New Firm Speeds The Pace Of Medical Breakthroughs With Blockchain

New Firm Speeds The Pace Of Medical Breakthroughs With Blockchain

Clinical Lead, Dr Jonathan Brett speaks with Medical Officer Resident Rikard Bell at a computer station in the Psychiatric Alcohol and Non-Prescription Drug Assessment (PANDA) Unit at St Vincent's Hospital on November 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

By Brian Fishbach

A Tel Aviv-based medical company is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by using blockchain technology to securely distribute standardized healthcare data. Briya, founded in 2020, could drive the next cycle of medical innovation, according to leaders at the firm.

The venture capital world has taken notice. Briya emerged from stealth mode in April with a reported $5.5 million in seed funding from venture capital firm Amiti Ventures, software investor Insight Partners, and medical device investor Innocare Health Investments.

Many healthcare professionals have detailed the languid pace at which data is shared between practices, hospitals, and researchers pioneering treatments. And yet, platforms that bring real-time data to medical professionals do not exist in healthcare systems. Many hospitals and universities use dated systems to aggregate and analyze healthcare data.

Briya executives say that decentralizing this process is the key to making data sharing faster and more secure. “The main concept of blockchain is to ensure trust in the decentralized world,” said Guy Tish, co-founder and chief technology officer at Briya.

“For decades, two organizations that wanted to exchange something would use a third-party organization such as a bank or government to make the transaction. Briya deals with sensitive data peer-to-peer, without a middleman, to dramatically minimize the potential for any kind of attack,” Tish said.

Guy Tish, co-founder and chief technology officer at Briya. (Courtesy of Brian Fishbach)

This application of blockchain technology to the healthcare space could significantly improve access to data, according to Briya co-founder and CEO David Lazerson. Health records are difficult to access for global populations or even patients outside of a hospital’s system. And since the systems themselves are not standardized, Lazerson said, it makes it increasingly difficult to share data securely.

“Companies have started to store data in the cloud—no matter the kind of data—because data is power,” said Lazerson. “While this approach works for most industries, it is unacceptable in the medical industry, and especially for patient data, as the cloud creates an abundance of privacy concerns.”

Typically, healthcare data is stored in the cloud or passed through a server before a researcher gains access to the data themselves. This method of data exchange ends in the same result—relevant data sets—but is neither private nor secure.

The path to future medical breakthroughs is in healthcare data, where Lazerson sees huge potential in using blockchain to accelerate time-to-medicine.

Unlike existing methods, blockchain is able to provide maximum privacy and security on both ends of the data exchange. Decentralized architecture offers secure, live data in an approach focused on patient privacy.

“Blockchain has been an enterprise-ready technology for decades. The core capabilities never changed, but financial applications hugely increased its popularity in the past few years,” Lazerson said.

David Lazerson, co-founder and CEO of Briya. (Courtesy of Brian Fishbach)

“[Blockchain] was branded as ‘an underground financial technology’ that kept enterprises far away. We believe that taking an institutional approach to blockchain will highlight its advantages and bring Briya to decision-makers in the healthcare industry,” Lazerson said.

There are some compelling trends in blockchain gaining popularity outside of finance, according to Ruth Levi Lotan, a blockchain expert and advisor for Briya.

“Enterprises are opening up to payments in crypto use [decentralized finance] and are thus more inclined to learn about the underlying technologies and enabled applications,” Lotan said. “Scalability and privacy solutions allow a new wave of possibilities for enterprises to utilize blockchains.”

Lotan said that new trends in governance frameworks could allow for innovative cooperation. A lot of this confidence, she said, comes from security and immutability. Potential leaks of sensitive information are all too prevalent in systems that store personal data, so thus inconsistent and manual enforcement of standards. Protecting medical data is necessary not only for individual privacy, but also for hospital compliance.

Ruth Levi Lotan, advisor to Briya. (Courtesy of Brian Fishbach)

Blockchain technology may hold the key to security on both sides. The nature of Briya’s data exchange platform can ensure HIPAA compliance to focus on patient privacy, Lotan said.

Lazerson is optimistic about the platform’s ability to provide secure data to medical professionals. An algorithm similar to a fraud detection one blocks any attempt to violate privacy regulations. Briya can validate data through blockchain, then securely make that data available around the world at lightning speed.

S⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠cientists can examine real-time data to keep up with the evolution of COVID-19 and possibly snuff out novel viruses before they spread. Live data is crucial in making progress to solve any ailment without a cure, from cancer to viruses to autoimmune diseases.

Secure, easily accessible data can help doctors and researchers find state-of-the-art treatments to heal patients. When shared the right way, data is a force with the potential to disrupt the medical field.

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Jaw-Dropping Levitation Technology Allows Assembly Of Objects Without Touching Them

Jaw-Dropping Levitation Technology Allows Assembly Of Objects Without Touching Them

An illustrated depiction of the sound waves LeviPrint uses to levitate and manipulate objects. (UPNA,SWNS/Zenger)

By Simona Kitanovska

An astounding technological innovation could revolutionize construction by assembling objects by levitation, without touching them.

LeviPrint is a system allowing contact-free manipulation of building materials by using acoustic levitation.

A prototype composed of a robot arm and a levitator was used to test different fabrication processes.

A red ball is seen floating in the air. (UPNA,SWNS/Zenger)

The result sees items – including liquids such as glue – held by high-frequency sound waves and floating through the air to form structures.

Researchers from Spain’s Universidad Publica de Navarra demonstrated LeviPrint building a variety of constructions, including a bridge made of sticks, a circular liquid glue shape, a matchstick cube, and even a cat’s ears arranged on an orange.

The research was presented at Vancouver’s SIGGRAPH conference this week, where companies such as Nvidia, Disney Research, and Facebook Reality Labs present their work.

Unlike regular assembly and manufacturing techniques, in which parts are in direct contact with the machine, acoustic manipulation is used to position and orient parts without touching them during the assembly process.

Aside from construction, applications might include the realm of biomedical work, to eliminate cross-contamination or small-scale manufacturing in delicate items such as smartphones or watches.

One test also showed a stick passing through a hole in mesh to illustrate how the system can construct in enclosed spaces.

“We generate acoustic fields that trap small particles, glue droplets and, most importantly, elongated stick-like elements that can be manipulated and reoriented as we levitate them,” a statement from the Spanish university explained.

“In short, it is a fully functional system for manufacturing 3D structures using contactless manipulation. We hope that this technique inspires novel fabrication techniques and that reaches fields such as microfabrication of electromechanical components or even in-vivo additive manufacturing,” the university stated.

Sticks were manipulated through the air to form a bridge structure. (UPNA,SWNS/Zenger)

Lead researcher Asier Marzo said: “We have designed a levitator combined with a robotic arm and a liquid dispenser to manufacture complex objects without contact.”

Co-author Iñigo Ezcurdia said: “We can manipulate small, brittle parts, as well as liquids or powders, thus making the processes more versatile. There is less cross-contamination, as the manipulator does not touch the material.

“Furthermore, it enables manufacturing techniques that cannot be achieved using traditional 3D printing, such as adding elements on top of existing parts or manufacturing inside closed containers from the outside.”

Produced in association with SWNS.

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Generous Donors Help Disabled Young Grad To Move Into New Home

Generous Donors Help Disabled Young Grad To Move Into New Home

Calum Grevers who has muscular dystrophy and got the keys to his first apartment after a fundraiser poses for a picture on Aug 4, 2022 . (SWNS/Zenger)

By Simona Kitanovska

A disabled university graduate was able to collect the keys to his first home – after generous donors raised more than $61,000 so he could move out of his parents’ house.

Calum Grevers, 29, got his keys on August 4 but hopes to move into his new apartment in September.

He started thinking about moving out in January 2020 but was faced with a 1,000-day waiting list for subsidized public housing.

Calum, who has muscular dystrophy and needs a wheelchair and a team of caregivers, said he never dreamed he would be in his own home.

He studied computer science at Edinburgh Napier University, but has never had a job before and hopes that he will be able to find a role in policymaking, which allows him to work from home.

Calum Grevers who has muscular dystrophy and got the keys to his first apartment after a fundraiser poses for a picture on Aug 4, 2022 . (SWNS/Zenger)

Calum believes many people could relate to his predicament of being desperate to move out from his parents’.

The fundraiser generated 52,000 British pounds, the equivalent of $63,000, which Calum says is around 1,000 British pounds ($1,200) per week.

He launched it in December 2020 and raised two-thirds in just one year.

Calum said: “I think a lot of people can really relate to not wanting to live with their parents.

“It has also really managed to raise awareness of a lack of accessible housing.

“There’s an assumption that housing is more accessible than it is.”

Work still needs to be done to the apartment in Edinburgh, which has a bedroom for Calum and one for his personal assistant.

It also will have an ensuite bathroom with a wet room and ceiling track hoist when it is completed.

Carpets will be torn up and replaced with laminate to make it more wheelchair accessible.

Another 3,000 British pounds — $3,600 — has yet to be raised to meet his target.

He said: “Living with parents at my age creates too much tension, you need your own personal space.

“My parents’ house is accessible, but it is better for everybody when you are living independently.

“It makes you feel you can make decisions about your own life.

“Ten years ago, I would never have thought I would have any of these things.”

Calum Grevers who has muscular dystrophy and got the keys to his first apartment after a fundraiser poses for a picture on Aug 4, 2022 . (SWNS/Zenger)

Calum believes that more accessible housing would allow elderly people to stay in their homes for longer, rather than going into care homes.

He said aging should be perceived as an inevitable disability, and it would make more sense to plan around that.

He is now working with the Scottish government to improve understanding of what can be done to make access better.

Calum said: “I don’t feel it’s actually happened yet.

“I’m sure it will feel more real when I’ve got more of my stuff in the flat.”

Produced in association with SWNS.

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Missing Man Found Dead After German Oompah Band Festival

Missing Man Found Dead After German Oompah Band Festival

Tobias Dreiseitel, 25, poses in undated picture. He disappeared from a festival in Bavaria on Friday, Aug. 5th, 2022. (Bayerische Polizei/Zenger)

By Joseph Golder

A 25-year-old man who disappeared at a traditional German oompah band festival has been found dead in a lake.

Police identified the young man as Tobias Dreiseitel, who vanished at the Brass Wiesn festival in Eching, a city in Bavaria, in south-eastern Germany on August 5.

His body was discovered by a swimmer in nearby Echinger See lake on August 9, according to the police. Police had been looking for him for days and even deployed a helicopter.

Tobias went missing after that night’s festival performances were called off because of poor weather.

A brass band plays during the final preparation for the 2014 Oktoberfest on September 18, 2014 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

At the time of his disappearance, Tobias had been wearing a red Hawaiian shirt and lederhosen – traditional long leather shorts.

Police from the neighboring municipality of Neufahrn bei Freising had said in an earlier statement that Tobias Dreiseitel had “been missing since the evening of August 5, 2022. The 25-year-old attended the Brass Wiesn Festival at Echinger See in the Freising district with two of his friends.”

They added: “On August 5, 2022, at around 9:00 p.m., the friends lost sight of each other. A little later, the phone contact broke off. Since then there has been no trace of Mr. Dreiseitel.”

They also said: “When the two friends could not find him during the course of August 6, 2022, they reported him missing to the police.

“Extensive search measures with the support of a helicopter, the water rescue service, the fire brigade and the rescue dog squadron went into the early hours of the morning without any results.

“At the time of his disappearance, Mr. Dreiseitel was wearing a wine-red Hawaiian shirt and brown leather trousers (traditional costume). Mr. Dreiseitel is about 175 centimeters tall [68 inches], weighs about 80 kilograms [174 pounds], has a slim build, has brown/green eyes, short, dark brown hair with a side parting, and most recently wore an S-Oliver necklace.”

His girlfriend – named only as Anna in local media – reportedly said that he bought beer at the festival.

During the evacuation due to the rain storm, he was reportedly seen heavily intoxicated at the festival entrance.

Members of a brass band wearing traditional Bavarian clothes participate in the riflemen’s parade during day 2 of the Oktoberfest beer festival on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Anna put out a call for help to find him online on Friday, August 5, saying: “He was hurt. Had abrasions on his arms – it is unclear how serious the injuries were.”

The police are investigating the circumstances of his death, and so far treating it as an accident, according to German media.

The festival is a celebration of southern German traditions like Alpine horns, oompah brass bands and thigh-slapping dancing.

The Brass Wiesn festival organizers have put up a message on the festival website homepage saying: “We mourn Tobias. We are stunned and incredibly sad. Our thoughts are with Tobias’ family and friends.”

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Sweet Vegan Treats Turns Into A Million Dollar Global Enterprise

Sweet Vegan Treats Turns Into A Million Dollar Global Enterprise

Laura Scott from Conscious Candy Company poses in an undated photograph. (Laura Scott,SWNS/Zenger)

By Simona Kitanovska

A young entrepreneur who started a vegan sweets business in her spare bedroom has turned it into a $1 million global confectionery firm.

Laura Scott, 25, of England started selling vegan pick ’n’ mix-style sweets in 2018 after spotting a gap in the market.

She would bulk buy the sweets, then make selections bags of them to sell online while working during her lunch break at her graphic design job.

In April 2019, she officially launched as a business and sold out of her products on the first day and decided she wanted to make the business her full-time job.

During lockdown The Conscious Candy Company soared – reaching $1.2 million turnover at the end of 2020 – supplying her sweet treats as far away as the United States and Japan.

But Scott says it’s more important to be able to work in line with her morals and ethics than to profit.

The Conscious Candy Company stall. Undated photograph. (Laura Scott,SWNS/Zenger)

Scott, of Plymouth, Devon, in England’s west, said: “When I first started it was just one product and now it’s over one hundred products – we do chocolate, baked goods, we deliver waffles, just anything sweet and anything that contains sugar.

“It’s an amazing thing to sit there and think about, for me it’s about how I’ve gained my freedom even though I work more than I ever did when I was employed – I do 4 a.m. starts, midnight finishes and a seven-day week.

“I get to hire people with the same beliefs and values and we work with animal charities, to do that stuff means more than the one million mark.”

Scott started out by selling bags of imported vegan sweets like cola bottles and fizzy strawberries in November 2018.

The business continued to diversify its offerings and has developed vegan pick ‘n’ mix sweets that were not previously available, including plant-based foam bananas and fried eggs.

They also offer a waffle delivery service in the Plymouth area through UberEats, allowing those with a sweet tooth to order treats including ‘strawberry shortcake’ and ‘banoffee delight’ waffles.

Now, the business has moved from Scott’s bedroom to a 5,000-square-foot unit and employs two full-time staffers, including Scott’s partner.

“I’ve been vegan for quite a while and was veggie for a long time too – my favorite thing is pick ‘n’ mix as it brings back childhood memories and when I launched there were only a few options on the market,” said Laura.

“I really wanted a traditional Woolworth’s style pick ‘n’ mix with bubble-gum bottles and I started thinking that there must be other people who feel the same.

“I asked on a vegan forum if it was something people would be interested in and the feedback was overwhelming – I began to research vegan options from around the world and find options I could make for a vegan pick ‘n’ mix.

“I thought it was going to be side-lined but as soon as it launched, I sold out that day.

“I was a full-time graphic designer at the time and launched the business on my lunch break at work – I had 1000 pounds [$1,200] come in and at that time it felt like a lot, I thought ‘this is pretty much the same as my full-time wage and I’ve done this in an afternoon’.

“There was a week of deliberating and I decided I wouldn’t know if I didn’t do it so I just stood up in a meeting and declared I was going and left – I had no plan, I just thought ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ and knew I could always get another job.

“I remember walking home from work in the rain and I didn’t even care, it was one of those things I normally wouldn’t like but I felt so free.

Conscious Candy Company orders. Undated photograph. (Laura Scott,SWNS/Zenger)

“In April 2019 we became a business – it was in my spare room when I started and now we’re in a five-thousand square foot unit and trading globally.

“We have customers from all over the world and we wholesale to independent stores – we’ve worked with some bigger companies but it’s not where I want to go with it.

“We’ve never had any big investment, I always said it will grow organically and now it’s my full-time job with my partner who joined the business two years ago.

“It’s a strange feeling as I never set out intending to do this.”

Produced in association with SWNS.

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Terror Ensues As Plane Clips Truck During Freeway Crash

Terror Ensues As Plane Clips Truck During Freeway Crash

The aftermath of the plane crash that occurred on the 91 Eastbound in Corona, California, on Tue., Aug. 9, 2022. The two occupants were able to safely exit the plane. (Corona Fire Department/Zenger)

By William McGee

Graphic video shows the terrifying moment when firefighters tackle the burning wreckage of an aircraft after it clipped a truck as it crash-landed on a freeway.

Minutes earlier, the plane had collided with a pickup truck as it approached the roadway for its forced landing.

Miraculously, the truck driver escaped unscathed.

The Piper PA-32-300 made a forced landing on State Route 91 in Corona on August 9, said the Federal Aviation Administration and the California Highway Patrol.

Officials say the pilot of the single-engine plane bound for Corona Municipal Airport from Catalina Island had reported a mechanical fault.

The impact sparked a fire, which ripped through the six-seater aircraft, but its two occupants – a pilot and a passenger – managed to escape unhurt.

The 50-year-old plane had collided with a Toyota Tundra pickup truck as it approached the freeway.

Amazingly, officials said the truck suffered only minor damage and its driver was unharmed.

Corona Fire Department firefighters extinguishing the fire caused by the plane crash on the 91 Eastbound in Corona, California, on Tue., Aug. 9, 2022. The two occupants were able to safely exit the plane. (@CoronaFireDept/Zenger).

Firefighters from the Corona Fire Department arrived at the crash site within five minutes and extinguished the flames shortly before 1 p.m.

The plane’s occupants had already managed to free themselves from the wreckage by the time the firemen arrived.

Pilot-owner and IT exec Andrew Cho told local media: “I’m ecstatic to be alive.”

Neither he nor his passenger needed medical assistance.

Reportedly, Cho and his passenger were returning from Catalina Island, which lies just 22 miles off the California coast, where they had enjoyed lunch.

Two eastbound lanes of the freeway were closed to traffic following the accident, bringing cars nearly to a standstill.

The plane was a total loss, and its wreckage was cleared by Tuesday night, August 9.

Zenger News obtained the footage from the Corona Fire Department, which said: “On-scene footage from Corona Engine 3 as they arrived on scene to the plane crash on the 91 Eastbound in Corona.”

The video was recorded through the windshield of a fire truck. It showed the burning airplane and thick smoke rising into the bright California sky. The video then shifts to a firefighter dousing the flames with water.

A photo posted by the fire department showed the aftermath of the incident: the airplane was burned and nearly consumed by the fire, leaving behind the engine compartment and tail.

Plane burns after crashing on the 91 Eastbound in Corona, California, on Tue., Aug. 9, 2022. The two occupants were able to safely exit the plane.  (@CoronaFireDept/Zenger).

Facebook user Sheena Steiner Escalante commented on the Facebook page for the Corona Fire Department: “We are lucky to have the best fire department. Thank you guys for all of your hard work!”

The 300-horsepower, fixed landing gear “Cherokee Six” Piper 32-300 was first certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1967. It continued in production in several variants until 2007.

The versatile aircraft has been used for decades around the world for private transportation, air taxi services, bush support, and medevacs.

Facebook user Karen Eisenacher Earp commented: “Praise God for the safe escape of the passengers!”

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