-truths, and fake news

The fear about the unknown future, and about what it might bring upon us, is a real thing. Yet, no matter how scary it seems at the moment, we should pursue AI technological development in the field of science, especially medicine, because it’s saving lives. There is no doubt that our lives will be transformed soon, through various AI technologies. However, fear shouldn’t push us away from developing. We should overcome thoughts that make us anxious about the future. An open mind and an optimistic vision about the change is what we should be armed with.  

Which road to take? 

Technology can aid and improve our lives. The cooperation between people and technology will result in amazing achievements. Assuming that the goal can be summarized as healthier individuals living in healthier communities, digital technology could help transform unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones. It can also equalize the relationship between medical professionals and patients, as well as provide cheaper, faster, and more effective solutions for diseases. Together, we can win the battle against cancer, AIDS, Ebola, or… the novel coronavirus!

A few words about Artificial Intelligence

It has been proven that Artificial Intelligence (aha AI) has the potential to redesign healthcare completely. Mining medical records, designing treatment plans, creating drugs faster? No medical professional can achieve comparable perfection in all these fields. In 2015, the start-up Atomwise launched a virtual search for safe, existing medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. As a result, they found two drugs that may significantly reduce Ebola infectivity. The same with breast cancer analysis. Google’s DeepMind algorithm outperformed all human radiologists on pre-selected data sets to identify breast cancer on average by 11.5%. These are only two of multiple examples, so imagine what the future will bring! 

When it comes to virtual reality…

VR is being used, for example, to train future surgeons. It’s also utilized by actual surgeons to practice operations. In the future, we will watch operations as if we wielded the scalpel. Software programs of a kind are developed and provided by companies like Osso VR and ImmersiveTouch. VR-trained surgeons had a 230% boost in their overall performance! They were faster and more accurate in performing surgical procedures. The AI technology is also benefiting patients when it comes to pain management. Women equipped with VR headsets who visualize soothing landscapes are calmer when they go through labor. Also, cardiac, gastrointestinal, neurological, and post-surgical pain have shown a decline in their pain levels when using VR for distraction.

What about augmented reality?

When it comes to augmented reality, users don’t lose touch with reality. AR technology puts information into eyesight as fast as possible. These distinctive features enable AR to become a driving force in the future of medicine. How? It might help, for example, medical students prepare better for real-life operations. It also enables surgeons to enhance their capabilities. At Case Western Reserve University, students are using the Microsoft HoloLens to study anatomy via the HoloAnatomy app, having access to virtual, detailed, and accurate depictions of the human anatomy. 

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guest blogs weight loss

Understanding The Impact of Garcinia Cambogia On Weight Loss

Garcinia cambogia is a sour fruit native to India, Myanmar, and Indonesia. For many years, it has been used to add a bitter flavor to Asian dishes. But today, it’s widely used in the weight loss supplement industry. The skin of the fruit contains a large amount of Hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This biologically active substance is touted for its ability to shed off excess pounds by blocking fat production and curbing appetite. With such claims, it’s easy to see why Garcinia cambogia supplements fly off the shelves very quickly.

Understanding The Impact of Garcinia Cambogia On Weight Loss

The Impact on Garcinia Cambogia on Weight Loss

As mentioned above, Garcinia cambogia aids weight loss in two ways. The first is by blocking Citrate lyase, a fat-producing enzyme. Citrate lyase converts carbs and sugars into fat. It is the reason why you accumulate stores of fat in your belly, thighs, and buttocks. The second is by suppressing your cravings. HCA boosts serotonin levels in your brain. This results in reduced appetite and much fewer cravings. You won’t feel hungry as you usually do. What’s more, you may notice that you aren’t craving the sweets and other tasty meals packed with calories.

Are There Studies That Prove the Effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia?

Due to the rise in popularity of Garcinia cambogia as a weight loss aid, it has been the primary focal point of numerous studies. In one study, it has been found that the participants who took Garcinia cambogia were able to reduce more weight than those who didn’t. It continues to be the topic of much controversy, but it’s clear that it has potential in terms of helping people reach their ideal weight.

It’s worthy to note that some of these studies have also shown the other health benefits provided by Garcinia cambogia. In particular, the supplement is effective in reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol. One study also showed that it could drastically reduce belly fat.

Making the Right Choice

Of course, not all weight loss supplements are created equal. Many products ride on the bandwagon in an attempt to make quick cash, but you’ll also find supplements that have been proven effective by countless users. For instance, Liquid Chestnut is a popular weight loss supplement that features a powerful combination of Garcinia cambogia, green coffee extract, horse chestnut extract, and L-carnitine. These ingredients work in cohesion to suppress appetite and keep you feeling full for an extended period, which means you won’t suffer from hunger pangs like you usually do.

While further studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of Garcinia cambogia, plenty of people swear by its weight loss benefits. However, keep in mind that just like all weight loss supplements, you should make sure that you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to achieve optimal results. Garcinia cambogia isn’t a miracle drug that burns your fat in an instant. You must still put in the effort to reach your target weight and keep off those extra pounds in the future.

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Artificial Inteligence

How Cutting-edge AI is Helping Scientists Tackle COVID-19

COVID-19 disease takes its toll throughout the world. No wonder that scientists are racing to find an efficient treatment or vaccine. It also shouldn’t surprise us that so widely-spread nowadays Artificial Intelligence could help them reach their goal.

How Cutting-edge AI is Helping Scientists Tackle COVID-19

Researchers needed

Our times are the times of research. Since we have so many tools and a lot of knowledge to discover and create everything, we cannot deal with the fact that there’s still a mystery that we are not able to reveal. This conundrum is called coronavirus pandemic. Researches on it have exploded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now there are more than 60,000 papers online.

The meaning of AI

One of the most crucial tools of contemporary is Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies like, for example, Natural Language Processing (NLP). It can help researchers tackle COVID-19 by processing huge amounts of data that otherwise wouldn’t be possible to deal with by humble human-beings. AI has the power to transform medical research in a way that we would never think about before. It helps us address extremely urgent medical challenges, such as COVID-19.

Machines can find, evaluate, and summarise innumerable research papers on the new coronavirus. A group of scientists would have to sacrifice all their lives to do it, and they still wouldn’t be sure whether they didn’t skip anything. Machines do it in seconds and couldn’t be more fierce about their results. Mind that thousands of new researches and other scientific documents are added every week as specialists race to find a vaccine or treatment. AI can also help us track the spread of COVID-19, as well as other diseases. How? By detecting early warning signals such as clusters of symptoms in a new place.

Is it really helpful? 

Specialists in Artificial Intelligence (AI) can use their training in concepts like statistical significance to understand medical researches regarding a sophisticated global database and extract from it the most relevant information. Machines can fruitfully assist us in reaching the ultimate goal. They can fastly detect patterns that we, as humans, may be slow to see. In other words, they can help us quickly understand data on the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases, and intervene fast and early.

Urgent questions need answers now, not later

Since there are about 67,000 scholarly papers related to the new coronavirus, and their number is still growing, every scientist working on a cure or vaccine must understand this prior research. In the worst case, hundreds of scientists would work on the same matter! To avoid errors and duplications, AI results in pretty helpful. Researchers and institutions around the world have rightly decided to tap the power of machines to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

More about machine learning

Going through all these papers would take years. Machines could change this, providing us with an instant overview. In March, a partnership of several institutions, including the White House, created the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). It’s a free resource for the global AI community. The database is just a beginning, though.

A brilliant one but still a beginning. AI specialists around the world work to develop tools to extract the most significant information using machine learning. This way, medical researchers will be able to keep up with this fast-evolving field. Machine learning is a part of Artificial Intelligence that consists of machines being trained on huge data samples. They can independently analyze data sets and detect patterns, trends, relationships, and such (for example the speed and pattern of COVID-19 spread). Scientists can now type a simple question into a search engine tied to the database, such as “Is COVID-19 seasonal?”, and the search engine quickly finds and ranks all related papers for them.

What’s even more important than pure knowledge? Detecting the threat. 

Another important piece of information on COVID-19 emerges daily, somewhere in the world. Collecting them fast and efficiently could probably help us prevent the next pandemic. The challenge is to fish this crucial information from other, irrelevant observations. And this exact objective is at the core of epidemic intelligence. The aim is to spot and assess epidemics, ideally in their earliest stage. Health ministries and centers for disease control in all member states of the United Nations, as well as medical and healthcare professionals, will use these newest tools for ongoing epidemic research.