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Tech giants are getting involved in healthcare
Tech giants are getting involved in healthcare
Frank Niedercorn

PARIS — What if the GAFA quartet (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) also became giants in the healthcare sector? Google first tried to put on the white coat more than a decade ago. After "Google Health," its online medical record project abandoned in 2012, the company made a strong comeback with its subsidiary DeepMind Health, doing what it does best: collecting and processing data. In this case, the data was that of patients in hospitals, particularly in the United Kingdom.

However, things were more difficult than expected with the Royal Free Hospital Trust, which allowed the company to access the medical history of 1.6 million patients. The agreement was terminated when UK authorities found that the data had not been kept anonymous, and had been used in a broader context than originally planned.

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Ideas

Artificial Satellite Pollution, Perils For Biodiversity In Space And On Earth

Exploiting space resources and littering it with satellite and other anthropogenic objects is endangering the ecosystem of space, which also damages the earth and its creatures below.

Image of the small satellite NanoRacks-Remove Debris satellite deployed into space by the ISS

Thomas Lewton

Outer space isn’t what most people would think of as an ecosystem. Its barren and frigid void isn’t exactly akin to the verdant canopies of a rainforest or to the iridescent shoals that swim among coral cities. But if we are to become better stewards of the increasingly frenzied band of orbital space above our atmosphere, a shift to thinking of it as an ecosystem — as part of an interconnected system of living things interacting with their physical environment — may be just what we need.

Last month, in the journal Nature Astronomy, a collective of 11 astrophysicists and space scientists proposed we do just that, citing the proliferation of anthropogenic space objects. Thousands of satellites currently orbit the Earth, with commercial internet providers such as SpaceX’s Starlink launching new ones at a dizzying pace. Based on proposals for projects in the future, the authors note, the number could reach more than a hundred thousand within the decade. Artificial satellites, long a vital part of the space ecosystem, have arguably become an invasive species.

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