We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.
IDC predicted that worldwide spending on artificial intelligence and cognitive computing technologies are set to rise by 60 percent to $12.5 billion this year – and will leap to $46 billion by 2020. Healthcare professionals believe that AI will have the greatest immediate impact on population health managements programs, patient diagnosis, clinical decision support and precision medicine. “Intelligent applications based on cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning are the next wave of technology transforming how consumers and enterprises work, learn, and play,” IDC research director David Schubmehl said.
LOROS hospice, based in Leicester, has given bedridden patients the chance to go for a ‘walk’ through the park with the help of virtual reality headsets. Believed to be a UK first, terminally ill people were shown a 360-degree video of a local beauty, with a view of the landscape and people enjoying themselves, which LOROS commissioned to be filmed. The hospice’s chief executive, John Knight, said: ‘This is a really exciting project for us, and I believe we are the first hospice in the country to have specifically commissioned such a film as a therapeutic tool using a familiar local setting.”
Healthcare company, NextGen, which provides EHR, financial, and HIE solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physician practices, has acquired healthcare mobile solutions company Entrada. Due to its mobile functionality and integration with clinical systems, Entrada’s system can become a necessary part of the daily clinical workflow for physicians, whilst focusing on improving clinical workflows and creating opportunities for additional provider and patient engagement, said Entrada CEO Bill Brown.
Onkos Surgical, a medtech company focused on surgical oncology, is trying to penetrate an orthopaedic device market dominated by industry giants such as Stryker and Biomet. With a $17.6 million Series B funding round recently snapped up, how will they compete against them? To connect with the orthopedic oncologist crowd, Onkos has deployed a hybrid sales team and signed a distribution agreement with Vivex Biomedical, but their short-term aim is to be a first-in-class-orthopedic oncology company. Longer-term, Onkos wants to make a bigger move against the industry Goliaths.
Siemens Healthineers has bought Medicalis Corp, a health care technology company with offices in San Francisco and Ontario, adding in 42 employees for the business. Medicalis is set to add into Siemens’s services in population health management, the term used to describe the practice of keeping track of patients even when they are not in the clinic.
OrCam pioneered the OrCam MyEye glasses that have allowed a blind man to see. The glasses have a tiny smart camera that can recognise text and even people’s face, whilst speaking to the person wearing them through a pair of headphones. Mark Bilton, who was born deaf and diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age at 19, said the glasses have made a massive difference to his life, “I couldn’t read things off paper but with these glasses I can have it read to me and pick it up in my hearing aids.” he said.
ClearDATA has raised $12 million to back its HIPAA compliant cloud and to finance the company’s expansion. The new investment adds to the $25 million ClearDATA raised in a previous round of funding. ClearData intends to use the new funding to continue combining technology aspects of the cloud with the compliance, regulatory and security functions that healthcare organisations need, the company said. “Mission-driven healthcare organizations want to stay focused on caring for patients, building great software, or serving their members, not on being IT security or compliance experts,” said ClearDATA CEO Darin Brannan.
Your Apple smartwatch could soon help monitor your blood sugar levels. Reports suggest Apple has hired a group of biomedical engineers who are secretly working on developing sensors to monitor glucose levels, a potentially life-changing development for people living with diabetes, the idea created by the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. If successful, the device would help monitor important vitals, such as oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood glucose non-invasively. Whilst the Apple watch can only currently monitor your heart rate and track your activity, if these secret trials go to plan it could transform the smart device into a revolutionary health accessory.