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Study: Many Americans Say They Are More Likely to Participate in a Fitness Routine If Given Opportunity to Socialize, Earn Financial Incentives

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  • Third-annual UnitedHealthcare Wellness Checkup Survey provides
    insights into people’s knowledge and opinions about various health
    topics, including preferences about employer-sponsored well-being
    programs
  • People trying to improve their health prioritize a healthy diet,
    access to routine medical care, and stopping smoking or reducing
    drinking
  • More than half of survey respondents said they expect to remain
    healthy enough to accomplish everyday activities until 80 or older,
    including 11 percent saying those tasks will “never” be an issue
  • Among employees with access to a well-being program, 57 percent
    said it has helped improve their health; of these, 27 percent said the
    program helped detect a disease or medical condition

MINNETONKA, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–More than two-thirds of Americans say an incentive of as little as $2
per day would motivate them to devote at least an hour each day toward
improving their health, while nearly 60 percent of people say they would
be more likely to participate in a fitness routine if the program
offered an opportunity to socialize or make friends, according to a new
nationwide survey.

These are some of the findings from the 2019 UnitedHealthcare Wellness
Checkup Survey
, which examines people’s opinions about health topics
and preferences, offering insights to help improve employer-sponsored
well-being or disease-management programs. The survey’s key findings
include:

  • Opportunities to socialize, earn financial incentives appeal to
    many.
    More than half (57 percent) of survey respondents said they
    would be more likely to consistently participate in a fitness routine
    if the regimen provided a social component, either in-person or
    virtually. Among employees with access to a well-being program, 67
    percent said it was important that their significant other or family
    members have the opportunity to participate, too. Across all
    respondents, more than two-thirds (68 percent) said an incentive of as
    little as $2 per day would motivate them to devote at least an hour
    each day toward improving their health.
  • Many people are optimistic about remaining healthy as they age. More
    than half (53 percent) of survey respondents anticipate being able to
    accomplish everyday activities until 80 or older, including 11 percent
    saying those tasks will “never” be an issue. Gen Xers – defined as
    people between 39 and 54 years old – were the most optimistic, with
    nearly three-quarters (74 percent) expecting to maintain their health
    beyond 80, including 15 percent saying health issues will never
    prevent them from accomplishing everyday tasks. However, one
    study
    concluded that 42 percent of Americans 80 or older have
    functional limitations, such as the inability to walk a flight of
    stairs.
  • Healthy diet, access to medical care and stopping smoking top
    priorities.
    Survey respondents considered a healthy diet, such as
    eating fruits and vegetables, as the top priority when trying to
    improve their health, with a mean score of 4.5 (5 being “extremely
    important”). That was followed by access to routine medical care, such
    as an annual physical (4.4); stopping smoking and/or reducing drinking
    (4.4); getting sufficient sleep (4.3); engaging in strength or
    cardiovascular training (4.3); increasing social activity (3.7); and
    improving mindfulness (3.6).
  • Most people underestimate the connection between lifestyle choices
    and chronic conditions.
    About one-fifth (22 percent) of survey
    respondents correctly recognized that 80
    percent or more of the incidence of premature chronic conditions
    ,
    such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, are generally caused by
    modifiable lifestyle choices, such as risk factors like smoking or
    obesity, as opposed to being caused by genetic factors. More than
    one-third (38 percent) thought between 50 percent and 79 percent of
    premature chronic conditions were caused by lifestyle choices, while
    32 percent said genetics were to blame for more than half of these
    diseases.

“This year employers are expected to invest an average of more than $3.6
million1 on their respective well-being programs, and over 60
percent of employees2 are interested in engaging in these
initiatives. The UnitedHealthcare Wellness Checkup Survey
provides insights that we hope can be helpful to enhance the design and
implementation of well-being programs, which may help improve employees’
health, reduce absenteeism and curb care costs,” said Rebecca Madsen,
UnitedHealthcare chief consumer officer.

Many U.S. companies are investing in wellness programs, with more than
two-thirds (67 percent) of companies planning to expand these
initiatives during the next few years, according to a recent
study
by the National Business Group on Health. A separate
study
published in The American Journal of Cardiology concluded that
one employer’s well-being initiative generated a six-fold return on
investment and reduced health risks for people enrolled in the program.

Many Employees Say Well-being Programs Have Improved Their Health,
Productivity

More than half (57 percent) of people with
access to wellness programs said the initiatives have made a positive
impact on their health. Of these, 82 percent said they were motivated to
pay more attention to their health; 63 percent said they increased
physical activity; 59 percent improved their diet; and 30 percent
reported improved sleep. More than one-quarter (27 percent) said the
program helped detect a disease or medical condition, while 8 percent
said they stopped smoking or using nicotine.

In regard to job performance among those who said the well-being program
made a positive impact on their health, 50 percent said the initiative
helped reduce stress; 49 percent reported improved productivity; and 35
percent said they took fewer sick days. About one-quarter (26 percent)
reported no impact on job performance.

Among employees without access to wellness programs, 70 percent of
respondents said they would be interested in such initiatives if
offered, including 43 percent who are “very interested.” More than
three-quarters (77 percent) of Gen Xers said they wanted access to a
well-being program, more so than any other age group.

About the Survey
The UnitedHealthcare Wellness Checkup
Survey
was conducted April 11-15, 2019, using the Engine Telephone
CARAVAN® survey among a landline and mobile phone probability sample of
1,000 adults ages 18 and older living in the continental United States.
The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent
confidence level. For complete survey results, click
here
.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare
is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the
health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care
experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining
trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States,
UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for
individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people
through owned and operated health care facilities in South America.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit
UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com
or follow @UHC on Twitter.

1 National Business Group on Health, 2019
https://www.businessgrouphealth.org/news/nbgh-news/press-releases/press-release-details/?ID=355

2 Rand Corporation, Incentives for Workplace Wellness
Programs, 2015
https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/RB9800/RR9842/RAND_RB9842.pdf

Click
here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group.

Contacts

Will Shanley
UnitedHealthcare
(714) 204-8005
will.shanley@uhc.com

Cannabis

Strainprint™ Technologies Welcomes Organic Medical Cannabis Producer to Growing List of Subscribers

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Strainprint™ Technologies Ltd, the leader in cannabis data and analytics is pleased to expand their nation-wide coverage with the addition of Stewart Farms.

Stewart Farms is a late-stage applicant headquartered in Alberta that is building a 100,000 sq. ft. vertical aquaponics farm in Saint StephensNew Brunswick. They will be utilizing automation, vertical farming, and land-based aquaculture to produce medical grade organic cannabis for both recreational and medical markets in Canada. All of their products will be free of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic nutrients. At full capacity, they will reach more than 10,000 kgs per year of organically farmed cannabis and more than 200,000 kgs of organic tilapia.

Stewart Farms’ long term vision is to deliver tools and products to support  future customers and patients during their health and wellness journeys. “Through our partnership with Strainprint we gain direct access to their incomparable data and analytics tools. This will aid us in educating a wider audience on the medical benefits and best practices of cannabis-based medicine,” said Tanner Stewart, Co-founder & CEO of Stewart Farms. “We know our customers are looking to consume more than dried cannabis. We know Canadians of all legal ages are trying to sort through their personal engagement with cannabis as a medicine. What we want to know, on an ongoing basis, is what is and is not working for people. Strainprint’s patient-led data services will give us the insight needed to create custom products and further understand the benefits of our existing products. Finally, our goal is to partner with companies and teams that truly have people’s best interest at heart. Caring about a patient’s success is what makes up the core of the Strainprint team. We couldn’t be happier to move forward with them at our side.”

Stewart Farms will access the Strainprint Analytics web platform, the most sophisticated cannabis analytics platform available to improve product development. Strainprint Analytics is built on top of the largest and most granular scientific data set of its kind in the world, with more than 1.3 million anonymized, patient reported medical cannabis outcomes and more than 65 million data points on strain efficacy.

“We’re thrilled to provide our real-time, crowd sourced data to an environmentally conscious company that uses innovative, cutting edge farming technology to produce top-tier medical cannabis,” said Strainprint CEO, Andrew Muroff. “Our organizations are equally committed to improving lives using cannabis therapy, and our shared core motivation is to provide guidance and support to help cannabis patients achieve their health goals.”

 

SOURCE Strainprint Technologies Ltd.

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Field Trip Ventures Inc. Retains KCSA Strategic Communications as Public Relations Counsel

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Greenery Map, the world’s first and only cannabis search engine to allow users to search for cannabis products based on their desired mood, medicinal use, and method of consumption, is now offering users – both businesses and consumers – the opportunity to register and connect to the app in an entirely mobile way. Previously, businesses were required to access GreeneryMap.com from a desktop in order to manage accounts and connect to the inventory API system, but that road block has been removed, allowing for an entirely mobile experience through the Greenery Map app.

App users turn to Greenery Map to help them decide on the strain of Cannabis and product that is right for them depending on their desired mood or medicinal effect. Following the matching, consumers are given a detailed history and description of the strain so that they can make educated purchases, cutting down on time that budtenders need to spend with patrons and speeding up the purchase process. Consumers can then see all of the ways to purchase said product, including the nearby dispensaries that have it in stock, online options, and even delivery options through the app. Greenery Map fully integrates with a dispensary’s inventory API system to update in real-time and give consumers real-time information on dispensary stock for the item they are looking for. The Greenery Map system also provides cannabis businesses in both the B2B and B2C sectors a private database to share and sell information and products. For Cannabis businesses, Greenery Map also offers the opportunity to open bank and merchant accounts through their partnership with PayHouse Consulting Group.

 

SOURCE Greenery Map

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WeBank, IBM and Other Organizations Jointly Held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning in conjunction with IJCAI 2019

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Once a concept, AI is now ushering in a key stage of application. What’s the solution to the data silos among businesses? Given the enhanced regulation on data at home and abroad, what’s the solution to data privacy and security concerns? What’s the status quo of Federated Machine Learning and how to establish an ecosystem for FML in the future?

WeBank, IBM and other organizations jointly held the 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning for User Privacy and Data Confidentiality (FML’19) in conjunction with the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-19) on Aug. 12, 2019, to further discussion on these issues.

President of IJCAI, Chair of FML Steering Committee, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang delivered opening remarks at the workshop. Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google presented keynote addresses. In the panel discussion, top scholars from WeBank, Bar-Ilan University, IBM, Squirrel AI, Google, Huawei, Clustar, Sinovation Ventures and many other renowned enterprises and universities shared and discussed their findings and experience in FML as an emerging AI technology.

This workshop received 40 papers, of which 12 were presented during the workshop, 19 presented via poster. Awards include Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award, Best Presentation Award. Selected high quality papers will be invited for publication in a special issue in the IEEE Intelligent Systems journal. All these attracted numerous scholars to engage in discussions and join efforts for building the FML ecosystem.

Experts from IBM and Google Share Groundbreaking Findings with a Focus on the Theory and Application of FML

Privacy and security are becoming a key concern in our digital age. On 25th May last year, the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU, the toughest Act on data privacy protection, stressed that user data collection must be open and transparent. A series of laws and regulations from China and overseas also pose new challenges to the traditional way of handling data and model for cooperation. Seeking ways for AI to adapt to this new reality became top priority, a demand that led to this workshop on FML.

A wealth of solutions and breakthroughs were shared by Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad from IBM and Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google in their speech on FML.

Besides how FML can help tackle challenges in the business world, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad also shared the concept of Fusion AI, which means to train models on widely distributed data sets, but fuse them to produce one equivalent to what centralized training would yield. “Unlike traditional machine learning, in Fusion AI, model parameters are shared and data is not transferred, which makes Fusion AI model better than models that moving data centrally.” Given the widely distributed data, the development of Fusion AI and FML became ever important and imminent.

“FML enables machine learning engineers and data scientists to work productively with decentralized data with privacy by default,” said Dr. Jakub Konečný from Google. He also shared with us how FML works and its use cases at Google. In the case of Gboard, as on-device data is privacy sensitive or large or is more relevant than server-side proxy data, and labels can be inferred naturally via user interaction, the application of Federated RNN compared to prior n-gram model can increase the accuracy of next-word prediction by 24%, and the click rate of prediction strip by 10%.

Major Figure Panelists Discuss the Way Ahead for FML

The moderator of the panel discussion, AI Principal Scientist of WeBank Dr. Lixin Fan joined panelists including Professor Benny Pinkas from Bar-Ilan University, Dr. Shahrokh Daijavad of IBM Academy of Technology, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard Tong, Research Scientist of Google Dr. Jakub Konečný, Dr. Baofeng Zhang from CTO Office of CBG Software in Huawei, Executive VP of Clustar Dr. Junxue Zhang, VP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng and other experts in a host of in-depth exchanges with attendees, to shed light on the way ahead for FML.

Experts shared thoughts in the panel discussion on questions including but not limited to: How to meet the security and compliance requirements? Is there a way to extend the value of data while observing user privacy and data security? Given the classic trade-off between data regulation and development of AI, how to achieve the long-term goal of establishing a stable and win-win business ecosystem?

List of Award-Winners

Best Theory Paper Award, Best Application Paper Award, Best Student Paper Award and Best Presentation Award selected by all attendees were announced at the closing of the workshop.

Best Theory Paper Award: 
Preserving User Privacy for Machine Learning: Local Differential Privacy or Federated Machine Learning? By Huadi Zheng, Haibo Hu & Ziyang Han;

Best Application Paper Award: 
FedHealth: A Federated Transfer Learning Framework for Wearable Healthcare. By Yiqiang ChenJindong WangChaohui YuWen Gao & Xin Qin;

Best Student Paper Award: 
Quantifying the Performance of Federated Transfer Learning. By Qinghe JingWeiyan Wang, Junxue Zhang, Han Tian & Kai Chen;

Best Presentation Award: 
Federated Generative Privacy. By Aleksei Triastcyn and Boi Faltings.

President of IJCAI, Chief AI Officer of WeBank Professor Qiang Yang, Chief Architect of Squirrel AI Dr. Richard TongandVP of AI Institute in Sinovation Ventures Dr. Ji Feng presented the awards.

“The mission of this International Federated Machine Learning Workshop is to facilitate further understanding in the academia, business community as well as legal and regulatory institutions by promoting the establishment of FML ecosystem in the hope that more businesses will join and build a platform for students aspired to work in FML to find research teams that suit them,” said Professor Qiang Yang.

Held Aug. 10-16, 2019 in Macao, China, IJCAI-19 is one of the leading International Academic Conference on AI, attracting over 3000 AI research personnel and experts. The 1st International Workshop on Federated Machine Learning (FML’19) was a highlight for experts joining this event. Visionaries in the academia and industrial sector expressed the willingness to be part of the effort for academic research, application of FML in the future, and the development and boom of AI ecosystem.

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