Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Dataform, a U.K. company started by ex-Googlers that wants to make it easier for businesses to manage their data warehouses, has picked up $ 2 million in funding. Leading the round is LocalGlobe, with participation from a number of unnamed angel investors. The startup is also an alumni of Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator and graduated in late 2018.

Founded by former Google employees Lewis Hemens and Guillaume-Henri Huon, Dataform has set out to help data-rich companies draw insights from the data stored in their data warehouses. Mining data for insights and business intelligence typically requires a team of data engineers and analysts. Dataform wants to simply this task and in turn make it faster and cheaper for organisations to take full advantage of their data assets.

“Businesses are generating more and more data that they are now centralising into cloud data warehouses like Google BigQuery, AWS Redshift or Snowflake. [However,] to exploit this data, such as conducting analytics or using BI tools, they need to convert the vast amount of raw data into a list of clean, reliable and up-to-date datasets,” explains Dataform co-founder Guillaume-Henri Huon. .

“Data teams don’t have the right tools to manage data in the warehouse efficiently. As a result, they have to spend most of their time building custom infrastructure and making sure their data pipelines work”.

Huon says Dataform solves this by offering a complete toolkit to manage data in data warehouses. Data teams can build new datasets and set them to update automatically every day, or more frequently. The entire process is managed via a single interface and setting up a new dataset is said to take as little as 5 minutes. “On top of this, we have an open source framework that helps managing data using engineering best practices, including reusable functions, testing and dependency management.

Meanwhile, Dataform says the seed funding will help the company continue to grow both its sales and engineering teams. It will also be used to further develop its product. The startup generates revenue based on a classic SaaS model: typically charging per number of users.


TechCrunch

Silicon Valley is obsessed with growth. And for digital health startups, that obsession is not only misguided, but dangerous.

The prevailing idea in the tech industry is that to succeed, you have to be ready to sell your idea, no matter how far along your idea really is. You’re encouraged to believe in your product even when there is no product to believe in.

And if you’re disrupting the mattress industry or the eyewear sector, maybe that’s okay.

But digital health startups must be held to a different and higher standard. We touch people’s lives, often when they are at their most vulnerable.

The healthcare startups in the news recently — Theranos, uBiome, Nurx, eClinicalWorks, Practice Fusion — seem to have lost sight of that crucial standard. We’ll never know every detail of what happened in these organizations, but one thing seems clear: In the pursuit of growth, they have put the patient second, and suffered as a result.

Where we went wrong

In the early days of digital health, I think we were much more focused on the patient than we are now. When I think of the early digital health companies — not just Propeller, but Omada Health, WellDoc, Ginger.io and Mango Health — all of their founders had an innate understanding of the importance of health outcomes. They craved proof that their product worked. They might have “faked it” a little bit when it came to their plans to scale — we all thought things would happen faster than they have — but when it came to research, they had answers, or a concrete plan to get answers.

My first conversation with Propeller’s co-founder and CEO, David Van Sickle, was illustrative of this. I met David at the geekiest of health conferences, Health Datapalooza. We talked about how sensors on medicines could improve people’s health. We talked about study designs and methods to generate data quickly in the real world, long before “real-world evidence” was all the buzz. We talked about a 500-person randomized controlled trial they were about to begin, immediately following FDA clearance of the system.

We talked — almost exclusively — about how Propeller could improve people’s lives, and how to prove that it worked.

So when did the digital health sector get away from that focus? And how do we get back to it?

I have a few theories on what went wrong.

First, it’s incredibly difficult to prioritize the patient as a digital health company when your investors are pushing for growth above all else. At Propeller, we were very lucky to have investors who understood our focus on making a product that worked, especially when growth was slow. Early digital health companies were funded like tech companies, with small amounts of money at a time and a need to show significant progress in 18-24 months to get the next round of funding. In contrast, life science companies are funded more heavily from the start, knowing there is a long road ahead of product development and clinical validation.

When I look at a company like uBiome, which may have rushed its tests through physician approval to meet aggressive growth targets, I see the effects of a culture and funding environment that pushes companies to deliver on growth first and foremost, no matter the tactics it takes to do so.

Product, then proof, then commercialization.

Second, we had a flood of founders and investors enter digital health from outside of healthcare.

I think digital health absolutely needs people, ideas and energy from outside the industry in order to change healthcare. But we also need everyone to learn the basics of how innovation occurs in a clinical setting: Product, then proof, then commercialization. Many of these new entrants were not just naive; they flaunted laws and “traditional healthcare” methods (and people) because they were deemed outdated and unnecessary.

They were aiming for disruption, not integration, and in doing so were ignoring the vast set of protections and people that have been put in place to ensure public safety.

The result is a glut of companies that have tried to scale growth before proving their product worked, which comes with tremendous risk. It can give patients and their physicians incorrect information leading to incorrect treatment. It can waste money on unneeded products. And it can impact the credibility of the entire digital health ecosystem.

Rebuilding a culture of outcomes

To fix this, we have to change the way we think about success in digital health, and that responsibility falls on many different parties.

The media has to be more critical of how it covers burgeoning digital health startups, prioritizing coverage of peer-reviewed research and proven outcomes over funding rounds and hiring numbers. The speaking circuit has to laud founders who can talk about how their products have changed people’s lives for the better, rather than giving the main speaking slot to the biggest exit of the year. And the investor community has to be patient with its investments, understanding that true growth in healthcare takes time.

And most of all, digital health startup founders have to be patient with themselves. I’ve been in the trenches of digital health; I know how hard it can be. But when things are tough and it’s easy to lose focus, you have to think to yourself, “Do I want to be in the headlines for astonishing growth now, and accusations of cutting corners in two years? Or am I okay with sacrificing temporary stardom for a product that actually helps people?”

This is not an easy choice to make. But if digital health is going to survive and scale, it’s one we have to make on a daily basis. Move slowly, and prove things: It’s the only way to create the kind of long-term change we’re seeking.


TechCrunch

Quip, maker of electric toothbrushes, is making use of its most recent acquisition to launch a dental insurance alternative to customers in New York City this summer. Called Quip Care, the service operates on the back of Afora, a dental insurance alternative startup Quip acquired last May.

With Quip Care, the goal is to modernize the dental care experience, Quip CEO Simon Enever told TechCrunch.

“People are used to being able to pick up their phone to book, pay for and track every aspect of their daily life,” Enever said. “We believe that seamlessness is something we can bring to dentistry.”

Additionally, the plan is to make prices more transparent so that people know exactly what they’ll pay before the treatment. There are two services as part of this launch: Quipcare and Quipcare+.

Basic Quipcare uses a pay-as-you-go model that enables you to find in-Quip network dentists, see pre-negotiated rates for non-preventative care upfront, pay for the care, accrue reward points and view dental records. Quip says Quipcare patients can expect prices of 30-40% less than the average dental care in their area. Enever said Quipcare can be an option for people without insurance or those with insurance who have already hit their annual maximum.

Quipcare+, on the other hand, is a preventative care plan that costs $ 25 per month. Quipcare+ includes two preventative check-ups annually as well as x-rays. This plan is more so geared toward people without dental insurance, though, Quipcare+ isn’t necessarily cheaper.

In San Francisco, I pay about $ 7 per month for dental insurance via my employer. But even if I didn’t go through my insurer, Covered California says I could get a comparable plan with covered preventive check-ups for $ 16.06 per month. What you’re essentially paying extra for are transparent pricing and the booking platform. Quipcare+ is similar to One Medical in that what you’re mostly paying for is convenience. One Medical is by no means cheaper than having regular insurance but the convenience they offer via app-based, same-day appointments and a plethora of locations can’t be beaten.

Quipcare is rolling out this summer in New York and plans to roll out more broadly next year. Thanks to the Afora acquisition, Quip already has hundreds of providers on board for Quipcare. And before launching Quipcare, Quip already had 40,000 providers on its Dental Connect platform.

“The key here is working with providers who are committed to making the finding, booking, paying experience as good as possible,” Enever said.

Quip began as a subscription-based electric toothbrush service that replaces toothpaste and brush heads, partly because you’re apparently supposed to change your toothbrush every three months. But Enever has said for years that Quip’s mission has always been to provide an end-to-end solution the makes preventative care simpler. Quipcare is just that.

To date, Quip has raised more than $ 60 million in funding from Sherpa Capital, TriplePoint Capital, NFP Ventures and others.


TechCrunch

SpaceX has been awarded a new contract by NASA to launch the agency’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE. This research spacecraft will study polarized light from sources including neutron stars, pulsar wind nebulae and supermassive black holes, and provide much more imaging than existing space-based observation resources.

The mission will help scientists in the study of magnetars (a specific type of neutron star with especially powerful magnetic fields), black holes and “Pulsar Wind Nebulae,” which are nebula that are found within the remains of supernova.

SpaceX will launch this IXPE mission aboard a flight-proven Falcon 9, and the total cost for the contract is around $ 50.3 million. The launch will take place in April 2021 per current plans, taking off from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“SpaceX is honored that NASA continues to place its trust in our proven launch vehicles to deliver important science payloads to orbit,” said SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell in a statement. “IXPE will serve as SpaceX’s sixth contracted mission under NASA’s LSP, two of which were successfully launched in 2016 and 2018, increasing the agency’s scientific observational capabilities.”

This is just one of a number of upcoming launches SpaceX is contracted to perform for NASA, including the commercial resupply missions it regularly performs for the International Space Station.


TechCrunch

The UK’s Information Commissioner is starting off the week with a GDPR bang: this morning, it announced that it has fined British Airways and its parent International Airlines Group (IAG) £183.39 million ($ 230 million) in connection with a data breach that took place last year that affected a whopping 500,000 customers browsing and booking tickets online. In an investigation, the ICO said that it found “that a variety of information was compromised by poor security arrangements at [BA], including log in, payment card, and travel booking details as well name and address information.”

The fine — 1.5% of BA’s total revenues for the year that ended December 31, 2018 — is the highest-ever that the ICO has levelled at a company over a data breach (previous “record holder” Facebook was fined a mere £500,000 last year by comparison).

And it is significant for another reason: it shows that data breaches can be not just just a public relations liability, destroying consumer trust in the organization, but a financial liability, too. IAG is currently seeing volatile trading in London, with shares down 1.5% at the moment.

In a statement to the market, the two leaders of IAG defended the company and said that its own investigations found that no evidence of fraudulent activity was found on accounts linked to the theft (although as you may know, data from breaches may not always be used in the place where it’s been stolen).

“We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding from the ICO,” said Alex Cruz, British Airways chairman and chief executive. “British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers’ data. We have found no evidence of fraud/fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused.”

Willie Walsh, International Airlines Group chief executive, added in his own comment that “British Airways will be making representations to the ICO in relation to the proposed fine. We intend to take all appropriate steps to defend the airline’s position vigorously, including making any necessary appeals.”

The degree to which companies are going to be held accountable for these kinds of breaches is going to be a lot more transparent going forward: the ICO’s announcement is part of a new directive to disclose the details of its fines and investigations to the public.

“People’s personal data is just that – personal,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham in a statement. “When an organisation fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft it is more than an inconvenience. That’s why the law is clear – when you are entrusted with personal data you must look after it. Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights.”

The ICO said in a statement this morning that the fine is related to infringements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect last year prior to the breach. More specifically, the incident involved malware on BA.com that diverted user traffic to a fraudulent site, where customer details were subsequently harvested by the malicious hackers.

BA notified the ICO of the incident in September, but the breach was believed to have first started in June. Since then, the ICO said that British Airways “has cooperated with the ICO investigation and has made improvements to its security arrangements since these events came to light.” But it should be pointed out that even before this breach, there were other examples of the company treating data protection lightly. (Now, it seems BA has learned its lesson the hard way.)

From the statement issued by IAG today, it sounds like BA will choose to try to appeal the fine and overall ruling.

While there are a lot of question marks over how the UK will interface with the rest of Europe over regulatory cases such as this one after it leaves the EU, for now it’s working in concert with the bigger group.

The ICO says it has been “lead supervisory authority on behalf of other EU Member State data protection authorities” in this case, liaising with other regulators in the process. This also means that these authorities where its residents were also affected by the breach will also have a chance to provide input on the ruling before it is completely final.


TechCrunch

Fish make up 16% of animal protein consumed globally, and demand is set to rise, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, largely thanks to rising disposable incomes.

But overfishing is hugely problematic – and it’s not sustainable to continue with the way things are. Fish populations are being decimated – including the Pacific bluefin tuna, which is now at four percent of its original size. Industrial fisheries are using large machinery to trawl oceans, which traps and kills many other animals, including whales and dolphins.

In China alone, where demand for seafood dwarfs any other country, demand is rapidly growing. This is partly due to the African Swine Fever outbreak hitting pig farms affecting pork, and causing people to turn to other sources of protein. In addition, the country’s huge long-distance fishing industry continues to expand, depleting fisheries and causing conflicts.

But most of the fish we eat will be farm-raised by 2030. Poorly managed fish farms can cause chemical contamination of water and promote bacteria and diseases that end up in wild ecosystems. Farmed salmon poses a huge risk to the environment when it mixes with wild populations, as this can disturb important ecosystems.

Fish is a hugely important source of protein as we face a growing population and the challenges of food insecurity. But supplying fish sustainably, without depleting natural resources and harming the aquatic environment, is a continuous challenge. Fish is contaminated with plastics, mercury and antibiotics. And fish farming isn’t doing much to tackle food insecurity, as it isn’t reaching the places where it’s most needed.

There is also a long and ongoing debate about fish welfare, and whether fish species are sentient and can feel pain when they’re fished and killed. But research is putting this debate to rest and showing that a number of species demonstrate having long-term memory, social bonding and parenting skills, use tools, learn traditions and cooperate with other species. Most experts agree that fish also have the ability to experience emotions, including pain and fear.

GettyImages 1140243144

IZMIR, TURKEY – APRIL 25 : An aerial view of fish farm, raising a new breed ‘Egeli’ fish, in Izmir’s Karaburun district, Turkey on April 25, 2019. ‘Egeli’ fish, cross breeding of sea bream and dentex, are expected to be put on sale in a year. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

But while fish farms in some countries must follow humane slaughter guidelines, there are no standards for wild fishing. And these guidelines are a far cry from their name. The traditional method for killing farmed fish is letting them asphyxiate in air or on ice, which is a prolonged and distressing processes, and is sometimes followed by a stun. The fish are often crowded into one small space, living in poor conditions and often starving. Overcrowded fish are more prone to disease, stress and aggression, which can cause them to lash out at each other and cause injuries. The pens can be a breeding ground for sea lice and disease, and parasites. And there are so man fish subject to this that we’ve lost count. Estimates suggest up to 120 billion farmed fish are slaughtered for food every year.

Although plant-based alternatives for red meat – like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger – and poultry – like The Imposter Burger – have been on the rise, when it comes to fish – we’ve fallen behind. Fish is as much a part of our diets as meat from land animals, so it only makes sense for there to be plant-based seafood options available for those who want to cut back on conventional products.

But the tide is starting to change, and we’re now seeing a promising focus on plant-based fish substitutes. Impossible Foods says plant-based fish alternatives are a ‘high priority’ for the start-up, while other companies are developing a number of fish products that are getting closer to mimicking the real thing. Good Catch offer plant-based tuna, Ocean Hugger Foods have developed a plant-based raw tuna, and New Wave Foods have come up with plant-based shrimp – while restaurants are starting to offer plant-based sushi.

There are also innovations with cell-based meat. Start-up Wild Type has developed lab-grown salmon by taking stem cells from salmon and grown them in lab conditions. The company is hoping to get its price down and start selling to consumers. Singapore-based Shiok Meats is developing cell-based crustaceans, including shrimp, crab and lobster, Blue Nalu is growing cell-based seafood and Finless Foods is focusing on growing bluefin tuna in the lab. The start-up says it was the first to produce a cell-based fish in 2017, and hopes to bring its fish to high-end restaurants this year. It also has the added benefit of being mercury-free.

There’s much work to be done around making fishing more humane and sustainable, but this must go alongside efforts to dampen demand. Plant- and cell-based meat companies continue to encourage and support those looking to reduce their red meat and poultry intake – and now there’s growing attention on doing the same for fish. We must make sure there are alternatives available to catch people who have woken up to the damage caused by our growing demand for fish.


TechCrunch

You wake up, and check your phone, and see a new condemnation. Some awful person has said something outrageously insulting. Something actually evil, if you think about it. Something that belittles, dehumanizes, and/or argues against the freedom and agency of a whole category of people.

You add your voice to the furious chorus in response. How can you not? These people may never understand how wrong they are, they’re too ignorant and wedded to their idiocy for that, but they need to know that they are opposed, and their opponents are legion.

We all know what you mean when you say ‘these people.’ The ones who voted for those awful faces on every news site and TV channel, the ones whose names alone cause you to clench with fury. The ones responsible for the awful, unforgivable things happening at the border. The ones responsible for the reports of violence in the streets.

If pushed you’d probably admit that only some of These People are genuinely evil. More than you could have imagined in your worst nightmares five years ago, but still, only some. Others may be prisoners of their upbringing, or their ignorance, or victims of their own hardships, lashing out wildly. But what they all seem to have in common is an incapacity for compassion.

It’s easy to distance yourself from Them. It’s hard not to. The overwhelming majority of the people with whom you actually interact are Us.

You know you should try to feel compassion for Them, as you should for everyone. Not sympathy. Sympathy is very different. But your religion, or your spirituality, or your morality, or simply your belief, teaches you compassion for all. But how can you hold compassion for people who seem incapable of compassion themselves? People who don’t condemn, who actually cheer, what’s happening at the border?

And so every online outrage leaches a little more compassion away, widens and deepens the abyss between Us and Them a little further. You know intellectually that many of these viral outrages stem from bots, programmed by trolls or worse, and each new one does not represent every member of … them.

But you can’t help but grow more certain with each new outrage, in your heart if not your head, that there is a Them. That there are no longer people with whom one can reasonably disagree. That there are now only Us, and Them.

You realize when you think about it that this makes it easier to give people who are notionally Us a pass when they too behave with a flagrant lack of compassion, or judge people’s whole lives by their worst moments, or prioritize the purity of the process they have decreed over any actual results accomplished.

You realize that the growing abyss between Us and Them makes both sides close ranks, makes it harder for people who are Them and yet who have uneasy, even horrified feelings about what’s happening at the border in their name, to at least speak against it. They should anyway. Of course they should. But people are weak. The easier something becomes, the more that people do it.

You understand, on some level, that the online divide is different from the awful things actually happening offline. That the latter matters, deeply, and the former … not so much. That the former distracts both sides from great systemic injustices which have learned to lie hidden in bland terminology, coolly steering clear of the outrage of Us versus Them.

But you slept poorly, you’re exhausted, and you already have so much to do, so many duties to attend to at your frustrating job, so many worries to keep at bay, once you get out of this bed. Maybe all that is because of those systemic injustices, but those are a rot, those are cancer, those are bone-deep, and the evils at the border are an open wound about which something must done immediately. They are responsible for those evils. They must be fought and stopped.

So you add your voice to the furious chorus. And you give more money to those fighting the real fight at the border, because you know that’s what’s actually important. And maybe before you roll out of bed you pause to wonder how much the great online divide represents reality, or how much it prefigures reality; whether They really have all lost their minds and their moral compasses.

And you can’t help but wonder: even if they haven’t, what can now be done?


TechCrunch

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