3-D Printing Could Fix Infertility in the Near Future

Researchers have finally found success in their journey towards finding a cure for women infertility with the help of 3-D printing. As 3-D printing becomes more popular and advanced, scientists have been able to print internal organs. Researchers practiced their studies on female mice that had infertility issues; with the help of 3-D printed synthetic ovaries, the mice were able to reproduce offspring again. As a Health Policy major, this new innovation is eye opening and life changing to the medical field; it opens up a range of opportunities for doctors, surgeons, and nurses. These opportunities will have the ability to save lives and create pathways to more inventions that will revolutionize medical discoveries.

In continuation, the synthetic ovaries printed for the female mice were formed from gelatin. It is crazy to think that that the same thing we use to make Jell-O can also help us cure the epidemic of ovary failure. The gelatin was formed by printing multiple copies of it, scientists then overlapped each printed gelatin which then made “scaffolds” on the sides of the filaments. These scaffolds were important for ovary production because this is where the researchers insert mouse follicles, which contain growing eggs and hormones. Scientists then removed the non-working ovaries and replace them with the ovaries that they made through a 3-D printer. Most people are puzzled about the thought of gelatin being able to withstand life in a human body. However, the body registers gelatin as a natural material therefore blood can flow through it.

After the female mice had received the surgical implantation of the 3-D printed ovary, scientists allowed them to mate with male mice. The end conclusion of this experiment proved that three of their mice were able to get pregnant and give birth to healthy baby mice. This experiment has opened doors with 3-D printing and the medical field; it means bright things for the future. This can lead to higher fertility rates in women, something that our generation has had struggle producing. Typically a woman will take in large doses of unhealthy hormones, which are not guaranteed to work and often have side effects that make one think twice about taking hormones in the first place. Not only can this discovery and invention help regular women with fertility issues, it can also help women or children that suffer from a cancer that destroys or disrupts the functions of a typical ovary. Scientist has reached an ultimate peak that can cure many of the illnesses people suffer from today. This invention can lead to more similar inventions like 3-D printed bones, hearts, arteries, and so much more.

Citations:

Aodha, Gráinne Ní. “Infertility Problems in Mice Solved with 3D-Printed Ovaries.” TheJournal.ie, Journal Media, 17 May 2017, www.thejournal.ie/infertility-3d-printing-3393481-May2017/.

 

 

 

 

Can Healthcare be Better Left in the Hands of Technology ?

The current healthcare system is in need of a major upgrade. As of 2016, an amount close to $9,024 per capita is being spent by an average American citizen towards basic healthcare amenities. In the same respect, Switzerland stands second with individuals paying an average amount of $6,787 per capita. And, this is pretty much the case for any country. But only if it was that the outcomes were proportional to the investment, the scenario would have stood justified. In fact, according to a Los Angeles Times article, the U.S. life expectancy is now shorter than 30 other countries’ and more people died in the U.S. from preventable diseases or complications than in 12 other high-income countries. This is where big tech companies like Amazon and Google step in.

 

AMAZON CLINIC: Its decision to partner with companies like Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to create a new company to provide lower-cost, higher-quality healthcare for its employees can potentially serve as a model for future healthcare advancements, if successful. Moreover, the company aims at leveraging Alexa’s growing AI capabilities to address some of the most challenging healthcare problems. It includes helping patients manage their heart rate and diabetes. The company is also working towards minimalizing the interface to help the elderly take advantage of the same.

DR. GOOGLE: Google has created, funded and partnered on a variety of health-related projects with different degrees of success. One popular project was Google Glass. As part of this effort, in 2009 it launched Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. The fund currently has about $2.4 billion to spend and has made investments in at least 300 companies, frequently related to the areas of genomics, biotechnology and cell therapy.

 

The aim is clear and simple! To make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. From sensors to health platforms to precision medicine, the companies are seeking to transform the way healthcare is delivered. However, the important question is that whether we’ll ever be able to accept these tech giants in the field of healthcare as well as we’ve in terms of technology and services.

Feel free to share your opinions and ask questions!

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/321876
  2. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-healthcare-comparison-20170715-htmlstory.html

Google Assistant is exactly what people need in 2018

Google Assistant is the newest addition to the Google empire and it looks like it’s here to stay. Even though it technically debuted in 2016, Google Assistant seems to be adding more to its device while taking over 2018. Similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant, which can engage in two-way conversations, that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices.

Users primarily interact with the Google Assistant through natural voice, through keyboard input is also supported. Google Assistant is able to search the Internet by simply asking it “Hey Google” then the question. It can also schedule events and alarms, adjust hardware settings on the user’s device, and show information from the user’s Google account

Google Assistant also can identify objects and gather visual information through the device’s camera, and support purchasing products and sending money, as well as identifying songs. Basically, somebody could take a picture of a clothing product or device and will be able to see where that product is sold and purchase it.

The service itself supports multiple languages and features a more robust third-party integration, meaning that it can help you control your entire digital life, not just your Google life. The visual snapshot platform is also new as it provides “snapshots” of your day. Rolling out over the course of a week, the new section on Google Assistant’s homepage will keep you abreast of travel times and your upcoming schedule, as well as pulling info on recent appointments, dinner reservations, and other similar events from your Gmail account.

All in all, this device can do it all. It combines everything you would ever need and rolls it up all into one, playing well into the idea of “connectivity”. With this technology, Google is laying down a blueprint in which companies should follow. This type of innovation puts Google well ahead of the curb while making more and more products obsolete. Why buy a product from somewhere else that can only do one thing when Google continuously rolls out a product that can do that same thing, plus 100 more features. This type of innovation is cutting edge and only helps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.

 

Resources:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/google-assistant/

https://assistant.google.com/explore?hl=en_us

 

Apple Watch Series 4 revolutionizes wristwear

About a little over a month ago, Apple released its latest installment of the Apple Watch with the Series 4 addition. With the release, Apple also came out with WatchOS 5, the operating system which powers the newest watch. The operating system really doesn’t have that many new features, however the device has been praised for it main newest innovation: The ability to take an electrocardiogram (ECG).

This feature is by far one of the most innovative and intriguing additions that Apple has ever had as the watch can now detect heart conditions early. Think about that. Your watch can detect the condition of your heart. How amazing is that?

This new ECG feature is usually found on medical devices that are used to detect atrial fibrillation, which is a heart condition that can lead to strokes.

“The ECG can potentially register the early signs of a stroke, and warn you to seek medical help before anything serious happens. Depending on the severity of what the ECG on the Apple Watch Series 4 detects, you can have the watch send an automatic emergency notification to a trusted contact.”

That’s not all though as the new Apple Watch can use all the sensors that come with it to detect when you’ve taken a fall. And if you’re immobile for longer than a minute, you can set it to make an emergency call for you. This sort of technology has Apple believing they are the first to offer this type of revolutionary capabilities. With innovations like this, Apple will continue to remain one of the top companies in the entire world. They are connecting our bodies to our devices and have taken the term “connectivity” to the next level. I can’t wait to see what they have in store.

Resources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-watch-watchos-5-new-features-wwdc-2018-6#the-new-apple-watch-series-4-can-also-detect-when-youve-taken-a-fall-3

https://www.apple.com/apple-watch-series-4/

 

Instagram has a drug problem

Instagram has been growing rapidly in the past few years into one of the most popular social apps out there, especially among young people. It is a very picture focused platform, with that comes with a very strong like culture. Other than liking their friends’ fresh new pictures, people also like on other contents that they are interested in. With every putting hashtags in their caption, we have already organized those contents for them, and Instagram has algorism to feed us more similar content as the ones we liked. It all seems like a good idea to have our feeds personalized with our preference, yet it also becomes a very popular place to advertise drugs. Recent searches on Instagram such as #oxy, #percocet, #painkillers, #painpills, #oxycontin and #adderall contains thousands of pictures of people showing off about their party life, drug addiction, and with some mixture of enticements for drug dealers. If you like or follow one of the drug dealers account, you’ll then be promoted by the algorithm with more pictures from other dealers. All that drug dealers need to do is to put the hashtags, and social media will do the rest of the work for them. “We’re not yet sophisticated enough to tease apart every post to see if it’s trying to sell someone illegal drugs or they are taking Xanax cause they are stressed out,” said Everson, Facebook’s vice president for global marketing solutions. “Obviously, there is some stuff that gets through that is totally against our policy, and we’re getting better at it.”

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/instagram-has-a-drug-problem-its-algorithms-make-it-worse/2018/09/25/c45bf730-bdbf-11e8-b7d2-0773aa1e33da_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1c07dba5895a

3D Printing Changing the Face of Surgery

The average American will have 9.2 surgeries over their lifetime, so any technological innovation that can aid surgeons can be the difference between life and death.  There are substantial risks of any surgery so ways to improve safety and successful outcomes would have a major impact on public health. 3D Printing allows surgeons to create medical models so that they are able to precisely and accurately plan the steps of their surgery for each specific patient rather than relying only on unclear 2D X-rays, ultrasound, CT, or MRI.  Being able to do this allows the surgeon to practice complex surgeries in advance to decrease the number of surprises that could occur, decreases potential error, and reduces the time and costs.

Stratasys PolyJet-based 3D printing is able to use patient scans to create smooth parts with accuracy to .1 mm in full color helpful in various surgical procedures.  There are so many benefits to using 3D physical models to increase preparedness and help save lives by avoiding mistakes.  The capabilities of using 3D patient specific anatomical models could even allow surgeons to operate on cases they would have previously deemed inoperable.  One example of this can be seen through a patient named Anthony, who had 5 tumors on each of his Kidneys.  Anthony’s first surgery lead to a very painful and difficult recovery, but for his second he decided to have robotic surgery that was practiced multiple times using a 3D model of his Kidney.  Being able to rehearse this surgery allowed surgeons to determine which tumors to remove first before cutting of the blood supply to minimize blood loss.  The surgery went perfectly and the patient was able to walk after just one week when after his first surgery it took him over a month to walk again.

Being able to have a physical model to go practice with can help surgeons to find ways to get around the major risks of operating and reduce complications.  The potential affects that the use of this can have on the medical world are incredible for both improving patient recovery and decreasing money spent by hospitals.  It will be interesting to see what other seemingly impossible operations will be able to be done through the use of this.

 

 

Sources: https://www.manufacturingtomorrow.com/article/2018/03/3d-printing-for-surgical-procedures/11119/

Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot update is now live

On October 26,2018, Tesla officially released the their most advanced Autopilot: Navigate on Autopilot. Tesla officially released the Version 9 update earlier this month, which included a new dash cam feature, games that can be played while the car is parked, and updates to the vehicle’s navigation settings, and indicated that Navigate would be following shortly thereafter.

Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature for Enhanced Autopilot that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use. While drivers should always be attentive when using Autopilot, stalk confirmation for lane changes allows us to ensure that drivers are paying attention at the exact moment they need to, and combined with the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, it provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have.

The system uses an array of cameras, radar, and sensors to determine what objects are surrounding the vehicle, and uses this information to help the vehicle navigate, all while sending data back to the company’s vision and neural net system, allowing it to improve its software. Tesla says that since Autopilot was launched in 2015, it’s collected more than a billion miles worth of data.

The update of the autopilot is good thing for drivers’ safety. The driver assistant system have already proved it is a effective way to lower the crash rate based on the NHTSA report in 2016. I believe the assistant system will be popular and more competitive among the car produce company. However, how to determine the liability subject when the assistant system fail is a ethical problem and should be solved by legislation.

https://www.tesla.com/blog/introducing-navigate-autopilot

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/27/18032092/tesla-version-9-autopilot-navigate-is-now-live

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2016/INCLA-PE16007-7876.PDF

 

IBM to buy Red Hat for $34B in cash and debt, taking a bigger leap into hybrid cloud

IBM today confirmed that it would acquire open source, cloud software business Red Hat for $190 per share in cash, working out to a total value of $34 billion. IBM said the deal has already been approved by the boards of directors of both IBM and Red Hat but is still subject to Red Hat shareholder and regulatory approvals. If all goes as planned, the acquisition is expected to close in the latter half of 2019.

IBM Corp. Exteriors Ahead Of Earnings Figures

The deal is all about IBM — which has long continued to rely on its legacy server business — taking a bigger bet on the cloud, and very specifically cloud services that blend on-premises and cloud-based architectures — something that the two companies have already been working on together since May of this year (which now might be looked at as a test drive). Red Hat will be a distinct unit within IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team — which is already a $19 billion business for IBM, the company said — and it will continue to focus on open-source software.

Open source is one of the most important topic in this year’s area of technology. Before this acquisition, Microsoft buy Github for $7.5B and Salesforce buy MuleSoft for $6.5B. The technology of MuleSoft can integrate applications, data and devices in different platform together. In the early of this month, Cloudera brought Hortonworks for $5.2B even Hortonworks is the biggest opponent in the area of cloud computation. Right now, more and more companies realize that the open and mixed cloud service is helpful and important to the further development of the technology companies. On the other side, the technology giants may hinder the development of small company and monopolize the market after they become more powerful.

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2018-10-28-IBM-To-Acquire-Red-Hat-Completely-Changing-The-Cloud-Landscape-And-Becoming-Worlds-1-Hybrid-Cloud-Provider

IBM to buy Red Hat for $34B in cash and debt, taking a bigger leap into hybrid cloud

What is going to be on iOS 12.1 and what users of iPhone 6 and its predecessors would not be able to experience

A Screenshot of “what’s new in iOS 12”

In 9to5Mac’s article “Carriers indicate iOS 12.1 will be released on Tuesday with eSIM launch”, the writer, Benjamin Mayo talks about the rollout of eSIM along with iOS 12.1 later on this week on October 30. eSIM, to put in brief explanation, is an electronic SIM that acts like a SIM card with allows the phone to have a dual-SIM functionality. According to Mayo’s sources from different carrier sources, this eSIM is only available for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The eSIM is one of the iOS 12.1 updates that is included.

Some other things that will be included in the updates, according to the 9to5Mac article, are 70 new emojis and live Depth Control for iPhone XS/XR so you can adjust bokeh blur of Portrait mode on the fly in the Camera viewfinder. Apple Music is also getting an upgrade. According to another 9to5Mac article by Guilherme Rambo called “Apple publishes full iOS 12.1 iPhone user guide, confirming Group FaceTime, dual-SIM & more”, Apple Music is to be said getting features such as “updated artist pages, daily top 100 songs around the world, and search by lyrics.” Even though I will still probably use Google to find songs using lyrics, I think it is right that Apple does this because it allows the users to find songs they do not know the names to and potentially buy and/or save the songs to their Apple Music account.

But one major update that will excite some iPhone users and not excite others is the new Group FaceTime feature. This new feature will allow up to 32 people to FaceTime each other at the same time meaning you can see 32 faces at once. The reason it will not excite some users is because it is not available for iPhone 6’s or below. Other devices, according to Gordon Kelly of Forbes, that are also missing out in this feature are Pad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 and 6th generation iPod Touch. Apple does not mention why it is not in those devices but Kelly think it is because of the performance that each device can do.
Because of the amount of processor work that is needed to work a Group FaceTime, any device with an A8 chip or their predecessors are not compatible. This is why an iPad Air 2, with an A8X chip, and an iPhone SE, with an A9 chip, are included in the compatible devices for Group FaceTime. Although this feature is not available in those Apple devices, Apple has said that those devices mentioned will have “audio-only Group FaceTime calls.”

What do you guys think about some of these new updates on iOS 12.1. If you are an iPhone 6 or earlier user, what do you think about not being able to have a visual Group FaceTime feature?

Resources:

Carriers indicate iOS 12.1 will be released on Tuesday with eSIM launch

Apple publishes full iOS 12.1 iPhone user guide, confirming Group FaceTime, dual-SIM & more

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2018/10/27/apple-ios-12-1-release-group-facetime-iphone-ipad-upgrade/#467867225f8a

Amazon Falls Short of Expectations; Microsoft Becomes Second Most Valuable U.S Company

Image result for microsoft

Since April of 2018, Amazon held the spot of the second most valuable company in the U.S only trailing behind Apple. On Thursday, Amazon’s stock was trading close to $1,800 per share throughout the day. However, after the bell its stock value plummeted about 10% down to around $1,650 due to missing Wall Street’s revenue and fourth quarter’s outlook projections.

Amazon’s disappointing third quarter earnings report caused the online retailer to lose about $65 billion off its market capitalization (currently worth around $800 billion). This allowed Microsoft to reclaim the spot of the U.S second most valuable company on Friday with a market capitalization of $821 billion. Despite the fact that Amazon exceeded Wall Street’s earnings per share expectation of $3.14 (reported third quarter eps: $5.75), according to CNBC, the company reported revenue (actual: $56.6 billion vs projection: $57.10 billion) and fourth quarter revenue guidance (actual: $66.5-$72.5 billion vs projection: $73.79) was well below Wall Street’s consensus. With the holidays season coming up, Amazon’s fourth quarter outlook tells investors that its company could see a decrease in growth.

Starting November 1st, Amazon would officially increase its minimal wage to $15 an hour for all its workers in the U.S which may impact its operating income and bottom line numbers (net income after taxes). Despite increasing its operating cost, I still believe Amazon would be able to exceed $1 billion in profits for the fifth straight quarter especially with the upcoming holiday season. I think Amazon’s stock value would rebound and reclaim its spot as the second most valuable company in the U.S from Microsoft who has seen about 25% growth this year compared to Amazon’s 40% YTD (year to date).

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3401900-microsoft-second-valuable-u-s-company?dr=1#email_link

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/25/amazon-earnings-q3-2018.html