Tag Archives: food

Researchers create $34 smartphone dongle that can detect HIV and syphilis within 15 minutes (Karen Kaplan/Los Angeles Times)

Engineers have taken an ordinary smartphone and made it a whole lot smarter. They created a compact, handheld device that plugs into an iPhone and turns it into a mobile laboratory that can diagnose HIV and syphilis in just 15 minutes. The diagnostic device – the engineers call it a “dongle” – was tested on 96 patients who were being treated in three community health centers in Kigali, Rwanda. After getting their test results, 97% of the patients said they would recommend it to others, according to a report published this week in Science Translational Medicine. Researchers from Columbia University developed the dongle to make it easier for healthcare workers in remote areas to identify people with life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases. The HIV and syphilis tests that are currently available cost as much as $8.50 combined and can take more than 2.5 hours to complete. By then, patients may be long gone. A rapid, reliable test that can be performed anywhere would be a huge lifesaver in places like Rwanda, the engineers wrote. Previous research has shown that if a test like this correctly identifies 70% to 80% of people who are infected and 70% to 80% of those who are not, it would cut the number of deaths by a factor of 10 compared with a traditional test that is 100% accurate. To make a device that fit this bill, the engineering team had to solve several problems.

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Rocket Internet Puts $586M Into Delivery Hero, Buys 7 Asian Startups In Food Delivery Push (TechCrunch)

Rocket Internet , the Berlin-based e-commerce group that went public last year, is making some major consolidation moves in the food delivery business. It has acquired a 30% stake in Delivery Hero (a rival to Rocket’s FoodPanda), and it has purchased the holdings of seven other food delivery companies in Asia, including subsidiaries of two other rivals, JUST EAT and Food Runner, plus two more in Europe. The new food delivery assets will all become a part of a  new division  encompassing its on-demand food delivery businesses, creatively called the Global Online Takeaway Group. The Delivery Hero stake is valued at €496 million ($586 million). Rocket Internet says it is not disclosing the value of the 7 other transactions but they will be treated as part of the FoodPanda brand and JUST EAT India, Food Runner’s Room Service in Malaysia and Singapore, City Delivery (also Food Runner) in the Philippines, EatOye in Pakistan, Koziness in Hong Kong and Food By Phone in Thailand. It has also while acquired two European takeout services: La Nevera Roja (Spain) and Pizzabo (Italy). All told, Rocket Internet now has food delivery businesses in 39 countries. “With the recent acquisitions foodpanda becomes the market leader across South East Asia,” said Ralf Wenzel, Co-Founder and CEO of foodpanda group, in a statement. “The combined expertise and experience of several great local companies allow us to significantly improve our offering and service to our customers.” It’s the second major consolidation move in the area of food delivery startups in emerging markets for Rocket Internet, after it swapped holdings for several properties with Delivery Hero in November last year . This is also Rocket’s second major vertical consolidation, after it put  five of its emerging market e-commerce brands into a $3.5 billion group last year. The German company said in an announcement that companies in the newly founded group cover over 140,000 restaurants across 64 global markets. It claims that, together, they process 78 million orders per month. Rocket Internet gained notoriety for a perceived policy of ‘cloning’ successful startups in a bid to make a quick buck by selling them later. An IPO in Germany last year left many divided on its future plans, particularly with regard to exiting many of its global ventures — some of which have taken in hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. The company continues to launch new businesses at a fast rate — including new iterations on the food delivery model (one of the latest: deliveries from farmers’ markets and independent vendors via Bonativo ).

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