Archive for June 11, 2020

A New Resource From Waze: The Waze COVID-19 Impact Dashboard

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 11, 2020 by itnerd

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Waze has been tracking and sharing data related to driving around the world. In an effort to help governments — and the general public — gain more insight into local driving trends as part of their overall COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, Waze has now made its data dashboard publicly available. 

In the past, Waze have shared specific data related to Waze users in Canada and select cities including Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City and more. The data from the Waze COVID-19 Impact Dashboard is accessible for you to review and download from Waze directly by visiting https://www.waze.com/covid19. From here, you can access global, national and regional information, depending on your requirements, and can also compare various locations. 

I was playing with this earlier today and it is very interesting to manipulate this data. I am sure that this data can help businesses guide their decisions, and be of interest to individuals.

New Technology From TELUS Health Lets Saskatchewan Health Authority Remotely Monitor Lung Transplant Patients

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 11, 2020 by itnerd

TELUS Health today announced the expansion of its Home Health Monitoring (HHM) solution to digitally monitor the recovery of lung transplant patients across Saskatchewan. Launched in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and eHealth Saskatchewan, this digital health dashboard enables a virtual healthcare team to provide medical support remotely, for patients in real-time as they recover in their own homes.

Easily accessible through a mobile device, tablet or desktop computer, the TELUS Health HHM solution sends daily prompts to patients to report their biometrics such as spirometry (i.e. lung function), blood pressure and overall health condition. If patients do not have their own digital health tools, they are provided with biometric devices such as bluetooth-connected weight scales and blood pressure cuffs in order to monitor their vitals and enter them into their daily report. This data then is sent electronically to the care team so it can be viewed on the digital dashboard, allowing regular and remote monitoring of a patient’s well-being. This gives clinicians the ability to review crucial patient data in real-time, allowing them to identify any urgent care needs and mitigate risks such as possible infection, incision issues, and/or neurocognitive impairment.

Transplant patients have compromised immune systems, particularly during the first month following the transplant operation due to the use of immunosuppressant medication to help prevent the body’s rejection of a donor organ. Monitoring vitals is crucial to a healthy recovery as is ensuring patients can recover in the safety of their own homes amidst the current pandemic so there is no increased risk of exposure to the virus. HHM helps give patients peace of mind knowing they are still connected to their healthcare team for monitoring without having to physically remain in hospital.

It is estimated that the TELUS Health HHM solution and lung transplant monitoring program will support 60 to 70 Saskatchewanians for the lifetime of their transplant. Ongoing discussions are underway to expand the use of HHM for the remote monitoring of individuals with heart conditions and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

The launch of the HHM solution for transplant patients is another collaboration between TELUS Health and Saskatchewan’s public health system. In October 2019, the Saskatchewan government launched MySaskHealthRecord, a website that enables Saskatchewan residents to easily access their personal health information, including medical imaging results, laboratory tests and clinical visit history.

The TELUS Health HHM solution has been used in British Columbia since 2013 to remotely monitor thousands of patients living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure and respiratory diseases. Of those with heart or respiratory issues, 81 per cent reported fewer emergency room visits and 92 per cent reported fewer hospital admissions. The solution is currently being used in B.C. and other provinces to support those with or at a high risk of contracting COVID-19.  Over 1400 BC Citizens have been monitored for COVID-19 to date. 

Building off of these successful initiatives in B.C. and Saskatchewan, discussions with other provincial health authorities are underway to provide HHM technology to even more Canadians in various areas of care.

Amazon Pauses Police Use Of Facial Recognition…. Why This Is Meaningless

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 11, 2020 by itnerd

Amazon has announced that they are going to be pausing police use of facial recognition by police forces. Here’s why via a blog post put out by Amazon:

We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology. We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families.

We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested.

This is a first step, but it’s really not one that goes far enough. IBM who quit the facial recognition business earlier this week took a very definitive stand on this. This move by Amazon isn’t even close to that. It seems to me that Amazon wants to say that it is doing something to address the issues that have come out of the George Floyd protests, but at the same time still make money from this tech at a later date. Thus it seems to me that this is more of a PR stunt than anything else, and as a result is meaningless. If Amazon really wants to show some leadership on this issue, then they would do something that is closer to the IBM end of the spectrum. But I suspect they won’t and thus you should not take them seriously on this issue.

StorCentric’s Retrospect Dads & Grads Promotion Launches

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 11, 2020 by itnerd

With high school and college graduations upon us and Father’s Day just around the corner, Retrospect, a leader in data protection for businesses and a StorCentric company, today announced its Retrospect Backup Dads and Grads Promotion. For a limited time, Retrospect is offering a free 90-day subscription license for every Retrospect Backup product. 

Retrospect’s trusted data protection suite ensures homes and businesses around the world can recover quickly from accidents, hardware failure, theft, and disaster. With its complete coverage of Windows, Mac, Linux computers and VMware and Hyper-V virtualization platforms, Retrospect provides holistic protection for any home or business, with cloud storage support for offsite locations on Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and many other services. With Retrospect, it is easy to restore all data – from business critical files to family photos, with a click of a button. 

Dads, Grads and anyone whose goal it is to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the ability to backup now and restore forever can visit https://www.retrospect.com/dads_and_grads to learn more and sign-up for a free 90-day subscription. Click on one of the buttons on the page, or use the coupon code ‘DADGRAD’ on Retrospect’s online store to receive a free 90-day subscription license. No credit card is required, and you can cancel at any time and still restore your backups. You can also contact the Retrospect sales team by email at na.sales@retrospect.com or by phone at 1-888-376-1078, to request your free 90-day subscription license.