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Seeding the Future with Hundreds of Angels and VCs @ F50 Global Capital Summit 2019


Global Capital Summit 2019 is organized by F50,  Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, and Community Media SVE.io. The summit will feature 30+ speaking sessions including thought leader talk, investment trends, and extraordinary products and innovations, around 500 attendees from world-leading corporations, and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, angel investors, venture funds, influential long-term investors, and a small group of high-potential local early founders.

GCS will feature the following content in the format of the keynote, fireside chat, panel, and presentations (preliminary, more to come):

  • Angel and Venture Investment
    • Is now the winter for startup or investor?
    • The rising of angel investors
    • Women in angel and venture investment
    • Emerging new forces at Sand Hill
    • Foreign investment in Silicon Valley: Iseral, China, Japan, India, Russia, Middle East
  • Universities and Incubators
    • Seeding the next generation founders
    • The global opportunities and challenges for early-stage startups
  • Future Technology
    • Improve one billion people’s health
    • AI & robots: the turning point
    • Greentech: How investors help sustainability 
  • Corporate Ventures
    • Corporate in the startup ecosystem: the force awakens
  • F50 Report 
  • Startup Demo: Select early-stage Startup Demos

Follow F50 on LinkedIn, #F50Summit

Artificial intelligence must know when to ask for human help


Artificial intelligence systems are powerful tools for businesses and governments to process data and respond to changing situations, whether on the stock market or on a battlefield. But there are still some things AI isn’t ready for.

We are scholars of computer science working to understand and improve the ways in which algorithms interact with society. AI systems perform best when the goal is clear and there is high-quality data, like when they are asked to distinguish between different faces after learning from many pictures of correctly identified people.

Sometimes AI systems do so well that users and observers are surprised at how perceptive the technology is. However, sometimes success is difficult to measure or defined incorrectly, or the training data does not match the task at hand. In these cases, AI algorithms tend to fail in unpredictable and spectacular ways, though it’s not always immediately obvious that something has even gone wrong. As a result, it’s important to be wary of the hype and excitement about what AI can do, and not assume the solution it finds is always correct.

When algorithms are at work, there should be a human safety net to prevent harming people. Our research demonstrated that in some situations algorithms can recognize problems in how they’re operating, and ask for human help. Specifically, we show, asking for human help can help alleviate algorithmic bias in some settings.

How sure is the algorithm?

Artificial intelligence systems are being used in criminal sentencing, facial-based personality profiling, resume screening, health care enrollment and other difficult tasks where people’s lives and well-being are at stake. U.S. government agencies are beginning to ramp up their exploration and use of AI systems, in response to a recent executive order from President Donald Trump.

It’s important to remember, though, that AI can cement misconceptions in how a task is addressed, or magnify existing inequalities. This can happen even when no one told the algorithm explicitly to treat anyone differently.

For instance, many companies have algorithms that try to determine features about a person by their face – say to guess their gender. The systems developed by U.S. companies tend to do significantly better at categorizing white men than they do women and darker-skinned people; they do worst at dark-skinned women. Systems developed in China, however, tend to do worse on white faces.

Biased training data can make systems better, or worse, at recognizing certain kinds of faces.

The difference is not because one group has faces that are easier to classify than others. Rather, both algorithms are typically trained on a large collection of data that’s not as diverse as the overall human population. If the data set is dominated by a particular type of face – white men in the U.S., and Chinese faces in China – then the algorithm will probably do better at analyzing those faces than others.

No matter how the difference arises, the result is that algorithms can be biased by being more accurate on one group than on another.

Keeping a human eye on AI

For high-stakes situations, the algorithm’s confidence in its own result – its estimation of how likely it is that the system came up with the right answer – is just as important as the result itself. The people who receive the output from algorithms need to know how seriously to take the results, rather than assuming that it’s correct because it involved a computer.

Only recently have researchers begun to develop ways to identify, much less attempt to fix, inequalities in algorithms and data. Algorithms can be programmed to recognize their own shortcomings – and follow that recognition with a request for a person to assist with the task.

Many types of AI algorithms already calculate an internal confidence level – a prediction of how well it did at analyzing a particular piece of input. In facial analysis, many AI algorithms have lower confidence on darker faces and female faces than for white male faces. It’s unclear how much this has been taken into account by law enforcement for high-stakes uses of these algorithms.

The goal is for the AI itself to locate the areas where it is not reaching the same accuracy for different groups. On these inputs, the AI can defer its decision to a human moderator. This technique is especially well-suited for context-heavy tasks like content moderation.

Human content moderators cannot keep up with the flood of images being posted on social media sites. But AI content moderation is famous for failing to take into account the context behind a post – misidentifying discussions of sexual orientation as explicit content, or identifying the Declaration of Independence as hate speech. This can end up inaccurately censoring one demographic or political group over another.

To get the best of both worlds, our research suggests scoring all content in an automated fashion, using the same AI methods already common today. Then our approach uses newly proposed techniques to automatically locate potential inequalities in the accuracy of the algorithm on different protected groups of people, and to hand over the decisions about certain individuals to a human. As a result, the algorithm can be completely unbiased about those people on which it actually decides. And humans decide on those individuals where algorithmic decision would have inevitably created bias.

This approach does not eliminate bias: It just “concentrates” the potential for bias on a smaller set of decisions, which are then handled by people, using human common sense. The AI can still perform the bulk of the decision-making work.

This is a demonstration of a situation where an AI algorithm working together with a human can reap the benefits and efficiency of the AI’s good decisions, without being locked into its bad ones. Humans will then have more time to work on the fuzzy, difficult decisions that are critical to ensuring fairness and equity.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

A cure for HIV? Feasible but not yet realized


This week a team of scientists and physicians from the U.K. published news of a second HIV positive man, in London, who is in long-term (18-month) HIV remission after undergoing treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma. The unexpected success has launched a new round of discussion about a potential cure for HIV.

Since 2008, scientists have been trying to replicate the treatment that cured the “Berlin patient” of HIV. At the time, many in the field of HIV research were excited to learn that this man, who tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus in Berlin and had recently undergone treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, appeared to have been cured of his HIV. Until now, success in replicating that cure has been limited.

What is HIV?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Since the virus was first discovered in the 1980s, more than 75 million people worldwide have been infected with HIV. Today, almost 37 million people live with HIV. Of these, about 1.1 million live in the U.S.

Infection with HIV almost always led to AIDS, which in turn was almost always fatal. The field was revolutionized in 1996 with the introduction of HIV anti-retroviral therapy medications. These drugs halt HIV from replicating and allow an infected person to regain a functioning immune system. These medications are so effective that today a person living with HIV has almost the same life expectancy of someone without HIV infection. However, these medications must be taken every day, have multiple distressing side effects, and can cost thousands of dollars each month.

Yet even with this life-extending treatment, a functional HIV cure, defined as when someone with HIV no longer tests positive for the virus and does not need to take these medications, has remained elusive.

The ‘cure’ treatment

All of that seemed to change when in 2008 at the Conference on Retrovirus and Opportunistic Infections in Boston, Massachusetts, the news broke of the Berlin patient, named Timothy Ray Brown, who seemed to have been cured of his HIV. In order to achieve that serendipitous “cure,” Brown had to undergo aggressive treatment for his acute myeloid leukemia that involved two hematopoietic stem cell transplantations – in which a patient’s bone marrow is damaged – and full body irradiation.

This complex treatment involves destroying a person’s own immune system with high doses of chemotherapy or radiation. Then the patient receives a transplant of new stem cells from either themselves or a donor.

This is a difficult treatment that carries a high risk of infection and other complications, such as graft-versus-host disease, blood clots and liver disease.

Researchers learned that Brown and the “London patient” both shared a novel treatment course. In the case of both Brown and now the London patient, the new blood cells transplanted into them were from donors who had two copies of a gene mutation for the CCR5 receptor. This CCR5 receptor mutation – present in about 1 percent of people of European descent – prevents HIV viruses from entering immune cells. This renders them resistant to most HIV infection.

However, it’s not just surviving the transplant that confers the HIV “cure” or remission. After receiving treatment, both patients were eventually taken off their anti-retroviral medications and subsequent examination showed that that even with very sensitive blood tests, the team could not detect HIV in their blood. The inability to find HIV in their blood, coupled with the missing CCR5 receptor, constitutes the HIV viral remission of the London patient announced earlier this week.

Top panel illustrates the treatment course for the London patient. Step 1: Chemotherapy; Step 2: The patient received a stem cell transplant from a donor with a genetic mutation in the CCR5 receptor gene; Step 3: Sixteen months after the patient’s transplant, HIV medications were interrupted. Patient is in HIV remission 18 months later. Lower left panel shows the target for HIV, the CD4+ T-cell. Most HIV uses both the CD4 and CCR5 receptor to enter a person’s immune cells. Lower right panel shows that after the stem cell transplant, the patient’s immune cells no longer displayed a working CCR5 receptor, which blocks more HIV from entering his CD4 cells.
Cynthia Rentrope / Case Western Reserve University, CC BY-SA

What the new case shows

Given recent disappointments after hematopoietic stem cell transplantations in people living with HIV, the team reporting on remission of the London patient does not describe their patient as cured. Neither should anyone else.

While a second patient experiencing HIV viral remission with a slightly less toxic cancer treatment is certainly encouraging progress, an 18-month remission does not equal a cure.

Also, while the London patient’s cancer treatment was less intense, with just chemotherapy and the stem cell transplant, it was still toxic and is not a course of treatment that otherwise healthy people living with HIV infection should embark upon.

Most importantly, the HIV community learned that Brown’s case was not unique. This gives us another, and perhaps greater reason, to hope for future revolutions in the HIV cure scientific agenda.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

Seniors Aging In Place Turn To Devices And Helpers, But Unmet Needs Are Common


Navigating Aging

About 25 million Americans who are aging in place rely on help from other people and devices such as canes, raised toilets or shower seats to perform essential daily activities, according to a new study documenting how older adults adapt to their changing physical abilities.

But a substantial number don’t get adequate assistance. Nearly 60 percent of seniors with seriously compromised mobility reported staying inside their homes or apartments instead of getting out of the house. Twenty-five percent said they often remained in bed. Of older adults who had significant difficulty putting on a shirt or pulling on undergarments or pants, 20 percent went without getting dressed. Of those who required assistance with toileting issues, 27.9 percent had an accident or soiled themselves.

The study, by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, focuses on how older adults respond to changes in physical function — a little-studied and poorly understood topic. It shows that about one-third of older adults who live in the community — nearly 13 million seniors — have a substantial need for assistance with daily activities such as bathing, eating, getting dressed, using the toilet, transferring in and out of bed or moving around their homes; about one-third have relatively few needs; and another third get along well on their own with no notable difficulty.

For older adults and their families, the report is a reminder of the need to plan ahead for changing capacities.

“The reality is that most of us, as we age, will require help at one point or another,” said Dr. Bruce Chernof, president of the SCAN Foundation and chair of the 2013 federal Commission on Long-Term Care. Citing Medicare’s failure to cover so-called long-term services and supports, which help seniors age in place, he said, “We need to lean in much harder if we want to help seniors thrive at home as long as possible.” (KHN’s coverage of aging and long-term care issues is supported in part by the SCAN Foundation.)

Previous reports have examined the need for paid or unpaid help in the older population and the extent to which those needs go unmet. Notably, in 2017, the same group of Johns Hopkins researchers found that 42 percent of older adults with probable dementia or difficulty performing daily activities didn’t get assistance from family, friends or paid caregivers — an eye-opening figure. Of seniors with at least three chronic conditions and high needs, 21 percent lacked any kind of assistance.

But personal care isn’t all that’s needed to help older adults remain at home when strength, flexibility, muscle coordination and other physical functions begin to deteriorate. Devices and home modifications can also help people adjust.

Until this new study, it hasn’t been clear how often older adults use “assistive devices”: canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters for people with difficulties walking; shower seats, tub seats and grab bars to help with bathing; button hooks, reachers, grabbers and specially designed clothes for people who have difficulty dressing; special utensils designed to make eating easier; and raised toilets or toilet seats, portable commodes and disposable pads or undergarments for individuals with toileting issues.

“What we haven’t known before is the extent of adjustments that older adults make to manage daily activities,” said Judith Kasper, a co-author of the study and professor at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The data comes from a 2015 survey conducted by the National Health and Aging Trends Study, a leading source of information about functioning and disability among adults 65 and older. More than 7,000 seniors filled out surveys in their homes and results were extrapolated to 38.8 million older Americans who live in the community. (Those who live in nursing homes, assisted living centers, continuing care retirement communities and other institutions were excluded.)

Among key findings: Sixty percent of the seniors surveyed used at least one device, most commonly for bathing, toileting and moving around. (Twenty percent used two or more devices and 13 percent also received some kind of personal assistance.) Five percent had difficulty with daily tasks but didn’t have help and hadn’t made other adjustments yet. One percent received help only.

Needs multiplied as people grew older, with 63 percent of those 85 and older using multiple devices and getting personal assistance, compared with 23 percent of those between ages 65 and 74.

The problem, experts note, is that Medicare doesn’t pay for most of these non-medical services, with some exceptions. As a result, many seniors, especially those at or near the bottom of the income ladder, go without needed assistance, even when they’re enrolled in Medicaid. (Medicaid community-based services for low-income seniors vary by state and often fall short of actual needs.)

The precariousness of their lives is illustrated in a companion report on financial strain experienced by older adults who require long-term services and supports. Slightly more than 10 percent of seniors with high needs experienced at least one type of hardship, such as being unable to pay expenses like medical bills or prescriptions (5.9 percent), utilities (4.8 percent) or rent (3.4 percent), or skipping meals (1.8 percent). (Some people had multiple difficulties, reflected in these numbers.)

These kinds of adverse events put older adults’ health at risk, while contributing to avoidable hospitalizations and nursing home placements. Given a growing population of seniors who will need assistance, “I think there’s a need for Medicare to rethink how to better support beneficiaries,” said Amber Willink, co-author of both studies and an assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

That’s begun to happen, with the passage last year of the CHRONIC Care Act, which allows Medicare Advantage plans to offer supplemental benefits such as wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, transportation and personal care to chronically ill members. But it’s unclear how robust these benefits will be going forward; this year, plans, which cover 21 million people, aren’t offering much. Meanwhile, 39 million people enrolled in traditional Medicare are left out altogether.

“We’ve had discussions with the [insurance] industry over the last couple of months to explore what’s going to happen and it’s a big question mark,” said Susan Reinhard, director of AARP Public Policy Institute, which publishes a scorecard on the adequacy of state long-term services and supports with several other organizations.

So far, she said, the response seems to be, “Let’s wait and see, and is this going to be affordable?”

We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips.

Related Topics

Aging Medicare Navigating Aging

Source: from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

Think you love your Valentine? What’s beneath the surface may be more complicated


Valentine cards are filled with expressions of unequivocal adoration and appreciation. That’s fitting for the holiday set aside to express love and reaffirm commitment to one’s romantic partner.

But what if there’s more going on below the surface of these adoring declarations? How might thoughts and feelings that people are not even aware of shape their romantic relationships?

We are two psychology researchers interested in how the mind works, and how it affects a variety of experiences, including romantic relationships. In our studies, we’ve found that how people feel about their partners at a nonconscious level may be a bit more complicated than the typical message in a Valentine. Even for those who consciously express only love and fondness, thinking about a partner can elicit ambivalence – both positive and negative responses of which they’re not consciously aware.

Just thinking of your love can warm your heart – without you consciously noticing.

Reactions you don’t know you have

People need to quickly, effortlessly and continuously make sense of their world: Who is a friend and who is not? What is desirable versus harmful? Human beings are always evaluating people, places and things on basic dimensions of goodness and badness.

Psychology studies show that the mere thought of your partner – or the sight of their photograph or name – spontaneously activates nonconscious feelings you hold toward them. For most people in healthy relationships, thinking of their partner elicits a “good” response.

Research into these kinds of nonconscious evaluations suggests they can be a better barometer of relationship quality than what people explicitly say about their partner. For example, people who have stronger positive nonconscious partner evaluations tend to feel greater emotional commitment, security and satisfaction in their relationship. They are also more likely to have a brighter outlook about the future of their relationship and more constructive behaviors in interactions, and are less likely to break up.

But poets and song writers have long lamented that those you love are also those who can hurt you most. Psychologists too have long recognized that lovers’ thoughts are complex. It seemed to us that when it comes to romantic partners, people may not have positive reactions only.

Accessing what’s beneath the surface

So how did we tap into that ambivalence people may not even be aware of having? In our work, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, we used an indirect method. It assesses how people feel about their partner not based on what they say, but by inferring their feelings based on how they do on a word classification task.

Example of the computerized word-sorting task.
Vivian Zayas, CC BY-ND

Here’s how it works. Imagine that we were looking for evidence of how people felt about something that is clearly positive, like flowers. We would quickly flash the word flower on the screen, then replace it with a second word that is unambiguously good or bad in meaning, such as sunshine or garbage. Participants’ task is seemingly simple: ignore the first word and classify the second “target” word as good or bad.

Even though people are told to ignore flower, they can’t. Thinking of flowers brings to mind not just specific objective features – flowers have petals, a stem – but also feelings and attitudes about them – flowers are beautiful, good.

As a result, after seeing a positive word like flower, most people are faster at classifying targets, such as sunshine, as “good,” and slower at classifying targets, such as garbage, as “bad.” In fact, research shows that the first word, flower, triggers a motor response towards the “good” response. So, if the target word is also “good,” like sunshine, seeing flower facilitates the correct classification. But, when the target word is “bad,” like garbage, there is what psychologists call response competition; since flower triggers a motor response towards “good,” people need to override it to correctly classify a “bad” target.

Of course it works in the other direction too. If, instead of flower, the first word has negative connotations, such as cockroach, people are faster at classifying garbage as “bad” and slower at classifying sunshine as “good.”

Mixed emotions

We used this type of indirect method to assess the feelings that spontaneously come to mind when people think about their partners. So, instead of flower, imagine that the first word flashed was your nickname for your sweetheart.

Not surprisingly, people tend to be faster at classifying positive target words after seeing their partner’s name. But something very interesting happened when the second word was negative – people were also faster at classifying negative targets after seeing the name of their partner.

This boost in response speed to the negative targets was almost as big as when thinking about a cockroach! It’s as though thinking of one’s partner spontaneously brought to mind a negative evaluation.

So while the mere thought of a romantic partner whom you love is enough to spark a nonconscious positive evaluation, we also found that it may simultaneously elicit a nonconscious negative evaluation. Perhaps when thinking about romantic partners, people can’t help but think about both the good and bad.

Research like our study is just beginning to reveal the complexity of these nonconscious feelings toward partners. Why might someone simultaneously hold such conflicting emotions?

Even a great relationship has storms as well as rainbows.
Katarzyna Grabowska/Unsplash, CC BY

Our findings fit with both theory and intuition. Even in the most satisfying and secure relationships, partners experience disagreements, frustrations and misunderstandings. And even the most supportive and responsive partners aren’t always available. Experiencing a negative emotion or interaction is not necessarily an issue. In fact, it seems to be a normal part of relationships.

Psychologists have long considered ambivalence to be pathological, characterized by anxiety and internal conflict, experienced only by a troubled few. Such consciously experienced ambivalence may well be problematic. But the sort of nonconscious ambivalence revealed by our research does not seem pathological. Rather, it appears typical and may occur even when you very much love your partner.

Research has found that positive nonconscious partner evaluations can predict relationship quality and stability. Now we need to figure out how negative nonconscious partner evaluations work.

So if you are feeling at some level a tinge of ambivalence towards your partner, know that you are far from alone. Perhaps on this Valentine’s Day, consider honoring your relationship by fully embracing the complexity of your feelings.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

Your relationship may be better than you think – find the knot


There’s an old saying, “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” In other words, before you give up, take matters into your own hands and try a little harder.

As a psychology researcher, I believe this adage applies to relationships, too. Before you let go, look for the “knots” that might save you from accidentally letting a great relationship slip from your grasp. Relationship science suggests that the problem is that people tend to overemphasize the negative and underappreciate the positive when looking at their romantic partners.

If you could build the perfect relationship, what would it look like? Perhaps more importantly, how does your current relationship stack up? Expectations for today’s relationships are higher than ever. Now that relationships are a choice, mediocrity isn’t acceptable. It’s all or nothing, and no one wants to settle.

The secret to avoiding settling seems simple: have high standards and demand only the very best. Researchers refer to people who are pickier than others and always want the absolute best possible option as maximizers. Their counterparts are satisficers – those satisfied once quality surpasses a minimum threshold of acceptability. For them, “good enough” is perfectly fine. As long as their relationship exceeds their predetermined benchmarks for “high quality,” satisficers are content.

Maximizer personalities will tend to exhaust all options and explore many possibilities to secure the flawless partner. You might think that sounds ideal, even noble, almost like common sense. But there are hidden downsides. Call it the myth of maximization, because the research reveals that maximizers report more regret and depression and feel threatened by others whom they perceive as doing better. Maximizers also experience lower self-esteem and less optimism, happiness and life satisfaction. And they prefer reversible decisions or outcomes that are not absolute or final.

See the problem? In long-term relationships, people tend to prefer more of a “’til death do us part” approach rather than a “’til I find something better” tactic. Overall, the implication for your relationship is clear: The continuous pursuit of perfection could be fine for a car, but in your relationship it may result in failing to recognize the truly great relationship that’s right in front of you for what it is. Impossibly high standards can make an excellent relationship seem average.

You may also undervalue your relationship by being too quick to identify imperfections, notice the negatives and find problems. Blame what psychologists call the negativity bias, which is a tendency to pay attention to the bad or negative aspects of an experience.

Don’t forget all the good stuff that’s just running smoothly.
Anthony Tran/Unsplash, CC BY

In other words, when your relationship is going well, it doesn’t register. You take it for granted. But problems? They capture your attention. The bickering, insensitive comments, forgotten chores, the messes and the inconveniences – all stand out because they deviate from the easily overlooked happy status quo.

This tendency is so pronounced that when a relationship doesn’t have any major issues, research suggests that people inflate small problems into bigger ones. Rather than be thankful for the relative calm, people manufacture problems where none previously existed. You could be your own worst enemy without even realizing it.

Time to recalibrate. The key is separating the critical from the inconsequential in order to distinguish minor issues from real problems. Identifying the true dealbreakers will allow you to save your energy for real problems, and allow the minor stuff to simply fade away.

Data from a representative sample of over 5,000 Americans, ranging in age from 21 to over 76, identified the top 10 relationship dealbreakers:

  1. Disheveled or unclean appearance
  2. Lazy
  3. Too needy
  4. Lacks a sense of humor
  5. Lives more than three hours away
  6. Bad sex
  7. Lacks self-confidence
  8. Too much TV/video games
  9. Low sex drive
  10. Stubborn

Beyond that list, there are certainly annoyances that can become dealbreakers in otherwise generally healthy relationships. And if your partner disrespects, hurts or abuses you, those are behaviors that shouldn’t be ignored and should rightly end your relationship.

In a follow-up study, researchers asked participants to consider both dealbreakers and dealmakers – that is, qualities that are especially appealing. When determining whether a relationship was viable, it turned out the dealbreakers carried more weight. The negativity bias strikes again. The fact that people tend to focus more on the breakers than the makers is further evidence that we’re not giving some aspects of our relationship enough credit.

To help you better appreciate your partner’s good qualities, consider the qualities individuals find most desirable in a marriage partner.

What have you been missing in your relationship? Surely there are boxes that your partner checks that you’ve neglected to notice. Start giving credit where credit is due.

In fact, some studies suggest you should give your partner even more credit than she or he might deserve. Instead of being realistic, give your partner the benefit of the doubt, with an overly generous appraisal. Would you be lying to yourself? Sure, a little bit. But research shows that these types of positive illusions help the relationship by decreasing conflict while increasing satisfaction, love and trust.

A positive attitude toward your partner can be a partly self-fulfilling prophecy.
Alex Holyoake/Unsplash, CC BY

Holding overly optimistic views of your partner convinces you of their value, which reflects well on you – you’re the one who has such a great partner, after all. Your rose-colored opinions also make your partner feel good and give them a good reputation to live up to. They won’t want to let you down so they’ll try to fulfill your positive prophecy. All of which benefits your relationship.

It’s time to stop being overly critical of your relationship. Instead find the knots, the parts of your relationship you’ve been taking for granted that will help you hold on. If you know where to look and what to appreciate, you may just realize there are a lot more reasons to happily hold onto your relationship than you thought.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

Global Capital Summit 2019 – Seeding the Future: Call for Speaker #F50Summit


The fourth annual Global Capital Summit (GCS)® on April 30, 2019, with the theme of Seeding the future, is set to share the voice and believe from earlier stage VCs, Angels, incubators, and funding network. GCS is one of the Silicon Valley Bay Area’s flagship events for the venture ecosystem including corporates, angels invertors, and venture investors, featuring investment and startup content in health tech and deeptech.

Nominate a great speaker

Nominate a speaker!

Featured Past Speakers

GCS 2019 will feature the following content:

  • Content
    • Keynote/Fireside chat: Global thought leaders on the investment ecosystem.
    • Investment Trend: VCs, FoFs, and asset management companies talk about their investment strategies and trends.
    • Angel Investment
    • Future Technology: innovative future generation of tech leaders speak with investors about emerging technologies and innovation.
    • Corporate Venture Forum: Corporate innovation in the venture ecosystem.
      • Corporates engage with startups
      • How Venture Capital collaborate with corporates Content
  • Partnership Development & Deal Making
    • Deal Room / Private Meetings: Private, cafe-style meeting area to meet with amazing founders.
    • Private Demos: Guests will be able to experience emerging technologies from most innovative companies.
  • Connections & Networking
    • General Reception: Late afternoon reception for event attendees.
    • Evening VIP Reception: VIP access for speakers and VIP guests only.

About the Global Capital Summit® (GCS)

The Global Capital Summit™ (GCS) is organized by F50,  Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, and Community Media SVE.io.

GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovations with partnerships to power their long-term impact. The summit will feature 20+ extraordinary products and innovations, and over 500 attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, angel ivnstors, selected VC partners, influential long-term investors, asset management companies, and a group of high-potential local founders.

Date: Thursday, May 1st

Location: Palo Alto, CA (exact location to be provided)

Time: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Presentations, Fireside Chat, and Panels

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm VIP and Speaker Reception

Nominate and Follow Up

Corporate/Angel/Investors/professor/influencer Nomination

Startup Nomination

The speaking session options:

  • 9-minute presentation
  • 12-minute fireside chat
  • 20-25-minute panel discussion

Who is GCS Looking For?

GCS 2019 is actively looking for content and speakers from:

  • Large tech companies: Corporation development, venture arm, business development,
  • Public companies: Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., CVS Pharmacy, etc.
  • Leading Angels, VCs, PEs, M&A fund asset management companies
  • Growing or late-stage startups who are backed by tier-1 investors
  • Professors from tier-1 universities including Stanford, Berkeley and the University of SF

Benefits of Speaking at GCS

The GCS presentations and sessions will be featured in the following ways:

  • Each session will be video-recorded and uploaded to F50’s YouTube channel
  • Selected sessions will be transcribed and posted on SVE.io
  • Interviews and articles will be distributed by over 200 media contacts
  • F50’s social media channels and newsletters (LinkedIn, Twitter, Meetup etc. with over 50K subscribers), and F50’s private network of corporates, VCs, and angels
  • SVE.io and other associated entrepreneur and developer communities, with over 100,000 subscribers
  • F50’s global media partner network, with over 1M impressions worldwide

About F50:

F50 identifies the most promising technology companies in North America by leveraging the collective intelligence of its deep roots of Silicon Valley-based developer and startup communities, the large reach of corporate partners and investor network, as well as industry experts.

We support the growth of these companies with corporate partnership, market development, and venture financing, together with our network of corporate members, Angel Investors, VC, PE,  and experts.

Text analysis of thousands of grant abstracts shows that writing style matters


Is there a financial relationship to what or how people communicate?

Placing a value on words can feel crude or highfalutin – unless you’re in academia, where words are often tied to money. More publications can lead to a promotion, and receiving grant aid can fund new research.

In a paper published on Jan. 30, I evaluated the financial value of words based on a sample of funded National Science Foundation grant abstracts. The data indicated that what researchers say and how we say it can foretell the amount of funding we are awarded. They also show that the writing funders idealize may not always match up with what they actually prefer.

The worth of words

Prior research shows a relationship between language patterns and the funding of personal online loans. Loan applications that had more complex writing – such as those with more words in the description – were more likely to receive full funding. Loan writers also received money if their text contained high levels of verbal confidence such as words that convey certainty (“definitely,” “always,” “clearly”).

To assess complexity and confidence indicators in the NSF sample, I ran over 7.4 million words through an automated text analysis program. The grants covered all NSF directorates, U.S. locations and nearly nine years of funding from 2010 to 2018.

Consistent with the online loans data, grant abstracts with more words and more markers of verbal confidence received more award money.

In fact, each additional word in the grant abstract is associated with a US$372 increase. The ideal word count across NSF directorates is 681 words. After this threshold, additional words associated with a decrease in award funding.

Two other results were telling about the NSF data. First, using fewer common words was associated with receiving more award funding, which is inconsistent with the NSF’s call and commitment to plain writing.

Second, the amount of award funding was related to the writing style of the grant. Prior evidence suggests that we can infer social and psychological traits about people, such as intelligence, from small “junk” words called function words. High rates of articles and prepositions, for example, indicate complex thinking, while high rates of storytelling words such as pronouns indicate simpler thinking.

NSF grant abstracts with a simpler style – that is, grant abstracts that were written as a story with many pronouns – tend to receive more money. A personal touch may simplify the science and can make it relatable.

Changing words to receive more change?

The data include only funded grants, and the relationships may not indicate a direct cause and effect. Therefore, such patterns are not a recipe for a marginal proposal to receive funding nor a “how-to” guide to outfund the competition.

Instead, the results demonstrate that real-world language data have rich psychological value. Just counting words can provide new insights into institutional processes such as grant funding allocation.

Most grant writers believe, and are even told by funders, that a competitive proposal starts with a great idea. This study suggests that another part of grantsmanship may be the proposal’s word patterns and writing style. Since most funded grants will contribute knowledge to science, one way to potentially enhance a funded proposal with more award money is to consider how the science is communicated in the writing phase.

Poet George Herbert suggested, “Good words are worth much, and cost little.” The NSF data offer a different perspective: More complex and confident stories tend to cost the NSF a lot. For researchers looking to support their work with more money, word patterns may be an inexpensive place to start.

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People don’t trust blockchain systems – is regulation a way to help?


Blockchain technology isn’t as widely used as it could be, largely because blockchain users don’t trust each other, as research shows. Business leaders and regular people are also slow to adopt blockchain-based systems because they fear potential government regulations might require them to make expensive or difficult changes in the future.

Mistrust and regulatory uncertainty are strange problems for blockchain technology to have, though. The first widely adopted blockchain, bitcoin, was expressly created to allow financial transactions “without relying on trust” or on governments overseeing the currency. Users who don’t trust a bank or other intermediary to accurately track transactions can instead rely on unchangeable mathematical algorithms. Further, the system is decentralized, with data stored on thousands – or more – of internet-connected computers around the world, preventing regulators from shutting down the network as a whole.

As I discuss in my recent book, “The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust,” the contradiction between blockchain’s allegedly trust-less technology and its trust-needing users arises from a misunderstanding about human nature. Economists often view trust as a cost, because it takes effort to establish. But people actually want to use systems they can trust. They intuitively understand that cultures and companies with strong trust avoid the hidden costs that stem from everyone constantly trying to both cheat the system and avoid being cheated by others.

Blockchain, as it turns out, doesn’t herald the end of the need for trust. Most people will want laws and regulations to help make blockchain-based systems trustworthy.

Problems arise without trust

Bitcoin’s creator wrote in 2009 that “The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work.” With government-issued money, the public must trust central bankers and commercial banks to preserve economic stability and protect users’ privacy. The blockchain framework that bitcoin introduced was supposed to be a “trustless” alternative. Sometimes, though, it shouldn’t be trusted.

In 2016, for instance, someone exploited a flaw in the DAO, a decentralized application using the Ethereum blockchain, to withdraw about US$60 million worth of cryptocurrency. Fortunately, members of the Ethereum community trusted each other enough to adopt a radical solution: They created a new copy of the entire blockchain to reverse the theft. The process was slow and awkward, though, and almost failed.

Securities traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are subject to lots of rules – unlike most blockchain transactions.
AP Photo/Richard Drew

A new type of investment, called initial coin offerings, further illustrates why blockchain-based activity still requires trust. Since 2017, blockchain-based startups have raised more than $20 billion by selling cryptocurrency tokens to supporters around the world. However, a substantial percentage of those companies were out-and-out frauds. In other cases, investors simply had no idea what they were investing in. The blockchain itself doesn’t provide the kind of disclosure that regulators require for traditional securities.

The initial coin offering faucet slowed to a trickle in the second half of 2018 as the predictable abuses of a “wild west” environment became clear. As regulators stepped in, the market shifted toward selling digital tokens under the same rules as stocks or other securities, despite the limits those rules impose.

The myth of decentralization

The other reason that regulators have a role to play is security. Blockchain networks themselves are typically very secure, and they eliminate the vulnerability of a single company controlling transactions. However, blockchains identify the owner of an account based on its cryptographic private key, a random-seeming string of numbers and letters. Steal the key, and you’ve got the money. Ten percent of initial coin offerings proceeds has already been stolen.

Most users acquire their cryptocurrency through an exchange such as Coinbase, which trades it for dollars or other traditional currencies. They also let the exchanges hold their private keys, because that makes transactions easier and more efficient. However, it also creates a point of vulnerability: If the exchange’s records are breached, the private keys aren’t secret anymore.

It can be harder than this to keep track of cryptocurrency keys.
Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com

Some users hold their own keys, and there are new exchanges being developed that don’t require users to give them up. These will never be as convenient, though, because the burden of managing keys and keeping them safe falls on users. Regulation will be needed to protect consumers.

Government authorities will also have a role in restricting money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal uses of cryptocurrencies. The more decentralized a system is, the harder it will be to identify a responsible party to police illicit conduct. Some users may not care, or may see that as a necessary cost of freedom. But networks optimized for criminals won’t ever achieve mainstream success among law-abiding citizens. Ordinary users will be scared off, regulated banks and financial services firms will be prohibited from interacting with them, and law enforcement will find ways to disrupt their activities.

Regulators around the world are working to balance the flexibility to transact in new ways through cryptocurrencies with appropriate safeguards. They aren’t all taking the same route, but that’s good. When the state of New York adopted rigid registration requirements called the BitLicense that few companies could meet, other jurisdictions saw the implementation problems and took different paths. Wyoming, for example, adopted a series of bills that clarify the legal status of cryptocurrencies while imposing reasonable protections. New York is now reevaluating the BitLicense, to avoid losing business activity.

If people trust blockchain systems, they’ll use them. That’s the only way they’ll see mass-market adoption. The jurisdictions with the best regulation – not the ones with the least – will attract activity. Like any technological system, blockchains combine software code and human activity. It’s not enough to trust the computers – which, after all, are built and programmed by people. For the technology to be used widely and wisely, there must be mechanisms to hold the humans accountable, too.


Kevin Werbach is a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and the author of:

The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust.

MIT Press provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

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Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?


Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame.

But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology. Even as the techniques of molecular biology have advanced, humans have not yet released a genetically engineered plant that is intended to spread and persist in an unmanaged environment. Biotech trees – genetically engineered or gene-edited – offer just that possibility.

One thing is clear: The threats facing our forests are many, and the health of these ecosystems is getting worse. A 2012 assessment by the U.S. Forest Service estimated that nearly 7 percent of forests nationwide are in danger of losing at least a quarter of their tree vegetation by 2027. This estimate may not sound too worrisome, but it is 40 percent higher than the previous estimate made just six years earlier.

In 2018, at the request of several U.S. federal agencies and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine formed a committee to “examine the potential use of biotechnology to mitigate threats to forest tree health.” Experts, including me, a social scientist focused on emerging biotechnologies, were asked to “identify the ecological, ethical, and social implications of deploying biotechnology in forests, and develop a research agenda to address knowledge gaps.”

Our committee members came from universities, federal agencies and NGOs and represented a range of disciplines: molecular biology, economics, forest ecology, law, tree breeding, ethics, population genetics and sociology. All of these perspectives were important for considering the many aspects and challenges of using biotechnology to improve forest health.

More than 80 million acres are at risk of losing at least 25 percent of tree vegetation between 2013 and 2027 due to insects and diseases.
Krist et al. (2014), CC BY-SA

A crisis in US forests

Climate change is just the tip of the iceberg. Forests face higher temperatures and droughts and more pests. As goods and people move around the globe, even more insects and pathogens hitchhike into our forests.

The emerald ash borer is destroying ash trees in 31 states.
Herman Wong HM/Shutterstock.com
The emerald ash borer feeds on ash trees, damaging and eventually killing them.
K Steve Cope/Shutterstock.com

We focused on four case studies to illustrate the breadth of forest threats. The emerald ash borer arrived from Asia and causes severe mortality in five species of ash trees. First detected on U.S. soil in 2002, it had spread to 31 states as of May 2018. Whitebark pine, a keystone and foundational species in high elevations of the U.S. and Canada, is under attack by the native mountain pine beetle and an introduced fungus. Over half of whitebark pine in the northern U.S. and Canada have died.

Poplar trees are important to riparian ecosystems as well as for the forest products industry. A native fungal pathogen, Septoria musiva, has begun moving west, attacking natural populations of black cottonwood in Pacific Northwest forests and intensively cultivated hybrid poplar in Ontario. And the infamous chestnut blight, a fungus accidentally introduced from Asia to North America in the late 1800s, wiped out billions of American chestnut trees.

Can biotech come to the rescue? Should it?

It’s complicated

Although there are many potential applications of biotechnology in forests, such as genetically engineering insect pests to suppress their populations, we focused specifically on biotech trees that could resist pests and pathogens. Through genetic engineering, for example, researchers could insert genes, from a similar or unrelated species, that help a tree tolerate or fight an insect or fungus.

It’s tempting to assume that the buzz and enthusiasm for gene editing will guarantee quick, easy and cheap solutions to these problems. But making a biotech tree will not be easy. Trees are large and long-lived, which means that research to test the durability and stability of an introduced trait will be expensive and take decades or longer. We also don’t know nearly as much about the complex and enormous genomes of trees, compared to lab favorites such as fruit flies and the mustard plant, Arabidopsis.

In addition, because trees need to survive over time and adapt to changing environments, it is essential to preserve and incorporate their existing genetic diversity into any “new” tree. Through evolutionary processes, tree populations already have many important adaptations to varied threats, and losing those could be disastrous. So even the fanciest biotech tree will ultimately depend on a thoughtful and deliberate breeding program to ensure long-term survival. For these reasons, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee recommends increasing investment not just in biotechnology research, but also in tree breeding, forest ecology and population genetics.

Oversight challenges

The committee found that the U.S. Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology, which distributes federal oversight of biotechnology products among agencies such as EPA, USDA and FDA, is not fully prepared to consider the introduction of a biotech tree to improve forest health.

Most obviously, regulators have always required containment of pollen and seeds during biotech field trials to avoid the escape of genetic material. For example, the biotech chestnut was not allowed to flower to ensure that transgenic pollen wouldn’t blow across the landscape during field trials. But if biotech trees are intended to spread their new traits, via seeds and pollen, to introduce pest resistance across landscapes, then studies of wild reproduction will be necessary. These are not currently allowed until a biotech tree is fully deregulated.

The family of James and Caroline Shelton poses by a large dead chestnut tree in Tremont Falls, Tennessee, circa 1920.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Library, CC BY-SA

Another shortcoming of the current framework is that some biotech trees may not require any special review at all. The USDA, for example, was asked to consider a loblolly pine that was genetically engineered for greater wood density. But because USDA’s regulatory authority stems from its oversight of plant pest risks, it decided that it did not have any regulatory authority over that biotech tree. Similar questions remain regarding organisms whose genes are edited using new tools such as CRISPR.

The committee noted that U.S. regulations fail to promote a comprehensive consideration of forest health. Although the National Environmental Policy Act sometimes helps, some risks and many potential benefits are unlikely to be evaluated. This is the case for biotech trees as well as other tools to counter pests and pathogens, such as tree breeding, pesticides and site management practices.

How do you measure the value of a forest?

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report suggests an “ecosystem services” framework for considering the various ways that trees and forests provide value to humans. These range from extraction of forest products to the use of forests for recreation to the ecological services a forest provides – water purification, species protection and carbon storage.

The committee also acknowledged that some ways of valuing the forest do not fit into the ecosystem services framework. For example, if forests are seen by some to have “intrinsic value,” then they have value in and of themselves, apart from the way humans value them and perhaps implying a kind of moral obligation to protect and respect them. Issues of “wildness” and “naturalness” also surface.

Chestnuts lying on the ground in autumn near a chestnut tree.
Peter Wollinga/Shutterstock.com

Wild nature?

Paradoxically, a biotech tree could increase and decrease wildness. If wildness depends upon a lack of human intervention, then a biotech tree will reduce the wildness of a forest. But perhaps so would a conventionally bred, hybrid tree that was deliberately introduced into an ecosystem.

Which would reduce wildness more – the introduction of a biotech tree or the eradication of an important tree species? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but they remind us of the complexity of decisions to use technology to enhance “nature.”

This complexity points to a key recommendation of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report: dialogue among experts, stakeholders and communities about how to value forests, assess the risks and potential benefits of biotech, and understand complex public responses to any potential interventions, including those involving biotechnology. These processes need to be respectful, deliberative, transparent and inclusive.

Such processes, such as a 2018 stakeholder workshop on the biotech chestnut, will not erase conflict or even guarantee consensus, but they have the potential to create insight and understanding that can feed into democratic decisions that are informed by expert knowledge and public values.

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In ‘airports of the future,’ everything new is old again


As massive new airports open across Asia and the Middle East, U.S. airports are enhancing security checkpoints with technological gadgets to screen passengers and luggage more quickly. All these projects are often touted as “airports of the future,” in which air travel will be faster, more efficient and more enjoyable than ever before.

However, as a scholar of the history of U.S. airports, I’m most interested to see that all these shiny improvements are still struggling to solve the problems that have vexed airport managers and passengers since at least the late 1950s. Even at the dawn of the jet age, airlines had trouble moving people and bags through airports – and they still do. It’s unclear that bigger airports serving ever more passengers will have an easier time than their smaller, less crowded predecessors.

Chicago’s O’Hare, one of the nation’s busiest airports, stretches across an area one-third the size of Manhattan.
Jay8g/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

A long way to walk

When commercial jet airliners came to the U.S. in the late 1950s, they were larger and faster than previous planes, needing longer runways and more space to park and maneuver on the tarmac. They carried more passengers, which meant boarding gates had to be bigger. This led to the now-familiar design called “pier-finger terminals,” with a main terminal screening passengers and collecting checked luggage, beyond which lay long stretches of boarding gates, spaced far enough apart for planes to fit side by side. Atlanta, Chicago and Miami airports all were criticized for making passengers walk nearly half a mile from ticketing to their gates.

Eero Saarinan, designer of classic jet-age terminals at Dulles and Kennedy airports, proposed two different answers. At Dulles, outside Washington, D.C., he called for large, bus-like vehicles to move passengers from the terminal directly to their airplanes. Called “mobile lounges,” they’re now being phased out in favor of another system billed as more future-oriented: an underground train.

People-moving ‘mobile lounges’ at Dulles International Airport.

In his TWA terminal at JFK Airport outside New York City, Saarinan planned for moving sidewalks to help people cover the distance. The final construction didn’t end up including them, but many large airports adopted the idea.

Those approaches did reduce the number of steps passengers had to take. But as terminals grew in size and airline routes became more complex, passengers had to change planes more often. That has required trains or trams to help people travel longer distances within terminals, or even to other concourses.

Checked luggage has to travel farther, too. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Denver officials thought they had the ultimate futuristic solution with an automatic bag handling system. After repeated failures, though, the machines were shut down and baggage handling was put back in human hands.

Loading baggage by hand is more reliable than automated systems.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

After decades of attempts, the best way to ensure you and your bags arrive at the same place at the same time is carrying them on the plane yourself. Of course, that means you have to drag heavier bags even farther through sprawling airports.

Planning for the unexpected

After the 2001 terrorist attacks, new security screenings created long lines and increased the amount of time people spent at the airport before flights. The need for additional security and waiting space challenged designs that had seemed forward-thinking even in the late 1990s.

For instance, a terminal completed in 1997 at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, D.C., included shops and restaurants, as well as a seamless link to the region’s public transit system. That whole layout is being revamped now, at a cost of US$1 billion, to enhance the travel experience and to accommodate growing passenger numbers.

As more people fly more often, the pace of growth and unexpected events have often overwhelmed the best intended designs and plans. After more than 60 years of trying, it’s an open question whether the ultimate airport of the future – one where passengers and their bags move quickly through a space that’s enjoyable to be in – could ever exist at all.

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Data breaches are inevitable – here’s how to protect yourself anyway


It’s tempting to give up on data security altogether, with all the billions of pieces of personal data – Social Security numbers, credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords and much morebreached and stolen in recent years. But that’s not realistic – nor is the idea of going offline entirely. In any case, huge data-collection corporations vacuum up data about almost every American without their knowledge.

As cybersecurity researchers, we offer good news to brighten this bleak picture. There are some simple ways to protect your personal data that can still be effective, though they involve changing how you think about your own information security.

The main thing is to assume that you are a target. Though most individual people aren’t specifically being watched, software that mines massive troves of data – enhanced by artificial intelligence – can target vast numbers of people almost as easily as any one person. Think defensively about how you can protect yourself from an almost inevitable attack, rather than assuming you’ll avoid harm.

What’s most important now?

That said, it’s unproductive and frustrating to think you must pay attention to every possible avenue of attack. Simplify your approach by focusing on what information you most want to protect.

Covering the obvious, keep your software up-to-date. Software companies issue updates when they fix security vulnerabilities, but if you don’t download and install them, you’re leaving yourself unprotected from malware such as keystroke loggers. Also, be smart about what links you click in your email or when browsing the web – you could inadvertently download malicious software to your phone or computer, or allow hackers access to your online accounts.

In terms of online data, the most important information to protect is your login credentials for key accounts – like banking, government services, email and social media. You can’t do much about how well websites and companies safeguard your information, but you can make it harder for hackers to get into your account, or at least more than one of them.

Reusing login names and passwords is a significant risk.
Mihai Simonia/Shutterstock.com

How? The first step is to use a different username and password on each crucial site or service. This can be complicated by sites’ limits on username options – or their dependence on email addresses. Similarly, many sites have requirements on passwords that limit their length or the number or type of characters that they can include. But do your best.

The reason for this is straightforward: When a bunch of usernames and passwords fall into malicious hands, hackers know it’s human nature to repeat usernames and passwords across many sites. So they almost immediately start trying those combinations anywhere they can – like major banks and email services. A chief information security officer we know in the banking industry told us that after the Yahoo breach of a few years ago, banking sites were hit with multiple attempts to log in with credentials stolen from Yahoo.

Use long passwords

There has been a lot of research about what makes a strong password – which has often led to many people using complex passwords like “7hi5!sMyP@s4w0rd.” But more recent research suggests that what matters much more is that passwords are long. That’s what makes them more resistant to an attempt to guess them by trying many different options. Longer passwords don’t have to be harder to remember: They could be easily recalled phrases like “MyFirstCarWasAToyotaCorolla” or “InHighSchoolIWon9Cross-CountryRaces.”

It can be daunting to think about remembering all these different usernames and passwords. Password management software can help – though choose carefully as more than one of them have been breached. It can be even safer – despite conventional wisdom and decades of security advice – to write them down, so long as you trust everyone who has access to your home.

Use a third line of defense

Have hackers driven us back to the age of the physical key?

To add another layer of protection – including against troublesome housemates – many sites (Google, for example) let you turn on what’s called multi-factor authentication. This can be an app on your smartphone that generates a numeric code every 30 seconds or so, or a physical item you plug into your computer’s USB port. While they can afford at least some protection, be wary of sites that send you a text with a code; that method is vulnerable to interception.

With these straightforward steps – and the new mindset of thinking like a target who wants to avoid getting hit – you’ll be far less worried when news breaks of the next breach of some company’s enormous data files. Bad guys may get one of your usernames, and maybe even one of your passwords – so you’ll have to change those. But they won’t have all your credentials for all your online accounts. And if you use multi-factor authentication, the bad guys might not even be able to get into the account whose credentials they just stole.

Focus on what’s most important to protect, and use simple – but effective – methods to protect yourself and your information.

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Secretive ‘Rebate Trap’ Keeps Generic Drugs For Diabetes And Other Ills Out Of Reach


Lisa Crook was lucky. She saved $800 last year after her insurance company started covering a new, less expensive insulin called Basaglar that was virtually identical to the brand she had used for years.

The list price for Lantus, a long-acting insulin made by Sanofi that she injected once a day, had nearly quadrupled over a decade.

With Basaglar, “I’ve never had my insulin cost drop so significantly,” said Crook, a legal assistant in Dallas who has Type 1 diabetes.

But many people with diabetes can’t get the deal Crook got. In a practice that policy experts say smothers competition and keeps prices high, drug companies routinely make hidden pacts with middlemen that effectively block patients from getting cheaper generic medicines.

Such agreements “make it difficult for generics to compete or know what they’re competing against,” said Stacie Dusetzina, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Here’s how it works: Makers of established brands give volume-based rebates to insurers or intermediaries called pharmacy benefit managers. In return, those middlemen often leave competing generics off the menu of drugs they cover, called a formulary, or they jack up the price for patients. The result is that many can’t get the cheaper drugs unless they shoulder a bigger copay or buy them with no help from insurance.

Brand-drug sellers “pay for position” on the formulary, said Michael Rea, CEO of Rx Savings Solutions, which helps health plans and employers manage pharma costs. “In this country, the most cost-effective drugs don’t necessarily mean anyone will have access to them … [Companies with] the deepest pockets win.”

This so-called rebate trap joins a long history of efforts by makers of brand-name drugs to stifle generics, including protecting drugs with multiple layers of dubious patents, “pay for delay” deals to keep generics off the market and withholding key ingredients needed for generic production, critics say.

Because rebate contracts are secret, nobody knows the full extent of the practice nor how much it costs the health system in unrealized savings.

“The deals between the drug companies and the PBM middle players are guarded as fiercely as Fort Knox,” said Robin Feldman, a law professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, who studies pharma policy. “No one gets to see them.”

But new research is turning up plenty of evidence of rebates distorting the market, such as numerous instances of effective, less expensive generics missing from formularies or patients burdened with higher out-of-pocket costs for generic drugs.

In unpublished research, Dusetzina found that only 17 percent of Medicare plans for seniors covered Basaglar, the biosimilar launched by Eli Lilly two years ago. Nearly all of them covered brand-name Lantus, sold by Sanofi, as of early last year.

Her research suggests rebates from Sanofi might have induced insurers to leave lower-priced Basaglar off their formularies, Dusetzina said.

Sanofi works with insurers and pharmacy benefit managers “to negotiate access for patients to our portfolio of products including Lantus,” said company spokesman Jon Florio, declining to disclose specifics.

What’s a pharmacy benefit manager? Watch our explainer.

Medicare plans covering Lantus but not Basaglar include numerous offerings from Anthem, the biggest for-profit, Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer.

“After evaluating the total cost impact on consumers, taxpayers and the government, we chose to cover the brand drug, Lantus, over the biosimilar, Basaglar,” said Anthem spokeswoman Lori McLaughlin.

Replacement versions of complex drugs often made from living cells are called biosimilars, not generics. Basaglar is considered clinically equivalent to Lantus but, because of a legal wrinkle, won’t technically be considered a biosimilar by regulators until 2020.

Merck scrapped its own biosimilar version of Lantus last fall, despite receiving tentative approval by the Food and Drug Administration, after “assessing … the market environment,” the company said.

Coverage of Lilly’s Basaglar has grown, and the drug is now included in formularies used by slightly more than half the patients who have health insurance, said Eli Lilly spokesman Greg Kueterman.

In another forthcoming study, this one examining 2018 Medicare coverage, researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that “almost every plan has at least one branded drug on the formulary that’s in a better place than the generic,” said Gerard Anderson, the professor leading the research.

(A grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which helps support Kaiser Health News, financed the Hopkins research.)

In 2015, only 19 percent of generic drugs covered by Medicare were in the preferred formulary tiers with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, found a study last year by consultants Avalere. In 2011, on the other hand, 71 percent of generics had been in the best tier, which helps determine what patients are prescribed.

The Association for Accessible Medicines, the generic drug lobby, paid for that study. Rebate-influenced barriers to generics are “increasingly problematic,” said AAM CEO Chip Davis.

Disputes over formulary choices have hit the courts. Pfizer sued Johnson & Johnson in 2017, alleging that rebates induced insurers to prefer Remicade, an anti-inflammatory biologic, at the expense of Pfizer’s lower-priced product.

Critics of rebate traps include top Trump administration officials, under pressure from a president who has promised to lower drug prices.

Because quick rebates from brands are often more attractive to PBMs and insurers than long-term savings from generics, “this is a real challenge in terms of biosimilars coming to market and gaining market share” Scott Gottlieb, head of the FDA, said in an interview.

Such objections add to a crescendo of grievances against hidden rebates. Consumers and advocates have complained for years that rebates cut costs for PBMs and insurers but do little for patients, who are often left paying their out-of-pocket share based on soaring list prices.

Crook’s out-of-pocket costs for Lantus rose steadily over the years to about $900 annually, she said. After switching to Basaglar last year, her cost was less than $100.

Mark Gooley, who has Type 1 diabetes and lives in Florida, said he started ordering Lantus by mail from Canada after the U.S. list price rose fourfold in a little more than a decade.

“I have a very low opinion of companies like Sanofi,” he said. “They could afford to sell it to me when it came out” at a much lower price, he said. “Inflation has not been 400 percent.”

Because of rebates paid to PBMs, Sanofi’s net price for Lantus has actually decreased over the past five years despite the list-price increases, said company spokesman Florio. “Unfortunately, these savings are not consistently passed through to patients,” he said.

PBMs say they respond to the terms drug companies offer and negotiate to save billions for government, insurers and employers. “Simply put, the easiest way to lower costs would be for drug companies to lower their prices,” the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the PBM lobby, said in an emailed statement.

For its part, PhRMA, the branded-drug association, has said it wants to scrap the rebate system and have PBMs paid for services provided.

Congress has done little to fix the rebate problem despite widespread criticism, but senior legislators in both chambers have pledged to address high drug prices this year.

Last summer, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed changing “safe harbor” protections that shield pharma rebates from being viewed as illegal kickbacks. But the proposal, under review at the Office of Management and Budget since July, has never been publicly aired, leaving the industry to wonder how substantial it is and if it will ever take effect.

KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Related Topics

Cost and Quality Health Care Costs Health Industry Pharmaceuticals

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It’s cold! A physiologist explains how to keep your body feeling warm


Whether waiting for a bus, playing outside or walking the dog – during the colder winter season, everyone is looking for ways to stay warm. Luckily, the process your body uses to break down foods serves as an internal heater.

But when the weather is cold, some defensive strategies are also necessary to prevent your body from losing its heat to the surrounding environment. As the temperature difference between your warm body and its frigid surroundings increases, heat is lost more quickly. It becomes more of a challenge to maintain a normal body temperature.

And two people with the same exact body temperature in the same exact environment may have very different perceptions. One may feel frozen while the other is completely comfortable.

But beyond the subjective experience of coldness, researchers do know that natural physiological responses to cold as well as behavioral adaptations – like bundling up! – can help keep your body around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure you feel warm.

Some jobs necessitate being out in inclement weather, and your physiology has some defenses against cold conditions.
U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe, CC BY-NC

What your body does

Your blood courses through your body carrying nutrients, oxygen and other biological important substances. And this delivery system also brings heat produced in the muscles to the skin, where it’s released.

When you enter a cold environment, your body redistributes blood to the torso, protecting and maintaining the warmth of the vital organs there. At the same time, your body constricts blood flow to the skin. Narrowing the roads to the skin means less heat can make the journey, and so less is lost to the environment. And minimizing how much blood goes to the skin – which is in closest proximity to the cold – means you can hold onto more of your internal heat longer.

Another defensive strategy the body uses to stay warm is cranking up muscle activity. This in turn increases your metabolism and creates more heat. Think of a brisk winter walk when the mercury has really plunged – your teeth may chatter and your arms and legs may shake uncontrollably in shivers. This seemingly nonproductive use of the muscles is actually an effort to increase body temperature by breaking down more nutrients to stoke your internal furnace.

Differences in body size, body fatness and metabolic activity influence how different individuals experience cold. Smaller people with lower levels of body fat lose more heat to the environment than larger people with more body fat. A bigger individual may have increased muscle mass, which is a producer of heat, or elevated body fatness, which functions as an insulator to reduce heat loss. These differences are not easy to change.

Things you can do

In order to maintain a feeling of warmth, you can manipulate your clothing, your activity and your food.

The most common thing people do to stay warm is wear a coat, hat and gloves. Obviously increasing clothing thickness or piling on the layers helps. Winter clothes serve not to warm you up, but more as a means to keep the heat you are producing from dispersing to the surrounding environment.

Contrary to popular belief, the head is not a greater source of heat loss than any other adequately covered body part. If you were to wear a warm hat and no coat, your torso would contribute the most to heat loss, thanks to how your body redistributes its blood in cold conditions. If you can keep your torso warm, you’ll maintain blood flow to your limbs and can often keep the arms, legs, hands and feet warm.

Secondly, being physically active causes your muscles to contract, breaking down more nutrients, which generates additional heat. This additional heat production can help maintain body temperature and the feeling of warmth. Maybe you’ve noticed this in your own life if you’ve run in place for a bit or done a quick set of jumping jacks when you’re out in the cold.

Unfortunately, physical activity or layers of clothing can tip the balance past what you need to offset heat losses. In that case, you’ll experience an increase in body temperature – and your body will start sweating in an effort to cool down. This is a bad outcome, because the evaporation of sweat will lead to greater rates of heat loss.

Take some tips from those who enjoy the great outdoors even when the mercury falls.
Serhii Danevych/Unsplash, CC BY

Finally, eating increases the body’s production of heat. The process of breaking down food is going to slightly increase body temperature. Sometimes campers will have a snack before bed in an effort to stay warmer through the night. While the metabolic impact of a small snack may not be huge, the tipping point between heat balance and heat loss is pretty small.

You may also notice the urge to urinate – what physicians call cold diuresis. It’s a side effect of constricting blood vessels and the resulting increase in blood pressure as the same amount of blood has a smaller space available to travel through your body.

And if you’re the type who tends to feel cold and leave your coat on even inside, you might want to rethink the habit. Your skin will be flush with blood as your body tries to dissipate excess heat inside. Worst of all, you may start to sweat. Once you head back out the door, you might feel even colder initially than you would have as the cold air saps the heat from your skin and your sweat evaporates. To stay comfortable, your best bet is dressing appropriately, whether inside or outdoors this winter.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here:Read More

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Fireside Chat with DNAtix Galit Lidsky, by Maria Malavenda EVVEMI


DNAtix is an innovative company led by a visionary team in the genetic space, integrating two cutting-edge technologies – Digitized DNA sequencing and blockchain. DNAtix is developing a genetic ecosystem which will enable all players operating in the field to collaborate and create new solutions for the genetic world and exciting possibilities for medical research. The use of blockchain technology provides users with the ability to use their genetic information in an anonymous manner, making genetics more accessible for all. The genetic blockchain-based platform will support anonymous and encrypted genetic services including analysis, storage, and transfer of digitized DNA sequences, direct-to consumer. Website: www.dnatix.comLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dnatix/

CrunchBase: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/dnatix

MARIA MALAVENDA CEO at EVVEMIEVVEMI – a revolutionary blockchain platform providing greater precision and transparency for personalized, healthy beauty. EVVEMI is bringing transparency and trust to the legitimacy of products and services provided in the beauty and wellness industry.

About the DeepTech Summit™ (DTS) The DeepTech Summit™ (DTS) is organized by F50, Community Media SVE.io, Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, and SVDN (Silicon Valley Developer Network). It brings together over 50 tech communities and media partners from all over the world. F50 finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovations with global partnerships to power their long-term impact. The summit will feature 30+ extraordinary products and innovations, and 300+ attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, venture funds, selected VC partners, influential long-term investors, asset management companies, and a group of high-potential local founders. Official site: http://f50.io/deeptech/ Follow F50: http://twitter.com/theF50https://www.linkedin.com/company/f50 Join the conversation #F50Summit:

Predictive health: Next generation medical devices powered by Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence has made its way into the highly regulated healthcare space. As tech giants search for new resources for proprietary data, Daniel Burnett, a visionary physician entrepreneur and inventor, biomedical innovation professor at Stanford and UCSF, is tapping into medical devices for a steady stream of actionable clinical insights about the patient by making the conventional medical devices smarter.

Last week, the San Francisco Bay area had executives from all over the world visiting for JP Morgan Healthcare week. Leaders in the healthcare industry, startups, and venture capitalists connected at conferences and networking events to target major problems in healthcare. Over 20 great startups and experts presented at Silicon Valley DeepTech Summit 2019, with a focus on affecting 1  billion lives, hosted by F50. The event featured a high-profile panel on Predictive Health and medical devices powered by data science. They spoke about how AI-powered medical devices will improve patient care and significantly cut down on the costs.

The panel was moderated by Prathamesh Prabhudesai, physician and Entrepreneur In Residence at F50. Panelists included Joe Urban, CEO of Potrero Medical, Daniel Burnett, the founder of Theranova, Lu Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner at Fusion Fund.

Watch video from youtube

Key statements about trends in the predictive health space were as follows:

“It is important to be proactive rather than reactive. I have seen doctors and nurses struggle with the patient because they find out afterward. I see where the market is going, and it is going towards predictive health. The days of dumb indwelling devices are limited. In the future, the questions the doctors will ask the people in the field selling the devices is what else does your device do, what else does it tell me, and how can I treat this patient. That will be the future, and I see it happening in global medicine. Laparoscopic surgery changed the operating room; it reduced mortality and morbidity associated with open procedures. Similarly for the ICU and critical care setting predictive health has a vital role in minimizing cost, improving quality and reducing workload for overworked and overstressed care teams”, said Joe.

“User behavior is changing, and people are moving towards personalized diagnostics. The applications of AI in healthcare motivate me to allocate more capital in predictive health. We look at companies that have the potential to generate over 1 billion dollars exits.

Medical device acquisitions are in the range of $150-300 million. Traditionally it is good, but for a VC it isn’t good enough. However, now with AI, it increases the opportunity to work with a lot of Tech companies like Google, Microsoft, who will pay higher for the data and who have less control over the exit price of the healthcare company. The main focus of using AI-powered medical devices is to enable the provider to increase efficiency, work better, and increase accuracy. We are not replacing anyone”, said Lu.

“The focus at Theranova has been to start companies like Potrero Medical that capture actionable proprietary data streams. Data is the new oil if you have a rich unique and patentable data stream. We work on improving outcomes, reducing costs, and expanding access to care. The last two are important. Earlier the medical device space used to focus only on the first one. The days where you sell a medical device company for 150 million, but it is going to add a lot to the cost of care are gone. If you hit on all three of these, you have everyone pushing for you, the doctor, patient, the hospital system. The only entity not pushing for you is the traditional medical device company that you are disrupting”, said Daniel.

The trio didn’t consider competition from industry incumbents as a significant barrier to entry in the predictive health space.

“Big companies are largely limited by their intolerance to liability. The stage where we pay can potentially bankrupt a Medtronic or Verb Surgical. We do innovation that is pioneering. Leaders at Boston Scientific or Medtronic would agree with this because that’s not where they want to be”, said Daniel.

“Nowadays we don’t worry about competition between startup and large company. The big company wants to be an enabler; they have a platform and database, they want to collaborate with small startups and make strategic investments in these startups. This creates a much healthier ecosystem”, said Lu.

“Potrero Medical has a technology that has a waiting list in the US to get it. We upset the incumbent by adding clinical utility and value for doctor, the patient, and the hospital. Our tech automates workflow by reducing burden for the nurse at a price that is reasonable which traditional medical devices companies don’t do”, said Joe.

The panelists feel that the regulatory atmosphere right now is very supportive. They suggested that when you are doing something pioneering, it is easier when you involve the FDA early on and work with them. They concluded the panel with a few bold statements.

Joe and Daniel: “Doctors that use AI and Machine Learning will replace the doctors that don’t.”

Lu: “ We are not just going to see smart doctors but also smarter hospitals. All devices going into the patient will be smarter and more sensorized, and data is going to be the new

The Electronics Industry Sees Money In Your Health

Attendees walk through the hall at the Sands Expo Convention Center during CES 2019 consumer electronics show, on January 10, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest version of the watch, which was announced last fall, detects a fibrillating heart and a propensity for falls. What other manufacturers learned from that is that you can make money if you can create a worry about a problem that people didn’t realize they had and also create a solution for that worry via a high-tech product. Many of the products at the mammoth annual show seemed to be following that strategy.

In A Rush To Brush?

Take, for instance, the problem of the length of time it takes to brush your teeth. With Y-Brush, you can cut down that onerous two-minute recommended time to 10 seconds, and supposedly still get your teeth cleaner.

Makers of the Y-shaped device say it brushes all your top and then bottom teeth in five seconds each, giving each tooth four times the brush exposure it would get with a typical two-minute tooth-by-tooth brushing regimen recommended for users of a conventional electric toothbrush.

The company says its device removes 15 percent more plaque than a traditional toothbrush. And, of course, you’ve freed up an additional 110 seconds in your life each time you brush.

The $125 Y-Brush handle and brush will be sold online this year; additional brush heads, which need to be replaced every six months, will cost $25.

The DFree monitors changes in bladder size and transmits that information to a smartphone app, which sends a customizable alert to the person when it’s time to find a toilet.(Eric Taub for KHN)

Know Before You Gotta Go

Another problem: You can’t always predict when you need to go to the bathroom. DFree, a sensor worn a half-inch above the pubis bone, predicts when an individual will have to urinate, giving the wearer a chance to gauge how long they can be away from a toilet.

The DFree monitors changes in bladder size and transmits that information to a smartphone app, which sends a customizable alert to the person when it’s time to find a toilet. The company says it doesn’t work for pregnant women or toilet-training toddlers.

The unit costs $500, or it can be rented for $40 per month, with the rental price applied to an eventual purchase.

Making Health A Cinch

The Welt smart belt, developed with seed money from Samsung, can alert you to weight gain, as well as monitor the time you spend sitting and the number of steps taken.(Eric Taub for KHN)

Detecting falls, now a feature of the Apple Watch, is showing up in other devices. Like in this belt, which also can alert you to weight gain as it senses the belt getting tighter. (Yeah, like old-fashioned belts do.) The Welt smart belt, developed with seed money from Samsung, also monitors the time you spend sitting and the number of steps taken. Connected to a smartphone app (naturally), Welt suggests when a user should stand or change their eating habits and will also send a customized alert after a fall.

For Top-Condition Cognition

There was no shortage at the show of devices to improve your mental abilities. BrainTap, an app-based subscription series of audio music and vocal stimulations, provides visualization exercises that the company says will retrain your brain to allow you to relax, reduce stress and maximize your ability to lose weight.

The company charges $10 to $30 a month for the series, based on whether you need to address only one or more conditions.

As an added benefit, the company also sells an oddly priced $547 headset that beams blue light into your eyes. It uses light to stimulate your ears, following precepts of something called auriculotherapy, which employs light to activate, the company says, “the meridians known to directly affect the body’s organs and systems.

EKGs On The Go

The electronics industry seems to believe it can make money convincing people they should be worried about their hearts. A number of products that take a simplified form of an electrocardiogram (EKG) are already on the market, the Apple Watch and Kardia among them. The WitCard, from WitMonki, is a credit card-size device that, by touching two thumbs and one index finger, sends results to one’s health care provider where, using the company’s WitDisplayer portal, EKG readings over time can be compared and appropriate action taken when necessary.

The battery-operated WitCard is undergoing trials for European Union certification and approval by the Food and Drug Administration, and could cost about $120.

Breathing into a Lumen device can tell you how your sleep, exercise and eating choices are affecting your ability to burn carbs or fats.(Courtesy of Lumen)

Monitoring Your Energy

Ever worry about whether you are burning carbs or fats? Well, now there’s a way. Breathe into the Lumen device each morning to get a reading of your carbon dioxide concentration. Based on that, a phone app determines how yesterday’s sleep, exercise and eating choices affected your ability to burn carbs or fats. Lumen also promises to tell you if you have sufficient energy stores before exercising (and what to do about it), why you feel tired all the time and how to alter your diet to lose weight.

The company expects to ship its $249 device this August.

Monitoring Your Sleep

Philips, the giant electronics company, has become the latest company to soothe our worries about not getting enough sleep. Its SmartSleep, a $400 headband worn in bed, emits audible tones that supposedly detect and boost slow-wave, or deep, sleep — a time when breathing and heart rate are at their slowest.

The intent of SmartSleep is to keep the wearer in the deep-sleep zone longer; it does not increase the amount of time one sleeps or help someone fall or stay asleep. And, if you are older, you are out of luck, as the device is recommended for people between 18 and 50. Philips says the slow-wave activity declines as we age and becomes more difficult to detect.

A High-Tech Pill Dispenser

Finally, an obvious problem: how to remember to take multiple drugs multiple times per day. And, of course, there is a just-as-obvious solution: automated drug-dispensing devices.

One of the latest products to attempt this is RxPense, which offers high-tech bells and whistles. The machine is loaded with hermetically sealed pill blister cards by a participating pharmacy. Once the card’s bar code confirms it’s the proper one and loaded into the machine, the patient is identified by facial recognition, an RFID bracelet or a PIN, and the proper pill pack, confirmed by the bar code on the packaging, is dispensed at the set time.

But wait, there is more. A camera records the dispensed pills and the patient’s removal of them. Missed doses are not dispensed.

The RxPense can be leased for $150 a month.

The device can’t tell whether the patient has actually ingested the pill. For that, pills will need to include a digestible RFID tag to track its trip through the body. The FDA approved Abilify MyCite, the first drug with a built-in tracking sensor, in 2017.

Don’t be surprised to see a device at next year’s show that can tell you where those tagged pills are.

Related Topics

Health Industry Public Health

This story can be republished for free (details).

Source:  from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

#SVEDemo Startup and Speaker details for Jan 23 @ Google


#SVEDemo 2019 Launch your product @ SVE Demo Night | SVE.io @ Google

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2019, 5:30 PM

Google Building SB45
1345 Shorebird Way, Mountain View 94043, CA

303 Founders,Entrepreneurs,Investors Attending

Launch your new product @ SVEDemo, the largest community product demo event in Silicon Valley / SF Network with founders, corporate, investors and professionals. SVEDemo would like to serve as launch pad for new and innovative products from startups, large corporates and established companies. We welcome HealthTech, DeepTech. === Startups & Speaker…

Check out this Meetup →

Startups (Detail & Links below):

  • Previse AI, Artificial intelligence for predicting and optimizing construction equipment performance. By Roy Labban Co-founder and CEO
  • Intuitive (https://www.intuitive.com/), “Robotics and Humans”, Robotics-assisted surgical systems.  
  • EVShare, EVShare sustainable green transit. #connected #shared #autonomous
  • Arigo Entertainment Inc, provide music enthusiasts of any age an entertaining way to play, record and share with a global community of recreational musicians.
  • Wello Inc
  • ROYBI, an AI-powered companion robot for kids aged 3-7 in language learning
  • LingoCard, International Educational Platform for study of any foreign languages and conversation practice.
  • Stratumgen, providing energy independence; with that independence comes security and stability.


  • Jamie Rosenstein, People Analytics, PiLab, Google
  • Julio Nino from Intuitive (https://www.intuitive.com/),
  • Oana Marcu, Research Scientist, SETI Institute (NASA)
  • Prathamesh Prabhudesai, EIR, F50
  • KJ Jia, Partner, F50 Lab

Startup and Details

== Previse AI ==
Artificial intelligence for predicting and optimizing construction equipment performance
Website: https://www.previse.ai
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/previseai/

About Roy Labban
•20+ years of experience in software engineering, database application development, business intelligence and analytics, computer modeling and simulation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and blockchain
•Former director of construction decision support systems at a top 20 (ENR, 2018) international engineering and construction firm – led development and implementation of enterprise optimization software solutions using computer simulation and artificial intelligence on multi-billion-dollar projects globally
•Founder and managing partner at a boutique consulting firm specializing in business intelligence, analytics, and big data
•Founder of a postgraduate intensive full-time advanced tech coding bootcamp diploma program focusing on new technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence, and mobile apps
•Member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Computer Science Program at the American University of Science and Technology
•Graduate-level university instructor – artificial intelligence and computer simulation
•Invited speaker at global advanced technology conferences
•Developed first AI project at the age of 14

Website: https://www.previse.ai
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/previseai/

Empowering YOU to share rides and energy, saving time and the planet.
The real electric, shared, autonomous, clean, blockchain based community-driven, zero-emissions, energy and transportation system for smart cities.


Eduardo Munoz, CEO or Gisele Bisson, PR for EVSHARE
Empowering YOU to share rides and energy, saving time and the planet.
The real electric, shared, autonomous, clean, blockchain based community-driven, zero-emissions, energy and transportation system for smart cities.

EVShare’s team has more than a decade of experience developing vehicles – now they’ll go to the blockchain.


Doug Shannon, CEO
At STRATUMGEN we aim to become a global pioneer in the coming era of energy efficient homes, businesses, commercial properties, and eventually countries. We intend to do this by designing our business around something people already want, “energy independence” and with that independence comes security and stability.
STRATUMGEN is not providing or utilizing Solar, Wind, Thermal, Hydroelectricity, or Flywheels in any way.
STRATUMGEN is able to provide the renewable self-charging, clean energy generation by utilizing our patent-pending electric energy efficient product.

EVShare’s team has more than a decade of experience developing vehicles – now they’ll go to the blockchain.

== Arigo Entertainment In

Richard Reed www.linkedin.com/in/richardmreed
Richard is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in launching and building consumer web services, digital health, eCommerce and blockchain ventures in the USA, Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe. His first startup was MCN a mobile search SaaS platform was purchased by Opt Inc in 2011.

== Wello Inc

Self-service, non contact body temperature screening will require that a likely contagious person be asked to return when they are well. Sub-acute and above fevers are the best indicator of contagiousness. Wello has several products hardware and informational that can mitigate if not end the bad human habits of spreading disease.

Rick Heller, serial Entrepreneur for over 20 years with 5 startups and 2 IPOs. Recently solid exit led to cash investment in this venture by shareholders.

ROYBI, Elnaz Sarraf

ROYBI is AI-powered, educational companion robot, currently targeting 3-7-year-old children focusing on language learning. ROYBI interacts with kids as well as their supervisors, including teachers, parents and grandparents. ROYBI is able to recognize faces and emotions, laugh, cry, and entertain kids in a fun, interactive way.

Elnaz is a serial entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience in technology, business, sales, and marketing. Currently, Elnaz is the CEO and Founder of ROYBI, a robotics company focused on early childhood education. ROYBI utilizes artificial intelligence to provide personalized educational experiences for kids across the globe. Prior to starting ROYBI, Elnaz co-founded and led a consumer electronics/IoT company, iBaby, serving as the company’s board member & President. iBaby is now a Fortune 5000 company with products being sold at Apple, Target, Babies R Us, Best Buy, Walmart, with a growing global presence. Elnaz was responsible for launching, marketing, and selling six generations of products at iBaby, where the products outperformed 50 other baby monitors in the US, becoming the #2 most wanted product in the category, and winning many prestigious awards.

======== Speaker Details =======

Oana Marcu, Research Scientist, SETI Institute
Oana has a PhD in biology, with a career over the last 12 years at SETI Institute/ NASA Ames Research Center. She has experience in research and teaching developmental biology, space biology and astrobiology.
At NASA Ames she was the lead scientist for an open-science project geared at deep sequencing of all biological payloads on the International Space Station and establishing the first public database for space biology omics data; in this function she engaged with the space biology community in the US, representatives from different NASA centers,
and was the international liaison for the project; she helped build partnerships with academia and the commercial sector, developed strategic tools and interacted with the Center for the Advancement of Studies in Space (CASIS).
While at NASA Ames she also established a summer education program for high school students and teachers in astrobiology science and engineering. She is the recipient of 4NASA Honors Awards and 3 NASA Group Achievement Awards.
Personally Oana is also involved in community education about epigenetics.

PRATHAMESH PRABHUDESAI, Entrepreneur In Residence at F50

Prathamesh Prabhudesai is a medical doctor and alumnus of Georgia Tech’s Biodesign program. He is a strong advocate of value-based design and cost-efficient solutions for today’s healthcare problems. Prathamesh is currently working as an EIR for F50 while the building partnerships for his medical device startup, safeBVM.
Post your job to Startup Job Board (Beta) for free: http://sve.io/job
Volunteer for the event:

Check out the #SVEDemo Feb

SVE Demo Night Feb – #SVEDemo | SVE.io

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2019, 5:30 PM

Silicon Valley – South Bay
To Be Determined Sunnyvale, CA

34 Founders,Entrepreneurs,Investors Attending

Launch your new product @ SVEDemo, the largest community product demo event in Silicon Valley / SF Network with founders, corporate, investors and professionals. SVEDemo would like t to serve as launch pad for new and innovative products from startup, large corporate and established companies. We welcome HealthTech, DeepTech. Together with communit…

Check out this Meetup →

GrubMarket acquired Chasin Foods, continues its Sizzling Growth


SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — GrubMarket today announced it has completed the acquisition of Chasin Foods, a leading wholesale distributor of quality produce, dairy, meats, seafood, and provisions. Chasin Foods was formally an independent, family owned distributor with a portfolio of clients including markets, manufacturers, jobbers, schools, chain restaurants, single unit restaurants and large institutional accounts across the Southern California region. This acquisition follows in the footsteps of GrubMarket’s recent acquisition of So Cal Farm Network last year, which has proven to be highly successful. Chasin Foods will now be able to leverage GrubMarket’s robust produce supply chain network to quickly expand its offerings to even more restaurants, manufacturers, and food service providers. Its headquarters will remain in Southern California, and the company will continue to be led by its current leadership team, including Derek and Roger Chasin.

Derek Chasin, the CEO of Chasin Foods, has led Chasin Foods for close to 20 years, and the company has always maintained a pinpoint focus on customer service. In fact, you’ll regularly hear Derek stress his belief that Chasin Foods will only be successful if its customers are successful, and this mentality permeates across all Chasin Foods employees. From a business perspective, Chasin Foods caters to clients of all sizes, and they consistently maintain a best practice of passing along any cost savings from volume buying directly to their clients. According to Derek: “GrubMarket recognizes the corporate values and philosophies of Chasin Foods, and they respect our focus on world class customer service. Our company mindset will stay with us, as we leverage this new relationship to reach more customers looking for an exceptional overall service.”

Furthermore, GrubMarket will leverage Chasin Foods’ expertise to further bolster and grow its existing produce supply chain capabilities. According to Mike Xu, CEO of GrubMarket: “Chasin Foods is an incredibly well-respected and highly-regarded wholesale distributor in the Southern California region. We look forward to working closely together, and we are thrilled to welcome both Derek and Roger Chasin into the GrubMarket Family.”

About GrubMarket

GrubMarket’s mission is to make fresh and healthy food accessible to everyone. We are committed to providing you with the best online grocery experience possible, by regularly offering you a spectacular array of farm-fresh foods at prices that are up to 50% OFF what you’d typically find at other grocers.

For Media Inquiries:

GrubMarket Social Media Team 
(510) 556-4786

1925 Jerrold Ave. 
San Francisco, CA. 94124

SOURCE GrubMarket

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