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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Smart display debate: Are these speaker-tablets worth it or not? – CNET

Andrew likes smart displays. Megan doesn’t. Let’s have a fight.
Source: CNET

15 Best Mother’s Day Gifts: Ideas for New Moms (2019)

First-time moms can find the transition overwhelming. These Mother’s Day gifts will help. So will the snacks.
Source: Wired

What Iraq and Syria Can Teach the US About Walls

As America argues about the security of the nation’s southern border, Iraq and Syria grapple with a wall of their own, one that’s keeping people safe—and tearing them apart. One writer journeys across the divide.
Source: Wired

Flume Health is an insurance administrator cutting costs by pre-approving prices and paying on-demand

Cedric Kovacs-Johnson launched Flume Health after watching his own family struggle with payments for his sister’s surgery.

When we looked at who was calling the shots [on prices] it was this litany of service providers that was unknown to us and the cost was unknown to us until we got the bill weeks later,” says Kovacs-Johnson. 

The family had thought that their medical bills would be covered by one insurance provider, but as bills kept rolling in, they realized that what had been promised as one insurance company was actually an insurance plan managed by a benefits manager whose plan was not as extensive — and that the insurer was only managing the relationship with the benefits manager.

So the former Makerbot employee launched Flume in February 2017 to make the payment process more transparent for the hundreds of companies that are self-insuring their employees to cope with rising healthcare premiums.

Roughly 80% of companies with over 500 employees are providing their own insurance plans, or outsourcing the administration of insurance coverage to plan administrators and startups, seeing the woefully poor service these companies provide, are jumping into the fray.

Collective Health is one of the best funded, with $300 million in capital committed to the company, including a $110 million round last year. Another startup, Limelight Health has raised $40 million in financing as it tries to grab market share by providing tools to make the self-insured health management process easier for companies.

Those companies and upstarts like Flume, Apostrophe and Eden Health are all tackling services and support for companies providing self-insurance.

“We become the independent administrator [and] instead of buying a whole bundle of services from a carrier we let them buy it from independent providers.”

Flume is able to offer lower prices for procedures than competitors by offering payment on the day of an operation or within three days of a visit.

“Our difference is that you have an ability to change the fundamental relationship between payer and provider,” said Kovacs-Johnson. “We pay for a bundle. We know ahead of time that a procedure is pre-authorized… when we give them the approval on this estimated date of service… now that we know we’ve authorized the service we are going to pay that before or at the time of service. So we get discounts because providers hate the billing process.”

Traditional insurance administrators usually offer a bundled package of services that companies just pay for. Instead, Flume offers companies transparent pricing for independent services that allows patients and providers to pick and choose — cutting out much of the claims processing that creates additional administrative overhead for care providers, according to the company.

To navigate the world of third party administrators, Flume hired one. The company’s chief operating officer was the chairman of the board of third party administrators, Kevin Schlotman.

“As SPBA chairman, I am constantly looking at the future of our industry and have been frustrated by the lack of transparency in the cost and quality of healthcare, and the structural barriers in place that restrict flexibility in plan design and reimbursement methods that our clients are demanding,” Schlotman said in a statement when he joined the company in September.

So far, Flume has eight customers who’ve signed on to its digital health plan administration service pulling its first clients from unions and school districts across five states.

The New York-based company has also managed to attract a few investors, raising $4 million from New York investors including Primary Venture Partners, Accomplice, Founder Collective, and Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator.

By working directly with providers to get cash prices for services, patients avoid surprise bills and know what they’re paying before an appointment, according to the company.

“Cedric and team have created a solution to one of the most crippling problems facing America right now, and their early success is strong evidence that employers are desperate for change. What they’re doing has huge implications for the future of healthcare in our country,” said TJ Mahoney, partner at Accomplice .


Source: TechCrunch

The best Dell laptops

Picking the best Dell laptop is have because Dell produces so many good laptops. Still, there are some that rise above the rest. Whether for battery life, looks, or all round performance, these are our favorites.

The post The best Dell laptops appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Huawei doesn't need the US, hits 50% growth in phone sales – CNET

The company sold 59.1 million phones in Q1 of 2019.
Source: CNET

Game of Thrones' Battle of Winterfell statistical analysis: Who was the MVP? – CNET

We analyzed TV’s biggest, darkest battle frame-by-frame and crunched the numbers: Who comes out on top?
Caution: spoilers ahead!
Source: CNET

Play Snapchat's Snap Games on your phone: Your questions answered – CNET

You can play games with your friends right from the Snapchat app.
Source: CNET

Citizen scientists document rarely seen, tiny 'froglet' with smartphone app – CNET

A ribbeting use of technology uncovers a rare, tiny amphibian.
Source: CNET

Once a major name in smartphones, LG Mobile is now irrelevant — and still losing money

LG was once a stalwart of the smartphone industry — remember its collaboration with Facebook back in the day? — but today the company is swiftly descending into irrelevance.

The latest proof is LG’s Q1 financials, released this week, which show that its mobile division grossed just KRW 1.51 trillion ($1.34 billion) in sales for the quarter. That’s down 30 percent year-on-year and the lowest income for LG Mobile for at least the last eight years. We searched back eight years to Q1 2011 — before that LG was hit and miss with releasing specific financial figures for its divisions.

To give an indication of its decline, LG shipped over 15 million phones in Q4 2015 when its revenue was 3.78 trillion RKW, or $3.26 billion. That 2.5 times higher than this recent Q1 2019 period.

Regular readers will be aware that LG mobile is a loss-making division. That’s the reason its activities — and consequently sales — have scaled down in recent years. But the losses are still coming.

LG put Brian Kwon, who leads its lucrative Home Entertainment business, in charge of its mobile division last November and his task remains ongoing, it appears.

LG Mobile recorded a loss of 203.5 billion KRW ($181.05 million) for Q1 which it described as “narrowed.”

It is true that LG Mobile’s Q1 loss is lower than the 322.3 billion KRW ($289.8 million) loss it carded in the previous quarter, but it is wider than one year previous. Indeed, the mobile division lost 136.1 billion KRW ($126.85 million) in Q1 2018.

LG said Mr Kwon is presiding over “a revised smartphone launch strategy” which is why the numbers are changing so drastically. Going forward, it said that the launch of its G7 ThinQ flagship phone and a new upgrade center — first announced last year — are in the immediate pipeline, but it is hard to see how any of this will reverse the downward trend.

LG Mobile is increasingly problematic because the parent company is seeing success in other areas, but that’s being countered by a poor performing smartphone business. Last quarter, mobile dragged LG to its first quarterly loss in two years, for example.

Just looking at the Q1 numbers, LG’s overall profit was 900.6 billion KRW ($801.25 million) thanks to its home appliance business ($647.3 million profit) and that home entertainment business, which had a profit of $308.27 million. Its automotive business — which is, among other things, focused on EVs — did bite into the profits, but that is at least a business that is going places.


Source: TechCrunch

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