You’re reading the web edition of STAT Health Tech, our guide to how technology is transforming the life sciences. Sign up to receive this newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday.
Digital health tightens its belt
Digital health is facing a wave of layoffs the likes of which it has not seen since the start of the pandemic. Economic pressure is hitting every industry, and traditional and tech-savvy companies are using the workforce as a relief valve. But the boost is particularly severe for health technologies, which have seen unprecedented growth and investment in the past two years. Name raised $540 million in a single round last May; now it is laying off 495 employees, many of whom are wellness coaches. Carbon Health went on an acquisition spree and lost 250. Online Pharmacy DivvyDose promised to hire for hundreds of positions and cut 62.
The list continues: Thirty Madison remove 24 employees after the merger with Nurxand realpill said it has laid off 15% of its workforce. These losses don’t necessarily reflect the promise of digital health startups, but some of the contraction is a direct response to recently exposed cracks in their foundations. Cerebral faces an undisclosed number of layoffs on July 1 following the federal investigation into its ADHD drug prescribing practices and companies in the industry, including those focused on ADHD Ahead, have simply closed up shop. Whether it’s a temporary gesture of protection or a response to a fundamental flaw, the tightening of the belt is probably far from over.
FDA clears Parkinson’s app for Apple Watch
The Food and drug administration has licensed software to track symptoms of Parkinson’s disease using sensors in the apple watch, reports Mario. The Neurological Data Boot StrivePD System Rune Laboratories keeps track of the patient’s tremors and dyskinetic symptoms using Apple’s Movement Disorders API, and allows these to be displayed to clinicians – some of whom have used the system at University of California San Francisco and Mount Sinai. Despite Apple’s own work demonstrating tracking of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, it said it has no plans to market movement disorder monitoring. But the authorization could nonetheless turn the watch into a more regular part of Parkinson’s care, if only because it allows clinicians to use certain billing codes when reviewing data from the device.
Will Oracle be a pioneer or an equally popular one?
reactions to Oracle President Larry Ellison’s promise to create a “national health records database” in the wake of his Cerner acquisitions ranges from eye-rolling to cautious optimism. Following the data aggregator playbook, Ellison emphasized the most altruistic goals — improved patient care and better public health research — committing to creating a very detailed repository. patient information. However, this information compiled by other data miners is often focused on generating private profit rather than broader public benefits. It also remains to be seen whether Oracle will get regulatory support and cooperation from customers and other health record vendors to launch such a database. Mohana has the whole story.
When the AI solution is worse than the problem
This is a common problem in predicting health outcomes: if the dataset to train a model is heavily focused on people with the condition the AI is trying to predict, it may struggle to identify with precision patients who do not have this condition, and vice versa. But a new study published in JAMIE finds that proposed solutions – which involve adding more examples of the minority outcome – often make matters worse for patients from the minority class, resulting in lower accuracy and greater calibration defect. The authors call for further study of sampling fixes applied to other types of AI prediction models, such as random forests and neural networks.
Dollars, data and offers
- Capital RXa company building a technology platform to enable transparency in prescription drug pricing, raised $106 million in a Series C funding round led by Capital B. The company is trying to expand the use of its lead product, dubbed JUDI, to improve the delivery of complicated prescription drugs.
- Mayo Clinic reached an agreement to license anonymized data on 10 million patients to the medical device company Becton Dickinson. BD said it plans to use AI to analyze data to develop new products, predict device usage and refine marketing.
- CareBridgewhich focuses on using technology to deliver care outside of medical settings, raised $140 million in a funding round led by Oak HC/FT. Among other things, the company distributes tablet computers to patients to help them connect with providers in their homes and elsewhere.
- DarioHealth took out a $50 million loan from OrbiMed to help develop its technology products to help manage chronic disease. Funding comes on a tighter leash — Dario must meet revenue goals to access the full amount.
Harness new talent
- The Telemedicine Society Am fine called on Carrie Nelson, a former executive at Aurora Health Defender in Illinois, to be its chief medical officer.
- Amazon Web Services hired Kris Bhambhani to be its healthcare compliance officer. Bhambhani previously worked as Chief Information Technology Officer at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
What we read
- How Apple’s thoughtful, measured approach is building a healthcare revolution, TechCrunch
- Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year to discover treatments to slow aging, MIT Technology Review