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The Top 30 Most Influential People in The Metaverse – ReadWrite

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Neal Stephenson


From Mark Zuckerberg stating that Facebook will become a metaverse company to Satya Nadella saying that one of the goals for Microsoft is the metaverse, you can’t read business news today without coming across the word du jour.

While the metaverse is still being defined and developed, several key figures have become leading voices helping evangelize, educate, advise, develop and create the successor to today’s mobile internet. Here are 30 of the most influential people who can help us all have a better perspective of what the metaverse is and will become.

Neal Stephenson

1. Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson is one of the world’s leading sci-fi writers. Stephenson is recognized as the first author who mentioned the term Metaverse in his post-cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” in 1992. Stephenson’s work explores Mathematics, Cryptography, Linguistics, Philosophy, Currency, and Science History. He worked at Blue Origin, a company founded by Jeff Bezos as an advisor. Also, he worked at Magic Leap as Chief Futurist from 2014 to 2020.

matthew ball
Matthew Ball

2. Matthew Ball

Matthew Ball is a well-known strategist, essayist, investor, advisor, and futurist. Ball is the Managing Partner of EpyllionCo, a company that operates a pre-seed and seed venture fund and a venture and corporate advisory arm. Along with Genvid Technologies CEO Jacob Navok and Roundhill Investments, Ball has launched The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF. The ETF allows people to invest in companies making the metaverse happen now or are situated to do so in the future.

Cathy Hackl
Cathy Hackl

3. Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized tech futurist and business executive with deep experience working in metaverse-related fields with companies like HTC VIVE, Magic Leap, and Amazon Web Services. She’s the founder of the Futures Intelligence Group where she advises Fortune 1000 and top luxury fashion brands on metaverse growth strategies, NFTs, and how to extend their brands into virtual worlds. She’s a sought-after consultant, speaker, and media personality. Hackl was recently featured in 60 Minutes+, Bloomberg and Cheddar’s coverage of the metaverse and is a contributor to Forbes. She’s writing an anticipated book on the business opportunities of the metaverse that will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

David Baszucki
David Baszucki

4. David Baszucki

As the Founder and CEO of Roblox, David Baszucki has been working on bringing the gaming industry into the Metaverse for years. He founded Roblox in 2004 with the vision of connecting the world. Roblox currently has an estimated amount of 20.82 million total subscribed players and around 400k daily players entering the platform. Roblox is now collaborating with known brands such as Gucci to create immersive experiences with gaming. Roblox recently launched a podcast called “Roblox Tech Talks” with its first episode, “Step Into The Metaverse,” a discussion between Baszucki and Roblox’s CTO Dan Sturman.

Tim Sweeney
Tim Sweeney

5. Tim Sweeney

Tim Sweeney is the founder and CEO of Epic Games, the maker of one of the world’s most popular games called Fortnite. Sweeney is also the creator of the gaming platform known as Unreal Engine. He has received various awards recognizing his work in the gaming industry, including “Person of the year” in 2019 by the British video game industry magazine MCV. Also, in 2020 Forbes Media Awards chose Sweeney as “Person of the Year” for building and turning Fortnite into a gaming social network that hosts online events such as Travis Scott’s in-game concert with 28 million viewers. On August 6, 2021, Fortnite collaborated with Ariana Grande to host the “Rift Tour” concert gameplay.

Jensen Huang
Jensen Huang

6. Jensen Huang

Jensen Huang is the CEO of NVIDIA Corporation. He founded NVIDIA to solve the problem of 3D graphics for the PC. Then Nvidia jumped to the next era of computing: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Huang contacted the Metaverse creating NVIDIA’s Omniverse, which is now available in beta version. NVIDIA Omniverse is an open, cloud-native platform that makes it easy to accelerate workflows and collaborate in real-time. Omniverse allows creators, engineers, and researchers to collaborate in virtual worlds that are all connected.

Philip Rosedale
Philip Rosedale

7. Philip Rosedale

Philip Rosedale is a lifelong entrepreneur aiming for an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world. He pioneered the creation of Second Life, a virtual civilization. In 2013, he co-founded High Fidelity, Inc. with its Spatial Audio API that enables immersive, high-quality voice chat for any application for any group size in a personalized 3D audio stream.

Beeple
Beeple

8. Beeple

Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, made history in March 2021 where he sold his NFT collage everyday series called “Everydays: the First 5000 Days” for $69,400,00 at Christie’s auction house, making it the fourth-most expensive artwork by a living artist. Christie’s described Beeple as “A visionary digital artist at the forefront of NFTs.”

Avery Akkineni
Avery Akkineni

9. Avery Akkineni

Gary Vaynerchuk is a force in the NFT world, and he’s chosen Avery Akkineni to lead his team as President of VaynerNFT. Akkineni believes that NFTs can simultaneously build brand value while delivering community value. VaynerNFT is a venture created to help the world’s leading intellectual property owners navigate the NFT space. Currently, Budweiser signed as VaynerNFT’s flagship client to generate a PR strategy to grow excitement and connect with consumers through ingenious experiences.

Lindsey McInerney
Lindsey McInerney

10. Lindsey McInerney

Lindsey McInerney is the Global Head of Technology and Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev. She led the collaboration between Stella Artois and the virtual horse racing platform ZED RUN to give users exclusive horse breed NFTs. She has deep working knowledge of the global software industry, with direct experience working in North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. Her specialties are the Metaverse, crypto, blockchain, NFTs, commercial strategy, and digital marketing.

Krista Kim
Krista Kim

11. Krista Kim

Krista Kim is a contemporary artist and the founder of Techism. Techism is an art movement that reconciles technological innovation with the creation of art. Kim has exhibited on the iconic square of the Palais of Tokyo Museum and the Museum of Modern Art of Paris. Currently, she is the ambassador of SuperWorld, an augmented reality virtual world that allows users and brands to create, discover, and monetize.

Jamie Burke
Jamie Burke

12. Jamie Burke

Jamie Burke is the Founder and CEO Outlier Ventures, one of the top venture funds in Europe and a platform dedicated to blockchain technology and Web 3. Outlier Ventures has developed an award-winning Web 3 accelerator working with 30 pre-seed startups during a year, helping raise over $130 million in growth capital. In February 2021, Outlier Ventures launched The Open Metaverse OS, a shared and open operating system of sorts building upon the success of decentralized protocols, in particular DeFi and NFTs emerging in The Web 3 Stack based on blockchains and crypto-assets.

Ryan Gill
Ryan Gill

13. Ryan Gill

Ryan Gill is the co-founder and CEO of Crucible, which seeks to create the Blueprints for the Open Metaverse, a cross-industry consortium for forging the Open Metaverse based on open standards. Crucible’s main product is the Emergence SDK which provides an accessible vehicle for game engine developers to access new Web 3 technologies with portable digital identity and in-world tools to manage their digital lives across the Open Metaverse. His company is the originator of the Direct-to-Avatar (D2A) commerce model. Crucible is creating a market network of empowered gamers, modders, and creators for the new digital renaissance that will come in a few short years by those building the future through game engines.

Marjorie Hernandez
Marjorie Hernandez

14. Marjorie Hernandez

Marjorie Hernandez is the co-founder of LUKSO which she co-founded with her partner Fabian Vogelsteller. LUKSO is a blockchain platform specifically curated for the lifestyle industry, providing decentralized innovation and trust infrastructure for fashion brands, startups, and customers.

Hernandez also co-founded THE DEMATERIALISED with educator and connector Karinna Nobbs. THE DEMATERIALISED is a virtual goods marketplace, generating new experiences and revenue streams for the fashion industry.

Akash Nigam
Akash Nigam

15. Akash Nigam

Akash Nigam is the founder of Genies, an avatar-building platform where people can speak their minds and find connections. Nigam entered the Metaverse world with a mindset of how creating avatars can help people dealing with their mental health and find a space where they can truly be themselves. In May 2021, Genies raised $65 million led by Mary Meeker’s investment firm Bond, intending to use the funds to develop Genies’ NFT Marketplace, allowing users to produce and trade tokenized avatars, clothing, and accessories.

Benoit Pagotto
Benoit Pagotto

16. Benoit Pagotto

Benoit Pagotto is the co-founder of RTFKT studios, a studio for next-generation sneakers, fashion and collectibles for the Metaverse. RTKFT merges augmented reality, NFTs, blockchain authentication with gaming and fashion. Pagotto believes that brands need to redirect their marketing to Gen Z. In May 2021, RTFKT studios raised $8 million in seed funding by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to expand the company’s global team and incubate new digital projects.

 Sebastien Borget
Sebastien Borget

17. Sebastien Borget

Sebastien Borget has been working in blockchain technology and within the mobile gaming industries for a while, and is the co-founder and COO of The Sandbox. The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their own voxel gaming experiences on the PoS blockchain platform, which reduces the carbon footprint of NFTs by up to 99%. Currently, Animoca Brands and Skybound Entertainment teamed up to bring The Walking Dead to The Sandbox.

 Andrew Bosworth
Andrew Bosworth

18. Andrew Bosworth

Andrew “Boz” Bosworth is the Vice President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at Facebook, Bosworth is an essential piece in Facebook’s new step to the Metaverse because of his role at Facebook Reality Labs.

Bosworth announced the launch of a metaverse product team at Facebook in a post a week after Mark Zuckerberg said publicly that Facebook would become a metaverse company. Boz also has a podcast called Boz To The Future where he interviews leaders within Facebook about the company’s roadmap.

Carolina Arguelles
Carolina Arguelles

19. Carolina Arguelles

Carolina Arguelles is Snap’s Group Product Marketing Manager where she leads a team for Snap’s augmented reality, visual search, computer vision technologies, augmented reality creator ecosystem, business augmented reality offerings, and camera developers SDKs. Her vision of how 5G will change augmented reality and fashion has brought interesting projects to Snap Inc’s Snapchat by working with renowned fashion brands like Ralph Lauren or Dior.

Emma-Jane Mackinnon-Lee
Emma-Jane Mackinnon-Lee

20. Emma-Jane Mackinnon-Lee

Emma-Jane Mackninnon-Lee is the Founder and CEO of DIGITALAX. This Web 3.0 digital platform builds the first digital fashion operating system that optimizes web architecture to bring fashion, gaming, modding, NFTs, DeFi, DAOs, virtual reality, and other 3D content environments. Digitalax launched Diggyfizzy, a metaverse magazine, to highlight new creators and new voices in the NFT industry. Digitalax’s next project is the Web3 Fashion Week in collaboration with Web3 Fashion.

Dirk Lueth
Dirk Lueth

21. Dirk Lueth

Dirk Lueth, a serial entrepreneur who started companies in Europe and the United States, is the co-founder of Upland. Upland is an NFT Metaverse and property trading game paired with a decentralized economy. It consists of a world-building platform in the Metaverse based on blockchain technology where users can buy, sell, trade, and develop virtual properties to earn money and connect with others.

Evelyn Mora
Evelyn Mora

22. Evelyn Mora

Evelyn Mora is the inventor of the Village Protocol Social Blockchain User Interface (UI). She founded the DIGITAL VILLAGE, a Social Metaverse with its community-led Blockchain technology built to prioritize social and digital sustainability, digital land, and digital assets marketplace.

Teddy Pahagbia
Teddy Pahagbia

23. Teddy Pahagbia

Teddy Pahagbia is the founder of BLVCK PiXEL. BLVCK PiXEL is a company that helps brands and businesses to transform through digital innovation like augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, blockchains, artificial intelligence, and advanced data management systems. BLVCK PiXEL’s vision is to achieve business growth on the scope of technology immersed with a human-centered approach for purpose-driven innovation.

Jon Radoff
Jon Radoff

24. Jon Radoff

Jon Radoff is the CEO of Beamable, Radoff aims to integrate social networking, content creation, online communities, and games. In May 2021, Beamable had a $5 Million raise intended to continue being a creator-focused platform for building live games, eliminating all barriers to help game makers increase their revenues at a low operation cost.

Amber Allen
Amber Allen

25. Amber Allen

Amber Allen is the founder of Double A Labs, a company that offers from tech-forward immersive augmented and mixed reality experiences to spatial computing, photogrammetry to holograms, and projection mapping. Double A Labs creates virtual experiences through their Phygital World for brands’ consumers to watch, create, play, and shop, bringing brands’ content into dynamic worlds, living unique and engaging experiences. Double A Labs have done projects for known clients, including AT&T, Twitch, and Dell.

DCL Blogger
DCL Blogger

26. DCL Blogger

A few years back, Matty, better known as, DCL Blogger, stumbled upon Decentraland, a virtual world-building platform. He saw the benefits of a community that was actively buying and selling NFTs for money, so he decided to create a full-time thing to earn money. As a result, he decided to create DCL Blogger to keep a log of his thoughts and learnings about Decentraland and NFTs. DCL Blogger is the founder of the Metakey, a token that can be used across multiple platforms to transform into avatars, game items, course material, virtual lands, and much more.

Evo Heyning
Evo Heyning

27. Evo Heyning

Evo Heyning is a system designer who focuses on spatial interfaces, engagement strategy, artificial intelligence, and mixed reality in workflows and networks that enable collaboration. She founded Light Lodges, an interactive and immersive media agency and studio producing mixed reality and virtual reality experiences and channels. Also, she is the Executive Producer and CEO of PlayableAgency, a company that creates immersive and interactive experiences with playable cities and venues. Since June 2021, Heyning is the Co-Chair of the Open Metaverse Interoperability Group, a Metaverse media network that is open and public for communities in the development of new worlds.

Erikan Obotetukudo
Erikan Obotetukudo

28. Erikan Obotetukudo

Erikan Obotetukudo is a strategic advisor to a portfolio of finance leaders, corporate executives, investors, and tech entrepreneurs. She’s working to connect with multicultural and multigenerational audiences worldwide, redefining it in the next 100 years. In March 2021, she founded Audacity, a crypto Venture Capital fund that invests in Black and African-led crypto startups worldwide.

Hrish Lotlikar
Hrish Lotlikar

29. Hrish Lotlikar

Hrish Lotlikar is the co-founder and CEO of SuperWorld, a virtual world in augmented reality (AR) mapped onto the real world, allowing users to create, discover, and monetize content in Augmented Reality. He is also co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Rogue Initiative Studios, an LA-based entertainment company. His interests are Film, TV, virtual reality, gaming, mixed reality (XR), and crypto.

Enara Nazarova
Enara Nazarova

30. Enara Nazarova

Enara Nazarova is the founder of ARMOAR and The Digital Fashion & Art Club. She also co-hosts digital fashion and art on Clubhouse. Nazarova fused all her metaverse knowledge into ARMOAR, a digital fashion platform and identity incubator for avatars.

Her mission at ARMOAR is to blend organic and inorganic worlds to create a sustainable digital ecosystem for artists and their fans to explore the future of virtual identity.

Image Credits: from the author; thank you!

Joel Comm

The Functional Futurist

Joel Comm is New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, podcast host, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist and eternal 12-year old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. His latest project is as co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast, a top cryptocurrency show making the future of digital payments easy to understand.

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5 Ways To Better Reach Your Audience

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Brad Anderson


Attempting to reach your audience is difficult, as the internet is full of information, and consumers are flooded with the constant noise of advertising, social media, and email. It can be intimidating for a company to get its message heard over the noise. However, with a bit of care and planning, you can successfully reach your target demographic and interest them in your product.

Maybe you’re a new business with a great product and want to know how to drive traffic to your site. Or perhaps you’re established but have something fresh and exciting to offer, and you need to know how to spotlight it. Maybe you’re interested in learning how to reach a whole new demographic and are unsure how to do that.

To reach out to a new audience online, keep your existing customers interested, or drive conversions, you need to plan your content strategy and SEO carefully. It’s not enough just to launch a product website, announce it on social media, and wait to see what happens. Instead, you’ve got to find a way to amplify your voice.

Initiating a Strategy

Content encompasses everything you use to communicate information to the world: social media, graphics, written communication, and your website itself are included in this category. Your content strategy and SEO should tackle the questions: Who am I trying to reach, What do I need to tell them, and How am I going to do that? MarketMuse’s extensive content strategy guide notes that an effective content strategy outlines business goals and aligns with SEO.

Depending on your company’s scale, you may want to hire someone to help you develop a strategy, manage a team of writers, designers, and developers, and keep an eye on metrics to ensure your messaging is on target and getting the results you need. However, be aware that it can take six months or more to gain traction and that there are some questions you’ll want to ask when hiring an SEO expert.

Here are five steps you can take today to ensure that you successfully communicate about your brand to reach your intended audience.

1. Identify who you want to reach

Regardless of company scale or team size, an effective content strategy begins with research and planning. This step can be time-consuming but is so important. It’s the foundation for building your overall content strategy.

The first rule of content is: know your audience. Who are you trying to talk to and why? Get as specific as you can in this step. For example, identify an age range, gender, if applicable, socioeconomic status, and interests. It is sometimes helpful to create an avatar or character to represent your target market and talk specifically to that person. If you nail your demographic, your message will carry.

Once you know who you’re targeting, make sure what you’re saying to them makes sense. For example, promoting your retirement savings 101 blog cluster and planning tools will not be effective if your language and approach only appeal to a 60-year-old.

2. Sell a lifestyle, not a product

This is one of the trickiest elements of content marketing strategy for any company to master. But, first, it’s important to remember that content isn’t about directly promoting a product or about making a sale. At least, not overtly.

Content strategy is about building relationships and offering something your audience values and needs: information. If your information is solid and you get it in front of the right people, you will build trust and drive conversions over time. It’s helpful to think about strategies employed by large brands – especially what they don’t do.

Athletic shoe companies don’t bore you with all the technical specs of their product; they show you an image of athletes running fast or thriving in their sport. They let you imagine yourself succeeding in the same way. Similarly, the best tech companies don’t talk about RAM or GPUs in their ads. Instead, they show you how sleek you look with the latest gadget. They show you how much that gadget will simplify your daily tasks.

If you work too hard to tell your audience about the details of your product (which may be exciting and important) in your content marketing, you’re going to bore them and lose them.

3. Make sure your content is on point

Great content isn’t necessarily about volume. If what you’re offering is sound, you don’t have to drone on forever. For example, we’re all annoyed by recipe blogs that make you scroll through five pages of irrelevant nonsense to get to what’s of value to you: the recipe.

If you want to avoid being the next recipe blog cliche, ensure your writing and graphics are clean and clearly communicate the data or insights you want to highlight. Plan social media posts to be playful and fun and get to the point right away. Attention spans are minimal when people are scrolling.

Your written content (emails, blogs, website copy) should be clean, clearly written, and well structured. Organize your site to include a search feature, ensure it is responsive to various devices and has multiple easy-to-find navigation options. The key is to eliminate the need for your audience to work to find what they want.

4. Use your digital tools thoughtfully

To ensure your content rises above all that noise online, you absolutely need to include SEO in your content strategy. This is where brands can get a little intimidated, confused, or overzealous, however.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is not as esoteric as you might think, but it takes time, research, and effort to implement correctly. SEO can include keywords that help ensure your page shows up in search results, your website’s design and security, and your site’s responsiveness to different screen sizes.

So, what does that mean? Well, the answer to that may vary, but a few essential points will put you on the right track. First, you want to ensure you’re not basing your content strategy on SEO considerations and keywords.

The result will be that your content feels shoehorned around obvious keywords (because it is) and won’t offer much value to readers. Maybe you’ll appear in search results, but that won’t do anything for you once people click on your page and decide there’s nothing valuable. At that point, you’ve lost trust. You may also lose those initial clicks as search algorithms constantly evolve.

The key is ensuring you are offering quality information to your target audience. Make sure that information is clear and that your website is navigable, and then find ways to work in keywords naturally. Also, don’t be afraid to use social media to toot your horn.

5. Post often and repurpose content

In addition to optimizing your website and content, you’ll want to plan a solid social media strategy and use appropriate posting techniques to boost your web traffic and conversions. The good news is that not everything you post has to reinvent the wheel. For example, it is ok to repurpose the same link with slightly different messaging.

It’s also important to remember to post on different platforms for different reasons. If you’re trying to talk to a Gen Z demographic, you’re probably not going to be successful if your entire social media presence is based on Facebook. You might look at Instagram or TikTok instead.

As with blog and website content, you’re not going to be effective if you simply post ad copy on social media. Instead, find innovative and fun ways to draw your audience in. Make them laugh. Tell them how to solve a problem. Teach them a new skill.

And don’t forget to update your blog copy, too. For example, you might have a blog that predicts the best crypto investments in March. You can create an updated version in April without starting from scratch.

If you take the time to do your homework, develop a solid plan, allow your strategy appropriate time to work, and measure results (and use those to revise your plan, and so on), you have a solid foundation for your content marketing presence. Make sure your content is tailored to the right audience, easy to read, easy to navigate, and actionable, and you can’t go wrong.

Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thanks!

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

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Connected Medical Devices are Revolutionizing Health Care

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How Are Smart Thermostats Making Homes Greener? - ReadWrite


The Internet of Things (IoT) may be about to transform almost every aspect of people’s lives. Health care is one industry already seeing significant adoption of IoT technology. Connected medical devices are helping doctors and nurses remotely monitor patients, access health data, and conduct follow-ups online. As a result, IoT in health care could revolutionize the industry over the next few years.

How Does the Health Care Industry Use Connected Devices? 

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) includes various devices used inside and outside health care facilities. In most cases, these items provide a few of the same benefits — including streamlined treatment, reduced risk of error, and greater availability of critical data, like information on patient vitals.

Smart Patient Monitoring Devices

One popular application of IoT in health care is the smart patient monitor. This device continuously collects health care information from a patient, including data on heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and blood oxygen levels. 

These devices help make patient health data more accessible to doctors and nurses inside facilities. A patient’s medical team can quickly and remotely check their vitals from a hospital workstation or a secure device anywhere in the world. The smart patient monitor can also alert staff if someone’s vitals exceed safe levels.

Smart health care wearables and remote patient monitors allow doctors to continue tracking patient vitals without requiring them to remain in the facility. In addition, people who have been recently discharged from the hospital may bring smart patient monitors with them, allowing them to send important health information to doctors without having to return to the hospital for a follow-up. They can also access this information and get a valuable window into their post-release health.

The patient and their doctor can discuss any concerning health information over the internet using a telemedicine video call solution. The doctor can also immediately recall the patient to the hospital if the monitor suggests their health is in danger.

Various IoMT patient monitoring devices exist, ranging from large machines built for hospital settings to lightweight health-tracking wearables people can take with them wherever they go. 

Specific use-cases for IoMT monitoring technology include general-purpose smart patient monitors, motion sensors that track the progression of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and mood sensors that can help doctors manage a patient’s mental health.

Smart Infusion Pumps and Medication Delivery Devices

Correctly dosing and delivering medicine is essential for patient treatment. However, medication errors remain a common challenge in many medical environments. These mistakes can cause serious injuries or adverse reactions that can lead to death.

The IoMT can help prevent medication errors by streamlining the dosing process and delivering IV medicine.

Smart infusion pumps are medication delivery devices that use innovative technology, barcode readers, and drug information libraries to reduce risk when administering IV medicine. The health care worker will designate an area of use — like the adult ICU or NICU — which will automatically configure the pump based on needs. The clinician will then select the medicine they need to administer from an internet drug library, select a concentration and configure the pump’s dose.

Information from the drug library will help prevent some of the most common medication errors — like dosing mistakes and combinations that may lead to health problems.

Some pumps may require that the clinician scans the drug using a barcode on its packaging rather than choosing one from a list.

Most pump systems incorporate a few safeguards that will help reduce the frequency of medication errors. For example, the pump may include the height and weight information of the patient receiving a drug, helping ensure they receive the appropriate dose.

The pump system may also include information on average drug concentrations and dosing units. As a result, it can double-check with health care workers to ensure an unusual dosage is correct, potentially preventing medication errors. 

Smart Device Scanners

Manufacturers will often use laser marking to create a unique device identifier (UDI) codes on the surface of connected medical devices like orthopedic implants and medical instruments. They provide a wealth of information about the marked device — including the specific version or model number.

Under current regulations, the manufacturer must provide this code in plain language and a machine-readable format.

Smart medical scanners can read the second version of the UDI instantly, draw on relevant information from cloud-based databases and update records. This makes them a powerful tool for conducting inventory, determining an instrument’s specific model or lot number, and verifying the plain-language portion of a UDI.

These devices are connected to the internet, so they can also be used to update cloud-based records as they scan automatically. For example, hospitals that maintain an online database of critical medical instruments can use a smart scanner to update it with new products.

In practice, these scanners can also make it much easier for health care organizations to comply with traceability requirements. For example, clinicians can use information from the UDI to quickly verify the model number, expiration date, and recall status of a medical instrument or device before it is used.

Clinicians that locate faulty or expired equipment can quickly remove it, ensuring it won’t be used for a procedure. 

Smart Pills, Capsules and Medications

New smart pills and capsules can help patients take their medications regularly. They are outfitted with special sensors that activate when they hit the acid in a patient’s stomach. They then communicate with a wearable medical device — like a patch on someone’s chest — signaling that the pill has been taken. 

The wearable device that receives the signal can automatically generate a log or report showing the medication was taken successfully. 

The connected medical device can also track other information — like the patient’s activity and rest times.

The first smart pill approved by the FDA was Abilify Mycite, which contains aripiprazole, an antipsychotic used to treat conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Patients with these conditions may struggle to remember if they’ve taken their medicine, but missing a dose can cause adverse reactions — including nausea, lightheadedness, anxiety, and a return of symptoms associated with the mental health condition the aripiprazole is meant to treat. 

The smart system can help patients track their medication adherence and review patterns when they take their medicine.

Smart pills are not widely used yet, but they may soon help patients and health care providers improve medication adherence and track home-usage. 

Future smart pills may also provide additional functionality. For example, those containing onboard sensors could help doctors track a patient’s core temperature, detect intestinal bleeding, or keep tabs on gut health. Many of these pills already exist in an experimental capacity and may become commercially viable by the end of the decade.

The Future of Connected Medical Devices and IoT in Health Care

Connected medical devices can make providing effective health treatment much easier. The right one can streamline care, reduce error risk, and simplify record-keeping.

IoT in health care is growing fast over the next few years. According to Fortune Business Insights, the market may be worth as much as $187.6 billion by 2028, up from just $41 billion in 2020. As a result, new applications of smart medical technology may become widely available.

For example, it may also become standard for health care facilities to adopt connected robots, like those used in Italian hospitals during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently used IoMT devices — from smart monitors to smart pills — will likely become much more common over the next few years as the market expands and health care facilities look to adopt devices that make daily work easier.

Image Credit: Provided by the Author; National Cancer Institute; Unsplash; Thank you!

Emily Newton

Emily Newton is a technical and industrial journalist. She regularly covers stories about how technology is changing the industrial sector.

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How to Stop Inflation from Deflating Your Savings

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Free Your Money: Strategies for Keeping Your Money In The Best Place Possible - ReadWrite


No, you aren’t imagining things. Everything costs more than it did before, and these higher prices make it hard to balance the budget while saving and thinking about retirement. But you can stop inflation from deflating your savings!

In April, the Bureau of Labor released the latest data from the Consumer Price Index (CPI), revealing inflation’s steady creep upward hasn’t stopped yet. The rate of U.S. inflation climbed to a whopping 8.5% in March, marking this spike as the most significant increase in the cost of living in 4 decades.

You aren’t alone if you’re struggling to handle prices at their 40-year high. Nearly half of Americans (45%) polled by Gallup last year admitted inflation caused financial hardship at a time when the CPI was just 6.8%. Moreover, of those that reported facing difficulties, 10% revealed their challenges impacted their standard of living.

While the Federal Reserve claims inflation’s bubble will pop soon, experts anticipate the CPI won’t fall below 4% by the year’s end. That means you can expect another year of high inflation bumping up prices.

Is your budget ready? If not, don’t panic. Instead, keep reading to understand more about inflation and what you can do to protect your savings.

Inflation: An Overview

Inflation is not a product of the pandemic, although it may initially seem that way. On the contrary, between lockdowns and labor shortages — and now the Russia-Ukraine crisis — the past 3 years have kept inflation well-fed.

These special circumstances allowed inflation to grow to dizzying heights, but it’s been around a lot longer than COVID.

Have you ever heard your dad tell you a story about buying a bag of candy for a nickel, only for your grandfather to chime in to say he bought the same thing for a penny? They aren’t just yearning for the good old days of their youth. That’s inflation at work.

Inflation is an economic principle describing how the prices of goods and services generally increase over time. Another way to think of it is how your money — or what’s called your purchasing power — decreases in value as time goes on.

Usually, inflation only increases by around 2% each year. And if you’re lucky, your employer matches this increase with an equivalent raise. This zero-sum game means a lot of people may not notice inflation. Sure, things cost more, but you also earn more, so it all evens out.

The problem with today’s record-breaking inflation rate is that prices are climbing far too fast for wages to keep up. While employers have been handing out raises, a survey shows they averaged 3.4% in 2021, less than half of today’s current inflation rate.

With inflation and wages out of balance, you may notice how your dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to before the pandemic. Each expense takes up more of your very finite budget as a result.

Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Now that everything costs more, many Americans are feeling the financial crunch. According to CNBC, nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) live paycheck to paycheck today. This isn’t necessarily new. In fact, survey after survey has revealed people have been living this way for nearly a decade.

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, most, if not all, of your monthly income goes towards making ends meet. With your income tied up with bills, you may have practically no cash for anything else.

Your Paycheck May Not Go As Far — But Don’t Deflate Your Savings

It’s hard to keep up with your savings goals when you live like this. You might even hit pause on savings altogether. And without contributing to savings, Americans increasingly turn to credit cards and short-term personal loans for help in an emergency.

CNBC reports that 56% of Americans could not handle an unexpected $1,000 expense with savings. Most of those without savings would charge credit cards or ask a loved one for some help. But others would go into debt and borrow money online via short-term personal loans to cover unexpected expenses.

While credit cards and short-term personal loans function as emergency backups in unexpected cash crunches, they’re meant as temporary stopgaps for singular expenses. Moreover, borrowing money won’t solve the issue that high inflation is an ongoing problem that will long outlast most cash advances and personal loan terms.

More still, debt can add to your money troubles. If you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, you may not have the cash available to repay your personal loan on time. Late fines and extra interest are soon to follow.

Updating Your Budget with Inflation in Mind

Americans point to high costs preventing them from saving as much as they want, regardless of whether they rely on credit cards or short-term personal loans as crutches.

Unfortunately, there’s no telling just how long high inflation will hang around. Still, one thing is for sure: a higher-than-normal inflation rate will affect prices for the foreseeable future.

Higher prices are the new normal, so it’s time to tweak your budget, updating it for another expensive year. Let’s dive into how you can do that.

1. Make a List of Priorities

When things are tight, you need a plan of action to understand your next move. So sit down and write out your list of priorities. These expenses are the absolute essentials you need to pay each month to keep a roof over your head and food on the table.

Besides housing costs and groceries, this list may include insurance payments, utilities, basic household items, and toiletries. In addition, the minimum payments for personal loans, cash advances, and lines of credit also belong on this list. These minimum payments will help you avoid late fines, extra interest, and credit damage.

This list shows the bare minimum for what you need each month. It serves as a good reminder of what you need to pay first before moving on to other things.

2. Cut Discretionary Expenses

As judge, jury, and executioner of expenses, you should be looking to slash non-essential spending until you have more wiggle room in your budget. Then, the unnecessary expenses (i.e., those you don’t need to lead a safe or comfortable life) should be on the chopping block.

Which expenses didn’t make it on your list of priorities? It can be daunting to say goodbye to the fun things in life, but it’s easier to let go knowing it won’t be forever. You can reintroduce the non-essentials when you start to feel less pressure.

To help you get started, here are some discretionary expenses you can cut:

  • Streaming services: If you have multiple streaming subscriptions, pare them down to the one you use most often.
  • Subscription boxes: While the average subscription box doesn’t cost a lot, it may be too much if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Put them on pause until you have more wiggle room in your budget.
  • Gym memberships: The average gym membership costs about $600 a year. You can pocket that change by switching to a free at-home workout.
  • Takeout: According to The Fool, the average American spends $2,375 on takeout a year. If you eat out multiple times a week, you stand to save a lot by eating at home.
  • Alcohol: Happy hours after work and wine with dinner add up. Going dry can help you free up more cash for bills.

Finding it hard to say no when you’re out and about? Apply the 30-day rule. In other words, wait for 30 days before you commit to the purchase. A month is long enough to take the wind out of your sails, revealing the splurge for what it is: a waste of money.

3. Automate Savings

Even at this time, savings are an essential part of your budget. It can help you weather unexpected emergencies, reducing how often you tap into credit cards and short-term personal loans.

Admittedly, saving through high inflation is challenging, so you might want to ignore the usual advice to save 3 to 6 months. But, that’s a goal for another day.

For now, save as much as you can to get started, even if it’s just $10 a month at first. Financial advisor David Ramsey suggests lowering your goal to $1,000 when you’re first starting out.

4. Tweak Your Phone and Internet Package

Having a phone and access to the Internet is as close to essentials as possible nowadays. You might need them for work, or it may be the only way you can contact the outside world. So cutting these expenses for the sake of saving money just doesn’t make sense.

If you’re on an unlimited plan, consider downsizing to a cheaper plan with strict data and talk limits. Be careful not to exceed these limits to ensure you aren’t penalized. You stand to save even more each month if you can stomach a prepaid contract.

5. Update Your Insurance

Like your phone and Internet packages, insurance is another essential with some wiggle room. But first, you’ll want to do some research. Go online to compare other insurance companies to see what they offer. Then, when talking to your current provider, you can leverage this info to know if they’re willing to match the competition.

Another thing you can leverage is your loyalty. If you’ve been with the company for a long time, bring this history up while talking to your provider. They might be willing to cut you a better deal knowing you’re thinking about jumping ship.

You may also get a better deal if you’re willing to bundle your life, home, and auto insurance under one company.

6. Eat Better for Less

Putting food on the table has never been more expensive. But, unfortunately, you can’t precisely cut groceries from your budget!

Meat and dairy have been some of the hardest-hit items in the grocery stores, with bacon, eggs, and beef taking most of the brunt. Now that bacon is 26% more expensive per pound than last year, you might think twice about including it on your breakfast plate.

Plant-based eating promises some financial savings at the grocery store, especially if you stay away from costly prepared meat replacements. Instead, focus on tried-and-true cheap ingredients like lentils and rice.

Following a meal plan is also another great way to keep your spending in check at the supermarket. Make a list of meals you want to eat every week, adjusting your plan for weekly flyers and coupons.

7. Use Less Energy

Your utility bills are taking a bigger bite of your budget, like electricity, water, and gas cost more. According to the Guardian, utility prices in the U.S. rose by 33% last year.

Reducing energy consumption across these utilities can help you control runaway expenses.

One of the biggest things you can do to save is set your thermostat according to the Department of Energy’s recommendations. These tips can help you save as much as 10% of your annual heating and cooling costs.

Summer: If you have an air conditioner running, set it to 78°F when you’re at home. Try increasing the temperature as high as you feel comfortable when you’re out.

Winter: During the cooler months, try to keep your thermostat to 68°F while you’re at home, reducing it even lower when you’re at work or in bed.

8. Reduce Your Fuelling Costs

Between inflation and the Russia-Ukraine crisis squeezing the American fuel supply, drivers can expect to spend more at the pumps. If you can’t reduce how often you’re behind the wheel, you should download an app like GasBuddy to find the lowest gas prices in your area.

More often than not, this ends up being Costco, but they don’t get a membership just to qualify for their gas. So you probably won’t save more at their pumps than what it costs to become an annual member.

Another way to keep your driving costs low is by using gas station loyalty cards so that you can redeem points as often as possible. You can also consider carpooling with local friends and colleagues to share the burden of driving.

9. Learn How to Negotiate

The art of negotiation is a hard-earned skill that can do wonders for your budget. Depending on your strategy and your creditor’s policies, you can push out due dates to take the pressure off your budget and reduce what you owe.

If you aren’t sure how to persuade big companies, check out this script for guidance. When it comes to medical expenses specifically, ask if they offer a financial plan that offsets your costs. In many cases, healthcare businesses are willing to give you a discount if you offer to pay the reduced amount in full immediately.

10. Investigate Financial Assistance

Let’s face it — juggling all your bills as inflation nudges them higher, and higher is hard. Sometimes, not even your best attempts at negotiating bills and saving money at the grocery store will be enough to help you balance your budget.

Reach out to a free credit counseling organization for advice. They can provide more significant insights into how to shrink your budget. But more importantly, they can direct you towards government assistance programs that help you offset the burden of your living expenses.

The Takeaway for :

Although inflation is beyond your control, there are ways you can get back in the financial driver’s seat. As prices continue to rise, your budget is your most crucial resource throughout it all. You can refer to this spending plan to understand your priorities and focus on areas of your spending that need work.

You can reduce your monthly spending and save more, whether it’s unnecessary splurges or excessive fuel spending. Keep these tips in mind for the rest of the year.

But more importantly, know that you aren’t alone in facing these prices. There are resources you can fall back on for more guidance if you can’t balance the budget, no matter how hard you try.

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