DIGITAL HEALTH BRIEFING: Microsoft developing health chatbot platform – Lifespan aims to cut $182 million in costs with GE partnership – Hitachi working to reduce hospital readmissions

The tech giant is developing the platform as a part of its Healthcare NExT program and has partnered with Aurora Health Care to create the Aurora Digital Assistant, a new chatbot service that aims to demonstrate how digital assistants can benefit not only patients but healthcare providers and networks, too. Currently, the platform is being privately previewed to Microsoft’s new partners. Microsoft hopes the service will help make it easier for users to access medical info from their smartphones. Aurora patients can “text” the digital assistant in a conversational manner via an app,…

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Forgetting things but unaware of it? You may be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

Canadian researchers have found that although memory loss is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, it is those who are unaware of the problem that are more likely to go on to develop the condition. Carried out by researchers at Ontario’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the new study is believed to be the largest of its kind on illness awareness, looking at data on 1,062 people. Earlier research said that menopause could trigger Alzheimer’s, but a diet rich in antioxidants could help. Participants were aged 55 to 90,…

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The developing world’s health innovators

DHAKA – We live in an age of tragic health paradoxes. Mass immunization campaigns have eliminated entire diseases, but children in countries like Haiti and Bangladesh continue to die of easily treatable diseases caused by common pathogens. Globalization has lifted millions of people out of extreme poverty, but has left them exposed to the non-communicable diseases of the post-industrial age – from diabetes to heart disease – in countries that lack the resources to treat them. Underlying these paradoxes is yet another: the vast majority of health research is conducted…

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