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ProgrammableWeb

PayByFace Releases APIs and Developer Portal for its Payment Services

PayByFace, a provider of biometric authentication services, has announced early access to a new developer portal and accompanying APIs. The company is hoping that increased engagement with external developers will improve customer experiences while also increasing innovation.

The company’s payment systems, which rely on facial recognition for authentication, are commercially available across all of Europe. By providing early access to the developer portal and APIs, PayByFace is hoping that partners will build unique integrations inside their applications. The developer portal includes an API sandbox to help developers get acquainted with the functionality provided by the service.

The first APIs to be included in the developer portal include the Mobile Client Services, Merchant Kiosk Services, and RabbitMQ Messaging Services API. Developers hoping to request access to the platform can do so here

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

PriceAdvantage Launches API for Fuel Pricing Services

PriceAdvantage, a company that provides fuel price analytic services, has announced a new API that will allow fuel retailers to streamline integration with the platform. The company is hoping that the API will simplify the process of importing and exporting pricing data. 

PriceAdvantage services are used by retailers to help set and manage fuel pricing, a complicated process that requires that signs, POS devices, and pumps are synchronized. The API helps with these steps while also aiding in the analysis of the industry data that is used to set pricing. The announcement of the API noted its value:

“The API provides PriceAdvantage customers with an alternative route for exporting critical pricing data – such as all of their commodity and competitor prices, replacement and actual costs, and volumes – for use in third-party analytical tools, such as Tableau and Power BI.”

The API is designed with scalability in mind based on an understanding that customers will require myriad levels of integration. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ScienceDaily

A surprising opportunity for telehealth in shaping the future of medicine

Expanded telehealth services at UT Southwestern have proved effective at safely delivering patient care during the pandemic, leading to an increase in patients even in specialties such as plastic surgery, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, illuminates the unexpected benefits that telehealth has had during the pandemic and provides insight into what this may mean for the future of medicine in the United States.

“Prior to COVID-19, it was not clear if telehealth would meet the standard of care in highly specialized clinical practices. Out of necessity, we were forced to innovate quickly. What we found is that it is actually a really good fit,” says Alan Kramer, M.P.H., assistant vice president of health system emerging strategies at UTSW and co-author of the study.

UT Southwestern was already equipped with telehealth technology when COVID-19 hit — but only as a small pilot program. Through incredible team efforts, telehealth was expanded across the institution within days, bringing with it several unanticipated benefits for both the medical center and patients.

“The conversion rate to telehealth is higher than in person,” says Bardia Amirlak, M.D., FACS, associate professor of plastic surgery and the study’s senior corresponding author. The study found 25,197 of 34,706 telehealth appointments across the institution were completed in April 2020 — a 72.6 percent completion rate — compared with a 65.8 percent completion rate of in-person visits from April 2019.

The study notes the significant increases in the volume of new patients seen by telehealth beginning in March 2020. This resulted from a combination of relaxed regulations and an increasing comfort level with telehealth visits among physicians and patients. UTSW saw the percentage of new patients seen through telehealth visits increase from 0.77 percent in February to 14.2 percent and 16.7 percent in March and April, respectively.

Even within a niche field like plastic surgery, the implementation of telehealth has been incredibly successful, demonstrating the tractability of telehealth to a wide range of practices. From April to mid-May, plastic surgery completed 340 telehealth visits in areas such as breast cancer reconstruction, hand surgery, and wound care, with completion rates similar to the whole of UTSW. Likewise, plastic surgery also saw a large number of new patients, who comprised 41 percent of the telehealth visits.

“The fear was that the platform wouldn’t be able to handle it: the privacy issues, insurance issues, malpractice issues … but it came together well and we were able to ramp up into the thousands, and were able to not only decrease patient anxiety, but also increase many beneficial factors, such as patient access,” says Amirlak.

The study reported several boons for telehealth patients, including reductions in stress, missed work, the number of hospital visits, travel time, and exposure to pathogens, in addition to improving access to care with the option for out-of-state consultations. Indeed, patients from 43 states and Puerto Rico have participated in telehealth visits at UTSW facilities since March.

Even as COVID-19 restrictions have eased in Texas, telehealth is still proving to be a major part of UT Southwestern’s clinical practice. “The feedback from patients has been very positive,” says Kramer. “We’re now sustaining 25 percent of our practice being done virtually, a major win for our patients. It’s changed the way we think about care.”

Whether this trend continues into the post-COVID-19 world remains to be seen, he says. But either way, Kramer says, it is clear that telehealth will be a useful tool.

The numerous benefits that telehealth has to offer are accompanied by several challenges, however, such as the practicality and risks of remote diagnostic medicine. Though technology is starting to address some issues with the development of tools such as electronic stethoscopes and consumer-facing apps that can measure blood oxygen levels and perform electrocardiograms, for example, some argue the value of the in-person physical exam cannot be replaced. Moving forward, Amirlak says, “it will be our responsibility as physicians and scientists to recognize the potential dangers of taking telehealth to the extreme right now and missing a clinical diagnosis.”

Aside from patient-facing issues, other challenges need to be included in discussions of the future of telehealth, including federal, state, and local laws; privacy concerns; and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Many statutes and restrictions have been loosened during the pandemic, allowing institutions like UTSW to implement telehealth rapidly and effectively. But the future of telehealth will necessitate the development of long-term regulations.

“Based on the trends, it seems that telehealth is here to stay. So it’s important to think about the concerns, and based on this information, the issues that we have and how we can resolve them going forward,” says Christine Wamsley, a UTSW research fellow and first author of the study. With the ramp-up of telehealth and related restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, now may be the best opportunity for health care providers and governmental agencies to address these challenges and set out guidelines for the practice of telehealth.

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ProgrammableWeb

Jumio Launches SDK for E-Passport Authentication Via NFC

Jumio, a provider of AI-powered identity verification services, has announced a new biometric passport authentication SDK. This new SDK supports NFC reading capability to allow developers to seamlessly integrate photo and touch-based identity verification services into applications. 

Jumio notes that increasingly identification counterfeiters are able to access high-end printing supplies, access to this equipment makes security measures in out of date identification almost worthless. As global identity verification systems begin to update to biometric standards to help combat fraud, developers are being tasked with building applications that process this data. The new SDK from Jumio aims to help developers with this, the blog post announcement noted that:

“In general, for identity verification, mobile SDKs provide the best results in terms of user experience, fraud detection/deterrence and quality of data extraction. By incorporating this new NFC reading capability, Jumio can further enhance the onboarding experience for users and business customers by supporting e-passports.”

Currently, the functionality provided by the SDK is limited to processing e-passports. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Vonage Launches Vonage Voyagers to Foster Developer Feedback and Community Growth

Vonage, a global cloud communication services provider, has announced a new developer program called Vonage Voyagers. This new program is intended to help build a developer community that provides the company with product feedback and user-generated content. To support this, Vonage is committed to providing this new community with increased support, in-depth training, and early access to APIs.

Vonage noted that its platform provides a variety of tools for application and product development including Video, Voice, Conversations, Messaging, and Verification services. In order to support developers that are likely to encounter a diverse set of challenges based on the variety of services offered, the company is leaning on the new Vonage Voyagers program to encourage growth. The announcement highlighted the expectations for the program:

“With the new Vonage Voyagers program, we are inviting developers to work closely with us, gaining exclusive access to pre-release APIs, as well as mentorship and learning opportunities with Vonage Developer Advocates, Product Managers, and Engineers. Voyagers will also receive training to improve their content creation skills and expand their reach, limited edition swag, and more perks.”

Developers interested in joining the program can go here to apply. Vonage is requiring that all applicants be able to speak/write English, be over 18 years of age, be able to demonstrate previous use of the Vonage APIs, and demonstrate “expertise” within a specific developer community. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Vericred Adds ICHRA Affordability Calculator API to ICHRA Development Kit

Vericred, an insurance and benefits data services company, recently introduced its ICHRA Affordability Calculator API. The service expands the company’s ICHRA Development Kit that companies use to build Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) solutions for brokers, employees and employees.

“There is considerable momentum for companies, large and small, to adopt ICHRAs as an alternative to traditional employer-sponsored coverage,“ Michael W. Levin, Vericred co-founder and CEO, commented in a press release. “Our ICHRA Affordability Calculator is yet another element of the infrastructure necessary for developers to create great ICHRA experiences for brokers, employers and employees.”

At its core, the ICHRA Affordability Calculator API allows employers to calculate the minimum contributions it must make to employees’ health insurance costs in order to comply with various laws. Additionally, it calculates how much subsidy an employee would receive if the employee opts out of an ICHRA to purchase a plan through a federal or state-based exchange. The calculators give programmatic and automatic access to the applicable options so that employers and employees alike can compare options and make informed decisions.

The calculator adds to the existing development kit which already includes a number of robust features including group and individual quoting APIs, group and individual disruption analysis APIs, shop by doctor, and shop by drug. Those interested in the new API, or any feature of the ICHRA Development Kit should visit the Vericred website and reach out to the sales team.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ecarter</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Dynamic Yield Enhances API Suite to Embrace Server-Side Implementations

Dynamic Yield, a company that offers personalization services for the marketing industry, has expanded its portfolio of APIs in order to streamline server-side implementations. The company is hoping to faithfully translate its entire portfolio of services into an experience that excels in a more diverse set of environments. 

In the announcement of the new APIs, Dynamic Yield noted that this change is a result of digital marketing becoming a more robust environment:

“The most commonly employed method for testing and content personalization is by utilizing in-browser javascript libraries, which are easy to integrate and offer marketers the ability to experiment with and enhance the web experience with little reliance on developers. However, as personalization and optimization have become increasingly strategic for brands, digital product teams are expressing a desire to integrate such capabilities natively in their digital customer touchpoints, be it their websites, mobile apps, or real-world digital interfaces such as kiosks and drive-thru menu boards.”

Especially in the COVID-19 era of business, the need to communicate with customers in an effective manner is paramount. This new direction by Dynamic Yield serves to expand the opportunities that its partners have to target customers in a personalized manner. The company also notes that server-side implementations have additional benefits including limiting the amount of personal data that processed via the browser. Additionally, launching campaigns on the server could have the benefit of reduced latency. 

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">KevinSundstrom</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Vericred Provides Level-Funded Health Insurance Plans Via API

Vericred, a data services company simplifying the exchange of information between health insurance and employee benefit carriers and InsurTech companies, today announced the immediate availability of level-funded plans through its Group Rating API. With this new functionality, Vericred is facilitating the distribution and quoting of these attractive alternatives to fully insured group plans.

Until now, level-funded plans have been quoted through carrier websites and broker portals, or through complex integrations with carrier APIs. As a result, it has been difficult for InsurTech applications serving brokers to offer multi-carrier level-funded quoting, thereby limiting visibility of these plans to the detriment of carriers, brokers, and employers. Through this enhancement to its Group Rating API, Vericred is making it easy for these tech companies to quote and compare level-funded plans across carriers, and even against fully insured medical plans.

“Level-funded plans are rapidly increasing in popularity, with some brokers expecting more than 50 percent of their small group book of business to migrate to level-funded products over the next two years,” said Vericred CEO Michael W. Levin. “Our new API supports this exponential growth by enabling tech platforms to build carrier-agnostic, level-funded quoting solutions for brokers and employers. And for our carrier partners, this is a cost-effective pathway to achieve visibility for level-funded products across the quoting tools brokers are using today.”

Vericred is debuting this new functionality with two carrier launch partners: AllSavers, a UnitedHealthcare subsidiary, and Humana, and expects to add level-funded plans from additional national and regional carriers and TPAs over the coming months. Initially, the rating API will deliver “illustrative” or street quotes, which are subject to underwriting and approval. Later this year, Vericred intends to further expand its capability to underwritten quotes.

“Humana has invested significantly in its digital initiatives. Working with Vericred leverages those investments by making it even easier for our distribution partners to quote and enroll in Humana products. As such, we are thrilled that level funded group plans are now on the Vericred platform for quoting,” said Gary Davis, Humana National Leader – General Agents, Digital Initiatives, & Small Business Sales.

Sponsoring health insurance for employees has become a significant cost burden for businesses, with average annual premiums for single coverage ballooning from $4,824 in 2010 to $7,188 in 2019, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study. Level-funded plans, which package the cost savings and personalization of self-funding with the fixed-payment structure and risk mitigation of fully-insured plans, are an increasingly popular benefits option for employers struggling to address the rising cost of health insurance. The percentage of covered workers at small firms (3-199 employees) who were enrolled in a level-funded plan increased from 6 percent in 2018 to 11 percent in 2019, KFF reported.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ProgrammableWeb PR</a>

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ProgrammableWeb

Microsoft Adds Text Analytics for Health Preview to Azure Cognitive Services

Microsoft has expanded its Text Analytics offering within Azure Cognitive Services. It’s new offering, Text Analytics for Health, allows users to extract and analyze unstructured medical data. To create the feature, Microsoft trained its Text Analytics engine with a broad range of medical data sets including clinical notes, clinical trials protocols, and more. The goal is to gain insights from such data without the traditional time-intensive task of manually reading through these data sets.

“The healthcare industry is overwhelmed with data,” Hadas Bitran, Microsoft Healthcare Group Manager, commented in a blog post announcement. “Much of this healthcare data is in the form of unstructured text, such as doctor’s notes, medical publications, electronic health records, clinical trials protocols, medical encounter transcripts, and more. Healthcare organizations, providers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and others face an incredible challenge in trying to identify and draw insights from all that information. Unlocking insights from this data has massive potential for improving healthcare services and patient outcomes.”

Text Analytics for Health is currently available as a preview feature. Words and phrases that the feature is looking for include diagnosis, medication name, symptom/sign, examinations, treatments, dosage, and route of administration. Additionally, users can extract more than 100 types of personal identifiable information from the unstructured text. For a full list of health entity types, review the documentation.

Identifying and extracting keywords is step one. What is done with those words is a much bigger problem to solve. Currently, the Text Analytics for Health container performs Named Entity Recognition (NER), relation extraction, entity negation and entity linking. Developers can apply their own security and data governance requirements. Check out the preview site to learn more.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ecarter</a>

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3D Printing Industry

How to Run a Remote 3D Printing Service

From someone who ran a remote 3D printing service for years By Mike Moceri Can 3D printing services work as distributed teams? The short answer is: yes, but only if you have an effective collaboration platform. Let me explain. Remote work is not generally thought of as an option for contract fabrication or product development […]

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Author: 3D Printing Industry