Roundup: Italy's digital therapeutics opportunities, Egyptian e-health company secures grant for breast cancer detection and more briefs

Also, Saudi German Hospital rebrands for first time in 30 years.
By Sara Mageit
09:40 am
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Credit: Pascale Hospital / Healthware Group

SELF-MANAGEMENT PLATFORM FOR IBD PATIENTS

Social purpose company, Ampersand Health has announced its partnership with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust to roll out the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) platform My IBD Care.

The initiative supports patients living with Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis and facilitates remote monitoring and communications between these patients and their clinicians.

The platform will help support approximately 2,800 IBD patients managed by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust and their clinicians. This will include consultant gastroenterologists, IBD nurses, and colorectal surgeons.  

The chronic disease management app helps individuals self-manage their IBD on a daily basis. It incorporates a personal health record, medication and appointment reminders, daily lifestyle tracking and a library of lifestyle and wellbeing courses.


ITALY'S DIGITAL THERAPEUTICS OPPORTUNITIES

The official journal of Smith Kline Foundation, Tendenze Nuove, announced the publication of the white paper Digital Therapeutics, an Opportunity for Italy, providing the knowledge foundations for the Italian ecosystem to advance on DTx.

Co-promoted by daVinci Digital Therapeutics, FADOI, FSK (Smith Kline Foundation) and Healthware Group, the publication represents the first steps towards the implementation of digital therapeutics that Italy began following other countries like Germany, France and the US.

The book consists of insights and recommendations from 40 leading experts in the field, also involved in the Digital Therapeutics for Italy - #DTxITA working group, established in 2019 with the aim to endorse the implementation of DTx in the Italian healthcare system.


PRECISION MEDICINE RESEARCH IN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Genetic research platform, Sano Genetics is collaborating with BenevolentAI, C4X Discovery, and Patients Know Best for precision medicine research for ulcerative colitis (UC), one of the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

A part funding of £330K from the UK government's innovation agency Innovate UK has been raised for the research. The aims are to accelerate development of biomarker discovery and precision medicine in this area.

“More than six million cases of IBD were recorded world-wide in 2017 and UC specifically is estimated to affect approximately one in every 330 people,” said Patrick Short, CEO of Sano Genetics.

“As the prevalence of IBD continues to increase, personalised approaches to early detection, treatment, and management are becoming ever more important. We are delighted to be pooling our knowledge with BenevolentAI and C4X Discovery to accelerate drug and biomarker discoveries which have the potential to change the lives of UC patients.” 


GERMAN COMPANY DEVELOPS MODEL FOR STRESS ANALYSIS

Working closely with the movement science department of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, German technology and IT company, Predimo has launched a 3D human musculoskeletal computer model called Myonardo, after a development in the past five years. 

The models enables the mechanical stress on bones, joints, tendons and muscles during human movement to be measured. The platform determines which forces are acting in the body without the need for surgery, opening up new knowledge opportunities, especially in the fields of medicine, ergonomics, sports and automotive.

Responsible for this innovation is Professor Dr Heiko Wagner from Muenster University. Together with Predimo managing director Dr Dirk Bendig and their interdisciplinary team with expertise in movement science, biology, biomechanics, medicine, medical technology, physics, and sports and economics.


BOOSTING WOMEN PHYSICIANS IN ETHIOPIA

Medics.Academy, a UK company established to address the global health workforce shortage, and the Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association (EMeWA) have signed a partnership agreement to help women physicians in Ethiopia.

Endorsed by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, the project will help EMeWA - an organisation established by female physicians in Ethiopia, to fulfil its vision to establish an excellence center for women physicians through professional development and other areas of focus.

As part of the collaboration Medics.Academy will be investing £250K (12 million Ethiopian Birr) in building a learning community to provide digital access to training.

It will also support a target of 70% of female physicians in Ethiopia over the next five years. The country has been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the 57 countries in the world with a chronic shortage of health workers.


FREE VIRTUAL CHECKUPS FOR OVER 60S

Digital health company Medicspot will open virtual clinics in five London pharmacies to offer free heart health screening for over 65s suffering from new shortness of breath.

The service comes amid the restructuring and changing prioritisation of NHS services, reduced access to heart screening, and the reluctance of over 65s to seek out preventative care due to the risk of catching COVID-19.

Equipped with remote diagnostic technology developed by its sister company Arc Health, Medicspot has opened virtual clinics in five pharmacy consulting rooms.

Previously, the technology has been used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by facilitating remote GP consultations in NHS GP surgeries, care homes and hot hubs across the UK. Now Medicspot hopes to use the same technology to tackle cardiovascular disease.

 

VISIONABLE HEALTHTECH APPOINTS FIRST CCO

UK health technology company Visionable has announced the appointment of David Walker to the newly created position of chief commercial officer (CCO).

Visionable redesigns healthcare through a digital collaboration platform which enables clinicians to deliver better patient outcomes. The expansion of the business’ executive leadership team follows Visionable’s growth in 2020, which saw £17 million of investment that the company raised in Series A and Series A1 funding rounds.

Visionable has appointed Walker to capitalise on its existing success. As the company’s first CCO, Walker will be responsible for developing and creating new partnerships with international organisations to expand Visionable’s presence.


SENSYNE HEALTH LICENSES MAGNIFEYE TECHNOLOGY

UK clinical AI company, Sensyne Health has announced that it has signed a license and development agreement with healthcare company, Excalibur to apply Sensyne’s MagnifEye system.

The system will be used with Excalibur’s proprietary lateral flow rapid diagnostic tests across a range of indications including its COVID-19 antigen test currently being marketed in the UK and across Europe.

The Excalibur COVID-19 antigen lateral flow diagnostic test has been approved by the UK regulator for mass population screening in symptomatic and asymptomatic people.

The MagnifEye system is Sensyne’s proprietary software application available as both a smartphone app and a web application, that uses a cloud-based deep learning algorithm to automate the reading and analysis of different diagnostic tests.


EGYPT E-HEALTH STARTUP SECURES GRANT

Egyptian e-health startup DilenyTech has secured a $160K non-equity grant from the Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC) programme to strengthen its AI platform when expediting the detection of breast cancer.

Founded in 2018, the  startup was awarded a US patent for a novel AI-enabled image analysis technology a few months ago and was ranked second in the Decoding Health Challenge organised by Health 2.0 Egypt and UNESCO in December 2019.

DilenyTech plans to optimise the screening and diagnosis of AI assistance to create a precise diagnosis and accelerating reporting. Recently, DilenyTech launched a worldwide bi-lingual AI-enabled breast cancer risk assessment tool in Arabic and English. 


DIABETES PLATFORM QUIN CLOSES FUNDING ROUND

UK digital health startup, Quin has closed its latest funding round placing its total capital raised to date at £3.6 million.

The Quin app provides personalised diabetes treatment information for people who take insulin to manage their blood glucose levels. It also presents users with continuous, data-led support for insulin dosing decisions, based on behavioural and physiological factors.

Aiming to help people with diabetes to hone in on multiple daily lifestyle decisions, the app diminishes the related stress and even difficulties with mental health expierienced. Results from beta tests of the app show 84% of users experienced better health outcomes or quality of life, or both.

The app is currently limited to the UK and Ireland App Stores, but the company has plans for global availability this year.


EXSCIENTIA AND OXFORD UNI PARNTER FOR ALZHEIMER'S TREATMENT

AI drug discovery company Exscientia, has announced its collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Research UK University of Oxford Drug Discovery Institute (ARUK-ODDI) to develop medicines targeting neuroinflammation for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  

According to the World Health Organisation, Alzeheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia worldwide, with an estimated 44 million people living with it or related form of dementia.

This new partnership combines Exscientia's AI-driven molecular design capabilities with the deep therapy area knowledge and technical expertise of the ARUK-ODDI.

The collaboration will focus on a specific neuroinflammatory pathway implicated in the development of AD. Exscientia’s proven AI-driven technology will be applied to generate novel clinical assets targeting this pathway.


FITBIT AND DIABETES UK TEAM UP

UK diabetes charities, Fitbit and Diabetes UK have announced a new three-year partnership. Together they will work to educate Brits on the importance of understanding their own health and how leading a healthier and more active lifestyle can play a critical role in the prevention and management of all types of diabetes.

The organisations will collaborate on a series of initiatives throughout 2021 and the coming years to encourage healthy behaviour change, including the One Million Step Challenge, to encourage participants to be more physically active.

The challenge aims to encourage participants throughout the country to step-up their activity and take at least 10,000 steps a day to reach a one million step target at the end of the three-month challenge period.


SAUDI GERMAN HOSPITALS GROUP REBRANDS

Saudi German Hospitals Group (SGHG) has announced rebranding to Saudi German Health (SGH) in their first rebrand in 30 years.

Led by SGH president, Makarem Sobhi Batterjee, the strategic decision was made in order to represent the group as a comprehensive healthcare network focused on all aspects of patient care.

Launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a single hospital in 1988, today SGH has one of the largest footprints of any private healthcare provider in the MENA region, with several clinics and 11 hospitals across KSA, the UAE, Egypt, and Yemen. The group currently has projects under construction in Morocco and Pakistan. 


NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE PARTNERS WITH HEALTHWARE

The Cancer Institute of Naples, Italy, has signed an agreement with healthcare consulting group, Healthware Group to promote and implement solutions and digital technologies in oncology.

Aiming to ensure more precise and accessible treatments to patients, the agreement is focused on fostering research activities and digital therapies. Combining their areas of expertise, Healthware Group and Pascale Hospital will collaborate in order to facilitate clinical practice and ultimately improve the lives of patients.

Roberto Ascione, CEO of Healthware Group said: "The clinical partnerships, based on data and technology, with international and national renowned institutions, such as the Pascale Hospital, offer the opportunity to implement innovative solutions aiming to improve the lives of patients.

"There are many areas of the agreement's application, that will use Telehealth for the implementation of an innovative remote assistance model, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science for the development of algorithms through the mining of available retrospective data."

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