Things & Thinks XXIX
This, the 29th edition of Things & Thinks, will be the last edition of the year 2021. A lot of news about tech in digital health, about several new deals and M&A and a beautiful long read about public health’s conundrum! Happy reading and see you in the new year!
- Sepsis early detection has been a favorite AI use case but as we do more research, we have realized the shortcomings of the current approach include alert fatigue. Between 3 and 4 weeks after its first COVID-19 hospitalization, the University of Michigan paused ESM-generated alerts in April 2020 after nursing reports of overalerting. According a new study, in the 3 weeks before and after the first case of COVID-19 in each US health system studies, the proportion of patients generating sepsis alerts per day more than doubled from 9% to 21%. The total number of alerts per day increased by 43% despite the lower hospital census.
- Adversarial inputs can pose a risk to many algorithmic decision making tools, e.g. in computer vision driven algorithms. A study published in Nature Communications, the adversarial samples fooled the AI-CAD model to output a wrong diagnosis on 69.1% of the cases that were initially correctly classified by the AI-CAD model.
- A study conducted using a decade of data from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health system, representing 21 hospitals and associated ambulatory practices on the same electronic health record (EHR) found that applying rigorous and prespecified diagnostic criteria to electronic health record data was associated with a more than 2-fold increase in the number of hospitalizations for Worsening Heart Failure identified compared with estimates using a principal discharge diagnosis alone.
Digital Healthcare news
- Tech in Digital Health: 320 million consumer health and wellness wearable devices will ship worldwide in 2022, according to Deloitte. CVS Health and Microsoft are forming a strategic alliance to co-develop products around the areas of personalized care and digital health. Chipmaker NVIDIA announced the launch of FLARE (Federated Learning Application Runtime Environment), an open-source software platform offering a common computing foundation designed to improve collaboration on AI model development in healthcare. Amazon and Vocera teamed up on new Alexa skill for patients in hospitals. Alphabet launched Isomoprhic Laboratories, an AI drug discovery venture built on DeepMind’s protein-folding expertise.
- Regulatory/Policy Brief: USFDA approved EaseVRx, a prescription-use immersive virtual reality (VR) system, that uses cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral methods to help with pain reduction in patients 18 years of age and older with diagnosed chronic lower back pain. Sound Life Sciences got its app for breath sensing cleared under USFDA 510(K) pathway-the app can be used with a prescription to track respiration rates for patients with issues like COPD, asthma, congestive failure, and anxiety. GE’s Critical Care Suite 2.0 received FDA clearance, it is an AI platform embedded on a mobile X-ray device to automatically calculate measurements during scans, triage cases and oversee quality controls.
- Mergers & acquisitions: Biocon and Viatris are planning to merge biosimilar businesses and plan IPO after merger. Phreesia, a health startup focused on the scheduling space, announced its purchase of patient engagement company Insignia Health for an undisclosed sum. Private-equity firms Hellman & Friedman LLC and Bain Capital agreed to buy Athenahealth, that offers software that can help organize patient visits, document patient records and simplify payments for $17 billion,
- On the Pharma-AI side, Roche signed a multi-year deal with Recursion to use AI/ML in drug discovery for neuroscience and oncology while Sanofi inked $270M cancer AI deal with R&D platform developer Owkin. Bayer will collaborate with AI-based assessment platform Ada Health, to help visitors to Bayer websites for Aspirin, Aleve, Midol, Cenesten and Iberogast to access Ada’s intelligent symptom assessment platform.
- Medanta, a multi-speciality medical group in India, has partnered with Qure.ai to implement the latter’s artificial intelligence software to enhance chest x-ray analysis.
- UK health secretary Sajid Javid and US health secretary Xavier Becerra announced a joint review into systemic racism and bias in medical devices to examine why people of colour and women have worse health outcomes.
📊Healthcare Chart of the Month:
There is a lot to unpack in this chart, part of RockHealth’s survey on consumer adoption of telemedicine. What stands out for me- increase in utility of health app/website, most patients still prefer in-person care.
👀Healthcare Tweet of the Month:
Get ready, the web3 hype will soon be coming to healthcare!
📘Healthcare Longread of the Month:
This overview of public health and its confusions is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the tug-of-war between healthcare focused on individuals vs larger public.