May 17, 2020

Report Calls To End Research On Chimps

National Institutes of Health
2 min
Humans share 99% of DNA with chimps
The future is suddenly looking a lot sweeter for almost 400 chimpanzees kept in captivity and used for research conducted by the National Institutes of...

The future is suddenly looking a lot sweeter for almost 400 chimpanzees kept in captivity and used for research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Earlier in the year a working group recommended via a report that the federally-supported chimps be retired.

Although the species – who share almost 99% of our DNA – do have potential uses for medical research, the report says, recently alternate technologies have been "shown to address questions that we before may have only been able to address for chimpanzees," said co-chair of the working group K.C. Kent Lloyd of the University of California, Davis.

Sanctuaries like the Chimp Haven Inc. in Keithville, Louisiana and the New Iberia Research Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette house a separate group of 219 NIH-supported chimps that have already been retired.

Similar sanctuaries provide living conditions outlined to meet the physical, mental and social needs of the chimps including a minimum of 1,000 square feet per animal; a plentiful supply of fresh fruits and veggies; yards, forest habitats and jungle gyms to play in; and an assortment of toys to play with.

The announcement quickly drew support from a number of animal rights groups, notably the Humane Society. Vice president for animal research issues Kathleen Conlee said although the organization hopes to ultimately end the use of animals in research altogether, the report "finally confirmed that there should be no chimpanzee breeding, which we were also very pleased with." 

About 50 chimps should be kept for potential research needs, the report suggests, pointing to their usefulness in creating a hepatitis C vaccine and developing therapies for cancerous tumors.

Once the recommendations go into effect, jurisdiction will only apply to NIH-owned or supported chimpanzees. According to the report, the number of chimps used for medical research in the U.S. was reported to be 930 as of May 2011. The current cost to keep a chimp for medical research is $13,000 each.

Research Chimps to Retire

Image Sourced via Flickr: wwarby

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Jul 30, 2021

Rackspace surveys healthcare leaders' knowledge of tech

2 min
Rackspace surveys healthcare leaders knowledge of tech
New survey by Rackspace looks at how well healthcare executives understand technology

A new survey sponsored by Rackspace Technology has analysed how well healthcare leaders understand technology today, compared to  five years ago. 

Rackspace polled more than 1400 IT and non-IT decision makers in companies making over $300 million a year in six industries, one of which was healthcare. 

The survey asked healthcare executives about the changing role of technology in their area, including the dangers of falling behind, their knowledge of the role of technology, and familiarity with what technology can do to the bottom-line.  

The  majority (90%) say their appreciation for application technology has grown over the past five years, and 88% now have a better understanding of technology than they did five years ago. 
They were also asked about the ways technology helps drive corporate strategies. The survey found that: 

 * 62% say automation drives efficiencies 
 * 50% say they leverage innovative technologies like IoT and cloud native applications 
 * 48% say it allows greater employee collaboration 
 * 48% say it gives them real-time analysis/customer ‘pulse’ 

Among the technologies that benefit healthcare organisations the most financially i.e. generating revenue and reducing costs: 

 * 60% say AI/machine learning 

 * 61% say cybersecurity 

 * 56% say enterprise software 

 * 45% say e-commerce 

 * 44% say SaaS 

 * 41% say IoT 

Almost half of the respondents (44%) say that if legacy applications aren’t modernised in the next two to three years, healthcare organisations may lose their ability to compete. 
Other consequences of delaying modernising applications include: 

 * 56% say they wouldn’t be able to meet new regulations 

 * 46% say they wouldn’t be able to scale up IT to meet new demands 

 * 44% say customer service levels would be reduced 

 * 36% say they wouldn’t be able to integrate 

 * 33% say poor staff morale would result from inadequate systems 

 * 33% say there would be lost productivity  

Jeff DeVerter, CTO at Rackspace Technology, commented on the research: “The results of our survey are further evidence that modernising applications through a user lens is not just a ‘nice to have’ from a customer satisfaction perspective, but also delivers a wealth of tangible, quantifiable benefits to organisations.

“Applications are a foundation of customer experience, and it is encouraging to see an increased focused and rising enthusiasm for customer experience improvements.” 

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