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ABL Technology Member News & Industry Trendletter * April 21, 2020
    In May, ABL will hold its Round Tables via ZOOM to ensure Social Distancing for our Members. See your Round Table invitation for participation instructions.

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Bots: From COVID's First Responder
to Hero Network
by Mimi Grant

COVID-19's been tough on first responders, globally. In early March, when the virus first crept into Denmark, calls to Copenhagen's Emergency Medical System doubled to 2,000 a day. To handle the overload, they opened a second call center to try to allay fears - and dispatch EMS ambulances, when necessary. Fortunately, it didn't take them long to realize they needed responses to FAQs, and a way to triage the patients who needed help, NOW.

A year earlier, Microsoft Azure had already developed a Healthcare Bot that blended AI with natural language processing to help organizations support virtual health assistant scenarios. So, working with Microsoft's Healthcare Bot Service team, Copenhagen installed its COVID-19 bot in mid-March, "responding" to 30,000 calls on its Day 1; soon after it was rolled-out nationwide.

Other countries using Microsoft's bot include . . . CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF BLOG.

[Photo Credit: New York Post]

BeSmartee Completes Integration with Insellerate

BeSmartee has partnered with Insellerate, a mortgage customer relationship management and engagement platform, to help lenders maximize loan originator productivity and close more loans than ever before. The direct integration offers lenders the ability to effortlessly maintain borrower experience continuity from within the BeSmartee Mortgage Point-of-Sale platform. Access to Insellerate's automated multi-channel engagement platform will allow for coordinated communications through social media, email, direct mail, text messages, ringless voicemail, and phone calls. Beyond creating a better borrower experience, BeSmartee's integration with Insellerate will enable lenders to maximize their prospect's conversions and build customers for life. (Veronica Nguyen, Orange County)

Cornerstone to Present Webinar on Learning with Purpose + Provides Content to Help Teachers Transition to Online Classrooms

On April 28, at 10 a.m. Pacific, Cornerstone will present a webinar - 4 Effective Strategies for Learning with Purpose - which will delve into how a sense of purpose in work will improve employee engagement and motivation, increase productivity, and improve organizational performance and business results over time. Even if you can't attend, register anyways and Cornerstone will send you a link to view the webinar on-demand. Meanwhile, Cornerstone and the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation have released free, expertly created training content to help K-12 teachers rapidly transition from a traditional classroom to an online learning model. It's available on Cornerstone Cares, a new resource for people to access free learning content on a variety of critical topics impacting the world right now. (Adam Miller, West Los Angeles)

DarioHealth Teams with Vitality Group & Endorsed by UK's ORCHA

DarioHealth Corp. has partnered with Vitality Group, a global health and wellness company, in which Vitality will integrate Dario's digital therapeutics for chronic conditions into its current wellness solution platform and co-market the Dario solution to Vitality's existing client base. Meanwhile, DarioHealth announced an endorsement from U.K.-based ORCHA, highlighting Dario's Diabetes Management Application as being suitable and safe for children and young people. ORCHA is part of NHS England's National Innovation Accelerator program and supports many NHS and local government organizations to drive the uptake of digital health among their populations. (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles)

Eckert & Ziegler Gets CE Approval for Innovative Irradiation Applicators Using 3D Printing

Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG has received CE approval for the world's first applicators manufactured by 3D printing and designed for the treatment of gynecological tumors. Made of biocompatible and sterile plastic, the attachments extend the range of applications of conventional applicators. They are now also suitable for targeted, needle-assisted brachytherapy using high-dose-rate afterloading and can significantly increase the three-year survival rate of cancer patients. (Frank Yeager, Monrovia)

FayeBSG Updates Sugar Messaging with Text + Offers Remote Working Tips

Faye Business Systems Group recently announced version 2.0 of Sugar Messaging, a leading CRM text messaging app, which allows Sugar users to send and receive SMS and MMS texts with the Sugar platform. FayeBSG enhanced Sugar with texting capabilities by connecting it with Ytel, a leading platform for SMS, voice, email, and direct mail. Meanwhile, FayeBSG's recent blog offers Five Tips for Staying Productive While Working Remotely, which discusses these topics: stay away from the couch; create table activities for kids; don't forget to communicate; break down silos; and lean into technology. (David Faye, Monrovia)

Get Visible Offers Significant Cost Savings on Masks & Sanitizers + Website Development

ABL Members can significantly reduce their costs on masks and sanitizers by aggregating orders with Jason Ciment, CEO of Get Visible, whose agency manages NextDayScience.com, a supplier of consumables to labs and healthcare companies. Visit nextdayscience.com/blog/masks-sanitizer.htm and contact Jason directly at jason@getvisible.com. Also, Jason asks: "Are you interested in working consistently with a Wordpress specialist overseas? We have been working with three different developers for over five years. The cost savings will be significant compared to paying a US developer. If you are interested, please email me." (Jason Ciment, West Los Angeles)

Mentor Offers Free On-Demand Training & Webinars

Mentor has announced that, for the period of the COVID-19 impact, it will offer free access to its On-Demand Training site, with how-to and tutorial content. And, the Siemens Digital Industries Software Response to COVID-19 special resources webpage provides additional material, including access to a free Special Mentor analog mixed-signal verification webinar series, running from late April through July. (Greg Lebsack, West Los Angeles)

myKaarma Launches No Cost Pickup & Delivery During COVID-19 Pandemic

myKaarma recently announced that its Pickup & Delivery Solution is now offered at no cost to all U.S. and Canadian franchised dealerships until at least the end of May 2020. This Service@Home feature enables the dealership to continue to do business with vehicle owners while allowing them to remain at home. It makes the entire process hands-free with no contact for both vehicle owners and dealer employees alike. In addition, myKaarma will provide no-cost remote training to the dealership through video and phone interactions. (Ujj Nath, West Los Angeles )

Parasoft Wins 2020 VDC Research Embeddy Award for AI & ML Innovation

Parasoft received the VDC Research Embedded Award for 2020, for its unified development testing solution for safety and security of embedded C and C++ applications, which was honored for its innovative new approach that expedites the adoption of software code analysis, increasing developer productivity and simplifying compliance with industry standards. Parasoft's latest innovation applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to the process of reviewing static analysis findings. Also, Parasoft was named a 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice for Software Test Automation, based on feedback from real users. (Elizabeth Kolawa, Ph.D., Monrovia)

PCIHIPAA Offers Cyber Security & Compliance Program for 90-Days-Free

PCIHIPAA is currently offering 90-days free of its OfficeSafe Cyber Security & Compliance Program, along with three free tools - a network security scan and risk assessment, certified HIPAA officer training, and telehealth and remote work guidance. Also, download PCIHIPPA's free report, 10 Steps to "Practical" HIPAA Compliance. (Jeff Broudy, West Los Angeles)

ProProfs Acquires Survey Software Provider Qualaroo

ProProfs, a leading provider of SaaS products, recently acquired Qualaroo, whose software helps companies with conversion rate optimization and user feedback using in-context surveys. Qualaroo makes it possible to intelligently target interactions by time on page, pages visited, number of site visits, referring source, or any internal data. Qualaroo fits nicely into ProProfs' suite of customer support software and survey tools. The proprietary Qualaroo Nudge technology can be used on websites, mobile sites, and in-app to ask just the right questions at the right time, without being intrusive. It's based on years of research, key findings, and optimizations. The lightweight code can be installed once, doesn't require any additional coding, and never slows the site down. (Sameer Bhatia, West Los Angeles)

The Joy Factory Provides its HIMSS20 Virtual Tour

In this video - The Joy Factory HIMSS20 Virtual Tour - Discover Health-Grade Tablet, Case & Mounting Solutions – The Joy Factory shows and describes its line of device cases that are compatible with the most commonly used sanitization products, and are also made with The Joy Factory's antimicrobial solutions, which are IP68 certified (impervious to dust and water). In the virtual tour, The Joy Factory also talks about its line of kiosks that enable self-service patient check-in/out and data collection, as well as its patient language interpretation solutions. (Sampson Yang, Orange County, & Miranda Su, Monrovia)

Dave Berkus on: COVID-19 Response & Cash Control

In Three questions to answer about your COVID response, Dave discusses these urgent questions: Do you have 12 to 18 months of cash to cover your burn rate now and as you recover? What are you doing today to modify behavior during this crisis? What is the plan for after it's all over? For instance, how about a marketing and sales blitz at just the right time to overwhelm your surviving competitors, look larger than life to your largest competition, and restart sales faster and perhaps at a greater clip than ever? Your competitors will most likely be conservative at just that moment and be timid in their approach to spending lots for marketing and sales. And, in Cash control during these strange times, Dave asks: Have you considered how to make your operation more efficient as an important way to increase cash flow? Most of us are quick to worry over cutting costs. Some of us worry over how to greatly increase revenues. Few of us worry over how to squeeze more efficiency out of the development cycle or from the organization itself. (Dave Berkus, Monrovia & West Los Angeles)

Electrosonic on: Remote Working Efficiency & AV Solutions

In Effectively Utilizing Video Collaboration to Boost Remote Work Efficiency, Electrosonic provides its Guide to Working From Home, which includes how to set up your work-from-home environment along with appropriate video conferencing etiquette. And, in Providing Needed Audiovisual Solutions for Vital and Emergency Services, Electrosonic declares that the ability to seamlessly collaborate is crucial in times when the ability to achieve accuracy and timeliness can ultimately save lives. A well-designed command central environment often fits the bill; prime examples exist within oil, gas and energy sectors, and their best practices can easily transfer to such markets as healthcare and emergency services. (Bryan Hinckley, Monrovia)

LookinLA on: Digital Marketing Strategies to Thrive in a Pandemic

LookinLA is providing a free ebook - 8 Digital Marketing Essentials to Grow Your Business, which promises to help you learn how to adapt in a changing world. And, in 5 Powerful Digital Marketing Strategies to Thrive in a Pandemic, LookinLA discusses reassessing your marketing budget; focusing on marketing to current customers; adapting to customers' needs; generating new revenue streams; and stepping up your social media marketing game. LookinLA acknowledges that this is a challenging time for businesses, but urges you to give yourself a little space to feel excited about your own potential for growth - remember that all the hard work you put into "getting by" will translate into new skills that allow you to excel in the long term. (Ali Payani, Monrovia)

Pegasus One on: Implementing a Telehealth System in 2 Weeks

In Implement a Telehealth System in Just Two Weeks, Pegasus One describes how it can create and install a fully functional telehealth system within two weeks, with all the components and functions of an enterprise-grade system, at a much lower price. Pegasus One adopts a plug-and-play strategy, integrating proven off-the-shelf solutions, that can be quickly customized to its clients' needs, delivering a final product that's well built and easy to use. (Tushar Puri, Orange County )

PeopleG2 on: Tips for Remote Working & Hiring

Recent blog and vlog posts from PeopleG2 and CEO Chris Dyer include:
> Reactance Theory: Why do people do the opposite of what we want?
> 3 Tips for Newly Remote Managers.
> How is Employee Hiring Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic?
> 5 Secrets for Thriving as a Remote Team; and
> Keys to a Successful Virtual Workplace for Decision magazine.
Also, Chris and Kim Shepherd recently announced that Kogan Page has secured the rights to their next book, on "remote work: the how-to guide for the modern workplace," expected to be published in 2021. Chris and Kim will share their incredible stories of taking top companies remote. (Chris Dyer, Monrovia)

Welcome New Members!

>>> Eliott Jones is Co-Founder and CEO of Biospectal SA, a diagnostic biosensing company using optical technologies in IoT and edge computing. Starting with blood pressure and hypertension management, the company is on a mission to make medical grade biosensing accessible, actionable, and meaningful through connected smart devices. Biospectal has developed instant, ubiquitous, and accurate blood pressure monitoring and management simply by placing your finger on the camera of your smartphone. Biospectal's cuffless optical blood pressure solution was awarded MassChallenge Switzerland's 2018 Gold Prize from a field of 1,000 applicants and many talented cohort participants. Eliott has led Biospectal SA since 2017, and is also currently President + Creative Director of Inflektiv, since 2013, an experience strategy and design consultancy with services encompassing strategic planning and execution for digital products, design methods-driven ideation and innovation process, and user-centered research. Eliott's career background includes being VP of UX Innovation at Rambus; Senior Director of Product Design at RingCentral; Senior Director, Design at Yahoo!; Director of Marketing at DreamFactory Software; Senior Manager, Web Channel Marketing, at Intuit; and President of Jones Digital Media. Eliott has joined the Silicon Valley Healthcare Round Table.

>>> Arpit Khemka is Co-Founder and CEO of SimpleTherapy, a digital healthcare platform that combines physical therapy with artificial intelligence to create a musculoskeletal (MSK) pain recovery program that can be used at home for a fraction of the cost. SimpleTherapy works with health plans and employers of all sizes to provide head-to-toe pain recovery and prevention, accessible 24/7, with no copays and without the need for expensive equipment. SimpleTherapy has 20,000+ users across the world, of which 72% report a significant reduction in pain. Its solution has been validated by three national payers and was shown to decrease the MSK spend by 18% in just year one. Further, SimpleTherapy's solution has a significant impact on opioid usage, getting 39% of opioid dependents completely off of opioids in year one. By Implementing SimpleTherapy, organizations realize a 3:1 ROI. Arpit has been in technology his entire career, most of which have been spent building AI- and algorithm-driven decision-making systems for public and private sector companies. He co-founded SimpleTherapy with two surgeons in 2011, and has served as its CEO since 2017. Previously, he was Senior Consultant and Lead Systems Architect at CGI, in New York, where he digitized the incarceration process for the NYC Department of Corrections Jail Management System, and resolved critical issues impeding the Massachusetts Health Exchange. Arpit has also joined the Silicon Valley Healthcare Round Table.

Blue Shield of California Offers Digital Hospital Triage Tool

Blue Shield of California is offering its network hospitals a new digital tool - the COVID-19 Screener and Emergency Response Assistant (COVID-19 SERA), which patients can access via Internet-connected smartphone, tablet, or computer on a participating hospital's website. It can be customized for each health system's emergency response plan, and is updated in real-time with latest guidelines from the CDC and WHO. Patients will answer a few basic questions, and based on their reply, would be directed to the appropriate medical settings for their health situation. The COVID-19 SERA service can be implemented on a hospital's website within 48 hours. (Greg Buchert, MD, Orange County Healthcare)

Elemeno's Digital App Utilized by UCSF & Sonoma Valley Emergency Departments

In Keeping Patients and Frontline Medical Staff Safe in SF Bay Area, Elemeno Health describes how Sonoma Valley Hospital recently went live with Elemeno's digital app in less than 12 hours, following UCSF's lead. ED staff are using the Elemeno app to quickly access coronavirus information on: screening safely and preventing the spread of infection; managing patients with potential COVID-19 infections; quickly reporting suspected cases to health agencies; protective gear requirements; how-to videos (eg, how to put on and take off protective gear); how to protect other patients and staff and alleviate anxiety; shared UCSF COVID-19 practices; selected CDC and regional resources; and more. (Arup Roy-Burman, MD, Bay Area Healthcare)

LigoLab Launches Interface & Workflow Support for High-Volume COVID-19 Testing in Clinical Labs Nationwide

LigoLab Information System is providing fully integrated and automated LIS support for client laboratories in California, Washington, and New York that are using FDA-approved instruments to perform high-volume COVID-19 tests. LigoLab LIS & RCM Operating Platform has successfully integrated with instruments from Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, QIAGEN, Bio-Rad, and Hologic. LigoLab completed its system enhancements and validation for COVID-19 testing just days after the FDA started approving the instruments, and has already deployed the solution in multiple high-volume labs. CEO Suren Avunjian said LigoLab will deploy its LIS capabilities at no cost for any laboratory that will perform the COVID-19 test to help increase turn-around times and patient safety. Additionally, patients will soon be able to order the COVID-19 test online through a LigoLab partnership with TestDirectly.com, a digital health company that specializes in direct-to-consumer clinical testing. Meanwhile, Suren has been invited to join a coalition called StaySafe, fighting COVID-19 on a national scale. (Suren Avunjian, Los Angeles Healthcare)

SimpleTherapy Offers Free, Unlimited Access to Digital Musculoskeletal Program

As social distancing has become the current norm, people with a musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder may find that access to in-person physical therapy is challenging and, in many cases, not possible. As such, SimpleTherapy has taken action to ensure that everyone has access to quality, evidence-based exercise therapy regimens to manage their MSK condition from the comfort of their home. Through July 1, 2020, SimpleTherapy is providing unlimited access to their digital musculoskeletal program for your employees at no cost and without any obligation. More information. (Arpit Khemka, Silicon Valley Healthcare)

Google Cloud, IBM, Rolls Royce, Others Partner to Model COVID-19 Economic Recovery, Return to Work

Rolls Royce and a bevy of data science players including IBM, Google Cloud, Truata, and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics have formed a group to collaborate on modeling the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The group, called Emer2gent, brings together multiple analytics technologies and experts to figure out ways to support business and government efforts to recover. From a data perspective, Emer2gent will combine economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behavior and sentiment data. The combination of data is critical to modeling economic recovery since consumer behavior may influence how fast a rebound occurs. The goal is to create models to get people back to work and identify leading indicators. These indicators would ideally influence business and government investments and actions. (Read Article: ZDNet, 4/16/20)

FCC Announces Covid-19 Telehealth Program Application Portal; Providing $200 Million in Funding

The FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide $200 million in funding, appropriated by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Applications, as well as guidance and FAQs about the program, are now available through the dedicated application portal at www.fcc.gov/covid-19-telehealth-program.

COBOL Programmers are In Demand to Fight Pandemic

The spike in unemployment has brought unprecedented traffic to state systems, many of which are based on COBOL (common business oriented language), a programming language built in the 1950s that has largely been phased out of modern computer science curriculum. More than half of the states in the US, including California, New York, and Pennsylvania, still rely on COBOL. As a result, COBOL programmers are now in growing demand. (Read Articles: TechRepublic, 4/10/20; CIO Dive, 4/13/20) And, response has been overwhelming to the call by states for COBOL programmers for help keeping unemployment systems functioning. Nearly 1,300 people have stepped forward to either volunteer or work for hire, according to the Linux Foundation, which has partnered with IBM on initiatives to teach the 60-year-old COBOL programming language to coders. The foundation and IBM have rolled out a free training course and a forum where people with knowledge of the language can be matched with organizations that need help maintaining their critical systems. (Read Article: TechRepublic, 4/17/20)

Researchers Aim to Use AI to Judge People's Coughs

Some researchers are betting that smartphones can be trained to detect whether we are infected with the new coronavirus - just by listening. Several teams of artificial-intelligence researchers are working toward systems that could help spot the disease through people's breathing, coughing and speech. They are collecting thousands of sound samples from people who have contracted Covid-19 on the hope that the signature respiratory problems that make the infections so dangerous could also help unlock the way to a faster diagnosis. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 4/16/20)

Stanford, Fitbit Join Forces to Predict Viral Infections with Wearables

Stanford Medicine has announced that its researchers are working on an algorithmic model for detecting if a person is sick using data collected from wearables. It has partnered with Fitbit and other tech and academic partners on the effort, and is now looking for participants to help refine the diagnostic tool. As a partner, Google-owned Fitbit will be informing users of the ability to participate in the research. It's also giving the researchers 1,000 smartwatches. The idea is that smartwatches or other wearable sensors may have the ability to detect symptoms that indicate a viral infection before a person notices it themselves - such as higher skin temperature, elevated heart rate, and more. (Read Article: Mashable, 4/14/20)

Apple & Google Team to Track Spread of Coronavirus Using iPhone & Android Apps

Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google recently announced that they will work together to create contact tracing technology that aims to slow the spread of the coronavirus by allowing users to opt into logging other phones they have been near. The rare collaboration between the two companies, whose operating systems power 99% of the world's smartphones, could accelerate usage of apps that aim to get potentially infected individuals into testing or quarantine more quickly and reliably than existing systems in much of the world. Such tracing will play a vital role in managing the virus once lockdown orders end, health experts say. To be effective, the system would require millions of people to opt in the system, trusting the technology companies' safeguards, as well as smooth oversight by public health systems. (Read Article: Reuters, 4/10/20)

Verily's COVID-19 Website Offering California Residents Access to Risk Screening & Testing

Alphabet's Verily has launched a website where California residents can complete a short survey regarding their current condition and, if they meet certain criteria, could be referred to a nearby mobile COVID-19 testing site. The program is intended to expand access to COVID-19 risk screening and testing and is not intended for people experiencing severe symptoms. From the website: "If you are interested in getting tested for COVID-19 to help protect yourself or other people, choose Get Started. Based on the responses and testing appointment availability, you will learn whether you can get tested through this program . . . In California, it's currently offering free testing for COVID-19 in: Lake Elsinore, Long Beach, Sacramento, Salida, San Jose, San Mateo, Sherman Oaks, and Stockton." (Project Baseline by Verily)

New Platform Seeks to Help Link Patients with Coronavirus Clinical Trials

A new public health tool, dubbed World Without COVID, has launched with the goal of connecting patients to coronavirus clinical trials across the country. The new product is aimed at helping propel clinical research and treatment surrounding the virus. On the new platform, patients can sign up and enter information about whether they are fully healthy, recovered from coronavirus, or currently have the virus. Next, the tool walks volunteers through a questionnaire. Patients are then presented with clinical trials that best match them based on condition, trial location, phase of the study and other factors. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 4/14/20)

Digital Health Companies Optimistic on COVID-19's Long-Term Business Impact

The coronavirus pandemic is causing upheavals in healthcare delivery in every corner of the world, but those hailing from digital health firms are more optimistic than others within the industry that these changes will ultimately benefit their long-term business, according to a recent survey and white paper released by Research2Guidance. 51% of respondents were from digital health companies, with the rest representing organizations such as research institutions and universities (11%), healthcare providers (9%), pharmas (8%), accelerators and venture funds (5%), and other groups. (Read Article: mobihealthnews, 4/15/20)

Study: FCC Spectrum Moves Would Add $183 Billion to Economy

The FCC's plans to open up the 6 GHz and 5.9 GHz bands for unlicensed WiFi would add at least $183.44 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years. That is according to a new study released and funded by WiFi Forward, whose members include cable broadband providers and computer and tech companies. Both FCC spectrum efforts are part of the larger push for more spectrum for 5G wireless broadband. The study finds that sharing those bands between licensed and unlicensed users would add $106 billion to the GDP by increasing broadband speeds and thus accelerating the Internet of Things and the augmented reality/ virtual reality market. It predicts another $8 billion in "consumer surplus" thanks to broadband speed increases. Another $69 billion would come in savings on enterprise wireless traffic and sales of WiFi and AR/VR equipment. (Read Articles: Multichannel News, 4/13/20)


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