Aster DM Healthcare Launches MyAster App
Aster DM Healthcare has unveiled the myAster app, which is being touted to be the region’s first integrated healthcare platform providing access to hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, and pharmacies. The platform extends features to empower patients with end-to-end care facilitation and provide seamless access to its healthcare ecosystem.
Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, said, “Aster DM Healthcare is aligned with the UAE’s 2031 Vision for developing the health sector by providing the best-in-class services and continually updating them. The myAster platform was launched as part of Aster’s commitment to providing equitable, unbiased access to world-class medical care, while we strive to improve the healthcare system’s readiness to manage health risks.”
“The myAster app is developed with the aim of aligning and catering to the constantly changing landscape of medical needs of patients in the UAE and across the world. As healthcare providers, we must be equipped to handle those changes with the latest technologies. The idea of offering accessible personalized healthcare through a single platform that brings together all of the patient journeys is in line with Aster’s vision of providing affordable quality healthcare to all,” Moopen said, adding that Aster’s Digital Health Team has innovated and developed the solution over a period of two years; curating and enhancing the customer experience with a potential to offer healthcare and wellness solutions to over 10 million people.
Brandon Rowberry, CEO of Digital Health, Aster DM Healthcare, said, “The myAster app was created to serve the needs of the citizens across the GCC and is designed with transparency at its core. Patients can access the full spectrum of Aster healthcare services, including a recently added enhancement of connecting with the group’s hospitals.”
“Now our users have access to 200+ Aster hospital doctors for appointment booking. The user interface is easy to navigate, and they can view doctor schedules and slots to select a doctor for consultation. We are also launching our Instant GP feature enabling our users to video consult with a General Practitioner in as early as 30 minutes. As we continue to innovate, we will be adding Homecare services to the myAster app in the near future,” he added.
Patients can use the app for a range of services such as appointment booking, consulting doctors online or in-person, accessing prescriptions, scans, medical records, and order medicines online; delivered to their homes with the touch of a button. Some of the key features of the app include booking appointments from among 430 doctors across five hospitals, 48 clinics, and over 20 medical specialties. The app also allows video consultations, online payments through a secure gateway, access to the online pharmacy with doctor prescriptions delivered to homes within 90 minutes, and ordering health and wellness essentials online as well as to avail offers and deals. Through the app, patients can also access their scans and medical reports.
Middle East Creators Win Big at Snap Inc.’s ‘Build the Future Lensathon’
Snap Inc. recently announced the results of its worldwide ‘Build the Future Lensathon’, which called on augmented reality (AR) creators from around the world to come up with innovative and engaging AR experiences to help people express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. The competition engaged more than 3,000 developers internationally who competed for $200,000 in prizes.
Denis Rosiev, a budding designer and creator from the UAE, won the global competition and took home $40,000 in prize money. Meanwhile, creators Ibrahim Boona from Saudi Arabia and Mohamad el Asmar from Oman each bagged silver awards worth $5,000 each.
Commenting on his victory, Rosiev said, “I’m a big fan of pixel and voxel art – everything square and low-poly. Initially, I wanted to build a Lens that turns everything into voxels, but later it evolved into the idea of a full-featured voxel scanner that can be used to create art. I like the freedom Lens Studio provides: it’s so powerful that I was able to build a robust tool inside a Lens!”
Making it to the top among hundreds of submissions, Denis’ LiDAR Lens, VOXELIZE, is a real-time AR voxel scanner that exports 3D models as .glbs. VOXELIZE’s intuitive two-finger touch gestures can be used to effortlessly scale and rotate the voxel grid for precise resolution selection and alignment with the walls or borders of the target object. A built-in machine learning model automatically segments objects from the background, streamlining the scanning process. Scans can then be exported as .glbs for editing in any 3D software. VOXELIZE has a broad range of applications across construction, architecture, interior design, and more.
Speaking about what’s next in store for VOXELIZE, Rosiev added, “I’m planning to build an actual iOS app using Snap Camera Kit. It will open more possibilities, such as in-app scan storage and direct export. As Lens Studio evolves, I’m going to use this technology to build experiences where users can scan, edit and share cool voxel objects between different lenses and locations.”
Talking about the brilliant talent discovered from the region, Jake Thomas, Head of UAE at Snap Inc. in MENA, expressed, “We are pleased to see young creators within the region’s creative community not only share their passion and showcase their talent to a global audience but come first place and thrive within the rapidly evolving AR ecosystem. It’s exciting to see creators push the boundaries of AR development and build their careers with Snap’s advanced AR tools. We will continue supporting our AR community and we look forward to offering more global opportunities for local creators here in the MENA region.”
Other winners hailed from countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, India, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.
BOTIM and Fawry Offer Digital Bill Payments for Egyptian Expats in UAE
BOTIM, the UAE’s Ultra app that Astra Tech has recently acquired, and Fawry, Egypt’s leading digital payments platform, have signed a groundbreaking agreement to provide residents in the UAE and GCC countries with a seamless and convenient way to pay bills & invoices in Egypt through BOTIM app and enable international money transfer services.
This first-of-its-kind agreement will allow users in the UAE to transfer money and pay bills in a new and convenient way. Astra Tech is introducing a new service to the BOTIM app called Bill Payments, which aims to make everyday payments easier for users. Under this agreement, Fawry will provide all Egyptians residing in the UAE who use the BOTIM application with solutions to pay utility bills and subscriptions and carry out financial transactions in Egypt. Customers can also withdraw financial money from the UAE through the BOTIM, powered by Payby, application through Fawry’s payment and collection channels. This agreement is a game-changer, providing users in the UAE with a new and innovative way to manage their everyday payments.
By utilizing this new service, users in the UAE and GCC can pay a wide range of bills and invoices in Egypt, such as utility bills, school, and university fees, driving and car licenses, club memberships, and medical and social insurance, through the BOTIM app. Adding to sending money services, Fawry will support the local beneficiaries of money remittance in Egypt to disburse the money through Fawry Channels.
Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-Founder and CEO of Astra Tech, BOTIM’s parent company, said, “We are excited to work with Fawry to bring a seamless and hassle-free bill payment experience to our users in Egypt. This collaboration represents a significant milestone in our expansion strategy, particularly in the promising Egyptian market, and our commitment to driving digital transformation and financial inclusion in the region.”
Eng. Atef Magdy, CCO, Financial Services, Digital Solutions & International Business, added, “The partnership between Fawry and Astra Tech is a concrete manifestation of Fawry’s strategy to attract new segments from various sectors and offer them the benefits of its digital services and solutions. It also reflects Fawry’s unwavering commitment to expanding its financial business and services and reaching the broadest possible audience to provide cutting-edge payment technologies that are both easy and secure. This further strengthens Fawry’s position as a leading platform in the digital payment market and solidifies its position as the preferred choice for Egyptian citizens.”
Microsoft Announces Mystery Event to Intro ChatGPT Rival
Microsoft has called a special event for the press on February 7, starting at 10 AM at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Despite keeping the details of the event under wraps, indications suggest that the focus of the event will be on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Microsoft has recently revealed its plans to integrate AI into multiple products in the coming months and years, including a $10 billion partnership with OpenAI, the developers of ChatGPT.
The company has already integrated AI into Microsoft Teams Premium, where the technology is used for summarizing virtual meetings in writing, generating highlights, and more. The appearance of a new version of Microsoft Bing with ChatGPT integration for some users, before it was deactivated, hints that the company is ready to launch a new way of searching the web. This is expected to be among the announcements made at the event on February 7.
It is yet to be seen what other AI-powered products Microsoft has in store. Google has recently released its ChatGPT rival, Bard, which is available for a limited number of select testers. As the competition in AI heats up, it seems that Microsoft wants to be at the forefront of the race.
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