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Health Tech Weekly Round Up: 5 April

Hotwire Global

In this week’s roundup, find out how Siemens Healthineers is working with Intel to improve cardiac MRI diagnostics; Medopad is implementing its remote patient management platform in the NHS; Johnson & Johnson’s is expanding its surgical specialties with its acquisition of surgical robotics developer, Aurius Health; and we provide the latest on Philips’ technological developments in treating sleep apnoea.

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Siemens Healthineers partners with Intel to explore how machine learning can improve cardiac MRI diagnostics

Siemens Healthineers has announced a partnership with Intel on a cardiac MRI segmentation and analysis model. With deep learning algorithms, the model could be used by cardiologists and radiologists to deliver real-time cardiovascular diagnoses via Intel’s Xeon scalable processors for AI inference. The model is five times faster and has limited impact on accuracy, according to Siemens Healthineers and Intel. This could improve efficiency for cardiologists, avoiding the need to manually segment different parts of the heart in imaging with AI-enabled segmentation.

Medopad to launch remote patient platform with NHS Trust

Health Tech company Medopad is due to launch its remote patient management platform with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust this Spring in a move towards improving patient outcomes, adherence and operational gains across primary, secondary and community care. At launch, the platform will include projects in cardiology, hypertension and diabetes, amongst others. The Medopad mobile app is designed to support individuals with chronic conditions and rare diseases, and will help hypertensive patients manage their condition. Dan Vahdat, CEO and founder of Medopad, said: “Medopad and the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust share the same vision; to improve quality of care for patients. By providing a better link between consultants and patients beyond the care setting, we can improve patient, clinical and operational outcomes for the West Midlands region.”

J&J concludes $3.4bn Auris Health acquisition

A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ethicon, has concluded a $3.4bn acquisition of Auris Health. Johnson & Johnson plans to leverage the surgical robotics developer’s Monarch Platform to expand its digital portfolio of surgical specialties. The Platform is currently used in lung diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Speaking on the acquisition, Johnson & Johnson medical devices executive vice-president and worldwide chairman Ashley McEvoy said: “We are focused on building a connected, data-driven digital ecosystem that pairs our market-leading surgical solutions with advanced technologies to improve the patient experience.” The company will use the acquisition to lead to a “transformation in surgical care and lung cancer intervention”, he added.

Royal Philips designs sleep apnoea mask with side-facing tube

Royal Philips has launched a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) DreamWisp mask to treat sleep apnoea. The mask’s facial tube is designed to exit the mask to the side rather than the front like traditional devices, offering more comfort and freedom of movement for patients. With over 100 million people suffering from this condition, a more comfortable treatment option could prevent patients avoid treatment. 97% of clinicians that participated in a clinical trial recommended the CPAP mask for patient use. “Designed with the patient in mind, DreamWisp helps sleep apnoea patients get the rest they deserve with the ability to sleep more comfortably,” Royal Philips sleep business leader Mark D’Angelo said.

VR training company Oxford Medical Stimulation partners with NHS England diabetes team

Oxford Medical Stimulation, a VR training company, has announced that it is partnering with NHS England’s diabetes team. Starting in Southampton and Portsmouth Hospitals, it will provide training for doctors using Oculus Rift VR headsets, and aims to ensure that doctors are prepared for medical emergencies in at least 100 scenarios. The trial is funded by Novo Nordisk and, depending on the results, the system could be rolled out throughout England later this year. The investment in VR follows a recent report which identified AR and VR as two technological advances that would have an impact on the NHS by 2040. Dr Jack Pottle, NHS clinical entrepreneur, medical director and co-founder of OMS, said “I had never practiced managing a diabetic emergency until I had to do it in real life. You wouldn’t expect a pilot to fly a plane full of passengers without having practised first. Why do we think that’s acceptable for doctors and nurses?”

‘Alexa, find me a doctor’: Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills

Amazon’s voice assistant can now manage people’s health information with new Alexa health skills. The skills will allow users to ask questions such as: ‘Alexa, pull up my blood glucose readings’, or ‘Alexa, find me a doctor’. Voice technology is considered to be a significant technological breakthrough for the health field, especially for elderly users and those with mobility problems to monitor their health, manage their medication and alert emergency services. The developers of the technology emphasise the benefits of bringing healthcare to the home. “These new skills are designed to help customers manage a variety of healthcare needs at home simply using voice – whether it’s booking a medical appointment, accessing hospital post-discharge instructions, checking on the status of a prescription delivery, and more,” said Rachel Jiang, Senior Manager, Amazon Alexa Health and Wellness Team.

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