General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently expressed grave concern about China’s reported test of a hypersonic missile: “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.” Maybe it should be, but General Milley may have missed the real 21st-century version of a Sputnik moment: China has claimed huge breakthroughs in quantum computing.
It’s inside baseball to those of us who are neither computer experts nor quantum physicists, but let’s put it this way: the countries/companies that dominate quantum computing will dominate, full stop. Healthcare included.
I won’t pretend to understand quantum computers or try to explain how they work, but they’re to “traditional” computers as those computers are to, say, a calculator, or to an abacus. They’re much faster – like a quantum leap faster – and can quickly do computations that would take even traditional supercomputers centuries to complete, if ever. For example, think you’ve got an unbreakable code? Unless you’ve got the fastest quantum computer, think again.
An article in NPJ Science of Food explains how scientists combined additive manufacturing (a.k.a, 3D printing) of food with “precision laser cooking,” which achieves a “higher degree of spatial and temporal control for food processing than conventional cooking methods.” And, oh, by the way, the color of the laser matters (e.g., red is best for browning).
Very nice, but wake me when they get to replicators…which they will. Meanwhile, other people are 3D printing not just individual houses but entire communities. It reminds me that we’ve still not quite realized how revolutionary 3D printing can and will be, including for healthcare.
The New York Timesprofiled the creation of a village in Mexico using “an 11-foot-tall three-dimensional printer.” The project, being built by New Story, a nonprofit organization focused on providing affordable housing solutions, Échale, a Mexican social housing production company, and Icon, a construction technology company, is building 500 homes. Each home takes about 24 hours to build; 200 have already been built.
Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care? is the conference bringing together the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery, and all the permutations thereof. Today we add to last week's fantastic list of speakers with another 14 great speakers, including one CEO of a company that has just SPACed onto the public market (Sharecare), and another that is about to (Babylon Health)! You can register here or learn how to sponsor. This week's new additions are:
Last month we told you about the new conference bringing together the CEOs of the next generation of virtual & real-life care delivery and all the permutations thereof. That's all those companies raising huge venture rounds and really getting to scale. You’ll see them at Policies|Techies|VCs: What’s Next For Health Care?, and they include Glen Tullman (Transcarent), Jonathan Bush (Zus Health) Roy Schoenberg (AmWell) and 17 more leaders in digital health.
Now we are announcing another 16 great speakers, including 2 publicly-traded digital health company CEOs! And we'll announce a further 16 next week! You can register here or learn how to sponsor. This week's new additions are:
I recently interviewed Subha Airan-Javia, the CEO of CareAlign. CareAlign is a small company that is working to fix the clinician workflow by creating a tool for all those interstitial gaps that the big EMRs leave, and now get moved to and from paper by the care team. In this interview she tells me a little about the company and shows how the product works. I found it very impressive
Kelsey Mellard is CEO of Sitka, one of the emerging companies that’s providing specialty consults online to primary care docs. They’ve been building a specialty care network that can be accessed by asynchronous video, slightly different to some of their competition. Most of their customers are capitated medical groups, like ChenMed, trying to reduce their spend on specialty physician care (as Kelsey calls it the “unmanaged Part B spend bucket”). I asked her how it works, where the company is going (think virtual care integration), and whether it will be needed in the future. (You can guess her answer to the latter!)
Last week I wrote about, well, how awful social media has become, so this week it’s nice to write about pretty much the opposite: Wikipedia turned twenty last Friday (January 15).
In person years that’s not even old enough to buy alcohol, but in Internet years that makes it one of the grand old masters, like Google or Amazon. Wikipedia is one of the most visited Internet destinations, with its 55+ million articles, in 300+ languages, getting some 10b+ views per month.
It is something that, by all rights, shouldn’t exist, much less be successful. A non-profit, volunteer written/edited, online encyclopedia? An online resource widely trusted for its objective, generally accurate articles in a world of fake news? As the joke goes, it’s good that it works in practice because it does not work in theory.
That’s sort of the opposite of our healthcare system: it’s good that it works in theory, because it sure doesn’t work in practice.
Wikipedia works due to its army of editors (“Wikipedians”); some 127,000 have edited the English edition alone within the past 30 days. They work in virtual real time; when someone wins an Oscar the update happens almost immediately. When the U.S. Capitol was stormed two weeks ago, Wikipedia had a page up before the protesters were gone.
The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time for virtual reality. It has caused many workers to work remotely, introducing many workers to collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams and even more to video platforms like Zoom or Skype. But we’re just beginning to understand what collaboration could look like — such as virtual reality (VR).
As CNBCnoted: “Virtual reality is booming in the workplace amid the pandemic.” Even a pre-pandemic Perkins Coie survey, done for the XR Association, predicted an explosion of immersive technologies like VR, augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). Elizabeth Hyman, President of XRA, said: “We are at the precipice of an integration of XR technology that will transform businesses and society for the better.”
The report expected healthcare to be the industry most impacted by immersive technologies (outside of gaming/entertainment).
Spatial is a collaborative, holographic, augmented reality solution. You can teleport to someone’s space, work as an avatar sharing that 3D space, and use it instead of a screen to manage a project, present an idea, and more.
Don’t you love the “and more,” as though the teleportation wasn’t enough?
It’s been a few months since I last wrote about augmented reality (AR), and, if anything, AR activity has only picked up since then — particularly in regard to smartglasses. I pointed out then how Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were extremely bullish on the field. and Alphabet (Google Glasses) and Snap (Spectacles) have never, despite a few apparent setbacks, lost their faith.
I can’t do justice to all that is going on in the field, but I want to try to hit some of the highlights, including not just what we see but how we see.
We’re building towards a future where helpfulness is all around you, where all your devices just work together and technology fades into the background. We call this ambient computing.
North’s founders explained that, from the start, their vision had been: “Technology seamlessly blended into your world: immediately accessible when you want it, but hidden away when you don’t,” which is a pretty good vision.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess and I talk about HCA now that the real numbers have come out. On Episode 118, Jess asks me about Aledade raising $64 million. Founded by former ONC director Farzad Mostashari, they set up ACOs for independent physician practices and have been doing a lot around COVID-19. Medopad has rebranded as Huma and acquired Biobeats and Tarilian Laser Technologies (TLT); they’ve been doing remote monitoring and have been around for a while. Novartis acquires Amblyotech, a lazy eye digital therapeutic. Finally Yes Health gets $6 million – yet another “we’ll put you on a diet and have coaches bully you” platform. —Matthew Holt
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