Things & Thinks-Issue XLVII

Santosh Shevade
5 min readAug 18, 2023

Things & Thinks-Issue XLVII

Sometimes digital may not mean digital, as seen through this article in Sifted about the German health authority’s approach towards DiGA (Digital Health Applications.) For this and many more such insights, read through this 47th edition of my newsletter!.

Research Digest

Smart Devices for Tracking Cardiovascular Health Goals: Insights from a US National Survey

  • A cross-sectional study investigated the patterns of ownership and use of smart devices for tracking key health goals, such as optimizing body weight, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking, among US adults with or at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
  • The study used data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), the largest nationally representative survey of health technology utilization among the noninstitutionalized US adult population.
  • The authors found that the use of smart devices for tracking health goals was more common among younger, more educated, and higher-income individuals, as well as those with a history of CVD or risk factors. The most commonly tracked health goals were physical activity and body weight.
  • The authors suggest that healthcare providers should be aware of the potential for disparities in the use of smart devices for tracking health goals and should consider incorporating these technologies into their patient care strategies.
  • They also highlight the need for further research to better understand the effectiveness of smart device-based interventions for improving cardiovascular health outcomes.

AI, Breast Cancer Diagnosis and RCTs

Andrew Ng wrote a good summary of a trial conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden

  • The study marked a significant step in medical AI testing as it adhered to the gold standard of randomized, controlled trials.
  • In the trial, around 80,000 Swedish women were divided into two groups. The control group underwent traditional mammogram evaluation by two radiologists, while the experimental group’s mammograms were assessed by an AI system called Transpara, a convolutional neural network trained to detect breast tumors.
  • Radiologists then reviewed the AI’s scores and marked potential cancer locations, with additional review required for high-risk cases. The AI-assisted diagnosis achieved a comparable cancer detection rate to the traditional method, showing promise in saving radiologists’ time by reducing their workload without compromising patient safety.
  • However, as noted by Andrew, the study’s method requires further refinement, such as accounting for diverse genetic backgrounds in patients. The authors acknowledge the need for additional research, especially tracking patients from various populations.
  • Although AI’s performance has shown promise in controlled settings, its transition to clinical practice is complex due to variations in data sources and patient demographics.

Digital Healthcare News

Tech in Digital Health

Microsoft launched a new EHR cloud database solution leveraging Azure Large Instances infrastructure in partnership with Epic. Mount Sinai Health System is the first provider to implement the new solution.

Meta disbanded the protein-fielding AI team that created the first database of more than 600mn protein structures, in a signal the company is abandoning purely scientific projects in favour of building moneymaking AI products.

Google Health extended AI mammography deal with iCAD to 20 years and could allow the AI system to serve as a second reader upon regulatory approval.

Amazon Web Services (AMZN) launched HealthScribe, a generative AI-powered service to help doctors cut down on the time spent adding notes to patient records

Amazon added more than 15 new manufacturer-sponsored coupons for insulin brands and diabetes care products to its online pharmacy,
that will be automatically applied during check-out for eligible customers.

Amazon’s virtual clinic is now available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Pharma/Device Brief

GE HealthCare has received 510(k) clearance for, Portrait Mobile, that combines wireless patient-worn sensors with a smartphone-style monitor, enabling hospitals to continuously monitor vital signs while allowing patients to move about the ward.

The drug marketing self-regulatory body in the UK -Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA)- raised concerns over claims made in a podcast called “Heart to Heart” by Novartis about their drug Entresto.

Regulatory/Policy Brief

Funding, Deals, Mergers & acquisitions

Healthmap raised $100M to scale value-based kidney care management for payers, providers.

RapidAI, whose platform leverages deep learning intelligence to help diagnose vascular and neurovascular conditions, raised $75M.

Digital primary care startup K Health picked up $59M; the company has developed a chat function that uses artificial intelligence to suggest potential diagnoses for consumers who enter symptoms and also takes into account the user’s medical history, age and gender.

Flywheel, provider of a medical imaging data and AI platform, raised $54M in Series D funding.

Data analytics company Definitive Healthcare acquired fellow data firm Populi for $52M.

TytoCare raised $49M to explore further use cases of its AI technology provides virtual care via its AI-enabled TytoCare Home Smart Clinic, which allows clinicians to conduct exams remotely.

AI-enabled surgical technology company Proprio raised $43M

VitalConnect, a remote and in-hospital wearable biosensor technology company, raised over $30M

AI-powered senior-focused digital health company CarePredict raised $29M.

Verifiable raised $27M for its healthcare credentialing software with another

Virtual behavioral health provider Better Life Partners Inc. raised $26.5M.

Hippocratic AI, a generative artificial intelligence platform for healthcare, has partnered with three health systems and raised $15 million in funding

Medical data prediction startup GenHealth.AI raised $13 million in seed funding

Other News

Signify Health added new in-home kidney health testing/evaluation as part of their diagnostic and preventive service offerings.

Longread of the Month

Sometimes too much success in healthcare may be problematic, as its difficult to replicate! Two recent examples-Pfizer and Novo Nordisk!

Tweet of the Month

The money-making machine of #healthcare billing codes!

Chart of the Month

This graph talks a lot about the digital health funding landscape in US

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Santosh Shevade

Healthcare Innovation | Outcomes Research | Implementation and Impact