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The devil is in the data: balancing privacy and healthcare

By Patricia B. Mirasol Data is crucial in effective decision-making, especially when tackling healthcare issues such as the novel coronavirus. Getting individuals to participate in...

Viber rolls out in-chat payment service, allows users to make purchases...

Rakuten Viber is introducing new features such as Chatbot Payments, through a partnership with Google Pay and Apple Pay, as part of its tenth...

To avoid extinction, companies must adapt to disruptive forces — author

Understanding disruptive forces such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital natives, and the gig economy will strengthen the future of any business, said entrepreneur, serial...

Human beings live longer, can healthcare systems keep up?

Human beings live for an average of 72 years. In 1960, the year the United Nations began keeping global data, this number was 52.5...

Small-scale farmers should focus on yield stability, embrace mobile money —...

By Patricia B. Mirasol Small-scale farmers produce 80% of the food consumed in Southeast Asia, underscoring their critical role in protecting the food value chain...

[B-SIDE Podcast] Selling it: Lessons in cross-border e-commerce

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0T1d8okP9PrMV0P3BIhcGK Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side Anchanto, a Singapore-based automation and logistics platform, projects that cross-border e-commerce in the Asia-Pacific region will grow to US$...

Viber sees 208% growth in Community messages as brands create group...

Companies have been creating Viber Communities to communicate with their consumers over the pandemic. The messaging platform noted a 129% increase in community views...

Graphic design platform offers free marketing templates for MSMEs

Graphic design platform Canva launched Canva for Negosyo to help entrepreneurs take their negosyos (businesses) online. 

MMC settles into ‘healthy normal,’ plans to expand services in 2021

Makati Medical Center (MMC) announced a downward trend in COVID-19 admissions, positivity rates, and healthcare worker infections, and an upward trend in operational capacity. 

Venio provides nano-credit assistance to the unbanked

Venio provides unbanked consumers with nano-credit assistance by making credit facilities accessible through a smartphone app. Users enter their details in the app to apply for a loan and then wait for the app’s decision. 

HK domestic workers’ monthly salary tops HK$5,000 this year

The average monthly salary of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong topped HK$5,000 (P31,183.19; HK$1 = P6.24) in 2020, according to HelperChoice, an ethical recruitment platform. 

Triple duty: parenting, working, and teaching from home

By Patricia B. Mirasol Three working parents share the schooling choices they made for their children and how they’ve been juggling their responsibilities.  When it comes...

Online tool helps teachers detect plagiarism

An Internet-based service helps teachers detect plagiarism, a problem that exists in both physical and virtual classrooms. 

Social innovators recognized for their work in Filipino communities

Three social innovators were inducted to the lifelong Ashoka Fellowship at the Ashoka Induction and Fellow Launch for creating inclusive and systems-changing solutions in their chosen Filipino communities: Ryan Gersava, Ben Abadiano, and Scott Stiles. 

When it comes to food, consumers seek ‘nutrition that goes beyond...

A renewed interest in personal health and the environment is driving the way food products are marketed to consumers. “The emphasis has shifted from...

Biscuit sticks teach children how to code

Japanese food company Glico uses Pocky—its brand of chocolate-covered biscuit sticks—to teach children how to code. 

Chat service offers support to victims of gender-based violence

Lockdowns have made it more difficult for victim-survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) to report crimes committed against them. 

[B-SIDE Podcast] Bend, don’t break: business lessons from bamboo

https://open.spotify.com/episode/43mW6OZpjJobYomarOnhOp Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out 80% of the revenue of Bambike, a socio-ecological enterprise that handcrafts bamboo bicycles. Prior to...

Edutech companies must solve the right problems, be aware of emerging...

The question edutech companies should ask themselves is if they’re solving the right problems. “The industry is indeed benefiting from COVID-19’s tailwinds, but there’s a diversification in solutions. Are you solving urgent needs?,” said Koji Takahashi, chief marketing officer of venture capital firm Edulab, in a panel discussion at the Ignite 2020 Cyber conference. 

Fast-tracking innovation, fiscal support needed to take advantage of new opportunities...

Health tech is expected to grow in five key areas post-COVID: telemedicine; the Internet of Medical Things; virtual reality; robotics; and quantum computing. All of these will combine in a medical ecosystem estimated to reach hundreds of billions by 2026, said Kei Shimada, leader of IBM Japan’s Digital Maker Lab.

CSR efforts look within amid the pandemic

Companies have sharpened the focus of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives amid the pandemic, with their charitable efforts built into business operations or...

Crowdfunding platform simplifies self-publishing process for aspiring writers

Aspiring authors can join the Spark Books Accelerator Program, a crowdfunding program that simplifies the self-publishing process, and connect with resources—editors, layout artists, proofreaders, etc.—who can help bring their work to life. 

Caring for pets amid COVID-19

Like humans, animals need care and medical assistance, COVID or no COVID. Vets in Practice Animal Hospital (VIP) has a hotline that makes it...

PH startups shine in regional pitch competition

Update: Edukasyon.ph won the grand prize at Ignite 2020 Cyber’s Wildfire pitch competition. The Gen Z platform helps students make better-informed decisions in their...

‘Car-centricity kills cities,’ says expert

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerabilities of public transport systems to external shocks, and this is providing cities an opportunity to rethink urban...

Calls to mental health hotline have more than doubled

The National Center for Mental Health’s hotline has received an average of 876 calls per month between March to August this year, up from the pre-pandemic average of 350, said Dr. Rodney Boncajes, a psychiatrist at the said hospital, in a recent mental health forum organized by J&J Philippines, Inc. 

[B-SIDE Podcast] Resparking your business: tips from seven entrepreneurs

https://open.spotify.com/episode/5bEuDxYuswrwaD1DIcqEII Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side Patrick “Patch” Dulay,  co-founder of local crowdfunding platform The Spark Project, is turning a series of webinars into a...

Climate change puts the coffee industry in peril

With its dependence on temperature and rainfall, the coffee industry is vulnerable to climate change. Global warming could have adverse effects on the livelihoods of 25 million coffee farmers worldwide, along with millions of more people who are connected to the coffee supply chain, said Tim Scharrer, managing director and vice-president of Green Coffee & Cocoa at Starbucks Coffee Trading Company in Switzerland, during a recent discussion on mitigating the impact of climate change on coffee farmers. “It becomes imminent to us that we have to do something,” he said. 

Spider webs to webinars: a daycare center comes to terms with...

St. Michael Playhouse (SMP), a daycare center based in Makati City, had to grapple with the heart and soul of its pedagogical approach—interaction among...

Pharmacist training program helps support hypertensive patient needs

Through a national training program for community pharmacists developed by Upjohn, a Pfizer division, and the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPhA), pharmacists will be equipped...

Network for social housing projects goes digital

The FairBuilding Network, an online platform that brings together buyers and sellers in the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) construction market, recently launched a new website where...

Shock-proofing organizations against future disruptions

To shock-proof organizations against future disruptions similar to the coronavirus pandemic, IBM recommends using a  framework that sustains operations at scale and with speed...

Startup Pinay program supports Filipinas in tech startup ecosystem

QBO Innovation Hub recently partnered with Investing in Women, an Australian Government initiative that promotes women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia, to expand...

Credit assistance programs available for exporter-MSMEs 

Banks have lending programs designed to assist Filipino micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have been affected by COVID-19, reminded panelists in the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau’s bank credit assistance webinar. 

Calling BS in a data-driven world

“The world is awash with bullshit, and we’re drowning in it,” is how Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West open their book,  Calling BS: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World. Having a good bullshit detector during the COVID-19 pandemic is a matter of life and death, the professors said during a webinar aiming to arm people with the skills to identify and challenge quantitative garbage. The fellow professors also teach a course on the subject at the University of Washington. 

Bicol fishermen get livelihood-supporting collapsible coolers

By Patricia B. Mirasol The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines began distributing Fortuna Cools collapsible coolers to fishermen in Bicol this month to...

Taking charge of personal finance through healthy cash flow

Achieving life goals entails the proper management of personal finances. “But do you know where your cash goes?,” asked Camille D. Francisco, head of Insular Life’s InLife Learning Academy. 

Migraines can cost businesses millions of dollars — study

Migraines cost businesses millions of dollars. In Singapore, a study showed that migraines, a neurological condition that can cause debilitating head pain, cost the Singaprean economy SGD1 billion per year. In Malaysia, the productivity loss at work due to migraines was nearly 20-fold higher for presenteeism (showing up to work despite being sick) than absenteeism. In the Philippines, a survey showed that workers lost 14 days due to migraines over a 90-day period. 

Building a better business, one LEGO brick at a time

Rulebooks are being tossed out the window as experts from different fields say there is no manual for the COVID-19 pandemic. Even the dictionary hasn’t been spared from upheavals. In these complex times, when the unpredictable is bound to happen, it pays to embrace non-linear thinking.

Kamuning Bakery Cafe ‘bakes happiness,’ looks to expand south

“Each pandesal, every cake that we bake is an act of resistance against the bigger epidemic of fear and grief, because breads and cakes symbolize simple happiness and indomitable hope,” said Kamuning Bakery Cafe owner Wilson Lee Flores to his staff, bakers, and cooks, as he assured them that they were going to keep their jobs.

Opportunities for growth in the Southeast Asian comics market

“We position comics as affordable art,” said Paolo Herras, co-founder of comics and art market Komiket and festival director of the 1st Philippine International Comics Online Festival . “That’s why comics are still doing okay as opposed to glossies that are struggling.” A recent talk on the state of comics in Southeast Asia showed that there are opportunities for growth in this space.

Global consortium pieces together the COVID-19 data jigsaw

“It’s like driving a car blindfold—at breakneck speed—with your parents at the back. We don’t have a manual for this,” said Professor John Fraser, Director of University of Queensland’s Critical Care Research Group, as he explained that there is no textbook answer for treating patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

[B-SIDE Podcast] Biking the city

 When public transportation was suspended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, people turned to biking as a means of getting from one place...

Manila Doctors’ CSR arm offers free surgery for ovarian and uterine...

Manila Doctors Hospital is offering free surgery for ovarian and uterine tumors for indigent patients. 

In Together Apart, art community tackles themes of isolation and uncertainty

Together Apart — Art world voices that connect us now is a virtual exhibition evoking the worldwide anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic.