Things & Thinks-Issue XLIV

Santosh Shevade
4 min readMay 10, 2023

This 44th edition of my newsletter, with a bit of a refurbished look, contains interesting research in digital health, the usual news round up and the monthly Longread, Tweet and Chart of the Month sections. Happy Reading!

Research Digest

Chatbots, Patients and Empathy

Amongst all the chatter about generative AI, Large Learning Models and its impact on healthcare, one thing that has been of debate is how much ‘human’ can a AI-operated chatbot may sound. In an interesting study conducted by Ayers et al, the answer seems to be chatbot responded with better empathy and quality!

I really like what Eric Topol notes in his newsletter-

These ideas need much further assessment and validation. Nevertheless, they reflect new exciting possibilities for both clinicians and patients that we have not seen before in the history of healthcare. It’s all under the general heading of using machines to make humans more humane.

Digital Healthcare News

Tech in Digital Health

Apple is working on an AI-powered health coaching service and new technology for tracking emotions.The new coaching service — codenamed Quartz — is designed to keep users motivated to exercise, improve eating habits and help them sleep better, using AI and data from an Apple Watch to make suggestions and create coaching programs tailored to specific users.

Amazon will shut down its Halo Health division, effective July 31 including Amazon Halo View, Halo Band, Halo Rise and a bunch of accessories.

Amazon announced new features of Alexa Smart Properties (ASP) for Healthcare.

Microsoft and Epic expanded strategic collaboration with integration of Azure OpenAI Service

Philips will partner with AWS to bring Philips HealthSuite Imaging PACS to the cloud and advance AI-enabled tools in support of clinicians

Pharma/Devices Brief

Boehringer Ingelheim will work with RetinAI to support its attempt to develop treatments for geographic atrophy (GA), to apply AI tools to its imaging data in a search for novel biomarkers and predictors of disease progression.

Sanofi will use Flatiron Health’s EHR-to-EDC product called Flatiron Clinical Pipe to improve clinical trial data acquisition, delivery, and quality through transferring data captured in the electronic health record (EHR) directly into the electronic data capture (EDC) system.

Regulatory/Policy Brief

Funding, Deals, Mergers & acquisitions

Arcadia (Arcadia.io), a data analytics platform for healthcare, raised $125M.

MedShift raised $108M to advance its specialty device subscription, connected medical devices and Velocity technology suite.

Digital behavioral health benefits company Spring Health raised $71M.

Recuro Health, an integrated digital health solutions company, raised $47M.

Memora Health raised $30M to scale up complex care management solution.

Patient billing and communications platform Inbox Health raised $22.5M

Hygieia, a digital therapeutics company for insulin therapy, raised $22M.

Other News

According to Rock Health venture funding data, 34% of digital health startups that raised in Q1 2023 sold directly to consumers, compared to 41% in 2021.

Blackstone is testing a personalized advice program from startup Twin Health, using AI to analyze data from glucose monitors, activity trackers and surveys.

Longread of the Month

This commentary, associated with the ‘empathy research’ from the Research Digest, discusses fantastic points about LLMs in healthcare.

Tweet of the Month

This tongue-in-cheek tweet thred by @MaartenvSmeden does a fantastic job of what’s wrong with healthcare prediction models! My favorite-Number 3!

Chart of the Month

Not exactly a chart, but this xkcd cartoon sums up so many of my thoughts on AI in Healthcare!

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Santosh Shevade

Healthcare Innovation | Outcomes Research | Implementation and Impact