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Blockchain technology may be able to increase trust, collaboration, traceability, and auditability in the healthtech sector

Blockchain offers a wide range of applications and functions in healthcare. By allowing the secure transfer of patient medical information, controlling the medication supply chain, and facilitating the secure transfer of patient medical records, ledger technology aids healthcare researchers in uncovering genetic code. Regulatory agencies that stand to benefit from requiring the use of blockchain technology to streamline medical device approvals and post-market surveillance are likely to urge medical device manufacturers to use it. During clinical trials, blockchain will speed up the acquisition and evaluation of patient data and device performance data. Blockchain might also help avoid data manipulation or falsification in clinical trials.

The usefulness of blockchain to enhance healthcare services:

Medical Research

Having a safe and centralised repository for clinical trials and patient outcomes for novel medicines might significantly improve patient care and outcomes. Clinical trial and outcome records on the blockchain are immutable and time-stamped, which might help eliminate result swapping, data spying, and unethical reporting, as well as fraud and inaccuracy. By sharing patient outcomes more widely, blockchains might help to mobilise new and creative research efforts (with patient consent). Furthermore, releasing patient data more widely (with patient agreement) would accelerate new and novel research projects, resulting in amazing collaboration between participants and researchers.

Product Development

The documentation used to assist the development of medical devices might be a combination of paper and electronic data. For example, the Device Master Record (DMR) and Design History File (DHF) include a range of documents, such as requirements, design plans, risk management, design testing, and design validation. As these papers transition from paper to electronic format, blockchain technology, which includes built-in traceability and electronic signature capabilities, can aid in their secure handling. One of the most challenging challenges in product development is clinical trial data management, which might be solved using blockchain. Data from clinical trials, for example.

Data Security

Between 2009 and 2023, there were about 176 million data breaches involving medical records. The blockchain’s secure properties can significantly boost the security of health data. Each person has a public identity or key, as well as a private key that may only be used when and for the time indicated. Furthermore, having hackers personally target each user to gain sensitive information would limit hacking. As a consequence, medical data may be provided with an immutable audit trail thanks to blockchain technology.

Drug Development and Supply Chain Integrity

Blockchain in healthcare might improve supply chain traceability and transparency by giving both the overall picture and minute details of every pharmaceutical transaction. Companies like IBM, Walmart, and UPS are already using blockchain technology to improve supply chain integrity. Patients might obtain real-time information on any drug from manufacture through arrival at a retail pharmacy if supply data is maintained in a blockchain. Whether it’s a patient’s health record or a medicine travelling through the supply chain, blockchains may convert the system from disjointed data fragments held by a single company to the life history of any resource.


Many medical device companies’ business models entail combining consumables and equipment usage. These consumables may be sold on a sliding price drop scale dependent on volume, which can be difficult to keep track of. Due to special arrangements with Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) or big healthcare providers, chargebacks or refunds for consumables may be feasible. Smart contracts and blockchain technology might be used to enable manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and other middlemen throughout the medical device value chain to automate, clear, and settle these transactions.

Case Management

Preventive Measures of Medical Equipment

Machines may communicate operational data with those in charge of regulating it using blockchain applications without jeopardising enforcement or privacy concerns. Patients who have been treated with the unit, types of treatments, and photos or other data can all be shared with the maintainers, but only for auditing, monitoring, and compliance. Depending on the system and its purpose, blockchain may potentially store essential service records.

Mobile Health Apps and Remote Monitoring

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How Financial Services Can Turn To Tech

Large companies are reexamining their operations to work toward more sustainable solutions in all aspects of their business. One critical way financial firms can make these sustainable changes company-wide is by reassessing the technology and digital solutions they use.

Financial firms are deeply involved with the broader global efforts to fight climate change. For example, more than 450 financial companies are members of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, which aims to align private money with UN Sustainable Development Goals to achieve more than a dozen critical social and environmental targets.

Generating ROI from sustainability

Beyond helping society, focusing on sustainability can bring savings to a firm and increase its appeal to consumers and other businesses looking to partner with sustainable firms. Companies no longer need to choose between sustainability and focusing on profitability — firms can combine these goals. The majority of public companies will include sustainability as a part of the ROI analysis by 2026, according to consulting firm Gartner Inc. That change indicates a shift toward viewing sustainability as a driver of returns, not just a source of risk management.

One way a firm can increase its sustainability is by reexamining the tech it uses. According to Ernst & Young, leadership should integrate technology more closely with their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities, including considering whether their existing technology infrastructure is sustainable. Firms should also invite technology leaders to participate in strategic conversations around ESG.

Customers express their desire to purchase products and services from companies with sustainable practices, but they may not feel financial firms are providing that to them. For example, though consumers are looking to work with sustainable retail banks, in a McKinsey survey, consumers didn’t rate any bank highly on their green credentials. So, there is an opportunity for firms to increase their green efforts and then educate consumers so they are aware of the progress.

Making sustainable choices in sourcing technology can also help financial firms cut costs. For example, Samsung Certified Re-Newed devices give businesses a like-new phone experience running on the Android operating system with a guaranteed warranty at a lower price. And Samsung ENERGY STAR® certified products help reduce firm energy usage.

What financial institutions can do to be more sustainable

There are many ways financial institutions can leverage technology to increase their sustainability. Here are just a few:

Replace cash with digital transactions. According to a study by Tufts University, digital transactions are generally better for the environment because they remove the environmental impact needed to manufacture and transport metal coins and paper money, including material inputs like cotton paper and ink. Digital transactions can also limit the need for ATMs, which must be powered by electricity 24 hours a day to dispense cash at a moment’s notice.

Turn to virtual cards instead of plastic debit and credit cards. So-called virtual cards, which can be used to make purchases online and through mobile phones, eliminate the need for a physical card. According to industry estimates, about 5 billion payment cards are manufactured each year. Most payment cards are manufactured using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), derived from oil, and ultimately end up in a landfill.

What’s next for the future of finance?

Samsung surveyed 1,000 finance professionals about the future of mobile tech. Here’s what they said. Download Now

Samsung’s commitment to sustainability

Beyond their own actions, financial firms can also partner with technology firms acting against climate change, such as Samsung. As part of our commitment to improving the future for people and the planet, here are some of the ways Samsung is reducing its footprint and those of our clients:

Investing in recycled paper and bio-based materials for products and packaging. Samsung products are made in part with a range of recycled plastics, bioplastics and sustainable materials. And we continue to reduce and replace plastic packaging in favor of recycled materials and sustainable paper.

Certified Re-Newed devices that reduce e-waste. Samsung Certified Re-Newed devices give businesses a like-new phone experience with a guaranteed warranty, all while saving the business money and reducing waste. All Samsung devices are powered by the open and flexible Android OS.

Using 100% renewable energy throughout U.S. facilities. All Samsung’s facilities in the United States, including its manufacturing and distribution sites, use renewable energy. We currently source 100% renewable energy from sources like Wind, Solar, Biomass, and Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

Increasing energy efficiency in our products to help save power and lower bills. We’re improving energy efficiency in our products to help corporations reduce power consumption, lower bills, and increase sustainability. That includes ENERGY STAR® certified products such as power-saving monitors, Galaxy Chromebooks and Galaxy Tab S8. This saves power and helps firms lower their carbon footprint.

Financial services firms have committed to sustainability but can’t get there alone. Technology product innovations can help drive ROI for firms while making a meaningful impact on our planet’s future.

For a complete overview of all Samsung technology solutions for the finance industry, please visit this page. Also, discover more ways Samsung is putting the planet first on our Sustainability page.

Just How Secure Are Blockchain Elections?

On March 7, 2023, voters in Sierra Leone participated in the first ever blockchain-based national election to determine who would replace Ernest Bai Koroma as President of the country. More than two-thirds of voting centers used the novel technology, making it the election that saw the most widespread use of blockchain in history. Technology evangelists around the world lauded the measure, saying that it introduced more transparency and security to the process, and the move has been celebrated as one of the most forward-thinking in the continent of Africa.

However, we must ask ourselves one question: Does simply using a blockchain to power the voting process really provide such a secure environment, or will the whole thing actually lead to the “complacency of convenience” that has so far managed to poison a large portion of the technology industry?

Looking at Other Use Cases

Taking a peek into blockchain technology, we can already see previous examples of it put to use. We’ll look at two examples: cryptocurrencies and land registrars.

In the cryptocurrency world we see the very birth of the blockchain, a principle that largely still governs the ecosystems of all the alternative stores of value created since Bitcoin first appeared in 2009. It was supposed to be an “unhackable” miracle of technology that couldn’t be modified no matter how much hackers tried. The corruption of a blockchain would theoretically require a quantity of computing power and resources the likes of which no group of hackers could realistically attain.

Since they made their debut, they popularized the notion that blockchains are safe ways to store information in a decentralized and immutable manner. Unfortunately, the applications surrounding the blockchains were not as secure.

The Mt. Gox incident in 2014 led to a massive theft of Bitcoin. And just when everyone thought the worst was over, Coincheck — another Japanese exchange — suffered an attack of a similar magnitude in 2023, losing about a half billion dollars in Bitcoin.

Hackers have even subverted the wallets of individuals, stealing their money with impunity. Theoretically, the Bitcoin blockchain itself may never have been hacked, but that doesn’t mean that the Bitcoin ecosystem was free of tampering.

Looking at land registrars, we can see good examples of blockchains being put to use in Ukraine, India, and the United Arab Emirates.

In all of these instances, the land registrars were moved to the blockchain in order to combat the corruption inherent in using paper-based systems. In this particular case, all of the systems running the blockchain are owned by the state.

The state is counting on the fact that land registrars around Ukraine won’t suddenly be interested in changing the record for one piece of property in Lviv. Even if the system would have imperfections and vulnerabilities, it works better than the previous paper system.

Voting Is a Completely Different Beast

Although we’ve seen that some state-oriented blockchain applications could certainly improve the quality of services that government agencies offer, it’s not a given that the technology can be implemented in the election process with the same level of success. The main reason behind this is there’s just too much at stake.

Political parties might wield more influence in certain districts than others, making people turn a blind eye to corruption regardless of what technological barriers are placed on them.

Think of it this way: while a blockchain itself is immutable (unless, of course, you make it mutable by meddling with the consensus, which is easy to do when more than half the systems are yours), the machines that send votes to the blockchain are still corruptible.

This isn’t to say that blockchain technology isn’t a useful tool in preventing electoral corruption; it just shouldn’t be the single solution that election committees rely on to do this.

While it does offer transparency and anonymity to some extent, a blockchain itself doesn’t control what happens to voting machines.

Maybe a specific candidate’s name would be shown in bold. Perhaps the machine would “erroneously” vote in your place. The same problems that have plagued electronic voting systems could still affect blockchain voting. In the end, it always matters most who (or what) counts the votes, not the technology inside the system.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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Tips To Enhance Your Privacy On Android

How to Enhance the Security / Privacy of your Android smartphone

Devices with Android 10 or higher, will be able to tweak the privacy through Google Account and Android settings. Other versions, will require the user to dig through the Settings app, fortunately, the search bar has been around for long enough.

1 – Turn Off Backup

Of course, by doing this you’ll be sacrificing some features made to ease the life. For instance, you won’t be a syncing number or SMS chats, therefore, they won’t be restored if you lose or break your handset. You’ll also lose custom devices settings including Wi-Fi passwords, and your photos and videos won’t be backed up.

There are still some solutions like ownCloud or other similar open-source solutions to keep your files in the “cloud”.

2 – Switch to third-party apps and services

You can switch Gmail to options such as Microsoft Outlook. Drive can be switched for Dropbox or Onedrive, The Keep app can be switched to Evernote. There are even options for Maps such as OsmAnd (OpenStreetMap) and Here WeGo (former Nokia Here, or Microsoft Here). You can even switch to open-source replacements.

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3 – Pick a Third-Party Browser

Another option involves switching Chrome and its tracking mechanisms to a third-party browser. There are options like Browser and Opera GX, as well as Firefox and Firefox Focus for those who want extra privacy. Alternatively, you can use Microsoft Edge, Samsung’s built-in browser, and Vivaldi.

Another option is to disable Syncing, but you’ll lose cross-platform synchronization. You can also disable Google’s native password tool, payment methods, and autofill options.

Another tip is to not unconditionally trust Incognito Mode

Incognito Mode promises a low profile and says that your browsing story will be private. However, your ISP and public Wi-Fi providers might still be able to see the websites you’re visiting. There are browsers such as Firefox-based Tor Browser or a trustworthy VPN offering like ProtonVPN. These will encrypt your data and allow you to be “really invisible”.

4 – 2-Factor Authentication for everything

This is mandatory for anyone that wants to stay safe in this world full of hackers and viruses. It won’t make you Google-less, but there are other things that you’ll need to be concerned about. Google already offers a 2-factory authentication and honestly, that is a must! Other apps and services, such as Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Slack, and Password Managers also have 2FA options.

5 – Other tips

There are some “good practices” that you can still adopt in your use of Android. For example, you can turn off location when you’re not using it or does not need it. Using less battery-draining Location Options will also conserve the phone’s battery for a longer time.

Keep a track of the apps’ permissions. If you find one app has permission that does not necessarily need it, disable it.

Avoid logging with Google into third-party apps. Try to create new individual accounts with separate passwords.

Go for a Security Checkup. Google will take you through unused logins and 3rd party apps with access to your account and ask you whether you still need them.

6 – Custom Android ROM

The last and final tip is going for a Custom ROM. This is also a good practice if you own a device that reached the end of its support. The XDA-Developers is the place to go if you’ll need tips on how to flash a custom ROM in your device. There are also some specific custom ROMs like the /e/ project that offer a truly Google-less experience.

Helping Autistic Survivors Of Sexual Assault

Helping Autistic Survivors of Sexual Assault

The percentage of autistic sexual assault survivors is uncertain, Emily Rothman says, given that some choose not to disclose it. She’s working to fix the lack of training for counselors to help autistic survivors by developing an online module with information. Photo courtesy of BU School of Public Health

Health & Medicine

Helping Autistic Survivors of Sexual Assault BU’s Emily Rothman is devising online training for counselors

Many autistic people do not prefer to be called “people with autism,” the construction favored by other groups with medical or socioeconomic challenges. If that simple etiquette is unknown by the broader population, imagine the lack of awareness about the needs of autistic and neurodiverse survivors of sexual abuse—including among trauma counselors.

“The tendency to blame oneself can be even that much more acute than it is for non-autistic people,” says Emily Rothman, a Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences professor and chair of occupational therapy, whose research has focused on health equity and marginalized populations. “Saying to yourself, there’s something wrong with me, I probably deserved this—questioning whether it really was a sexual assault or not—maybe I agreed to it, maybe I just don’t remember or maybe the way that I say no is wrong.” This “self-gaslighting,” Rothman says, increases the isolation that survivors feel.

As for the training available to counselors to help autistic survivors, “there isn’t any,” says Rothman, who also has appointments at the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine and is an expert in sexual and intimate partner violence and trauma.

She’s working to fix that by developing an online module, to go live early next year on a BU website, with information for college counselors on how to better help autistic survivors of sexual assault. Rothman is designing the module with Gina Scaramella (SSW’95), a consultant to businesses, governments, and donors on sexual violence programs, and Laura Graham Holmes, a Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work assistant professor. The work is funded by the nonprofit Organization for Autism Research. 

The percentage of sexual assault survivors who are autistic is uncertain, Rothman says, given that some choose not to disclose it. But the module can and will address other matters that might be unfamiliar to counselors, starting with a primer on autism. That primer will note that it’s neither an intellectual disability nor a mental disorder, but a developmental disorder (although it can occur in people with mental health challenges). 

Erwin says she thinks many counselors “don’t know how to bring it up,” describing their approach as “‘I don’t want to talk about disability, because that will re-stigmatize you.’” Whereas, “if the school would have thought, oh, you have a disability and you’ve had this [assault] experience—let’s help you with both,” that might have spared some survivors from having to drop out or seek mental health hospitalization. “There would have been help before some of these things escalated.”

To be sure, some survivors prefer not to disclose their autism, Rothman says. So the module’s (tentative) text suggests how counselors might broach the topic: “Lots of the students who come to see me tell me that they have anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, or are experiencing other differences. If you feel comfortable telling me if any of those apply to you or think it might help our work together, feel free to let me know, even if it is something you suspect but do not have a diagnosis.”

A study Rothman coauthored last year underscores the need for better services. It sampled more than 250,000 students—about 1,400 of them autistic—at 78 colleges and universities, finding that sexual assault caused grades to plunge for 36 percent of non-autistic college-student survivors, and 80 percent for autistic survivors. 

“They’re not sure where to turn or how to get help or how to feel better,” Rothman says. “And all of our systems on college campuses and in the world are set up to help non-autistic people.” For example, making a counseling appointment can be challenging for autistic people, who may have difficulty with executive function.

“You have to make the appointment, locate the office, show up there at the right time,” she says. “You have to announce yourself.… That could be totally overwhelming and enough to make you not want to do it. So if you don’t have an option for people to Zoom in instead of showing up in person, right there you’re going to probably lose a lot of your autistic audience.”

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Using The Power Of Quizzes To Enhance Your E

How to sell more products using quizzes and the power of personalization

What if you could be more like Amazon and offer just the right products at the right time to personalize your product recommendations in an almost creepy way? If you could do that, you’d experience an immediate 7.8% increase in sales, you’d also have a much better understanding of your customers, and your boss would definitely give you a thumbs-up.

This all sounds amazing, except for one problem – you are not Amazon, you don’t have thousands of engineers to work on perfecting every single aspect of your personalization program. Most likely you also don’t have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to build personalization into your product CMS, and you are a marketer, so doing any coding yourself is incredibly daunting.

Trust me, I’ve been there. Which is why what I’m going to show you today is so incredible. We’re going to look at the exact method used to turn a personality quiz into a powerful personalization tool. What we’re about to go through together is the ultimate growth hack for E-Commerce marketers. Let’s look at the precise way a quiz makes your site personal to every visitor.

The exact method for creating a product personalization quiz.

Part 1: Identify personalities (products) for your quiz

Before you start formulating the innards of your quiz, you have to figure out what the results will be. These results are always related to your products. The personalities of your personalization quiz can be formed in one of two ways.

1. Your actual products. If you are a specialty shop and only have a handful of products, you can just make individual products the results of your quiz. This tactic can also be used for larger brands by making category-specific quizzes. For example “Which Facemask is Right for You?” from a makeup brand.

2. A “style” related to categories of products. If you have a wide variety of products and they fall into general categories (such as Chic, Rugged, or Modern for clothing), then you can give people a personality based on the categories and then recommend products to the personality.

Part 2: Write a title to attract attention

The title of your quiz is incredibly important, and fortunately equally as simple to come up with for retail quizzes. It’s either “Which (product) are you?” or “What’s Your (blank) Style?” depending on which of the categories you chose in the previous section.

Part 3: Create Questions

The quiz questions are where some of the trickiness comes in. You have to walk a fine line between delivering an accurate quiz result and entertaining your audience. There are a few ways to do this well.

1. Use lots of pictures. Products are highly visual, all of your marketing is visual, don’t drop the ball on your quiz and ask questions with text answers! I did a study and found that all 100 of the top 100 quizzes created at my company have at least one image question.

2. Inject personality into the text. Remember that your quiz is a one-to-medium, an opportunity to speak directly with customers and ask them preferences. Since you are only talking to one person at a time, keep it very personal.

Part 4: Set up Lead Capture

1. Incentivize subscription. There is the obvious draw of being able to see your quiz results (they are “gated” by the lead capture form), but you also want to give people an added bonus for subscribing. For example, the quiz below promises to send out “Personalized messages designed with your style in mind,” which is pretty cool.

2. Be honest about what you are going to send. Tell people exactly how often you will send marketing communications and what you’ll be sending. It’s much better to say “We send one email each week” than “We’ll send you our newsletter.”

Part 5: Follow up with personalized recommendations

Whether or not someone chooses to opt in, you get an opportunity to make a sale in the results of your quiz by recommending personal products. There are a couple of tips that will help you get a higher conversion rate.

1. Connect the personality type to the product. Tie in the person’s personality traits (based on what they just told you), to the products you are recommending. This will seem like magic to the quiz taker, but it’s really simple.

2. Be positive. No one likes a downer, your results descriptions should be encouraging, not off-putting. It turns out that positivity is the most shared emotion, so being encouraging in your quiz results can actually increase the effectiveness of the quiz.

3. Include links. This might seem obvious, but make sure to include links or buttons to purchase the products that you recommend. Not everyone will purchase right away, but you can still pique their interest.

Part 6: Close more deals with pointed automation

Most people won’t buy immediately after taking your quiz. That’s not unexpected, it would be ridiculous to assume that everyone is immediately ready to buy. However, if someone takes your quiz and chooses to opt-in, there is at least a glimmering of interest in making a purchase down the line. There is a method for closing sales down the line using what you’ve learned about people from the quiz.

The first part of this method is to immediately send an auto-response email thanking people for taking your quiz and sending their result via email. You have to do this to introduce yourself and remind people why you have their email address. Otherwise they’ll forget and you’ll be accused os spamming.

After that you should continue to reference the person’s personality type when sending product recommendations and content. Don’t be overly pushy, remember that these people are interested, but they found your products through a personality quiz – don’t go for the hard close.

We can’t all be Amazon and constantly push the envelope of what’s possible with personalization, but we all can use simple personality quiz logic to provide a more tailored experience to web visitors and cash in on the benefits of recommending products to people based on their interests.

Hopefully this guide has sparked some ideas for you, and I encourage you to give a product personality quiz a try today!

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