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The internet is a terror battle ground — and we’re losing (Opinion …

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The internet is a terror battle ground — and we’re losing

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Centennial’s new gigabit internet service that’s not Comcast breaks ground next week

Construction begins next week in Centennial on a service that will ultimately bring what many in Colorado have voted for: fast internet from someone other than the local cable TV or telephone provider.

Ting Internet, based in Canada, has been working with the city for more than a year to study whether the community was a good place to offer gigabit internet service. Ting already offers gigabit service in parts of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.

Centennial residents voted in 2013 to opt out of SB-152, a state law that prevents municipalities from offering internet service. As of November, more than 100 cities and counties have voted to abandon the law.

On Thursday, Ting said that two neighborhoods near Dry Creek Road and Yosemite St. will be the first to get its gigabit internet service. That’s the Willow Creek 1 and 2 subdivisions. For those who sign up now, service could start in the spring, said Monica Webb, who handles Ting’s government relations.

“We anticipate to light up our first customers in Spring of 2018,” she said. “Since Willow Creek is our first neighborhood, we’ll be a bit slower to light up customers than in subsequent neighbourhoods where they’ll be able to sign up for service in just a couple months after construction. ”

Future neighborhoods are determined by the number of pre-orders, the ease of working with a neighborhood’s home owners association and the proximity to the city’s internet backbone, which is branches out from the city municipal building. Future fiber lines run along East Arapahoe Road, East Dry Creek Road and East County Line Road.

“We plan to announce our next phase of construction in the first quarter of 2018,” Webb said.

Ting would connect homes and businesses to the city’s main pipe and then manage internet service, which starts at $19 a month for 5 megabits per second. The one gigabit speed plan is $89 a month. For those who pre-order, the $199 installation fee is waived. Customers can also buy for an internet box from Ting for $199 or rent it for $9 a month.

Centennial is further along than most of the more than 100 cities and counties that have voted to opt out of the law.

But Longmont is still the leader, having launched its gigabit service a few years ago. The service, managed by the city-owned NextLight, is still being built out but is available to the majority of residents and businesses in the city, with about 53 percent of Longmont’s population using the service, Scott Rochat, a spokesman for Longmont Power Communications, shared in November.

Elsewhere, several cities in the state have moved forward from researching municipal broadband, such as the city of Wray, near the Nebraska border, is putting in a 14-mile fiber backbone and letting the Plains Cooperative Telephone Association handle the last mile to offer broadband to residents’ homes.

Apple loses ground to Android in a few key markets

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Apple Lost Ground to Android Because of iPhone X Delays

The scarcity of Apple Inc.’s  (AAPL) iPhone X helped lead the company to a lower smartphone market share in the quarter ended in October, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In the U.S. and Europe, use of the company’s smartphone operating system iOS fell year over year, as rival Android (GOOGL) increased its market share 4.3% in Europe, 8.2% in the U.S. and 7.5% in Japan.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

As of October, the firm estimated that 35.3% of Apple users owned their phones for over two years, up from 30.1% a year ago.

However, the firm also said it expects the pricey iPhone X to make up for the decline in sales of older iPhone models.

Apple and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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Apple Lost Ground to Android Because of iPhone X Delays

The scarcity of Apple Inc.’s  (AAPL) iPhone X helped lead the company to a lower smartphone market share in the quarter ended in October, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

In the U.S. and Europe, use of the company’s smartphone operating system iOS fell year over year, as rival Android (GOOGL) increased its market share 4.3% in Europe, 8.2% in the U.S. and 7.5% in Japan.

“It was somewhat inevitable that Apple would see volume share fall once we had a full comparative month of sales taking into account the non-flagship iPhone 8 vs. the flagship iPhone 7 from 2016,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Global Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “This decrease is significant and puts pressure on the iPhone X to perform. Considering the complete overhaul that the iPhone X offers, consumers may be postponing their purchase decisions until they can test the iPhone X and decide whether the higher price, compared to the iPhone 8, is worth the premium to them.”

As of October, the firm estimated that 35.3% of Apple users owned their phones for over two years, up from 30.1% a year ago.

However, the firm also said it expects the pricey iPhone X to make up for the decline in sales of older iPhone models.

Apple and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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Damian Green appears to shift ground on computer porn denials

Theresa May’s de-facto Deputy Prime Minister appears to have retreated from his previous outright denial about extreme porn being found on his computer as he continues to fight for his political life.

Damian Green had previously rejected claims that any pornographic material had been found on his personal computer.

On November 4 he issued a statement saying: “This story is completely untrue and comes from a tainted and untrustworthy source. The police have never suggested to me that improper material was found on my Parliamentary computer, nor did I have a ‘private’ computer as has been claimed.

“The allegations about the material and computer, now nine years old, are false, disreputable smears.”

But he appeared to shift ground after the former Metropolitan Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, confirmed on November 12 that he was informed that detectives had found pornographic material on a…

Snapchat for Android is being rebuilt ‘from the ground up’ to attract more users

Snap stock is plummeting following dismal Q3 earnings that revealed losses accelerating faster than revenue. To counteract this, CEO Evan Spiegel noted a number of changes, including developing a new version of its Android client “from the ground up.”


e201a_CI_NSwitch_Console_02 Snapchat for Android is being rebuilt 'from the ground up' to attract more users

Nintendo Switch

While the Snapchat Android client has gotten better in recent versions, critics of its performance — especially in comparison to iOS — are ever-present. In prepared remarks, Spiegel cites how various performance improvements over the last few months have already resulted in “significantly more Android users” joining the platform compared to iOS in September.

Since April, the average time to start the app has dropped by 20%, while he noted that “monthly crash rates across both iOS and Android reached an all-time low.”

Meanwhile, “a wide variety of Android handsets” have been distributed across the engineering division. To highlight the complexity of the task, the CEO revealed how in Q3 alone Snapchat was used on over 60,000 different Android device models.

To increase usage, Snap is targeting more sections of the population, including international users, those over 34, and Android users. The latter involves building a new Android from the ground up. It will launch in select markets before a wider rollout.

This new version of our application leverages everything we have learned about building for Android over the past five years, to provide a more performant product experience that we know our community will appreciate. This effort requires significant engineering resources across all of our engineering teams and will be a huge focus over the coming year. After seeing the results of increasing Android performance over the past few months, with significantly more Android users added than iOS users in September, we wish we had done this sooner.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

Inventor lets Apple fans slam his brand new £1150 iPhone X onto the ground as test for his ‘military grade’ case

AN INVENTOR let an Apple customer throw his £1,150 iPhone onto concrete to show them how strong his new phone case is.

James Griffith went to Apple’s flagship Regent Street store in London and immediately threw his new gadget 25ft into the air to test his “military-grade” Mous case.

ac0ce_nintchdbpict000364524309 Inventor lets Apple fans slam his brand new £1150 iPhone X onto the ground as test for his 'military grade' case
James Griffith throws his pricey iPhone into the air
ac0ce_nintchdbpict000364524309 Inventor lets Apple fans slam his brand new £1150 iPhone X onto the ground as test for his 'military grade' case
The inventor recovers the unscathed device

Crowds queuing for the state-of-the-art device were amazed at the spectacle.

Fortunately for James the case lived up to his expectations and the phone was unscathed.

He even let a stranger have a go at smashing the case onto the floor.

Mr Griffith said:  “I was extremely nervous live testing our cases in front of everyone.

ac0ce_nintchdbpict000364524309 Inventor lets Apple fans slam his brand new £1150 iPhone X onto the ground as test for his 'military grade' case
Mous manufactures ‘military-grade’ phone cases
ac0ce_nintchdbpict000364524309 Inventor lets Apple fans slam his brand new £1150 iPhone X onto the ground as test for his 'military grade' case
Apple fans watched in horror as he put the device through it paces

“This was the first time we were able to test the cases we’d developed with the new iPhone X – anything could have gone wrong.”

Iphones have been available for pre-orders from October 27 and went on general release from yesterday (Friday, November 3).

The handest is being marketed in the UK at an eye-watering £999.

That’s twice the price of the original model that was launched ten years ago.

The tech giant’s chief executive Tim Cook said the latest flagship handset was a milestone for the company a decade after the first iPhone was released.

tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368


 

Pistons, Henry Ford Health System break ground on $65 million+ facility in New Center

  • Henry Ford Hospital and Detroit Pistons break ground on dual sports medicine and team headquarters/practice facility in New Center
  • $65 million+ facilty expected to open in summer 2019
  • Pistons employees continue to work at The Palace of Auburn Hills while team plays at Little Caesars Arena

 Pistons, Henry Ford Health System break ground on $65 million+ facility in New Center

 Pistons, Henry Ford Health System break ground on $65 million+ facility in New Center

The Detroit Pistons and Henry Ford Health System ceremoniously broke ground Monday on a 175,000-square-foot facility in New Center that will be the NBA basketball franchise’s new headquarters and practice facility as well as a regional sports medicine facility.

Construction of the Henry Ford-Detroit Pistons Performance Center, at the corner of Second Avenue and Amsterdam Street, was part of the deal the city of Detroit cut with Pistons owner Tom Gores to get the basketball team to return to the city after a four-decade hiatus in Auburn Hills.

The Pistons played their first game at Little Caesars Arena last Wednesday night. The team’s 200-employee corporate backoffice continues to work out of the Palace of Auburn Hills, which had been the Pistons’ home since 1988.

Construction of the Pistons headquarters and training facility is expected to take nearly two years. When the Pistons and Henry Ford announced the joint facility in February, officials with both organizations said the building would cost upward of $65 million.

Pistons employees will move into the new Detroit headquarters when construction is complete in the summer of 2019.

Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem said Gores and the Pistons organization hope the project will be a “catalyst” for further redevelopment in the New Center neighborhood and beyond.

Tellem said he’s recently heard people say, “You can’t save Detroit, you have to be Detroit.”

“That’s what the Pistons intend to be,” Tellem said. “We’re all in on Detroit and we’re going to be Detroit.”

The Platform LLC, a Detroit-based real estate development firm, has been hired by the Pistons and Henry Ford to be the general developer and owner’s representative of the project. Detroit architecture firm Rossetti has been hired to design the facility.

For construction management, The Platform has selected Christman-Brinker, a joint venture of The Christman Co.’s Detroit office and Detroit-based L.S. Brinker Co.

Both construction firms have recently partnered on two major projects on Woodward Avenue: the new Little Caesars Pizza headquarters and the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.

“This outstanding project represents a significant step forward in Detroit’s revitalization, with an immediate positive effect on the entire community,” Christman-Brinker principal Larry Brinker Jr. said in a statement.

Henry Ford Health System’s sports medicine, treatment and rehabilitation wing of the building will be named after William Clay Ford, the late owner of the Detroit Lions.

William Clay and Martha Ford were early financial supporters of the hospital’s sports medicine practice, said Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System.

Two swing-state Democrats offer middle ground on health care

A pair of swing-state Democrats are offering new legislation that would create Medicare-style options for non-elderly workers, with a heavy focus on rural areas that have few insurers offering coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The proposal, from Sens. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.) and Tim Kaine (Va.), is politically significant because it tries to build on the existing law rather than the tear-it-all-down proposal of a national health-care system that is being offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Often called “single payer,” the Sanders proposal has gained steam among liberal activists who felt that last year’s failed presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton lacked a big progressive idea to galvanize the Democratic base. The single-payer plan, sometimes called “Medicare for All,” has already been embraced by many of the potential Democratic contenders for president in 2020, including prominent Senate Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala D. Harris (Calif.).

However, overall, it has drawn only a third of the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus as co-sponsors, and even some supporters say the single-payer proposal is more of an “aspirational” goal. No one is certain how to finance an idea that would use Medicare as the basis for all health plans. Many Democrats worry that it would require huge tax increases that would kill the plan politically.

This shows the Democratic gap between those looking at the mood of national activists who will play a key role in selecting the party’s 2020 presidential nominee and those running in competitive congressional races next year that will determine the majorities in the House and Senate.

That’s where Bennet and Kaine come in, with what they call “Medicare-X,” legislation they are formally unveiling this week. It would allow anyone to buy into a publicly provided plan using the network of Medicare providers and physicians, at similar rates, with lower-income workers receiving tax credits for the plan. In its first years of operation, this new Medicare option would be available only in counties that have one or no providers offering insurance on the ACA’s private exchanges.

It would eventually phase in to all counties and would effectively serve as what Democrats called the “public option” in 2009 and 2010, when they debated and passed the health law under President Barack Obama. The public option, passed in the original draft by the House, could not clear a filibuster in the Senate and was dropped from the final bill. That came even though Democrats had 60 members in their caucus, enough to clear a filibuster, because several opposed a public option.

Bennet and Kaine are offering a proposal that they believe is both realistic and politically viable. The original targets for Medicare-X would be in rural areas that have been hardest hit by insurance providers fleeing ACA exchanges.

This would create, Bennet said in a statement given to The Washington Post, “a plan that begins to fix this problem by giving families and individuals a meaningful and affordable alternative.”

“Consumers can compare it with available private options and make the choice best for their health,” Kaine said.

Other Democrats have been trying to advance their own plans. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is proposing a bill that would allow people from ages 55 to 64 to buy into the actual Medicare program, while Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), sometimes mentioned as a 2020 contender, is preparing a buy-in proposal to Medicare that would be available to most of the public but would still compete with private insurers.

The public-insurance backup plan has gained currency in recent months as more insurers have withdrawn from the ACA’s marketplaces and left nearly half the nation’s counties with only one insurer in their marketplace for 2018.

These rural areas were the spots that broke most sharply against Clinton in the 2016 election, delivering larger shares of their votes to President Trump than to recent GOP nominees such as Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

That could make this proposal a more palatable offering for the 10 Democrats up for reelection in states that Trump won last year, as well as many others in competitive states.

Bennet and Kaine are both examples of the latter. Obama and Clinton won Colorado and Virginia in the past three presidential contests, but by small margins. Both have won close, highly contested Senate races, and both have experience in national politics as well — Bennet chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2014, while Kaine was his party’s vice-presidential nominee last year.

Still, this proposal shows that Democrats have moved to the left ideologically on health care. Eight years ago, the public option failed because moderate Democrats backed away from it; now a similar proposal is being offered as the safe ground for those facing a tough reelection.

For many liberals, this proposal will not be sufficient, craving the universal promise that Sanders is offering. “Right now, if we want to move away from a dysfunctional, wasteful, bureaucratic system into a rational health-care system that guarantees coverage to everyone in a cost-effective way, the only way to do it is Medicare for All,” the 2016 runner-up to Clinton for the nomination told The Post last month.

Democratic leaders have tread carefully on the single-player proposal, voicing support for its goal of universal coverage but also suggesting that the short-term objective is playing defense to protect the ACA from Republican efforts to repeal the law and to undermine the already shaky insurance exchanges.

“None of these things, whether it’s Bernie’s or others, can really prevail unless we protect the Affordable Care Act,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters last month.

Bennet and Kaine are members of the Senate Health Committee and are supporting the ranking Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), in her negotiations with the chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), to forge a bipartisan deal to shore up the ACA. That might entail some reforms to the ACA while also establishing better financial footing for private insurers to offer ACA plans in those underserved areas.

They do not expect Medicare-X to become the law of the land immediately, but Bennet and Kaine believe that this proposal could be the next step — once Democrats can win back some power in Washington — toward getting more people health coverage.

By maintaining the existing structure, rather than tearing it down, they believe that it could eventually become a potential bipartisan agreement that attracts Republican support to forge a law that is not under constant assault like the ACA.

“I want Virginians — and all Americans — to have more health-care choices,” Kaine said.

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Ground Floor: Cedar Rapids internet service provider wants to plug the holes around town

CEDAR RAPIDS — Aaron Fitzgerald’s frustration with his home internet service is what led him to start his new business.

When Fitzgerald and his family moved into a new Cedar Rapids subdivision a couple years ago, he was surprised to learn he couldn’t get decent internet service to his home. In particular, he was frustrated with slow internet speeds that impacted his ability to work from home.

He talked to various internet service providers, as well as a few of his neighbors. One neighbor told him that he had been trying for months to get improved service but without any luck.

“Finally, I thought, ‘Well, I’m good at this stuff, why don’t I just bring it in myself?’” recalled Fitzgerald, who has degrees in computer engineering and systems engineering and works as a senior software engineer.

He began researching what it would take to get direct access to the internet, which involved leasing fiber optic from here to Kansas City as well as cell tower space.

“I started realizing how much it would actually cost,” he said. “It was a lot more than I expected.”

To recoup some of his costs, Fitzgerald decided to offer his internet services to others in the area. He worked with the Kirkwood Small Business Development Center on how to approach his idea and develop a business plan for WiFitz Networks.

A year and a half ago, his Kirkwood mentor told him, “It looks good to me. Now go prove it.”

After researching and testing equipment and securing tower space, Fitzgerald began signing up customers this past spring. He currently has a mix of about a dozen residential and business customers.

“On the residential side, upload speed is the biggest difference,” he said. “For example, for someone backing up their photos to an offsite location, upload times are cut considerably.”

He noted one case study where the upload time for backing up photos went from 45 days to about 12 hours using his service.

Business customers benefit by receiving more speed for a comparable price or comparable speed for about half the price.

“Because I’m small, I don’t have near as much overhead,” he said. “I can get them hooked up for less.”

Fitzgerald said he does most of the work on his own, although he does have a family member who helps with installation.

Fitzgerald said his short-term goal for the business is to sign up enough customers to get the business into the black. His next goal is to plug all of the holes around town, like his own subdivision, that the larger internet service providers have neglected.

“In this day and age, internet is a big deal,” he said. “No one should have to worry about it.”

AT A GLANCE

Business: WiFitz Networks

Owner: Aaron Fitzgerald

Email: aaron@wifitz.net

Telephone: (319) 540-8999

Website: wifitz.net

Know a business in operation for less than a year that would make an ideal “Ground Floor” feature? Contact michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com

Better Off Abroad? Blockchain Health Firms Gain Ground Outside the US

Frustrated by the red tape of the U.S. healthcare system, blockchain startups founded to improve the sharing of patient data are looking abroad to prove their use cases.

The moves by Gem, which has partnered with a Scandinavian company, and IncentHealth.io, which is scouting opportunities in Canada, underscore the challenges blockchain technology faces in any heavily regulated market with powerful incumbents and resistance to change.

In U.S. healthcare specifically, rigid privacy laws, an abundance of intermediaries and actors, and the dominance of a few electronic health record (EHR) vendors have hindered startups’ efforts to create comprehensive medical histories for people.

“It’s the problem that everybody brings up at every conference, but it never really gets solved in the U.S.,” said Micah Winkelspecht, founder and CEO of Gem.

One possible response is to start with a subset of healthcare not yet mired in such complexity.

“Innovators in the healthcare space are definitely looking for use cases that do not involve Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulation,” said Daniel Schott, the co-founder of North Dakota-based IncentHealth.io, which created a smoking cessation program using the ethereum blockchain.

Yet, even though Schott doesn’t think his project falls under HIPAA’s scope, he’s still looking outside the restrictions of U.S. industry first.

“Because healthcare blockchain use cases face U.S. regulatory hurdles and the slow pace of technology adoption within healthcare, I will be looking to Canada as a space to further develop the IncentHealth prototype and find partner organizations,” Schott told CoinDesk.

But IncentHealth isn’t quite as far along in development as enterprise healthcare blockchain startup Gem is, nor does it have the struggles that come from dealing with the traditional EHR system, which in the U.S. is dominated by two players, Epic and Cerner.

So Gem had a similar idea to IncentHealth: take the product overseas.

As announced at the Distributed: Health 2017 conference in Nashville several weeks ago, Gem has partnered with Finland-based Tieto, one of Europe’s largest IT software and service providers, to build a blockchain ecosystem that aspires to give consumers control over their individual data.

Winkelspecht told CoinDesk:

“Europe has taken a very progressive stance on essentially protecting the rights of individuals as to how their data is used and managed and shared. Tieto is a shining example of that mentality.”

Particularly in Scandinavia, Gem found less-convoluted healthcare systems, a more consumer-centric ethos toward health data and a partner on the ground willing to deploy a blockchain solution in its home market.

Taking back control

The move makes Tieto – which controls 60 percent of the EHR market in Finland and has a significant footprint in Sweden and Norway – the first major legacy health record vendor to fully embrace a blockchain project.

Blockchain goes hand-in-hand with the company’s long-term vision for building a decentralized health model that emphasizes patients rather than providers, said Maria Kumle, business development manager at Tieto.

She continued:

“The notion that you as an individual actually control your digital self and anything that has to do with it is fundamental to how we see development in this industry.”

Expected to launch next year, the application will be built on Gem’s enterprise blockchain platform and will aim to give consumers control over their medical records and genomic data. Such control, according to adherents of the idea in the blockchain space and in traditional industry, has the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and waste, create personalized medicine plans and put greater focus on preventive care.

Further, a blockchain-based system could in theory let patients leverage their data for other purposes. For instance, they could consent to provide their data for research or for customized precision medical treatments.

Data minefields

The partnership will also serve as a test case for how blockchain solutions can help firms comply with stringent new consumer data protection rules in the EU (scheduled to come into effect in May 2018).

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) harmonizes a wide swath of patchwork consumer data protection rules into a single framework and canonizes them at the EU level. The rules apply to any company with EU customers, and failure to comply could result in a fine of as much as 4 percent of gross global revenue.

The Tieto project is attempting to tackle the portion of GDPR requiring user consent for data sharing, Winkelspect said.

Because consent will need to be provided before a company can use an individual’s data for a specific purpose, and that consent must be demonstrable afterward, the immutability and auditability of a blockchain make it a potentially powerful compliance tool in this scenario.

Winkelspecht said:

“Part of this is just proving the compliance of gathering consent, and blockchains can serve a function there as an audit history log of those event.”

Resistant to change

Through all this, Winkelspecht hopes to come away with enough successes from the project to prompt legacy EHR vendors and stakeholders in the U.S. and elsewhere to take a deeper look at blockchain-based health data storage and ownership systems.

“One of the biggest complaints about EHR systems and the large vendors is that, while they talk about interoperability a lot, it takes them literally decades to open up their systems and, even then, they really only open them up when they have to,” he said.

As with any project seeking to build a blockchain ecosystem, the key challenge will not just be getting the infrastructure right, but creating a user experience that will entice consumers to participate.

But if it’s successful, the project could be a stepping stone toward rethinking ground-level assumptions on how consumers view healthcare data, Winkelspecht said, adding:

“This is a big paradigm shift of who really owns and controls data. The entire infrastructure that we’ve built [in the past] was always built around a controller-centric model, so this is a pretty big undertaking that is going to change a lot of systems.”

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Gem.

Operating theater image via Shutterstock

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