Putin calls on Caspian littoral nations to focus on development of digital economy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on his counterparts from other Caspian littoral nations, namely Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan, to focus on the development of digital economy.

“Russia calls on the Caspian littoral states to focus on cooperation in the sphere of digital economy, to introduce information and communications technologies and electronic commerce, to digitalize foreign trade operations, the shipments and logistics sectors,” Putin said at the Caspian summit on Sunday.

He said he hopes an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the sphere of transport on the Caspian Sea will help develop a common integrated infrastructure.

“Transport links is a key factor for sustainable growth and close cooperation between our states,” he stressed, adding that Russia is implementing a strategy for the development of sea ports in the Caspian basin till 2030. Thus, it is planned to build a deep-water port near Caspiysk by 2025. The port will be capable of handling heavy-duty vessels with a payload of 15,000-25,000 tonnes.

source: www.tass.com

 

Facebook is shaking up its efforts to connect a billion new users to the internet

facebookThere’s changes afoot at Facebook’s wildly ambitious efforts to connect the so-called “next billion” internet users, who are expected to mostly come from emerging markets.

On Friday, the social networking firm revealed that it is bringing all its connectivity efforts together under one umbrella — called, aptly, Facebook Connectivity. It has also hired an executive from wireless firm Ruckus Networks to lead the program, Dan Rabinovitsj.

“Let’s get the next billion people on the internet!” his LinkedIn job description now reads.

The news was first reported by tech news site CNET, which spoke to Yael Maguire, the VP of engineering for Connectivity, about the shakeup.

“There’s no silver bullet for connecting the world,” Maguire told CNET. “There isn’t going to be a magic technology or business plan or single regulatory policy change that’s going to change this. We really believe that it is a wide and diverse set of efforts that’s required to do this.”

Facebook has long harbored ambitions of bringing internet to billions of people across the developing world for the first time — but it hasn’t always gone smoothly.

In June, the company announced it was ditching its plans to build its own giant drones that could beam down wireless internet after Business Insider reported on upheaval at the project. And Free Basics, a service to bring free internet services to people in the developing world, has often been criticized for the appearance of promoting Facebook’s own apps over those of competitors.

Several of Facebook’s existing programs will be rolled under the Connectivity banner, including:

  • Free Basics — a program to provide free access to select internet services to cellphone users in emerging markets.
  • Terragraph — a project to develop high-speed wireless internet for urban environments.
  • Telecom Infra Project — efforts to develop better telecommunications infrastructure, working with other telecom firms.
  • High-Altitude Connectivity — its efforts in the field of high-altitude aerial vehicles (including satellites) that can provide internet, which continue even after the closure of its drone program.

Facebook Connectivity’s website

source: https://www.mysanantonio.com

Blockchain technology summit brings digital economy to Laos

laOSGovernment officials from different sectors, business representatives, entrepreneurs and Lao and Chinese experts gathered in Vientiane recently to share experiences and exchange information on blockchain technology.

Participants also debated about trends in blockchain development for future digital business expansion in the region and around the world.

The Global Blockchain Application Conference Laos Summit was held on July 29 by the BST Elephant Chain in Laos, aiming to bring digital technology management investors together to discuss the development and growth of blockchain technology.

During the conference, experts from companies in Laos and China, notably LAEX, WOGC and the BST Group, gave presentations about the integrated digital information system and technology, with the Lao government represented by Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr Bounsavad Boupha.

The blockchain system is the technology integration programme of the future, which helps to generate income and benefit via digital currency and contribute to economic expansion through participatory investment, the meeting’s Chair, Mr Xiang Run, said during the opening of the summit.

The event also helped entrepreneurs boost their understanding and have more choice in using digital systems for their business operations in line with international trends, he said.

Laos can benefit greatly from using blockchain technology in business communications and making financial repayments faster, said Mr Xiang Run.

Blockchain technology has already begun to deploy applications around the world.

Different developed countries have realised that there is huge potential for the application of block chain technology in public service and social mechanism optimisation through the blockchain development path.

At the event, organisers presented prizes to outstanding employees as well as certificates and other awards and mobilised funding for the relief effort in Attapeu province.

source: www.nationmultimedia.com

Personalized Medicine: A Culmination Of Everything The Digital Economy Has To Offer

E-health-660x400When thought leaders lay out a vision of revolutionizing health care in the coming years, it’s usually a fusion of medicine and ground-breaking technology that calls to mind sophisticated AI robots performing noninvasive surgery with lasers to cure cancer in a matter of minutes.

Chances are that, sooner or later, that vision of the future of health care will be realized. But right now, in many more subtle and user-friendly ways, personalized medicine is already with us and changing the lives of ordinary people.

What Is Personalized Medicine?

In broad terms, it means that there is enough data and analytic ability to craft a health and medical strategy for an individual that is absolutely uniquely tailored to their body and their way of life.

By collecting data via biometrics and sensors, analyzing that data via AI and machine learning, and relying on immersive digital engagement via smart devices, people and patients have access to always-on, personalized health care solutions.

Most of the progress toward personalized medicine is being delivered in such small, incremental steps that it may not seem like much at the moment. But when an old lady in a small town can use Bluetooth to run a medical strap connected to her smartphone to read and deliver data to her doctor in a neighboring town, that is a game-changer that is revolutionizing health care. And when pregnant women in rural African countries receive notifications about what to expect in the coming days and weeks, the scale of change becomes obvious.

With technology’s pervasiveness in all of our lives, we are beginning to experience what it’s like to live with a mobile doctor on hand.

What’s Driving Innovation?

There are a number of factors driving the digital economy that have combined beautifully over the last decade to provide a perfect window of opportunity for changing the way we manage our health and treat illness.

Cloud computing, mobile technology, and big data have fundamentally changed how information is accessed and managed — and have allowed companies and research units to share vital data in real time and develop incredible breakthroughs. When you add another layer built from sophisticated sensors and the internet of things, then all things start to become possible. Measuring blood pressure, iron for anemia and glucose levels … even tracking food ingestion via mobile is on the brink of being utterly transformative.

It’s hard to overstate how profoundly the ways that we gather data, handle it and analyze the results will change the way medicine operates.

Dramatic change is all around us, and there are so many areas of excitement and intrigue presenting themselves. Technology such as IoT and biometric data, smart containers and dispensers that understand whether patients are following prescribed instructions are tilting the equation toward preventive care with dramatic implications.

Looking ahead, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the future of personalized medicine is being shaped by the advancements in data collection and diagnostics.

Three Areas Of Particular Interest Regarding Data Collection And Diagnostics

• DNA sequencing and the microbiome are the keys to data collection: The Human Genome Project has been one of humanity’s greatest achievements. By mapping and understanding all human genes, known as the genome, scientists laid the foundation for a genetic approach to medicine that is unlike anything the world has ever seen before. The cost of sequencing the genome has been reduced so dramatically that it’s conceivable to begin tailoring treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup. Closely related is the microbiome. This has an effect on human mood, development, metabolic disorders and gut health. Real-time microbiome analysis could one day give us the ability to instantly diagnose what our body needs and when it needs it.

• Nanotechnology will take data collection even further: The ways in which doctors deliver drugs to patients are about to change forever. In February of 2018, scientists discovered methods of using programmed DNA that could make it “fold itself like origami” in order to starve cancer cells of blood and reduce tumors in mice. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s coming true. Nanotech works alongside ingestible computers that can easily enter the system and monitor what is going on from inside the body. These breakthroughs represent a formidable new weapon in the fight against diseases that have brought people to their knees for centuries.

• Mobile and tricoders are the future of diagnostics: No single device will have a bigger impact on personalized medicine than the devices we carry on our bodies and in our hands. Using incredible computing power, seamless connectivity and sophisticated apps built to gather and transmit a user’s daily health data, mobile devices are at the forefront of preventative medical intervention. Alongside the mobile phone is a new generation of scanning devices called medical tricorders that record basic vital functions and can be used as self-diagnostic tools.

Where Do We Go From Here?

We are at the dawn of a new era, which feels exciting and daunting at the same time. But it’s good to remember that the personalized solutions that medical technology provides are only as good as the data they receive to work with. Is it conceivable that patients should be able to provide their entire DNA sequence to doctors? It is. But will the responsibility to deliver solid health data lie with the patient or external service providers? How is medical data securely stored and delivered?

All of these questions are being asked and debated as the information age begins its transformation of health care. The consequences for all of us will be profound and are set to reshape an industry that is at the core of humanity’s drive for a better quality of life, which is something worth fighting for.

source: www.forbes.com

 

Insurance business model continue to face three key challenges in today’s digital economy

5-WAYS-INSURANCE-COMPANIESDigital transformation enables insurers to take advantage of many new opportunities. But first, they must define their strategic priorities. That means reevaluating business models, processes, products and service.

There are three key challenges insurers should address along the way:

  1. They must better manage risk mitigation by evolving from a financial loss compensation focus to include physical risk prevention.
  2. They must face down disruptive competitors by enabling rapid solution development.
  3. They must manage the enormous amount of data generated by connected networks to develop and deliver leading-edge products and services.

The ability to address these challenges effectively will enable insurers to successfully compete in the digital economy.

Risk mitigation

Customer expectations have changed. Evolving customer demands coupled with technological advancements mean that insurers are expected to provide risk prevention in addition to crisis management. These benefits can be managed by technology that interacts with customers across multiple channels.

Essentially, technology is allowing insurers to move into a world in which risk is more tangible.

Keeping up with disruption

Nearly 80% of insurance company chief information officers expect technology to significantly change or transform both the industry and their organization in less than five years, according to Ovum. More than a third of insurance companies are already using or developing IoT projects; another 25% are actively evaluating IoT projects.

These new technologies increase the risk to some incumbent carriers that new entrants will cause business disruption. Startups may lack the deep actuarial and underwriting experience and capabilities of established carriers, but they have access to customers, IoT infrastructure or the ability to process data in real-time.

Deciphering data

As the volume of data grows, insurance companies must use solutions like AI and machine learning to process large amounts of data. The ability for insurers to adopt these types of platforms now can lead to better product and service agility. By using technology like AI and machine learning, insurers can deliver new products and services to customers while more effectively managing their existing portfolio. With a strong digital core, insurers can bundle products and services to deliver personalized offerings to specific customer segments and distribution channels.

The change afoot

The digital economy is still evolving. By aligning transformative actions across these three priority areas, businesses can more easily manage the transition in stages, creating a digital core and then extending digital functions across the enterprise. The reduced reliance on traditional risk-assessment and data-processing methods will provide insurance customers with a much more personalized experience via a multi-channel environment. These steps will reduce the possibility of business disruption and propel insurers to fresh success.

Insurance for the greater good

Many of today’s insurers are passionate about digital transformation and what it can do for business and for society.

Why? Because the industry is witnessing a steady shift from a centuries-old business model that has the potential to dramatically improve lives worldwide.

Rather than just compensating for financial loss, which insurers have done remarkably well, the industry is getting geared up to help people prevent loss, lead healthier lives, live longer and drive safer.

In short, digital transformation in the insurance business will potentially do more than any other industry to further society’s long-term well-being.

source and more: www.propertycasualty360.com

President Trump’s Indo–Pacific Economic Investment Initiative

Indo-Pacific_biogeographic_region_map-enUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has laid out a new vision for American economic engagement in the Indo–Pacific, announcing the rollout of a new US regional infrastructure initiative, which, while not explicitly targeting China’s growing economic power in the region, attempts to provide Indo–Pacific countries with US financial and technical alternatives to China. The funds may be modest, yet they remain important; the key question is whether the strategy will be sustained, and whether it will succeed in engaging other US allies as well.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced the launch of ‘America’s Indo–Pacific Economic Vision’, which will focus on digital economy, energy, and infrastructure investments to the tune of $113 million. While the initiative indicates that the US’s Indo–Pacific Strategy is gaining substance, more will need to be done to convince the region that the US is committed to sustained engagement and that Washington is determined to create a power balance that will allow countries to make the best choices for themselves.

 

The initiative encompasses three main project funding strands: $25 million to expand partner countries’ digital connectivity and US technology imports; $50 million to develop sustainable and secure energy markets across the Indo–Pacific; and $30 million to launch an Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network for infrastructure development in the region. It is a not a great deal of money, but it is a significant start and a symbolic gesture.

More: https://rusi.org