Daily Review: Tencent Steps Into the Realm of Big Healthcare

Tencent is committed to improve our users’ lives through the means of digitalization and technology, Meng Zhang, General Manager of Tencent Medical said.

Staying true to its principle, the company, aside from building the future of retail, has been propelling digital applications in the area of health and medical services, through tools such as AI to improve the capability and balance of healthcare resources.

British HealthTech startup Babylon shares that Tencent’s initiatives have been covering the entire trail from general health services to disease management, covering all segments of the value chain as well as corresponding real-life scenarios. With its recent partnership with Babylon, Tencent leaves another footprint in the realm of big healthcare, as the British HealthTech startup puts it in the official press release.

Pick #1. Babylon Signs Tencent Deal to Deploy Health Technology on WeChat

Babylon, the British digital health startup that uses artificially intelligent algorithms to assess illness, has struck a deal with Tencent to offer its technology on the group’s WeChat social messaging platform. The deal will give WeChat’s almost 1 billion users the ability to message medical symptoms to Babylon’s app, which will send back healthcare advice, and propel the company into China’s huge medical market.

So far, Babylon Health’s membership base has grown to more than 1.4 million people, spanning Europe, Asia and Africa. By interacting directly with users, Babylon’s AI system can identify specific illnesses, provide health status assessments, and triage necessary actions, the company states in its press release.

Read more (+ Babylon official press release).

Banks are in no position to relax in the years ahead; with costs of misconduct piling up to a handsome sum over the course of the past few years (between 2011 and 2016, total cost of misconduct by 20 largest banks reached almost $360 billion), the last thing financial institutions need is an accelerated rate of highly damaging, high-stakes cybercrime activity. In fact, IBM’s latest Threat Intelligence Index paper reveals that financial services industry is the most targeted by cybercriminals two years in a row.

Throughout the past year, it became clear that threats are just as imminent from within as they are from external sources. Inadvertent insiders were found to be a major issue for security teams to reckon with, stressing that enterprises’ cybersecurity awareness programs need to keep pace with the changing landscape and provide continued role-based training for all employees. – 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index

Pick #2. 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index

  • Financial services are at the top of the targeted industry charts for the second year in a row. Financial services experienced the highest volume of security incidents and the third-highest volume of cyberattacks.

  • Inadvertent insiders were responsible for more than two-thirds of total records compromised in 2017. Misconfigured cloud servers and networked backup incidents unintentionally exposed more than 2 billion records, making confidential data ripe for picking.

  • Security incidents as a result of inadvertent insider actions are on the rise.

Source: 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index

The cyberthreats of 2017 reminded enterprises of the continued need to practice security fundamentals such as effective patch management and the implementation of real-time systems and processes to monitor and detect breaches, coupled with machine-learning capabilities to detect patterns and even predict attacks before they occur.

Read more.

Pick #3. IFC & VCs Want to Take Emerging Market Microfinance to Mobile

A member of the World Bank Group, the IFC is partnering with Chicago-based Victory Park Capital (VPC) to launch a new fund to provide debt to for online lending by FinTech lenders in the developing world. The partnership aims to improve access to debt capital for financial technology companies that lend to small businesses and consumers in emerging markets.

The fund would look at opportunities in Africa, Asia, and South America and also India and China, although both those countries already have active FinTech investors.

We will work with the IFC in looking for FinTech companies that are looking to provide more flexible credit to consumers or small businesses, Brendan Carroll, Co-founder & Senior Partner at VPC, said. He expects to find opportunities in Brazil and Argentina where there is a massive market opportunity and a lot of transactions take place on mobile devices. In many ways, their mobile environment is more sophisticated than in the United States.

Millions of consumers in emerging markets lack access to basic financial offerings like credit. Meanwhile, smartphone adoption in those countries is accelerating at break-neck speed. Because of the confluence of these two megatrends – the tremendous gap in financial service offerings and the rapid rise of the platform able to deliver them – and also because of the team’s incredible bench of talent, I’m excited to invest in Branch and am bullish on its future. – Schwark Satyavolu, Trinity Ventures

Read more.