Walmart rebrands as a tech company, how Haven is redefining healthcare, and more.

1. Walmart rebrands as tech giant

Walmart isn’t just the world’s biggest retailer; it’s a tech company. That’s how Jeremy King, Walmart’s Chief Technology Officer, is rebranding the retail giant.

“One of the hardest parts [about my job is] people all have their own perceptions of Walmart,” King told CNBC. “For years now, I’ve wanted people to understand we are building a tech organization. I’ve got a machine learning team. We have some of the best apps in the world.”

Walmart’s latest tech advances include virtual reality headsets, machine learning robots and shelf-scanning robots.

2. Haven unites three corporate brands to redefine healthcare

Haven, the newly named joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase, plans on redefining healthcare. Atul Gawande, Haven’s CEO says he wants to “change the way people experience healthcare so that it is simpler, better, and lower cost.” He will start with the 1.2 million employees who work for Haven’s three parent companies.

Haven will use data and technology to drive its vision with help from Dana Gelb Safran, who will oversee analytics and quality improvement. Safran, formerly of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, is Haven’s Head of Measurement.

Haven officials say they plan on sharing their innovations and solutions with other companies in the future.

3. Cancer screening saves lives

In 2018, the American Cancer Society changed its colon cancer screening guidelines. The organization recommends beginning screening at age 45, not 50, for anyone with average risk. For Joy Ginsburg, the new guideline may have saved her life.

In a New York Times article, Ginsburg said her gastroenterologist told her she did not need a colonoscopy. But she insisted because of the new age recommendation. Her surgeon found a large precancerous polyp and had to remove it along with 40 percent of her colon.

“If I had waited until 50 to get screened, I would have had a very different story to tell,” Ginsburg told New York Times columnist Jane E. Brody. “Now I’m screaming from the rooftops for everyone to get screened. Having a colonoscopy is a lot easier than getting cancer.”

4. Fitbit and Solera battle type 2 diabetes

Fitbit and Solera Health want to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The wearable device company and the integrated health network have partnered to promote positive behavioral changes such as losing weight and exercising more.

Solera began its Fitbit partnership in 2017, offering wearables to network members who enrolled in community or digital diabetes prevention programs (DPP). Participants who redeemed a Fitbit were more active and lost more weight during the program than those who did not use one, found Solera.

“Our unique ability to connect individuals with the best-fit DPP to meet their needs and preferences, paired with Fitbit’s easy-to-use wearable devices, has the potential to significantly alter how populations approach chronic disease prevention and management,” said Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health.

5. Medical AI to experience explosive growth

Artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass $18 billion by 2025, found analysts with Big Market Research. The prediction represents an almost 50 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Researchers say deep learning and natural language processing will drive most of the growth.

“Natural language processing allows for the conversion of datasets into legible narratives understood by medical professionals and patients likewise, which further helps in analyzing sentiments for personal improvement,” the report states. “However, deep learning segment is poised to grow at the fastest CAGR of 51.1 percent, owing to its simplicity over other technologies and enhanced accuracy when trained with large amounts of data.”


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