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The FDA has approved Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Abilify MyCite digital pill for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults. The pill contains a sensor that communicates to a wearable patch when the patient has ingested the medication. The wearable patch relays this information to a mobile app that enables patients to track ingestion of the medication. It also allows them to share this information with their caregivers and physicians. The ingestible sensor used in the Abilify MyCite pill is made by Proteus Digital Health and was first permitted for marketing by the FDA in 2012.
uBiome has launched SmartJane, the first women’s health screening test that checks multiple conditions—including HPV, STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and mycoplasma genitalium), and other vaginal factors—all from one sample. SmartJane also measures 23 other vaginal flora, but the company indicates it does not screen for cancer and is not intended to replace traditional Pap smears or ‘well woman visits’. It is only available with a valid lab test order from a healthcare provider. According to a report in TechCrunch, the genetic testing aspects of uBiome’s tests set it apart from other at-home tests like MyLabBox and EverlyWell in that genotyping of organisms can help determine the seriousness of the strain.
Jennifer Gardy and Nicholas Lomana have published a new paper in Nature: “Towards a genomics-informed, real-time, global pathogen surveillance system”. Abstract: “The recent Ebola and Zika epidemics demonstrate the need for the continuous surveillance, rapid diagnosis and real-time tracking of emerging infectious diseases. Fast, affordable sequencing of pathogen genomes — now a staple of the public health microbiology laboratory in well-resourced settings — can affect each of these areas. Coupling genomic diagnostics and epidemiology to innovative digital disease detection platforms raises the possibility of an open, global, digital pathogen surveillance system. When informed by a One Health approach, in which human, animal and environmental health are considered together, such a genomics-based system has profound potential to improve public health in settings lacking robust laboratory capacity.”
After UK doctors threatened court action to prevent the NHS and Babylon Health from deploying their smartphone-based video telehealth consultation service because it “risked favouring the well above the ill”, Babylon’s CEO Ali Parsa announced that the app would be “available to all GPs to use for their own patients if they wish, starting with a population of 2 million in London.” Tom Breeze, Babylon’s business development manager, added that this was being done to address criticism that the “technology in the NHS gave us an unfair advantage over your local GP service” and that this is “all part of our mission to put accessible and affordable healthcare into the hands of everyone on the planet.”
According to a new report presented at the 2017 American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, the digital divide is affecting how some providers use EHRs. Looking at data from nearly 3,000 medical-surgical acute care hospitals in the United States, University of Michigan researchers found that larger hospitals in urban areas were much more likely to use a comprehensive EHR system as opposed to a more basic EHR system. According to, Julie Adler-Milstein, PhD, now at UCSF: “We do need to consider what we can be doing to help safety-net hospitals make sure that they are able to continue their adoption trajectory and invest in some of these more substantive and important capabilities.”
PRODUCT / COMPANY DEMISE
A new story in Fast Company details how Remedy wanted to cut people’s medical bills, but the healthcare system’s “antiquated and uncooperative billing practices” made it virtually impossible. The story in Fast Company is dated today, but the goodbye post by CEO Victor Echevarria is from July.
Medtronic has emerged as the big winner in the $1.7B U.S. insulin pump market after J&J recently exited the space. When J&J stopped selling its Animas insulin pumps in North America, it began suggesting that customers use devices and supplies made by competitor Medtronic.
Apple’s GymKit has launched in Australia. The feature enables automatic syncing of workout and activity data between the Apple Watch and compatible gym equipment.
Bose has launched an Indiegogo campaign to find testers for its upcoming totally wireless, noise-masking earphones called ‘Sleepbuds’. The Sleepbuds incorporate technology developed by Hush, a San Diego-based startup.
Digital patient relationship platform Welkin Health has landed $8M in funding for its digital monitoring system for diabetics. The company currently supports 1,300 case managers who work with 200,000 patients.
Indonesia’s Alodokter has closed a $7M round of funding to continue growing its health information platform that already counts over 12 million monthly active users. The company is also planning to introduce a hospital comparison app.
Medigate has received $5.35M to help grow its service offering that protects connected medical devices from cyberattacks. Lead investors include YL Ventures and Blumberg Capital.
Digital Health World Congress 2017 (Winter Edition)
Nov 29-30 in London, UK
The leading technology digital healthcare conference in London, UK and Europe.
Digital Medicine and Medtech Showcase 2018
Jan 8-10 in San Francisco, CA (alongside JP Morgan)
At the intersection of technology and medicine: Digital Medicine & Medtech Showcase
XPOMET Convention 2018
The Convention for Innovation and High-Tech in Medicine
March 21-23 in Leipzig, Germany
Please contact me for options on event promotion, including having your event featured at the top of this list, featured in my weekly Digital Health group announcements, and on Twitter, where I’m the #1 influencer in #DigitalHealth and highly ranked in #IoT and #WearableTech.
SUBMITTING AN EVENT
Please provide the event name, date(s), event website link (direct and not a shortened url), one-paragraph event description, the venue name, and location (city and country). Not all events are relevant to digital health and webinars are typically not allowed, but you can ask me about promotion options.
Copyright © 2017 Paul Sonnier
Social Entrepreneur ⋅ Speaker ⋅ Consultant
Contributing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today
Founder, Digital Health group on LinkedIn ⋅ 50,000+ members
Creator, Story of Digital Health
San Diego, CA, USA