🌞 Neuralink’s Patient Plays Chess

Leader Spotlight: Amanda Ducach, CEO & Co-Founder, Ema


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Welcome to your briefing:

  • AI ROUNDUP: Who pays when AI steers your doctor wrong?

  • INDUSTRY ROUNDUP: First human transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney performed

  • WELLNESS BYTES: The key to a long life is avoiding the ‘poisonous 5 P’s,’ says one of the world’s top anti-aging experts

  • INSIGHTS CORNER: Spotlight: Amanda Ducach, CEO & Co-Founder, Ema

  • TRIVIA: In the early 1970s, Stanford University pioneered a significant advancement in medical AI technology. What was this technology called, and what was its primary purpose?


WATCH THIS: Neuralink’s First Patient Play Chess Using Brain Implant

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  • Nvidia-powered AI nurses are scrubbing in (Read More)

  • California’s plan to get the bias out of AI (Read More)

  • ChatGPT linked to declining academic performance and memory loss in new study (Read More)

  • Who pays when AI steers your doctor wrong? (Read More)

  • A Microsoft-powered medical AI spotted cancer in 11 women where doctors didn't (Read More)

  • Google AI could soon use a person’s cough to diagnose disease (Read More)

  • Can artificial intelligence extend healthcare to all? (Read More)


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What’s my life worth? The big business of denying medical care.

— ### —

  • First human transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney performed (Read More)

  • Watchdog report ties veteran death to scheduling error in VA’s new electronic health record system (Read More)

  • Humana seeks dismissal of lawsuit alleging AI use to determine LTC denials (Read More)

  • Novo Nordisk to acquire biotech company working on new heart failure drug for $1.1B (Read More)

  • Cohere Health white paper: How episodic prior authorizations position health plans to transform MSK care management (Read More)

  • Biden signs $1.2T spending bill that includes $117B for HHS (Read More)


  • The key to a long life is avoiding the poisonous 5 P’s, says one of the world’s top anti-aging experts (Read More)

  • I've spent 20 years studying longevity in Blue Zones: My daily habits for a long, healthy life (Read More)

  • To live past 100, mangia a lot less: Italian expert’s ideas on aging (Read More)



What was the inspiration behind founding Ema?

Our journey began with a commitment to enhancing women's well-being, initially as a doctor-led support community for mothers. This commitment has never faltered; rather, it has evolved. Our ambition to make a significant impact led us to explore how we could extend our support more broadly and efficiently. AI emerged as the ideal technology for scaling our mission, leading to the creation of Ema.

Ema represents a leap forward in providing personalized, trusted support to meet the unique needs of each woman, leveraging the scalability of AI. Initially, our team of over 50 licensed experts engaged in direct Q&A sessions with women seeking advice. However, as demand grew, it became clear that a scalable solution was necessary to address the needs of millions without compromising on the quality of support.

We observed that many inquiries shared core themes, albeit with slight nuances, leading to repetitive queries for our experts. AI presented itself as the solution to this challenge. Over two years, we dedicated ourselves to developing Ema into a women's health assistant who embodies the evidence-based, inclusive, and empathetic qualities of the medical professionals who contributed to her creation. Ema is now capable of assisting thousands of women daily, extending the reach of our mission far beyond what was previously possible.

How can we inspire more young women to pursue education and careers in STEM fields?

Giving a platform for women that are currently succeeding in STEM, showcasing their stories and achievements would be a great start to encouraging young women to pursue STEM. If I think back to when I was in school, it was hard to envision what a career path in STEM could look like outside of engineering. The way we can reach so many people through social media and the internet as a whole is a real superpower in showing the new generation what success in STEM looks like for women. Highlighting earning potential, work-life balance, the ability to be a creative in STEM, and avenues for recognition would be great areas to illuminate to a young generation of women.

Let's start by shining a spotlight on the women who are killing it in STEM right now. Remembering my school days, it was pretty tough to picture what a STEM career could look like, especially outside the typical engineering gig. But guess what? With social media and the whole internet vibe, we've got this amazing chance to show the next crew what rocking a STEM job looks like for women.

We should totally show off the cool stuff – like how much you can make, finding that sweet spot between work and play, getting to be super creative, and all the ways you can get noticed and make a name for yourself. By sharing real stories of women who are living the STEM dream, we can help young girls see it's not just about the lab coat or the computer – it's about creating a future that's exciting, rewarding, and totally possible.

How do you foresee AI evolving to better tailor healthcare solutions for women within diverse cultural settings?

To me, one of the greatest thing AI grants people is accessibility. Whether its language or reading comprehension, AI makes it possible for people to access information in a way that is understandable to them. To be able to instantly translate medical resources and education to any language is something that can, and SHOULD be used all over the world.

What feedback from Ema users has been the most unexpected or surprising, and how has it influenced the app's evolution?

One of the most unexpected pieces of feedback we received from Ema users was their preference for using Ema over Google for their health-related questions and research. I mean, it's google. When you're a tech company aiming to bring a disruptor to the market, you hope to shift user behavior so that your solution becomes second nature. But realistically, changing user behavior away from something as ingrained as Google seemed, at best, a long shot. So, you can imagine our surprise and excitement when we found out that 68% of our users preferred talking to Ema over Google. That was a massive and unexpected win for us.

As a woman leader in the tech industry, how do you address the challenges of representation and inclusivity within a field that has historically been dominated by men?

Tackling the issue of representation and inclusivity in an industry that's been traditionally male-dominated feels like walking a tightrope—straightforward in concept, yet complex in practice. At its core, the journey hinges on perseverance. The answer is simple because persevering is the one thing you have to keep doing to force change. Motivating yourself to continue to power through the noise, nay-sayers, and critics is one of the purest acts of perseverance female founders have to do.

However, acknowledging the importance of perseverance barely scratches the surface; it's the actual journey that's so tough. Being a woman in the tech landscape comes with its set of unique challenges. It can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, both daunting and, on the odd day, seemingly insurmountable. Yet, the sheer satisfaction of hitting a significant milestone, of proving your worth, is incredibly rewarding. I would also be remiss to say that cultivating a community of female founders you can lean on is so important. I find so much support in my community of fellow female founders, and we really do try to have each other's backs, help where we can, and cheer each other on.


In the early 1970s, Stanford University pioneered a significant advancement in medical AI technology. What was this technology called, and what was its primary purpose?

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