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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

‘Advanced’ AI Firm Moving into Health Care

Glendale-based artificial intelligence company Beyond Limits has appointed Kevin Taylor as vice president of business development for its health care sector. Taylor will lead the firm’s expansion efforts as it seeks to gain more clients in the health care and health technology space, it said in a statement March 13. “The promises of artificial intelligence to deliver real benefits in health care is just beginning to be realized,” Taylor said in a statement. Taylor’s background includes roles at Fortune 500 health care services firm Cardinal Health Inc. as well as Fund II, an early-stage technology investment fund under venture capital firm Incubation Factory. Beyond Limits describes itself as an “advanced” artificial intelligence company. Its product – software that was originally developed by a team of scientists from NASA and Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge – is a blend of technologies that, when applied to large data sets, parses through them in a way that is very similar to the human brain, but much more efficient, according to the company. The applications of Beyond Limits’ technology in the health business could include automating medical devices, improving data security and managing patient care, according to a statement from Beyond Limits Senior Vice President for Corporate Development and Investments Dr. Manikanda Arunachalam, who joined the firm in December. The company also provides its software to the finance, energy and shipping and logistics industries. Clinic Holds Head Lice Hunt The Encino location of Lice Clinics of America held its yearly Easter-themed Head Lice Egg Hunt on March 24 at 5353 Balboa Blvd. Dozens of community members turned out for the event, which offered free head lice removal to those who could not afford professional treatment or have struggled with at-home remedies. Lice Clinics of America – a multinational franchise headquartered in Utah that has locations in Thousand Oaks and Santa Clarita in addition to Encino – uses several different methods to tackle the condition, ranging from a $15 comb-out to an $185 session with a special vacuum device called with AirAllé. Event-goers were mainly families with children, in which the condition is especially common. The bugs are transmitted primarily through physical contact; contrary to popular belief, their presence is unrelated to cleanliness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While they do not directly cause disease, they can cause itching, which can lead to bacterial infections. The franchise fee to open a Lice Clinic of America is $42,000 for a single territory, according to the company. Contract for Health Workers More than 700 workers at the Northridge medical centers of Dignity Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare network, will continue to receive fully-paid, employer-provided health care through a new five-year contract between the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West. A total of 15,000 workers across the state are covered by the agreement, which in addition to health care benefits includes pensions, a 13 percent raise spread over five years and a 1 percent raise in the second year of employment, the union said. Also, Dignity Health will pay $500,000 a year for a joint labor-management program to help employees advance their careers, according to the union. The contract covers 694 workers at Dignity Health’s Northridge Hospital Medical Center at 18300 Roscoe Blvd. and another 33 at the company’s nearby medical center. An additional 373 workers at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo also benefit from the contract. Clinic Opens in Simi Valley A new urgent care clinic opened at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center on March 20. The facility is affiliated with a national urgent care network called CareNow Urgent Care, a subsidiary of West Hills Hospital parent company HCA Healthcare Inc. This is the second CareNow center to open in the area in the past year. The first was established last June at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. The facilities are designed to offer outpatient treatments for minor illnesses and injuries, such as sprains and colds. Urgent care centers are considered one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. health system. The industry is currently valued at around $18 billion and is expected to grow by around 6 percent this year, according to a report released in February by the Urgent Care Association of America. Staff Reporter Helen Floersh can be reached at (818) 316-3121 or hfloersh@sfvbj.com.

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