Things & Thinks-Issue XLV

Santosh Shevade
5 min readJun 7, 2023

This is the 45th edition of my newsletter! It 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

AI, Pharma and Drug Discovery

Two rcent articles highlight the promises as well as limitations of applications of artificial intelligence in the pharma industry especially focusing on drug discovery.

  • Bentwich reviews the field in ‘Pharma’s Bio-AI revolution’ with an overview of the field, explaining in detail the ‘safety prediction challenge’ and then going into details of how AI/ML technologies are being applied. Finally, the article describes how these innovative technologies still cannot help in getting successful drug targets into the clinical development phase.
  • The second article, a more succint and hard-hitting one, is by Derek Lowe. In ‘AI and the Hard Stuff, he takes up reorganization/layoffs happening at Benevolent AI. The following paragraphs sum it up-

BenevolentAI used to say stuff like this: “. . .BenevolentAI has created a bioscience machine brain, purpose-built to discover new medicines and cures for disease. Proprietary algorithms perform sophisticated reasoning on over 50 billion ingested and contextualised facts to extract knowledge and generate complex insights into the cause of diseases that have, until now, eluded human understanding.” This is a hard, hard, business, and I hope that AI helps us out, because God knows we need it. But getting that to work is another hard, hard business all its own.

9 Healthcare Megatrends

Health Affairs wrote a 3 part series megatrends in healthcare (1, 2, 3) mainly considering the US healthcare system. All 3 parts make some excellent points about each of these megatrends-

  • Merging Of Payers And Providers — Amplifying Value-Based Payments
  • Reducing Upcoding And Other Gaming Of Medicare Advantage
  • Ever More Automation
  • Hospital Closures And Concentration
  • Transformation Of Remote Patient Monitoring Into Remote Patient Management
  • Expansion Of Comprehensive Primary Care
  • Mental Health Parity
  • Improved Maternity And Newborn Care
  • Enhancing Critical Non-Health Care Services

Digital Healthcare News

Tech in Digital Health

Google Cloud launched A.I.-powered tools- Target and Lead Identification Suite and Multiomics Suite to accelerate drug discovery, precision medicine

Google is expanding its medical large language model (LLM) Med-PaLM 2 to enable it to analyze images and respond to questions.

PulseAI’s algorithm for detecting atrial arrhythmias outperformed the software built into the Apple Watch in a prospective observational study.

The Apple watchOS 10 will allow users to track their emotions and moods, connect with mental health resources and measure time spent outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia.

Canary Speech is partnering with Microsoft to apply its AI technology to expand its machine learning speech models for healthcare.

Pharma/Devices brief

Bayer launched a Precision Health unit focusing on consumer-facing digital health tools.

Regulatory/Policy Brief

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Veterans Health Administration will create “digital stockpiles” to improve the resilience of domestic supply chains during emergencies, shortages and pandemics.

GE HealthCare received FDA 510(k) clearance for its Precision DL deep learning image processing software.

Samsung Galaxy Watch received FDA clearance for AFib monitoring

U.S. Federal Trade Commission proposed including more vendors of personal health records that access, or send unsecured PHR-identifiable data, in its rule governing health data sharing and unauthorized protected health information disclosure notifications.

Funding, Deals, Mergers & acquisitions

Digital health guidance platform Amino raised $80M.

Hippocratic AI, a generative AI company developing safety-focused large language models for healthcare, launched with $50M in seed funding.

Carrum Health, a digital marketplace allowing employers to purchase bundled healthcare services, raised $45M

Embr Labs raised $35M its thermoregulating wristband for women going through menopause.

Prognos Health, a real-world integrated data marketplace, raised $23m

Hyro raised $20M to continue its work integrating conversational AI into healthcare workflows.

Axuall raised $20M to connect healthcare organizations to a pool of data offering insights for planning, analytics and reporting.

Adonis, a startup offering a revenue cycle automation platform purpose-built for healthcare, raised $17.3M.

Lifeforce, a provider of a clinically integrated health optimization platform, raised $12M.

Other News

The American Psychological Association (APA), One of the most prominent mental health organizations in the U.S., issued its first-ever health advisory on social media use Tuesday, addressing mounting concerns about how social networks designed for adults can negatively impact adolescents.

CVS Health will close down its clinical trials arm just two years after its launch

The Department of Veterans Affairs renegotiated its contract with Oracle Cerner for better accountability for tech glitches and patient safety issues with its EHR project.

Carbon Health launched of hands-free charting — an AI-enabled notes assistant — in its proprietary EHR across each of its clinics and providers.

Suki has integrated its AI voice-powered tool, Suki Assistant, into Epic’s electronic health record software.

Longread of the Month

This piece in New Yorker -The assumptions doctors make- explains, through fascinating narratives, oft-hidden facets of managing healthcare, as a healthcare provider. Here’s a snippet-

I was starting to realize that its perfect world, in which medicine straightforwardly confronted disease, was a fiction.

Tweet of the Month

As Apple launched the spectacular Vision Pro, there were a lot of funny memes; this one is really good!

Chart of the Month

This is a fascinating chart, still a lot to be done!

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Santosh Shevade

Healthcare Innovation | Outcomes Research | Implementation and Impact