Things & Thinks-Issue XLVI

Santosh Shevade
4 min readJul 12, 2023

This is the 46th edition of my newsletter! Some interesting research in digital health, the usual news round up and the monthly Mental Model, Longread, Tweet and Chart of the Month sections.

Research Digest

eTRANSAFE

As reported by Nature, thirteen pharmaceutical companies have shared and integrated preclinical and clinical data for creating computational resources that enhance translational drug safety assessment. Some highlights-

  • eTRANSAFE project gathered information from more than 10,000 toxicology studies carried out by thirteen benchmark pharmaceutical companies, such as Bayer, Roche and Boehringer.
  • The data collected, along with other data taken from public databases, has been entered into the ToxHub platform; a unique system created so that all the project members can explore and exploit information on drug safety.
  • It also developed ‘Flame’, an open-source machine learning application to simply build, maintain and share models that predict the biological properties of new compounds.

Note bloat, and physician burden

A study by Epic Research of 1.7 billion clinical notes over a three-year period found an increase in the use of digital tools and copy/paste functionality correlated with longer notes and a decrease in the average time spent writing notes.

Here are some interesting findings-

  • The average note length across all clinical notes increased 8.1%, from 4,628 characters in May 2020 to 5,002 characters in April 2023.
  • However, despite these increases in note length, the average time spent writing notes decreased 11.1% over this same period, from an average of 5.4 minutes per note to 4.8 minutes per note. Additionally, providers are spending less time in clinical review activities in the EHR.

Digital Healthcare News

Tech in Digital Health

Google’s cloud business is expanding its use of new artificial intelligence technologies in health care, giving medical professionals at Mayo Clinic the ability to quickly find patient information using the types of tools powering the latest chatbots.

National Health Service England signed a $940 million contract with Microsoft to license its Office 365 and security software, to maximise time for care

AWS announced new FHIR capabilities to Amazon HealthLake to help with ONC and CMS compliance, reduce complex data exports, boost interoperability and maintain compliance with federal API and data exchange rules.

Nuance Communications and Epic announced wider availability of Nuance’s Dragon Ambient eXperience Express technology, hosted in Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, to Epic customers.

Alphabet’s Verily announced a multiyear research project with L’Oreal to collect data from thousands of women about their skin and hair health.

Pharma/Devices Brief

U.S. consumers doubled their use of wearable healthcare devices, including smartwatches, wearable monitors and fitness trackers, between 2020 and 2021, according to a new survey from AnalyticsIQ.

Regulatory/Policy Brief

U.K.’s Huma received FDA 510(k) Class II clearance, in partnership with Health Canada through the FDA’s joint eStar program, for its configurable disease-agnostic Software as a Medical Device platform, which includes the company’s cardiovascular risk score algorithm.

South Korean medical AI company SpassMed has received the United States Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) clearance for its AI-powered sepsis detection software.

The World Health Organization signed an agreement with HL7 to jointly develop guidelines and advance the adoption of open interoperability standards that WHO says are critical to the development of equitable and evidence-based digital health.

Funding, Deals, Mergers & acquisitions

Thermo Fisher announced acqusition of real-world evidence company CorEvitas for $913M.

Health technology company Aledade raised $260M.

Yuvo Health, a tech-enabled platform to support federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), raised $20.2M.

Caraway, a virtual care startup focused on providing mental, physical and reproductive healthcare for Generation Z, raised $16.75M.

Outbound AI, a company offering AI-powered virtual agents that perform administrative tasks, raised $16M.

Other News

Clinic chain Carbon Health launched an AI tool that combines audio recordings of patient appointments and other information to generate a medical chart. The new tool, based on OpenAI Inc.’s GPT-4, also creates instructions for patient care and codes for diagnoses and billing.

Paige expanded its AI tools for breast cancer diagnosis to reduce subjectivity, manual tasks for pathologists

Longread of the Month

This insight piece by McKinsey makes some interesting points about pharma and digital.

Tweet of the Month

With the hype of LLMs slowly coming to baseline, domain specific models will win.

Chart of the Month

This is a stunning graph of the R&D prowess from China

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Santosh Shevade

Healthcare Innovation | Outcomes Research | Implementation and Impact