At CES 2019, the company was presenting its new Pria by BLACK+DECKER Home Care Companion, a smart device that can dispense medications at the right time and a digital voice assistant that can help with managing one’s health, scheduling tasks, and keeping in touch with caregivers should something happen.
The device is built in cooperation with the Pillo dispenser we wrote about last year from a company called Pillo Health.
The goal of Oscar is to do to health care what Uber did to the taxi industry: use smart digital technology to make everything faster and easier for customers, and then use the data gathered to build radically new services, which can collect more data that leads to new services. Ideally, Oscar would like to accomplish this without cracking as many eggs on its own head as Uber did.
Alphabet, Google‘s parent company, invested early in Oscar through its venture capital fund Capital G and its health services spinoff, Verily. But today they’re announcing a much larger, and more strategic, investment of roughly $375 million.
Mario Schlosser, the CEO of Oscar Health, wants technology to cure what ails the health care industry. And now Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is betting $375 million on this digital panacea.
Developments in medical sciences have improved average human life expectancy over the years. Technological improvements have also made a significant improvement in processing, storage, and distribution of life-saving medicines. However, very few of the developing countries offer universal health care. Furthermore, healthcare services is not evenly distributed to the public and access to quality healthcare comes with high costs.
Why Artificial Intelligence Is Crucial for Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to cut-down treatment costs by as much as 50%, and improve medical treatment outcomes by 30% to 40%, according to a report by Frost and Sullivan. But, before we start discussing AI advancements in the healthcare industry, it is important to understand what the technology is and why it is making so much hype.
For the uninitiated, AI is an umbrella term for a range of technologies such as machine learning, cognitive computing, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. The end goal of all these technologies is to impart “smartness” to computers so that they can behave in a manner akin to humans, or even better.