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Facebook F8 Takeaways – The Future is Private

F8, what was an 8- hour hackathon is now Facebook’s annual 2-day conference for developers, creators and entrepreneurs all around the world.

Conducted in McEnergy Convention Center in San Jose, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed his vision of building a privacy-focused social platform “as a product”  as he debuted the newest version of the company’s core app.

Digital Equivalent of a Living Room:

With the expansion of the digital world, Privacy fills the vacuum with a unique sense of purpose — giving us the power to be ourselves. F8 spent much time discussing privacy upgrades and improvements to social impact from the client side. The problem area of concern being security, algorithm fairness, privacy, misinformation, inclusion safety and care, accessibility, election integrity and content policy.

“For the last 15 years or so, we have focused on building Facebook and Instagram into the digital equivalent of town squares. But I believe that the future is private and over time, a private social platform will be even more important in our lives than digital town squares. So today, we’re going to start talking about what this could look like as a product”, said Zuckerberg which worked to set the tone for the rest of the conference. The core techs being implemented to resolve the problem area for every product team are computer vision, natural language processing, encryption, data framework, speech recognition, text-to-speech, liability tools, AI infrastructure, OCR and embedding.

Zuckerberg aims to change their business trajectory to win back the trust of the users by focusing their vision on 6 privacy principles for every one of their digital platforms.

  • Private Interactions
  • Encryption
  • Reduced Permanence
  • Safety
  • Interoperability
  • Secure data storage

“This isn’t just about building features,” Zuckerberg said. “We need to change a lot of ways we run this company.”

Privacy First Approach:

Facebook:
Initially designed as an alternative to the then social-media-champion, MySpace; Facebook’s design, flexibility and the key focus on amplifying social connections and distribution of public information, rocketed to become the social media sovereign within a span of 5 years.

In early 2018, plagued by public data breaches and scandals, the social media giant was under heavy scrutiny for its management of user data. Zuckerberg didn’t dodge the issue at F8.
“I know we don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, but I’m committed to doing this well and starting a new chapter for our products.” He meant it as a joke that wasn’t.
Instead of what Facebook is, F8 was about what Facebook wants to be.

The first thing to have been rolled out in the conference is FB5 with its big redesign making it lighter, faster and cleaner.De-emphasising its news feed and prioritizing groups and events. “Friends” are  no longer the centre of the experience. With the launch focus has been made to build a community and make “communities as central as friends”.

Messenger:
The Facebook Messenger also got an overhaul for its upcoming LightSpeed with a rebuilt architecture making it 2x faster, 7x smaller, simpler, more reliable and more secure. With the last year messenger launch M4, it was the first step towards the vision.
“People’s communication styles are migrating toward messaging way faster than anyone thought,” said Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger. “And people want to communicate with businesses the same way.” With messages being end-to-end encrypted, the messenger is now the fastest and most secure messaging platform.
For business, an automated system has been created that allows customers to book an appointment through messenger.

The all-new desktop app has some new features for business users. It also allows its users to host group video calls and collaborate on projects. The AI smart camera is using the “pose detection” tech to give a hasslefree and even more life like experience.

Instagram:
Instagram updates basically focused on giving the users the ability to shop directly from the makers and “Support the people who make”, and raise funds within the app.
Instagram is also testing hiding the total number of likes a post receives to bring back the focus on connection than posting for likes.
Stories now don’t have to start with the camera anymore. Users can now get more creative with their stories. They can now raise money for charitable causes with a new donation sticker on their stories.

Finally, the Instagram camera will be updated with the “create mode” allowing to post effects and interactive stickers without having to take a photo or record a video.

Whatsapp:
Whatsapp updates deliver a private and intimate experience with end-to-end encryption. It now allows users to send their location privately with their friends and families. The company rolled out a product catalogue feature for small WhatsApp businesses and payment process that is being tested in India.

Zuckerberg left the audience with one final notion:
“This is about building the kind of future we want to live in. To build a world where we can be ourselves and live freely and know that our private moments are only going to be seen by the people they want, where we can come together around community and commerce, where we build in the tools that we need to keep us safe from the beginning and prevent harm and we then are able to focus on all the good people are able to do. Both in private and in public, both the living room and the town squares.”

How do you think Facebook’s new direction would affect the users?  We’re hoping to see some more updates?
Let us know by commenting.
To know us in person, drop a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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What will ‘Behavioural Changes’ Mean for India’s Digital Health Future

We are in the middle of a global pandemic, facing a threat unlike one never seen before. COVID-19 has been a reason for global concern since it has negatively impacted economies, shut down workplaces, and forced cities into lockdowns.

But history also tells us  that times of uncertainty also foster innovation. The pandemic has forced consumers and businesses to rethink how they behave both physically and digitally. As per McKinsey, COVID-19 has speeded up the adoption of digital technologies.

India, which was on the cusp of a ‘digital health’ revolution, has now been forced to embrace innovation and emerging trends. The healthcare sector holds great promise since new-age technologies like telemedicine, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), genomics, etc. are transforming healthcare services.

There have been unprecedented changes in consumer behaviour as well. People are now increasingly relying on using the internet to find clinical information or engage with healthcare professionals digitally. Moreover, online consultations, telemedicine, and e-pharmacies have seen a rise in popularity.

Companies will thus need to capitalize on the changing patterns of consumption and health-seeking behaviour.

This article focuses on how changing patient behaviour will affect India’s digital health future.

A growing Indian healthcare market

According to a report by Future Health Index, India is a leader in the adoption of digital health technology. As per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22% to reach a valuation of USD 372 billion by 2022. This growth can be attributed to the following –

  • Growing health awareness
  • Aging population
  • Lifestyle-related diseases
  • Rising income levels
  • Growth of internet availability

The rise of digital health start-ups is also playing a role in the growth of the healthcare sector. Indian health tech startup landscape has now matured.

Over the last few years, telemedicine has emerged as a fast-growing sector in India. Prominent start-ups like Practo, mfine, and Lybrate have established themselves in the telehealth market. McKinsey estimates that India could save up to USD10 billion by 2025 by using telemedicine instead of in-person doctor appointments.

COVID-induced behavioural changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to patient behaviour. The fear of leaving homes to get treatment has led to the growth of virtual care and telemedicine. 

As per a report by Accenture, almost 70% of the patients canceled or postponed their treatments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology, therefore, played a crucial role in helping patients continue their care. Healthcare providers were even able to improve the experience for patients by delivering them faster response time, personalized interactions, and the convenience of getting consultation from home.

The same report by Accenture highlights some key behavioural changes that are being observed in patients – 

  • Nearly half of the patients now get their treatment at their homes instead of visiting a clinic.
  • Almost 60% of patients want to continue using technology for communicating with healthcare providers.
  • About 41% of patients now use video conferencing to connect with their healthcare providers. Of these, for almost 70% of patients, it’s their first-time using video conferencing for healthcare.
  • Almost 44% of patients used new apps or devices during the pandemic to manage their health conditions.

All this highlights the need for healthcare providers to reimagine their patient engagement strategies in keeping with the changing patient behavior.

Future of digital health in India

New digital technologies and tools are making an impact across the healthcare sector. They hold great promise in improving the efficiency of healthcare services while delivering better patient care. Below are some of the technological developments that are expected to revolutionize the way we seek healthcare.

Telemedicine

About 68% of India’s population lives in rural areas where healthcare services are not usually up to the mark. This barrier can be overcome by telemedicine that offers an excellent way for patients to consult a doctor in a much shorter duration. Telemedicine can cut waiting times and allow patients to avoid traveling to a clinic or hospital. Some other benefits of telemedicine include –

  • Immediate access to specialist healthcare providers.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • Improved quality of care.
  • Convenience to the patients.
  • Improved patient engagement.

Internet of medical things (IoMT)

The rapid growth of IoMT devices is rapidly changing healthcare delivery by playing an important role in tracking and preventing chronic illnesses.

It not only helps eliminate the need for in-person medical visits but also helps reduce costs. Goldman Sachs estimates IoMT to save USD 300 billion annually for the healthcare industry. IoMT will benefit those patients the most who are unable to get access to quality healthcare due to remote location.

Big data in healthcare

There has been dramatic growth in the amount of medical and health data in the last few years. These massive datasets can be used to draw insights and opportunities for healthcare organizations. Analysis of healthcare data can help discover warning signs and create preventive plans.

The widespread adoption of IoT devices also makes it easier to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, etc. This can help in the early detection of diseases like hypertension, asthma, heart problems, etc.

Electronic medical records

Electronic medical records or EMRs help collect, digitalize patients’ information, and store it in a single place. EMRs store various types of medical data like medical history, prescriptions, drug allergies, etc. and allow doctors to make accurate disease prognosis in a much shorter time. Some other benefits of EMRs include – 

  • Effective medical decisions.
  • Easy data recovery.
  • Improved collaboration.
  • Portability.
  • Security of medical data.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has a big role to play in improving healthcare since growing digitization leads to the availability of a large amount of health data. AI has the potential to transform everyday health management in the following ways –

  • Improved accessibility of healthcare services (for example – the AI-based mobile app Ada is available across 140 countries and makes it possible for anyone to have access to medical guidance).
  • Improved efficiency.
  • Accurate disease diagnosis.
  • Improved insights to reveal early disease risks (for example – a popular app Verily can forecast noncontagious and hereditary genetic diseases).
  • Time and cost savings.

mHealth

Mobile health or mHealth refers to the monitoring and sharing of health data via mobile technology like health tracking apps or wearables. 

mHealth apps can prove to be beneficial in increasing patient engagement, providing health education, and offering remote consultations to patients. It can also use the data from wearable devices to improve the quality of care. Some other benefits of mHealth include – 

  • Faster access to physicians.
  • Improved medication adherence.
  • Remote patient monitoring.
  • Increased medication reconciliation accuracy.
  • Improved coordination between healthcare providers and patients.

Conclusion

It’s quite clear that COVID-19 has significantly impacted patient behaviour. There has been a growing preference for telehealth and mHealth apps. But all of this has also compelled healthcare organizations to put in more effort in adapting to these behavioural changes. Healthcare providers are opting to rely more on new technologies to continue delivering patient care. A more affordable standard of high-quality care is in the works for India’s digital health future.

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