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Where top VCs are investing in digital health

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The world of healthcare has notoriously been described as “broken” — plagued with high-friction workflows, sky-high costs and convoluted business models.

Over the past several years, a long list of innovative startups and salivating venture investors have pinned their focus on repairing the healthcare industry, but its digital transformation still appears to be in the very early innings. After a record-setting 2018, however, digital health investing continued to reach meteoric heights in 2019.

Mammoth pools of capital have flooded into various sub-verticals and business models, backing collections of new B2B and B2C companies focused on optimizing healthcare workflows, improving healthcare access and offering lower-cost distribution models. Over the past two years, digital health startups have raised well over $10 billion in funding across nearly 1,000 deals, according to data from Pitchbook and Crunchbase.

As we close out another strong year for innovation and venture investing in the sector, we asked nine leading VCs who work at firms spanning early to growth stages to share what’s exciting them most and where they see opportunity in the sector:

Participants discuss trends in digital therapeutics, telehealth, mental health and the latest in biotech and medical devices, while also diving into startups improving medical practitioner efficiency, evaluating the evolving regulatory environment and debating valuations and offering a ‘temp check’ on the market for digital health startups leveraging ML.

Annie Case, Kleiner Perkins

Although Kleiner Perkins has a long history of investing in iconic health companies, we believe it is still the early innings of digital health as a category today.

When I evaluate new opportunities in the space, I often start by thinking through how the company will move the needle on cost, quality, and access to care — the “iron triangle” of health care systems. Conventional wisdom has been that it’s impossible to improve all three dimensions simultaneously, but we are seeing companies leverage technology to shift this paradigm in meaningful ways.

It’s no longer just a promise. For example, Viz.ai is using artificial intelligence to detect and alert stroke teams to suspected large vessel occlusion strokes, enabling patients to get treatment faster. Their workflows improve access to life-saving care, deliver higher quality through reduced time to treatment (every minute counts as ‘time is brain’ in stroke care), and dramatically reduce the costs associated with long-term disability.

We are also seeing companies provide this type of tech-enabled care outside of the hospital setting. Modern Health is a mental health benefits platform that employers are making available to their employees. The platform triages individual employees to the right level of care, providing clinical care to those with diagnosable depression or anxiety, and making self-guided or preventative care available to everyone else. Their solution improves quality and access by offering mental health services to every employee and reduces the cost associated with untreated mental illness, lost productivity, or employee churn.

Heading into 2020, we’re eager to back digital health companies in new areas that leverage technology to impact cost, quality, and access. A few spaces that I’m excited about are behavioral health (mental health, substance abuse, addiction, etc), care navigation, digital therapeutics, and new models integrating telehealth, remote care and AI to better leverage medical professionals’ time.

Zavain Dar and Adam Goulburn, Lux Capital

Below are some thoughts and coming predictions on health tech broadly:

  1. Digital therapeutics continue to pick up steam — on the back of Pear and Akili, more companies push to FDA and enter the market. In addition, broader consumer platforms like Calm and Headspace look to broaden their offerings by investigating clinical approvals.
  2. At least one major pharma looks to expand its consumer surface area by acquiring one of the new digital, consumer-facing generics platform (ex Hims, Ro, NuRx).
  3. Venture funding for biotech continues to boom with at least three Series A’s of $100M or more in size.
  4. Drug discovery for neurodegeneration sees a renaissance. High-profile failings of Biogen and the beta-amyloid hypothesis sees a shift of innovation to early-stage biotech and venture creation.
  5. Big pharma has its DeepMind moment acquiring at least one machine-learning (AI) enabled drug discovery company.
  6. Clinical trial tech investments heat up; new companies and technologies emerge to make trials patients first and systems get smarter at finding the right patients at their point of care; large incumbents like IQVIA, LabCorp and PPD get acquisitive.
  7. At least three traditional Sand Hill Road tech venture firms open life science practices or raise dedicated funds.
  8. Machine learning targets chemistry driven by large advancements in transformer (NLP) models; has the time for computational chemistry finally come?
  9. HCIT sees a renaissance driven by increased CIO responsibility towards data interoperability. Companies either working on federated ML to allow systems to speak to each other or lightweight edge applications enabling rapid clinical deployment will see quick uptake and traction, until now impossible in HC.

Kristin Baker Spohn, Charles River Ventures (CRV)

In the last 10 years, digital health has exploded. Over $16B has been invested in the sector by VCs and we’ve seen IPOs from Livongo, Progyny and Health Catalyst, just in the last year alone. That said, there’s still a lot that mystifies people about the sector — there are spots that are overheated and models that will struggle to deliver venture scale outcomes. I’ve seen digital health evolve first hand as both an operator and investor, and I’m more excited than ever about the future of the space.

A few areas and trends that I’ve been following recently include:

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/16/where-top-vcs-are-investing-in-digital-health/

Artificial Intelligence

Pros and Cons of Using AI in Your Hiring Process

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As with everything else in the world, there are pros and cons of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to supplementing human resources management (HRM). AI seems to be stepping into every industry imaginable today, from autonomous cars to genomic diagnostics.

Data drives everything, yet as you can imagine, problems tend to arise when using AI tools in a genuinely neutral environment. They are natively blind to issues that seem overly influenced by society today, resulting in a potential clash with regulations or ethics.

Today we’ll examine some of the advantages and concerns towards more significant AI deployment in this multi-billion-dollar industry.

Benefits of AI in Hiring

While percentages vary, the importance of digital HR is well-recognized worldwide (source: Deloitte)

Before we begin, it should be clear that this discussion leans towards in-house engagement with full-time employees. For temporary talent engagement, using an existing freelance platform will be more cost-effective and efficient.

Less Potential for Human Bias

Regardless of guidelines, policy, or other factors, ensuring an utterly bias-free hiring process can be incredibly difficult. It’s a human trait to be biased towards certain aspects – in fact, a defining characteristic.

AI, on the other hand, is purely data-driven. As long as the intent is not present in the AI tool, it won’t introduce unnecessary characteristics into the hiring process. While data-driven assessment may sound a bit cold, it is impartial.

Speeds Up the Hiring Process

Recruitment times vary widely depending on role, industry, and other factors. Yet, it’s undeniable that you can speed up at least part of the process using AI tools. For example, you can use them to create or improve job descriptions, match applications with requirements, carry out candidate screening, and more.

Taking too long to connect with potential talent is something that can cost you dearly. Remember, while there are ample candidates, almost all of them will be applying to multiple companies. If your hiring process drags on, talented individuals may quickly get snapped up by the competition.

Reduce HR Expenditure

From start to finish, hiring new talent is expensive. An increasingly large number of HR tasks can quickly lead to ballooning staff costs simply for talent acquisition. By introducing AI tools, not only can you speed up the process (as discussed above), but repetitive tasks can be kept away from expensive HR personnel and reduce cost.

Remember that the cost of AI tools is often much less in the context of large companies. As your organization grows, it makes much more financial sense to replace rote tasks with automation. You may be surprised at the overall impact on ROI.

Lowers Chances of Talent Leaks

When HR is recruiting, the focus is often on specific roles that need filling. While some companies do keep applications on file, cross-matching doesn’t always occur for various reasons. This shortcoming can easily lead to talent leaks where a candidate suited for an alternative role is lost.

Cross-matching often gets neglected due to the amount of time consumed trying to match multiple candidates and roles. Rather than onboarding more HR to fill this gap, you can leverage AI for much faster results.

Matching a potentially leaked talent with alternative roles also saves on the future need to hire specifically for that purpose. Keep these identified talents on file, or simply hire them early in anticipation of filling a need.

Improve the Sourcing Process

The traditional hiring process makes extensive use of job agencies or boards. While this helps save time and money, AI tools can give you many of the capabilities these channels offer. For example, an AI scraper can collate data from many sources and assess them for suitability.

With a single tool, you gain access to a massive potential talent pool that may not directly apply for a vacancy in the company. In this aspect, AI tools are even more important given how well individuals today reduce their digital footprint.

Disadvantages of AI in Hiring

Increasing Regulation

Like many other IT-related elements, AI remains but a tool in the hiring process. Unless you take great care selecting these tools, some form of bias may remain. The reality is that regulation isn’t seeking to eliminate bias but to direct it towards the desired outcome.

Because of this, many countries often have some form of discrimination built into regulatory systems – for instance, mandates for specific proportions of gender, domestic versus expatriate labor, or other mandated ratios.

One example of this is New York’s proposed legislation to regulate AI algorithms allowed for use in the hiring process. Similar proposals also exist in the European Union, with initial legal frameworks already in draft.

There are also varying general guidelines on occasions, such as privacy laws concerning video interviews, data collection activities, and such. Since 2019 the US state of Illinois has regulated the use of AI in video interviews mandating disclosure and specific prohibitions.

Specific Areas of Challenge Exist

Professionals in many countries believe company culture is a strong influencer in their choice of employment. (source Deloitte)

AI and data often work well together and can introduce elements of analysis effectively as well. However, it isn’t perfect, and when assessing individuals, there may be some areas challenging to factor in and match.

Intangible factors are especially prominent in this area and can include company culture, values, and mission cohesion. If too much weight is placed on tangible areas of analysis, mismatches in this area can still result in poor hires.

The risk of this happening is exceptionally high if the AI algorithms deployed are less intelligent than optimal. For example, some AI algorithms do nothing more than field matching and are extremely poor in a human relationship context.

Lack of Transparency in the AI Industry

Most companies will rely on external sources for AI algorithms used in the hiring process. Unfortunately, like many commercial products, exactly how they work is often considered proprietary. The result is a high risk as they may introduce areas contrary to the company culture or legislation.

May Lower Company Image

People often have different attitudes towards the use of tech tools. These varying attitudes can mean alienating a proportion of potential candidates who prefer more direct human interaction with a prospective employer.

What makes things worse is that AI elements are often used in the first line of the hiring process. Only when data has been sorted are results provided to human recruiters to make the final judgments.

This prospective alienation may lead to a poor impression of the brand among prospective employees, which may spread in the community and be hard to counter should processes change in the future.

AI Recruiting Tools Currently Available

If you’d like to try some of the available AI recruitment tools, the good news is the abundance of choice. There’s a lot of noise in the industry, so picking the right one can be a long process for each company.

Some of the available are;

XOR – You can design this AI chatbot to fit perfectly with your brand and serve as the first line of interaction with prospective hires. It can be highly customized to reflect branding, possible queries, and more. Many big brands are already using XOR, including Ikea, McDonald’s, and Mars.

Arya – For something more comprehensive, Arya serves as a complete recruitment platform that can work relatively independently. At the same time, it offers recruiters the necessary features to reach out to candidates directly via the platform. Arya takes care of employee screening and can help drastically reduce the cost of hiring.

Seekout – If your company needs to reach out to extend the reach of HR, then Seekout is a solid choice. It’s a talent-sourcing platform capable of scouring a massive database to find candidates based on job descriptions. The scope and scale of Seekout make it more suited to enterprise-scale users.

PymetricsProfessionals today often make use of gamification in multiple professional settings. Pymetrics does that for hiring and adds behavioral science into the mix. The result is a very modern tool that most younger professionals can relate with easily as they take Pymetrics tests.

HireVue – Originally a video software, HireVue entered the AI recruitment space relatively late, in 2020. It offers a HR chatbot suite capable of end-to-end assistance in the recruitment process. The platform helps source, screen, and naturally act as a video interview system.

Final Thoughts: Will AI Replace Human Recruiters

As with most industries new to the adoption of technology, HR is currently in a state of flux. This state is partially due to transient technology coupled with developing regulations. Overall, AI at the moment won’t replace human recruiters.

Instead, they should be seen as valuable assets capable of lowering overall recruitment costs and process enhancement.

Image Credit: Photo by Alex Knight from Pexels

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/pros-cons-using-ai-your-hiring-process/18105

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Ex-hedge fund manager’s startup hits $2B value

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Advance Intelligence Group, a technology startup led by former hedge fund manager Jefferson Chen, topped $2 billion in valuation after raising more than $400 million from investors led by SoftBank Vision Fund II and Warburg Pincus.

The central business district of Singapore. Photographer: Lauryn Ishak/Bloomberg Mercury

Northstar, Vision Plus Capital, Gaorong Capital and EDBI also joined the Series D financing round, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Having boosted its valuation from about $400 million in 2019, Advance Intelligence is now one of the most valuable startups in Singapore.

The firm was co-founded by Chen, the 39-year-old former Farallon Capital Management executive who headed private investing in Greater China. Before that, he worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. where he was involved in initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions of Asian companies including Baidu Inc.

Since its inception in 2016, Advance Intelligence has incubated a string of upstarts under its umbrella in the financial services and retail industries. They include big data company Advance.AI and e-commerce merchant service platform Ginee. Its Atome Financial has a “buy now, pay later” app Atome and digital lending platform Kredit Pintar in Indonesia.

“Our vision is to use the AI technology to transform two industries: financial services and retail,” Chen, Advance Intelligence’s chief executive officer, said in a video interview. “These two industries are highly correlated and intertwined. We are trying to put them together into one ecosystem.”

The startup is following in the footsteps of Sea Ltd., a Singapore-based tech startup that went on to become the most valuable company in Southeast Asia in about 10 years. Like Sea founder Forrest Li, Chen was born in China, became a Singaporean citizen and has an MBA from Stanford University. He’s also aiming to build a global business.

Advance Intelligence plans to use the fresh capital to invest in research and development, recruit talent and expand markets and products, Chen said. It has 1,500 employees and operates in 12 markets across South and Southeast Asia, Greater China, and Latin America.

Credit Suisse Group AG acted as exclusive placement agent for the funding round.

— By Yoolim Lee

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/ex-hedge-fund-managers-startup-hits-2b-value/

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Future and Facts of Apps That You Need to Know

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Whether it’s Facebook, Whatsapp, or Uber, we can’t imagine our lives without apps anymore. Some people would even say that apps are a must for businesses today. What makes this so popular, and how should you approach app marketing? Let’s find out!

An app is a software designed to work on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They allow users to do many things, from shopping online to playing games while on the go.

“One of the biggest advantages of apps is that they help companies save money by using fewer resources than websites and other offline mediums.” 

Data collected by app stores and statistics show that more and more people prefer using apps over traditional methods of getting information; in fact, 50% of Americans use their phones for research before making purchases, according to one study. But is it all smooth-sailing?

Note the details

As more and more daily tasks become mobile, app makers compete with each other for user attention and time. It’s quite hard to build a perfect app because so many people expect so much from them: we want apps that keep us up to date about the latest news, let us chat with friends and family, give us directions when we’re lost, track our fitness goals and help with shopping online. Providing such features requires a lot of time and money and lots of expertise that not every company has access to. That’s why some experts think that apps might be just a short-lived thing and will die out soon. But this doesn’t mean apps are bad for business!

App usage is still growing. App Annie’s revenue increased by about 70% in 2015 and surpassed $50 billion. The same report shows that there are more than 26 billion downloads every year. So, if you’re thinking of entering the mobile space or taking your existing business online, you should put some serious thought into building an app. Let’s look at how it works and what tools you need to create one yourself.

There are four main steps to creating an app: coming up with an idea, choosing a platform, making the prototype, and testing it. If you want to build an app on your own, it’s best not to start from scratch but to use free or paid tools that come with ready-made templates. Popular choices include the Phonegap building tool, Appcelerator, and Xamarin. However, there are alternatives to these which might be even better for your needs. For example, if you want to save some money, you could use Python instead of C# because the former is free while the latter requires purchasing a license, check RemoteDBA to know more

Interesting Facts about Apps

If you have an app idea but lack the expertise or time needed to create it yourself, you can always hire professional app makers. They will make everything from scratch and help grow your business by meeting set objectives. Prices vary depending on what your app does and how complex it is; we recommend starting with $25000 and going up from there.

The average price for a good design ranges from $5000-8000. Before starting to code the app, you need a special UX/UI designer who can foresee all potential problems and put everything for you. They will develop a detailed plan that will include the actual cost since this part of development is quite expensive, too, especially if you want your app to be original and creative 

If you decide to make an app yourself, it pays off to get some help from assistants or co-workers. You can even hire virtual workers from India or Bangladesh – they are very cheap, have extensive experience in the software industry, and know-how to work remotely, which means it’s easy to coordinate with them. A good developer charged by the hour will cost you about $15-20, while a virtual assistant from Dhaka costs around $3 per hour.

Customers often prefer virtual workers who don’t have time to deal with various issues and processes involved in company administration. Using services like Upwork or Freelancer allows businesses to get rid of this trouble forever!

After getting a functional app, you might want to engage in some advertising since it’s unlikely that your target audience will find you on their own. This means that you’ll need to spend quite some money on ads of all kinds: social media campaigns, audio spots, TV commercials, print ads, etc. The average cost for 1 minute of national TV advertising in the United States is $12000 

The easiest way to do that is by selling digital content and services either through the app itself or on a website that it will generate for you automatically. For example, some apps allow creating online stores and let you sell physical products and digital ones like ebooks and music. This way, both users and co-workers won’t have to leave the app they’re already using to buy something – they’ll only need one click!  Interestingly enough, you can make money off your app, even if it’s free.

Apps may be just what your business needs to draw attention from potential customers worldwide. They allow you to improve user experience and provide users with added value that is more than enough to make them come back for more. Don’t forget that you can always outsource app-building tasks; there are plenty of people around who specialize in this field and will be glad to help you build your next business.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/future-and-facts-of-apps/

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AI

Future and Facts of Apps That You Need to Know

Published

on

Whether it’s Facebook, Whatsapp, or Uber, we can’t imagine our lives without apps anymore. Some people would even say that apps are a must for businesses today. What makes this so popular, and how should you approach app marketing? Let’s find out!

An app is a software designed to work on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. They allow users to do many things, from shopping online to playing games while on the go.

“One of the biggest advantages of apps is that they help companies save money by using fewer resources than websites and other offline mediums.” 

Data collected by app stores and statistics show that more and more people prefer using apps over traditional methods of getting information; in fact, 50% of Americans use their phones for research before making purchases, according to one study. But is it all smooth-sailing?

Note the details

As more and more daily tasks become mobile, app makers compete with each other for user attention and time. It’s quite hard to build a perfect app because so many people expect so much from them: we want apps that keep us up to date about the latest news, let us chat with friends and family, give us directions when we’re lost, track our fitness goals and help with shopping online. Providing such features requires a lot of time and money and lots of expertise that not every company has access to. That’s why some experts think that apps might be just a short-lived thing and will die out soon. But this doesn’t mean apps are bad for business!

App usage is still growing. App Annie’s revenue increased by about 70% in 2015 and surpassed $50 billion. The same report shows that there are more than 26 billion downloads every year. So, if you’re thinking of entering the mobile space or taking your existing business online, you should put some serious thought into building an app. Let’s look at how it works and what tools you need to create one yourself.

There are four main steps to creating an app: coming up with an idea, choosing a platform, making the prototype, and testing it. If you want to build an app on your own, it’s best not to start from scratch but to use free or paid tools that come with ready-made templates. Popular choices include the Phonegap building tool, Appcelerator, and Xamarin. However, there are alternatives to these which might be even better for your needs. For example, if you want to save some money, you could use Python instead of C# because the former is free while the latter requires purchasing a license, check RemoteDBA to know more

Interesting Facts about Apps

If you have an app idea but lack the expertise or time needed to create it yourself, you can always hire professional app makers. They will make everything from scratch and help grow your business by meeting set objectives. Prices vary depending on what your app does and how complex it is; we recommend starting with $25000 and going up from there.

The average price for a good design ranges from $5000-8000. Before starting to code the app, you need a special UX/UI designer who can foresee all potential problems and put everything for you. They will develop a detailed plan that will include the actual cost since this part of development is quite expensive, too, especially if you want your app to be original and creative 

If you decide to make an app yourself, it pays off to get some help from assistants or co-workers. You can even hire virtual workers from India or Bangladesh – they are very cheap, have extensive experience in the software industry, and know-how to work remotely, which means it’s easy to coordinate with them. A good developer charged by the hour will cost you about $15-20, while a virtual assistant from Dhaka costs around $3 per hour.

Customers often prefer virtual workers who don’t have time to deal with various issues and processes involved in company administration. Using services like Upwork or Freelancer allows businesses to get rid of this trouble forever!

After getting a functional app, you might want to engage in some advertising since it’s unlikely that your target audience will find you on their own. This means that you’ll need to spend quite some money on ads of all kinds: social media campaigns, audio spots, TV commercials, print ads, etc. The average cost for 1 minute of national TV advertising in the United States is $12000 

The easiest way to do that is by selling digital content and services either through the app itself or on a website that it will generate for you automatically. For example, some apps allow creating online stores and let you sell physical products and digital ones like ebooks and music. This way, both users and co-workers won’t have to leave the app they’re already using to buy something – they’ll only need one click!  Interestingly enough, you can make money off your app, even if it’s free.

Apps may be just what your business needs to draw attention from potential customers worldwide. They allow you to improve user experience and provide users with added value that is more than enough to make them come back for more. Don’t forget that you can always outsource app-building tasks; there are plenty of people around who specialize in this field and will be glad to help you build your next business.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/future-and-facts-of-apps/

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