May 17, 2020

Aetna Inc aims to be part of 15 healthcare exchanges

Third largest U.S. health insurer
state-based exchanges
2 min
Aetna Inc aims to be part of 15 healthcare exchanges
Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms. The health...

Third largest U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc said it aims to be part of about 15 healthcare exchanges being set up under government reforms.

The health insurer said it believes that an increase in the number of customers from the new market places will contribute to its growth.

An estimated 30 million more people are anticipated to join the insured over the next decade because of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010.

The states have until December 14 to decide whether they will participate in a state-based, federal or partnership exchange.

Further, about 18 states have said they will create their own state-based exchanges and 18 others plan to default a federal exchange. According to Aetna executives, the shift to exchanges is fundamentally changing the managed care business.  

Mark Bertolini, CEO said, “More and more consumers are going to be buying their healthcare, even if the employer-sponsored system survives.”  Aetna also said, the profits will be helped by cost controls and the growth of carefully managed care companies, networks of doctors that work together and the expansion in government programs, such as Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor. 

The U.S health insurer expects the earnings of $5.40 a share in 2013, below the analyst estimates of $5.52 a share.  Aetna said it expects the deal to close in the middle of next year. Aetna’s outlook is based on the cautious view of the economy and one in which unemployment remains at about 7..5% and interest rate returns remain extremely low.

Aetna Inc, is an American managed health care company providing consumer directed health care insurance products and services including medical, pharmaceutical, detal, behavioral health, group life, long-term care and medical management capabilities.

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Jul 28, 2021

5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene

3 min
5 mins with... Johannes Bhakdi, Quantgene
Johannes Bhakdi, CEO of Quantgene, tells us about their approach to identifying new COVID-19 variants

Quantgene is a US biotech company that uses AI and the cloud to do genomic testing. It was founded in 2015 to focus on cancer - integrating advanced genomics and molecular diagnostics systems with the cloud and AI systems. 

CEO Johannes Bhakdi tells us Quantgene is the first COVID-19 testing company to fully integrate variant identification - we find out more. 

Given the new Delta and Lambda variants, is the coronavirus mutating at a faster rate than most viruses?
The reason SARS-COV2 is mutating on a perceived higher rate is not that the individual viruses mutate at a higher rate, but that the base population infected with the virus is vastly higher. The absolute rate of global mutations is a direct function of how many people have the virus at any given point in time. Since this is a global pandemic, and tens of millions have been infected, we see more mutations. 

That makes it more unpredictable, because any single mutation that has an evolutionary advantage - like the Delta variant - can then take over and spread even faster.  

What is the usual process for testing and analysing viral mutations? 

The most effective tool for analysing mutations is Whole Viral Genome sequencing. It allows you to read out the entire genome of the virus. Once the wet-lab sequencing is complete, we use this information to map it against what is called a "reference genome", meaning the classic SARS-COV2 genome. This allows us to then see any differences between the investigated sample and the baseline genome of SARS COV2. 

We then use these differences to map them against a database of known mutations, like the Delta variant. That way we can see if we are dealing with any known variant, and if we have a new variant at our hands, as well as determine what this new variant does to the spike protein and how likely it is to be a problem with antigens and vaccines, based on the changed protein structure. This last step is not easy and not clear-cut, and there is some speculation into the determination of how problematic the mutated proteins are. 

 What does Quantgene do differently?  

At Quantgene, we are focusing on solving problems for our clients - may it be employers, movie productions or governments. That means we ensure that our client gets the COVID protection they need in the fastest possible time frame and at the highest precision possible - mostly at or below market prices. 

We are bringing together technologies like RT-PCR testing and mutation profiling/sequencing, as well as advanced bioinformatics and computational resources to ensure high-quality results are being delivered seamlessly. 

We are also adding important components such as real-time cloud software and medical services to it. Simply put, we turn the COVID problem into a one-click seamless solution that works better than others, so companies and government clients don't have to deal with laboratories, medical or software providers who point fingers at each other and fail to deliver in time and with high precision. COVID is too dangerous and important to risk falling short.     

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