In this week’s health tech round up, we take a look at Philips’ Future Health Index 2019 Report, which considers the role of digital health technology in improving patient and healthcare professional experiences; the recent expansion of Babylon Health’s GP at Hand with the launch of a Birmingham clinic; Roche and Wellthy Thereapeutic’s latest research findings into improving diabetic patient care; Boston Scientific’s acquisition of Vertiflex to expand its pain management portfolio; as well as the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Fit wearable device.

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Philips releases Future Health Index report on digital health technology

Royal Philips has recently released its Future Health Index (FHI) 2019 report, which focuses on the role of digital health technology in improving patient and healthcare professional experiences. The FHI found that although the majority of patients want access to their digital health record and are willing to share it with healthcare professionals, data sharing is currently insufficient. However, the report also revealed that healthcare professionals are increasingly using and advocating digital health technology to improve healthcare experiences and 80% are sharing patient information electronically with other healthcare professionals. Jan Kimpen, chief medical officer for Philips, said: “Technology is no longer a limiting factor, the important thing for all of us is to be prepared for change”.

Babylon GP at Hand announces launch of Birmingham clinic

Babylon Health’s GP at Hand service has announced the launch of a clinic at Badger House in Birmingham. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s Primary Care Committee has also signalled the go ahead at a meeting this week. During the first three months, the digital provider will be available only to those within the Birmingham or Solihull council boundaries and the patient list will also be restricted to 2,600 patients. Babylon Health is working “with the local NHS authorities to carefully roll out the service”, before reassessing the list size and geographical area after two months. The service allows patients to carry out video consultations with their GP through their phone, tablet or computer at convenient times. Babylon’s UK medical director Matthew Noble said “Babylon GP at Hand is loved by patients as they can often see a GP within 30 minutes, it’s valued by GPs who can enjoy flexible working, it helps reduce visits to A&E and it doesn’t cost the NHS a penny more, in fact it can save the NHS money.”

Combination of self-monitoring blood glucose device and DTx improve patient outcomes

Diabetes technologies company, Roche, and digital therapeutics company, Wellthy Therapeutics, have demonstrated compelling data of improved diabetes care outcomes in a South Asian population. Patients who followed a prescribed plan of medication and lifestyle modification in addition to a combination therapy of a self-monitoring blood glucose device and a clinically validated digital therapeutic (DTx). The study highlighted the potential use of this combination to improve diabetic patient outcomes by reducing blood sugar levels. These findings come amidst a growing market opportunity for diabetes management, as the use of digital technology becomes an increasingly common method of managing diabetes related conditions.

Boston Scientific announces Vertiflex Acquisition

Boston Scientific recently announced the $465 million acquisition of private company, Vertiflex, as part of a strategy to expand its pain management portfolio. Vertiflex originally manufactured and commercialised the Superion Indirect Decompression System, a minimally invasive device designed to enhance physical function and eradicate pain in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), and is the only FDA approved commercially available and minimally invasive interspinous spacer. The acquisition will add Vertiflex’s device to Boston Scientific’s pain management portfolio, which will provide physicians with additional non-opioid pain management solutions that can improve the quality of lives of patients suffering with chronic pain.

Samsung releases new Galaxy Fit wearable device

Samsung has announced the release of a new Galaxy Fit wearable device, which capitalises on the Samsung Health app to deliver more robust fitness tracking features. The device uses an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and an optical heart-rate monitor to track users’ activities. The watch can automatically track walking, running, cycling, rowing, and elliptical workouts. The Galaxy Fit can also be used to track sleep and deliver insights into other health goals by linking to the Samsung Health app.

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