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Accelerating Innovation: How Covid Has Prompted Technological Evolution Within Healthcare



Every industry across the world is feeling the impact of the demands posed by Covid. While healthcare is undoubtedly the heaviest impacted sector, the rapid evolution of e-health throughout 2020 promises to carry a lasting beneficial impact on the industry.

Significantly, innovations are occurring at break-neck speeds within the industry and all are being rolled out as a means of providing better levels of care for patients while protecting the public and staff alike from the dangers of the pandemic.

(Image: Bain & Company)

The statistics above show that there have been seismic advancements in healthcare technology throughout Europe, with the prevalence of telehealth nearly doubling since Covid arrived. Other supply chain developments and changes in patient triaging point to a new era of efficiency within the industry that can contribute to providing a greater level of care and ultimately saving lives long after vaccines have ended the threat of the pandemic.

Let’s take a deeper look into some of the most significant innovations that have been prompted by the emergence of Covid-19:

Incorporating AI With Real-Time Patient Data

One of the innovations in the era of Covid that could carry highly promising ramifications for the industry comes in the form of the Patient Status Engine (PSE), which has been developed to automatically collect raw patient data and decision-support tools for clinicians through the use of wearable sensors and wireless networks combined with big data in order to generate high-resolution patient monitoring.

Currently developed for use in two NHS trusts domestically and in other global use cases, it’s a class-2 medical device that’s FDA-approved in America and currently the only end-to-end digital solution of its kind.

Keith Errey, CEO and co-founder of Isansys Lifecare, likened the PSE to something of an app store for healthcare: “Bedside equipment in hospitals gives clinically accurate data, but isn’t portable, while wearable products generally don’t provide information accurate enough to make clinical decisions,” Errey explains. “People are developing their own artificial intelligence to run within our platform.”

Installed behind hospital firewalls, the PSE works through the use of wireless connections, essentially connecting patients through Android ‘gateways’ running Isansys applications that can receive incoming data from encrypted Bluetooth connections.

This can facilitate the development of high-dependency isolation wards where patients can easily be monitored and tended to should AI interpret the masses of data they produce to be of concern.

The Rapid Rise of e-Healthcare

In a matter of weeks, the pandemic changed the way that doctors interacted with patients. In the UK, NHS services adopted digital technology at an unprecedented rate. For instance, back in December 2019, NHS Digital reported that only 15% of 23 million primary care appointments during the month had taken place by phone or online. However, by April 2020, 49% of appointments were occurring either by phone or online.

In May 2020 many domestic GP practices were delivering as much as 90% of their appointments virtually. This technology has reportedly been equally as dramatic among some hospital and community services.

The emergence of Covid has prompted healthcare workers to embrace technology at a much faster rate and in a way that’s certainly saved lives and ensured that patients could stay safe at home.

The fact that this has been possible for the NHS, a universal healthcare system, shows how quickly large institutions can embrace new technologies within medicine.

3D-Printed Essential Equipment

In a world dominated by cloud technology and big data, we sometimes forget that 3D printers have grown into one of the most effective catalysts for innovation this Century, and Covid helped the technology to jump back into the limelight.

Belfast-based artificial intelligence software firm, Axial3D, deployed its 3D capabilities during the pandemic to develop new ways of printing face shields, ventilator parts and nasopharyngeal swabs for testing.

Following clinical trials across the US, the firm sent 100,000s of specially designed swabs to capture Covid samples in North America, Europa and Asia. Measuring at around 15 centimetres, these swabs are produced on Formlabs printers on surgical guide resin to keep samples better intact than traditional swabs. They can also be condensed into tubes, with each printer capable of creating 1,000 per day.

Axial3D chief executive, Roger Johnston, said: “Our primary market has been the US, where demand is huge.” Johnston also noted that demand for these medically optimised supplies aren’t slowing down over time, stating that “there won’t be a turning point backwards.”

The Road to Wider Adoption

As the arrival of Covid vaccines around the world paves the way towards an end of a difficult era in human history, the innovations that have emerged within the world of healthcare will begin to be explored worldwide.

In the near future, it’s worth looking out for the various adopted technologies that private health insurance organisations can offer patients and comparing them accordingly, while we can also expect the NHS to continue to build on its e-healthcare offerings through the form of virtual appointments and video consultations.

2021 looks set to bring us the light at the end of the tunnel of the Covid crisis. But even more cause for optimism can be found in the new preventative measures that medical practices can offer patients which have been developed to combat the virus. By building on the strides taken during the pandemic, the future looks increasingly bright for modern healthcare.

James Anderson is currently working on his second novel, a YA fantasy called Reaper, and on a number of freelance projects. His first novel, Allegedly, is available on Amazon.

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Ripple Labs notches landmark win in SEC case over XRP cryptocurrency



13 July (Reuters) A U.S. judge ruled on Thursday that Ripple Labs Inc. did not break federal securities law by selling its XRP coin on open exchanges. This was a significant legal victory for the cryptocurrency sector and caused XRP’s value to skyrocket.

Refinitiv Eikon figures show that by late Thursday afternoon, XRP had increased by 75%.

Although the SEC also received a partial success as a result of the decision by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres, it was the first victory for a cryptocurrency corporation in a case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Although the ruling is particular to the specifics of the case, it will probably give other crypto companies fighting the SEC evidence as to whether their products are covered by the regulator’s authority.

An SEC representative stated that the agency was satisfied with the judge’s conclusion that Ripple had broken the law by selling XRP directly to knowledgeable investors.

Once a final judgment is rendered, or earlier if the court permits it, the decision may be appealed.

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A spokeswoman for the SEC stated that the regulator was considering the choice.

The decision, according to Ripple Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse, is “a huge win for Ripple but more importantly for the industry overall in the U.S.”

The biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase (COIN.O), said that it would once more permit XRP trading on its platform.

“We have reviewed Judge Torres’ well considered ruling. We’ve gone over our analysis in great detail. Paul Grewal, the chief legal officer at Coinbase, tweeted that it was time to relist.

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On Thursday, the price of Coinbase stock rose 24% to $107 per share.

The company and its current and past chief executives were charged by the SEC with executing an unregistered $1.3 billion securities offering by selling XRP, which Ripple’s creators invented in 2012.

The cryptocurrency sector, which contests the SEC’s claim that the great majority of crypto tokens are securities and are therefore subject to its severe investor protection regulations, has been closely following the issue. The regulator has filed more than 100 enforcement actions against cryptocurrency companies, alleging that different tokens constitute securities, but many of those cases have been settled.

In the few cases that have gone to trial, judges have agreed with the SEC that the disputed crypto assets were securities. Securities, as opposed to assets like commodities, are subject to strict regulation, must be registered by their issuer with the SEC, and demand extensive disclosures to alert investors to potential risks.

Torres determined that since buyers did not have a reasonable expectation of profit linked to Ripple’s efforts, the company’s XRP sales on open cryptocurrency exchanges did not, in the eyes of the law, constitute offers of securities.

She referred to those transactions as “blind bid/ask transactions,” in which the purchasers “could not have known if their payments of money went to Ripple, or any other seller of XRP.”

Torres utilized a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that stated “an investment of money in a common enterprise with profits to come solely from the efforts of others,” is a type of security called an investment contract.

According to Torres, Garlinghouse and co-founder and former CEO Chris Larsen’s sales of XRP on cryptocurrency exchanges and other disbursements, such as employee compensation, did not constitute securities.

The $728.9 million in XRP sales by the business to hedge funds and other affluent clients that Torres determined to be unregistered transactions of securities gave the SEC a partial success.

According to Torres, Ripple’s institutional investor-focused marketing made it obvious the company “was pitching a speculative value proposition for XRP” that depended on company efforts to build the blockchain infrastructure supporting the digital asset.

She argued that a jury must determine if Garlinghouse and Larsen helped the corporation break the law and that the defendants cannot claim they had no “fair notice” that XRP was a cryptocurrency at the time of the alleged offense.

“The law does not require the SEC to warn all potential violators on an individual or industry level,” the spokesperson stated.

According to Gary DeWaal of Katten Muchin Rosenman, the decision should aid Coinbase in defending its own SEC case.

According to the market response, the decision represents a “tremendous event for the industry,” he claimed.

Both the Ripple and Coinbase cases center on the need for registration as well as whether certain digital assets qualify as securities under American law.

Since the verdict, the crypto sector has pushed for legislation to define the legal status of digital assets and put forth clear regulations for tokens.

Republican House Majority Whip Tom Emmer stated on Twitter that the decision proved “a token is separate and distinct from an investment contract it may or may not be part of.”

Let’s pass it into law now, he said.

Reporting was done by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, and Jody Godoy and Chris Prentice in New York; editing was done by Chizu Nomiyama, Conor Humphries, Leslie Adler, and David Gregorio.
The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles serve as our benchmarks.

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XRP, Coinbase Surge As Investors Take Favorable View Of Ripple Ruling



Judge Analisa Torres’ decision that some cryptocurrency transactions do not count as securities sales gave Ripple Labs Inc. what appears to be a partial victory in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against it, which substantially increased the price of cryptocurrencies. The SEC’s assertion that the majority of digital assets are securities that must be registered—which is impossible to do under the current regulations—can be successfully contested, even though the district court’s ruling is not legally binding elsewhere.

This has repercussions for other actions the agency takes against cryptocurrency exchanges and other middlemen. In December 2020, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, stating that the company’s $1.3 billion in sales of the digital asset XRPXRP 0.0%XRP 0.0% since 2013 amounted to an unregistered securities offering.

The court ruled in a summary decision that the $757.6 million worth of XRP that Ripple offered to retail customers via programmatic sales was valid. Moreover, the court determined that using XRP to pay for employee salary and other services did not satisfy the requirements of an investment contract. “Whereas Institutional Buyers could have reasonably expected that Ripple would use the capital it received from its sales to improve the XRP ecosystem and thereby increase the price of XRP, programmatic Buyers could not have reasonably expected the same.”

The original founding team gave Ripple 80 billion XRP units (of a 100 billion maximum) as compensation for their assistance in building the company’s blockchain, the XRP ledger. Contrary to the more common practice of initial coin offerings, where a currency’s developers sell it to investors, founding teams or decentralized organizations might nonetheless own large holdings.

The judge found that the $728.9 million in XRP that the company sold to institutional investors was an illegal offering, ruling that “Based on the totality of the circumstances, the Court finds that reasonable investors, situated in the position of the Institutional Buyers, would have purchased XRP with the expectation that they would derive profits from Ripple’s efforts.” This prevented the ruling from being a complete victory for cryptocurrencies.

After the decision was made public, the value of all cryptocurrencies increased by almost 6% to $1.3 trillion, while XRP rose by 76% to 82 cents, ranking it as the fourth-largest digital asset, according to CoinGecko. Investors saw the decision favorably for the company’s own battle with the SEC, which has accused it of operating as an unregistered securities market, and the stock price of the Coinbase exchange increased by about 20%. It’s interesting to note that when the Ripple lawsuit was revealed in 2020, the exchange really stopped dealing XRP.

The decision made today does not, however, automatically give exchanges the green light. When considering the ability of this decision to set a precedent for other instances, Stephen Palley, a partner at Brown Rudnick and co-chair of the digital commerce practice, told Forbes that there is some significant nuance that needs to be taken into account. “The court says in a footnote that it is not ruling on whether or not secondary transactions are securities transactions,” remarked Palley. “It stated that a user of these platforms, or crypto exchanges, would not be able to determine that Ripple is on the other side. As a result, the court came to the conclusion that there could not have been a profit expectation based on Ripple’s efforts.

Palley wonders if this reasoning will make it more difficult for other courts to claim that secondary sales are investment contracts in the future. “I don’t understand how you can say that transactions between two non-Ripple parties would be securities transactions but transactions where Ripple was on one side wouldn’t,”

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The Future of Dapp Development: Emerging Trends and Technologies



The world of decentralised applications, or dapps, has witnessed significant growth and innovation in recent years. As blockchain technology continues to evolve, developers are exploring new possibilities and pushing the boundaries of what dapps can achieve. In this article, we will delve into the exciting future of dapp development, exploring the emerging trends and technologies that are shaping this rapidly evolving landscape.

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Smart Contracts Revolutionizing Dapp Development

Smart contracts, the self-executing agreements built on blockchain technology, are revolutionizing dapp development. These contracts enable trustless transactions and automate the execution of predefined conditions. By eliminating the need for intermediaries, smart contracts offer increased efficiency, transparency, and security. As the backbone of many dapps, smart contracts have paved the way for innovative use cases across various industries.

Scalability Solutions: Overcoming Blockchain Bottlenecks

Scalability has been a major challenge for blockchain technology, limiting its widespread adoption. However, developers are actively working on solutions to overcome these bottlenecks. Layer-2 scaling solutions like state channels and sidechains allow for faster and cheaper transactions by reducing the load on the main blockchain.

Additionally, advancements in sharding and consensus mechanisms such as Proof-of-Stake (PoS) are improving the scalability of blockchain networks, opening up new possibilities for dapp development company.

Interoperability: Bridging Different Blockchains

Interoperability is another key focus area for the future of dapp development. Currently, most dapps operate within their respective blockchain ecosystems, limiting their potential impact. However, projects like Polkadot, Cosmos, and ICON are working on interoperability protocols that allow dapps to communicate and interact across different blockchains. This cross-chain functionality will enable seamless data sharing and collaboration, fostering a more connected and vibrant dapp ecosystem.

User Experience and Adoption: Simplifying Dapp Onboarding

One of the critical factors for the success of dapps is user experience. To drive mainstream adoption, dapps must offer intuitive interfaces, seamless onboarding processes, and improved performance. User-centric design principles and user experience (UX) research are being applied to enhance the usability of dapps, making them more accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, developments like MetaMask and WalletConnect simplify the process of interacting with dapps, further enhancing the user experience.

Privacy and Security: Protecting User Data

Privacy and security are paramount in the dapp development landscape. With personal data becoming increasingly valuable, developers must prioritize protecting user information while ensuring the transparency of blockchain transactions. Advancements in zero-knowledge proofs, homomorphic encryption, and decentralized identity solutions are being leveraged to strike the delicate balance between privacy and transparency. These technologies enable users to maintain control over their data while participating in decentralized applications securely.

The Rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have gained significant traction, revolutionizing digital ownership and the art world. NFTs represent unique digital assets that can be bought, sold, and traded on the blockchain. From digital art and collectibles to virtual real estate and gaming items, NFTs have opened up new avenues for creators and collectors. As the technology evolves, we can expect more innovative use cases for NFTs in the future of dapp development.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Dapps

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies with dapps holds immense potential. AI and ML algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data on the blockchain, providing valuable insights and enabling automated decision-making within dapps. These technologies can enhance fraud detection, improve user recommendations, and optimize various processes, creating smarter and more efficient decentralized applications.


In conclusion, the future of dapp development is brimming with possibilities. Smart contracts are revolutionizing the way transactions are executed, while scalability solutions and interoperability protocols are addressing the limitations of blockchain technology. User experience improvements, privacy-enhancing technologies, the rise of NFTs, and the integration of AI and ML are shaping the dapp landscape. As developers continue to push the boundaries of innovation, we can expect dapps to transform industries, empower individuals, and drive the adoption of decentralized technologies in the years to come.

Remember, this article is just a glimpse into the vast realm of dapp development. As the technology continues to evolve, new trends and technologies will emerge, further expanding the horizons of what dapps can achieve. So, buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey into the future of decentralized application development.

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