The Daily Dose: Video game to aid healing from COVID-19; Chinese vaccine holding the line in Brazil.

La Soufriere volcano fired an enormous amount of ash and hot gas early Monday in the biggest explosive eruption yet since volcanic activity began on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent late last week, with officials worried about the lives of those who have refused to evacuate. Experts called it a “huge explosion” that generated pyroclastic flows down the volcano’s south and southwest flanks.

Akili, which made history last summer by earning regulatory clearance for the first video-game based therapy, now plans to test if its software can help adults suffering from Covid “brain fog.” Two randomized remote studies, one conducted by Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the other by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will assess whether AKL-T01, the treatment that Akili commercially markets for ADHD as EndeavorRx, can help improve cognition symptoms in Covid survivors.

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Microsoft will shell out $19.7 billion cash for Nuance, its largest acquisition by far since it scooped up LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. That headline price represents $56 per share, approximately 23% above Nuance’s closing price on April 9, the last full trading day before the acquisition plans were made public. The deal is expected to close by year-end. With Nuance’s speech recognition and conversational AI software under its umbrella, Microsoft will expand its push to bring cloud-based AI tools to the healthcare industry on a broader scale.The tech giant figures the new products expand its target market in the clinical field to $500 billion.

Preliminary results from a large study of health care workers now suggest one dose of CoronaVac, a vaccine developed by a Chinese company, is still about 50% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in a Brazilian city where more than three-fourths of new cases are caused by the highly transmissible variant known as P.1. That real-world protection is about the same level clinical trials saw with two doses of CoronaVac against the standard, or “wild type,” pandemic coronavirus in the country, suggesting the variant’s mutations have not increased SARS-CoV-2’s ability to evade vaccine-evoked immune responses.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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