novel coronavirus

By Dave Muoio 02:46 pm April 1, 2020
On Monday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai pulled back the curtain on a $200 million program that would combat the COVID-19 crisis by bankrolling telecommunications equipment and services for qualifying healthcare providers. The plan is fueled by funds appropriated in the $2 trillion CARES Act signed by Congress and President Donald Trump late last week. If approved after...

Credit: Biolidics

By Dean Koh 03:17 am March 31, 2020
Singapore-listed medtech company Biolidics recently launched its rapid test kit for COVID-19 and has entered into a manufacturer agreement with a diagnostic kit manufacturer to customize and manufacture the rapid test kits. The first batch of Biolidics’ rapid test kits is expected to be available in April 2020. Biolidics has obtained provisional authorization from Singapore’s Health Science...
By HIMSS Media 04:31 pm March 30, 2020
These have been turbulent times for the FDA. On the one hand, the U.S. regulator has found itself carefully unravelling guidances to bolster COVID-19 testing and treatment – sometimes leading to confusion for companies searching for new ways to combat the global epidemic. On the other, the agency continues to push forward with broader initiatives to remap its processes so that novel software...
By Dave Muoio 04:04 pm March 27, 2020
Two medical research organizations have kicked off new efforts this week that seek to use consumer-health wearables to identify or event predict the onset of disease. The first is the DETECT (Digital Engagement & Tracking for Early Control & Treatment) Study, headed by the Scripps Research Translational Institute. It combines heart-rate, activity and sleep data collected through a range...
By Dave Muoio 02:49 pm March 24, 2020
Apple's Siri has been updated to provide symptom-based guidance and, in some cases, telehealth-app download links to users seeking COVID-19 information from the virtual assistant. Now, when users ask Siri a question along the lines of "How do I know whether I have coronavirus?" or "I think I have coronavirus," the tool initiates a new conversation tree to determine the user's current symptoms....
By Dave Muoio 04:32 pm March 23, 2020
Last week saw a number of diagnostic testing startups, telehealth providers and others announce new services that would deliver at-home COVID-19 testing-kits to consumers. But the majority of these of offerings have since been rescinded or hang in doubt thanks to new warnings and regulatory clarifications issued this weekend by the FDA. On Friday evening, the agency released an alert to consumers...

Credit: Business Wire

By Dean Koh 11:00 pm March 22, 2020
Genomic medicine startup Lucence announced that the development of the SAFER-Sample (Stabilization of nucleic Acid Formulation for Evaluation of RNA) kit, a sample collection medical device to facilitate more accessible testing of viral infections such as COVID-19. WHY IT MATTERS Currently, definitive diagnosis of RNA viral infections such as COVID-19 requires patients with respiratory infections...
By Dave Muoio 04:50 pm March 20, 2020
The FDA announced today a new policy that permits expanded use of connected, non-invasive remote vital sign monitors until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The agency is relaxing its prior guidance so that healthcare teams can monitor their patients outside of the hospital with certain devices that were previously cleared by the FDA, thereby freeing up space for the high volume...

Credit: GovTech, MOH

By Dean Koh 10:38 am March 20, 2020
[UPDATE: According to Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan's Facebook post on the morning of March 23, TraceTogether has been installed by more than 620,000 users so far.] The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), the in-house IT agency of the Singapore public service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) today announced the launch of a mobile...
By Dean Koh 05:52 am March 17, 2020
AIA Singapore, which is part of the largest public listed pan-Asian life insurance group, announced that will cover the costs of 50,000 video medical consultations provided by WhiteCoat, a Singapore-based tele-medicine provider for all its HealthShield Gold Max policyholders.  Individuals who require professional medical advice can engage WhiteCoat's Singapore-registered doctors from the comfort...