Honor Band 6 to shake up fitness tracker game on 3 November

Huawei spin-off Honor is set to announce the Honor Band 6 as the latest instalment of its budget fitness tracker range.

The company teased an announcement on Chinese social media site Weibo, claiming its arrival would mark a new era for full-screen wearables.

What that seems to indicate is that we are going to get a bigger screen on its next tracker and it could maybe be planning to switch up the display technology too.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers to buy right now

The Honor Band 5, which was announced in July last year, featured a 0.95-inch AMOLED touchscreen display with a 240 x 120 resolution.

So we imagine that screen size and resolution will get a sizeable bump up on the Band 6.

Honor Band 6

We know that the likes of Xiaomi and Amazfit have significantly upped their game in the screen department for their budget trackers and Honor may be looking to follow suit by offering something more high grade this time around.

Aside from pointing to some screen improvements, there’s no mention of the kind of fitness tracking features it’ll be packing. The Band 5 offered activity tracking, exercise monitoring, a heart rate monitor support, notifications and introduced an SpO2 monitor.

The Band 5 is currently priced $36.99 putting it firmly in the same budget tracker bracket as the Xiaomi Mi Band 5. The question will be whether Honor will manage to keep that price down with the teased changes they’re set to make.

In terms of a launch, it’s likely that it’s one that will be made available in China first as has been the case previously. It did though eventually make it out into other territories soon after.

We were fans of the Band 5, praising its display and for offering good value for money. We only have a few days to find out what the Honor Band 6 will be capable of and how much it’ll cost to own one.

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New rapid tests a ‘game changer’ against COVID

GENEVA (AP) — Health officials in Africa say the rollout of rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 could be a “game changer” for their fight against the coronavirus but also warned Thursday that increased testing could drive up confirmed cases on a continent that has seen them decline or plateauing as case numbers soar in the West.

Some experts worry that Africa so far has lacked the ability to test widely enough, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas, and that its case counts therefore don’t reflect reality and impede tracking the virus.

“African countries are gearing up to introduce antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests on a large scale, and this will be a game changer, we think, in the fight against COVID-19,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, said. “These high-quality rapid tests will help meet the huge unmet need for testing in Africa.”

Speaking from Brazzaville, Congo, at an online news conference, Moeti noted that WHO Africa region comprising sub-Saharan Africa plus Algeria – has seen a downward trend from a daily average of more than 15,000 cases in July to less than 4,000 in the past month -– prompting some governments to pull back from their toughest containment measures.

“As countries ease restrictions on movement, some increase in cases is expected, but preventing an exponential rise is absolutely critical,” she said.


From early on in the pandemic, officials at WHO headquarters in Geneva, including the U.N. health agency’s Ethiopian director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have expressed concerns that COVID-19 could have a big impact on weaker health systems like those in Africa.

However, developed countries with world-class health systems so far have been among the ones hardest hit by virus outbreaks. WHO’s 54-nation European region tallied 927,000 cases in its latest weekly count, a new record high.

Dr. Susan Ndidde Nabadda, head of the Ugandan National Health Laboratory Services and Central Public Health Laboratory, suggested that it could take some time to ensure proper authorizations and a high-quality process before rapid diagnostic tests on a broader scale because “there is no longer really a lot of emergency” in Africa.

Nabadda cited reports indicating that the identification of COVID-19 cases increased in Guinea once the west African country started rolling out the RDTs, noting that “we might see more numbers coming on board” as the tests are deployed more widely.

She said the relative lack of testing in Africa could be one of the reasons why African case counts were lower than in developed countries.

WHO announced last month that it and leading partners have agreed on a plan to roll out 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 to help lower- and middle-income countries make up ground in a testing gap with richer countries.

The antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests for which WHO issued an emergency use listing are intended to provide better testing access to areas where it is harder to distribute the PCR tests often in many wealthier nations.

The rapid tests look for antigens, or

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Intense, indoor sports raise coronavirus risk, CDC warns, citing 14 infected at ice hockey game

Evidence is beginning to show that intense, indoor sports can contribute to COVID-19 transmission, per a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which cited an ice hockey game resulting in 14 infected individuals.

The index patient, or believed source of infection, had a fever, cough, sore throat and headache a day after playing in the June 16 game in Tampa Bay, Fla., per the study. Two days later, a nasal swab confirmed the infection, and shortly thereafter 13 other players and a staff member at the ice rink came down with symptoms as well.

Of the 15 total cases, 11 infections were confirmed via PCR testing and two had positive antigen tests, while two were not tested.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” per the study.

4 CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS, INCLUDING REMDESIVIR, HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE, FLOP IN LARGE WHO STUDY

More infections cropped up on the index patient’s team, which the CDC said may have been from more exposure in their separate locker room and sitting closely together on the bench.

Longer exposure with the infected player in the locker room, and sitting closely together on the bench, may explain the greater number of cases on that team, the CDC theorized. (iStock)

Longer exposure with the infected player in the locker room, and sitting closely together on the bench, may explain the greater number of cases on that team, the CDC theorized. (iStock)

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The players flouted cloth face masks in the locker room and during the game but wore hockey-related protective face gear like plastic half-shields and metal cages, while still others wore no protective face gear, the health agency wrote.

The two on-ice referees managed to escape symptoms.

The CDC also took the plexiglass surrounding the rink into consideration, which created a “physically segregated playing area.” A sole spectator also managed to escape symptoms, but was not tested.

“The high proportion of infections that occurred in this outbreak provides evidence for SARS-CoV-2 transmission during an indoor sporting activity where intense physical activity is occurring,” the agency wrote. Staff at the Florida Department of Health followed up with isolation and quarantine guidance to those involved, among other steps taken.

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CDC warns of “superspreader” events after hockey game causes outbreak among players

With Americans about to spend more time indoors as the weather turns colder, health officials warned Friday that a recreational hockey game showed how indoor sports can be “superspreader” events for the coronavirus. One player in a game between two groups of men at an ice rink last June likely led to 14 other people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, three Florida officials wrote in an article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 15 people who fell ill after the game in the Tampa Bay area, 13 tested positive for the coronavirus, and two weren’t tested. Cloth face masks weren’t used in either team’s locker room or during the game.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” the officials with the Florida Department of Health wrote in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The officials noted that the eight players who didn’t feel sick may have still contracted the disease and were asymptomatic. Not all of the players were tested.

The hockey player who the officials believe infected the other 14 people started experiencing a fever, cough, sore throat and a headache the day after the game. An investigation by the state health department found that eight of his teammates, five players on the opposing team and an ice rink employee felt symptoms within a week after the game.

“The indoor space and close contact between players during a hockey game increase infection risk for players and create potential for a superspreader event,” the officials wrote.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, used the term “superspreader event” to describe the events surrounding President Trump’s announcement of federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee for the Supreme Court. Even though the announcement ceremony was outside in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump and a number of his aides and supporters who were seen close together and not wearing masks tested positive days later.

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Regenerative Medicine, A Game Changer

One of the new up and coming fields that you should know about is regenerative medicine. It's growing quickly and will likely affect the business you do in the near future, if it hasn't already.

The reason regenerative could be a game changer, if it lives up to its potential, is that instead of treating diseases, these companies are working on being able to replace, re-engineer or regenerate human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function by targeting the root cause of disease. That means no more long term medicinal regimes or treatments to stave off diseases, a huge industry shift.

Regenerative medicine is at the nexus between several other existing areas in the medical world. Biology, chemistry, engineering and physical sciences all play a role in the emerging industry, so its a large and diverse playing field for researchers and its growing all of the time.

The latest indicator of future growth came in a study from MarketResearchReports, which recently released "Global Regenerative Medicine Market (Technology, Applications, Geography) – Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities and Forecast, 2013-2020." In it, the market analysis firm found the global regenerative medicine market will be worth some $ 67.6 billion by 2020 – a big increase from the $ 16.4 billion valuation by the group in 2013. Between 2014 and 2020, the report expects the regenerative medicine market to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23.2 percent.

The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine estimates there are currently more than, "700 companies with a regenerative medicine focus ranging from divisions of multinational corporations to smaller organizations focused solely on the sector."

According to the Alliance this is the breakdown of subsections within the industry:

Cell-Based Therapies

Living cells, a pillar of the field, are incorporated into regenerative medicines to achieve a variety of positive effects including replacing damaged or diseased cells and / or tissue, stimulating an endogenous response that promotes the body's own healing such as an immune response or regeneration in diseased tissue and delivering genetic or molecular therapies to targets

Gene Therapy

Gene therapy addresses defective or mutated genes needing either correction or improved regulation through the insertion of properly functioning genes into a patient's cells.

Biologics and Small Molecules

Biologics and small molecules can be defined as the use of chemicals and cellular components that are known to induce dormant, or edogenous cells to regain regenerative properties.

Tissue Engineering: Synthetic Materials, Biomaterials and Scaffolds

Synthetic and bio-based materials, cornerstones of the regenerative medicine field, are generally implanted in the body for reconstructive purposes, such as in joint replacement, bone repair, as artificial ligaments and tendons, dental implants, heart valves and wound repair. They work in partnership with native cells to support reconstruction and healing.

Stem Cells for Drug Discovery, Toxicity Testing and Disease Modeling

Companies are increasingly learning to leverage the use of stem cells and / or living tissue constructs to create in-vitro models to study human mechanisms of disease and the effects of drugs on …

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