Amazon has 150+ PhD economists on staff; their work is almost entirely secret & 9 other health IT notes

Ten recent updates on major health IT and technology companies:

1. At about 12 a.m. EST, Facebook users were able to regain access to their social media accounts after a 14-hour outage.

2. Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan launched a study to determine whether data collected on an Apple Watch can accurately reflect the user's health and predict if the individual will develop common health conditions.

3. Retail giant Amazon employs more than 150 PhD economists to analyze transactions on its platform and measure inflation.

4. Google Cloud hired Amit Zavery, former vice president of Oracle's cloud platform.

5. The House Veterans Affairs Committee is having a hard time finding tech experts to help it monitor Cerner's overhaul of the VA's electronic health records system, already $350 million over budget.

6. Facebook blocked advertisements for numerous companies that sell products catered toward women experiencing menopause despite allowing ads for companies that target men's health issues like erectile dysfunction.

7. An estimated 7 percent of Google's daily searches are health-related.

8. As the biggest retailer in the world, Walmart is keeping the pressure on itself to remain on top. It's latest strategy: rebranding as a technology company.

9. Facebook detailed initiatives to derail the distribution of vaccine misinformation on its social media platform.

10. Digital health startup Livongo Health is putting together an initial public offering worth up to $1 billion.

More articles on health IT:
Facebook restores services after 14-hour outage, longest in its history
Allscripts subsidiary strengthens partnership with health analytics, tech company
Shifting CIO role fuels increase in enterprise tech mergers

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