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The Word & Brown Companies Recognized for Top Ad Campaigns by Graphic Design USA Health + Wellness Awards

Graphic Design USA has awarded The Word & Brown Companies seven awards in its 2020 Health + Wellness Design Awards competition including two for best advertising campaign. This year’s contest drew a record 2,500+ entries from organizations across the country, with just 10 percent selected as winners in this premier design showcase.

“We are very excited to earn this national recognition for our work, especially for our advertising campaigns,” said Polly Neves, Executive Vice President of Marketing at The Word & Brown Companies. “We scored the second highest number of wins in the Health + Wellness competition this year, a credit to our small, but talented marketing team’s creativity, as well as our agency collaborators, Modera Inc. and Idea Enablers.”

The Word & Brown General Agency won an award for its 2020 advertising. The 2020 campaign allows Word & Brown to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on its decades-long commitment to service and the passion of the people delivering it to brokers and their customers. The ads spotlight different aspects of Word & Brown’s offering in a light and fun way – a break from traditional insurance advertising.

CHOICE Administrators won a Health + Wellness Design Award for its “California Different” ad campaign, which launched in 2019. The ad series celebrates and recognizes the differences of each CaliforniaChoice and ChoiceBuilder insurance broker, small business owner, and member. The company coined the phrase, “what makes you California Different” as an overarching theme to both their external and internal communications. Learn more here.

Other winning GDUSA entries for The Word & Brown Companies include: a CaliforniaChoice teaser campaign for the launch of new plans from Anthem Blue Cross; an email series promoting features of the CalChoice website; online communications to promote the redesigned Word & Brown website; a journal for Word & Brown employees; and a COVID-19 direct mail postcard for Word & Brown.

Graphic Design USA’s Health + Wellness Design Awards recognize traditional medical industries like health services, pharmaceuticals, insurance, senior care, and mental health, as well as fitness, organic foods and natural products, life and work balance, spirituality, and public health and education initiatives. Added for the 2020 competition were COVID-19 communications and CBD/medical cannabis categories.

Graphic Design USA has published an online gallery of its 2020 Health + Wellness Design competition here. You can link to four of The Word Companies entries here.

About The Word & Brown Companies

The Word & Brown Companies are comprised of three distinct businesses. Established in 1985, the Word & Brown General Agency is among the nation’s largest General Agents, with a focus on group and individual and family health insurance. CHOICE Administrators is the parent organization for CaliforniaChoice, the nation’s largest multi-carrier, employee-choice, small group private health exchange, and ChoiceBuilder, the nation’s first ancillary benefits exchange. The Companies also offer two no-cost prescription-drug discount cards, the California Rx Card and Nevada Drug Card, which deliver savings of up to 80 percent on prescription medications at more than 68,000 pharmacies

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AI Assesses Alzheimer’s Risk by Analyzing Word Usage

Artificial intelligence could soon help screen for Alzheimer’s disease by analyzing writing. A team from IBM and Pfizer says it has trained AI models to spot early signs of the notoriously stealthy illness by looking at linguistic patterns in word usage.

Other researchers have already trained various models to look for signs of cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s, by using different types of data, such as brain scans and clinical test results. But the latest work stands out because it used historical information from the multigenerational Framingham Heart Study, which has been tracking the health of more than 14,000 people from three generations since 1948. If the new models’ ability to pick up trends in such data holds up in forward-looking studies of bigger and more diverse populations, researchers say they could predict the development of Alzheimer’s a number of years before symptoms become severe enough for typical diagnostic methods to pick up. And such a screening tool would not require invasive tests or scans. The results of the Pfizer-funded and IBM-run study were published on Thursday in EClinicalMedicine.

The new AI models provide “an augmentation to expert practitioners in how you would see some subtle changes earlier in time, before the clinical diagnosis has been achieved,” says Ajay Royyuru, vice president of health care and life sciences research at IBM. “It might actually alert you to some changes that [indicate] you ought to then go do a more complete exam.”

To train these models, the researchers used digital transcriptions of handwritten responses from Framingham Heart Study participants who were asked to describe a picture of a woman who is apparently preoccupied with washing dishes while two kids raid a cookie jar behind her back. These descriptions did not preserve the handwriting from the original responses, says Rhoda Au, director of neuropsychology at the Framingham study and a professor at Boston University. (Her team was responsible for transcribing data for the new paper but did not participate beyond that.) Yet even without the physical handwriting, IBM says its main AI model was able to detect linguistic features that are sometimes related to early signs of cognitive impairment. They include certain misspellings, repeated words and the use of simplified phrases rather than grammatically complex sentences. This evidence is in line with clinicians’ understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease can impact language, Royyuru says.

The main model achieved 70 percent accuracy in predicting which of the Framingham participants eventually developed dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 85. This result was based on historical data rather than actually predicting future events, however—and there are other caveats to the new paper as well.

The AI focused on the oldest group of Framingham study participants, who mostly represent a non-Hispanic white population. This limits how much the results can be generalized to more diverse communities in the U.S. and the rest of the world, Au notes. It also remains unclear how the AI would perform in larger populations: the EClinicalMedicine study’s data set

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