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Microsoft to buy AI and speech tech company Nuance for €16bn

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Microsoft said on Monday it would buy artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications for about $16 billion (€13.43 billion) in cash, as it builds out its cloud strategy for healthcare. The deal comes as both companies, which partnered in 2019 to automate clinical administrative work such as documentation, gain from a boom in telehealth services with medical consultations shifting online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery," Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said in a statement, adding "AI is technology's most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application." Microsoft's offer of $56 per share represents a premium of 22.86 per cent to Nuance's last close. Shares of Nuance rose nearly 23 per cent in pre-market trading.


Neuralink: Elon Musk's Brain Chip Presentation

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The term brain chip sounds like something in a science fiction movie from the 80s. Technology is evolving faster than ever and the future is here. Disruptive innovation will be happening in all industries due to artificial intelligence. This video has Elon Musk demonstrating how the brain chip works in real time on a pig. How far are we til we interview a person with a brain chip vs a person without a brain chip?


Embracing AI When Your Industry Is in Flux

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One of the great challenges we have seen businesses face in recent years is how they approach data and analytics (and now artificial intelligence) when their industries are undergoing major transformation. It's hard enough to create a data-driven culture, compete on analytics, develop data-driven products and services, and so forth under normal business conditions, as we noted in our March column about the newest NewVantage Partners survey on big data and AI. But doing it while your business and industry are transforming -- the old line of changing out a jet engine while the plane is flying through turbulence at 35,000 feet -- is really tough. It's so difficult, in fact, that we always have our doubts when executives claim to have done it successfully. We are much more trusting when we're told that the organization is simply making progress toward the goal.


7 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Improving Healthcare

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Emerging technologies have the potential to completely reshape the healthcare industry and the way people manage their health. In fact, tech innovation in healthcare and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could provide more convenient, personalized care for patients. It could also create substantially more value for the industry as a whole--up to $410 billion per year by 2025. This graphic by RYAH MedTech explores the ways that technology, and more specifically AI, is transforming healthcare. Tech innovation is emerging across a wide range of medical applications.


Making skin for robots is hard. But success could bring huge benefits for humans, too

ZDNet

Gordon Cheng's lab at TUM is developing artificial skin to provide robots with tactile feedback. To recreate a human in robot form is no small piece of work. Researchers have already started modelling synapses and neurons in software and hardware. A robot that can move like a human? Researchers are already building artificial muscles, joints and tendons for the bipedal machines.


Yale Study Shows Limitations of Applying Artificial Intelligence to Registry Databases

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Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in the future of health care, medical experts say, but so far, the industry has been unable to fully leverage this tool. A Yale study has illuminated the limitations of these analytics when applied to traditional medical databases -- suggesting that the key to unlocking their value may be in the way datasets are prepared. Machine learning techniques are well-suited for processing complex, high-dimensional data or identifying nonlinear patterns, which provide researchers and clinicians with a framework to generate new insights. But the study suggests that achieving the potential of artificial intelligence will require improving the data quality of electronic health records (EHR). "Our study found that advanced methods that have revolutionized predictions outside healthcare did not meaningfully improve prediction of mortality in a large national registry. These registries that rely on manually abstracted data within a restricted number of fields may, therefore, not be capturing many patient features that have implications for their outcomes," said Rohan Khera, MD, MS, the first author of the new study published in JAMA Cardiology.


How Alodokter lifted engagement by 45% using machine learning

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Indonesian healthcare superapp Alodokter provides end-to-end digital solutions to patients including telemedicine, doctor bookings, medical content, and health-insurance services. It has more than 28 million monthly active users, and more than 40,000 certified doctors on the platform. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alodokter found that engagement was high when users were unwell, but that it was difficult to keep people active on the app otherwise. It also found that it had a retention problem, with a lot of uninstalls happening almost immediately after installation. Alodokter's marketing goals were three-fold: increase app engagement to reduce churn and boost retention, increase active users across the app, and improve conversion and clickthrough rates (CVRs and CTRs) of push campaigns to uplift engagement.


Co-founder of brain implant startup Neuralink leaves the company

Engadget

Elon Musk's Neuralink is running into management challenges before it even ships a product. The Byte reports that Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak quietly left the company "a few weeks ago." He didn't say why he left the brain-machine interface firm, but said he was still a "huge cheerleader" for his former employer's work. Neuralink hasn't named a replacement. We've asked the company for comment.


The Robot Surgeon Will See You Now

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Robots can already exceed human accuracy on some surgical tasks, like placing a pin into a bone (a particularly risky task during knee and hip replacements). The hope is that automated robots can bring greater accuracy to other tasks, like incisions or suturing, and reduce the risks that come with overworked surgeons. During a recent phone call, Greg Hager, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins, said that surgical automation would progress much like the Autopilot software that was guiding his Tesla down the New Jersey Turnpike as he spoke. The car was driving on its own, he said, but his wife still had her hands on the wheel, should anything go wrong. And she would take over when it was time to exit the highway.


The AI doctor will see you now

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If artificial intelligence in healthcare brings to mind visions of robot surgeons, BioIntellisense's stick-on sensor is bound to be a disappointment. Just 3 inches wide by 1 inch tall, this plastic and metal double hexagon was cleared last month by the US Food and Drug Administration for remote monitoring of vital signs with medical-grade accuracy. Doctors at UCHealth, which runs 12 Colorado hospitals, say the device will let them send patients home earlier while still monitoring their respiratory rate, resting heart rate, skin temperature and even body position. The data can then be fed into computers that use machine learning to spot people who might need more attention, allowing early intervention and avoiding emergency hospital visits. UCHealth has already used computer surveillance to fight sepsis, a potentially fatal complication from infection, on its wards.