We take a look at this week’s biggest developments, research and investments news from the world of Health Tech.
Popular nutrition and fitness app 8fit offers tailored workouts and meals plans, and has raised $7 million in Series A funding, bringing total funding for the Berlin-based startup to $10 million. Since 2014, the 8fit app has been attempting to separate itself from the plethora of either fitness or recipe apps that currently exist by focusing on personalisation and recognising that a combination of exercise and nutrition is the best path to a healthier lifestyle. The 8fit app combines High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and yoga workouts designed to be done anywhere to fit around a busy lifestyle, with healthy and easy meal ideas which are customised by food group or specific ingredients. The personalised customisation comes through tailored plans which take into account each individuals current fitness level and goals.
Analyte Health aims to help patients to acquire and understand healthcare diagnostic information as conveniently, confidentially, and cost effectively as possible, and have recently raised nearly $26.8 million from three unnamed investors. The company offers quick-turnaround testing and in-home specimen collection for telehealth organizations and their patients through arrangements with local diagnostics labs. By working with pharmaceutical companies, telehealth providers, and diagnostic companies, they drive clinical compliance and personal health awareness for consumers. This June the company stated that it has delivered more than 2.2 million test results since its inception in the last 8 years since launch.
MedTech company Medtronic has received clearance for a new implantable pain management device that works wirelessly via a Samsung tablet. The Intellis system is designed to treat chronic pain, and does this by delivering neurostimulation at the spinal cord which can be adjusted by a workflow called Evolve dependant on the patient’s pain. The implant also has the ability to monitor the user's activity, which can help doctors determine the best course of treatment. "Drawing upon our 40-year legacy in [spinal cord stimulation], the launch of the Intellis platform isn't just about a new device, but about combining cutting edge hardware with optimal therapy through the Evolve workflow to enable personalized, long-term pain relief," said Dr. Marshall Stanton, senior vice president and president of Medtronic's Pain Therapies division.
Last weekend, a group of engineers at Doctor Hazel developed an artificial intelligence that they say could someday detect cancerous moles. Although the program is currently in its infancy, the team hopes that enough submissions from users could allow them to predict skin cancer with at least 90 percent accuracy. Doctor Hazel measures 8,000 variables when viewing a sample to determine whether the image is in fact a cancerous mole, melanoma, or benign. After thousands of image downloads in its first day of testing, the team have been able to identify cancer at an 85 percent success rate. The team plans to have a app available to purchase to accompany the platform, as well as an image capturing device that could someday be made available for sale.
Augmedics have developed an Augmented-Reality Surgical Visualization System that brings 3D disruptive Augmented Reality technology to surgery and have recently raised $8.3 million in new funding. Their system uses augmented reality glasses for specifically spine surgeons (not to be confused with fellow AR-focused start-up Augmedix which uses Google Glass to enable remote scribes). The ViZOR device projects an image of the patient's internal anatomy in 3D over their view of the patient, giving the effect of "x-ray vision". The company plans to use this funding to continue developing the device and to run clinical trials in preparation for an eventual FDA submission.
Innovaccer announced the launch of Care Intelligence System this week. The system is a ground-breaking platform that combines next-generation technology with healthcare's best practices to deliver data integration, analytics, intelligent process flows, and advanced provider-patient engagement modules. Innovaccer's CIS has been designed to form the technological backbone for healthcare, allowing care teams to access standardized and democratized data which can unlock valuable insights. Equipped with Machine Learning, Micro-service architecture, and Artificial Intelligence, CIS enables improvements in the care continuum. "Data in healthcare is growing exponentially, which presents an opportunity to capitalize on value-based care. With the right information in real-time, care teams can create impact at scale on population health," said Abhinav Shashank, CEO at Innovaccer.
Another Seattle start-up, Saykara, has emerged from stealth mode this week with an AI-fuelled voice scribe that aims to be the Amazon Alexa for hospitals. The technology uses artificial intelligence tools to transcribe a physician’s spoken notes during and after interacting with a patient. The goal is to cut down on admin time for doctors, allowing them to focus more on the patient. “Saykara is built on a combination of speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning. Most importantly, it is highly customized to a physician’s workflow, by speciality,” stated Saykara CEO Harjinder Sandhu. “The app has been used at several private practices for four months and is beginning trials at larger hospitals”.
This week, The Mayo Clinic stated that Amazon Alexa users can now access first-aid information via Amazon’s voice-based tools, using a simple prompt; “Alexa, open Mayo First-Aid”. From there, consumers can access first-aid topics, including care instructions and quick answers concerning common health irregularities. Some hospitals are already using Alexa to improve patient experience with scheduling, note-taking, and other voice activated aids. “Voice-enabled experience is a new and growing channel for reaching people and delivering information they are seeking, whether or not they have an existing relationship with Mayo Clinic,” said Sandhya Pruthi, MD, associate medical director at Mayo.
8fit, a popular health and fitness app that offers tailored workouts and meals plan, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Backing the round are VCs Creandum and Eight Roads Ventures. It brings total funding for the Berlin-based startup to $10 million.