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Singapore Airlines is About to Launch the World’s Longest Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines once held the record for the World’s Longest Nonstop Flight. That distinction has been claimed by Qatar Airways flight between Doha, Qatar and Auckland, New Zealand. This time, Singapore Airlines is ready to take back the record with a non-stop Singapore to New York flight.

How far do they go?

The 20-hour non-stop flight is made possible with the new Airbus A350-900ULR. The ULR for Ultra Long Range, variant retains the same characteristics of the Airbus 350-900, but with larger fuel capacity. The A350-900 and the A350-1000 share the same wing structure and common sized center fuel tank. However, with the A350-900 has a larger capacity of 24,000 liters compared to the standard 20,000 liters of fuel in the older planes. This is due to having a longer tank, and more tubes filled with fuel. The ULR is capable of flying 11,160 miles, which is 1,800 miles mover than the regular A350.

Qantas Airlines flies a Boeing 787 between Perth and London, which is three hours shorter than the Singapore Airlines New York to Singapore nonstop flight. Qantas uses a Boeing 78709 Dreamliner on the 9,010 mile flight. The Dreamliner is capable of 236 seats, with 42 seats in business class. The Qatar Airways Auckland to Doha has a distance of 9,032 miles and is 18 hours and 5 minutes long using a Boeing 777-200LR.

Getting to know the design

The A350-900 was designed from the ground up for the long range flights. The plane carries 4,000 liters more fuel, equivalent to an additional 20,000 pounds on takeoff. This creates a balancing act between the takeoff weight, number of passengers and the cost per flight. To achieve the long range capability, Airbus had to decide between increasing the maximum take off weight (MTOW), or limit the number of passengers or cargo, or a combination of both.

The A350-900 included other modifications including the use of composite materials like carbon fiber, instead of aluminum construction techniques. The techniques made it possible to have wide panoramic windows.  Airbus also increased the MTOW to 280 tons, which is 5 tons heavier than the standard A350.

The standard A350-900 has 253 seats. This will probably be modified for the New York-Singapore flight. There will be fewer total seats, but there will be a bigger area for business class as well as premium economy passengers. The seating would also be changed, to have a more room like seating, instead of rows of seats.

According to the A350 head of marketing Marisa Lucas-Ugena, all that Airbus did to the ULR was “to use all of the volume that we have in the center tank, a bit more usage than we have for the -1000.”

She added that there were no changes to the plane’s capacity. Instead there were optimizations which helped decrease the weight, increase the power, and hence also increase the amount of fuel it can carry. She adds that at Airbus “when we have a family of airplanes, any time we have a new type or a new modification, we take the opportunity to improve things.”


Telemedicine is Shaping the World of Medicine to help ADHD Patients

The most straightforward description of remote medicine or telemedicine is that medical service, including prescriptions, consultations, and video conferencing, is done online. Telemedicine is a big help in rural areas or underserved areas, where medical providers are stretched thinly. It has also proven to be a viable solution for ADHD cases where the medical provider or specialist are few, or far from the majority of patients.

Cases of ADHD Among Children

In this case, a Jacksonville, Florida, private pediatric practice is having success with a remote medicine platform for pediatric patients diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Rainbow Pediatric Center is composed of 7 health providers serving the areas of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra. Due to its success, Rainbow Pediatric has been designated a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

A survey by the National Survey of Children’s Health in 2016 showed that about 6.1 million or 9.4% of children between the ages of 2 and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. This was distributed as follows:

  • Children between the ages of 2 to 5, estimated to be 388,000 children
  • Between 6 to 11, about 2.4 million children
  • Between 12 and 17, about 3.3 million children

An earlier study by the NSCH covering children between the ages of 4 and 17 showed that there was an increase of 43% between 2003 and 2011. Among children with ADHD, about 62% were taking medication, and about 46% had received behavioral treatment during the past year.

Scheduling Problems

According to Rainbow Pediatric Center founder and CEO Prasanthi Reddy, M.D., frequent medical visits, along with the follow-up appointments, are necessary for ADHD patients. In an article in Healthcare Informatics, Dr. Reddy underlined the importance of regular visits to the patient’s well being.

These visits will help monitor the ADHD syndrome and help to keep the diagnosis accurate. This will also ensure that other learning disabilities and mood problems associated with ADHD are properly identified. The children should comply with their treatments, but both patients and parents tend to be forgetful

Parents are not often willing to pull out their children from school to attend sessions. Rescheduling the visits to after school hours resulted in a logjam of schedules where not enough children could be accommodated for a session.  Parents are willing to take their children to doctor visits every three months instead of every month, and this is unfortunately not enough to make any improvement in the treatment.

Dr. Reddy says, “By touching base more frequently, we’re able to reinforce the diagnosis and the prognosis as well as ongoing treatment changes that we need to implement.” In line with this Rainbow Pediatric and eClinicalWorks, their vendor for electronic medical records worked on implementing a pilot program for telemedicine. The project aimed to offer online-visits for ADHD patients and their caregivers. The goal was to improve access to care and at the same time, uphold the Rainbow Pediatric’s high standards of care. The initial implementation of the remote medicine pilot program had 150 pediatric patients participating.

The pilot program has shown impressive results. Before the program, there was about 40% compliance with follow-up appointments. The telemedicine platform yielded compliance of 71% among the ADHD patients. This is equivalent to a 77% improvement in attendance. Due to the success in meeting scheduled visits via the remote medicine platform, the parents were eager to make the telemedicine meetings as part of the regular service.


China’s Largest Tech Unicorns Gearing Up to Go Public

The second half of 2017 had been good to Chinese technology companies as they topped the number of Initial Public Offerings (IPO) worldwide. After a slow performance in the first half of last year, Chinese companies like Sogou, Qudian, ZhongAn, and China Literature made their mark in the global tech community in terms of IPO ranking. Starting from July until December 2017, twenty-three companies operating on mainland China opened their IPOs locally and internationally, with a total amount of $4.65 billion raised in the markets, according to the PwC China report. The country’s latest economy, also called the digital economy, amounted to a total of 26 trillion yuan ($4.27 trillion) in the same year, accounting approximately 32% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Stock analysts attributed the influx of IPOs of Chinese technology companies to the vibrant internet-based industries. The increasing innovations triggered by latest internet technology and a rapidly growing group of tech-savvy and young clientele are considered the contributing factors for such results.  From transportation network vehicle service (TNVS) to online financing, innovative tech startups are developing into giants and targeting for large investment and financing.

According to Walter Zhang, PwC China’s assurance partner, “More Chinese firms in the technology, media, and telecom sectors turned to overseas markets after being blocked by legal and technical barriers in the A-share market, especially those yet to make profits.”

In the next 12 to 24 months, a significant number of Chinese tech unicorns are eyeing to go public in Hong Kong. This event could likely boost liquidity in the capital market, as per Nicolas Aguzin – JPMorgan’s chief executive for Asia-Pacific.

Aguzin also told South China Morning Post, “2018 will be a blockbuster year for Chinese unicorns to come to the capital market. Investors here [in Hong Kong] have strong appetite for these high-growth, new economy companies.”

A huge wave of Chinese tech IPOs in the coming 12 to 24 months will likely create a new record for Hong Kong, stated by John Hall – co-head of JP Morgan’s regional global investment banking in Asia Pacific.

In general, before a company goes public, rumors about its possibility to launch are religiously followed by reporters and analysts. The following are some of the most awaited Chinese technology companies to launch their IPOs in 2018.

Ant Financial is still one of the most highly anticipated listing companies from China due to its high value and the fact that it’s Alibaba Group’s unlisted asset. In April 2016, the company’s $4.5 billion series B financing was received with more than $60 billion valuation. Founded in December 2014, Ant Financial has been rumored to be included in the IPO list for several years now. It is also reported that the company is considering to be listed in New York and Hong Kong, two of the top listing destinations for Chinese tech companies.

Another most anticipated Chinese technology company is Tencet Music, a music streaming and downloading service arm of Tencent. It is expected to be the newest addition to the latest steps of Tencent to list its affiliation. Even before it was acquired, Tencet-affiliated CMC (China Music Corp.) had expressed their plan of listing independently last 2016. According to sources with information on the matter, the IPO would have ranged from $300 up to $600 million then. Currently, the IPO size of Tenet Music is projected to be more than approximately $1 billion at a valuation of $10 billion as per Bloomberg’s prediction. Tencet-powered WeDoctor Group, an online healthcare service provider, also plans for an IPO listing. This mobile healthcare platform offers a variety of medical services, including but not limited to medical advice, online diagnosis, hospital rating, and doctors.

Another one of China’s giant tech company that is geared up for an IPO is Lufax, one of the nation’s user-to-user lenders and online wealth managers. The company with $18.5 billion valuation in its recent fundraising round in January 2016 is estimated to raise $3 billion up to $5 billion in the IPO listing in as early as the half of this year.  It is also notable that since last year, the bankers have been closely monitoring the company’s initial offering. However, due to the lack of clear-cut regulations on online wealth services, Lufax has held its IPO.


Do You Know This Company? You Should – They Know You!

Have you ever heard of the term palantir? Based on JRR Tolkien’s book The Lord of the Rings, a palantir is a mythical “seeing stone”, a dark orb that was used by Saruman in order to see through darkness or even in a blinding light. The term palantir simply means “one that see from afar.” Fortunately, Palantir is no longer a fictional concept, but now a well-known American software and services company specializing in large data analysis. Based in Palo Alto, California, the company offers two major projects, namely Palantir Gotham and Palantir Foundry. Making its bold impact in the data-mining industry, the company provides software applications for integrating, visualizing and analyzing data, while connecting these information with humans and environments.

Palantir Technolgies - Data Mining Software & Services

In 2004, Palantir was founded by Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, Nathan Gettings, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp – the company’s CEO. Their goal was to build a company that could lead Big Data onto somewhere that no one else dared to venture. The company’s original clients were United States Intelligence Community (USIC) federal agencies. Ever since then, it has been expanding its clientele to offer services to local and state governments, including private corporations in the healthcare and financial industries. In 2013, the list of the company’s clientele included the FBI, the CIA, the Centre for Disease Control, the NSA, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, the Marine Corps, the IRS, and West Point.

Palantir’s Gotham and Foundry

Within its two products, Palantir Gotham platform consists a suite of capabilities for integrating several varying data sources for safe, secure, and collaborative analysis. This platform provides an enterprise knowledgebase, with the complete record of a company’s collective analysis. It also manages petabyte-scale data within a combination of measurable structure and federated data storage. Gotham was used by counter-terrorism experts at USIC and US Department of Defense, fraud agents at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, and virtual analysts at Information Warfare. On the other hand, Palantir Foundry radically reinvents the method enterprises collaborate with data by extending and amplifying the capability of data integration. Foundry platform includes a suite of high-end data integration, including git-style versioning semantics, data provenance, branching, granular access controls, transformation authoring, and many more.

Palantir works closely with their clients, wherein engineers map and integrate all of the important data, regardless of volume or type, into a single, intelligible model. Upon the flow of bytes and bits data into the Palantir platforms, information are transformed into a clear and defined objects and connections, such as places, things, events, people, people, and the relationships among them.

Moving Beyond Gathering Data

In its simplest sense, Palantir watches everything a person does and predicts what he will do next to be able to prevent him from doing it. The company monitors anyone from suspected terrorists to business fraudsters, child and human traffickers, and even those people identified as “subversives.” Palantir executes this scheme by using prediction.

The Pentagon had incorporated Palantir platform in Iraq to trail patterns in roadway bomb deployment and garage-door openers were utilized as remote detonators by means of prediction. Palantir had also enabled the marines to send DNA samples coming from far-flung locations and discover important data collected from years of gathering DNA evidence and fingerprints, with the results transmitted back to them instantly. Without the help of Palantir, many suspects would have already transferred to different locations at the time field investigators received and identified the lab results.

Palantir generates $156.7K in revenue per employee, and some of its investors are Artis Ventures, 137 Ventures, and Founders Fund. The company has estimated revenue of $250M – $500M, with a current valuation of $20.40B. In the latter part of 2015, a lot of investors poured about $880M into Thiel’s data-mining company, valuing Palantir at $20B and ranking it alongside with Silicon Valley top flyers like Airbnb and Uber. As per SharesPost, the company’s share price during that time was $11.38.

In an interview with CNBC, CEO Alex Karp told that Palantir has already signed a multi-year deal to expand deployment with the automobile company Fiat Chrysler. Approximately 1,500 workers at the carmaker utilize the software to determine productions issues and potential safety risks. Palantir aims to go after a big and wide market. Based on a research done by IDC, worldwide revenue for business analytics and big data will increase from $151 billion in 2017 up to $210 billion in 2020. The tech giant companies are all gearing up to have their places, including IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle selling large data and analytics tools. But Karp boldly stated that he isn’t really concerned with the rising competition.

“Most software comes in two flavors: It either doesn’t work or it’s not useful. Our software comes in this flavor: It’s very useful and sometimes deadly,” Karp commented, referring to their product being used by the military.

SharesPost forecasted than in 2017, Palantir’s bookings hit by approximately $3.5 billion, with about 50% contributed by government contracts. Moreover, according to the report by SharesPost, the company had a total revenue of up to $600 million just last year, and with a market cap estimation of $20 billion in 18 to 24 months once the company goes public.

According to Karp, while other tech companies have been questioned and disapproved for eliminating industrial and manufacturing work opportunities, Palantir’s software can contribute to securing jobs for a lot of Americans.

“It is preserving jobs. Once the 1,500 employees are using the software, they are actually doing things that otherwise you would need a Ph.D. to do,” the CEO explained.