Here’s what it feels like to be blind in my mind — a condition called ‘aphantasia’

I bumbled to the Apple Store clerk, who gazed back at me with a look of total confusion. I’ve had this problem for as long as I can remember, where I can’t conjure up images no matter how hard I try. In a research paper, Zeman documented the case of a patient who could not longer see images in his mind following a surgical procedure. After conducting deeper research, Zeman now suspects that 1 in 50 people have aphantasia, either from birth or following a traumatic event, like a surgery or a stro


I bumbled to the Apple Store clerk, who gazed back at me with a look of total confusion. I’ve had this problem for as long as I can remember, where I can’t conjure up images no matter how hard I try. In a research paper, Zeman documented the case of a patient who could not longer see images in his mind following a surgical procedure. After conducting deeper research, Zeman now suspects that 1 in 50 people have aphantasia, either from birth or following a traumatic event, like a surgery or a stro
Here’s what it feels like to be blind in my mind — a condition called ‘aphantasia’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: christina farr, francesco carta fotografo
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, aphantasia, zeman, feels, heres, images, visual, called, struggle, blind, visualize, recently, mind, research, im, remember, condition


Here's what it feels like to be blind in my mind — a condition called 'aphantasia'

I was recently asked to visualize the size and shape of my laptop, which I’ve had for more than a year, while shopping for a replacement part. As usual, my mind’s eye was completely blank.

“I think it’s purple, or maybe pink?” I bumbled to the Apple Store clerk, who gazed back at me with a look of total confusion.

I’ve had this problem for as long as I can remember, where I can’t conjure up images no matter how hard I try. I’ve never been able to count sheep as I’m falling asleep, I struggle to remember faces, and I’m constantly lost because I can’t visualize a map in my head.

It took me a long time to realize that other people did not have this experience of the world. They could imagine a beach in detail or a loved one’s face. Some even had memories that played out like a movie reel, which I had once believed was a Hollywood conceit.

More recently I learned that I’m not alone. My image blindness now has a name: “Aphantasia.”

In 2015, the neurologist Adam Zeman coined the term to refer to the subset of people who cannot form mental images of objects that are not present. In a research paper, Zeman documented the case of a patient who could not longer see images in his mind following a surgical procedure.

After conducting deeper research, Zeman now suspects that 1 in 50 people have aphantasia, either from birth or following a traumatic event, like a surgery or a stroke. According to Zeman, the hallmarks appear to be faint or non-existent visual imagery, a struggle with autobiographical detail, and for some, a challenge recognizing faces.

After stumbling upon his research, I called Zeman, a professor at the University of Exeter’s Medical School, to find definitive proof that I had aphantasia, and to figure out if there was anything I could do about it.

Zeman sent me a set of link to a survey that he created called the “VVIQ,” which stands for the vividness of visual imagery questionnaire. It began by asking me to imagine a loved one (errr….), and describe the contours of their face and body (nope), as well as the poses of their head and the way they walked (not happening). My results came back immediately, and it put me firmly in the range of having aphantasia.

Take the aphantasia test here.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-18  Authors: christina farr, francesco carta fotografo
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, aphantasia, zeman, feels, heres, images, visual, called, struggle, blind, visualize, recently, mind, research, im, remember, condition


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Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor

If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help. As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors. “It’s tricky,” sai


If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help. As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors. “It’s tricky,” sai
Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: christina farr, luke macgregor, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, theres, health, wrong, amazon, developers, information, consults, working, luring, alexa, medical, doctor, week


Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor

If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help.

As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo.

But what users can’t do yet is connect with a doctor or a therapist through the device, and it might be a few years before they can. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors.

Developers focused on digital health have concerns about using home speakers like the Echo and Google Home for medical consults because privacy issues continue to emerge and there’s too much risk in sensitive health information falling into the wrong hands. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that thousands of employees listen in to snippets of conversations on Alexa to supposedly improve the product experience.

“It’s tricky,” said Robbie Cape, CEO of 98point6, a Seattle-based company that provides virtual medical consults via smartphones and the web. “To uphold user trust, I can imagine that Amazon Alexa would need to confirm they’re talking to the right person, but also that there’s no one else in the room listening to the conversation.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: christina farr, luke macgregor, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, theres, health, wrong, amazon, developers, information, consults, working, luring, alexa, medical, doctor, week


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Health care is one of Apple’s most lucrative opportunities: Morgan Stanley

Apple’s opportunity in health care is so large with the Apple Watch that the company should soon generate tens of billions of dollars a year in annual revenue from wearables and health services, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley’s estimate is that health for Apple will top $15 billion in sales by 2021, based on the popularity of the Apple Watch and its health features, like monitoring heart rate and steps. “At the mid-point, Apple’s health efforts could result in ~$90


Apple’s opportunity in health care is so large with the Apple Watch that the company should soon generate tens of billions of dollars a year in annual revenue from wearables and health services, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley. Morgan Stanley’s estimate is that health for Apple will top $15 billion in sales by 2021, based on the popularity of the Apple Watch and its health features, like monitoring heart rate and steps. “At the mid-point, Apple’s health efforts could result in ~$90
Health care is one of Apple’s most lucrative opportunities: Morgan Stanley Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: christina farr, karl mondon, digital first media, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stanley, care, opportunities, apple, health, medical, company, apples, watch, lucrative, revenue, report, morgan, blood


Health care is one of Apple's most lucrative opportunities: Morgan Stanley

Apple’s opportunity in health care is so large with the Apple Watch that the company should soon generate tens of billions of dollars a year in annual revenue from wearables and health services, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley.

It’s a nascent space for Apple and hard to predict how much money the company will make from health services as it potentially dives deeper into monitoring features such as blood glucose and blood pressure, the investment bank wrote on Monday.

Morgan Stanley’s estimate is that health for Apple will top $15 billion in sales by 2021, based on the popularity of the Apple Watch and its health features, like monitoring heart rate and steps. The very high end of Morgan Stanley’s estimate range is $313 billion by 2027, which is a particularly lofty figure since Apple’s total revenue last year was $266 billion.

“At the mid-point, Apple’s health efforts could result in ~$90B of annual revenue by 2027, roughly ~35% of its current revenue base,” the report says.

Apple has a few key advantages over its technology rivals, including Alphabet and Microsoft, as it looks to move into the medical market and attack the $3.5 trillion health-care industry, the report says. Privacy is among the most important benefits. For instance, Apple was able to recruit 400,000 people in less than a year for its Apple Watch heart health study with Stanford University, suggesting that people are willing to share their medical information with Apple.

Beyond consumer device sales, the company has started to sign deals with health insurers who are willing to pay for some portion of the Apple Watch on behalf of their members. Apple has already inked that type of partnership with Aetna. It’s also currently in talks with private Medicare plans, which could mean increased access to the Apple Watch for seniors.

“Medicare has the most concentrated pools of money and is the least complicated to navigate,” the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.

The company also has revenue potential in the electronic medical records market.

IPhone users will have access to the Apple’s health app, which allows customers to pull together medical information from dozens of hospitals and clinics. In its current form, the feature is designed for consumers, because it’s a huge challenge for people to aggregate their lab reports, immunization records and more.

Morgan Stanley said it could turn into a real business if Apple starts pulling together data and selling reports to health systems. To maintain consumer trust, Apple would have to effectively pitch it as a way for hospitals and clinics to gain insights into broad populations while protecting the data of individual patients.

The report listed five other things Apple could do that would generate a lot of investor interest:

Introduce new medical wearables.

Add medical grade monitoring, like sleep, blood glucose or blood pressure.

Make the Apple Watch readily available through insurance companies as a benefit that’s reimbursed.

Start its own employer joint venture or join a group like Haven, which currently consists of Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway. Apple already runs its own employee medical clinics, dubbed AC Wellness.

Acquire a health care company.

Apple has publicly stayed mum about those topics, and a company spokesperson declined to comment on the report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-08  Authors: christina farr, karl mondon, digital first media, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stanley, care, opportunities, apple, health, medical, company, apples, watch, lucrative, revenue, report, morgan, blood


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The Trump administration is forcing this health start-up that took Chinese money into a fire sale

As the Trump administration cracks down on Chinese investment in corporate America, one health tech start-up is facing an abnormal situation: PatientsLikeMe is being forced to find a buyer after the U.S. government has ordered its majority owner, a Chinese firm, to divest its stake. In 2017, the start-up raised $100 million and sold a majority stake to Shenzhen-based iCarbonX, which was started by genomic scientist Jun Wang and is backed by Chinese giant Tencent. CFIUS is now forcing a divestitu


As the Trump administration cracks down on Chinese investment in corporate America, one health tech start-up is facing an abnormal situation: PatientsLikeMe is being forced to find a buyer after the U.S. government has ordered its majority owner, a Chinese firm, to divest its stake. In 2017, the start-up raised $100 million and sold a majority stake to Shenzhen-based iCarbonX, which was started by genomic scientist Jun Wang and is backed by Chinese giant Tencent. CFIUS is now forcing a divestitu
The Trump administration is forcing this health start-up that took Chinese money into a fire sale Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: christina farr, ari levy, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, michael kappeler, picture alliance
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, forcing, rhodium, took, billion, majority, icarbonx, sale, money, patientslikeme, chinese, administration, investment, started, startup, health, trump


The Trump administration is forcing this health start-up that took Chinese money into a fire sale

As the Trump administration cracks down on Chinese investment in corporate America, one health tech start-up is facing an abnormal situation: PatientsLikeMe is being forced to find a buyer after the U.S. government has ordered its majority owner, a Chinese firm, to divest its stake.

PatientsLikeMe provides an online service that helps patients find people with similar health conditions. In 2017, the start-up raised $100 million and sold a majority stake to Shenzhen-based iCarbonX, which was started by genomic scientist Jun Wang and is backed by Chinese giant Tencent.

That deal has recently drawn the attention of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which is aggressively cracking down on Chinese investments in American companies, particularly when national security and trade secrets are at risk.

CFIUS is now forcing a divestiture by iCarbonX, meaning PatientsLikeMe has to find a buyer, according to several people with knowledge of the matter. PatientsLikeMe started receiving notifications from CFIUS late last year, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details are confidential.

The move could have dire implications for the start-up community, as Chinese investors are scared away or forbidden from participating in deals that can help emerging businesses.

As a result of the Trump administration’s clampdown, Chinese direct investment in the U.S. has plummeted 90 percent in two years, from $46 billion in 2016 to $4.8 billion in 2018, according to data from research firm Rhodium Group. Another $20 billion in divestitures is still pending, says Rhodium.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-04  Authors: christina farr, ari levy, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, michael kappeler, picture alliance
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, forcing, rhodium, took, billion, majority, icarbonx, sale, money, patientslikeme, chinese, administration, investment, started, startup, health, trump


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‘Alexa, find me a doctor’: Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills

Amazon’s voice assistant can now manage people’s sensitive health information, which represents an important step for the company into the $3.5 trillion health care sector. As of Thursday, consumers will be able to use about half a dozen new Alexa health skills to ask questions such as “Alexa, pull up my blood glucose readings” or “Alexa, find me a doctor,” and receive a prompt response from the voice assistant. Amazon is able to add these skills because Amazon can now sign business associate ag


Amazon’s voice assistant can now manage people’s sensitive health information, which represents an important step for the company into the $3.5 trillion health care sector. As of Thursday, consumers will be able to use about half a dozen new Alexa health skills to ask questions such as “Alexa, pull up my blood glucose readings” or “Alexa, find me a doctor,” and receive a prompt response from the voice assistant. Amazon is able to add these skills because Amazon can now sign business associate ag
‘Alexa, find me a doctor’: Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-03  Authors: christina farr, todd haselton, daniel berman, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, voice, amazon, alexa, skills, medical, jiang, care, adds, health, information, hipaa, team, manage, doctor


'Alexa, find me a doctor': Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills

Amazon’s voice assistant can now manage people’s sensitive health information, which represents an important step for the company into the $3.5 trillion health care sector.

As of Thursday, consumers will be able to use about half a dozen new Alexa health skills to ask questions such as “Alexa, pull up my blood glucose readings” or “Alexa, find me a doctor,” and receive a prompt response from the voice assistant.

Amazon is able to add these skills because Amazon can now sign business associate agreements with health providers under HIPAA, which means third-party health developers who follow certain guidelines can meet the rules and requirements that govern how sensitive health information is transmitted and received. HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is designed to protect patients in cases where their personal health information is shared with a health care organization, like a hospital.

Voice technology has been heralded as a major breakthrough for the health field, particularly for seniors, kids and those with mobility problems. As a result, Amazon, and its rival Alphabet, have been increasingly focused on the needs of these populations, who view voice assistant devices as an important way to manage their medications, communicate with loved ones, and alert emergency services.

Amazon Alexa’s health and wellness team has been working for months on HIPAA compliance, and its team includes Missy Krasner, who previously ran Box’s health care efforts, and Rachel Jiang, who previously worked at Microsoft and Facebook. Jiang announced via the Alexa developer blog that six health partners have been selected for the invitation-only program, and it expects to grow that number in the coming months.

“These new skills are designed to help customers manage a variety of healthcare needs at home simply using voice – whether it’s booking a medical appointment, accessing hospital post-discharge instructions, checking on the status of a prescription delivery, and more,” Jiang wrote in the post.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-03  Authors: christina farr, todd haselton, daniel berman, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, voice, amazon, alexa, skills, medical, jiang, care, adds, health, information, hipaa, team, manage, doctor


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Investors are starting to bet big on psychedelic medicine

Psychedelic medicine is having a moment. Just weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, a group of European technology investors just got together for the largest-ever private financing round for a psychedelic medicine biotech company, ATAI. Psychedelic medicine involves research and investigations into mind-altering substances to treat mental illnesses including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stres


Psychedelic medicine is having a moment. Just weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, a group of European technology investors just got together for the largest-ever private financing round for a psychedelic medicine biotech company, ATAI. Psychedelic medicine involves research and investigations into mind-altering substances to treat mental illnesses including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stres
Investors are starting to bet big on psychedelic medicine Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-27  Authors: christina farr, peter dejong
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, round, biotech, bet, starting, investors, big, investor, technology, psychedelic, atai, johnson, medicine, depression, company


Investors are starting to bet big on psychedelic medicine

Psychedelic medicine is having a moment.

Just weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression, a group of European technology investors just got together for the largest-ever private financing round for a psychedelic medicine biotech company, ATAI.

Psychedelic medicine involves research and investigations into mind-altering substances to treat mental illnesses including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. After recreational use of psychedelics became popular in the 1960s, the U.S. government classified most of them “drugs of abuse” with no real medical value. However, recent clinical studies show mounting evidence that some psychedelics can help patients with certain mental illnesses, either in combination with traditional therapies or in cases where nothing else has worked.

Now health and technology investors are paying attention.

German company ATAI Life Sciences announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $40 million in new financing. The round valued the company at $240 million, according to a person familiar, making it both the biggest round and the most valuable company in the young space. (There are well established nonprofits, like MAPS in California, but relatively few for-profit ventures.) ATAI is also targeting a potential initial public offering for the end of this year, the person said, which would draw further attention.

ATAI is currently funding clinical trials for what it refers to as “formerly stigmatized compounds,” including psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms, and arketamine, a different variant of ketamine from the one Johnson & Johnson researched, as potential treatments for depression. Its portfolio also includes a technology arm called Innoplexus, which it describes as delivering “big data and AI solutions” to big pharma and biotech companies, as well as its own drug development.

ATAI is also the largest investor in a start-up called Compass Pathways, which is setting itself up to be the first legal provider of psilocybin. ATAI invested alongside Peter Thiel, the iconoclastic Silicon Valley investor and Facebook board member who’s increasingly dabbling in health and biotech. ATAI co-founders Lars Wilde and Florian Brand are both affiliated with Compass; a third founder, Christian Angermayer, is a German entrepreneur and investor.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-27  Authors: christina farr, peter dejong
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, round, biotech, bet, starting, investors, big, investor, technology, psychedelic, atai, johnson, medicine, depression, company


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Silicon Valley techies are turning to a cheap diabetes drug to help them live longer

The drug is thought to mimic some of the positive effects of calorie restriction by lessening the amount of sugar the body produces and absorbs. “Some people told me it was a slam dunk for its anti-aging effects,” he adds, over coffee in San Francisco. The side effects associated with prolonged metformin use include diarrhea, slow blood sugar, and abdominal pain. That could explain why doctors don’t routinely recommend it to people without diabetes, and why metformin hasn’t made it into the main


The drug is thought to mimic some of the positive effects of calorie restriction by lessening the amount of sugar the body produces and absorbs. “Some people told me it was a slam dunk for its anti-aging effects,” he adds, over coffee in San Francisco. The side effects associated with prolonged metformin use include diarrhea, slow blood sugar, and abdominal pain. That could explain why doctors don’t routinely recommend it to people without diabetes, and why metformin hasn’t made it into the main
Silicon Valley techies are turning to a cheap diabetes drug to help them live longer Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-23  Authors: christina farr, craig f walker, boston globe, getty images, adam isaak i cnbc
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, help, longer, metformin, effects, human, studies, diabetes, cheap, sugar, reviewed, techies, silicon, drug, live, told, taking, valley, turning


Silicon Valley techies are turning to a cheap diabetes drug to help them live longer

The drug is thought to mimic some of the positive effects of calorie restriction by lessening the amount of sugar the body produces and absorbs. Calorie restriction is a huge challenge for people to maintain, as it involves eating a lot less over a long period of time, but some studies have shown that it can help to extend the human life span.

Poler, alongside his doctor, has reviewed the research on metformin and talked to other friends in the medical fields about the potential downsides of his $2-a-month habit.

“Some people told me it was a slam dunk for its anti-aging effects,” he adds, over coffee in San Francisco. “And some were skeptical, but most gave it a thumbs up that it’s fairly safe.”

The side effects associated with prolonged metformin use include diarrhea, slow blood sugar, and abdominal pain. The most serious risk is that excessive acid accumulates in the body, causing a condition known as lactic acidosis.

Poler hasn’t experienced any of these side effects, so he intends to continue taking it for the long-term.

Others who take metformin maintain that it’s already benefiting them.

“I followed the mounting evidence, then when a biotech investor friend Bob Nelsen (Nelsen, of Arch Venture Partners, regularly takes 500mg of the diabetes drug metformin for its anti-aging effect) told me he was taking it, I had a discussion with my physician and reviewed the studies,” explained Zen Chu, a prominent angel investor. “Even though I’m not pre-diabetic, it was low-risk so I tried it and I could rapidly feel that improved my metabolism as well. ”

All of them agree that metformin’s effects have been under-studied, in part because there isn’t much of a financial incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to research the impact of an extremely cheap, generic drug. That could explain why doctors don’t routinely recommend it to people without diabetes, and why metformin hasn’t made it into the mainstream.

Medical experts said they have mixed feelings about whether people without diabetes should take the drug, in light of this lack of research.

“Theoretically someone can take it without diabetes, as there are some known side effects but they’re usually tolerated if the patient gradually increases dosage over time,” said Greg Burrell, a practicing physician and the co-founder of Carbon Health, a start-up with a chain of medical clinics across the Bay Area.

Burrell said he wouldn’t “block” a patient from taking it, but he would also educate them about the lack of human data. Animal trials can be useful, but humans and mice often react differently to medications so it’s not enough to prove safety and efficacy.

“I would suggest to my patients to wait for more human results,” he said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-23  Authors: christina farr, craig f walker, boston globe, getty images, adam isaak i cnbc
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, help, longer, metformin, effects, human, studies, diabetes, cheap, sugar, reviewed, techies, silicon, drug, live, told, taking, valley, turning


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Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it’s hilarious

DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.” The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest. The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of


DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.” The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest. The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of
Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it’s hilarious Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, frederic j brown, afp, getty images, dna friend
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, friend, elon, genetics, fun, media, launches, hilarious, testing, website, dna, poke, consumer, company, muskbacked, onion, thud


Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it's hilarious

DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.”

The only difference?

It’s a total parody.

DNA Friend, which has both a website and social media presence, is a creation of Thud, a new media project run by former Onion staffers and originally backed by Elon Musk. According to the Atlantic, Tesla’s CEO originally owned the business but sold it to former editors at the Onion — Ben Berkley and Cole Bolton — back in January. Musk once referred to the Onion “the greatest publication in the history of all conscious beings, living or dead,” indicating a deep affinity for satire.

The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest.

The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. Ancestry, its chief rival, has more than 10 million in its database. But the market, which is expected to be worth more than $22 billion by 2024, is also under fire for a range of issues, including the lack of consumer privacy protections, recent involvements with law enforcement, and the questionable clinical utility.

“Consumer genetics companies have a challenging job of building more applications of genomics to attract more customers, but also building applications responsibly to ensure scientific validity,” said David Mittelman, a former chief scientific officer of Family Tree DNA, a consumer genetics company, and a geneticist.

“It’s a hard balancing act,” he said, noting that the parody site “highlights some of the more recent failures in the space.”

On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of eye and hair color.

“I always suspected I had brown eyes, but DNA Friend totally confirmed it,” said one customer in a testimonial.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, frederic j brown, afp, getty images, dna friend
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, friend, elon, genetics, fun, media, launches, hilarious, testing, website, dna, poke, consumer, company, muskbacked, onion, thud


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Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it’s hilarious

DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.” The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest. The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of


DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.” The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest. The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of
Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it’s hilarious Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, frederic j brown, afp, getty images, dna friend
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, friend, elon, genetics, fun, media, launches, hilarious, testing, website, dna, poke, consumer, company, muskbacked, onion, thud


Elon Musk-backed company launches a website to poke fun at DNA testing — and it's hilarious

DNA Friend is a new consumer genetics company that aims to rival 23andMe with its “fastest and freest DNA testing service.”

The only difference?

It’s a total parody.

DNA Friend, which has both a website and social media presence, is a creation of Thud, a new media project run by former Onion staffers and originally backed by Elon Musk. According to the Atlantic, Tesla’s CEO originally owned the business but sold it to former editors at the Onion — Ben Berkley and Cole Bolton — back in January. Musk once referred to the Onion “the greatest publication in the history of all conscious beings, living or dead,” indicating a deep affinity for satire.

The fact that Thud chose the DNA testing space as a first target is revealing, health experts suggest.

The space is booming, with at-home DNA testing company 23andMe alone claiming to have more than 8 million users. Ancestry, its chief rival, has more than 10 million in its database. But the market, which is expected to be worth more than $22 billion by 2024, is also under fire for a range of issues, including the lack of consumer privacy protections, recent involvements with law enforcement, and the questionable clinical utility.

“Consumer genetics companies have a challenging job of building more applications of genomics to attract more customers, but also building applications responsibly to ensure scientific validity,” said David Mittelman, a former chief scientific officer of Family Tree DNA, a consumer genetics company, and a geneticist.

“It’s a hard balancing act,” he said, noting that the parody site “highlights some of the more recent failures in the space.”

On its website and social media channels, DNA Friend rips into DNA testing companies for charging consumers to tell them obvious things, such as an estimate of eye and hair color.

“I always suspected I had brown eyes, but DNA Friend totally confirmed it,” said one customer in a testimonial.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, frederic j brown, afp, getty images, dna friend
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, friend, elon, genetics, fun, media, launches, hilarious, testing, website, dna, poke, consumer, company, muskbacked, onion, thud


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Apple Watch heart study with Stanford: results and debate

But the researchers shared that of the approximately 419,000 people who participated in the study, about 0.5 percent received a notification about an irregular heartbeat. That rate was higher with older users, at 3.2 percent, versus 0.16 percent in people between 22 and 39 years old. Of those who received a notification, not all of them followed the protocol by contacting the researchers to ask for an electrocardiogram patch to confirm the diagnosis. Dharmarajan also made the point that the patc


But the researchers shared that of the approximately 419,000 people who participated in the study, about 0.5 percent received a notification about an irregular heartbeat. That rate was higher with older users, at 3.2 percent, versus 0.16 percent in people between 22 and 39 years old. Of those who received a notification, not all of them followed the protocol by contacting the researchers to ask for an electrocardiogram patch to confirm the diagnosis. Dharmarajan also made the point that the patc
Apple Watch heart study with Stanford: results and debate Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, andrew evers
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, watch, debate, patch, researchers, health, shared, study, electrocardiogram, stanford, didnt, apple, received, notification, results, rate, heart


Apple Watch heart study with Stanford: results and debate

Not all the results have been published. But the researchers shared that of the approximately 419,000 people who participated in the study, about 0.5 percent received a notification about an irregular heartbeat.

Stanford Medicine’s principal investigator, Mintu Turakhia, pointed to that statistic to CNBC as an “important finding,” as cardiologists have expressed concern that the Watch would produce a high rate of false positives, and send hoards of young people to the doctor’s office unnecessarily.

That rate was higher with older users, at 3.2 percent, versus 0.16 percent in people between 22 and 39 years old.

Of those who received a notification, not all of them followed the protocol by contacting the researchers to ask for an electrocardiogram patch to confirm the diagnosis. Only about 450 did so, which is roughly one in five.

Medical experts shared a few theories on this. “It’s possible that the folks who didn’t follow through were primarily those who didn’t have really bothersome symptoms,” said Kumar Dharmarajan, a cardiologist and chief scientific officer at health insurance company Clover Health. Dharmarajan also made the point that the patch, which is worn on the chest, is not as enticing to wear as an Apple Watch, which might explain the drop-off.

The latest version of the Apple Watch, the Series 4, does however include an electrocardiogram sensor on the device, which has been cleared by regulators to screen for atrial fibrillation. But cardiologists would still recommend a patch for patients to make a diagnosis and determine treatment.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-18  Authors: christina farr, andrew evers
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, watch, debate, patch, researchers, health, shared, study, electrocardiogram, stanford, didnt, apple, received, notification, results, rate, heart


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