Petrochemical industry: An irreplaceable sector in today’s economy

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One of the fastest growing sectors that have greatly contributed to the growing economy of the world is the petrochemical industry.  Petroleum products are a big part of a revolution that separated the modern world from its pre-industrial era.

The petrochemical industry is a sector centered on petrochemical production. Basically, it relies on the major raw materials such as oil and natural gas as their product’s primary ingredients, falling under the category of organic chemicals and is divided into two classifications based on their feedstocks: oil refinery streams and natural gas liquids (NGL). The main organic chemicals that are largely produced in massive volumes are ethylene, methanol, butadiene, benzene, propylene, toluene, and xylenes.

The industry plays a relatively irreplaceable role in the production of energy supply that fuels the increasing energy demands, especially for developed countries, focusing on industrial and technological growth. Moreover, the industry itself occupies an important part in many countries’ manufacturing as well as consuming sectors especially in Canada where the third largest oil reserves in the world are located.

In the United States, the petrochemical industry serves as the backbone of the country’s economy, supporting and providing millions of jobs to its citizens. Furthermore, reports reveal that the industry contributes a total value of almost $1 trillion (about 7.3% of U.S. GDP) to the American economy.

Although petrochemicals are the products obtained directly from petroleum, other chemicals can also be acquired from fossil fuels such as natural gas or coal and even from renewable sources. This is a very important point especially since in 2050, experts estimate that the world could reach the limit of petroleum extraction.

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REPOST: Apple’s Move to Share Health Care Records Is a Game-Changer

Digital revolution has an increasingly significant impact on many industries, and health care is no different. That said, can tech giant Apple successfully translate health data into something meaningful for consumers? More details on WIRED:

Imagine if Apple further opens up Apple Health so it no longer serves as the destination, but a conduit that can help guide patients through decisions to better manage their health. HOTLITTLEPOTATO

IN LATE JANUARY, Apple previewed an iOS feature that would allow consumers to access their electronic health records on their phones. Skeptics said the move was a decade too late given a similar (and failed) effort from Google. Optimists argued that Apple was capable of translating health data into something meaningful for consumers.

But the announcement portends great things for consumers and the app developers seeking to serve them, from our perspectives as the former US chief technology officer under President Obama, and as an early adopter of the Apple service as Rush University Medical Center’s chief information officer. That’s because Apple has committed to an open API for health care records—specifically, the Argonaut Project specification of the HL7 Fast Health Interoperability Resources—so your doctor or hospital can participate with little extra effort.

This move is a game-changer for three reasons: It affirms there is one common path to open up electronic health records data for developers so they can focus on delighting consumers rather than chasing records. It encourages other platform companies to build on that path, rather than pursue proprietary systems. And it ensures that the pace of progress will accelerate as healthcare delivery systems respond to the aggregate demand of potentially millions of iPhone users around the world.

Understanding the promise of this announcement requires a bit of historical context. In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, President Obama signed into law the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included more than $37 billion for investing in the adoption and use of electronic health records by doctors and hospitals. Tucked away in that program was a comparably modest $15 million investment in research and development to bring to life a vision of applications inspired by Apple’s App Store. That R&D funding contributed to the development of the open API standard that Apple now requires of providers wishing to make the feature available to their patients.

Spurred by financial incentives in the Recovery Act, the Affordable Care Act and in 2015, the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, providers are implementing health IT systems that are certified to meet certain government requirements.

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REPOST: Here’s How Amazon Could Disrupt Health Care

Can an Internet empire successfully transform a completely different industry? In the case of Amazon and the healthcare sector, the idea is not impossible at all. Here’s interesting article from Forbes:


“The ballooning cost of health care acts as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.” That’s how Warren Buffett framed the context as he, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon announced the alliance of their firms, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase, to address health care.


The problem is serious. Health care costs in the U.S. have been growing faster than inflation for more than three decades. There is little relief in sight. A Willis Towers Watson study found that U.S. employers expect their health care costs to increase by 5.5% in 2018, up from a 4.6% increase in 2017. The study projects an average national cost per employee of $12,850. The three companies have a combined workforce of 1.2 million. Based on the Willis Towers Watson estimate, they could spend more than $15 billion on employee health care this year.


But, what can the alliance do about it? On that, Buffett was less clear: “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But, we also do not accept it is inevitable,” he said.


The challenge is formidable. As the New York Times noted, employers have banded together before to address health care costs and failed to make much of a dent in health care spending. How will this effort be different?


If this alliance as simply another employer purchasing cooperative, it will probably have little effect. Neither 1.2 million employees nor $15 billion in spending is all that significant in a 300M person, $3.2 trillion US health care market. It might nudge the health care industry towards incrementally faster, better and cheaper health care innovations—but not much more.


If, however, the alliance thinks big and structures itself as a testbed for potentially transformative ideas, innovations and businesses, it could have a disruptive effect.


Amazon is the critical ingredient in this latter approach. While all three companies bring employees and resources (both critical), only Amazon brings particularly relevant technological prowess and disruptive innovation experience.


Amazon could think big by simply applying the standard operating principles and capabilities that is has perfected for retail—comprehensive data, personalization, price and quality transparency, operational excellence, consumer focus and high satisfaction—to health care. It also has differentiated technologies like Alexa, mobile devices, cloud (AWS) and AI expertise. It could leverage its recent years of health-care-specific exploration, such as those in cardiovascular health, diabetes management, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit management, digital health and other health care research. It could use Whole Foods as a physical point of presence.


Read full article HERE.

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Future big industries that are yet to take off

If you would be given the chance to catch a glimpse of the future, you would realize that the industrial innovations that you see today are just a small percentage of everything that technology can offer.

To give you an idea of what’s about to unfold in the next ten years or so, here are the future big industries that could introduce humanity to a whole new world of technological feats and life-changing innovations:


3D Printing Technology

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From car engineering, construction, product design, to healthcare, 3D printing is expected to disrupt and reshape everything that it touches. Imagine having a portable machine that will enable professionals or even an average person to print three-dimensional objects in multiple types of materials – including live human tissues?


Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)

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The entertainment industry was the first stop for VR and AR technology but in the future, this innovation is expected to dominate other major industries like education, healthcare, sports, marketing, and many more. Although it’s still at its infancy, researchers from Goldman Sachs predicted that by 2025, virtual and augmented reality will bring over $80 billion to the market.



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Perhaps everyone is familiar with Bitcoin, the popular virtual currency that made headlines in 2017. However, did you know that there are other cryptocurrencies that are slowly shaping the future of financial services? Traditional banking systems haven’t caught up yet with technology and this is one of the reasons why security will always be a major issue – and this is where digital currencies come in. Digital currencies offer more secure, transparent, low-cost, and less complex financial transactions. Unfortunately, it has yet to undergo a major trail period before it becomes as reliable as other monetary or investment systems.

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REPOST: Why The Internet Of Medical Things (IoMT) Will Start To Transform Healthcare In 2018

Will increased investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) the most effective way to improve healthcare services? With the ‘data economics’ currently booming, the medical field is set to undergo a majaor tranformation. Read more on Forbes:

Even though the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt Internet of Things technologies than other industries, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is poised to transform how we keep people safe and healthy especially as the demand for solutions to lower healthcare costs increase in the coming years. The IoMT can help monitor, inform and notify not only care-givers, but provide healthcare providers with actual data to identify issues before they become critical or to allow for earlier invention.

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Dramatic Growth in IoMT Devices Predicted

A report by Allied Market Research predicts that the IoT healthcare market will reach $136.8 billion worldwide by 2021. Today, there are 3.7 million medical devices in use that are connected to and monitor various parts of the body to inform healthcare decisions. The Internet of Medical Things refers to the connected system of medical devices and applications that collect data that is then provided to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks.

There are several realities that have enabled this dramatic growth including the accessibility of wearable devices and the decreasing costs of sensor technology. Now that most consumer mobile devices are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, they can communicate with IT systems. In addition, the rates of chronic diseases are on the rise and the demand for better treatment options and lower healthcare costs makes it more appealing to dabble with new innovations that could provide better healthcare outcomes and efficiencies. High-speed internet expansion and access, as well as favorable government regulatory policies, have also contributed to the growth of IoMT adoption.


Aging World Population Will Continue to Burden the Healthcare System

The IoMT might be the silver bullet for our communities to address a burdened healthcare system that will only be under more stress as our population continues to age. By 2025, 1.2 billion of the 8 billion people on earth will be elderly; equivalent to the population of India. Elderly people tend to have more healthcare issues, therefore increasing costs. So, as life expectancy rises, it is expected that healthcare costs will follow suit.

IoMT can provide a better way to care for our elderly and has a tremendous potential to help deal with the rising costs of care. IoMT devices can help track vitals and heart performance, monitor glucose and other body systems, and activity and sleeping levels. Seniors often forget to take their prescribed medication on time, and IoMT devices can help remind them to take it and document what time they took medication. Additionally, portable diagnostic devices can make routine blood and urine tests easier on our aging population—a group of individuals where mobility is more challenging and who need to complete these tests more frequently than for younger patients. Portable diagnostic devices can analyze and report the findings of these tests without requiring a visit to the doctor’s office. There is a lot of opportunity for IoMT things to help remote caregivers ensure the safety of their loved ones with wearable devices that learn the regular routines of the person who wears the device and can issue a warning if something seems amiss as well as alert if seniors have breached their boundaries which is often of concern for memory-care patients.


Continue reading HERE.

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Why entrust your money to offshore wealth managers

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Just like how you need the expertise of a seasoned engineer to help you turn the house of your dreams into a reality, you’ll need the right people to help you build, grow, and preserve your wealth―and this is where wealth managers from offshore investment houses do their job best.

Basically, having an experienced offshore wealth manager by your side can guide you in optimizing how you manage your money without the worries of market complexities, faulty investment decisions, and time-consuming paperwork—but there are more to their services than what you often read about in the papers or online.

Here are some of the compelling and often underestimated reasons why you should entrust your money to offshore wealth managers:

  • A good wealth manager can deliver reasonable returns regardless of the size of your assets’ portfolio. They are well aware of the risks surrounding investments which is why they are capable to putting losses (if any) at the minimum.
  • High-level wealth managers offer confidential asset management, advisory services, brokerage, and even personalized financial concierge services.
  • Veteran wealth managers are always objective, assisting you in making the most strategic decisions based on their experience and expertise—an important characteristic that will help you maintain your wealth goals.
  • Wealth managers are trusted advisors, helping you brainstorm investment ideas that promote successful outcomes.
  • Offshore managers have one goal in common: helping clients grow and preserve their capital, ensuring success every step of the way.
  • Last but not the least, as the experts in the industry, offshore wealth managers are multi-disciplinary, with skills necessary to wisely allocate your assets, help you plan out an effective tax optimizations strategy, achieve your savings goals, and assist you any tax, investments and financial law concerns.

For more information and personalized service for your investment needs, consult with any of LOM Financial’s top advisors through their website.

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How the world created a trillion-dollar industry in health and wellness

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Many industries have been unsuccessful in overcoming the challenges brought about by the recent financial crisis. However, the wellness sector has surprisingly survived and managed to flourish against all odds. In fact, a recent report revealed that the global fitness and wellness industry is a $3.7 trillion market today and it’s predicted to continue to dominate in the years to come.

According to many statistics conducted on health and wellness around the world, the younger and present generation are more sedentary, spending more hours in inactivity and consuming unhealthy diets. In addition, the prevalence of fast food and processed goods as an answer to their fast-paced lifestyle is not really helping solve the problem.

A 2014 global survey showed that almost 40% of adults over the age of 18 were overweight, and in the U.S. alone, the percentage went up to 70%. As a response to these troubling revelations, a great portion of the world’s population began making changes in their lifestyle choices, starting a massive demand for both products and services that encouraged healthy living.

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Millions of individuals began looking for ways to stay fit, exploring alternative dieting methods just to make that first step to achieve a healthier lifestyle – and many businesses and startups seized this opportunity.

For most experts, the different movements centered on healthy lifestyle awareness will continue to influence not only the modern population but also the generations of the future.

With an emerging digital health market, the value of the industry is anticipated to grow and contribute to the global economy come 2020.

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REPOST: Healthcare technologies in the new digital era

As with most other industries, the healthcare sector’s evolution will be defined by technology. Read the article below from The Telegraph to know how digital tech is taking traction in this field:

Research 2.0: obtaining patient consent via an app would pave way for studies on an industrial scale

As we ride the wave of the fourth industrial revolution, it is amazing that Britain’s National Health Service continues to be one of the biggest users of fax machines in the world and still spends £79m a year on second-class stamps rather than emailing people.

However, healthcare is facing a digital overhaul in the new “open economy”, driven by mobile tech and connected devices. It could re-energise medical research and save lives, time and money, according to two leading British experts.

Mobile devices can help deliver care to patients in their own homes, speeding up the way healthcare professionals and patients communicate, according to Mark Howells, founder and managing director of Konnektis. “Our system runs on Samsung tablets that replace the pen-and-paper notes currently used in home care,” he says.

“These mobile devices have data connectivity and become the hub for health professionals, formal carers and family members to access, record and share information easily and securely. As a result, we can all collaborate in real-time to deliver the highest standards of care.”

Building the Konnektis system involved “significant” input from users to ensure that it met their needs, says Mr Howells. “Konnektis becomes the individual’s hub to access information about their care.

“Technology that is accessible and easy to use can provide people with better information, greater choice and more control. At its core, health and social care will always be about people. Technology is simply an enabler, whether it is improved care co-ordination in the home, more effectively supporting people in rural communities with video consultations or the power of predictive analytics.”

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The three countries with the healthiest people

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Nobody can predict how long we’ll live but in this world of modern technology, there are various factors and ways to prolong man’s life. In some countries, the average life expectancy has been increasing over the past few decades. You might be wondering how these nations live longer than others. Economically speaking, a healthy population is essential to productivity. The healthier the people, ideally, the more they can produce goods or services. Below is a list of the countries considered to be the healthiest in the world:


  1. Monaco

This small principality in the Mediterranean is the second smallest nation but one of the wealthiest in the world. In this country, there’s no such thing as income tax, however, most of the residents are millionaires and billionaires. For decades, Monaco is known for its Monte-Carlo casino, Monaco Grand Prix, and yacht-lined harbors which became the country’s main sources of income.

Aside from being rich, the inhabitants of Monaco are also very healthy. One of the reasons is the healthy Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of veggies and seafood, especially fish which is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, Monaco has state-funded health care system that provides excellent-quality health care services to all its people. The average life expectancy in the city-state is almost 90 years old.


  1. Japan

Most travelers consider Japan as one of the best places to live in. Apart from possessing impressive natural scenery and electrifying urban landscapes, the country also offers unique cultural traditions such as tea ceremony, social conventions, as well as martial arts, among others. They are undoubtedly one of the most technologically advanced nations on earth.

Japan ranks second worldwide on life expectancy, with its citizens capable of reaching the age of 87, according to World Health Statistics. Japanese diet is most likely their number one secret to such longevity. This eating pattern is based on consuming foods with less calories but has high amount of antioxidants (such as fish, seaweeds, and vegetables). In addition, all the residents of Japan are covered by a mandatory health care system, in which 70 percent of the hospital costs is paid by the government.


  1. Macau

It is widely known as the “Las Vegas of Asia,” which is now the 4th wealthiest territory and the biggest gambling enclave in the world. A tiny SAR (special administrative region) of China, it is the most densely populated place on the planet. It primarily earns from its vibrant casino industry, bagging large revenues that are being used by the government to provide free high-quality public services such as health care. Recently, the World Health Statistics has put Macau’s average life expectancy at 84 years. Healthy (and sumptuous) Macanese food and active lifestyle also contribute to such long life span.


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REPOST: Health-care consumers need to take the lead, so get smart

Is diversity the key to improving the healthcare industry? David Russian shares his views on this subject, and more, through

Our health care system is a Rube Goldberg machine: Complicated, with lots of parts moving in different directions, producing unpredictable, frustrating results.

Some of the parts are well-designed and produce great outcomes. We have amazing medical research in our universities and hospitals. The Puget Sound region is a leader in discovering new drugs, treatments and devices that save lives. We must preserve the environment that makes the area an innovator in health care.

This is also a healthy place to live. Compared to the rest of America, we eat better, exercise more, and weigh less.

So we’re healthier, and our health care costs are lower than the rest of the country.

Our community has seen consolidation of big players, and the entry of large corporations.

Providence assumed control of Swedish — it’s one big system. DaVita, a for-profit company, purchased The Everett Clinic. Kaiser Permanente took control of Group Health. Consolidation can lead to efficiencies of scale. Elsewhere in the country, consolidation has led to increased costs and decreased choice. We need to guard against that.

Medical informatics is a disaster. Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a part of doing business. They are clunky, time-consuming and do not talk to each other. They keep doctors and nurses away from their patients. They are expensive. They don’t transfer data from one EMR to another. Despite the cost, time and frustration, EMRs do not improve health outcomes. The Steve Jobs of EMRs has not yet been born.

The payment system is broken. Reimbursement to hospitals and providers has not kept pace with inflation. But pharmacy and device costs have skyrocketed. We’ve allowed health care costs to be corrupted by lobbyists. There have been a few big winners, but increased costs for all.

Continue reading HERE.

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