UK passes on Apple, Google's Bluetooth contact tracing tool, Fruit Street Health launches COVID-19 telemedicine platform and more digital health news briefs

Also: Wearables, AI support COVID-19 hydroxychloroquine study; Verizon Media deploys new COVID-19 dataset, API and dashboard.
By MobiHealthNews
04:23 pm

Thanks, but we've got this. The U.K. has decided not to use Apple and Google’s much-anticipated Bluetooth contact tracing tool as originally planned, according to the BBC. Apple and Google’s model pitches a decentralized system for tracing, while the NHSX – which works on the UK’s digital health efforts – is proposing a centralized system.

NHS officials told the BBC that the centralized system will allow it to adapt more quickly as new advances in coronavirus information come to the surface. A partnership between NHSX and the tech duo was first announced in mid-April.

Telemedicine platform targets COVID-19. Late last week telemedicine company Fruit Street Health launched a new risk assessment, triage and video consult platform designed specifically to handle potential COVID-19 cases.

Called CovidMD, the tool is built on the Salesforce Service Cloud and incorporates Conversa Health's automated communications offering. Patients who go to the company's webpage will fill out a free assessment regarding their history and current symptoms, and from there are given personalized guidance and the option to connect for a telemedicine appointment. These virtual visits will run $79 for those with private or no insurance, and "will likely" be completed on the same day.

"As soon as the COVID-19 crisis began, we saw a clear application of our technology to help create more access to quality care via telemedicine, reduce community exposure, and help healthcare providers stay safe while treating patients," Laurence Girard, founder and CEO of Fruit Street Health and CovidMD, said in a statement. "With our live video telemedicine platform, we're providing a comprehensive solution for patient screening, triage and advice to help lessen the burden on our healthcare system during this pandemic."

Wearables, AI support hydroxychloroquine trial. Last week Cardiologs announced a new clinical study that will use the Withings Move ECG Watch to remotely monitor COVID-19 patients receiving the highly publicized experimental treatment, hydroxychloroquine. Conducted among University Hospital of Marseille patients, the trial will rely on ECGs collected and analyzed by Cardiologs' connected AI platform to gauge these patients' cardiac safety.

"This study has implications for risk management of drug-induced cardiotoxicity, even beyond the current COVID-19 and hydroxychloroquine context," Dr. Jag Singh, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a scientific advisor to Cardiologs, said in a statement. "Personal ECG sensors could potentially find a role in the management of these patients, but also add value in other routine clinical care, since over 300 commonly used drugs may have similar QT-prolongation risks as hydroxychloroquine."

Powered by... Health-navigation company Castlight Health has found its national COVID-19 test-site finder tool embedded into information resources offered by Google, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Ford Motor Company and others. The tool has also entered services from health companies like 98point6, Premise Health and Forward.

“We created a comprehensive testing site directory because we heard from our users a clear need for a trusted, national source of truth about where to find COVID-19 tests," Castlight CEO Maeve O’Meara said in a statement. "We are excited to make this critical healthcare knowledge available to more people through ongoing collaborations with technology leaders, health plans, state governments and Fortune 500 companies, further informing the national testing effort and helping get Americans back to work."

Alongside the testing site feature, Castlight's finder includes a self-assessment tool.

New source of compiled public COVID-19 data. Verizon Media announced today the release of a new dataset, API and interactive dashboard. Each tool is designed to help developers and others understand COVID-19 data available to the public. It is powered by the company's Yahoo Knowledge Graph.

Available today under a Creative Commons license, the Yahoo Knowledge COVID-19 dataset sources the case, recovery and death information from hundreds of government and health organization websites, and is already set to fuel tracking updates on Yahoo Search, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Weather. The API will help developers explore and build the tool into their own services, while the dashboard provides an example of how the data could be visualized.

“As a media organization focused on delivering trusted content to the world, we are compelled to find ways to inform the public and to empower knowledge," Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said in a statement. "Given the high volume of information, data and figures released daily, one way we can help is to play a role in organizing the content that exists, while also sharing our technology that allows us to create informative and interactive visualizations of the data available about this virus.”


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