A great test of the Apple Watch in health & a giant leap for data access

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A giant leap for data access?

The Biden AdministrationPlan to remove paywall on federally funded research has huge implications for digital health and AI research, promising to expand access to data and improve reproducibility of discoveries scientists. But the extent of these improvements depends on the data infrastructure developed in response to the federal order. Will the data generated by the studies be machine-readable, so that it can be accessed and used more quickly? Will the methods used to analyze the data be fully disclosed and computable? And of course, how will the fees associated with data access be structured? In short, the order has the potential to dramatically improve access to taxpayer-funded research — and ultimately make more research reproducible — but the devil is in the details of data access.


A great test of the Apple Watch in cardiac care

A recently announced study, due to launch next year, will test whether the apple watch can bring about significant improvements in care. The wearable has an FDA-approved algorithm that can detect irregular heartbeats, and researchers from Northwestern University will now test whether these alerts can help target the use of anticoagulants. Medications can help prevent strokes, but carry the risk of dangerous bleeding. So a study group of 5,400 people will receive automated instructions to take the drugs only when the Apple Watch detects rhythms suggesting prolonged atrial fibrillation — hopefully maintaining stroke protection while reducing strokes. bleeding as a side effect. Read more about the ambitious project in Mario’s report.


Setting the Stage for Data Privacy Battles

While the repeal of Roe v. Wade shed light on all the ways that current health regulations fall short of protecting sensitive patient data, as several branches of government were already moving to establish and enforce security-conscious practices across industries. In Congress, the proposal US privacy and data protection law would be a sweeping federal data privacy law that would disrupt data brokerage activity in the United States, including targeting based on sensitive health data revealed by tracking. As Politico reports, the biggest names, including Experian, TransUnion and Acxiom, are mounting lobbyists on the issue. During this time, the Federal Trade Commission sued a data broker kochava to sell location information that can track individuals to “sensitive locations,” including reproductive health clinics and addiction clinics.

AI can’t tackle predicting drugs for seizures yet

Choosing the right anti-epileptic drug from a toolbox of over 30 drugs mostly comes down to trial and error. But research in JAMA Neurology highlights the potential of artificial intelligence to predict which prescriptions are most likely to work for specific patients. After testing six machine learning models on recordings of around 1,800 adults with epilepsy, none delivered a knockout blow: the best-performing algorithm generated an area under the curve of 0.65, and the precision, sensitivity and specificity were equally modest. The commentators of University of California, San Francisco see the results as a promising — albeit small — step toward personalized medicine, noting that the algorithms may need to improve a lot before performing better than the gut of an experienced clinician.

money for menMental Health & a new data trader

  • CuriMetaa real-world health data company, launched with $6 million in seed funding led by Washington University School of Medicine and BJC Health. The company plans to help health systems and life science companies compile and analyze data to develop medicines and diagnostics, with a focus on transparency of how and when the data are used.
  • Almawhich is developing technology to support independent mental health practices, raised $130 million in a Series D funding round led by the software investment firm ThomasBravowith the participation of Cigna Ventures. Alma provides practices with teletherapy technology and software to automate billing and scheduling.
  • Psych Hub, which uses technology to support mental health education and care navigation, raised $16 million in a funding round led by HC9 and Frist Cressey Ventures. The company was founded in 2019 by CEO Marjorie Morrison and former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy.
  • The venture capital firm General Catalyst signed an agreement with the Pennsylvania-based supplier WellSpan Health to integrate technology innovations backed by the venture capital firm into WellSpan’s care and business operations. This is General Catalyst’s fourth innovation partnership with a healthcare system.
  • Feathera virtual care provider for transgender people, raised $24 million in a Series B led by processing capital. The company is looking to create nationwide coverage for its virtual primary care services.

Promotions and pink slips

  • The AI ​​and Precision Medicine Society Sema4 called on Kevin Feeley to be its chief financial officer. Feeley was previously Chief Financial Officer of Bioreference laboratories and GeneDx.
  • Digital health companies are experiencing a wave of layoffs, but so are traditional providers. The job cuts are affecting healthcare systems across the country. Based in Columbus OhioHealth is laying off more than 600 workers, many in IT and revenue cycle roles. Based in Tennessee Commonwealth Health lays off 245 workers due to the closure of a psychiatric hospital and other establishments.

What we read

  • Why Amazon and other enterprise giants are in a bidding war for home health tech, STAT
  • I was there when: AI helped create a vaccine, MIT Technology Review
  • Amazon and One Medical: Addressing data gaps, first opinion from STAT
  • Hackers have besieged US health care and a small HHS office is caving under the pressure, Politico

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