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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Spike Diabetes applies social pressure to keep patients safe

It can be tough for diabetes patients to keep a constant eye on their glucose levels. Spike Diabetes lets family and doctors lend a hand by sending them real-time alerts about the patient’s stats. And the app’s artificial intelligence features can even send helpful reminders or suggest the most diabetes-friendly meals when you walk into a restaurant.

Today onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin Startup Battlefield, Spike Diabetes is launching its Guardian Portal so loved ones with permission can get a closer look at a patients’ data and coach them about staying healthy.

“Diabetes is an incurable chronic disease that forces diabetics to live a life of carb-counting and insulin injections. Since diabetics are forced to do those mundane tasks for the rest of their lives, they tend to fall off the tracks sometimes simply because of how demanding those tasks can be,” says Spike co-founder Ziad Alame.

“As for guardians and parents, they are left in the dark about their loved ones.” With doctors often only getting data during quarterly or semi-annual checkups, patients are often left on their own. A lifetime of management is very stressful, especially if your life depends on it.”

The startup faces stiff competition from literally hundreds of apps claiming to help patients monitor their vitals. MySugr, Diabetes Connect and Health2Sync are amongst the most popular. But Alame says many require users to track their levels through complex spreadsheets.

Spike offers customizable mobile charts, and will even read users their stats out loud to make staying safe an easier part of daily life. Spike is invite-only and just on iOS, but it also touts an Apple Watch app plus optimized engineering to minimize battery usage.


“Spike started off as a personal project to help myself adhere better to my medication after reaching critical times in my diabetic life,” Alame tells me. Now he’s bringing to the problem his experience as CTO of the GivingLoop charity platform, TeensWhoCode summer camp and Zoomal crowdfunding site for the Arab world.

Alame has assembled a team of diabetics, engineers and PhDs, plus $200,000 in seed funding from MEVP, Cedar Mundi and Phoenician Funds. They hope to see the premium paid version of Spike’s freemium app overtake longstanding competition through word-of-mouth triggered by bringing loved ones and doctors into the loop.

One of the app’s most interesting features is the proactive info it delivers. “For example, you walk into McDonald’s around 2 PM. Spike would automatically know it’s lunch time for you and suggest the top three options you can have with approximate carb counts,” Alame tells me.

“After some time (~25 minutes) Spike automatically reminds you of your insulin and syncs with your diabetic devices to log all the details. With time, as the app gets to know the diabetic’s taste more, Spike would be able to suggest small behavioral tweaks to enhance lifestyle such as walking routes suggestions or new places similar to the diabetic’s taste but with a lower insulin consumption rate.”

Alame jokes that “The biggest risk [to Spike] is the best thing that can happen — which is finding a cure for diabetes.” But even if that happens, he believes Spike’s app for tracking and actively coaching users could be relevant to other diseases, as well. For now, though, it will have to convince users that an app could make managing diabetes simpler rather than more complex.


Source: TechCrunch

Onkyo TX-NR585 review: The best AV receiver for the money – CNET

The Onkyo TX-NR585 combines newbie-friendly ease of use with the advanced decoding and excellent sound quality an enthusiast craves.
Source: CNET

Insurance app Lemonade prepares for European expansion

Lemonade this morning revealed plans to expand into the European market. The news marks the first international expansion for the AI-powered insurance app, which launched in New York City, back in 2016.

The official announcement issued by the company is extremely light on detail, with the promise to reveal more pertinent information — namely which country will be the first on its list — “shortly.” Instead, the news is a bit of flag planting from the company, as it navigates the tricky international insurance waters.

It also notably comes a few months after the startup dropped a short-lived lawsuit alleging that German company WeFox had essentially reverse engineered the Lemonade model for ONE Insurance. “We intend to defend ourselves vigorously,” Wefox’s founder told TechCrunch at the time. “This lawsuit appears to be an attempt to bait the media into covering a non-issue.” Court filings showed that the suit was unceremoniously dropped.

For its part, Lemonade is positioning its global expansion among the list of some of tech’s most successful names in recent years.

“Whether in Chicago, Paris, or Singapore, today’s consumers listen to music on Spotify, ride with Uber, and stay with Airbnb. Great digital brands don’t stop at the water’s edge,” Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber said in a press release. “That’s why going global feels so natural for us: consumers are increasingly cosmopolitan, socially aware, and tech-native – everything Lemonade was built to be.”

The age of the digital startup has certainly afforded companies a more rapid path to international success, though the list of companies cited does, perhaps unintentionally point to some of the difficulties dealing with local regulations. And healthcare has enough complex nuances to put even song publishing to shame.


Source: TechCrunch

Google Home Hub, Assistant get quality of life upgrades for the holidays – CNET

Sing along with your Google Home Hub, talk to whoever is at your front door and more.
Source: CNET

Deepak Chopra: Technology is neutral. It's up to you how you use it – CNET

Deepak Chopra partners with LivePerson on an Alexa skill of daily reflections, but there’s a bigger message here.
Source: CNET

Edtech unicorn Udacity lays off 125 people in global strategy shift

Learning platform Udacity is to axe a big chunk of its workforce — which looks to be between a fifth and a quarter — as part of a global reorganization effort, according to VentureBeat.

It reports the company is cutting 125 staff from now through early 2019.

We’ve also heard from a source that around 100 Udacity staff have been laid off, with affected employees mostly in content, video and services.

We’ve reached out to the company for comment.

According to VentureBeat’s report the firm will close its office in São Paulo, Brazil, with the loss of 70 employees. The remaining cuts will come from departments in the US related to creating courses, it adds.

Two months ago we broke the news the company had quietly let go of 5% of its global workforce.

VentureBeat says now the layoffs will leave Udacity with 330 employees.

The edtech firm was one of the early providers of MOOCs, before low pass rates seemingly triggered a reprogramming of its business model, with Udacity refocusing on the tech space — offering so-called ‘nanodegrees’ in topics like AI and blockchain.

After that shift co-founder Sebastian Thrun stepped away as CEO, handing over to Vishal Makhijani. However the latest cuts come hard on the heels of a reversal of that, with VentureBeat noting Thrun took over day-to-day operations and the exec chairman role last month, following the departure of Makhijani.

Since then the board of directors and Thrun have voted to downsize portions of the company, it adds.

In another notable reversal this year, Udacity suspended a money back guarantee for people who completed a Plus tier nanocourse and couldn’t find a job, pressing pause just a few months after it announced the guarantee.

Thrun told VentureBeat the guarantee remains on pause — with no decision yet taken whether to cancel it outright.

Update: A spokesperson has now sent the following statement, attributed to Thrun:

I founded Udacity so that everyone in the world could get a chance for an education. Today, we have 10 million registered students across more than 100 countries, 200 industry partnerships and strong revenue growth. Yet, for us to scale to the next level and take full advantage of the opportunity ahead, we need to realign our focus. To achieve this, the board and I have made the painful decision to part ways with 125 employees in the U.S. and Brazil over the next three months. We will increase our investments in growth areas like enterprise and career development. I am optimistic that Udacity is now set up to get to the next level of scale where more students can learn what they need to get the jobs they want to improve their lives.

TechCrunch’s Kirsten Korosec contributed to this report


Source: TechCrunch

Use PriceWaiter to haggle your next online purchase and get a $15 credit – CNET

Don’t want to pay full price? Use PriceWaiter to place a bid and you might just walk away with a discount. Plus, an exclusive $15 credit after your first $25-or-more purchase.
Source: CNET

How to disable Cortana

Is Windows 10 Cortana annoying you? Here’s how to disable Cortana and limit her functions so that she doesn’t interrupt your work or make you feel uncomfortable about your privacy.

The post How to disable Cortana appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Aquaman Trailer: The Physics of His Leap from the Water

In the new ‘Aquaman’ trailer, the superhero bounds from the water and lands on a submarine. It’s a fantastical leap grounded in serious physics.
Source: Wired

The US Leans on Private Firms to Expose Foreign Hackers

Opinion: The government needs to step up in calling out cyber-attackers. Otherwise, we risk playing into their hands.
Source: Wired

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