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ABL Technology Member News & Industry Trendletter * December 18, 2018
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  The Biggest Year Yet for Digital Health M&A
by Mimi Grant

Digital Health is rapidly transforming Traditional Healthcare. You could see it in this year's M&A tally recently announced by MobiHealthNews - and at ABL's 20th ABBY Awards last week. The 54 acquisitions announced this year, were the largest number ever, with highest collective price tag - $7.6 billion for just 13 of them.

And why? It's incredibly difficult for companies with deep domain expertise - and market share - in traditional markets to segue into another - particularly when it could cannabalize their existing business. A classic example is Kodak burying the first digital camera one of their engineers developed, in 1989.

So it becomes simply a matter of buy vs. make, for companies like. . . CLICK TO READ REST OF BLOG

  • 1/03 - Orange County Round Table
  • 1/04 - Monrovia Round Table
  • 1/11 - West Los Angeles Round Table
Cornerstone Helps Clients Re-Skill New Leaders

Cornerstone OnDemand is helping to train the next generation of leaders at ArcBest, a leading logistics company for supply chain solutions. Since its founding in 1923, ArcBest has experienced very low employee turnover and, in recent years, with a significant number of managers approaching retirement age, ArcBest is leveraging Cornerstone's suites for learning and performance to quickly upskill hundreds of new leaders. Meanwhile, Cornerstone reports that over 50% of today's students will join the workforce in a position that has yet to be created, and CEO Adam Miller recently discussed with CheddarLIVE how Cornerstone OnDemand works to train prospective employees for these challenges. And, Adam talked with Yahoo! Finance about how his company is training talent for big names like Hulu and Gap. (Adam Miller, West Los Angeles)

Get Visible Offers Use of SEO Ranking Tool

Jason Ciment, CEO of Get Visible, is offering to share his company's new search engine ranking tool so that you can see how well your team is doing at ranking your website. Get Visible's tool generates a list of the top 100 websites that rank in Google for a search phrase, and if you email Jason a search phrase, he'll get you a report of who's ranking. "Give the file to your SEO team and ask them to look at any sites that are beating you to figure out why," Jason suggests. "Would you like a tool like this to run on your own? Let me know." (Jason Ciment, West Los Angeles)

Marshall Toplansky Highlighted in Wall Street Journal

The Crisis of Good Intentions, a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by William McGurn quotes from a recent Orange County Register article written by Chapman University's Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin. In it, they write that "California is creating a feudalized society characterized by the ultra-rich, a diminishing middle class and a large, rising segment of the population that is in or near poverty." And, they note that California now has the highest overall poverty rate in the nation, and suffers from a level of inequality "closer to that of Central American banana republics." McGurn believes much of this is the result of California's green agenda, although that was not Toplansky's and Kotkin's thesis. (Marshall Toplansky, Orange County)

WorkDone Spotlighted in Article on "AI Jobs of the Future"

A recent article - What the AI Jobs of the Future will Look Like - published by Dell Technologies, features Joe Rogers, CEO of WorkDone, who says that the main misconception that artificial intelligence will take away jobs is based on the reality that 'jobs of the future' is an abstract concept, while current roles - the ones morphing - provide a paycheck. Although the future is exciting, it's also unknown. Cognizant of the fact that his startup will disrupt jobs, Joe has built job creation into his business model. "WorkDone has been created as a public benefit corporation with a percentage of revenue dedicated to helping workers displaced by AI get to their next thing," he reported. "That might be retraining or something else completely." (Joe Rogers, West Los Angeles)

Alvaka to Host Software Patching Webinar in December & January

Alvaka Networks will present a live webinar - Software Patching: The First and Most Important Step in Securing Your System - on several dates in December 2018 and January 2019, including Dec. 21 and 28. The webinar will run from 10-11 a.m. each time. Says Alvaka: "The majority of security threats you face today; viruses, worms, spyware and other malware utilize some unchecked vulnerability in your software to compromise your system. Patches fix the 'holes' in the code. A recent study found 98.8% of breaches can be stopped by good patching practices." (Oli Thordarson, Orange County Healthcare)

Cigna Offers Several New Digital Health Solutions

Cigna is collaborating with Annum Health to offer an innovative, digital health support solution to help people reduce alcohol consumption. Program participants will use a digital app and have a personal support team comprised of health coaches, physicians, and licensed therapists to help each individual meet their goals. Also, Cigna is adding Happify Health's Happify and Prevail Health's iPrevail evidence-based digital platforms to help customers build greater resilience, as well as cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. They will be available as part of the Cigna Total Behavioral Health program. And, Cigna has launched its new Cigna Healthy Pregnancy app to better connect individual customers to Cigna's suite of health benefits, including the Cigna Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Babies maternity health engagement program. (Chris De Rosa, Orange County Healthcare)

GeBBS Chosen by Chicago's Saint Anthony Hospital

Saint Anthony Hospital is implementing GeBBS Healthcare Solutions' Healthcare Information Management Compliance Audit & Coding Solutions. The acute care, community hospital, which serves residents of Chicago's west and southwest sides, selected GeBBS because of the depth of their coding and compliance audit expertise in addition to their robust processes and proprietary technology. (Nitin Thakor, Los Angeles Healthcare)

Kindred's RehabTracker App is Helping Improve Patient Outcomes

Kindred Rehabilitation Services (KRS), a division of Kindred Healthcare, announced that initial data from healthcare locations where RehabTracker is being utilized shows the application is improving outcomes for patients. RehabTracker is a mobile app developed by KRS, with which patients work with their therapy team to set personal goals and input them into the app; use their cell phones or tablets to see and track their progress in real time; share that progress with invited family and friends; and receive messages of support from loved ones. Patients at KRS-served locations using RehabTracker as of June 2018 have experienced increases in: Functional Independence Measure, discharge to community, and Program Evaluation Model score. (Adam Darvish, Los Angeles Healthcare)

MYnd Analytics Wins HHS Subcontract to Support Suicide Prevention

MYnd Analytics has been awarded a subcontract to incorporate its Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry (PEER) report within a project to develop a suicide prevention toolkit for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By combining artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, MYnd Analytics can analyze EEG data to recognize patterns, predict outcomes, and personalize medicine; multiple studies have shown a relationship between EEG findings, medication response, and suicidality. Meanwhile, the company's PEER was featured on CBS New York by medical correspondent Dr. Max Gomez. (George Carpenter, Orange County Healthcare)

Select Data Reports: PPS Final Rule Increases HHA's Payments for 2019

In PPS Final Rule Increases HHA's Payments for 2019, Select Data reports that CMS has finalized a plan to launch a budget-neutral payment model for home health that utilizes 30-day periods of care and stops using the number of therapy visits to determine payment, according to Decision Health. The Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) will launch "on or after" Jan. 1, 2020, according to the final rule. And, in CoP Interpretive Guidelines: Are You Compliant?, Select Data notes that the Home Health Agency Condition of participation (CoP) went into effect January 13, 2018, but that some agencies are still struggling with it. According to the CoP Interpretive Guidelines, to be compliant, home health agencies must have established standards of practice issued by a nationally recognized organization with expertise in the field. Organizations failing to meet these minimum standards when audited may be assessed a monetary fine or lose their Medicare certification. (Ed Buckley, Orange County Healthcare, & Ted Schulte, Los Angeles Healthcare)

VivaLNK Launches Wearable Patch for Continuous Stress & Recovery Monitoring

VivaLNK has announced the availability of Vital Scout, the only reusable, wearable patch for the continuous monitoring of stress and recovery levels. Designed to be worn 24 hours a day over a period of two to three days at-a-time, Vital Scout offers a comprehensive picture of stress and recovery levels by analyzing the user's heart rhythm throughout waking and sleeping hours. Vital Scout uses medical grade electrocardiography sensors, and established heart rate variability algorithms to accurately measure the body's response to the physiological impacts of daily activities. (Jiang Li, Silicon Valley Healthcare)

PeopleG2 on: Improving Staff Communication with Emojis

In Do You Speak Emoji?, recently published in the London Business Journal, Chris Dyer, CEO of PeopleG2, notes that those of us who communicate digitally do our best to type out our thoughts in a coherent and professional manner. But, text alone creates space between ourselves and our audience," Chris writes. "What's more, communication breakdown plays havoc with teamwork, individual productivity, and client relations. Adding emotional context - as pictures do - helps bridge the gap. Enter: the emoji." While companies generally don't tell people what to write, they can introduce a common contextual shorthand using emojis. To lend instant meaning to print messages, customize a menu of succinct (and cute!) images, Chris suggests. Let the whole team know what each one means and when to use it. Meanwhile, Chris was recently interviewed on the ShareRadio podcast. (Chris Dyer, Monrovia)

Dave Berkus on: Should You File a Patent?

In Are you wasting money filing patents?, Dave shares some important points to consider when thinking of your patent strategy, such as that the true average cost of a single patent over the 20 years of its legal life is $56,000, when you consider all costs beyond the initial application process - and it multiplies quickly when your patent is published for comment or opposition or the examiner continues to deny claims. Sometimes, Dave continues, simply keeping the trade secret through non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements would be a better service to your idea than a patent - and that's just about free. Dave goes on to discuss the two requirements of a patent, how soon must you file a patent to be protected, provisional patents, and more. (Dave Berkus, Monrovia & West Los Angeles)

8 Emerging Tech Trends You Can Expect to See in 2019

Here are eight emerging technology trends that we can expect to see more of in 2019: Citizen development; drones and drone ops centers; virtual workers; self-powered data centers; cloud-independent edge computing; IoT integration; more self-service IT for business users; and convergence of AI, machine learning and deep learning. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 12/10/18)

Rise of IoT, Robotics Created 80K+ New IT Jobs in 2018

The IT job market boomed in 2018, marking the highest rate of job growth in three years, according to a recent report from consulting firm Janco Associates, Inc. Some 76,500 new IT jobs were created between January and November 2018 - 20,100 more new jobs than were created in the same period of 2017, the report found. An estimated 7,000 more are expected to arise in December, leading to a total of approximately 83,500 new IT jobs created this year. The current economic recovery continues to create demand for IT professionals, with new positions cropping up in fields of robotics, the Internet of Things, SEO, social networking, compliance mandates, and identity management, the report found. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 12/10/18)

AI Skills Reign Supreme in the Fastest-Growing Jobs of the Year

Artificial intelligence held a significant presence in the top emerging jobs of 2018, according to LinkedIn's recently released 2018 Emerging Jobs report. The report found AI skills to be spreading into every industry, not just tech. AI was among the fastest-growing skills on LinkedIn, with a 190% global increase in demand from 2015 to 2017. However, AI is not necessarily replacing jobs, the report found. (Read Article: Tech Republic, 12/13/18)

Online Shopping to Hit $124 Billion for Holidays

Adobe Analytics forecasts that this holiday season, which runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, will see at least $124.1 billion in total online retail sales in the US. By Dec. 6, shoppers had already spent a record $80.3B online, an 18.6% increase from last year, according to Adobe. Mobile shopping has also spiked this year, according to Adobe, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 US online retailers. Sales from smartphones have topped $23B, and it's the first holiday season ever with more than half of retail site visits coming from mobile devices. Adobe also found that one-fifth of American shoppers plan to do more than 75% of their online holiday shopping at e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay. (Read Article: CNET, 12/7/18)

Digital Readiness Named Top Risk Concern for Businesses in 2019

Moving into 2019, business leaders are increasingly concerned about their organizations' abilities to keep up with those that were "born digital," according to research from the 2019 Executive Perspectives on Top Risks survey by Protiviti and the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management's Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative. Companies that aren't digital natives fear they will not be able to successfully transform operations and infrastructure in a way that is competitive with more digitally-savvy companies, the report found. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 12/6/18)

The "Biggest, Baddest," Billion-Dollar Tech Deals in 2018

Enterprise technology saw eight multibillion-dollar acquisitions take place in the last 12 months, running the gamut from $1.7 billion to a whopping $34 billion. Many businesses are moving from cloud-first to SaaS-first, and many of these major acquisitions are indicative of software's prominence. (Read Article: CIO Dive, 12/14/18)

2018 Tech Trends That Will Matter a Decade from Now

What technologies talked about today will actually matter in a decade? ZDNet looks at tech from 2018 that will matter, as well as a few that simply didn't make the cut. (Read Article: ZDNet, 12/10/18)

Searches for Cloud Computing Roles Increased 108% in Last 3 Years

In the past three years, job searches on Indeed for roles related to cloud computing—including cloud infrastructure, cloud security, cloud architect, and cloud engineer—rose nearly 108%, the report found. Employer interest for candidates with cloud computing skills rose 33%. But even with high job seeker interest in these roles, employer demand still outpaces the number of qualified candidates available, according to the report. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 12/6/18)

Possible Cryptocurrency Turnaround: New Bitcoin Initiatives + Ohio's Move

The state of Ohio is now accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for tax bills. TechRepublic spoke with the State Treasurer about the initiative as well as a Gartner analyst about the future of bitcoin. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 12/7/18)

Marriott Hacking Exposes Data of Up to 500 Million Guests

Marriott International recently revealed that hackers had breached its Starwood reservation system and had stolen the personal data of up to 500 million guests. The assault started as far back as 2014 and is one of the largest known thefts of personal records, second only to a 2013 breach of Yahoo that affected three billion user accounts, and larger than a 2017 episode involving the credit bureau Equifax. The intrusion was a reminder that after years of headline-grabbing attacks, the computer networks of big companies are still vulnerable. (Read Article: New York Times, 11/30/18)

Dreamscape Launches First VR Venue at Westfield Century City

Los Angeles-based Dreamscape Immersive, which develops live, in-person virtual reality venues, chose Westfield Century City for its first location and is taking reservations for its [25-minute] adventures, which began on December 14. Ticket price is $20. (Read Article: socaltech, 12/3/18) However, IMAX is shutting down all of its VR theater locations, including its flagship L.A. locale, the company said in a recent regulatory filing. (Read Article: socaltech, 12/13/18)

Verizon Plans Samsung 5G Phone with Qualcomm Modem for First Half of 2019

Just days after helping three cellular carriers initiate 5G service in South Korea, Samsung made an interesting announcement in partnership with U.S. carrier Verizon: The companies plan to release "one of the first commercial 5G smartphones" in the first half of 2019, apparently powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform, including its X50 5G modem. (Read Article: VentureBeat, 12/3/18)

Meanwhile, Apple Will Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release a 5G iPhone

Apple Inc. plans to hold off until at least 2020 before offering an iPhone that can connect to the next generation of high-speed phone services coming next year, according to people familiar with its plans. (Read Article: Bloomberg, 12/3/18)

Qualcomm's Also Setting Up $100 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Qualcomm Inc has set up a $100 million fund that will invest in startups working on artificial intelligence technologies, the U.S. chipmaker said. The new fund will focus on AI that will be used in autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms. (Read Article: Reuters, 11/28/18)

Tech Leaders Dominate Best CEOs in America List

The winners of Comparably's annual Best CEOs awards received the highest ratings by employees who provided anonymous ratings on their CEOs to Comparably.com. The award winners are segmented into two lists in rank order: Top 50 CEOs at large companies (500+ employees) and Top 50 CEOs at small/mid-size companies (500 employees or fewer) in the U.S. (Read: Comparably Blog, 12/11/18)

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