Things & Thinks-Issue XLII

Santosh Shevade
4 min readMar 16, 2023

This is the 42nd edition of Things & Thinks and covers quite a bit of ground on the research brief and digital health news updates. Of course, the ending is always with its own flavor, with Longread, Tweet and Chart o the Month. Happy to hear your thoughts and feedback…

Research Digest

Apple and Google as Gatekeepers for Healthcare Apps

This perspective in Nature Digital Medicine outlines some interesting concepts about the role of Apple and Google, through App Store and Play Store, in manufacturers, distributors and importers of healthcare apps.

It also outlines a process flow, with both current and future provisions by regulators, for app store approval and distribution.

ChatGPT And Healthcare Privacy Risks

This is a short and nice overview of privacy risks while thinking about using ChatGPT in healthcare. It highlights the following areas-

  • Data Access — As mentioned above, ChatGPT’s access to and use of PHI should be limited to specific, authorized purposes and covered entities should ensure proper training and protocols are in place for authorized personnel who access such PHI.
  • Privacy Policies and Procedures — When implementing a new technology that potentially accesses or uses PHI, covered entities should update their HIPAA privacy and security policies to ensure there are safeguards and protocols in place to support the use of the new technology.
  • Business Associate Agreements — Prior to implementing any AI technology that processes, secures or accesses PHI, covered entities should enter into a business associate agreement with the vendor of such technology and ensure that appropriate provisions governing disclosure, use, and protection of such PHI, as well as notification requirements in the event of a data breach, are in place.

Digital Healthcare News

Tech in Digital Health

Amazon rolled out a new prescription drug subscription for Prime members called RxPass that will ship generic medications to customers’ homes for a flat monthly fee of $5.

Google announced various healthcare AI initiatives, including its medical LLM work on Med-PaLM 2 and cancer treatment planning with Mayo Clinic, as well as an open source tool kit for developing digital health tools and new search functionality.

Apple caused a stir in the wearables market, when it was reported that it has developed a proof-of-concept device for needle-free blood glucose monitoring. However the device is still in proof-of-concept stage.

Pharma/Medical Devices Brief announced agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb to enable earlier detection and management of Suspected Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) using its AI algorithm and provider workflow software (VizTM HCM).

Regulatory/Policy Brief

US FDA cleared for marketing the Tidepool Loop, a mobile application intended for use with compatible devices for automated insulin dosing to help manage type 1 diabetes in persons six years of age and older.

Aetion, a startup focusing on real-world evidence in healthcare, announced a five-year research collaboration with the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), to find and analyze sources of real-world data that could be used for research on cancer prevention, clinical care, diagnostics and treatment.

South Korean medtech firm Coreline Soft obtained the US FDA’s 510(k) clearance for its latest AI-powered analysis software for screening lung nodules.

US FTC has been actively pursuing digital health firms with ill-framed data sharing practices. ordered GoodRx and BetterHelp to stop sharing users’ health data with advertisers, and issued $1.5M and $7.8M in fines, respectively.

Funding, Deals, Mergers & acquisitions

Tech-enabled clinical trial platform Paradigm announced its launch alongside a $203 million Series A funding round.

CodaMetrix raised $55M for AI-powered, autonomous medical coding.

Pearl Health, which offers a technology platform for primary care practices in value-based care arrangements, raised $55M.

Healthcare data analytics startup Clearsense raised $50M.

BetterNight, a provider of sleep care through its virtual care platform, raised $33M.

Other News

Akili reported $323,000 in revenue for 2022 compared with $538,000 for 2021.

Longread of the Month

US Federal Trade Commission recently issued some thoughts on Amazon’s acqusition of OneMedical. There are some interesting points here about data sharing and inadequacies of HIPAA.

Tweet of the Month

This journey from Musk acquiring and breaking Twitter, Lilly’s PR nightmare and Lilly capping insulin price $35 a month is priceless!

Chart of the month

Attacks on health care providers doubled between 2016 and 2021, leaving 42 million patients’ data vulnerable, according to a new study in JAMA Health Forum (via Politico).

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Santosh Shevade

Healthcare Innovation | Outcomes Research | Implementation and Impact