May 17, 2020

Public Health England partners with Amazon Alexa in breastfeeding initiative

Technology
healthcare services
Catherine Sturman
2 min
breastfeeding initiative (Getty Images)
Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new initiative to support new mothers and provide guidance surrounding breastfeeding.

A recent survey launch...

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new initiative to support new mothers and provide guidance surrounding breastfeeding.

 A recent survey launched by the organisation highlighted that up to a quarter of new mothers’ struggle with breastfeeding, are underprepared or are not given enough information surrounding the benefits of breastfeeding.

At present, the UK currently has the lowest number of breastfeeding rates globally, where up to three-quarters of women stop breast feeding by up to six to eight weeks after they have given birth.

Named Breastfeeding Friend, the new initiative will be available through Amazon Alexa, where mothers will be able to ask frequently asked questions surrounding not only the frequency of breastfeeding, but how to support the latching process, as well as possible side effects at any time of day.

The initiative is part of PHE’s Start4Life programme, and will also be available on the Start4Life website, as well as Facebook Messenger.

“Whether a mother manages to establish breastfeeding is largely determinant on the support she receives in the first few days after birth,” explained Dr Cheryll Adams, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Visiting.

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“However, with such short hospital stays, professional support is not as widely available as it once was. To have this back up, which can be accessed from anywhere, will be hugely helpful and we expect health visitors to want to promote the service.”

The digital tool will help support the work healthcare professionals and provide increased accessibility, something in which has been a drawback for many new mothers.

 “Health professionals do an excellent job of caring for new mothers, but they cannot be available 24/7, which is where our Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life is designed to help,” observed Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at PHE.

“We are working with health professionals to ensure women are not embarrassed and receive timely help.

“Many mothers can find breastfeeding challenging and often this may cause them to give up,” added Corinne Harvey, PHE in Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Support can make a real difference to successful breastfeeding, which is why we’ve developed a suite of digital support services – to complement other sources of help like health professionals, fellow mums and families.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT

HOOPP
Checkpoint
3 min
Erez Yarkoni, Global VP, explains how a three-way partnership between Check Point, HOOPP, and Microsoft is yielding optimum cloud security

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.

“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.

Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:

  • Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
  • CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
  • Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data

 

However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”

In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies. 

The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help. 

“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”

 

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