In this episode, Ayesha talks about a new digital fabric fiber developed by MIT researchers. The fiber contains temperature sensors and memory devices that can sense, record, analyze and store digital health data. The polymeric fiber was designed with hundreds of microscale digital chips embedded into it and can be sewn into fabrics using a needle. Using AI approaches, the digital fiber can analyze temperature recordings and infer a user’s activity. It has the capacity to record and store all types of digital data, including movies and music, creating exciting possibilities for digital data capture, analysis, storage and sharing.
The team also discussed the FDA’s recent authorization of Amazon’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) COVID-19 test. The PCR-based test can be bought online through Amazon without the need of a prescription. The test involves self-collection of nasal swab samples with the option of sample pooling. Consumers mail in the samples to Amazon, which are processed at laboratories the company set up for routine testing of its employees. Not only is the test a part of Amazon’s continuing COVID-19 pandemic efforts, but it is also a part of the company’s larger forays into health care, as the online retail giant recently launched Amazon Care, a virtual-first health care platform.
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