New advances promise to make healthcare more targeted, effective and less expensive.

Andrew Thompson was strolling through the exhibits at an American Heart Association conference 15 years ago when he noticed something strange. While the world beyond the exhibition hall was being transformed by a digital revolution, there was scarcely a computer in sight in the booths of pharmaceutical companies gathered to attract the interest of world-class medical professionals.

He pulled aside a friend, and said: “We need to figure out how to make a drug talk to a computer when it is swallowed so we can help to personalize medicine.” That was the seed for what became Proteus Digital Health, a…


Innovative startups are helping corporates combat security risks posed by smart phones and tablets.

Sometime last November an anonymous group of hackers began hijacking smartphones and redirecting their browsers to a website that conducts “crypto-mining,” the term for using computing power to tally transactions made on the blockchain, a type of digital ledger technology. By the time cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes detected the campaign against Android phones in late January, it estimated that millions of phones had been compromised. “The threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few months, with many actors jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon,” Malwarebytes researchers wrote in a report. “Malware-based miners, as well as their web-based counterparts, are booming and…


FUTURE OF WORK

DATAIKU

UNITED STATES

WHAT IT DOES: A software platform that pulls in data from across a company and uses visual design to make it accessible to employees in order to drive analysis and decision making.

www.dataiku.com

FUTURE OF WORK

TALMUNDO

THE NETHERLANDS

WHAT IT DOES: An HR platform that simplifies the on-boarding process for new employees, from signing a contract to starting work. https://www.talmundo.com/

FUTURE OF WORK

REALWEAR

UNITED STATES WHAT IT DOES: A shock resistant augmented reality head-mounted wearable device for connected industrial workers. www.realwear.com

MOBILITY

STARSHIP TECHNOLOGIES

UNITED KINGDOM

WHAT IT DOES: Building a fleet…


Industrial control systems are an easy tantalizing target for hackers

In 2017 NotPetya ransomware caused an estimated $10 billion in damage as it shut down ports, disrupted shipping, infected factories and hit power grids. Such havoc is entirely predictable. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to transform manufacturing, energy, agriculture, transportation and other industrial sectors of the economy that, together, account for nearly two-thirds of the global gross domestic product. …


The technology is being used to manufacture everything from orthodontic devices to cars and rocket engines.

MakerBot was among the first to develop desktop versions of 3D printers that put additive manufacturing within reach of a new generation of entrepreneurs and product developers. Initially it saw sales grow fast but they hit a wall when widespread consumer interest failed to materialize. Stratasys, a leader of industrial additive manufacturing, acquired it in 2013 for $604 million.That’s not surprising because the industrial space is where analysts believe the real potential of 3D printing lies. Research firm Gartner projects that by 2021 at least 40% of factories will embrace some kind of additive manufacturing technology, the term used to…


Robots are increasingly working next to humans, raising efficiency in warehouses, factories and labs.

The Panda is a collaborative robotic arm designed by Munich-based Franka Emika to perform repetitive tasks that it can be taught by pushing a few buttons on its arm.

At a warehouse in the French city of Bordeaux, Skypod, a robot created by startup Exotec Solutions, carries a bin that can hold up to 30 kilograms as it wheels around using a laser scanner for navigation. When it reaches inventory racks, it grabs onto rails and glides upward until it finds the correct shelf to retrieve the merchandise. The Skypod then zips to a conveyor belt where a human uses a scanner to verify the goods. These robots save physical wear and tear on employees, who walk an average of 15 kilometers a day fetching goods. The robots can…


The technology is adding transparency and efficiency to a system that still runs on phone calls and handshakes.

The industries that power the global supply chain have stubbornly resisted radical change for decades despite being plagued by fraud, buried under mountains of paper, and suffering mind-boggling inefficiencies. This conservatism makes their sudden love affair with blockchain technology one of the crypto era’s most surprising twists. IBM and shipping giant Maersk have teamed up to develop an industry-wide blockchain platform they believe can finally modernize an industry that still often runs on phone calls and handshakes. Retailers like Carrefour and Walmart have embraced blockchain as a way to make their supply chains more transparent in order to build more…


A digitally-optimized logistics industry could add huge value to the world economy.

From the time a product leaves a factory in some distant corner of the world to the moment it reaches your doorstep, it uses a dizzying number of services, with dozens of companies exchanging hundreds of different data points. It is a remarkable journey made even more epic by the fact that so many logistics services remain in a digital dark age, completing transactions via phone, paper and fax machine.

No wonder logistics companies are being targeted from all sides for massive disruption. Startups as well as some of the world’s biggest corporates are marshalling financial and technical resources to…


The country is expected to have tremendous global influence over the design, operating rules, and sales of driverless vehicles.

While Silicon Valley took an early lead in the race to develop autonomous vehicles, many observers believe it will soon be surpassed by China. And thanks to a ferocious push by the government that has catalyzed efforts by tech giants and startups alike, China seems poised not just to lead but to dominate this emerging global market in the decades ahead. “China is playing catchup, but playing it faster than anyone else,” says Andrey Berdichevskiy, automotive mobility solutions lead at the global consultancy Deloitte in Hong Kong. “I expect the pace of development in China to become quicker and quicker…


Wide-scale deployment of commercial drones is being constrained by outdated aviation rules. A new effort led by the World Economic Forum aims to help regulators take an innovative approach to managing aerial traffic.

The Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has a network of 40 drones that have made more than 20,000 deliveries of small items such as food or smartphones to remote areas around the country. The economics are compelling: It’s six to seven times as expensive for the company to send similar products by truck. Yet even in a country as highly centralized as China, the regulatory environment for drones is limiting. JD.com only operates the service in a handful of provinces where it has gotten permission from local governments while waiting for national rules.

“If there were uniform standards, we could be…

Chris O'Brien

Business and Technology Reporter living in Toulouse, France. Silicon Valley refugee.

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