The Wonder, January 26 - Hey Google, Remove My Appendix

INblog, technology, the wonder|BYsf appworks

A Weekly Snapshot of Life-Changing Technology

1. Hey Google, remove my appendix

Google parent company Alphabet’s health tech division raised $1B.

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Hot Take
Google is making two big bets to revolutionize the future – their public self driving car service Waymo (set to launch later this year) and Verily, which could change healthcare and medicine by advancing the use of robots and machine learning.

Why it matters
Let’s take a look at what Verily is working on:

  • Continuous glucose monitors.
  • Glucose-sensing lenses (currently on hold).
  • Bioelectronic medicines for a variety of chronic diseases.
  • Machine learning-based solutions for eye conditions associated with diabetes.
  • A robotic surgical unit.
  • Multiple projects to enhance health outcomes and decrease patient costs.

Battle brewing
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that health was the number one contribution Apple would make to mankind. Compared to the healthcare market, the smartphone market is small change. With the release of Apple Health Records and the single-lead ECG in the Apple Watch, it’s clear they have entered the healthcare space.

2. Watch this pilotless plane take off

3. Paw-sitive news

One Health raises $5M to help dogs fight cancer. 

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Hot Take
Our pets eat organic food delivered weekly, sleep on Casper mattresses, and chew on toys that brush their teeth. Why shouldn’t they get human quality health care?

How it works
Gene sequencing to understand the exact genetic mutation causing your dog’s cancer.
Action plans to help people understand what is driving their dog’s cancer and the best therapeutic implications.
Genetic sequencing results are used to provide individualized, targeted treatment that leverages the latest science available.

Why it matters
There are 90 million dogs living in U.S. households. One in five will develop cancer at some point.

Take note, entreprenuers
Pet Tech is taking off. BarkBox raised $81.7M to deliver pet-themed boxes, Wag raised $300M and Rover raised $155M to help people walk their dogs, and PetSmart acquired Chewy.com for $3.35B in the largest e-commerce acquisition ever.

4. Three new technologies in retail that worked in 2018. One that didn't.

After another year of building websites and apps, we take a look at which technologies worked for retailers and which big one didn’t. 

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5. App of the week - Quirk.

Quirk is a tool for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The app helps you record ‘automatic thoughts’, challenge them, and then train your brain with an alternative thought.

Hot Take
After winning the TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon with our AI-powered Emotion Journal, we took a deep look at the mental health tech space and almost launched an app to teach people how to become armchair therapists by understanding concepts like catastrophizing, emotional reasoning, and All or Nothing Thinking. The idea was that if you could recognize and categorize the habits, you could better deal with them. Quirk takes a step in the right direction, though it would be helpful if they provided a glossary to identify these concepts instead of assuming we already know them.

The featured image credit: iStock/Kirillm

Thanks for reading! We’ll see you next week.

-Andrew and Darius