The Fourth Wave: Digital Health Newsletter — Dec 17, 2018 — No. 116
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GLOBAL EVENT LIST
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Pear Therapeutics has received FDA clearance for its reSET-O system as a treatment for patients recovering from opioid abuse disorder. According to the FDA’s announcement, reSET-O is used “to help increase retention (the amount of time a patient participates) in an outpatient treatment program for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD). The reSET-O app is a prescription cognitive behavioral therapy intended to be used in addition to outpatient treatment under the care of a health care professional, in conjunction with treatment that includes buprenorphine and contingency management. Contingency management is a behavior modification intervention that establishes a connection between new, targeted behavior and the opportunity to obtain a desired reward.”
A new patent application by Amazon combines face surveillance with Ring, the smart doorbell camera company acquired by Amazon earlier this year. The system would enable homeowners and the police to match the faces of people walking with images of “suspicious” people contained in a photo database. Moreover, homeowners can add photos of people they deem to be “suspicious” into the system. Jacob Snow, a Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, states that “Amazon is dreaming of a dangerous future, with its technology at the center of a massive decentralized surveillance network, running real-time facial recognition on members of the public using cameras installed in people’s doorbells.” Snow adds that “The ACLU and other civil rights groups have repeatedly warned that face surveillance poses an unprecedented threat to civil liberties and civil rights that must be stopped before it becomes widespread. The history of discriminatory government surveillance makes clear that face surveillance will disproportionately harm people already targeted by the government and subjected to racial profiling and abuse—immigrants, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated.”
In related news, Taylor Swift concert-goers viewing a screen playing rehearsal clips were unwittingly scanned by a facial recognition system seeking to identify the singer’s known stalkers.
LIVING & SOCIETY
Anti-robot vigilantes in Arizona are trying to scare off Waymo’s self-driving cars. According to The Arizona Republic, “People have thrown rocks at Waymos. The tire on one was slashed while it was stopped in traffic. The vehicles have been yelled at, chased and one Jeep was responsible for forcing the vans off roads six times.”
Vitaminwater has announced a promotional contest that will result in it giving $100,000 to someone who can ditch their smartphone for a year. And even if someone is able to make it just six months, they will receive $10,000.
A group of people who had to abandon their capsized boat off the coast of Okinawa, Japan were able to use an iPhone to call for help.
Bad news if you’re a Google-based Android smartphone user, as unlike the Apple iPhone X, it was unable to defend against being opened using face-unlocking with 3D-printed replicas of a human head.
Facebook revealed that a bug in a photo API gave app developers access to the photos of millions of users, including images that they had uploaded but never shared. The bug also allowed developers to access user’s timeline photos, Facebook Stories, and Marketplace photos.
A recent experiment involving giving people fake DNA test results found that this knowledge can produce a placebo effect. In the study, people who were told they had the high-risk version of a gene linked to their capacity for aerobic exercise ran for a smaller amount of time than they did before the study. Also, people who were told they had the protective version of a gene linked to hunger cues, reported being less hungry than before.
REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS
“Today, the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) published a report that highlights the agency’s findings, in general, on the five software functions excluded from the device definition by the 21st Century Cures Act. These software functions range from software that offers administrative support to a health care facility to software that helps patients keep a healthy lifestyle but is not specific to a treatment of a disease, among others. The FDA found these software functions have more benefits than risks to patient safety and health. The report also details best practices related to implementation and training that could promote safety, education, and competency.”
“As digital health technologies develop at an increasing pace, we’ve worked with partners to develop standards that ensure new technologies are clinically effective and offer economic value.
The aim of these standards is to make it easier for innovators and commissioners to understand what good levels of evidence for digital healthcare technologies look like, while meeting the needs of the health and care system, patients, and users.”
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Copyright © 2018 Paul Sonnier, Story of Digital Health
Advisor ⋅ Author ⋅ Speaker ⋅ Technologist ⋅ Social Entrepreneur
Book: The Fourth Wave: Digital Health
Founder, Digital Health group on LinkedIn
Creator, Story of Digital Health
San Diego, CA, USA