Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) with an assist vs the Chicago Bulls, 02/26/2021
Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) with an assist vs the Chicago Bulls, 02/26/2021
Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA reduced crude exports to China in the first quarter of 2021 as local refining margins improved, Roberto Castello Branco told Reuters in his last interview before stepping down as chief executive officer. China is the world's largest importer of crude oil, and had accounted for as much as 90% of Petrobras's international sales one year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic reduced mobility and corroded fuel demand in its home market.
Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins have postponed today’s home game against the Boston Red Sox. The tilt had been set to start at 2:10 p.m. local time at Target Field. The move comes in the wake of protests erupting overnight after police shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday in a Minneapolis […]
ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, Md., April 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Livanta LLC is pleased to announce its recent award of a national claim review task order under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Beneficiary and Family Centered Care - Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) program. The BFCC-QIO claim review function is derived from Part B of Title XI of the Act and the QIO regulations in 42 CFR Parts 475, 476 and 480. Funded through the CMS Center for Clinical Standards & Quality (CCSQ), this 54-month task order supports CMS in its core functions of beneficiary oversight and protection of the Medicare Trust Fund across all 50 states, five United States territories, and the District of Columbia. The BFCC-QIO claim review task order serves to decrease CMS’ paid claims error rate. Livanta will perform specific types of utilization reviews for proper payment of Medicare claims involving hospital inpatient admissions of short duration and where hospitals re-submitted certain types of inpatient claims for a higher payment than what they had billed initially. As part of the review, Livanta will evaluate whether the services performed were medically necessary and at the appropriate level of care. As part of its claim review activities, Livanta will provide education services to help hospitals improve their billing accuracy; analyze claims and other data to select samples for review; issue payment determination notices; notify companies that pay the claims for Medicare when hospitals need to refund payments or make other claim adjustments; and perform outreach functions with hospital providers, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders to help safeguard the Medicare trust fund against fraud, waste, and abuse. Livanta’s Chief Medical Officer, Ellen R. Evans, MD, a Board-certified Family Physician and Geriatrician, stated, “The Livanta team of clinicians brings exemplary experience, knowledge, understanding, and skill to this workload. Over the long months of the ongoing pandemic, our work as a Medicare Beneficiary and Family Centered Care - Quality Improvement Organization continually reveals the strength, stamina, innovation, and determination that every Medicare beneficiary, caregiving family, and healthcare provider brings to our nation. Throughout this unprecedented healthcare crisis, those we serve inspire us to provide Medicare with the highest quality of claim review services.” About Livanta LLC: Livanta LLC, established in 2004, is a privately-held, government contracting firm headquartered in Annapolis Junction, MD. The company’s success lies within its team of knowledgeable professionals who are committed to providing excellent service and quality products powered by exceptional IT solutions and data analytics. ContactLeasa NovakLNovak@Livanta.com This material was prepared by Livanta LLC, the Medicare Beneficiary and Family Centered Care - Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) that provides Beneficiary Oversight Claim Review Services, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. 12-SOW-MD-2021-QIOBFCC-TO31
Erik Gudbranson is a depth move for the Nashville Predators while they figure out the uncertain direction of their franchise.
The Maple Leafs have wisely added a body on defense in an oddly healthy season on the back end.
Chartwell Retirement Residences (T.CSH.UN) hit a new 52-week high of $12.33 on Monday. Chartwell Retirement ...
Richmondites have begun to receive COVID-19 vaccinations at several clinics around the city. “Some of these are what we call our pop-ups, or short-term clinics,” explains Bob Chapman, interim vice-president of the Vancouver community for Vancouver Coastal Health, in an interview with the Richmond Sentinel. “And we opened up the River Rock, which will be our clinic that runs seven days a week for the entire campaign, right through into the fall.” The clinic at River Rock Casino Resort is one of the larger clinics for the local community, and it also has the capacity for vaccine delivery to be scaled up as more expansive age cohorts are invited to be vaccinated. “We will scale up some other sites in Richmond as we need to as well, to support that extra need for the capacity depending on what age cohort we’re moving into,” says Chapman. He adds that partnering with staff at Vancouver International Airport has been “a huge opportunity,” with airport staff acting as “wayfinders” for people arriving to be vaccinated. “They’re the people that will welcome you and help you figure out where to go, and start your journey through the vaccine process,” says Chapman. “They’ve been an incredible partner, and extremely welcoming. We’ve had very positive feedback about how accommodating they’ve been, and how receptive they’ve been to the public.” Some vaccine clinics have volunteers helping to run them. Chapman says feedback from the public has been positive, and that volunteers are welcomed. “There is a lot of anticipation and excitement from the public about coming to get their vaccines, it’s opening a door in this journey of the pandemic and really opening up some huge opportunities for them.” And at a time when many people have been struggling with restrictions and the feeling of isolation, Chapman says being able to be vaccinated has been a bright spot. “We know even for the seniors who have come into clinics, some of them have been quite emotional at receiving a vaccine and have really wanted to have a social engagement and talk while they’re there, and talk about the fact that they haven’t left their home in a year.” Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Immunosuppressive drugs for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and ulcerative colitis can impair the body's response to the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to new data. In 133 fully vaccinated people with such conditions, antibody levels and virus neutralization were about three-fold lower than in a comparison group of vaccinated individuals not taking those medicine, researchers reported on Friday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.
Erin and Ben Napier are expecting their second child together, a baby girl, next month
"The Talk" returned on Monday with an episode that addressed the heated on-air discussion between Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood.
Additional testing and genomic sequencing will take place predominantly in the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth.
TORONTO — All schools in Canada’s most populous province will be shut down and move to online learning because of a record number of coronavirus infections fueled by more contagious virus variants. Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government is moving schools to online-only after the April break this week. Schools in Canada’s largest city of Toronto were already shut since last Wednesday. Now it will be province-wide. Ontario is now seeing more than 4,000 new infections a day in recent days and record intensive care numbers. March break was previously moved this week in April. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: VACCINES: More than 120.8 million people, or 36.4% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 74 million people, or 22% of the population, have completed their vaccination. CASES: The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 63,236 on March 28 to 70,040 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. DEATHS: The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. did not increase over the past two weeks from 975 on March 28 to 969 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. — Muslims are navigating coronavirus regulations for their second Ramadan in the shadow of the pandemic — China's top disease control official said current vaccines offer low protection, mixing them is among strategies being considered to boost effectiveness — Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: BUCHAREST — Authorities in Romania's capital say three COVID-19 patients died at a mobile intensive care unit after ventilators failed. Five more patients from the same mobile ICU in Bucharest's Victor Babes hospital were transferred to other hospitals to receive care. “Unfortunately the number of severe COVID-19 cases are rising, there is an acute need for ICU beds,” Bogdan Tanase, head of Romania’s Doctors’ Alliance, told The Associated Press on Monday, adding: “The situation is severe like in a war…sometimes that means chaos and lack of resources." An investigation has been opened as to why the ventilators failed. In recent days, Romania has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs since the pandemic began, which has put the Eastern European country’s strapped healthcare system under serious pressure. ___ MOSCOW — Russia has restricted flights to Turkey citing a surge in coronavirus infections. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced Monday that most flights between Russia and Turkey will be suspended from April 15 until June 1, but a limited number of flights will be performed. The decision will deal a blow to Turkey’s tourist industry that relies heavily on Russian visitors. Russian tourist agencies, which have sold package tours to Turkey, are also poised to sustain heavy losses. Golikova said the government will offer them financial support. The Russian government also has ordered to suspend flights to Tanzania for the same period. ___ ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s foreign minister says the country will receive 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through the UN-backed COVAX program. Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the announcement Monday after meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas. Qureshi, who is on a two-day visit to Germany, said in a post on Twitter that the doses are expected to be delivered to Pakistan by May. Pakistan is currently seeing a third wave coronavirus surge, reporting 58 single-day deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The Islamic nation previously hoped to receive vaccines under the COVAX facility in April, and has largely relied on donated and imported Chinese vaccines. ___ ROME — Police in Rome blocked hundreds of angry owners of shuttered establishments, such as restaurants and gyms, from reaching a square outside the Italian Parliament as frustration builds in business sectors over weeks of current pandemic lockdown measures. The protesters took to the streets on Monday to demand that the government lift a decree that bans restaurants, cafes and bars from offering table or counter service through April. The owners say government promises of compensation for some of their lost revenues aren’t enough to feed their families and keep paying idle workers on payrolls. Operators of gyms, cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls are complaining they have not been given a firm date when they can open their doors to the public. Premier Mario Draghi says unless the COVID-19 situation quickly improves and vaccination pace picks up, restrictions on dining at eateries will remain at least through this month. ___ LONDON — An update to the U.K.’s official COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app has been halted because it apparently breached privacy rules laid down by Apple and Google. The update was set to add new features to support the U.K.’s latest easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday. The app, which runs on software jointly developed by Apple and Google, lets people record their visits to places like restaurants and bars by scanning codes. The updated version would ask users who test positive to upload a list of venues where they’ve checked in to help with tracing others with whom they might have come into contact. But the BBC reports that would violate privacy-focused rules that ban the apps from using location data, so Google and Apple blocked the update. Apple did not respond immediately to a request for comment and Google referred inquiries to the Department of Health. ___ WASHINGTON – A top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official says surging vaccines to Michigan would not help the hard-hit state control the latest COVID-19 wave that has strained its hospitals and is raising concerns nationwide, because vaccines take two to six weeks to confer protection. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters during a White House coronavirus briefing Monday that the answer in a crisis situation such as Michigan is facing is to go back to virus control basics and order lockdowns. “I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have an impact," Walensky said. Walensky explained that at the same time, diverting vaccines away from other states where the situation isn’t as dire right now could unwittingly seed the ground for future outbreaks elsewhere. Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called for the federal government to surge vaccines to her state, but the White House said last week Michigan had not ordered its full allotment of available vaccines. Whitmer has shied away from ordering lock downs. ___ NEW YORK — New government reports further highlight the differences in how severely the coronavirus has hit different racial and ethnic groups. One study released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives visited hospital emergency departments at a rate 1.7 times higher than white Americans did. That study was based on hospital data from 13 states in the last three months of 2020. A more national report looked at hospitalizations from March through December of last year. It found that in every region of the country, the proportion of patients hospitalized with COVID-10 was highest for Hispanic Americans. It found the disparity eased a bit — but never ended — in the second half of the year. The researchers said that the narrowing gap does not stem from any reduced risk for Hispanic people or those in other racial or ethnic groups. They wrote that it was more likely due to increasing hospitalizations of white patients during the surge in cases late in the year. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday that racial gaps continue, including in disproportionately lower numbers of Black and Hispanic Americans being vaccinated against the virus compared to white people. ___ HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s leader says fully-vaccinated residents could soon be allowed to form “vaccination bubbles” that would allow socializing in larger groups during the pandemic, as part of incentives to encourage more people to get inoculated. So far, only about 8% of the population has been inoculated since Hong Kong began its vaccination program in late February. But the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam said in a news conference Monday that it would soon establish a travel bubble with Singapore as cases have continued to decline since a November 2020 surge. Plans are also in place to allow a limited number of travellers from mainland China to enter Hong Kong without quarantine from mid-May as the mainland has achieved “zero infection.” A ban on flights from Britain will also be lifted in May, although travellers will still be required to be quarantined for 21 days at designated hotels. Quarantine restrictions for fully-vaccinated travellers from low-risk and medium-risk countries such as Singapore, New Zealand and Australia could also be reduced. ___ BRUSSELS — The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines have started to be delivered to the European Union on Monday, the first of 55 million doses which are expected to be provided to the bloc before the end of June. EU Commission spokesman Stefan De Keersmaecker said the Johnson & Johnson deliveries “are indeed on track as agreed.” About 105 million vaccine doses were delivered in the first quarter, a bitter disappointment since Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca fell about 90 million doses short of an initial commitment of 120 million. The other doses were delivered by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna with 65 million and 10 million doses respectively. In the second quarter the EU is counting on 200 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, 35 million of Moderna, 70 million from AstraZeneca and 55 million from Johnson & Johnson. ___ LISBON, Portugal — The European Union’s crime agency says the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up new sources of revenue for organized crime, from online fraud to fake vaccines and illegal digital content. Europol says “criminals were quick to adapt … in order to exploit the fear and anxieties of Europeans and to capitalize on the scarcity of some vital goods during the pandemic.” The agency says the pandemic acted as a “catalyst” for new online fraud schemes and the sale of counterfeit medical equipment such as face masks, while unlawful sanitary waste treatment and disposal has become a focus of police investigations. Europol’s Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment, published every four years and launched in Lisbon, Portugal on Monday, noted one setback for criminals, however: there have been generally fewer house burglaries because many people are working from home. ___ SEOUL, South Korea — Health officials in South Korea say Maryland-based Novavax has agreed to a licensing arrangement that will allow a South Korean biotech firm to produce its coronavirus vaccines for later this year. Kwon Deok-cheol, South Korea’s health minister, said Monday that SK Bioscience plans to produce 20 million Novavax shots through September, all of which will be used locally. Production could start as early as June. Food and Drug Safety Minister Kim Gang-lip, who joined Kwon in a news conference, said Novavax’s vaccines are currently being reviewed by regulators in Europe and Britain, but didn’t speculate on when the shots would be approved in major countries. While South Korea hopes to get 150 million doses of coronavirus vaccines this year through bilateral deals with pharmaceutical companies and the WHO-backed COVAX program, it has got just over 3 million doses so far. A little over 1.15 million people have received their first doses as of Monday. ___ MADRID — A Spanish pharmaceutical company says it’s setting up a new production line that would produce millions of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine doses on European Union soil later this year. Rovi’s existing facility in southern Spain’s Granada will receive an undisclosed investment to produce the active ingredient of Moderna’s jab, the company announced Monday in a press release. The expected output will be up to 100 million vaccine doses per year starting in the third quarter of 2021, Rovi said, adding that the production will be destined to markets outside the United States. The facility will be the first of its kind in the EU, adding to the production facilities that the Swiss biotech company Lonza has been operating there. Rovi had until now operated production lines to fill vials with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, but the active component had to be imported into the country. ___ LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to “behave responsibly” as shops, gyms, hairdressers, restaurant patios and beer gardens reopen after months of lockdown. Monday sees the easing of restrictions that have been in place in England since early January to suppress a surge in coronavirus infections linked to a more transmissible new variant of the virus. Many people were planning outdoor meals and drinks, despite unseasonably cold weather that brought snow to London and many other areas. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — are following their own, broadly similar plans to ease lockdown. ___ GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Gaza Strip has recorded the highest daily deaths since the coronavirus broke out in the Palestinian enclave. The Health Ministry reported Monday that 17 Palestinians have died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 694. Gaza is under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and its Hamas rulers had managed to keep it relatively free of the virus by imposing obligatory quarantine on the few dozens returnees who cross in via Israel or Egypt. But in August, the virus escaped the walls of the isolation centres and spread rapidly. After a significant decrease of infections in February, Hamas removed all precautionary measures and cases resurged. The vaccination rollout is limited. The territory of 2 million people has received vaccines for only 40,000 people, including a shipment via the global COVAX program. The Associated Press
K-State is in the mix for a Texas linebacker and a Wake Forest power forward.
EXCLUSIVE: The 20th Century Studios adaptation of the Mark Millar comic Starlight has just gotten a jolt of excitement. Joe Cornish, best known for directing Attack the Block, has signed on to write an direct the comic by Millar, the creator of Wanted, the Kingsman films, and Kick-Ass. Simon Kinberg and Audrey Chon are producing […]
This past season he averaged over 17 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
The coronarvirus pandemic turned the usual large number of NHL trade deadline deals into a trickle on Monday. The moves that did take place under a flat salary cap, highlighted by Boston landing 2018 NHL MVP Taylor Hall in a trade with Buffalo, heavily benefited the buyers. And then there were the teams that got creative, acquiring draft picks in order to take on payroll. Hall was the highest-profile player to move in an otherwise dry market and the Bruins took advantage by landing the under-performing, six-time 20-goal-scorer at a cut-rate price along with third-line forward Curtis Lazar. Rather than getting a first-round pick in return, the Sabres acquired a second-round pick and a sparingly used forward in Anders Bjork, while also agreeing to retain half of what’s left on Hall’s one-year, $8 million contract. Hall gets a chance for a fresh start after a forgettable season with the last-place Sabres, while the banged-up Bruins upgraded their lineup in a bid to complete their late-season playoff push. Boston began the day holding the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot, four points ahead of the New York Rangers and Philadelphia. Among the handful of notable moves, Pittsburgh added veteran depth by acquiring 36-year-old centre Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings for a pair of conditional draft picks. The Vegas Golden Knights acquired centre Mattias Janmark from the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a person with knowledge of the trade who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been cleared by the NHL. Janmark played against the Golden Knights during the 2020 bubble playoffs with the Dallas Stars. Carl Soderberg is back for a second stint in Colorado, after being acquired in a trade that sent forwards Ryder Rolston and Josh Dickinson to Chicago. More notable were the players not traded. Los Angeles Kings centre Alex Iafallo and Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton, both pending free agents, had their names come off the market after signing contract extensions. Goalie Linus Ullmark is staying in put in Buffalo after the Sabres had enough promising discussions on an extension to believe a deal can be reached before Ullmark is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season, according to a person with direct knowledge of talks. who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private. The entire trade market was dominated by the salary cap staying flat at $81.5 million, the result of the economic blow suffered by the NHL during the pandemic that hit U.S. sports hard 13 months ago. It led to some interesting deals. The San Jose Sharks had room under the cap to add payroll and land a fourth-round pick from Toronto to broker the trade in which the Maple Leafs acquired Blue Jackets captain Mike Foligno on Sunday. The Detroit Red Wings were in the same position when they landed a fourth-round pick as part of the trade in which the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenceman David Savard from Columbus. The Sabres and Devils were among the NHL’s top sellers, which represented the disparity of the one-time realigned East in which Buffalo and New Jersey’s 24 combined wins are three fewer than each of the division’s top three teams. The Devils continued selling off talent by trading defenceman Dmitry Kulikov to Edmonton, and also parted ways with Sami Vatanen, who was claimed off waivers by Dallas. Buffalo traded Hall after already dealing defenceman Brandon Montour to Florida and centre Eric Staal to Montreal. Hall had turned down the Bruins in free agency last off-season to sign with Buffalo. Failing to help transform the Sabres into contenders, Hall was looking forward to filling a secondary role in Boston. “I don’t want to set expectations too high. I want to come in and win games,” said Hall, who had two goals and 19 points in 37 games. “These last few days, you do some soul-searching and you look back on what you can do better and look forward to the future,” Hall said. “I think the best way to get confidence is to be part of a winning team and to make yourself part of the bigger solution.” ___ AP Hockey Writers Stephen Whyno and Larry Lage, AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen and AP freelance writer Denis Gorman contributed to this report. ___ More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports John Wawrow, The Associated Press
GN Store Nord A/S hereby announces that on April 12, 2021, pursuant to Section 38(1) of the Danish Capital Markets Act, it received a notification from BlackRock, Inc. stating that on April 9, 2021 BlackRock, Inc. held shares and financial instruments, cf. Section 38 and Sections 39(2)(1) and (2) of the Danish Capital Markets Act, representing 5.00% and 0.06%, respectively, (in aggregate 5.06%) of the share capital and voting rights in GN Store Nord A/S. For further information, please contact: Investors and analystsHenriette WennickeVice President – Investor Relations & TreasuryTel: +45 45 75 03 33 Or Rune SandagerDirector – Investor Relations & Treasury Tel: +45 45 75 92 57 Press and the media Lars Otto Andersen-Lange Head of Media Relations & Corporate Public Affairs Tel: +45 45 75 02 55 About GN Group The GN Group enables people to Hear More, Do More and Be More through its intelligent hearing, audio and video collaboration solutions. Inspired by people and driven by our innovation leadership, we leverage technological synergies between our hearing and audio divisions to deliver unique and increasingly individualized user experiences in our products and solutions. 150 years ago, GN was founded with a truly innovative and global mindset. Today, we honor that legacy with world-leading expertise in the human ear, sound and video processing, wireless technology, miniaturization and collaborations with leading technology partners. GN's solutions are marketed by the brands ReSound, Beltone, Interton, Jabra, BlueParrott and FalCom in 100 countries. Founded in 1869, the GN Group employs 6,500 people and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (GN.CO). Visit our homepage GN.com - and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Attachment Announcement 9 - Major shareholder notification
Google's Nest Audio is on sale for $20 off at many online retailers, including Best Buy and Walmart.
Microsoft, on an accelerated growth push, is buying speech recognition company Nuance in a deal worth about $16 billion. The acquisition will get Microsoft deeper into hospitals and the health care industry through Nuance's widely used medical dictation and transcription tools. Microsoft will pay $56 per share cash. That's a 23% premium to Nuance's Friday closing price. The companies value the transaction including debt at $19.7 billion. Shares of Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance surged more than 16% in Monday trading. Nuance has been a pioneer in voice-based artificial intelligence technology and was instrumental in helping to power Apple's digital assistant Siri. It has since shifted its focus to health care, including a product that listens in on exam room conversations between physicians and patients and automatically writes up the doctor's recommendations. “This clinical documentation essentially writes itself, giving physicians time back to focus on patient care,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on a conference call about the deal Monday. Microsoft and Nuance had already formed a business partnership in 2019. That relationship grew during the pandemic, enabling Nuance to bring its patient-physician transcription services into telehealth appointments on Microsoft Teams. The Redmond, Washington, software giant said that the deal will double its potential market in the health care provider industry to nearly $500 billion. “Put Microsoft and Nuance together and it allows Microsoft to go after the exploding health care market, which is on fire right now as it’s modernizing, adopting digital engagement and moving to the cloud,” said Forrester analyst Kate Leggett. Nuance’s products include clinical speech recognition software offerings such as Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One and PowerScribe, all of which are built on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. The companies said Nuance products are used by more than 55% of physicians and 75% of radiologists in the U.S., and by 77% of U.S. hospitals. Its health care cloud revenue grew 37% year-over-year in fiscal 2020. “AI is technology’s most important priority, and health care is its most urgent application,” Nadella said. Microsoft also has its own digital voice assistant, Cortana, but its use has been limited compared to similar consumer-oriented features from Amazon, Google and Apple. Nuance has sought to refine its voice recognition technology beyond consumer use to better understand the complexities of medical language. Aside from health care, Nuance provides voice-related AI technology in other products, including security features that can recognize and authenticate individual voices so they can unlock an online account or enter a building. Nuance also sells automated call centre and customer service chatbot services to retailers, telecommunications firms and other sectors. Scott Guthrie, who leads Microsoft's cloud and AI division, said Monday that Nuance's medical industry expertise could eventually expand to other uses, such as interpreting conversations between financial advisers and their clients. The transaction is Microsoft’s second largest deal following its $26 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. Last September, it bought video game maker ZeniMax for $7.5 billion. Leggett said the Nuance deal fits a push by cloud computing providers like Microsoft to supply “industry-specific AI,” or technology that's tailored to the special needs of the health industry and other sectors. Mark Benjamin will continue as Nuance CEO. The transaction is expected to close this year. It still needs approval from Nuance shareholders. Nuance had 7,100 employees as of September, more than half of whom were outside the U.S. — including crews that help transcribe and edit recorded speech that the AI technology might not fully understand. Matt O'Brien And Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press