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80K Dead From Flu In US Alone, Tech Opportunity

Arthur Hanson

Active member
There should be no fear about traveling on business for in the US recently 80K died from the flu alone in one years. This should be one of the greatest opportunities for the tech sector to provide a whole range of products from the personal to hospital to labs world wide. This crisis demonstrates the sale potential of hysteria to push sales. Now is the time to put out products for I know masks alone are selling by the pallet load and people fighting over them when they are first put out. Time to buy stocks shortly for when reality hits. The health and wellness markets present the largest market for the semi/nanotech field especially on the personal level that is largely untapped as much of medical can be shifted from medical facilities to the personal level as the tech sector severely drops costs and increases functionality as it has done with almost everything it touches. Much can be done with a smart scale and smart phone when paired with wearables and Apple ECG smart watch is just a small first step, Combine this with AI/ML and it isn't hard to see a radical shift in medical. Imagine the uses a sophisticated smart phone camera could be put to alone presents almost more opportunities than one can count. Combine this with the ability to have a platform that correlates all the data that the phone currently generates and you have probably one of most powerful diagnostic tools ever built using inference.

 
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Tanj

Member
Flu deaths are 1.5 per thousand in a severe year, less in an average year (2017 was revised down to 61,000 estimated https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html). Deaths amongst those hospitalized are about 1 in 12. The best defense against such a diffuse disease is immunization, which is slowly improving for the flu.

The 2019 Coronavirus seems to be running around 30 deaths per 1,000 (hard to be sure since we have a wide range of numbers both for deaths and for infections) with about 1 in 3 fatalities from those hospitalized plus the possibility of permanent health impact from organ damage (this is NOT the flu). There may be technological approaches to containing the spread or early diagnosis (although early symptoms are hard to diagnose correctly so far). Not clear the containment needs hi-tech. Immunization may be a long way off.

The Everett case was written up in a medical journal. Diagnosis required xrays and full sequencing of the pathogen in CDC labs, despite having the person in hospital they initially sent him home (with isolation at home) while awaiting the CDC labs because there was no way to positively diagnose given the resources at the hospital. It will be a real stroke of luck if this can be solved with a wearable.
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
Tanj, having followed wearables that are out and those not released yet, plus simple at home tests devices, I believe using a correlation of all the data over a given time period will reveal much more than is currently possible and the more data we accumulate the better it will be. The number of inexpensive wearables I feel is about to explode due the ever declining costs and increased functionality that when combined with big data and simple at home test equipment that will become as common as the scale we will be able to track our health. One outlier is using devices that track us in our house using interference of Wi-Fi signals to detect even changes in gate. Big data is going to be the weapon of choice if diagnostics and has yet to be fully deployed.
 

Tanj

Member
Perhaps eventually. But early stages it has great similarity to the flu. There is also perhaps as much as a 2 week infectious period where you may feel no symptoms, or you may resolve never feeling anything severe. As it may have jumped to humans just a few months ago we know very little about the progression and we certainly do not have "big data" on it. If a disease can spread to 100k people in 3 months, largely silently, big data may never help that early.

Technologies have their limits, and if you are betting on people's lives then you need more than a general warm fuzziness about the potential of wearables, much of which is marketing fluff so far. Something more intentional like developing a bio-assay for traces of coronavirus RNA or proteins in blood, stool, or sputum might be a faster path. And for the general case, investing in how those technologies work so we can deploy such tests to hospitals and transit points within weeks of a new infectious agent. At present the only real test involves full sequencing at centralized labs.
 

Arthur Hanson

Active member
The correlation of much data available from wearables now and soon to come out is still unexplored virgin territory and we don't know where it will lead. Already correlations of many types have already been discovered.
 
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