• Here’s why Google wants all your health records…
  • If you want to upgrade your Wi-Fi router, wait a few months
  • The mainstream media says this early stage company is in trouble, but I see something different

Dear Reader,

The research conducted with the data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship was some of the first evidence-based analysis on COVID-19. It demonstrated the degree to which the World Health Organization’s mortality estimates were wrong.

As a reminder, while the cruise ship was quarantined in Tokyo, many passengers were tested for the presence of COVID-19. Out of 3,711 passengers and crew members, over 700 tested positive… over 18.9% in total.

This was an early indication of how widely the virus had spread. But the ship was not testing for the COVID-19 antibodies. That means the study left out the part of the population that had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered.

But we now have new data that shows the spread even better.

As it turns out, U.S. state prisons have been testing for COVID-19. And the numbers are striking.

In the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio, 2,028 out of 2,300 inmates who were tested had positive results… That’s an 88% infection rate. But get this… Nearly 95% of those who tested positive were asymptomatic. And this wasn’t a fluke.

Prisons in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia also demonstrated nearly identical rates. Out of 3,277 inmates who tested positive, 96% were asymptomatic. That’s not just a majority. It’s nearly everyone.

These are remarkable data points. It tells us that COVID-19 spreads even further than what was implied by the serological tests that we discussed last week.

Dr. Leana Wen, adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University said, “It adds to the understanding that we have a severe undercount of cases in the U.S. The case count is likely much, much higher than we currently know because of the lack of testing and surveillance.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Even though the U.S. has already conducted almost 5.7 million tests – primarily antigen tests for the presence of COVID-19 – the country still needs to conduct at least a million antibody tests to determine more accurately the extent of those who have had COVID-19 and recovered.

We’re keeping a close eye on states like Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska, and South Carolina. These states are taking steps toward restarting their local economies.

In their own way, depending on what happens, they will also be indications of how widely COVID-19 has already spread. If we don’t see large spikes of new cases, this will be an indication that immunity has already been built into a larger percentage of the local populations.

Pulling back the curtain on Google’s health care master plan…

Last November, we talked about how Google cut a deal with health care network Ascension to get access to millions of health records. Incredibly, the contract allowed Google to access patient records without patient or physician consent.

What’s more, the records weren’t anonymized. The patients’ full names, addresses, and contact information was right there for Google to see along with sensitive health information.

Well, it turns out that Google’s health care ambitions don’t stop there. In fact, Google has a master plan. And the company’s latest announcement reveals the full scope of that plan.

Google just announced its Cloud Healthcare API. This is an interface that will allow the medical industry to store and access data across its many systems. In other words, it’s a system that will connect medical records across doctors, hospitals, and insurance networks.

This is a shrewd move by Google.

The interoperability of medical record systems and the transferability of medical records are some of the largest pain points for the industry. One hospital can’t access another hospital’s records unless they happen to be in the same hospital network, using the same software platform.

On a patient level, we experience this in the form of monotonous and unnecessary paperwork. Whenever we visit a new medical facility, it’s like starting from scratch. It’s an enormous waste of our time.

Google’s API system would help solve this problem.

And as usual, Google claims noble intentions. The company’s official goal is to make it as simple as possible for the industry to make informed, data-driven decisions, so caregivers can focus on what matters most – saving lives.

I’ll say upfront that Google is a perfect company to tackle such a challenging problem. After all, Silicon Valley technology companies excel at solving interoperability problems.

But, of course, Google’s real goal isn’t quite so generous. This move would instantly make all health care data flow through Google.

That’s right… Google would have access to our most sensitive health records in real time. It would have the ability to work with our data, analyze it, and use it to supplement the profile it already has on us.

And that opens a can of worms when it comes to targeted advertisements. Do we really want to be singled out for ads based on underlying health conditions?

If life insurance companies receive information about a health condition that puts us at high risk for something, it could become impossible for us to get life insurance at a reasonable price. We would be unable to put in place the necessary safeguards to protect our families.

And yes, Google certainly would take this route.

The company generates 84% of its annual revenues from data surveillance of consumers like us. Do we trust Google to be a good steward of our most sensitive medical information?

An obvious alternative solution to this problem would be for a central government to hire a company to design a platform with no conflicts of interest at all.

I’m curious what readers think of this development. Write to me with your thoughts by clicking here.

A big Wi-Fi upgrade is coming…

If you’re thinking of buying a new in-home Wi-Fi router, I recommend waiting a few months. Here’s why…

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just auctioned off spectrum for the next generation of Wi-Fi technology. This will enable Wi-Fi 6E (the “E” stands for extended) – the biggest upgrade to Wi-Fi in decades.

Wi-Fi 6E refers to the 6 GHz frequency band. That’s what’s being unlocked by this new spectrum.

This is a big deal because our current 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands are congested. We can see this by looking at all the different Wi-Fi networks in range of our home or office.

If you’re curious, simply click on the Wi-Fi icon on your computer and count how many networks are within range of your computer.

I’ve got 12 other Wi-Fi networks in range of my home, and I live in a suburban neighborhood. If you live in an apartment building or condo, the congestion is likely much worse.

And because we are all using the same frequencies, our networks interfere with each other. This slows down our speeds, and it sometimes leads to connectivity issues.

That’s one of the reasons our internet access drops out at times or slows down or we have difficulty reconnecting.

And here’s the kicker – the amount of spectrum unlocked for Wi-Fi 6E in this latest auction is quadruple the amount available for Wi-Fi today. That means this new frequency band will be wide open. We’ll see an impressive jump in performance on our home and office networks.

To access Wi-Fi 6E, we will need to buy a new router equipped with semiconductors that operate at the higher frequency. The first of these routers will be coming out in the fourth quarter this year… and I plan to be first in line to buy one.

The upgrade from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6E is almost as big as the jump from 4G to 5G, relatively speaking.

Wi-Fi 6E Is Coming

Source: Android Authority

For any readers looking to make the upgrade, please keep your eye out for a “Wi-Fi 6E” logo on the box of the new routers coming out later this year. It will probably look similar to the logo above. And I’ll provide an update in these pages when the routers are available as well.

What’s going on with Magic Leap…

Augmented reality (AR) company Magic Leap just laid off half of its staff. In all, the company shed over 1,000 jobs in a massive restructuring effort.

The company’s stated reason for this is to wind down its consumer business and only focus on enterprise customers. In other words, Magic Leap appears to be backing away from its original plan to deliver consumer-grade AR glasses to the market.

The media is pitching this news as a sign of trouble within the company. But that’s not the case. This is a great strategic move. Here’s what’s happening in the background…

We talked about how Magic Leap was shopping itself around to potential buyers last month. Magic Leap needs help with sales and distribution. With a $2,000+ price tag for an AR headset, Magic Leap just can’t bring its products to market at a price that will drive mass adoption. And that’s what this is all about…

Magic Leap is getting ready for a sale. It is shedding staff that the acquiring company won’t need. That’s because Magic Leap’s value is in its hardware – specifically, its proprietary lens technology – and software platform.

Magic Leap saw its lens technology as so strategic, it wasn’t willing to risk outsourcing the production. It actually purchased its own manufacturing equipment to produce its lenses in-house. This kept other companies from stealing and knocking off the technology.

And Magic Leap is based in Plantation, FL, just outside of Fort Lauderdale. That’s not exactly a high-tech hub. Whoever the acquirer will be, it won’t need such heavy staffing levels at Magic Leap headquarters.

Ultimately, the team to scale up Magic Leap’s technology and bring it to the consumer markets will almost certainly be on the West Coast.

I see this as a tactical move that is a precursor to an acquisition. I believe it is right around the corner and likely a second-quarter event. Magic Leap spent eight years building the world’s best AR headset. It is the gem in an industry where so many other companies have failed.

Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders Game

Source: Magic Leap

I had the chance to play with the technology myself back in December. I see an acquisition as a critical step in bringing this incredible technology to the mass market.


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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