We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.
DeepMind Health, computer programmes company, has announced it will start working with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust after signing an agreement to deploy its Streams health app, which helps doctors and nurses spot signs of kidney failure. This will be available at the bedside to alert doctors and nurses to any patients needing immediate assessment and to determine whether the patient has other serious conditions such as acute kidney injury. The app will also allow clinical staff to see all relevant information, such as results of x-rays, scans or blood tests, in one place at the touch of a button. Dr Dominic King, clinical lead at DeepMind Health, said: “The Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is well known for its pioneering approach to healthcare technology, so it’s incredibly exciting to be working with the outstanding clinical team there, on the shared goal of improving outcomes for patients.”
Mindstrong Health, a start-up focused on using smartphones to diagnose and aid treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, has secured $14 million in Series-A funding from investors Foresite Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Optum Ventures and One Mind Brain Health Impact Fund. Mindstrong is a platform that uses the patient’s patterns of scrolling and typing on a smartphone to measure brain function, and provides users information about mood, processing speed, memory and function. “Mindstrong Health’s founding team brings unmatched understanding of the critical challenges surrounding the way in which the medical community cares for patients suffering from cognitive health disorders,” Foresite Capital CEO and Managing Director Jim Tananbaum said in the release.
Backed by funding from the university, Stanford researchers are looking at ways the Apple Watch can improve health outcomes for patients recovering from a stroke and managing a range of behavioural health issues. The research, funded by Centre for Digital Health, launched at the beginning of the year by the Stanford’s School of Medicine as a way to test digital health, developed by Silicon Valley companies. Several of the projects focus on behavioural health diseases, one is based on artificial intelligence to improve “adherence behaviours” in psychiatric patients, and another will use a virtual therapist to improve arm recovery in stroke patients. “Our goal, simply stated, is to enable the Stanford community to do cool stuff to improve health care with technology,” Mintu Turakhia, M.D., associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and senior director of research and innovation at the Center for Digital Health said in an announcement.
RightEye, a company that makes a cloud-based eye-tracking technology system, has announced a new product, a game called Maze Master. The game is designed to improve oculomotor control in children with reading disabilities. “After reading disorders are identified, appropriate interventions and training games are extremely important to enable users to improve their performance and gain essential reading skills over time,” RightEye President Barbara Barclay said in a statement. In Maze Master, users have to use their eyes, tracked via the platform, to move through a maze, ‘popping’ numbers that they encounter along the way, training users to move their eyes in the same patterns used for reading. The company also offers a number of programmes including test and interventions like Mind Maze, dealing with autism, neural disorders and general vision performance.
Your.MD has raised $10 million in a round led by Orkla Ventures and existing investor Smedvig Capital also participated in the round. Your M.D last raised funds in 2015, and this round brings the company’s total funding to $17.3 million. “This invaluable partnership with Orkla enables us to build upon the immense strides we’ve made over the last two years to offer mobile phone users access to personal and trusted pre-primary care guidance, all across the world,” Matteo Berlucchi, Your.MD’s CEO, said in a statement. Your.MD makes a chatbot that’s available on iOS and Android devices as well as messenger platforms Kik, Skype, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. Users can explain what their complaints are to the app via voice or test and enter additional systems, Your.MD will then ask the user questions to improve accuracy of the results. Then, after the data is collected, the app provides the user with information on up to five conditions or illnesses that best match their symptoms and personal profile. Your.MD is also able to sync user data from Apple’s HealthKit platform and Samsung’s S Health platform.
PatientPoint, which makes education and engagement platforms for patients and providers, has raised $140 million in new funding from Searchlight Capital Partners and Silver Point Capital. The company, which provides content through a variety of delivery methods including digital waiting rooms and interactive touchscreens in exam rooms. The firm’s programmes are currently in more than 31,000 doctor’s offices and 1,000 hospitals around the United States, and the company reports some half a billion patient and caregiver visits each year. “We have invested a significant amount of financial and human capital into product development over the past six months to ensure that our programs are truly best in class,” PatientPoint founder and CEO Mike Collette said in a statement. PatientPoint develops all of its content internally, and offers a few information resources, such as PatientPoint Interact, a wall-mounted touchscreen device located in exam rooms for patient education.
A new cardiac scanning device that could save the NHS £200 million a year is being trialled at four of the UK’s largest emergency departments in Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield. The Vitalscan device, which has been developed by Creavo Medical Technologies and could revolutionise the way patients with chest pain are managed in emergency departments, the device works by conducting a non-invasive three to five-minute scan at a patient’s bedside to rule out significant cardiac conditions, such as heart attacks. Steve Parker, CEO of Creavo Medical Technologies says: “Cardiac-related chest pain is one of the biggest issues facing emergency departments in the western world due to the economic burden it places on healthcare services and the disruption it causes to inpatient care. The triage process for someone entering an emergency department with chest pain can take anywhere from six to 24 hours which places a huge amount of strain on resources.”