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The instant Vitals app- converting mobile phones to medical devices

The AI screening and risk management app safeguards people through detection of health risks by measuring key vital sign indicators. South African company, UC-Wireless (Pty) Ltd, has launched Instant Vitals, the world’s first smart mobile-based app that provides advanced healthcare risk wellness and Covid-19 screening for business staff, clients and personal users.  The app screens the early indicators for the health risk especially Covid-19 including oxygen saturation, heart rate and respiratory rate, using the mobile phone’s camera and Artificial Intelligence (AI) incorporated into the app, turning mobile devices into an easy-to-use clinical tool exhibiting an acceptable standard of medical device accuracy. The critical early warning signs of Covid-19, include a reduction in oxygen saturation (below 95%), and/or a high resting heart rate (above 100 beats per minute), or an increase in respiratory rate (above 20 breaths per minute) in a resting person. Many organizations like World Health Organisation (WHO), medical experts from across the globe, including Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, Jim Seffrin, an expert on infrared devices at the Infraspection Institute in New Jersey, and Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases inferred the ineffectiveness of the temperature screening as Asymptomatic patients don’t reveal symptoms and aren’t aware of an infection meaning a lot of cases are being missed at the screening points. Measuring temperature is still important; however, its ineffectiveness highlights the need for the advanced screening that Instant Vitals now presents together with its integrated QR Code mechanism to manage access to businesses and venues. The embedded AI was designed in collaboration with medical doctors, engineers, professors, and digital and tech experts. Within the first 20 – 50 seconds of processing the video which the AI detects from skin regions of the face, the vital signs are extracted.

The risk status of screened individuals is flagged as green (healthy), amber (caution; vital signs and/or symptoms are not normal but not high risk) or red (one or more vital signs and/or symptoms are indicating a risk which should be referred for medical attention or diagnosis). Those whose risk results are red or critical status should be referred for Covid-19 testing. The app can save lives by alerting individuals at risk when they screen to get to medical attention in time. Instant VitalsTM. Global adoption for the AI is in place with organizations, including Canada Health and NHS. This licensed technology meets the requirements of global accuracy regulations and applications for approvals from the FDA and CE are in progress. Further global adoption of Instant Vitals in Africa, APAC, Europe and North America is already well underway. 

Quentin Daffarn, managing director of UC-Wireless, says, “There are so many benefits for personal and multi-person entry screening using the Instant Vitals app. Because it detects key vital signs, which indicate risks as early as possible, it can minimise the risk of cross-infection, and consequences such as business downtime, loss of skills and sales. The benefits of business continuity through the general health and wellness monitoring tool for early detection minimizes compromised individuals from putting others at risk of infection when accessing public places. Peace of mind is a significant benefit with the easing of the lockdown restrictions across the world as more people to return back to work.

The app caters for mass QR code scanning by individuals who screened at home. It also enables screening for visitors and staff without phones at corporate offices, restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, public transport facilities, schools, universities, airports, industrial sites and mines, amongst others.”

“Instant Vitals can save lives through widespread screening and detect risks before it’s too late,” says Dr T L Legodi, professional consultant, clinical advisor and a partner of the development of the application. Two licence options (a personal app and business screening verifier app, including the dashboard) are available. The app will be accessed from the Apple iStore and Google Play store. The licenses will initially be available via resellers and partners of UC-Wireless across Africa and globally.

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AI role in customer experience in banking

The concept of banking first sprung up around 8000 BC. Then, there came various drastic changes to expand their services and innovate their business models. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are applied to help banks and financial institutions nowadays. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed that 77% of banking executives believe that the use of AI will ultimately differentiate between winning and losing banks.

This pandemic has triggered a sudden socioeconomic shift from physical to digital. There is a rapid switch to digital channels. Recent research by YouGov was conducted in June 2021. And that revealed that digital services have become the de facto way of conducting business and access services during the pandemic. EIU’s survey showed that enhancing the user experience through better personalisation ranked first in the most valuable uses of AI.

Customer propositions are no longer fit-for-all. It involves both banking and non-banking products and services. To identify the customers’ needs the banks must take an entirely new approach to innovation. They should adopt a customer-centric view. This starts with understanding the customer needs. AI makes it much easier to analyse customer preferences. The redesigning of customer loyalty program gives banks an accurate understanding of customer. Effective personalization offers customers not only better leads but also a more unique experience. The customer experience can be improved by applying AI. Banks must also build out their capabilities to strike new partnerships.

Businesses across all industries are working hard to retain their customers, including banks. AI can become a banking institutions’ superpower. This can take the customer experience to new heights, resulting in happier and more loyal customers. It will also reduce a bank’s operating costs and enable increased revenue per customer. To become AI First, banks must focus on streamlining their technology layer. They also require a strategy to engage customers through channels owned by them and their non-banking partners. Business and technology must work hand in hand, with cross-functional teams breaking up organisational silos.

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Amazon to offer insurance to UK businesses

The technology giant’s first foray into business insurance in the country, broker Superscript said that Amazon is going to start offering insurance to small and medium-sized UK business customers. Members of Amazon’s Business Prime program will be able to buy cover from superscript such as contents insurance, cyber insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Superscript spokesperson said that those would be underwritten by major UK insurers. A discount of 20% will be offered to current rates. This is to entice the businesses over to them.

50% of customers are prepared to buy insurance from non-traditional players. A recent survey of 12,000 people globally by consultants Capgemini showed this. Cameron Shearer, co-founder and CEO of Superscript, said in a statement that the insurance industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers. Amazon’s move into UK business insurance comes after U.S. insurtech Next Insurance said that it was offering cover to U.S. small businesses. And that too via Amazon Business Prime. Molly Dobson, Country Manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, said in the statement that as the businesses come out of the pandemic, they want customers to have the best-in-class tools to run their business.

Financial institutions are worried that tech firms will steal their business. But industry sources said that the insurers and tech firms are more likely to forge partnerships. Because of the given difficulties and expense for outsiders in entering the highly regulated finance sector. Amazon also offers warranty insurance and “buy now, pay later” services in Britain.

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In NFT fantasy soccer game, SoftBank leads funding

Blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare has raised $680 million. This is through a funding round, which is led by SoftBank. According to the company, it includes players such as ex-England international Rio Ferdinand and Spain’s Gerard Pique. Paris-based Sorare said that the investment valued the company at $4.3 billion. Sorare is an online game, since 2018. Here players buy officially licensed cards that represents soccer players. They can build teams and play against each other. This is based on the players’ performance in real-life games.

The cards are traded in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The market for NFTs has seen major growth in 2021. Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International, said that they think NFTs represent a new paradigm in the collectability, usability, and engagement with assets. This evolution from physical assets to digital assets is very powerful. This also creates a lot of exciting potential business models. NonFungible.com is a website that tracks NFT market data. According to them, Sorare is the largest sports-based NFT platform by sales volume. They are planning to open an office in the United States. So that they can expand into other games out of Sorare.

Nicolas Julia, CEO and co-founder of Sorare said that they saw the immense potential that blockchain and NFTs brought to unlock a new way for football clubs, footballers, and their fans to experience a deeper connection with each other. They believe that this is a huge opportunity to create the next sports entertainment giant. Since January 2021, there have been $150 million of sales on Sorare. The fundraising round was SoftBank’s first time investing in Sorare. SoftBank’s Latin America fund also contributed. Other investors in Sorare’s raise are such as venture capital firms Accel and Bessemer Ventures, Pique, Ferdinand, Antoine Griezmann and Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta.

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