Category Archives: Technology

Huawei Digital Railway Solution Supports New Mombasa-Nairobi Railway

train

Huawei, a leading global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider, announced recently that the railway operational communications network it built for Kenya’s Mombasa-Nairobi rail project was put into commercial use. Huawei’s Digital Railway Solution enables multiple communications tasks, including mission-critical train dispatch, emergency communications, section maintenance communications, secure transmission, and ensures stable power supply along the entire line. The solution will meet customer requirements for safe, stable, and efficient railway operations and ensure highly reliable communications for the railway.

 

As the first new line that has been constructed in Kenya for the past century, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway runs across Kenya’s territory from the southeast to the northwest, starting from Mombasa, the biggest port along the east coastline of Africa, to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and the largest city in East Africa. The line has a pivotal role in East Africa’s railway network and has paved the way for standard-gauge rail links in the area. The line is part of a long-term plan to connect a vast network of rails from Kenya, through Uganda and Burundi, and up to South Sudan. This railway artery in East Africa will provide convenient transportation and promote regional collaboration, integration, economic growth, and social development.

The high speeds and short departure intervals of modern railway require secure, stable, and reliable train operations. Huawei’s Digital Railway Solution provides the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway with a full suite of core systems such as a highly-reliable, industry-leading railway operational communications system, a large-bandwidth unified transmission system which adopts soft and hard pipes to protect train control and other mission-critical services, a modular and highly efficient power supply system, and an environment monitoring system which enables great scalability and intelligent management. The core systems ensure safe train operations.

Huawei’s next-generation GSM-R solution has been deployed to build the train-to-ground communications network. With end-to-end redundancy backup and 99.999% availability, the network guarantees stable transmission of train control signals. Based on mature hardware platforms, the next-generation BTS3900 GSM-R base stations support smooth migration to LTE-R. The transmission network uses Huawei’s cutting-edge Hybrid MSTP transmission devices that support SDH/IP dual planes. The SDH hard pipes and IP soft pipes comprehensively bear multiple services without compromising the reliability of mission-critical service transmission. In addition, Huawei’s premium communication power supply and Uninterruptible Power System (UPS) products are installed to meet diversified customer requirements on backup power, ensuring high-quality power supplies for communications systems, data centers, security systems, and other critical loads.

The safe and efficient operations of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway will provide significant support for Kenya’s passenger and freight transportation, and thus the economic growth. At the same time, the Railway will bring East African economies closer to each other.

To date, Huawei’s Digital Railway Solution has been deployed to serve more than 100,000 kilometers of railway worldwide. Major digital railway projects include those in Germany and South Africa, as well as high-speed rail lines in China and Spain. With innovative solutions and global delivery capabilities, Huawei is committed to building a better connected railway along with partners and customers in the rail sector across the globe.

Source: Huawei

TechXLR8 Connects with London Technology Week

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TechXLR8 – A festival of connected innovation

Organised by: KNect365

Enabling the connected future

TechXLR8 is a festival of technology taking you on a journey, between networks, tech and consumer services.

As the anchor event of London Tech Week; the week-long festival of live technology events in London, TechXLR8 showcases eight leading technology events: 5G World, Cloud & DevOps World, Internet of Things World Europe, Connected Cars & Autonomous Vehicles Europe, Apps World Evolution, VR & AR World, AI & Machine Learning World and Project Kairos.

With a shared exhibition and a comprehensive multi-track conference, TechXLR8 will enable you to better understand the infrastructure supporting the tech of tomorrow and the services and industries that will benefit from this fast evolving world.

Who should attend

  • Enterprises
  • Operators
  • Tech vendors

Advisory Board includes:

  • Hossein Moiin

    EVP & CTO Nokia

  • Brendan O’Reilly

    CTO O2

  • Berit Svendsen

    CEO Telenor

  • Enrico Salvatori

    SVP and President, Qualcomm EMEA, Qualcomm

  • Dave Coplin

    Chief Envisioning Officer, Microsoft UK

  • Danny Lange

    Head of Machine Learning, Uber

  • Nicola Villa

    Executive Partner and Europe Leader, Internet of Things

  • Liam Quin

    CTO, Dell Technologies

  • Michelle Hanson

    Chief Information Security Officer, Transport for London

Organised by:

KNect365, a division of Informa plc, is the world’s leading facilitator of knowledge sharing and business connections. The KNect365 portfolio provides digital content, memorable face to face experiences, networking, and professional development and learning.

Source: KNect365

 

Thumbs Up: Mastercard Unveils Next Generation Biometric Card

South African Trials Demonstrate Convenience and Security

Mastercard has unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

South Africa is the first market to test the evolved technology, with two separate trials recently concluded with Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket retailer, and Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa.

Biometric Card 2

Michelle van Schalkwyk, Head of Brand at Pick n Pay, pays for her shopping using her fingerprint to authenticate the transaction during the first global trial of the Mastercard biometric card in South Africa.

The new card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments today and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”

How It Works

A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal globally.

When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

Benefits

Authenticating a payment transaction biometrically – in this instance via a fingerprint – confirms in a very unique way that the person using the card is the genuine cardholder.

Merchants can easily maximize the shopping experience delivered to their customers, as the card works with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure and does not require any new hardware or software upgrades.

For issuers, the technology helps detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs and foster customer loyalty. Additionally, a future version of the card will feature contactless technology, adding to the simplicity and convenience at checkout.

Trials Underway

The recent South African trials mobilized employees from Pick n Pay and Absa Bank to test the potential ways convenience and security could contribute to the checkout process. Over the next few months, additional trials will be conducted with the biometric card. A full roll out is expected later this year.

Said Richard van Rensburg, deputy CEO of Pick n Pay: “We are delighted that this innovation has been trialed for the first time at Pick n Pay stores in South Africa.  Biometric capability will mean added convenience and enhanced security for our customers. The technology creates a platform on which we can further our strategy of personalizing the shopping experience in a meaningful way.  We have been extremely impressed with the robust and secure nature of the technology.”

For Absa, the biometric card forms part of the bank’s strategy to test and develop sophisticated technology capabilities designed to improve its payment operations and client service, reduce risk, and make banking easier and even more secure for its customers.

“We are very proud to be the first bank in Africa to test – in a real payment environment – the single-touch authentication technology that will unlock the benefits of biometrics,” said Geoff Lee, head of card and payments at Absa Retail and Business Banking. “The technology will effectively enable our customers to rely on their unique fingerprints to make payments in a face-to-face environment. Following the test period, we will make it available to our customers in a way that is affordable, reliable, and convenient and, most importantly, extremely secure.”

Additional trials are being planned in Europe and Asia Pacific in the coming months.

Source: Mastercard

8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health

We hear all the time about how technology is bad for us. Since the introduction of computers, we spend more time sitting at a desk than moving around at work. We have created this sedentary lifestyle that is causing havoc in our overall life.

What if I were to tell you that technology has produced benefits? Would you believe me if I said that technology is good for your health?

Most of you wouldn’t look at first. Well, you may be able to think of a couple of ways that the computer has helped, but you are still stuck on all the negatives that ‘experts’ have shared in the past. The problem with the ‘experts’ is that they are only focused on the negatives. They haven’t looked at so many of the benefits.

So, that’s what we’ll do today. We’ll consider all the ways that technology improves our health. We’ll discuss just how it has boosted results in certain areas of healthcare and what it does for us daily.

Technology Is Everywhere in Medicine

Before we do move onto all the benefits, it’s worth discussing just how technology is used. It is found everywhere in medicine. Think about the x-ray machines, MRI scanners, and even the research equipment used daily.

There are people using it every day of the week to find cures to ailments, discover why diseases spread and creating ways to prevent the diseases. There are individuals performing tasks far more accurately than they ever did before, with keyhole surgery now a popular option for some of the most routine medical needs.

And the technology isn’t just in the hospital. It’s used in your own doctor’s office and even at home. It’s used to prolong life and create a better quality of life for those on around the clock care.

The improvements don’t just lead to better physical health. They support better mental health, which in turn improves the physical health. Technology improves connections and relationships, offering support to everyone.

We can’t get rid of technology. If we did, we would suffer greatly. Here are just eight ways that technology is improving our health and our lives.

It Pushes Us to Do More Activity

Sure, technology has led to us sitting more. And sitting is the new smoking when it comes to health problems. However, technology has also helped to push us to do more activity.

We just must take the examples of the Fitbit, pedometers, and apps that track our steps. They all encourage us to meet our daily targets—setting personal targets to get us to walk more and meet the goals that we know are realistic to us. While there is the goal to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, that just doesn’t seem realistic for many. The pedometers and smartphone apps give us more control.

The chances are that as we get closer to a goal, we’re going to work harder to achieve it. We see how we do daily and look for ways to improve the chances of meeting those goals. They don’t mean getting to the gym daily. They just involve getting out and doing more. Some can involve doing home workouts and even walk on the spot to increase our step count.

There isn’t much that we need to do to set up these pieces of technology. Most of them involve some type of phone app or computer software just to sign up and create free accounts. We sync devices, and we get to go off and work our ways to being healthier and fitter.

The devices also come with different settings. Some are just designed to count your steps. They’re basic items to get you to do a little more throughout the day. Those who want to increase the amount of exercise they do and track their heart rate will be able to get more advanced options. Some will have exercise modes, count stairs, count calories burned, and even monitor your sleep.

The aim for so many of these new devices isn’t just to improve your activity levels. They are there to improve your overall lifestyle. Devices are set to help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life, helping you monitor your sleep patterns and make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. There’s more to them than just improving one element of your life and making sure your whole body and mind are working together to create a better quality of life.

These apps and devices can also monitor your weight loss efforts. They help you stick within a healthy BMI, so you focus on protecting your heart health. You will feel better for it, knowing that you can keep yourself from accidentally going over regarding calories throughout the day or over a certain weight. Of course, being within a healthy weight range is essential to help keep yourself healthy overall.

These are all personal devices. There’s no major cost for them, with many of them available for less than $200. Some of the apps are completely free to download, so you don’t even need to spend a penny on technology to improve your health.

Better Ability for Communication Between Doctors and Patients

With technology being widely available, there are chances that everyone has some sort of access to doctor and health websites. These sites can create chat boxes and instant messengers, where real doctors and nurses can monitor communications. When a patient comes on with a question, the doctors and nurses can provide factual answers and share their thoughts and advice.

Better ability to communicate is essential for keeping the health protected. It helps to keep the questions over information online to a minimum and reduces the number of people queuing up in the hospital with fears they are dying. The people online can read the symptoms and share their beliefs based on them, helping to minimize worry.

Individuals who do need to seek medical help will be able to get to the hospital or their own doctor right away. They can take the transcript of the chats to aid with a discussion of the symptoms and working through the reasons for certain medical beliefs. They also have a better understanding of how doctors or nurses come to certain decisions.

Those who don’t need to seek immediate medical attention can reduce their anxiety over their health. This helps to improve the health since anxiety leads to stress and that leads to high blood pressure and other health problems!

People who avoid doctors fearing that they are wasting time can get confirmation that they need to get the help. That’s that fear of people thinking they are silly for their thought processes eliminated, so they have more confidence in discussing all their health problems with their doctor.

When chat boxes aren’t available, telephones have made it easier to communicate and talk to a genuine doctor or nurse. This is the case with many emergency medical phone numbers, who can then arrange out of hours’ appointment when the case is necessary.

Getting people seen immediately protects their health. It also helps to reduce a number of times they will need to visit a doctor and keep the waiting times down since the minor ailments are taken care of before they can turn into something major.

More Ability to Do Research into Problems

The internet has certainly opened the ability to research. We all tend to turn to Google, calling it Dr. Google at times. The search engine allows you to input your symptoms or ask questions about a certain symptom to find out all the ailments that involve them/it. People can look through a list of other symptoms to determine the chances of suffering from certain ailments.

This is useful when it comes to determining whether to speak to a doctor. An individual can get the basic information and use it to decide whether their condition needs immediate attention. They can also use that basic research to get onto the chat boxes to get the advice from real doctors and nurses, as mentioned above.

Those that already have a diagnosis can take to the internet to do their own research into it. This is especially the case for a condition that they haven’t heard of before or that could be hereditary. They want to find out future symptoms, especially if it is a condition that doesn’t have a form of treatment or cure.

Individuals can find out if there are natural remedies that they can try and talk to others with the same condition. They can follow blogs for people who have that same condition and are living with it. They get to hear about success stories with treatments and learn about support groups in the area. This is especially important for treatments that are either terminal or lead to a lower quality of living.

Those caring for people with certain conditions can also get some support and help. There will be support groups online for carers and advice for people who care for individuals 24/7. Suddenly, the world doesn’t seem as isolating, which can quickly help to improve the mental health. People have more confidence in their abilities and find someone who can listen to vents or problems without judgment and with full understanding—friends are good, but they’re not always able to be the most supportive.

It is important to use the internet sparingly. Unfortunately, it can also have the opposite effect and make the health worse. You spend all this time researching conditions and fearing the worst, and you end up with problems with anxiety. You can end up researching more than talking to a real doctor, hearing about the horror stories of other patients. It’s important to take a step away and look out for success stories and real doctors’ opinions to help balance out some of the negatives.

When you are on websites, you will also need to check where the information is coming from. Who writes it and is it checked by someone in the medical profession? Does the person write a personal blog really suffer from the same condition? People can write absolutely anything, and there is plenty of misinformation online.

There are reputable medical websites. They usually include links to official studies and reports to help you get all the medical information that you could need. They will consider both pharmaceutical and herbal remedies to help you save money and put your health first. Check the reviews and reputation of any website before you start looking through the information and start trusting it!

There Are Devices That Keep the Body Working as It Should

Some devices are created purposely to help promote a healthy body. They are placed inside or outside to help keep the body working as it should. There are also other types of treatments that cause reactions in the body to support organs and the overall health.

The pacemaker is just one that will come to mind for everyone. This is a device created for those who have heart problems. The pacemaker helps to send electrical currents into the heart to prevent it from suffering from spasms. This little device is a lifesaver for so many people. It keeps the heart pumping as it should, which will support the rest of the body.

This is one of those small devices that you will barely know that you have. It can be used on the young and the old to protect the heart and make sure it works exactly like it is supposed to. In one episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a 16-year-old girl was fitted with a pacemaker to stop seizures, which turned out to be a side effect of a heart defect rather than epilepsy.

The small electrical device is battery-less and powered by the heart’s rhythms. Those without it would live shorter lives and must restrict the things they do, as there will always be the risk of the heart’s natural rhythm and beat getting out of sync.

Pacemakers aren’t the only devices that help to keep the body working as it should. Bypass machines also help to sustain organ health while waiting for treatments or transplants. They are also used throughout surgeries to protect the health while undergoing some transplants and operations. For example, heart bypass machines are regularly used during some cardiac operations and for heart transplants. Without them, there is a higher risk of bleeding out and death on the operation table.

Bypass helps to change the flow of the blood. It isn’t just used for the heart and can be used for the kidneys for operations that involve the intestines, colon, and other organs around this area. Bypass helps to keep the other organs working as they should while going through the operations to ensure a fully healthy life afterward.

There is now technology that keeps organs working while they are outside of the body. This helps to keep organs working while they are in the middle of transplants, which is exceptionally important when it comes to heart transplants.

This is another side of medicine that was touched on in Grey’s Anatomy. Cristina looked after a heart that was in a box—the technology kept the heart pumping until the time came to place it into the recipient’s body. It is a very real side of medicine that is being adapted and improved. Without it, there would be people on the transplant list that would need to wait longer for a replacement. They could end up dying or others lower down on the list would lose out on transplants because they can’t be moved up.

The use of technology to keep organs alive outside of the body will also help to reduce the problem of long donor lists. While the donor organ may not be a match for anyone immediately or anyone within a hospital immediately, the organ can be kept alive while waiting for a recipient to become eligible.

But can’t organs be used without being ‘kept alive.’ There is the use of ice, and organs are sent around countries without being kept alive by a machine. However, there is a risk that the organs won’t work when they get into the recipient’s body. They have lost the blood flow during transition causing other problems. The technology eliminates that issue.

Without the advances in technology, there would certainly be people who are left without. The transplant list would grow longer, and people would remain on the lists until they die.

Better Treatment Options for Various Ailments and Diseases

It’s no secret that treatments have advanced in recent years to the point where some ailments are virtually unheard of. Vaccinations and various medical advances have completely eradicated the likes of smallpox and led to the point where polio is now less common and far more treatable.

Some of the advances have only come in the last few years, and are all due to technology. We’re able to do more research and test without the use of animals and humans. There are ways to create vaccinations and treatments without putting people at risk, increasing the chance of a better quality of life. Just look at how HIV treatments have changed since the disease was noted in the early 1980s. It is now at a point where the virus doesn’t have the chance to develop into AIDS.

There are treatments for small and major ailments. Even cancer patients have better life expectancies than they would have done in earlier years. There is the technology for earlier diagnosis and treatments to eradicate the cancerous cells. While not all is successful, there are certainly some positive steps—and that is all because of technology advancements.

Some of the treatments are to help keep the body working until a cure or transplant is possible. For example, dialysis is used by many patients waiting for organ transplants. Dialysis helps to remove the waste from the body when the kidneys will no longer do the work for them. This is an intermediate treatment option to keep someone alive while they wait for a kidney transplant.

Others will be on other machines and treatments while they wait for aliver, heart, and other transplants. Technology has helped to prolong life, allowing them the time that they need. Some technology has even helped them live some sort of life outside of hospitals, rather than be hooked to machines.

There isn’t just a physical benefit to these treatments. The benefits have helped to support the mental health. Being stuck in a hospital bed forever is boring and depressing. Patients start to worry about the bills that are mounting up and the loss of time with their friends and family members. When they are in a positive mindset, the patients are more likely to fight against the ailments that are keeping them tied down to machines. They are in a better state to accept transplants and focus on fighting infections and diseases. Their positive mindsets help the treatments work, and this is all because of the technology advancements.

And we can’t forget about the ongoing research. This isn’t just about the treatment options but how the viruses work and adapt. While there are vaccinations and treatments available, there is always something new that comes out. Viruses adapt to their environment to avoid being wiped out completely in some cases. They mix with other viruses or bacteria to create a far more superior virus.

Technology helps to assess when this happens. Scientists can locate the newly created viruses and get to work almost immediately on a cure. There is the ability to transform some viruses into cures and help to create vaccines and treatments that have never been heard of before. It’s because of technology that the medical field can keep adapting.

Better technology has also made scans clearly. People can get better angles and catch problems early. Doctors can perform surgeries and use treatments that were never possible, simply because they couldcatch conditions before they advanced too far.

To top all this off, technology has opened the chance of developing organs and valves. While Grey’s Anatomy is just a TV show, it does rely on the current medical research and ideas. There are studies into 3D printing organs and heart valves to help support the health and life of an individual. The printing would use a person’s own cells to reduce the risk of rejecting organs, improving life expectancy and treatment of conditions.

There is still a long way to go until all the research is finished. In fact, it will never be finished. However, technology is opening doors to improve the health in ways that wouldn’t have been imagined just 50 years ago,

Improved Prediction of Diagnosis and Life Expectancy

Ever wondered if you could get a disease later in life? Maybe you wonder if a current symptom is a sign that you could develop a condition. You could even wonder just how long you have left to live when you are diagnosed with a condition.

Technology has helped to improve the prediction process of a diagnosis. Doctors will have information all in one place and can see all the symptoms at the same time. They have formulas to work out averages of when a condition occurs.

You get this type of risk assessment, and doctors will be able to predict if you are more likely to suffer from a certaintype of disease or ailment.

We just must look at the pre-diabetes checks. You may have been told that you are a pre-diabetic. This doesn’t mean that you currently have it but that you have a high risk of developing it if you continue in the way that you are going. Before technology advances, you would have only found out about diabetes once you started suffering from it. There wouldn’t have been the warning signs to help you change your lifestyle to prevent it from occurring.

In some cases, you wouldn’t have even known that you have the side effects. You wouldn’t have known that you had a disease until is cause a serious medical issue and even death. Doctors didn’t have the ability to predict anything because it was so difficult to get all the information.

Technology has made it possible for information to be kept in one place, updated in real life. Once blood test results come back, they can be added directly to your file; a file that is visible by any doctor by looking up your own details. Your family doctor has your hospital records, even if the records have nothing to do with a current ailment.

While looking at all this information, doctors can see similarities and warning signs earlier. They can see symptoms that crossover and lead to specific conditions—similarities that could have been overlooked due to loss of paperwork or not having all the information in one place.

At the same time as predicting a condition, doctors can use technology to work out how long you must live. There are plenty of cases in history where individuals have lost out on events because they have been given a life expectancy that isn’t right. Doctors give people six months to live and then find out three years later that they are still alive and could have done some of the things they wanted. At the same time, people are given years to live, and then their health deteriorates within six months because the doctors got it wrong.

Technology has allowed for the creation of algorithms. Doctors can input certain figures and information into the algorithm to get the information that they need. There is more information stored about other patients with the same condition to help ensure that the algorithms got it right. There is just far more accuracy to help with the life expectancy prediction because of technology.

With better prediction, people aren’t just living healthier and changing their overall lifestyle. Their mental health is supported. Patients find that they can act and are more interested in doing so.

Gene mapping has also become a technological advancement to help with the prediction of conditions. Patients no longer need to have early symptoms to make changes to their lives. Doctors can look at the genes to determine if they are at a risk of developing certain health conditions.

This has become popular for some of the most damaging conditions for the whole family. People want to know if they have the genes that put them at a higher risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.

Angelina Jolie is just one celebrity that stands out when it comes to this technological advancement. She found out that she had a high risk of developing breast cancer and decided to take preventative measures to avoid it by having a mastectomy. Many patients before her have had to wait until cancer has occurred and hoped there is a treatment, but she could prevent the heartbreak for her family and protect her health because of technology.

Cervical screening for women has improved thanks to technology. Researchers will see when cells are abnormal between tests to make sure that there are no earlier signs of cancer. While the cells could be abnormal for other reasons, patients get the help they need immediately to avoid lifelong and potentially terminal diseases.

Faster and More Accurate Diagnosis of Conditions

While the prediction side of diagnosis is improved, technology also improves the accuracy of a diagnosis. Like before, doctors gather all the information in one place and will be able to keep an eye on results more closely. They can also put together symptoms and signs sooner than before, meaning an earlier diagnosis for many people.

There have been many cases where doctors just haven’t had all the information. In some cases, the conditions are so rare that doctors haven’t even bothered considering them. Instead, individuals are treated for conditions that are more common or more believed to have. The treatments do nothing, and by the time they are diagnosed with the rightcondition, there is nothing they can do.

People lose out on time with their family due to a lack of diagnosis or incorrect treatment. They lose out because the diagnosis has just taken too long—and not because of inaccuracy for the doctors.

In some cases, the technology hasn’t been fast enough to get blood work back. Technology has been too poor to assess all the symptoms, or the waiting list is too long, so patients lose out. Scans aren’t clear enough, so earlier symptoms aren’t picked up in time.

This slowness of diagnosis means that people don’t get the treatments soon enough. Their conditions advance and may become untreatable and terminal. This is the case with some cancers, as it takes so long to get the diagnosis that the treatments spread.

The accurate diagnosis means more accurate treatments. There are cases where treatments can make a condition worse if it is used in the wrong way or has been given the wrong diagnosis. For example, some over the counter medications can make the chicken pox virus far more severe and cause hospital admission.

Technology Improves Recording of Information in Real Time

Many of the benefits mentioned above rely on an accurate and timely recording of information. There is no denying that recording of symptoms between doctors has led to issues of conditions not being diagnosed and the right treatment not being administered.

Before computers, doctors would write all the information on charts. They would document it through paperwork, and that paperwork would need to be sent to various doctors. If you changed family doctor, there was a chance of the information going missing. If you went to see a different doctor in between visits, such as at the hospital or a locum, you ran the risk of the information not being sent to your regular doctor.

Some key symptoms are often missed. It’s up to the patient to remember to share the previous symptoms with their regular doctor to make sure all the information is up to date.

Blood work information and other paperwork would take thetime to be sent through practices. Individuals were left waiting for phone calls for diagnosis and treatments, and we’ve already looked at how that could lead to problems.

Technology has made it better for the recording of information. This initially started with the use of larger computers. While paperwork would still be used, the information could be typed up, and doctors around the country could get the information and any symptoms. They could make a more accurate diagnosis.

However, this didn’t help when it came to immediate diagnosis needs. There were also issues with inaccurate reporting. Some doctors wouldn’t do their paperwork or would miss out things that patients said. Others who were trying to transcribe notes may not have been able to read handwriting, so elements were missing.

This is where technology continues to advance. Many doctors will now update the information on tablets and smart devices. They all have the software that allows for easier and far more accurate reporting. The information is updated in real time, meaning other doctors will be able to get the information later.

If you return, doctors will be able to see how often you are in. They will be able to look at previous visits quickly. This means they can spot any precursors or underlying problems, as we’ve already discussed above.

There is the ability for the software to alert doctors to a problem. Doctors may have set the wrong dosage for medication, or there may be an issue with crashing medication. Doctors can stop themselves in their tracks and make sure your health is put first.

The better recording also helps with communication between doctors and patients. Patients feel like their health is being put first, so they are likely to be more forthcoming. They don’t feel ignored or like certain symptoms are being dismissed.

There Are Two Sides to Technology

Technology has helped to improve the health. It will continue to do this as there are more advancements made.

There is no denying that technology can be bad. We are at a point where we sit more because we don’t have the need to go outside anymore. Socializing is possible online, and recreation is often spent watching TV shows and movies. ‘Experts’ tend to focus on all these negatives of technology, without really focusing on the ways that technology is helping us.

While a lot of the advancements have meant that doctors have it easier. These advancements have helped us as patients. We will find it easier to get a more accurate diagnosis, and the treatments are more likely to work. It’s easier to make changes to our lifestyle because technology has noted the warning signs that we are more likely to suffer from something if we stick to our current paths.

There are ways that technology helps us daily. Smartphone apps and small devices have led to the ability for us to track our health and any symptoms. Fitbit and pedometers track the steps that we take, encouraging us to do far more exercise than we usually would. Food tracking apps help us to keep our calorie intake under control or boost the amount of water that we drink. Symptom trackers make it possible to keep an eye on potential health problems.

We can also get in touch with doctors and nurses much easier. We no longer must pay a fortune to see our family doctor and clog up the waiting room, feeling like we are wasting someone’s time. Technology opens the doors to discuss symptoms online and get advice immediately. This could make all the difference in getting the treatment we need.

And it’s not just about the physical health. Technology opens the doors to getting the mental and social support when it comes to living with a condition or caring for someone. There are support forums online and places to go to do our own research. We feel far more control in life and with our condition, and we can focus on holistic approaches. A better mental health will help to improve our physical health since we have a better chance of fighting infections.

Don’t just write technology off. This is something that really can improve our lives and our health. It just must be used in the right way.

Source: Karen Reed Positive Health Wellness

 

Engineers Build Robot Drone That Mimics Bat Flight

Bats have long captured the imaginations of scientists and engineers with their unrivalled agility, but their complex wing motions pose significant technological challenges for those seeking to recreate their flight in a robot.

The key flight mechanisms of bats now have been recreated with unprecedented fidelity in the Bat Bot—a self-contained robotic bat with soft, articulated wings, developed by researchers at Caltech and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

“This robot design will help us build safer and more efficient flying robots, and also give us more insight into the way bats fly,” says Soon-Jo Chung, associate professor of aerospace and Bren Scholar in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist. (Caltech manages JPL for NASA.)

Chung, who joined the Caltech faculty in August 2016, developed the robotic bat, along with his former postdoctoral associate Alireza Ramezani from UIUC and Seth Hutchinson, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UIUC and Ramezani’s co-advisor. Chung is the corresponding author of a paper describing the bat that was published on February 1 in Science Robotics, the newest member of the Science family of journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Bat Bot weighs only 93 grams and is shaped like a bat with a roughly one-foot wingspan. It is capable of altering its wing shape by flexing, extending, and twisting at its shoulders, elbows, wrists, and legs. Arguably, bats have the most sophisticated powered flight mechanism among animals, which includes wings that have the capability of changing shape. Their flight mechanism involves several different types of joints that interlock the bones and muscles to one another, creating a musculoskeletal system that is capable of movement in more than 40 rotational directions.

“Our work demonstrates one of the most advanced designs to date of a self-contained flapping-winged aerial robot with bat morphology that is able to perform autonomous flight,” Ramezani says.

One of the key challenges was to create wings that change shape while flapping, the way a biological bat’s do. Conventional lightweight fabrics, like nylon and Mylar, are not stretchable enough. Instead, the researchers developed a custom ultra-thin (56 microns), silicone-based membrane that simulates stretchable, thin bat wings.

Bat-inspired aerial robots have the potential to be significantly more energy efficient than current flying robots because their flexible wings amplify the motion of the robot’s actuators. When a bat—or the Bat Bot—flaps its wings, the wing membranes fill up with air and deform. At the end of the wings’ downward flapping motion, the membranes snap back to their usual shape and blast out the air, creating a huge amplification in power for the flap.

The design has potential applications for environments where more traditional quadrotor drones—which have four spinning rotors—could collide into objects or people, causing damage or injury.

The study is titled “A Biomimetic Robotic Platform to Study Flight Specializations of Bats.” This research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s National Robotics Initiative.

Source: Caltech

Cowarobot Autonomous Robotic Suitcase That Will Follow You Around

 If you always wished your suitcase was a bit more like R2-D2, you’re in luck.

The Cowarobot is a new suitcase, now raising money on Indiegogo, that aims to make travel “less of a drag.”

The carry-on follows its owner wherever they go, thanks to a bracelet. Using a sensor, sonar and cliff-detection, Cowarobot will avoid obstacles and stay within a traveler’s eyesight when on the move. The suitcase has a maximum speed of about 4.5 mph, a bit faster than a brisk walk.

The 20” carry-on complies with IATA, ICAO and FAA regulations, according to the company.

 The suitcase’s one-touch lid lifts to reveal a compartment for laptops and other electronic devices. By making the cmopartment separate, it’s faster to get electronics out of your suitcase, into a plastic bin, and through security scanning. (However, it’s not clear how much space the compartment takes away from the rest of the storage.

 About 4 percent of the Cowarobot’s weight and size are robotics. When empty, the bag weighs a total of 9.9 pounds.

 The Cowarobot also comes with an app that includes tracking for the suitcase, weather forecasting, a digital lock and security system that syncs up to the traveler’s bracelet and the ability to track and share travel paths.

 And like all “smart” suitcases these days, Cowarobot also comes with a USB charger.

 Cowarobot also has a “manual mode.” To activate it, just pull out the handle and drag the suitcase along.

 The suitcase is currently selling on Indiegogo.

Source: Travel & Leisure

Paris Saint-Germain announces digital experience partnership with Ericsson

  • Ericsson will provide football club Paris Saint-Germain with a range of solutions and services that will transform the digital experience for fans, players and support staff
  • This will include a sports performance information system, a digital experience backend system, and technology consulting and innovation services
  • Together with Paris Saint-Germain’s staff, Ericsson will ensure that the international club becomes one of the most technologically advanced

In a press conference held at the iconic Parc des Princes stadium, Paris Saint-Germain and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) announced their official partnership, focused on building the new digital experience of the Parisian club. With Ericsson’s expertise, the club will become one of the leaders of sports technology.

From left to right: Frederic Longuépée, Deputy General Manager at Paris Saint-Germain, Patrick Kluivert, Director of Football at Paris Saint-Germain, Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Ericsson, Franck Bouetard, Head of Ericsson France, and Boris Serapian, Chief Information Officer at Paris Saint-Germain

Under the terms of the four-year agreement, Ericsson will become an Official Partner and provide Paris Saint-Germain with a range of solutions and services that will transform the digital experience for fans, players and support staff alike. Ericsson will provide Paris Saint-Germain with three main types of support: a sports performance information system; a digital experience backend system; and technology consulting and innovation services.

This partnership will allow Ericsson to showcase its digital know-how and engage with football fans globally thanks to the club’s growing international footprint.

Frédéric Longuépée, Paris Saint-Germain Deputy General Manager, says: “We are delighted to welcome Ericsson to the Paris Saint-Germain family. One of our aims as a club is to become one of the top sports franchises in the world, and digital transformation is clearly a key priority. We are confident signing with Ericsson represents a major step forward. We aim to make the most from existing and future technology to further enrich the experience of all the club’s stakeholders.”

Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, says: “We are very excited with this agreement that will both help Paris Saint-Germain to improve its sports performance and its fan experience, as well as allow Ericsson to show its technological leadership. Together with Paris Saint-Germain’s staff, we will ensure that one of the most successful football clubs is also one of the most technologically advanced.”

Ericsson will create, operate and manage a sports performance information system as a service for Paris Saint-Germain. The information system will consist of a centrally managed data storage platform that stores, manages and controls data captured from all of Paris Saint-Germain’s sports-related businesses.

Secondly, Ericsson will create, operate and manage a digital experience backend system which will be the single point of access to data and services required by all of Paris Saint-Germain’s digital platforms, including its web site, mobile apps, onsite fan experience solution, and in-stadium big screens and monitors.

Thirdly, Ericsson will provide Paris Saint-Germain with technology consulting and innovation services. A joint team of Ericsson and Paris Saint-Germain staff will analyze and define new solutions, innovations and improvements.

Source: Ericsson

Samsung Electronics to Acquire HARMAN, Accelerating Growth in Automotive and Connected Technologies

connected-car

Samsung Will Gain Significant Presence in Connected Car Market; Addressable Market Expected to Exceed $100 Billion by 2025

All-Cash Transaction Delivers Significant and Immediate Value to HARMAN Shareholders 

Creates End-to-End Solutions Powerhouse by Combining HARMAN’s Leadership in Infotainment, Telematics and Sound Management with Samsung’s Best-in-Class Connected Mobility Solutions, Semiconductors, User Experience (UX) and Displays

Accelerates Development and Time to Market for Connected Car and Autonomous Driving Innovation

Substantial Growth Opportunities Across Automotive, Audio, IoT and Professional Markets

Samsung Electronics and Harman International Industries, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Samsung will acquire HARMAN for $112.00 per share in cash, or total equity value of approximately $8.0 billion.  Upon closing, the transaction will immediately give Samsung a significant presence in the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority for Samsung, and is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025[1].  HARMAN is the market leader in connected car solutions, with more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with its connected car and audio systems, including embedded infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security.  Approximately 65% of HARMAN’s $7.0 billion of reported sales during the 12 months ended September 30, 2016 are automotive-related, and its order backlog for this market at June 30, 2016 was approximately $24 billion.

HARMAN’s experience designing and integrating sophisticated in-vehicle technologies, as well as its long-term relationships with most of the world’s largest automakers, will create significant growth opportunities for the combined business by enabling it to leverage Samsung’s expertise in connected mobility, semiconductors, user experience, displays and its global distribution channels.  In addition, the combination of HARMAN’s brands and audio capabilities and Samsung’s expertise in consumer electronics will deliver enhanced customer benefits and elevate user experiences across Samsung’s complete portfolio of consumer and professional products and systems.

“HARMAN perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Electronics.  “As a Tier 1 automotive supplier with deep customer relationships, strong brands, leading technology and a recognized portfolio of best-in-class products, HARMAN immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform.  Dinesh Paliwal is a proven global leader and, in our extensive discussions, we have developed deep respect for him, his strong senior leadership team and HARMAN’s talented employees.  HARMAN’s sustained track record of rapid growth fueled by technology leadership and an unmatched automotive order pipeline reflects its commitment to innovation and customers.”

“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” added Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics.  “We see substantial long-term growth opportunities in the auto technology market as demand for Samsung’s specialized electronic components and solutions continues to grow.  Working together, we are confident that HARMAN can become a new kind of Tier 1 provider to the OEMs by delivering end-to-end solutions across the connected ecosystem.”

Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO, stated, “This compelling all-cash transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our shareholders and provide new opportunities for our employees as part of a larger, more diversified company.  Today’s announcement is a testament to what we have achieved and the value that we have created for shareholders.  Samsung is an ideal partner for HARMAN and this transaction will provide tremendous benefits to our automotive customers and consumers around the world.  Combining Samsung’s strengths in leading-edge displays, connectivity and processing solutions with HARMAN’s technology leadership and long-standing customer relationships will enable OEMs to provide new offerings for their customers.  Partnerships and scale are essential to winning over the long term in automotive as demand for robust connected car and autonomous driving solutions increases at a rapid pace.  This transaction will bring HARMAN and Samsung’s complementary strengths together to accelerate innovation in this space.  More broadly, this investment underscores the strength of HARMAN’s employees, as well as our success and leadership across our markets.  We look forward to working together with Samsung to elevate experiences for consumers worldwide.”

Customer Benefits and Significant Growth Opportunities

Samsung expects the combination to deliver significant growth opportunities and benefits to customers by leveraging Samsung’s and HARMAN’s complementary technologies, resulting in increased market penetration across important end markets.

  • Automotive:  Combining HARMAN’s leadership in new connected car technologies, including its top positions in infotainment, cyber security, over-the-air updates and telematics, with Samsung’s significant expertise and experience in connectivity technologies, including 5G, UX/UI, display technology and security solutions, will enhance HARMAN’s automotive and connected services businesses to drive greater sales and provide significant benefits as automakers speed the adoption of next-generation connected cars.
  • Audio:  HARMAN’s leading brands and cutting-edge audio systems include JBL®, Harman Kardon®, Mark Levinson®, AKG®, Lexicon®, Infinity®, and Revel®.  The company also licenses Bowers & Wilkins® and Bang & Olufsen® brands for automotive.  All of these brands will greatly enhance the competitiveness of Samsung’s mobile, display, virtual reality and wearable products to deliver a fully differentiated audio and visual experience for customers.
  • Professional:  The combination will also expand the combined company’s business-to-business platform through its ability to deliver integrated, large-scale audio and visual professional solutions at stadiums, concert facilities and other performance centers such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and STAPLES Center – home of the GRAMMY Awards®.
  • Connected Services:  Samsung will gain access to HARMAN’s 8,000 software designers and engineers who are unlocking the potential of the IoT market.  This collaboration will deliver the next generation of cloud-based consumer and enterprise experiences, as well as end-to-end services for the automotive market through the convergence of design, data and devices.

Operating Structure and Leadership

Upon closing, HARMAN will operate as a standalone Samsung subsidiary, and continue to be led by Dinesh Paliwal and HARMAN’s current management team.  Samsung is pursuing a long-term growth strategy in automotive electronics, and plans to retain HARMAN’s work force, headquarters and facilities, as well as all of its consumer and professional audio brands.  Samsung believes the combination will increase career development and advancement opportunities for the employees of both companies.

Samsung’s Automotive Electronics Business Team, which was established in December of 2015 to identify opportunities for Samsung in the automotive sector, will work closely with the HARMAN management team to realize the full growth potential of the combination.

Terms of the Transaction

The purchase price represents a premium of 28% based on HARMAN’s closing stock price on November 11, 2016 and a 37% premium to HARMAN’s 30-calendar day volume weighted average price ending November 11, 2016.  Samsung expects to use cash on hand to fund the transaction.  The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by HARMAN shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in mid-2017.

Source: Harman

Toyota to Launch Sales of ‘Kirobo Mini’

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Presales of Compact Communication Partner to Start at Tokyo and Aichi Car Dealers This Winter
October 03, 2016
What Kirobo Mini can do:
  • Engage in casual conversation, backed by gestures and the ability to respond to user emotions
  • Grow and provide tailored companionship by remembering user preferences and past events
  • Be taken just about anywhere, with its fit-in-the-palm size and seated height of only 10cm
  • Enhance its conversational ability using information from the vehicle and home

 

Toyota Motor Corporation plans to launch sales of its compact and cuddlesome “Kirobo Mini” communication partner through Toyota vehicle dealers across Japan in 2017. The nationwide rollout will be preceded by presales at designated dealers in Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture this winter, for which advanced orders will be taken online. Kiboro Mini is tentatively priced at 39,800 yen (excluding tax).

Kirobo Mini is a miniature communication partner developed to provide companionship. It fits in the palm of the hand and is only 10cm high when seated. It turns its head toward the person speaking and engages in casual conversation*1 while moving its head and hands. Its compact size means it can be taken just about anywhere, helping it to fulfill its role as a cuddly companion always on hand for heart-touching communication.

Kiboro Mini’s range of gestures and conversation abilities are mainly made possible by connecting Kirobo Mini via Bluetooth®*2 to smartphones installed with a dedicated app. A built-in camera enables Kirobo Mini to recognize people’s facial expressions, through which it tries to detect their emotions so that it can accordingly adjust its manner of speaking and moving. Kirobo Mini can also converse based on information drawn from the vehicle or home.

TMC has been aiming to create automobiles that exceed customer expectations and that customers view as “irreplaceable companions”. In a similar connection, Kiboro Mini is a manifestation of the Toyota Heart Project, which aims to develop a distinctly humanlike interaction between man and machine in a format different from automobiles based on the same fundamental concept of “Inspiring the Heart, Inspiring You”, which Toyota applies to its automobile manufacturing.

By providing people opportunities to live with Kirobo Mini, Toyota hopes to contribute to making life and society more abundant.

Kirobo Mini will be on display at the IT and electronics exhibition “CEATEC*3 JAPAN 2016 ‘Connecting Society, Creating the Future'” to be held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba Prefecture from October 4 to October 7. Visitors will be able to experience communicating with Kirobo Mini.

*1Using standard Japanese

*2Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

*3Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies

Outline of Kirobo Mini
Capabilities
Kirobo Mini can
  1. Engage in casual conversation, backed by gestures and the ability to respond to user emotions

    Kirobo Mini converses while understanding what is being said to it, as well as interprets the facial expressions of the speaker. It adjusts its gestures and tone of voice to match the conversation, and, moreover, makes communication more meaningful by blinking and looking at the person speaking.

  2. Grow and provide tailored companionship by remembering user preferences and past events

    Kirobo Mini remembers user likes and dislikes and shared travels. It is able to gradually adjust its points of conversation to make them more suitable for the user.

  3. Be taken just about anywhere, with its fit-in-the-palm size and seated height of only 10cm

    Kirobo Mini fits in the palm of the hand and is only 10cm high when seated. Its compact size means it can be enjoyed in one’s home, car or elsewhere.

  4. Enhance its conversational ability using information from the vehicle and home

    Based on information about the vehicle or home obtained through connected services, Kirobo Mini can provide more-caring comments, such as: “That was a long drive. Good job.” or “Welcome home! A warm bath is waiting.”*

*Function scheduled to be available for vehicles that can use the Kirobo Mini-compatible T-Connect service and through the TSC-HEMS service provided by Toyota Home Corporation.

To see video of Kirobo Mini in action, go to: http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/13786975/
Source: Toyota

DHL now delivers parcels to Smart car trunks

  • DHL Parcel and Smart to start joint pilot in selected German cities in autumn
  • Customers receive parcels straight to the trunk of their cars

dhl

DHL Parcel and Smart today announced a joint pilot in which owners of Smart cars can use their vehicles as mobile addresses for car drops starting in autumn. The project partners have worked in recent months to develop and test a solution to ensure high security standards for merchandise and vehicles.

An expanded market test will be conducted in the German town of Stuttgart in autumn this year. The car drop service will be offered a few months later in Bonn, Berlin and Cologne. By attracting several hundred participants in each city, partners DHL Parcel and Smart aim to collect feedback under near-reality conditions. Smart owners wanting to take part in the pilot can go to www.smart.com/drop for information and submit their applications from September. Installation of the devices needed to participate in the pilot will be performed at local distributors, with Smart assuming the costs. When registering their car for the pilot with Smart, customers can also fill out the necessary DHL car-trunk delivery agreement in just a few simple steps. DHL Parcel’s customer portal www.paket.de has been linked with Smart’s own customer portal to combine the two processes into one.

“As a leader of innovation in the parcel sector, with DHL Parcel we are pursuing the goal of developing new ideas to supplement our diverse range of solutions to make it easier to send and receive a parcel, and to personalize the process to meet customers’ needs,” says Jürgen Gerdes, CEO Post – eCommerce – Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Having successfully tested car-trunk deliveries as part of a pilot in Germany, we are using the knowledge we have gained to work with Smart to develop a new and attractive service for a young, extremely online savvy target group.”

Smart CEO Annette Winkler agrees: “With the new service, we are expanding the ways in which our vehicles can be used to offer a broader mobility model that goes beyond the car itself. The pilot also kicks off our campaign to improve the quality of urban life.”

Smartphone based solution

The joint solution from Smart and DHL Paket is smartphone based, with the Smart driver and the DHL parcel courier using specially designed apps. The vehicle owner uses the Smart app to generate a single-use transaction authorization number (TAN) which they enter in the “c/o” box when stating their delivery address for purchases in an online shop. For the car drop to take place, the vehicle simply has to be parked in the vicinity of the owner’s home address.

The DHL parcel courier is informed of the preferred delivery location via an app, receiving time-limited access to the recipient’s car. The single-use TAN the online shopper enters when placing their order enables the courier to locate and open the vehicle within a set period of time. Having gained access to the trunk, the courier can either deposit a parcel or retrieve a shipment for return. Once the courier closes the trunk, the TAN authorizing them access is cancelled. A push message sent via the app notifies the car owner that the delivery has taken place.

By allowing customers to use their cars as mobile delivery addresses, DHL Paket is adding yet another attractive option to its unique range of automated parcel receipt services in Germany. With the DHL Packstation service, parcel boxes for single-dwelling and multiple-dwelling homes, deliveries to a predefined, preferred location – plus car-trunk deliveries to Smart cars from autumn onwards – DHL Paket serves growing consumer demands for more mobility and more flexibility in meeting their every-day needs.