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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Trump’s Education Budget Takes Aim at the Working Class

Many of the spending goals outlined in Donald Trump’s proposed education budget reflect his campaign rhetoric. The president, who has long called for reducing the federal government’s role in schools and universities, wants to cut the Education Department’s funding by $9.2 billion, or 13.6 percent of the budget approved by Congress last month. The few areas that would see a boost pertain to school choice, an idea that Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have repeatedly touted as a top priority. In the White House’s spending proposal, hundreds of millions…

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GOP health care working group runs into early obstacles

(CNN)Republican senators are grappling this week with how they can find consensus between their moderate and conservative factions on health care while still managing to get the 50 votes they need to gut the Affordable Care Act. It’s tough math and although it is early in the process, so far the GOP’s health care working group — a collection of 13 GOP senators — has already encountered some of the same hurdles that hindered the House’s efforts, which struggled for weeks to collect enough votes to pass. After last week’s…

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