16 Minutes on the News #14: Pharma Drones; Veteran Health Records; Light to Voice Hacks

This is the 14th episode of 16 Minutes, our weekly-ish news show where we quickly cover the top headlines of the week, the a16z Podcast way: what’s real, what’s hype from our vantage point in tech. This week, we cover the following news — with a16z experts general partner Julie Yoo and market dev partner Venkat Mocherla from the bio team, and former CSO/ a16z security operating partner Joel de la Garza — in conversation with Sonal Chokshi:

  1. UPS drones deliver prescriptions — For the first time ever, drones delivered prescription medication directly to residential homes and retirement homes in North Carolina this month; but why don’t we already get drugs by delivery? And what’s the significance of pharma as a node in the healthcare system?
  2. Apple opens health records to vets — Apple and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced recently that veterans can now access their health information on their iPhones; why is (or isn’t) this significant, and wherefore the promise of EHRs (electronic health records)?!
  3. hackers can use lasers to command voice devices — Security researchers were able to send laser-powered “light commands” to smart assistants (including products like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Facebook’s Portal, and Google Assistant) to take full control over them at specific distances; how worried should we be, and how does this affect the future of a voice-enabled world?

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