Amwell transforms hospital room TVs into telehealth hubs, Vocalis shares vocal COVID-19 screening data and more digital health news briefs

Also: The Consumer Technology Association releases industry standards focused on health AI trust; new updates in the home COVID-19 testing market.
By Dave Muoio
03:00 pm
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An image of Amwell's new in-room telehealth kit

A facelift for hospital room TVs. Amwell announced today a new tech addition to the company's hospital-focused telehealth product. Specifically, the company's Hospital TV 100 kit transforms a hospital room's existing television into a two-way video conversation with virtual providers – an approach that Amwell said will allow hospitals to leverage their existing infrastructure to scale their telemedicine capabilities.

"At Intermountain, we now have over 1,200 Amwell TV Carepoint devices installed in almost 50 locations," Brian Wayling, assistant VP of telehealth services at Intermountain Healthcare, said in a statement provided by Amwell. "The in-room smart TV and networking enable clinical teams across more than 30 specialties to provide remote care 24/7 in collaboration with the local team, and to interact with patients, family members and caregivers right in the patient’s room – no matter the access concerns and without any extra effort."


Sounds like COVID-19. Artificial intelligence-based vocal biomarker company Vocalis Health shared the top-line results of a validation study for its COVID-19 screening tool, called VocalisCheck.

Conducted in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the study deployed the tool across 2,000-plus participants speaking English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and other languages. The company said the results from an unblinded validation set of 288 participants yielded an accuracy of 81.2%, sensitivity of 80.3% and specificity of 81.4% for the voice-based COVID-19 screener.

Further, the company said that its tool has also received a CE mark from European regulators.

"We are encouraged by the study's findings, which further validate VocalisCheck's ability to screen for COVID-19," Tal Wenderow, CEO of Vocalis Health, said in a statement. "These new results, combined with our recent CE-mark approval, demonstrate our commercial readiness to deploy the VocalisCheck screening tool to help businesses, governments, universities and others safely return to work, school, healthcare and leisure while lightening the burden on health systems."


Can you trust a computer? This week, the Consumer Technology Association released new standards that outline "the core requirements and baseline for AI solutions in healthcare to be deemed as trustworthy." The document homes in on three core focus areas that stakeholders should be aware of building and maintaining: human trust, technical trust and regulatory trust.

Developed in the wake of a CES 2021 session tackling similar issues of AI trust, the standard comes a year after a previous CTA spec focused on healthcare AI terminology for consumers, vendors and providers. The organization also noted that membership in its Artificial Intelligence in Health Care working group has swelled to more than 60 member organizations in recent years.


Home COVID-19 testing updates. Yesterday, home health testing startup EverlyWell announced that its home COVID-19 test has received a new FDA Emergency Use Authorization that allows consumers to purchase it without a prescription, and regardless of symptoms or known exposure. The mail-in test is intended for adults aged 18 years and older, and originally launched for consumer purchase in June 2020.

Meanwhile, fellow at-home diagnostic testing company Maverick Health announced today that it is launching its end-to-end diagnostics and virtual care service into the consumer market. The platform was previously available to states and enterprise organizations, and includes an FDA-authorized saliva-based test for COVID-19.

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