Digital health news briefs for 4/27/2018

By Dave Muoio
11:51 am
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Good omens for Good Doctor. Ping An Good Doctor, China’s largest online healthcare platform, has priced its initial public offering at $1.12 billion (8.77 billion Hong Kong dollars), according to the South China Morning PostThis flotation, the largest in Hong Kong of the year, was overbought 653 times by retail investors, making it Hong Kong’s most sought after IPO in nearly a decade. The Shanghai-based company was founded in 2015, and first announced its IPO plans in November.

Something in the air. A free app released earlier this month is looking to place the impact of local air pollution on personal health into perspective. Called “S***! I Smoke,” the iOS and Android app translates the recorded air quality of a user’s current location into an equivalent number of daily cigarettes. The app will also prompt users to share their results with friends, with the intent of raising awareness about the health risks of air pollution, according to the app’s download description.

Searching through searches. A research paper by Microsoft and Duke University researchers recently published in Nature’s npj Digital Medicine suggests that a machine learning model trained to scan search engine logs for queries related to neurodegenerative disorders could be a feasible approach to early disease detection. The team found that their model was somewhat effective in screening for Parkinson’s disease and, with additional tweaking, could potentially be implemented as a supplementary public health screening tool for Parkinson’s or similar conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

An extra ear on emergency calls. The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) and Corti.ai are looking for emergency services control rooms interested in implementing the latter’s speech analysis AI, beginning in September. Corti.ai’s product listens in on calls to detect potential out-of-hospital cardiac arrests with up to 95 percent accuracy, according to the company. Its service has been implemented in Copenhagen since 2016, and results of the upcoming multi-country pilot will be presented at the EENA Conference in 2019.