We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investment news from the world of Health Tech.
Amazon deal shakes healthcare sector
This week it has been reported that Amazon is set to buy online pharmacy PillPack in the second half of 2018. PillPack, which was founded in 2013, is available in every US state except Hawaii and last year said it expected to make $100m in revenue. The company’s services are aimed at people who take multiple medications, delivering drugs in pre-sorted dose packages. The firm also helps to co-ordinate refills and renewals. This announcement confirms earlier speculation from the market that Amazon is interested in healthcare but unfortunately, the news has led to shares in rival healthcare firms tumbling (including CVS and Walgreens). Time will tell how this one will play out.
Doctor-on-demand app Babylon plans to open its own GP surgeries
The major success story, Babylon Health, which lets people book virtual appointments with GPs and receive subscriptions through its app, is working with architecture firm Foster and Partners to design futuristic versions of GP surgeries. The plan is an extension of Babylon’s ambitions to upend the traditional relationship between GPs and patients on the NHS and with this new expansion – Babylon will allow people to have unlimited virtual appointments for £5 a month, or pay £25 per consultation. The mission at present is to open surgeries in a series of locations – next year! It is understood this new strand of services is focused on catering for a gap in the market, whereby younger, healthier patients struggle to get appointments. An interesting move to watch.
UK healthcare start-up Medopad expands to the US
News of expansion comes for Medopad, a company that operates a series of mobile apps which track patients’ wellbeing remotely. This week, Medopad announced they were opening a new office in New York which will house 10 new employees by the end of the year. Medopad will also look to release its healthcare technology in the US in the coming months. Until now, it has only been operating in the country as part of a pilot programme. According to The Telegraph, a move oversees is not all the company has up its sleeve, as it is also understood the company wants to raise up to $120m in funding and will be hitting the investor roadshow over the next 12 months. This is a company to watch indeed.
The robots helping NHS surgeons perform better, faster – and for longer
This week, it has been reported that towards the end of 2018 (subject to clinical approval) the world’s smallest surgical robot, Versius, could be used in NHS operating theatres for the first time. This move could transform the way operations are performed by allowing tens or hundreds of thousands more surgeries each year to be carried out as keyhole procedures. Versius comprises three robotic limbs – each slightly larger than a human arm, complete with shoulder, elbow and wrist joints – mounted on bar-stool sized mobile units. The integration of this technology could help see robotics like Versius cut training time down from 80 sessions to 30 minutes, a statistic that is encouraging the industry to talk and predict that robotics will likely expand massively in the next 10 years. A fascinating case study to read up on and follow.
Interesting reads section:
- How clinical documentation has evolved in the NHS
- Replacing pills with a Band-Aid? Avro Life Science thinks there’s a patch for that
- ‘It’s going to create a revolution’: how AI is transforming the NHS
- ‘I’ve been an NHS patient for 70 years’
- From apps to artificial wombs: the smart tech transforming NHS care