Helping increase d/Deaf representation in the media industry

Source: Google

Even though over 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability, people with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in the entertainment industry. One organization helping change that is Deaf West Theatre, which was founded in Los Angeles in 1991. This group uses the expressive power of sign language to engage artists and audiences in theater and media. They also support actors who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing actors as they kick start their career, making sure they have access to the same opportunities as hearing actors.

David ‘DJ’ Kurs, the artistic director of Deaf West Theatre, and Daniel Durant, an actor who is Deaf and a member of Deaf West, both know firsthand how important communication and connection is in their industry. With the help of tools, like Live Caption and Live Transcribe, they’re better able to connect with others when American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters may not be available. This is why our Social Impact team is partnering with Deaf West Theatre to share Pixel phones, which have these helpful tools and others available on them, directly with d/Deaf and hard of hearing actors, producers, writers and other creators.

Learn more about some of our most helpful tools on android.com/accessibility and join us in building more accessible and disability inclusive creative work with the help of our toolkit, google.com/all-in.

For Air Defenders – Airbus Defence and Space produces 2,000th target drone

Source: Airbus

Headline: For Air Defenders – Airbus Defence and Space produces 2,000th target drone

For more than 20 years, Air Defenders around the world have been training with Airbus Defence and Space target drones – ensuring that their countries’ air defences work when it counts. Airbus’ Target Systems & Services has now produced its 2,000th drone in Friedrichshafen.

Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Source: European Central Bank

Speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Brussels, 28 November 2022

Over the past 12 months, the ECB has embarked on a swift and comprehensive process of normalising monetary policy.

First, we ended net asset purchases in a matter of a few months. Next, we started raising our policy rates at their fastest pace ever.

In my short remarks today, I will briefly look back on the past year and focus on the key actions taken by the ECB, and the EU more broadly, to address people’s concerns.

I will also address the two topics selected by this Committee for today’s hearing, namely the global monetary policy cycle and inflation differentials.

A challenging year for Europeans

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused widespread human suffering. It has also shattered our sense of safety, threatened our energy security, disrupted supply chains and contributed to pushing inflation well above our target.

The shock hit just as we were coming out of the pandemic and has continued to cause economic disruptions. The reverberations have been felt not only in Europe but also around the world: inflation has surged almost everywhere, prompting central banks to raise interest rates and leading financing conditions to tighten rapidly worldwide.[1]

Given our proximity to the conflict and our dependence on energy imports, Europe has been hit particularly hard. Higher energy costs have been a key driver of euro area inflation, which in October reached double digits for the first time since the start of the monetary union.

While the energy shock and global bottlenecks have constrained supply, the re-opening of the economy after the pandemic has led to a rapid release of pent-up demand, contributing to the upward pressure from demand factors on core inflation, which has increased gradually over the year.[2]

This rise in inflation affects everyone, but some are feeling it more than others. I am thinking particularly of those on low incomes who spend a larger share of their consumption budgets on essentials such as food, electricity, gas and heating while having lower financial buffers to cover the rising cost of living. Currently, the gap between the effective inflation rate experienced by the lowest and highest income groups is by far at its highest level on record in the euro area.[3]

The divergence in inflation rates across euro area member countries is also at a record high, mainly due to different degrees of exposure to the energy shock and to the pandemic. We are monitoring these divergences carefully and expect them to normalise as the impact of these shocks fades over time.

The different shocks over the past year have also had an impact on real economic activity.

While the reopening of the economy after the pandemic resulted in surprisingly strong activity at the beginning of this year, growth is now slowing down rapidly as a consequence of the war.

By reducing people’s real incomes and pushing up costs for firms, high inflation is dampening spending and production. High uncertainty, tighter financial conditions and weakening global demand are also weighing on economic growth, which is expected to continue weakening for the remainder of this year and the beginning of next year.

Addressing people’s concerns and delivering on our mandate

Faced with these unprecedented challenges, Europe has risen to the occasion and shown a strong sense of unity and solidarity – thanks also to the crucial role played by this Parliament in pushing for genuinely European actions.

Beyond providing financial, humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine, the European Union has taken significant steps to shield us from the consequences of the war, enhance our resilience and reduce our energy dependence.[4]

The European response to the war has garnered broad support among citizens and optimism about the future of the EU has increased.[5] Two out of three citizens now consider their country’s EU membership a good thing – the highest result since 2007.[6]

Yet, the same surveys also show that one-third of citizens find the rising cost of living to be the most important issue facing the EU. And although the majority of citizens believe that the defence of our common European values must be a priority, even if this has a negative impact on the cost of living, every policymaker should respond to this challenge.

In line with its mandate, the ECB is doing its part by ensuring price stability. Our third major policy rate increase in October, resulting in a cumulative increase of 200 basis points since July, underscores our commitment to tame inflation. This increase was accompanied by a recalibration for our targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) to reinforce the transmission of our policy rate increases to bank lending conditions and contribute to the normalisation of the Eurosystem balance sheet.

In December, we will also lay out the key principles for reducing the bond holdings in our asset purchase programme portfolio. It is appropriate that the balance sheet is normalised over time in a measured and predictable way.

Interest rates are, and will remain, the main tool for fighting inflation. Higher interest rates reduce demand pressures by making it more expensive to borrow money and by influencing how much people and businesses spend, save, borrow and invest. This in turn will put downward pressure on prices, although the adjustments will take some time to be felt in the economy.

Higher interest rates also have an immediate effect on people’s and businesses’ expectations about future inflation, thereby guarding against the risk of second-round effects. Persistently high inflation could lead to de-anchored inflation expectations, which then become engrained in wage negotiations and price setting. Not only would the resultant wage-price spirals prove self-defeating in supporting real incomes economy-wide, but it would also hamper the productive capacity of the economy as a whole.

Strong labour markets – with the unemployment rate still at the historically low level of 6.6 per cent in September – are likely to support higher wages. Incoming data suggest that wages are picking up, and we will continue to assess their implications for the medium-term inflation outlook.

While monetary policy is geared towards bringing inflation back to our medium-term target, the economic outlook will also depend on the actions taken by other stakeholders.

In the current environment of high inflation, fiscal policy needs to be considerate to not add to inflationary pressures. Fiscal support should therefore be targeted, tailored and temporary. It should be targeted, so that the size of the fiscal impulse is limited and benefits those who need it most; tailored, so that it does not weaken incentives to cut energy demand; and temporary, so that the fiscal impulse is not maintained longer than strictly necessary. At the same time, governments should pursue fiscal policies that show they are committed to gradually bringing down high public debt ratios. 

Delivering on the ECB’s mandate will create the conditions for strong and sustainable growth with benefits for everyone. Yet, achieving price stability is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. Other policy areas will need to act.

Removing constraints on economic growth through an ambitious economic reform agenda at the EU and national levels will not only rebuild supply that has been impaired by the recent shocks. It will also, over time, strengthen the resilience of our economy in a world that is becoming less predictable.

In this respect, we also welcome the Commission’s proposals to reform the EU economic governance framework. Sustainable fiscal policies are needed not only to ensure medium-term debt sustainability, but also to support the three key transitions that will determine our future and our growth model: towards cleaner energy, greater economic security and a more digital and productive economy.

The Commission proposals are a good starting point for discussion. I encourage EU policymakers, including this Parliament, to soon reach a viable and broadly shared agreement to help strengthen the foundations of our Economic and Monetary Union.

Conclusion

Allow me to conclude.

We are committed to bringing inflation down to our medium-term target, and we are determined to take the necessary measures to do so. We expect to raise rates further to the levels needed to ensure that inflation returns to our 2% medium-term target in a timely manner.

In this environment of high uncertainty and with complex shocks hitting the economy, the Governing Council decisions will continue to be data-dependent and follow a meeting-by-meeting approach. How much further we need to go, and how fast we need to get there, will be based on our updated outlook, the persistence of the shocks, the reaction of wages and inflation expectations, and on our assessment of the transmission of our policy stance.

I now stand ready to take your questions.

Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Source: European Central Bank

Speech by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, at the Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Brussels, 28 November 2022

Over the past 12 months, the ECB has embarked on a swift and comprehensive process of normalising monetary policy.

First, we ended net asset purchases in a matter of a few months. Next, we started raising our policy rates at their fastest pace ever.

In my short remarks today, I will briefly look back on the past year and focus on the key actions taken by the ECB, and the EU more broadly, to address people’s concerns.

I will also address the two topics selected by this Committee for today’s hearing, namely the global monetary policy cycle and inflation differentials.

A challenging year for Europeans

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused widespread human suffering. It has also shattered our sense of safety, threatened our energy security, disrupted supply chains and contributed to pushing inflation well above our target.

The shock hit just as we were coming out of the pandemic and has continued to cause economic disruptions. The reverberations have been felt not only in Europe but also around the world: inflation has surged almost everywhere, prompting central banks to raise interest rates and leading financing conditions to tighten rapidly worldwide.[1]

Given our proximity to the conflict and our dependence on energy imports, Europe has been hit particularly hard. Higher energy costs have been a key driver of euro area inflation, which in October reached double digits for the first time since the start of the monetary union.

While the energy shock and global bottlenecks have constrained supply, the re-opening of the economy after the pandemic has led to a rapid release of pent-up demand, contributing to the upward pressure from demand factors on core inflation, which has increased gradually over the year.[2]

This rise in inflation affects everyone, but some are feeling it more than others. I am thinking particularly of those on low incomes who spend a larger share of their consumption budgets on essentials such as food, electricity, gas and heating while having lower financial buffers to cover the rising cost of living. Currently, the gap between the effective inflation rate experienced by the lowest and highest income groups is by far at its highest level on record in the euro area.[3]

The divergence in inflation rates across euro area member countries is also at a record high, mainly due to different degrees of exposure to the energy shock and to the pandemic. We are monitoring these divergences carefully and expect them to normalise as the impact of these shocks fades over time.

The different shocks over the past year have also had an impact on real economic activity.

While the reopening of the economy after the pandemic resulted in surprisingly strong activity at the beginning of this year, growth is now slowing down rapidly as a consequence of the war.

By reducing people’s real incomes and pushing up costs for firms, high inflation is dampening spending and production. High uncertainty, tighter financial conditions and weakening global demand are also weighing on economic growth, which is expected to continue weakening for the remainder of this year and the beginning of next year.

Addressing people’s concerns and delivering on our mandate

Faced with these unprecedented challenges, Europe has risen to the occasion and shown a strong sense of unity and solidarity – thanks also to the crucial role played by this Parliament in pushing for genuinely European actions.

Beyond providing financial, humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine, the European Union has taken significant steps to shield us from the consequences of the war, enhance our resilience and reduce our energy dependence.[4]

The European response to the war has garnered broad support among citizens and optimism about the future of the EU has increased.[5] Two out of three citizens now consider their country’s EU membership a good thing – the highest result since 2007.[6]

Yet, the same surveys also show that one-third of citizens find the rising cost of living to be the most important issue facing the EU. And although the majority of citizens believe that the defence of our common European values must be a priority, even if this has a negative impact on the cost of living, every policymaker should respond to this challenge.

In line with its mandate, the ECB is doing its part by ensuring price stability. Our third major policy rate increase in October, resulting in a cumulative increase of 200 basis points since July, underscores our commitment to tame inflation. This increase was accompanied by a recalibration for our targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) to reinforce the transmission of our policy rate increases to bank lending conditions and contribute to the normalisation of the Eurosystem balance sheet.

In December, we will also lay out the key principles for reducing the bond holdings in our asset purchase programme portfolio. It is appropriate that the balance sheet is normalised over time in a measured and predictable way.

Interest rates are, and will remain, the main tool for fighting inflation. Higher interest rates reduce demand pressures by making it more expensive to borrow money and by influencing how much people and businesses spend, save, borrow and invest. This in turn will put downward pressure on prices, although the adjustments will take some time to be felt in the economy.

Higher interest rates also have an immediate effect on people’s and businesses’ expectations about future inflation, thereby guarding against the risk of second-round effects. Persistently high inflation could lead to de-anchored inflation expectations, which then become engrained in wage negotiations and price setting. Not only would the resultant wage-price spirals prove self-defeating in supporting real incomes economy-wide, but it would also hamper the productive capacity of the economy as a whole.

Strong labour markets – with the unemployment rate still at the historically low level of 6.6 per cent in September – are likely to support higher wages. Incoming data suggest that wages are picking up, and we will continue to assess their implications for the medium-term inflation outlook.

While monetary policy is geared towards bringing inflation back to our medium-term target, the economic outlook will also depend on the actions taken by other stakeholders.

In the current environment of high inflation, fiscal policy needs to be considerate to not add to inflationary pressures. Fiscal support should therefore be targeted, tailored and temporary. It should be targeted, so that the size of the fiscal impulse is limited and benefits those who need it most; tailored, so that it does not weaken incentives to cut energy demand; and temporary, so that the fiscal impulse is not maintained longer than strictly necessary. At the same time, governments should pursue fiscal policies that show they are committed to gradually bringing down high public debt ratios. 

Delivering on the ECB’s mandate will create the conditions for strong and sustainable growth with benefits for everyone. Yet, achieving price stability is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. Other policy areas will need to act.

Removing constraints on economic growth through an ambitious economic reform agenda at the EU and national levels will not only rebuild supply that has been impaired by the recent shocks. It will also, over time, strengthen the resilience of our economy in a world that is becoming less predictable.

In this respect, we also welcome the Commission’s proposals to reform the EU economic governance framework. Sustainable fiscal policies are needed not only to ensure medium-term debt sustainability, but also to support the three key transitions that will determine our future and our growth model: towards cleaner energy, greater economic security and a more digital and productive economy.

The Commission proposals are a good starting point for discussion. I encourage EU policymakers, including this Parliament, to soon reach a viable and broadly shared agreement to help strengthen the foundations of our Economic and Monetary Union.

Conclusion

Allow me to conclude.

We are committed to bringing inflation down to our medium-term target, and we are determined to take the necessary measures to do so. We expect to raise rates further to the levels needed to ensure that inflation returns to our 2% medium-term target in a timely manner.

In this environment of high uncertainty and with complex shocks hitting the economy, the Governing Council decisions will continue to be data-dependent and follow a meeting-by-meeting approach. How much further we need to go, and how fast we need to get there, will be based on our updated outlook, the persistence of the shocks, the reaction of wages and inflation expectations, and on our assessment of the transmission of our policy stance.

I now stand ready to take your questions.

Partnering with iCAD to improve breast cancer screening

Source: Google

Breast cancer is one of the world’s most common cancers; thankfully, early detection can help save lives and improve outcomes among many who develop the disease. At Google Health we’re developing AI to improve the accuracy and expand the availability of breast cancer screenings. Over time, better screenings will improve health outcomes and reduce disparities for people around the world.

Today, we’re announcing a partnership with iCAD, a leader in medical technology and cancer detection, marking the first time we are licensing our mammography AI research model. iCAD will work toward validating and incorporating our mammography AI technology with its products for use in clinical practices with the goal of improving breast cancer detection and assessment of short-term personal cancer risk for the more than two million people globally diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

By combining the power of our technologies and teams, we strengthen our fight against breast cancer and positively impact the lives of patients and their loved ones across the globe. Stacey Stevens,
President and CEO of iCAD, Inc.

iCAD will further develop Google Heath’s technology for use in a clinical setting

While breast screenings are critical to improving outcomes, a shortage of specialists around the world means that screening systems are often overburdened, leading to long, anxiety-filled delays for people awaiting results. In screening programs today, there are challenges related to access, accuracy, patient experience, and clinician workload. iCAD’s breast imaging portfolio of tools and Google Health’s mammography AI technology give radiologists the opportunity to focus on their patients.

Alongside licensing our AI technology, iCAD will also use Google Cloud’s secure, scalable infrastructure, giving them the ability to rapidly expand cloud-hosted solutions into new regions. By doing so, iCAD can scale access to AI-based tools in underserved regions where infrastructure challenges may constrain their ability to offer breast cancer screenings.

This commercial partnership with iCAD underscores an inflection point in our mammography work. After several years of investment and intentional research and testing, we’re now ready to partner with iCAD to take the next steps toward integrating this technology into a real-world clinical setting and work together to make a difference in the lives of millions of people undergoing breast cancer screening.

Building on Google Health’s work in mammography

A pivotal moment in our work came in 2020 when we published research in Nature showcasing how our AI technology performed better than radiologists in a retrospective study at identifying signs of breast cancer and could have reduced rates of false positives and false negatives.

We also worked with partners to design studies where AI was used to support real screening systems to understand whether the technology can help in a clinical workflow. Through a partnership with Northwestern Medicine, we’re researching how our technology can help prioritize high-risk cases and shorten the time to diagnosis for screened individuals. This technology may help reduce anxiety in patients by shortening callback times for additional screenings.

Since breast cancer screening systems vary globally, we recognized the need to test this technology in different regions. Through the NHS AI Award, we are working with Imperial College London and three NHS trusts to examine whether our technology can act as a “second independent reader” in UK double-read screening systems and allow radiologists to focus on high-priority cases while improving consistency and quality of screening.

And now with iCAD, we believe that the challenges patients and care partners face related to access, accuracy, and consistency of screening can be addressed through technology that improves care, the patient experience and the possibility of making healthcare more accessible to all.

Panasonic Has Delivered Innovation for Over 100 Years. How Will It Remain Relevant for Another 100?

Source: SAP

Headline: Panasonic Has Delivered Innovation for Over 100 Years. How Will It Remain Relevant for Another 100?

Many companies claim that innovation is part of their DNA, but Panasonic has a legacy of innovation that is far above average.

At the beginning of the last century, Panasonic Founder Konosuke Matsushita decided to address the huge untapped market for convenient, high-quality household appliances. Over the decades, Panasonic has changed every aspect of people’s lives with new inventions, from promoting safety with bicycle lamps and eliminating the drudgery of household chores with washing machines to providing entertainment and information through state-of-the-art radios, televisions, and other modern devices.

The interesting thing about traditional companies is their ability to reinvent themselves over and over again to succeed in times of change. Panasonic has proven its ability to do so, surviving and thriving through wars, economic depressions, and workforce changes. But traditional companies can have downsides as well.

Tackling the Legacy

“After excelling and reinventing ourselves for over 100 years, we’ve now reached a plateau,” said Hajime Tamaoki, executive officer and group CIO at Panasonic Holdings. “Our founder believed that enterprises should contribute to society by enabling material prosperity and helping people live fulfilling lives. If we cannot grow, we cannot contribute to society. Our goal now is to jump-start a new period of growth through the PX: Panasonic Transformation program.”

The PX symbolizes the company’s determination to not only improve its IT infrastructure, but to position IT at the core of its management strategy and utilize IT to trigger major business and management changes. This is not the company’s first transformation; the big difference today is the magnitude of change. “This is the biggest change the company has ever seen and the most challenging in our history,” said Tamaoki, explaining that operational excellence is the core theme. “Panasonic is a major conglomerate, a collection of many different businesses, each with its own legacy. Supporting the digital transformation of each business and collectively raising the level of IT across the entire group are among the most pressing issues for our company today.”

One of the main issues is waste in the supply chain. Some of that waste is caused by processes that the company deemed necessary in the past, such as responding to urgent customer demands that might deviate from product specifications and require logistical activities such as delivering in half-empty trucks. “We are standardizing our supply chain processes to drive efficiency and putting those changes into an environmental context, so people can better grasp the need for change,” he said.

Aiming to expedite the transformation of its entire value chain, Panasonic selected RISE with SAP to support its intelligent, sustainable enterprise vision. The project endeavors to transform Panasonic’s business models and processes and includes strategies to improve the employee experience – all of which are directly connected to growth of the group’s overall business.

Engaging Employee Hearts and Minds

“We want to create sustainable happiness for human beings. That requires constant communication about our goals to increase value to customers and refine internal operations,” he said, adding that he had just returned from a company-wide meeting. “This time, change is being driven from the top down by our CEO. But no matter how brilliant the leader may be, we all know that the shop floor is where change really takes place.”

According to Tamaoki, it’s not enough to simply tell people to “change the process.” Employees are busy doing their jobs. It’s the company’s job to simplify and standardize processes, and then help people learn how to work differently. “No one wants the company to go bankrupt. They want to get back on the growth track, they want to do the right thing. That’s why we’re connecting operational efficiency to the bigger picture of the environment.”

With over 1 billion customers worldwide, Panasonic has a very broad reach. The company is very serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Back in 2017, Panasonic embarked on a program to reduce energy use and expand its power generation and storage businesses to ensure that, by 2050, the energy it creates exceeds the energy it uses. To hasten this process, the program has been revamped as Panasonic Green Impact and is contributing to society and the environment by taking a head-on approach to scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions generated by the Panasonic Group and its stakeholders. As part of this effort, the company is creating new technologies and businesses in hydrogen energy, for example, and expanding its portfolio around battery-based, eco-conscious vehicles and products related to air quality and air conditioning.

Rising to the Next Level

The Economist recently published a special report on the state of the economy in Japan, stating “It’s not bad, but could be better.” A mainstay of the Japanese economy for more than a century, Panasonic symbolizes the wealth of the nation. When Tamaoki was a college student back in 1989, Panasonic was ranked among the world’s top 20 companies by market capitalization; as of January 2022, it ranked around 750th. Joining the company to help rebuild the electronics industry, which has long been in decline, is his contribution to making the world a better place. Like many Japanese, Tamaoki grew up watching television on sets from National, one of the older Panasonic brands.

“I’m very attached to Panasonic. It is no exaggeration to say that the company and brand created by Konosuke Matsushita holds an important place in the hearts and minds of Japanese people. If the company loses its luster, the Japanese economy will not be revitalized,” he said.

Such a turnaround cannot be achieved without a massive digital and cultural transformation. In this context, technology plays a key role. SAP is helping the company to reinvent itself once again to remain relevant for the next 100 years – and beyond. “SAP is a management and business operation platform centered on the latest cloud-based ERP, and it is a very important solution for realizing our strategy and vision,” said Tamaoki.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Launches New Virtual Assistant with IBM Watson to Support Human Resources and Bolster Employee Services

Source: IBM

Co-created by IBM Expert Labs and East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, the new intelligent virtual assistant, known as Enquire, will handle queries from over 6500 staff members
Enquire designed to alleviate HR team’s workload while improving support for the Trust’s workforce using intelligent natural language processing technology with IBM Watson Assistant
Nov 28, 2022

Stevenage, UK, November 28th 2022: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is today launching Enquire, a new intelligent virtual assistant powered by IBM Watson Assistant on IBM Cloud, to support its human resources team’s ability to handle queries from its 6500 staff.

Enquire has been created specifically for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust to alleviate the administrative workload of Human Resources employees, freeing up their time for more complex, value adding tasks, while providing a 24-7 support service for all staff.

Managing wellbeing and helping staff deal with the extra pressures on the health service is a top priority for the Trust. During the pandemic, the Trust’s HR department faced a sharp increase in enquiries, leading the team to seek solutions that leverage technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation to drive efficiencies and improve the response time for employee queries.

Developed by IBM Expert Labs in collaboration with the Trust and over fifteen subject matter experts, Enquire runs on IBM Cloud and is powered by IBM Watson Assistant, which uses AI to understand customers in context to provide fast and consistent answers across any application, device or channel. Its intelligent natural language processing technology makes it capable of understanding conversational language, moving beyond information transfer toward executing tasks, and ensuring the response it provides is relevant and accurate.

During pre-launch trials, staff had the opportunity to ask questions relating to management training, policies and regulations, rota and pay, and other general employment topics. Enquire has also been designed to continuously improve its ability to satisfy employee requests. Any unresolved queries will be considered for inclusion in ongoing upgrades, further expanding the scope of employee needs it can accommodate.

Thomas Pounds, chief people officer at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “It is really important that our staff have instant access to the information they need at a time that suits them. Enquire has been designed and built to do exactly that.

“It will not only provide 24/7 support to our key frontline staff, but means that our HR department can focus on work that provides greater value for the organisation.  We look forward to making further developments to Enquire based on the needs of our workforce.”

Kate Robinson, Managing Director, IBM Technology, UK & Ireland said: “The NHS is one of the UK’s most critical institutions and has faced growing pressure in recent years as a result of the pandemic and staff shortages.

“We are proud to have developed this innovative resource in collaboration with East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust to help alleviate pressure on the HR team and enable them to provide an even greater level of support for the hard-working staff of the Trust.

“We look forward to continuing to help NHS organisations across the country to address key challenges and deliver the best care possible by leveraging the power of modern technologies such as AI, automation and hybrid cloud.”

For further information: IBM Media Contact: Hannah Aroesti Email: haroesti@webershandwick.com Mobile: + 44 (0) 7557 877 051

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion Through Immersive Pro Bono Consulting

Source: SAP

Headline: Fostering Diversity and Inclusion Through Immersive Pro Bono Consulting

Global Diversity Awareness Month is a time to reflect and honor diversity in all its facets – nationality, race, sex, gender, country of origin, and language, just to name a few.

This is celebrated each year in October; however, at SAP, diversity is something we honor throughout the year. Within our 110,000+ strong company, we have employees from all over the world, with many of our teams working from multiple locations together to reinvent how the world runs as a network of intelligent, sustainable enterprises. Through global teamwork, employees are exposed to different cultures, diverse ways of thinking, and building skills that grow empathy and resiliency. Not only is diversity and inclusion good for employees, but it is also good for business.

Diversity in Action through Pro Bono Consulting

As a global organization with employees representing more than 150 nationalities, we are constantly seeking various ways to incorporate diversity and inclusion proactively, both within our workplace and in the markets we serve.

One of the ways SAP has prioritized a diversity mindset for employees over the past decade is through SAP Social Sabbatical. In this program, SAP employees from around the world can share their skills, knowledge, and professional expertise with innovative non-profit organizations and social enterprises in emerging markets to help them solve their business challenges. The program has been run in over 52 countries with participants representing 64 different nationalities. This highlights our commitment to bring together different perspectives, amplifying the power of diversity of thought and experience, which creates positive impact for both the organizations and participating SAP employees.

Meera Shenoy, founder of SAP Social Sabbatical host client Youth4Jobs, shared how her organization benefited from the team’s diversity of professional experience: “The volunteers came from three different countries, and each had a different specialty. They quickly adopted our passion for inclusion and became part of the larger Youth4Jobs family, understanding our challenges and transformational work. They also gave us a peek into the amazing SAP processes in several areas. For example, the team shared the SAP neurodiversity training with us, and we got to learn the techniques that a corporation like SAP uses for neurodiversity inclusion in the workplace.”

When diversity is incorporated through pro bono consulting programs like SAP Social Sabbatical, organizations are able to tap into the varied perspectives and approaches that each individual employee brings to the workplace. Research shows that diversified teams can lead to an increase in innovation, improve problem-solving, and boost decision-making. This can heighten performance by at least 35%, which not only accelerates innovation within SAP but also helps the host client organization anticipate and fulfill the needs of diverse customers.

The Employee Advantage

For employee participants, we know that the pro bono consulting benefits include skill development, networking opportunities, gaining new perspectives, and cultural immersion, among others. For example, a participant from India stated, “It gives you a whole new perspective that we don’t get in our day-to-day work.”

From a recent long-term impact study that we conducted in partnership with impact measurement social enterprise 60 Decibels, 88% of SAP employees who have participated in SAP Social Sabbatical reported that the program benefited them personally. Additionally, 86% of employees said their ability collaborate with global and diverse colleagues improved by their participation.

“It allowed me to dive into a new world for weeks. You gain experience you have never had before. It brings you to a new level culture-wise, and you meet many talented people from SAP across the world,” said one participant from Germany.

Another employee commented, “In my personal life, I am more aware of differences in people and better at understanding peoples’ challenges. These differences go beyond age, gender, geography and race but also diversity of thought, upbringing, values and perspectives. Understanding these differences is key to solving problems and empowering others.”

Focusing on Sustainable Long-Term Impact

In addition to the diversity benefits for participants and social sector partners, the long-term impacts have gone beyond the SAP Social Sabbatical program. These principles of diversity as a building block of the program have supported the evolution of new initiatives that address social challenges and build equity, while leveraging pro bono consulting as a tool. In learning from our success over the past 10 years, we developed the Pro Bono for Economic Equity program in North America, which was launched in 2021 in partnership with PYXERA Global, as part of SAP’s overall response to the social justice movement with an aim to foster economic equity for Black-owned business and social enterprises.

The program allows SAP employees to leverage their professional skills and expertise as pro bono volunteer consultants for under-resourced businesses and social enterprises and help them address systemic and business challenges. Within the first year, the program expanded internationally to the UK, Brazil, and South Africa. Based on the success of the program, we have extended the cohorts to have a focus on Indigenous-owned businesses in Canada. Learn more about the program here.

Cultivating an Inclusive Mindset

At SAP, diversity and inclusion are not simply goals to strive for; they are strategic components of our corporate culture that fuel innovation and help us turn our purpose to action.

We recognize that continuously bolstering the diversity, equity, and inclusion mindset is crucial when it comes to shaping the next generation of leaders in our company. Not only will this support employee engagement today, but it means that they will build a more inclusive environment when it comes to how they work in teams, how they hire, and how they engage colleagues who are different from them, now and into the future.

For more information about SAP Social Sabbatical, visit sap.com/socialsabbatical and to learn about how SAP is empowering Black- and Indigenous-owned businesses and social enterprises, read more stories about the Pro Bono Economic Equity program here.


Hemang Desai is global program director for SAP Corporate Social Responsibility.

Tia goes back to the beginning of her journey, was it just a dream?

Source: Media Outreach

Episode 5 of “Goodbye Princess” animation series ” Temptation Apple ” – Will the princess accept the prince’s kiss?

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 28 November 2022 – In the fifth episode of “GOODBYE PRINCESS” animation series, Asian global fashion icon, C-pop singer, film and television actress — Tia Lee (Tia Lee Yu Fen) takes a bite on the apple given by the magical mirror. She, then, has been returned to the depths of the sea and back to the beginning of her Journey, was it just a dream? With the 6-part series drawing to a close, stay tuned as the plot continues to challenge your imagination. The viewership figures of the “GOODBYE PRINCESS” animation and motion images MV pre-release campaign series has scaled new heights, with almost 90 million views to date.

In the fifth episode, “Temptation Apple“, after the handsome prince kneels down and declares his love for the princess in the previous episode, they are now dancing inside the castle. She takes a casual glance outside the window, but discovers that the dazzling light that has drawn her to this adventure is drifting further and further away. She runs down the spiraling staircase inside the castle without the prince. She is led into a room, where the magical mirror awaits and reflects her “past life” as a carefree mermaid who swims in the sea happily. The magical mirror then hands her an apple, and she takes a bite without hesitation. The handsome prince follows, but he is not quick enough to stop her in time. When the princess opens her eyes again, she has been returned to the depths of the sea. The television set shows images of the handsome prince holding the unconscious princess, trying to revive her with the kiss of life.

< >Then the “Temptation Apple” poster, released on 26 November, told Tia’s followers more about this episode:

  1. The magical mirror that never lies makes an appearance, re-connecting Tia with reality.
  2. The bite of the apple changes the princess’ life. For better or worse, it is her own choice to make.
  3. As the princess returns to the setting of the first episode, in the depths of the water and with the old television set, was everything she experienced just a dream?

< >The fifth set of motion images and still photography for “ Temptation Apple” was released today together with Vogue Hong Kong, showing Tia in her Prakakaas hook and Poem skirt, looking curiously into the magical mirror.

Will the princess wake with the handsome prince’s kiss of life? Expect an unexpected ending in the finale of this “GOODBYE PRINCESS” animation series.

Official press materials:

< >Tia Lee Official Channels:< >Instagram @leeyufen: https://www.instagram.com/leeyufen/< >YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@tialeeofficial/< >Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leeyufentialee/< >Weibo: https://weibo.com/u/1396928042/

Hashtag: #TiaLee

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

About Tia Lee Yu Fen:

Tia Lee Yu Fen (李毓芬), born in Taipei, is an Asian global C-pop singer, film and television actress, and model. In addition to her acting roles and musical career, Tia appears frequently at major fashion shows. As a fashion icon and trend-setter, Tia has graced the covers of fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, and shares her beauty and fashion tips through a number of Vogue’s social media channels.< >

– Published and distributed with permission of Media-Outreach.com.

GE Healthcare Highlights Transformative Precision Innovations and Collaborations that Help Drive the Future of Health

Source: GE

Chicago, USNovember 27, 2022 – Ahead of its planned spinoff from GE the first week of January 2023, GE Healthcare reveals over 40 solutions that aim to improve patient outcomes and increase healthcare efficiency at the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) 2022 Annual Meeting.

Drawing on more than 100 years of history as a trusted medical technology innovator[1], GE Healthcare is closely connected with healthcare systems globally. Knowing the industry is under immense pressure, the company is proud to introduce its latest innovations to help solve for the biggest challenges in healthcare today – including rising cost pressures, increasing staff shortages, mounting expectations to deliver outcomes, and more – while also aiming to improve healthcare in the future.

With an unparalleled combination of technology solutions and clinical understanding, we have a unique ability to help solve industry challenges by delivering clinical and operational insights through integrated data, analytics and devices,” said Peter Arduini, CEO of GE HealthCare. “A new era is coming for GE Healthcare and with it, we hope to help healthcare transform as a whole by advancing precision diagnostics, improving capacity and efficiency, and increasing patient access.”

Connecting healthcare for better patient outcomes

GE Healthcare aims to erase segmented care and fill in the gaps in healthcare systems’ workflows to increase access and improve outcomes for patients across the care continuum – all while achieving greater connectivity, resilience, and agility to enhance the clinician experience.

GE Healthcare delivers connected care across care pathways with leading imaging, digital and patient monitoring capabilities that help improve patient care throughout each individual’s journey.

To help clinicians deliver care that’s more personal and precise, while also enabling greater healthcare system efficiencies, GE Healthcare offers several game-changing solutions: 

  • SIGNA Experience: A platform of four inventive components, which are SIGNA One – a new anticipatory user interface with virtually no learning curve, AIR Recon DL, AIR Coils and automated workflow solutions, that leverage AI and deep learning to enhance workflow productivity, drive clinical efficiency and bring automation and simplification, to ensure the smoothest scanning experience in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging.
  • SIGNA Victor: The newest 1.5T 60cm system designed to address today’s most pressing and unprecedented industry challenges such as sharp increase in MR examinations driven by the stalled pandemic demand, surging power and commodity costs, and labor shortage and staff burnout. With SIGNA Experience being integrated for the first time in this 1.5T segment, the system offers all the benefits of the platform, in addition to efficient helium and power consumption that can support higher patient throughput and lower costs which leads to faster ROI.
  • Revolution Apex platform with Effortless Workflow: An industry first[2] Computed Tomography (CT) platform with built-in scalability for onsite CT detector upgrades – all without replacing the gantry[3]. Offering uncompromised clinical capabilities, the new Revolution Apex platform offers the world’s fastest gantry speed3,[4] and helps radiology departments stay ahead of the technology curve with a modular design that offers a seamless path to continuous hardware and software scalability and upgradability that can extend the lives of CT systems into the future3 . This platform – along with select other GE Healthcare CT systems – are complete with Effortless Workflow, which utilizes AI technologies to automate nearly every step in existing workflows – from pre-scan to post-scan.
  • CT Motion: A GE Healthcare branded multi-dose syringeless injector that delivers iodinated contrast media for Computed Tomography (CT) imaging procedures, reduces procedure setup time and increases patient throughput while helping to optimize patient dosing and reduce wasted contrast media. 
  • Intelligent workload management solution for PACS: Provided through Quantum Imaging & Therapeutic Associates’ Helix Radiology Performance Suite, which operates on predictive analytics, the intelligent workload management solution can help to optimize radiologists’ workflow across an entire enterprise to improve radiologist’s productivity and reduce burnout.
  • Imaging 360 for Operations: An ecosystem of applications designed for core imaging operations functions such as protocoling, staffing, analytics, and scheduling.
  • Quality Care Suite 2.0: A collection of AI algorithms that enable the delivery of high quality, radiologist-ready images for every patient – including pediatric patients, a first for GE Healthcare X-ray AI.
  • Definium 656: The latest generation of the overhead tube suspension (OTS) system features the highest levels of motorization, automation, assistive intelligence and advanced applications with the fastest movement and highest weight capacity in GE Healthcare’s fixed X-ray portfolio.
  • LOGIQ Fortis: An all-in-one, high-performing ultrasound solution that can easily be scaled to fit the specific needs of every clinician. Sound Architecture combines XDclear™ transducers, cSound™ Imageformer and new, advanced Speckle Reduction Imaging (SRI) technology to increase processing power that delivers enhanced data throughput, ultimately providing exceptional image quality, clarity and clinical confidence across a wide range of clinical applications.
  • Vivid E95 Ultra Edition: A premium 4D cardiovascular ultrasound system, designed to provide uncompromised image quality, advanced visualization capabilities, and easy measurements, while helping reduce tedious tasks and inter-observer variability. It also features the world’s first mini 4D TEE probe, suitable for a broad range of paediatric interventional cardiology procedures, and potentially helping eliminate the need for general anaesthesia in adult patients.

Strategic collaborations in precision oncology

As an open-architecture, multi-dimensional ecosystem, GE Healthcare helps connect teams, multimodal data, and decisions at every step – from discovery to diagnosis to treatment and monitoring – with intelligently efficient innovations designed to help clinicians deliver precise, personalized care.

In concert with collaborators in adjacent fields who are well-versed in their disciplines, GE Healthcare is proud to work together with some of healthcare’s leading innovators across care pathways, including oncology.

Some of GE Healthcare’s recent collaborations in cancer care include:

  • Accuray, to expand access to personalized medicine, bringing together precision diagnostic tools that enable earlier diagnosis with innovative delivery capabilities to provide patient-adapted treatments. 
  • Elekta, to provide healthcare providers a comprehensive offering across imaging and treatment for cancer patients requiring radiation therapy.
  • Optellum, to help advance early detection, precision diagnosis and the treatment of lung cancer.
  • RaySearch, to improve radiation oncology treatment planning.
  • SOPHiA Genetics, to advance cancer care with the goal of better targeting and matching treatments to each patient’s genomic profile and cancer type.
  • Tribun Health, to focus on making digital pathology images and results an integrated part of the imaging patient record, while also helping to foster collaboration among pathologists and clinicians through availability of data in a consolidated location.

Ushering in a new era of healthcare with innovative diagnostics

Looking towards the future, GE Healthcare is uniquely positioned to advance precision care through theranostics.

Where most medical therapies are designed with the ‘average’ patient in mind, theranostics brings together diagnostics and therapeutics to provide a more targeted and personalized treatment than ever before[5]. Clinicians and patients are especially seeing success with theranostics in prostate cancer – a highly manageable disease, but one that is difficult to treat when diagnosed at a late stage, claiming more than 1.4 million lives annually[6].

To advance this growing field and help clinicians improve patient outcomes, GE Healthcare is proud to be the only partner with solutions covering the breadth of steps required from discovery to diagnosis to treatment.

“As the only partner with solutions spanning from pharmaceutical diagnostics, cyclotrons, chemistry synthesis, PET/CT, PET/MR, SPECT/CT, and advanced oncology and digital solutions, we cover the breadth of steps from discovery to diagnosis to treatment,” said Jamie McCoy, General Manager, Theranostics and Radiotherapeutics, GE Healthcare. “Ultimately, we hope that by advancing the integration of diagnostics and therapeutics, we can help usher in a new era in healthcare that enables clinicians to provide more targeted and personalized therapies for improved patient outcomes than ever before.”

This includes several standout products to enable greater adoption of theranostics in practice:

  • A new Solid Target Platform for GE Healthcare’s PETtrace cyclotron – in combination with its FASTlab 2 New Edition platform – can produce 100x the amount of Gallium for radioisotope production compared to a common generator for increased theranostics capabilities and access in prostate cancer patient care[7].
  • Omni Legend is an all-new, all-digital PET/CT platform that enables clinicians to image short life tracers and reach new levels of sensitivity and detectability for clear images and greater clinical information across more oncology, cardiology, and neurology procedure types than ever before. Using GE Healthcare’s proven deep learning expertise for image acquisition and reconstruction, the system boasts the highest sensitivity per cm in the market5 and images Gallium-68 for diagnosis, staging, or restaging of disease.
  • StarGuide, GE Healthcare’s dynamic 3D SPECT/CT system, delivers new digital focus detector technology that efficiently enables treatment monitoring – including Lutetium-177 for prostate cancer – and offers Xeleris V with AI solutions such as Q.Thera AI[8] for dose personalization.

For more information on GE Healthcare and its innovative solutions at RSNA, visit Booth 7324 or the RSNA 2022 events page.

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About GE Healthcare:

GE Healthcare is the $17.7 billion healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE). As a leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics and digital solutions innovator, GE Healthcare enables clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services, supported by its Edison intelligence platform. With over 100 years of healthcare industry experience and around 48,000 employees globally, the company operates at the center of an ecosystem working toward precision health, digitizing healthcare, helping drive productivity and improve outcomes for patients, providers, health systems and researchers around the world.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedInTwitterInstagram and Insights for the latest news, or visit our website www.gehealthcare.com for more information.


[8] CE marked. 510(k) pending in the U.S. Not for sale in the U.S. Not cleared or approved by the U.S. FDA.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Kyerstin Hill
External Affairs
GE Healthcare
+1 708 738 7741
[email protected]

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